As the State Turns

Move Along Now
If you know me, you know a few things. 1. I’m a fantastic poker player. 2. I don’t lie about my poker skills. And 3. I don’t like to move around a whole hell of a lot. I’m serious. That moment when I wake up and have to move – the worst. Sports? Get the hell out of here. No, really. Go away.

You’re still here. See, isn’t it nice to not go anywhere?

In fact, despite having viewed every season of Star Trek: [Insert Text Here] fifteen times, I’m still not ready to buy into Gene Roddenberry’s utopia because they never introduced a race that just kind of sat there. Nope, just a sh*tload of people into classical music and vests. Seriously… Maquis freedom fighters, armed to the gills with sleeveless knits.

Er, what the hell was I inappropriately getting on about? Oh yeah, Portland’s “No-Sit Zones,” which, good God. Great Scott. All of those phrases. What the F*CK, even. Yes, the city’s Sidewalk Management Plan, as they call it, has criminalized sitting – and according to some people, homelessness. Mayor Ted Wheeler and all those folks say that’s not what they’re doing. They’re trying to discourage crime. Because criminals are typically stationary.

Okay, well, fine. Let’s say we both know this is going to disproportionately affect the homeless, because, yeah. It did in Eugene, where their six-month statistics said that… said that it did. Like I just said. So here’s a solution: let’s call it a “Homeless Exercise Initiative” then. Maybe divert shelter funds to sustainable sweat bands and short shorts… and also those goofy cell-phone arm bands, because running is weird (just think about it), and you might as well get to soak up a little Jackson 5 while you’re avoiding being cited for sitting and getting some sweet ass abs.

Now, according to the coppers, they haven’t been told to actually enforce the signs, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I guess this makes it a “possibly empty threat,” which translates to people who are hungry and have no place to live as “a sick joke.”

If this is where our time and resources are going, no wonder we’ve got a homeless crisis. And credit. And homeowner’s associations. And Nickelback.

Portland Art Museum Changes Thing About Thing
The Portland Art Museum’s plans for the Rothko Pavilion, a building that would connect the two main structures of the museum, have been modified to some end or another because the initial design has pissed off a ton of people. This includes the disabled, cyclists, and all of the homeless people that are now a part of the Homeless Exercise Initiative (and therefore really need to keep moving). For the record, they are totally justified, because the new structure would constitute a major disruption for one’s ability to travel in the area.

What I find amusing is that their grand plan to solve the current issue of having to go underground, travel down a long ass hallway, and then use a freight elevator to get to Jubitz Center, was to create another massive obstruction. What’s extra hilarious? The Jubitz Center is currently home to WE, an exhibit on the fourth floor from regional artists with developmental disabilities that does a pretty good job at making all those fancy Van Gogh’s and Monet’s look boring. I’m also for damn sure that both Vincent and Claude would agree with me.

Portland Takes Its Toll (And We’re Not Talking House Cookies)
The PDX city council has announce that tolling will be a thing, and that you can look forward to it on both I-5 and I-205. $400 million (that’s a lot of burritos…) has been allocated for new lanes and that sort of thing, and the hope is that tolls will not only bring in money, but help prevent further congestion. If you ever find yourself driving up there, especially around the Rose Quarter, you’re probably aware that more lanes isn’t going to fix a situation where the roads are clogged literally half the day.

Some important city humans are suggesting the use of congestion pricing, which is a system where the tolls will change depending on time of day and traffic levels. At least one group, No More Freeway Expansion, has been loudly making the case that congestion pricing should be the only thing that happens.

As far as I’m concerned, driving in Portland is for crazy people. Let’s get some more train lines, or more frequent trains so you don’t have to smell anyone.

Or teleporters.

By Johnny Beaver