Mayor Sam Adams' gun-crime exclusion zones—in Northeast, downtown, and the far Eastside—will take effect Friday, April 15, the mayor announced at a press conference last week. In those zones, anyone convicted of a gun crime can be cited for trespassing for the duration of their parole or probation. The mayor also announced only new convicts will be banned, bowing to significant logistical and constitutional hurdles involved in widening the exclusions to current convicts ["The Unloaded Barrel," News, March 24]. The zones are the final piece in a package of gun-control laws approved last fall. The mayor also called reporters to tout another of his gun plans: a reconstituted police task force that's taken some 62 guns off the street since late October. DENIS C. THERIAULT
How will Portland City Council deliver on a promise to hand TriMet some $55 million to rescue the light-rail extension to Milwaukie? City officials are drawing up a special, money-raising overlay district that will sprawl from the area around Portland State University over the Willamette River and over much of Southeast, roughly following the planned path of the new tracks. In that zone, businesses that move in to capitalize on transit-related development, or existing businesses that dramatically expand, will be required to pay fees based on how many transit trips they generate. Officials hope to raise $14 million—$5 million for the train line and $9 million for related pedestrian and bicycle projects in Southeast. DCT
A new report released by consumer-advocacy group OSPIRG on Tuesday, April 12, says that big bank branches in Portland may be breaking the law when it comes to not telling customers about hidden fees. Nationally, the group's survey of 392 bank branches found that only 38 percent told customers up-front about hidden charges like overdraft fees and balance minimums. Locally, Wells Fargo was the worst offender, with three branches never providing OSPIRG's team with a rundown of their fees as required by the federal Truth in Savings Act.