Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Sources: All eyes on Overlook homeless camps

Share

UPDATE: City installs fence around first camp site


CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The city recently installed a fence around the Hazelnut Grove homeless camp on its property.Neighborhood associations and local business groups across the city are closely following the sparring between the mayor’s office and the Overlook Neighborhood Association over the size of the homeless camps along North Greeley Avenue.

Their concern is based in part on a Nov. 23 report on KGW 8 News that said all neighborhoods would be asked to accommodate such camps, according to Commissioner Amanda Fritz. When asked about the report by Sources Say, Fritz said she only meant the city should provide services to all camps, wherever they exist.

Whatever the case, the inability of the mayor’s office, so far, to limit the size of the camps along Greeley is being noted by neighborhood and local business owners in other parts of town. Homeless advocates argue the city should leave the camps alone because there is not enough shelter space to house all of those living on the streets.

The city recently installed a chain link fence around the original Hazelnut Grove camp on its property. It could be used as a boundary for moving other campers out of the area, if the city enforces it.

Street fee returning to City Council

After suspending discussions for a year, the City Council on Jan. 6 will return to the contentious issue of a street fee to fix and improve Portland’s deteriorating roads.

That’s when the council is scheduled to take up the City Club of Portland’s recommendation that it place a city gas tax measure on the ballot and approve other fees and charges to raise money for the streets as soon as possible.

Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick put their evolving street fee proposal on hold during the 2016 Oregon Legislature at the request of former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and legislative leaders. After state lawmakers deadlocked on a new transportation funding package, the City Club issued a report in September saying the council should move ahead on its own.

Hales and Novick have endorsed a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax measure for the May primary election ballot. It is unclear where the rest of the council stands on it, however — nor whether a majority supports any other fundraising proposal.

Mass shootings prompt mixed response

Despite the public uproar over recent mass shootings, the 2016 Oregon Legislature does not yet appear ready to do much about them.

Although the session does not start until February, no legislators have yet announced they will introduce any new gun control measures. And state Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week that it is unlikely lawmakers will approve a statewide student threat assessment system.

But, according to the Capital Insider, Prozanski anticipated a companion proposal to establish a student threat text tip line would gain a large swath of support in the New Year.

The Capital insider is a subscription newsletter published by the Pamplin Media Group/EO Media Group. For more information, visit http://oregoncapitalinsider.com.