Weeks ago, Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff let the city know—through the bureau's "Water Blog"—that he wasn't going to take any more crap from knuckleheads dumping detergent in Keller Fountain.
Apparently, it costs a poop-ton of money to drain, clean, and refill the picturesque downtown fountain.
"We are working with police and the bureau's security specialists to prevent future incidents," read his message. "We'd prefer not to go into too much detail on this—but we will see that legal remedies are pursued as [aggressively as] we can."
On the afternoon of Monday, August 27, Shaff revealed his strategy, which has been used by shop owners and tavern barkeeps since the invention of the daguerreotype: posting photos of suspected miscreants. The first victim/perp: Nolan Cunningham, age 19, who was cited by the police bureau with soaping up the fountain. His photo was posted to the Water Blog (portlandonline.com/water) with this message from Shaff: "We will prosecute offenders we catch and we will charge them for the water we have to dump. People up to mischief: think twice." Meep!
Shaff's message comes just before a long anti-vandalism crusade by his boss, City Commissioner Randy Leonard, was set to reach its boiling point. This Wednesday, August 29, Leonard was expected to bring his graffiti ordinance (which requires storeowners to keep spray paint in secure areas) to council for its third and final time—and for a vote.
The timing is interesting; both Mayor Tom Potter and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman will be out of town, leaving only three commissioners at the dais. Potter wasn't happy about that, since it doesn't give him a chance to vote no, but according to Leonard, it doesn't matter. "I've already got three votes, and I don't know why I'd give [Potter] more time to try and kill the ordinance," Leonard says.
The ordinance itself includes the following finding: "'Taggers' openly promote graffiti activity in Portland on internet sites such as MySpace.com." You know what that means—Portland officials have discovered MySpace. It's only a matter of time before Leonard proposes a ban on terrible bands and underage girls wearing too few clothes.
Speaking of exploited teens! It looks like the city will finally move forward on a plan to buy all city products from suppliers who don't use sweatshop labor. Sam Adams' office and the Sweat-Free Coalition have come to an agreement—city council will create a policy group that will come up with a final ordinance, and the city will give $20,000 to Sweatfree Communities Inc., a consortium that will monitor the city's suppliers.