RE: "Cutting Homelessness in Half" [Feature, Nov 18], regarding the city's new plan to address the homelessness crisis, including a report from the new Hazelnut Grove homeless camp.
PORTLAND MERCURY—This week's article about homeless people begins [by] blaming a homeless person for the tag "rowdy" or "rowdy ypc." I know for certain that tag is done by a 20something white male who hates authority, not the homeless person you are blaming! Fucking check your sources and don't go around publicly blaming people for problems that they didn't cause. This is the final fall. R.I.P. Old Portland.
There's not enough acknowledgment in this piece of the primary culprits of long-term homelessness: mental illness and addiction. This is a much harder problem than the issue of the working poor who are (most often) temporarily homeless due to an eviction, not being able to afford rent, etc.
posted by extramsg
There will always be more. The "homeless" isn't some discrete block of the same people and as soon as you house them you're done. Helping house 3,500 people in a year actually seems pretty darn good. But you'll note how it didn't help the overall numbers or visibility of our homeless problem.
posted by Blabby
Who said homelessness needs to be "solved"[?] Many hobos want their freedom, not your charity, but people focus on the select few asking for money and apply it to the majority.
posted by yoshi
While I applaud and support the emergency measures that are being undertaken to help people avoid—and leave—homelessness, the dialogues I see around this issue ignore the structural issues that are creating the lack of affordable housing that is a key piece of the problem. The dialogue also ignores the fact that while homelessness is the most visible "problem" created by the lack of affordable housing, a much larger group of people are under severe and growing financial stress due to rapidly rising housing costs. Without tools that directly address land/housing speculation—tools like inclusionary zoning, value-capture taxes, and rent control—we cannot solve this problem. The city and county need to step up, yes, but part of that stepping up needs to be demanding that Salem give them back the critical tools they need to solve this problem at the structural level; otherwise they can throw $30 million a year at this forever and the problem will get worse.
posted by Tasha
WE WOOD, WE COULD
RE: "The World's Most Sustainable High-Rise Construction Material Is... Wood?" [News, Nov 18], regarding the first uses of a wood-based material (cross-laminated timber or CLT) in Portland for cheaper and more sustainable new construction, including a 12-story mixed-use structure.
The current tallest wood building in North America is the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, British Columbia, and it's only eight stories high. This project seems... ambitious, to put it nicely.
posted by disastronaut
I'd bet on a steel and concrete structure during a fire than a wooden one any day. And if a fir
steel, you can damn well bet that it would put those wooden beams to cinder in no time.
posted by frankieb
RE: "Calling All Artistic Types!" [New Column!, Nov 18], in which we announce a contest for readers to design a Starbucks cup, inspired by the recent freakout of a pastor over the coffee giant's removal of Christmas from their holiday cup design.
PORTLAND MERCURY—I am a Christian and I am definitely not anywhere near "the brink of insanity" because Starbucks removed the reindeer from their cups. But hey, way to feed the fire of intolerance with your snarky little cup contest.
YEAH HEY, KATY, if you're worried about feeding fires of intolerance, you might want to check your religion of choice's reputation when it comes to promoting the tolerance of homosexuality, reproductive choice and feminism in general, and the sexual safety of children, to name a few areas that could use damage control from "not like that" Christians. We'll worry about the coffee cup jokes. Which reminds us! Entries are due at 5 pm on Thursday, December 10! Find instructions to enter on portlandmercury.com, and get designin'!