I gather that the news being broken here is that it is possible that the Seven Corners New Seasons is potentially becoming more strict in applying company policies.
If that is accurate, then absent more thorough research or broader interviewing, I think the headline implying a company-wide cultural shift and a significant worker protest is inflammatory.
It is unclear to the reader whether information and interviews from the other stores are lacking from this piece because it doesn't fit the narrative of "kookier local chain" to big business, or because of laziness.
You make an excellent point regarding the average citizen's lack of expertise that reinforces my belief that these simpler matters ought to be settled by experts. Portland's powerful neighborhood culture ought to be redirected to addressing homelessness, hunger, and mental health, or toward real threats from private developers to established neighborhoods, not this reactionary NIMBYism masquerading as socio-economic or racial indignation. Sometimes a bike lane really is just a bike lane, and the people who want their names in the paper and the paper who wants to publish a story can't be trusted to tell you when.
Nearly every car driver in this city insists that bicycle riders are disrespectful and reckless, and nearly every bicycle rider in this city insists that car drivers are disrespectful and careless. You see it in every news article, every forum, every debate or conversation.
It seems most likely that a certain percentage of the human population is disrespectful and reckless regardless of their chosen mode of transportation, and that everyone is occasionally thoughtless or distracted regardless of their chosen mode of transportation. It is also typically human that we remember the bad more than the good, and that we tend to associate the bad with "the other".
I can think of few contributions more unproductive, in the extensive conversation that Portland has been having about mixed transportation for the last decade, than each side's incessant insistence that the other side is full of meanies, as though the city's job is to determine the morally inferior mode of transportation and punish it, rather than assess socio-economic needs and commuting patterns and address them mathematically.
I'm working class poor from a working class poor family.
Bikes are cheaper than cars. I consider them transportation for the working poor. I consider bike lanes on commuting routes, rather than recreational routes, to be public spending for the working poor.
Expanding highways so that Bethany suburbs can coast into Portland and take our jobs is class and racial conflict. Putting in a bike lane in the city is not.
If you let a weekend warrior with a custom bike convince you that bicycling is a rich man's hobby and not a poor man's dream, then get the chip off your shoulder and do the math. I'm not going to let you make this city unfriendly to my cheap transportation because you are too ashamed to admit that you can't afford a car, either.
Rafer Alston, I don't intend this question to be rhetorical, as I myself don't know how I'd answer yet. As I understand it, Campbell claimed to be in possession of a firearm, his aunt claimed he was armed, and his girlfriend was a witness to his being armed; may the police treat him as an armed suspect for the rest of the encounter until it is proven otherwise, or ought they verify with their own eyes that he has a weapon in his grasp or within reach on his person before they proceed as though he were armed?
I cannot decide whether I ought to admire all of the certain judgments being made regarding this story, or fear them.
On the one hand, as someone who himself suffers from a socially debilitating mental illness, I think it is fair to propose that various incidents between the Portland Police Bureau and the public in the last decade demonstrate a lack of understanding of and training for situations where psychological instability is a factor; that is as true for education, business, religion, and families as it seems to be for the police, so I don't appreciate the accusations that they are somehow uniquely deficient in this area.
On the other hand, if I was an officer and on the scene, and I knew that: 1. The gentleman involved had a documented history of aggression against his family, his neighbors, and the police; 2. The gentleman was armed and suicidal according to his own aunt; 3. The gentleman spent two hours with the three children present, which must have been interpreted at least as potentially volatile and at most as a hostage situation; 4. The gentleman, still presumably armed, won't show his hands to the police, shouts at them to shoot him, then after being hit with non-lethal rounds runs for cover; I have to ask myself: may I have shot him?
And if my answer is yes, does that mean that I harbor racist sentiment, or fancy myself godlike, or am particularly prone to aggression and violence? I simply do not understand how something that may be a violation of policy, an error in judgment, a breakdown of communication, or a clash of personalities must also be an example of institutional corruption. How can we criticize the Portland Police Bureau for dehumanizing the public when our very criticism is designed to rob them of their humanity, making them into a faceless evil to combat with our grandiose, self-congratulatory judgment?
One thing I do know for certain; I hope that none of you who are so certain and unrelenting in your harsh judgment ever yourselves become police officers; a little authority and a gun and you'd be just as dangerous as you imagine your foes to be.
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