Monthly Archives: June 2011

Staying Alive in Portland

When I was a police reporter in San Bernardino, Calif., and homicides were becoming a weekly occurrence, I told a colleague, “One of the leading causes of death in this town is turning your life around.” Every time I wrote a story about a homicide victim, invariably one of his loved ones would say, “He […]

Good Morning, Heartache

The media love anniversary stories, and this month they have been revisiting the War on Drugs, which just turned 40. The gist of many of these stories is: The war on drugs has been a war on black men, and it’s time to end the war. Many stories cite the racial inequities of harsher penalties for dealing […]

Gary Haugen’s Con Job

The only people guaranteed a humane death in the U.S. are the men and women on Death Row. The rest of us are at the mercy of disease, old age, drunken drivers, war, natural disasters, the list goes on. Some of us will be at the mercy of guys like Gary Haugen. Anyone can suffer […]

A Discriminating Landlord

Suppose black rapper Tyler, the Creator went apartment hunting in Portland, Ore., and encountered a landlord who detected thug tendencies in Tyler’s attitude. Suppose the landlord didn’t want to rent to him. Should that be a crime? But what if Tyler, the Creator rejected the landlord as too uptight and the neighborhood as too quiet […]

The Best and Brightest Charade

Either Portland Mayor Sam Adams has never read David Halberstam’s “The Best and  the Brightest,” or he has forgotten its message. The best aren’t always the brightest, and the brightest aren’t always the best. Nevertheless, according to Adams’ thinking, the city of Portland can now attract the “best and brightest” employees because the city’s insurance […]

Say Hello to Mr. Bobo

It’s hard to hear  about Congressman Anthony Weiner’s boxer shorts without thinking of the Honorable Judge John B. Gibson. The San Bernardino County Superior Court jurist was publicly rebuked for inappropriate behavior with female subordinates, which he dismissed as just joking. His signature gag was to wiggle his fingers through the folds of his judicial […]

A Transgendered Grandstand

Unemployment, gang shootings, poor high school graduation rates – there is no shortage of serious problems facing Portland, but Mayor Sam Adams has resources to waste on  expanding city employee health insurance to cover sex changes. Does Portland have a disproportionate number of city employees wanting transgender surgery? No. But Adams’ days as mayor are […]