Jack Pollock

Is the Portland police bureau trying to offset budget problems by handing out mass quantities of citations for minor parking violations? One southeast resident, who was one of many car owners targeted in a recent crackdown, thinks that may be the case and wants to know why the police picked his neighborhood for the apparent cash-grab.

On April 7, motorists who had parked their cars in the opposite direction of traffic along residential SE 76th were given $25 parking tickets--not a large sum, but enough of an annoyance to cause residents to question the bureau's motives. One of those cited said police officers had seen his truck parked the "wrong way" on at least two occasions (when it was broken into) and never mentioned that the parking direction was illegal.

The police bureau's public information office was unable to comment on the incident by press time, but the methods behind the mass ticketing appear--at least on the surface--to be an attempt at collecting funds from neighborhood residents.

The tactic could be an unfortunate choice for the police force, which has been directed by Mayor Tom Potter to improve relations with neighborhoods and residents. Issuing blanket citations for violations that pose no public risk could lead to a further erosion of trust. SCOTT MOORE


A month after the Oregon Public Utility Commission rebuffed Texas Pacific's $2.3 billion bid for PGE, the out-of-state corporation officially threw up its hands and surrendered. Last week, they declared they will not seek to purchase the utility company. And now, with the Lone Star player out of the picture, the City of Portland is redoubling its efforts to take over the utility from Enron.

But Enron and foes of public ownership of the utility (including the mouth-breathers on the Oregonian's editorial board) are hoping to head off the city's advances with a plan to issue new common stock to Enron creditors that could be publicly traded. Meanwhile, state legislators are also kicking around a plan for a takeover that could end up competing with the city's bid. However, Commissioner Erik Sten, who's headed up the idea for city-ownership, has intoned that the city could work with the state--or step aside--if the lawmakers come up with a better plan. SM