THE SECOND OF TWO pedestrians hit by a car while crossing SE Foster in November died on Friday night, January 22. Lindsay Leonard and Jessica Finlay were in a marked crosswalk on SE Foster and 80th when motorist Tito Feliciano struck them. Leonard, 23, died at the scene, but her friend Finlay, 29, slipped into a nearly three-month coma before passing away. The tragic crash sparked a vigil and promises from the mayor to quickly improve safety along the dangerous road ["Getting Away with It," News, Nov 12, 2009]. The mayor's office says plans to install a flashing pedestrian signal in the deadly crosswalk by the end of January are on track, while the district attorney's office is still investigating whether to pursue charges against Feliciano. In a grim reminder of the need for safer streets, Friday afternoon also saw a hit-and-run two miles north of Finlay and Leonard's memorial site that sent two Franklin High School students to the hospital. The stretch of SE Woodward where the students were struck has been on the list for needed safety improvements for 14 years. SARAH MIRK.
It emerged on Monday, January 25, that the city's union contract negotiations with the Portland Police Association will be open to reporters and the public. The police union's four-year contract with the city is due to expire on June 30, and has become increasingly controversial over recent months following the suspension and subsequent reinstatement of Officer Christopher Humphreys ["A Line in the Sand," News, Nov 26, 2009], after he shot a 12-year-old girl in the leg with a beanbag shotgun. Copwatch activist Dan Handelman, who pressured the city for a ruling on whether to open the sessions, says he wants the negotiations to give rise to stricter rules for disciplining officers after they are involved in deaths in custody. "We're not against people having collective bargaining agreements," he says. "But we are against collective bargaining agreements that affect public policy and allow for human life to be taken away." MATT DAVIS