The rites of spring resume

Portland's vibrant downtown.

For the last 50 years, the Safeway on Jefferson Street downtown has been a non-stop freak show at all hours, but particularly at night. They moved it up the street from its original location, but the scene has always been at least a little sketchy.

Now the intersection at which it sits has become a homeless drug den, which is not surprising, it being in Portland. But what is surprising to me is yesterday's KGW story that the police are busting drug dealers there – 10 in the last two weeks.

Of course, it isn't making much of dent in the dealing. When one fentanyl runner goes down, another one pops up. Not to mention that D.A. Mikey and his judge buddies' revolving door approach to crime won't hold any of the drug murderers in the slammer for more than an hour or two. And politicians like Kate Lieber are too torn over the "inequity" of it all to give the criminal justice system the tools it needs to clean things up. But I'm encouraged that at least the police are doing what they can to give the dealers a harder time.

This would not have happened when Big Chuck Love was police chief. Since he stepped down, you may actually see a Portland cop doing something once in a while, as opposed to literally never. I think the difference is the new interim chief, Bob Day, who came out of retirement a few months ago. An actual cop as opposed to a figurehead of some social cause. If the busts are because of Day, my hat's off to him. And may they continue and expand.


  1. Day's actions speak louder than words. Better than "nothing's getting done very gradually."

  2. It is the Bike Squad. Their instagram is something else. One of the bike squad guys is running for city council.

  3. Sort of related: Motorcycle cops are gunning on the Terwilliger curves again.

  4. Local residents think that drug arrests could be made at that location a dozen times a day. Never understood why that Safeway location was such a magnet.

    1. Container redemption, with ready cash to buy drugs with.

  5. That store is gonna be one of the first to close once the merger goes through.

  6. I work across the street from this location. It is truly apocolyptic and scary to drive to and from work (much less walk over for a quick purchase if I need). The dealers sit there and wait to sell drugs to the addicts who return the cans. If you want to reduce drug dealing, temporarily move all the can redemption systems to within 1 block of a police station. Simpler fix, don't give people cash for their can returns. Give them a store credit for the location at which they are returned!


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