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July 30th, 2014 WW Editorial Staff | Letters to the Editor
 

Inbox: Portland’s Gang Violence

     
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Here’s an example of saying gang violence is down, but not showing the time period under discussion [“Gang Mentality,” WW, July 23, 2014]. Fact is, gang violence is down compared to 10 years ago.

However, in the last three years, shots-fired reports have been rising, which was not captured in your statistics. Also, the story does not mention the incredible amount of work, coordination and prevention that has helped reduce gang violence.

If WW writers attended meetings of the Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council or the Gang Violence Task Force, they might understand the big picture better. They don’t.

That said, I agree with the thrust of the story, that law enforcement may not need more resources. However, prevention does. One-third of all Multnomah County residents live in poverty. There are more than 6,000 16-to-24-year-olds in the county who are out of work and out of school. They can’t get help from their families, because they are poor too.

What are they supposed to do? Get ticketed for nonpayment on TriMet so they can try to get work? What do we expect young people to do when they are starved of resources and support?

As a community, we need to deal with poverty and create opportunities for young people. Government is trying to do this, but the ignorant just don’t get it.

—“coffeenocream”


The data-rich conclusions found in the Multnomah County report discussed in the article should be driving action to shift even more taxpayer money away from the retrogressive policies of Chief Mike Reese’s Portland Police Bureau and toward programs and policies that have been shown to work.

Now’s the time to down-fund the Tom Potter/Reese paramilitary fief.

—“William Hurley”


Gang violence starts slow, and then it builds. When it builds, it is out of control. [Portland] better get it in check before it becomes overwhelming.

—“Chitowngal08”


THIS HILL IS NOT FOR CLIMBING

One cannot hike up Lair Hill because there’s no such geographic feature [“Best Place to Watch a Summer Sunset,” WW, July 23, 2014].

The neighborhood and the park were named for William Lair Hill, an early prominent Portland citizen. He was a lawyer, editor of The Oregonian, and is recognized as having codified the laws of the state.

“Jim Gardner”


CORRECTIONS

Last week’s Best of Portland issue (“Best Crashing Elevator Music”) incorrectly stated the age of KBOO radio, which is 46 years old, and the night that A Different Nature airs, which is Monday. WW regrets the errors.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.
Fax: (503) 243-1115. Email: mzusman@wweek.com.

 
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