Lawyers for the family of James Chasse, the 42-year-old man with schizophrenia who died in police custody in September 2006, argued in federal court last week to amend their suit to include Mayor Tom Potter, Police Chief Rosie Sizer, and jail nurse Patricia Gayman as defendants.
Attorney Tom Steenson wants to name Sizer, Potter, and Gayman in the part of the suit alleging denial of medical care and treatment for Chasse, because the mayor and police chief adopted new policies on hospital transport for arrestees following Chasse's death—something they should have known to do before, Steenson alleged in court on Wednesday, July 23. Judge Denis J. Hubel cleared the courtroom so that Steenson could make his case for Gayman's inclusion, because much of the case is subject to a media gag order preventing its public discussion—prompting new speculation about Gayman's role in Chasse's death. MD
Governor Ted Kulongoski popped into Portland on Thursday, July 24, to tout the state's "partnership" with the city when it comes to transportation projects. Standing alongside Mayor-elect Sam Adams in front of Fubonn on busy SE 82nd, Kulongoski discussed the "need for [a] strategic statewide transportation plan." The two, plus State Senator Rick Metsger—head of the senate transportation committee—added that they need a pile of money to make fixes to arterials like 82nd.
Beyond that, the trio were short on specifics, like how much money is needed, or where it might come from. Kulongoski also declined to say what's a bigger priority for him and limited state dollars, the $4.2 billion Columbia River Crossing project or less glamorous projects like pedestrian safety improvements on 82nd. What the three politicians did say, however, can be summed up as follows: "Transportation is an economic driver," "we're working in real partnership," and "this is the perfect storm opportunity to fund projects all over the state," "but we need resources to make it happen." AJR
Two of the final four sculptures in the Portland Development Commission's (PDC) long-embattled public art project in the Old Town-Chinatown District are finally being installed this week.
In 2004, the PDC and the Regional Arts and Culture Council set out to turn two Old Town blocks into "Festival Streets" lined with eight sculptures referencing the various ethnic groups that have resided in the neighborhood. But members of the Chinese community criticized the sculpture representing their heritage—a granite dragon being choked in a metal collar. After someone damaged the sculpture, the project was put on hold and project artist Brian Goldbloom reworked the design.
The new sculptures are a non-controversial collection of Chinese artifacts like a hand drum and firecrackers.
"I think of public art as an applied art," Goldbloom said this week, as his new sculptures were being installed. "You're not totally free to do what you want to do." SM