PBA + DFZ = BFF
At the downtown YWCA on November 15, two dozen members of the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) settled in to hear a guest presentation from Mike Kuykendall, Vice President of Downtown Services for the Portland Business Alliance (PBA).
Kuykendall was slated to talk about how the PBA and the DNA could work together. But first, he introduced a surprise guest of his own: Deputy District Attorney Laurie Abraham. Abraham spent the next 20 minutes stumping for the city's controversial Drug- and Prostitution-Free Zones, which are currently under review by the city council.
The PBA, Abraham explained, wants to keep the zones virtually as is—people suspected of drug or prostitution activity can be banned from the zones for 90 days, at a cop's discretion. The PBA is willing to "compromise" and add an automatic review procedure, which means the city hearings officer would review every exclusion issued. (Meanwhile, more progressive options on the table include tying exclusions to criminal charges, or even convictions.)
Abraham urged DNA members to head to a December 1 public hearing at city hall, and stand up for the "successful," PBA-approved zones. AMY JENNIGES
A Few Gone Men
Last Wednesday, November 16, student activists geared up to confront military recruiters who were scheduled to visit the Portland State University campus, with blockades and leafleting. But the protest was over before it began—the recruiters didn't show.
Lew Church, a student senator, says the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates the university's anti-discrimination policy. He has introduced a motion into the student senate to bar recruiters from campus altogether.
Complicating efforts is a clause in the No Child Left Behind Act that allows the federal government to pull funding from any school that denies reasonable access to military recruiters. Still, student activist Kayla Goldfarb claimed victory: The Marines didn't show up, and over 400 signatures were gathered in support of banning recruiters entirely. JOSH GROSS