IT'S NO PICNIC
Last May, just before the primary election, City Commissioner Dan Saltzman made a campaign stop at Bloomington Park in Southeast Portland on the invitation of community group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The group used the event to show Saltzman (the commissioner in charge of parks and recreation) that the park was sorely lacking in standard amenities like picnic tables, benches, and lights.
Saltzman pledged to look into the matter, and his office later got back to the neighbors saying "system development charges" would be coming in to pay for the park equipment. But four months later, the neighbors are still waiting.
According to a Saltzman staffer, the money simply isn't available. That answer hasn't satisfied Pamela Pitra, a neighbor and ACORN member, who helped organize the picnic.
"I'm very disappointed in Dan, making commitments during an election and not following through on them," Pitra says. "Dan's a nice guy and makes promises to people, but he has to keep them. I voted for him, but I won't vote for him again." SCOTT MOORE
SO LONG, NUTTERS
Wednesday, September 20, marks the beginning of city council's new rules for "open communication"—the three-minute time slots in which citizens can address council on whatever topic suits them.
But starting this week, citizens will only be able to speak during open communication once a month. Four-fifths of the council (all but Sam Adams) see the new rule as a way of limiting "irrelevant" testimony from the same people every week. Adams sees it as an assault on constitutional rights. SM
Prone to late-night munching? You might be screwed.
Starting this Friday and Saturday night, police officers will enlist Multnomah County Code Enforcement Officer David Thomson in their ongoing campaign against late-night food carts in downtown's entertainment district. Cops say the carts attract "lingering groups, which have been a catalyst for people engaging in activity" once nightclubs shut down. Thomson will accompany downtown officers between 11 pm and 1:30 am every weekend to ensure the carts are properly licensed and fulfill the county's health and safety requirements. "I don't think our objective is to close anyone down," he says. MATT DAVIS