Month: October 2016

Camp gone, homelessness isn’t

Mike could sleep standing up. It wasn’t a parlor trick he’d learned to impress people, it was a survival skill. He’d spent much of his late teens and early twenties homeless and figured out that if he could find a 24-hour laundromat and leaned up against the dryers while they ran, it solved two problems: 1) he could sleep in a warm, dry place, and 2) people would simply think he was waiting for his clothes to dry and not hassle him for loitering. I thought about Mike for the first time in years as I nervously walked across the street hoping to talk with some of the members of a homeless camp that had been slowly growing for three days. I’d been watching mentions of the camp pick up throughout the weekend on a couple of social media sites and figured it was only a matter of time before the Keizer Police Department were asked to intervene. It turned out officers had talked with members of the group a few hours before I summoned up the guts to approach them. Like Mike, the man I met at the old Roth’s building, Wiz, has his own areas of expertise. He knows the warmth and security of sleeping next to a stranger on a frigid night, he knows that we could drown the predators of the world in the wells...

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Brown unenthusiastic choice

By Gene McIntyre Oregon’s not unusual in terms of embracing one major U.S. political party and then the other. Take the last eighty years, late 1930s to the present day, and the reader will find that there have been eight Democrats and eight Republicans occupying the chief’s office in our capitol. It’s not like some elections for governor have not been close.  And, now, if GOP candidate “Bud” Pierce, a generally moderate Republican, hadn’t stumbled badly in debate in Portland when he discussed domestic violence and sexual assault, showing lack of understanding of two societal issues and then not taking responsibility for what he said, the current race might have been much tighter.  Meanwhile, as usual, with little chance to win, there are other candidates for Oregon governor through Libertarian James Foster, Independent Cliff Thomason and Constitution’s Aaron Donald Auer on the ballot. Regarding office tenure, former Governor John Kitzhaber proved to me, as expressed through concerns in earlier columns, that serving more than two terms can result in an office-holder who concludes he owns the people rather than that the people own him.  For Kitzhaber it meant resigning in disgrace at the start of term-four under charges, yet unresolved, of influence peddling.  He also jettisoned the public’s trust by surrendering his authority and responsibility to a fiancée. Meanwhile, in 2016, I borrow from The Daily Astorian when I report their “reluctant” endorsement of Kate Brown.  Journalists there, editorializing about the election, view this...

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