RE: “The Montavilla Neighborhood Association Wants City Hall to Stop Homeless Sweeps On Its Turf” [Blogtown, June 20]. “The Montavilla Neighborhood Association says it’s sick of the camp sweeps that temporarily displace members of Portland’s growing homeless population, only to see them return a short while later,” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart. “It’s asking City Hall to stop the sweeps.... The association is also calling on Portland City Council to bring together a wide array of stakeholders that can ‘develop a responsible five-year plan to address homelessness by pursuing long term solutions: affordable housing, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and more.”

I have a feeling that there weren’t many people showing up at that vote. I mean, seriously, who looked at the Springwater Corridor last summer and said, “I want that in my neighborhood!”


This was decided by a handful of activist board members. It was at an “emergency board meeting” called by said board members with little notice and without the issue on the agenda for public view. The board in power has changed bylaws and enacted procedures for “cleansing the rolls” of its constituents to ensure that their personal agendas are the mission versus gathering input and representing the wishes of the neighborhood. If the Mercury wants a story, it should really investigate corruption, censorship, and abuse of power by the Montavilla Neighborhood Association board. Or at least do your journalistic duty by doing more research before publishing stories like this.



RE: “Portland’s Homeless Population Is Up 10 Percent, but Fewer People Are Unsheltered” [Blogtown, June 19]. “The still-unfolding housing crisis has led to a roughly 10 percent increase in the homeless population in the last two years, from 3,801 in 2015 to 4,177 this year,” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart. “At the same time—and amid ever-more visible encampments throughout town—officials say their plans have paid off in a meaningful way: The number of unsheltered homeless people in the city has decreased by nearly 12 percent.”

Portland does not have nearly enough housing, and is not building new housing at a sufficient rate to keep up with the demand. Without adequate housing stock, it doesn’t matter how much money is thrown at the problem.

Also, if the number of people housed has gone up and the homeless population is still increasing, that indicates that existing and/or future homeless people are moving to Portland to be homeless in Portland. If each new influx simply replaces/adds to the count on the streets, people are eventually going to get fed up with dumping increasing amounts of money towards the problem without the corresponding social relief of seeing an effect in practical terms for the look and safety of our city.



RE: “City Council Allocates $800,000 to Prop Up Portland’s Public Golf Courses” [Blogtown, June 21]. “With the city’s current fiscal year set to end June 30, the Golf Fund required $800,000 to finish in the black, as required by law,” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart, who, wow, really had a banner week getting his stories into Love Notes. “The optics of the move—as Portland hosts a growing homeless population and ongoing housing crisis—were plainly not lost on officials at Portland Parks and Recreation, which runs the golf program. Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz took time at Wednesday morning’s council meeting to acknowledge the bailout, and vowed it would never be repeated—even if she had to suspend the golf program to make that happen.” VanderHart added that on Twitter, Portlanders joined developer Homer Williams in advocating for the city’s golf courses to be turned into housing tracts.

LOL to the Twitterati unwittingly agitating on behalf of Homer Williams to get the courses turned into houses. I don’t even play golf, but can see that having big swaths of green in the city is good. This town is increasingly full of numbskulls.


Another week, another insight from someone calling themselves “bongrip69.” I guess that’s the comment of the week? Congrats, bongrip69—you get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. Everyone else: You can do better. Please do better than bongrip69.

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