Street musicians can breathe a benzene-filled sigh of relief; when the city's newest iteration of the sit-lie law (which prevents people from sitting or lying on sidewalks downtown and near the Lloyd Center) goes into effect this Saturday, June 9, they'll be, in effect, exempted from the law.
Busking is regulated by its own rules, which require musicians to move spots every hour and keep their music audible only within 100 feet. In practical terms, that means that city council has made exceptions in the sit-lie policy for street musicians, groups of three or more people gathered to watch an "expressive event," and, of course, people lining the streets for the damn Rose Parade—the biggest sidewalk obstruction to happen throughout the year.
In other words, city officials have decided to not enforce the sit-lie rule against some groups of people, while cracking down on others. And that means there's only one thing to do: Turn the city's population of homeless people into a population of buskers—some kazoos, harmonicas, ukuleles, and bongos should do the trick, and all for a small price tag.
What's that, you say? That would turn downtown into a sea of cacophony, further angering the Portland Business Alliance and its members? Of course, but that's only a bonus.
Speaking of annoying! Visitors to city hall in the past year will be familiar with the security turnstiles at the front door, which keep you from entering until a Wackenhut employee decides you're worthy of being in the building. But what you might not know—unless you learn the hard way—is that you should never try to exit through the turnstiles more than one person at a time, or else the security bars will close on you. That's the lesson one woman learned last Thursday afternoon, and though she appeared uninjured, most likely due to built-in mechanical safeguards, the threat of being straight-up impaled was frightening—if not a little exciting.
Still, it only added to the uselessness of city hall's new-ish security measures—they don't actually keep dangerous individuals out, the turnstiles look like abandoned props from an unsuccessful Star Trek knock-off, and they can't even adequately impale anyone. Boooooo!
Robert "Bob" Pamplin, owner of the Portland Tribune and Ross Island, has told Mayor Tom Potter he's sick of waiting around for the city to accept his generous gift of the island. Potter responded by calling on former Mayor Vera Katz to come to his rescue. But if she had any idea what to do, wouldn't this problem have been solved a decade ago?