Austin says, enough with the tents

As many a spoilsport will tell you, "Keep Portland Weird" was not an original slogan. First came "Keep Austin Weird." They're even weirder down in the Texas state capital than they are in Portlandia, or at least they were weird sooner. I spoke there once. It seemed like a nice town. Whole Foods started there. Great music. Lots of herbs.

Anyway, they're a little less weird down there this week, as the city's voters have gone over the local politicians' heads and once again made it illegal to pitch a tent on a public sidewalk or in a public park. A clear majority of voters (58 to 42) said they have had enough of the homeless camps everywhere. 

It wasnt just the Füx News watchers who voted for it. Lots of people on the blue side have also had enough.

Volunteers we spoke with say Prop. B’s support comes from a broad swath of voters, including some Democrats.

“It’s amazing the diversity of the people who are very nervous about this,” said Laura Sanders, a Save Austin Now volunteer whom we spoke with while she poll-greeted during early voting.

Volunteer Berenice Lara of North Austin supported Prop. B because she doesn’t feel safe bringing her children to city parks anymore.

“The kids have no safe places,” she told us. “I have to drive them 30 minutes out to Pflugerville now.”

Will Portland ever temper its weirdness with the occasional dose of reality, as Austin has done? I wouldn't bet on it happening soon. But until it is not okay to camp on the streets, along the highways, and in the parks, Portland will never revert to being a viable place to locate a business. 

I had occasion to drive out to the Portland airport yesterday. It was so depressing. Anyone arriving here on a plane is greeted immediately with filth. Killer Kate, Dud Wheeler, you guys are a bad joke. It's way past time for something completely different.