David, David, David.
After three years of telling us to stop insulting Oregon voters by saying they were misled about Measure 37, the first words out of David Hunnicutt's mouth after Measure 49 passes are 'I think the campaign was over the minute the governor signed House Bill 2640 that gave the 'Yes' campaign the ballot title they wrote for the measure.'
We stupid voters voted for Measure 49 because of the title?
Earth to David: I voted for Measure 49, and I can't even tell you what the ballot title was.
But I can tell you what it was about.
No, it's not a perfect solution, but it's a start.
I would challenge both sides now to tone down the rhetoric and figure out some long-term solutions. Obviously the Legislature isn't going to do it.
Crime, safety along MAX need attention
Imagine the foresight and proactive behavior of Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.
Finally someone in a position of power who recognizes what the average person has been complaining about for years: the crime and safety issues of MAX light rail.
I moved to Rockwood in October 2004, and had been riding the MAX to Rockwood for several years … at that time it was a pretty uneventful, even pleasant, experience.
Over the course of the past three years, it has become increasingly uncomfortable for the average commuter, especially after daylight hours.
Risking accusations of profiling, I will say it used to be the following stops on the east-side MAX that had the most significant problems, in addition to drugs:
1) Rose Garden Arena - many inbound lines that led to a bored-youth hangout.
2) Lloyd Center - a nearby mall supporting the same hangout opportunity.
3) 82nd Avenue - historically the most problematic, since the nearby No. 72 bus line supports relatively easy access from St. Johns to Clackamas Town Center, as well as all the troublesome regions and activities in between.
4) 181st and 188th avenues - some wannabe gang behavior.
In the past three years, area residents have observed the expansion of 82nd Avenue MAX activities moving eastward:
1) 162nd Avenue MAX Station - inner-city drug wars pushed activity into this area, where it now appears as a blend of multidrug/gang culture. It used to be a quiet area; in the past three years it is arguably the worst of all the east-side MAX stops.
2) 122nd Avenue MAX Station - ironically, this busy location came second in the increase as observed by residents; I don't know why, but it's like walking into a slum, too.
Now Gresham weighs in (finally someone is):
1) Gresham City Hall Station - posted No Skateboarding -yeah, right! Just ask the area kids who hang out there riding their boards/bikes and getting high on city property.
2) Gresham Transit Center Station -same hangout for bored youths as the Lloyd Center and the Rose Garden Arena, same behavior as the Gresham City Hall stop.
My partner is from New Jersey, and she commented how much like the New York subway the MAX has become over the past three years - believe me, this is not a compliment.
Many of us have been practically begging TriMet to start providing security on the train. They put a little effort out there, but it seems to be a token presence.
Yes, there is some gang-related activity, there is a lot of drug activity, and a hell of a lot of bored or homeless youths present.
Thank God that Gresham has someone who pays attention (even this late into what is an obvious situation to the common rider) because Portland cops have little interest in it, and apparently TriMet is even less concerned about rider safety.
Maybe when we actually have someone murdered between stations, and the body is found at the end of the line as the operator conducts a walk-through, we will see a difference.
I fear that I am right, since it appears the police and Tri-Met would rather react than act in this situation.