RE: “As ‘Gypsy Jokers’ Sit in Jail on Murder Charges, the Motorcycle Gang’s Clubhouse Is Up for Sale. Check Out What’s Inside” [Blogtown, Oct 18], News Reporter Doug Brown’s post about the Gypsy Jokers’ Northeast Portland headquarters. Noting that four members of the gang are “awaiting trial on accusations they kidnapped, tortured, and murdered a former member,” Brown wrote that the property “seems like an ideal place for outlaw motorcycle club members to unwind with their brothers, grab a beer, play some pool, and plan the kidnap, torture, and murder of a former associate.”
You guys are spreading fake news about the Gypsy Jokers’ clubhouse. How rude it is to put a story out that includes false information. You guys are low and should be ashamed. You guys are sorry white trash. You don’t know diddly squat about anything you think you know. There was nothing of such things as you reported in or on the property. Get a life, stop being foolish, and don’t be surprised that you’ll be getting sued if you continue any reports without proof. I will be taking further action personally, ’cause this goes beyond some bikers. They have families and you’re hurting people who don’t deserve it. It’s going to come to a stop. I have had this problem all my life and I’m tired of it. I’m gonna leave it at that. Please don’t bother replying. You guys have nothing I want to hear and that’s that.
DEATH FROM ABOVE
RE: “Portland’s Old Brick Buildings Will Kill You” [News, Oct 18], News Editor Dirk VanderHart’s piece on the city’s 1,640 unreinforced masonry (URM) structures—many of which would collapse in an earthquake. Despite a city-commissioned report that found URMs “unequivocally pose substantial life safety risks,” Portland property owners are fighting requirements to make their buildings less deadly. “Owners have had success in fighting seemingly common-sense steps, too,” wrote VanderHart, “such as posting placards on URMs that haven’t been upgraded, and making sure tenants are aware of the dangers.”
The owners I know are not against making upgrades that back-brace parapets, chimneys, and cornices, and possibly other roof work. In my case, I am currently applying for a permit to upgrade my building. Just attaching the four masonry walls to a newly sheeted roof structure, along with back-bracing the parapet and a membrane roof, is going to be about $170,000. I have other buildings and have to take funds from them and savings to accomplish that. Were I to have to attach all of the floors to the walls, tenants would have to be evicted and massive work done to the building. It is not economically feasible.
Viewing URM owners as adversaries and “cheaters” insures that these buildings will not be upgraded over the next 5-15 years. If they pass something that is not economically feasible, building owners will simply do nothing because there is no way to comply with a code that is insanely expensive. Then they will sell their buildings or demolish them. And Multnomah Village, Hawthorne, Woodstock, and Northwest Portland can all look like the South Waterfront.
Building owners don’t want to spend the money? Okay. Let’s create strict liability for death and injury in buildings where the owners don’t take steps to retrofit to a minimum level of earthquake safety. (Owners can purchase insurance to cover the cost if creating a reserve fund is too expensive.) Or they can do the retrofits. Having to redevelop the building site will happen anyway after a major quake. The bigger question is going to be the amount of injury or death.
I second FlavioSuave’s suggestion. At least the survivors of the dead will have something while they review the casualty lists and read the “Needless Deaths Due to Unsafe Buildings” article in the Mercury, post-quake.
cnevillerun, you win the Mercury’s letter of the week—along with two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater. We’re touched you think the Mercury will still be around after an earthquake! We won’t, because our offices are in a URM! We will all be dead.