Block those tents!

I see that the neighbors of Laurelhurst Park tried to put raised planters up along the parking strip to keep the local squatters from re-establishing their hideous tent camp there. And of course, the homeowners are being vilified by the kids in the local media for it. This time it's one of the corporals at the Weed, who's beside herself that the neighbors didn't get a permit. How dare they!

When vagrant addicts take over whole blocks of the sidewalk for months on end, though, you don't hear the indy scribes whining about the lack of permits. And by the way, it's not clear that you need a permit for some types of planters if you're the adjoining landowner. See page 26 here.

Then there's this:

Sources close to the issue tell WW many neighbors in the area were unhappy that select members of the neighborhood association decided to purchase and install the planters.

Ah, those unnamed "sources." This time they're "close to the issue," and they say what "many neighbors" think. This kind of weak is in almost every story the kids write. "Critics say," you know. It's right up there with Trump's "a lot of people are saying." Joe Pulitzer is rolling over in his grave.

If it's just somebody with an opinion, they ought to have a name. As a reporter, you get on the phone and get someone with a name to talk on the record, or you leave the opinion out, even if it's the same as yours. It's not like anyone's revealing some secret facts that put them in danger.

Anyway, the planters have been taken down before we even got to see them. Unlike Jordan Schnitzer's priceless Bike Racks of Irony, they were an extremely short-term phenomenon. They didn't even last as long as a Christo installation.

Come to think of it, squatting prevention is becoming quite the art form in Portland. Maybe they could make a tourist thing out of it.

Meanwhile, I hope the Weed's newfound zeal for preserving a clutter-free right-of-way along the sidewalk will lead to a follow-up story on graffiti-covered news racks. Those things are all over the place.


  1. Businesses in the NW Industrial district are making very effective use of long bed trailers.

  2. And why doesn't the CoP demand permits for vagrants to camp on the sidewalks?

  3. The QFC over my way has put up big rocks and planters on the curbs. And now have a big fence in back where there used to be an encampment. Time for citizens to take direct action- so screw the WW.

  4. I live near this park and used to walk through it all the time. Not anymore. Too many reports of homeless attacks there. You know that park was heavily used by people across Portland for their family gatherings, weddings, and organizational get togethers. Many picnics. I have never had a picnic there but it pisses me off that only the homeless jerks are allowed to use it now. Another thing we pay for and don't get to use.


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