FOR THE SECOND TIME since 2011, the Oregon Department of Transpor- tation (ODOT) has settled a lawsuit with homeless campers who claimed the department unlawfully confiscated personal items.
Under the agreement, ODOT will pay $60,000 and faces additional rules for how it can expel campers from its land.
Those rules will have ramifications for Portland's homeless, since ODOT owns land around bridges and along the Springwater Corridor—areas that have been ripe for enforcement.
ODOT has established guidelines for dealing with campsites before. In a 2011 settlement with plaintiffs represented by the Oregon Law Center (OLC), the department agreed to give campers 10 to 19 days to clear out their belongings from ODOT land. But the OLC sued again in 2013, when ODOT didn't abide by those rules when clearing out campers from property near the Interstate 205 bike trail.
The latest settlement, signed Tuesday, July 29, gives ODOT more leverage to move campers out quickly. If it pre-emptively posts "no trespassing" signs, it only needs to give 24 hours' notice. DIRK VANDERHART
SOMETIMES, a little bit of competition can be a good thing.
Months after Portland made Google's short list for gigabit-speed fiber-optic service, one of our current broadband providers has unsurprisingly announced that it, you know, wants in on the action, too.
On Tuesday, August 5, CenturyLink officials gathered at Portland City Hall to promise the dramatic expansion of a high-speed network it had already been offering, quietly, in some neighborhoods.
Like with Google—which won't reveal Portland's fate until later this year—CenturyLink won't have to cover the entire city. (Meaning you're still stuck with Comcast if you live in a poor neighborhood.) Portland, as part of its bid for Google Fiber, explicitly waived that requirement.
CenturyLink's decision echoes moves made by (panicked) providers in other cities targeted by Google. Portland has long wanted broadband providers to wire homes with fiber-optic service. But CenturyLink, even as of a few years ago, had told city officials it didn't think the market would support that kind of investment ["Ring of Fiber," Feature, March 5]. Until now. DENIS C. THERIAULT