Leave your krakowianka in mothballs

Portland's famed Polish Festival has been shut down for the last couple of years, a victim of Covid. This year, it's a victim of the city's lawlessness.

The organizers of the event, Saint Stanislaus Church at the corner of North Interstate and Failing, have announced that they've cancelled this year's festivities because of all of crime flowing from the homeless camp a couple of short blocks away. The camp, near a pedestrian bridge over the freeway, has been there for years, and it's always been dirty and scary. But over the last three years, I'm sure it's gotten a lot worse.

I can't say that I blame the church for calling off the festival. If the tent dwellers start bashing in car windows to take what's inside, or sawing off the catalytic converters of festival-goers, who's going to stop them? What if the young gangstas who recently terrorized Oaks Park into early closures show up and threaten to shoot the place up? We all know what will happen if the church calls 911. They'll be on hold for 10 minutes, and then they'll be told the police are too busy counting and photographing bullet casings on the street somewhere else.

Now, to be sure, the move is political. Of course, the church congregation is sick of dealing with their strung-out "neighbors" living in squalor where Failing dead-ends on the west side of Interstate 5. And they're going to make their point in the most visible and forceful way possible.

I remember when Sam the Tram, Admiral Randy, and Jelly Fish were hellbent on naming some "boulevard" after César Chávez. Their first proposal was to rename Interstate Avenue. The parishioners of the Polish church howled in protest. If you're going to rename Interstate, they said, it should be renamed after Lech Walesa! And they got their way: 39th Avenue, which in some places isn't wide enough for two cars to pass each other, got the Chávez "Boulevard" honors instead. Then the tireless "advocates" of the change packed up their soapboxes and went back to Washington County, where they lived. (Walesa remains without a Portland street.)

Anyway, it's too bad about the Polish Festival, another sad example of the nice things that Portland can't have any more. It's gone from a model city to a failed city as fast as you can say "Fritz, Novick, Eudaly, and Hardesty."


  1. Fritz, Novick, Eudaly and Hardesty are a home grown problem.

    Don’t blame Washington county

    1. Sorry, but Chávez Boulevard was a total WashCo production.

    2. I guess it could be worse. At least they didn’t rename it Harvey Milk blvd. I remember that whole push to rename 39th, and the outcome was so predictable.

      But contrary to public opinion, Mr. Chavez did have a deep connection with 39th Ave. It is said that he once passed there and remarked “This street is much too important to be represented by a lowly number. It should be renamed after a great man, and then the people will travel it’s length with much pride.” True story.

  2. My bad. I got distracted with the mention of the migets


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