MULTNOMAH COUNTY'S most urgent worries about the Morrison Bridge are coming to pass.
On Thursday, January 15, officials hastily closed a lane of the Morrison after workers found severe deterioration. Officials have no idea when they'll be able to reopen the bridge to full capacity.
Malfunctions are nothing new on the Morrison. Almost immediately after the county spent more than $10 million to put a brand-new deck on the bridge in 2012, that deck's been crumbling.
But the January 15 closure is something new. An attorney representing the county in a lawsuit over the deck described the newly discovered deterioration as "the greatest fear" and "an emergency."
The county plans on replacing the deck, though it's unclear when. DIRK VANDERHART
A POLICE BUREAU panel charged with reviewing officer misconduct investigations strongly recommended four cops lose their jobs over accusations including dishonesty, dodging parking tickets, and a positive test for steroids, according to a report released Thursday, January 15.
The 59-page document (pdf) from the city's Police Review Board—which anonymously details discipline cases that closed between June 15 and December 25, 2014—also makes clear that each of those officers chose to resign instead of facing punishment.
Board members also tepidly voted to fire a fifth officer, accused of lying about the reason he or she asked a colleague to run a credit check on someone else. But members also said they'd support an 80-hour unpaid suspension, especially if the officer were moved to a post lacking access to sensitive data. That's the discipline the officer ultimately received.
Beyond those cases, the board addressed two fatal police shootings last year, involving Kelly Swoboda and Nick Davis. Both shootings were found "in policy."
The reports are the second batch released since Portland City Council approved reforms meant to shine more light on police discipline. Previously, the reports would mention only the board's recommendations on punishment—not what officers actually received. New reports must list both.
A Mercury investigation in 2013 revealed a handful of cases when ex-Chief Mike Reese refused to fire cops who'd been targeted over dishonesty ["To (Not) Tell the Truth," News, Feb 13, 2013]. DENIS C. THERIAULT
LAST YEAR, Portland said goodbye to the popular, troubled Alta Bicycle Share after the company was sold to a New York City outfit. Now, Alta's gone altogether—at least nominally.
Alta's new owners are swapping out that dusty name, which may have associations with the software bugs and accusations of poor management that plagued Alta in some cities (most notably New York). The new, cheesier moniker: Motivate.
The company's not out of our lives altogether. Since early 2013, the City of Portland has had a contract with Alta, which has so far failed to find funding to purchase and operate a 750-bike system in Portland. The contract is still alive, despite new owners and the name change, a city spokesperson says. There are no indications of progress on the bike share front. DVH