Results for Think Out Loud (Other Results)
Vancouver, Washington and Caldwell, Idaho have a great many differences. One is an urban center north of densely populated Portland. The other a fairly small city in a relatively rural area. But in both places, people have been grappling with gang-related violence. In Caldwell, the sergeant in charge of street crimes says it couldn't have gotten much worse than in the summer of 2004 when he says there were 130 shootings in one month. He says some people were sleeping in their bathtubs because they were afraid of the drive-by shootings. Seven years later — with considerable help from the federal government — the problem has been contained, but he says he does not see a time when gangs will not be a problem. Vancouver has its share of gang activity — including one recent case that's still unsolved. And we'll also check in on how effective some of Portland's efforts have been in reducing gang violence.
A murder indictment in Eugene, a near-death in Yamhill County, and a shootout, stabbing, and surge of graffiti in the Keizer-Salem area have law enforcement officials concerned about a rise in gang activity around the state.While the Crips and Bloods dominated Oregon's gang scene in the 1990s, a group from Central America known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, has more recently moved in. Both followed the traditional gang route into the Northwest: driving up I-5.
Every week we gather a few local commentators to talk about some of the stories of the week — from the arts to sports to politics and more. Our guests tell us what they're thinking about and we ignite the conversation. The idea is to get a casual, but thoughtful, conversation going about the events and subjects that are being discussed in the cubicles, kitchens, and coffee shops of our region. This week we'll discuss the upcoming London Olympics, a Portland-themed restaurant opening in Canada, the effect of the Aurora shooting on the movie business.
Woodburn may be best known to many as the home of Woodburn Company Stores — an popular outlet mall — or possibly the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest that happens every spring, but the town is so much more. Woodburn epitomizes the stories of immigration and growth that hit the headlines regularly. The population of Woodburn consists largely of Latinos, primarily from Mexico — people who came north to work on the farms, settled, and are now raising families, starting businesses, and supporting other friends and family members back home. There's also a considerable community of Orthodox Russians — largely Old Believers — that live in the countryside on the outskirts of town. Their main strip, Bethlehem Avenue, consists of three churches that pop out from amidst the fields. Many of their kids go to public school, but the group remains socially isolated. And finally there are the over 1500 homes for seniors that nestle around a golf course just east of I-5. Many of these people are not originally from Woodburn. They, too, seem to remain somewhat isolated. The town is dealing with issues of growth and change. How should the downtown properly reflect the community? How should the schools manage with an increasing number of kids? Where should farm workers live? What should be done about gangs and decrepit buildings? Are the Woodburn Company Stores the key to economic success or just an annoyance for people trying to get into town? In this program we'll explore the community of Woodburn. Have you visited, or do you live in Woodburn? What do you think makes the town unique? What do we need to know about Woodburn?
It's pretty unusual for police departments to name specific gang affiliations when they release details about gang-related acts of violence. Some law enforcement insiders say that naming a gang can glorify its members or instigate additional violence from rival gangs, like a scorecard or badge of honor. A report was distributed earlier this month at Portland's Gang Violence Task Force. The report, released at the request of the mayor's office, contained details about suspected gang-related incidents, including alleged gang affiliations. Among those in attendance at the public meeting were members of the media. The report went public. Portland police say there is no change in policy and they will not distribute a list of gang affiliations to the public in the future.
Since the mid-1990s, Portland has had a small but vibrant hip-hop scene. Over the years, though, it's suffered from fragmentation and what some say is a lack of institutional support compared to other big cities. That may be changing, according to artists who say the local movement is undergoing a renaissance. Hip-hop veterans such as Cool Nutz, who co-founded the Portland Oregon Hip-Hop Festival (POH-Hop), and rapper Mic Crenshaw are among those working to unite the different subgenres, like gangsta and underground. In recent months, Cool Nutz has launched a hip-hop radio show and a concert series. He considers himself "an ambassador and diplomat" for Northwest urban music.
If you're looking ahead to the May 15th Primary, you might want to pay particular attention to the Attorney General's race. Two Democrats (and no Republicans) are battling it out — and that means one of them will win the office this May. The candidates are Dwight Holton and Ellen Rosenblum. Dwight Holton spent the last two years as the U.S. Attorney for Oregon. He stepped down in order to run for A.G. of Oregon. Previously he worked as a federal prosecutor. Holton grew up in Virginia where his father was the governor from 1970 to 1974. He was educated on the east coast but his website says this about his Oregon career:
[He] has appeared in court over 1000 times, successfully prosecuting gangs, drug trafﬁckers and terrorists. He stood up for consumers by attacking mortgage and ﬁnancial fraud, put corporate polluters in prison and defended Oregonians’ civil rights.Ellen Rosenblum has practiced law for 14 years. She's worked as a federal prosecutor as well as an appellate and trial judge. She graduated from law school at the University of Oregon and began her practice at a small firm in Eugene. According to her website:
[She] served as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 2005-2011. During her time as a judge she presided over thousands of cases involving Oregon citizens—from small claims to more serious crimes.
Before Amanda Marshall became U.S. Attorney for the state of Oregon, she spent ten years as a state Assistant Attorney General tackling child advocacy issues. She's brought her experience in that job to her new position, taking on gangs and child prostitution as two of her biggest priorities. She spotted connections between pimps and gangs, so she added two prosecutors to the formerly one-man gang unit, and expanded its focus to combat both gangs and sex trafficking. Since then, the unit has filed three times as many indictments.
But Marshall has been busy in other areas as well. She has requested that Portland Mayor Charlie Hales commit more resources to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. She filed a lawsuit against Gov. John Kitzhaber alleging the state was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by using sheltered workshops. Her office also sued the City of Portland for the Portland Police Bureau's excessive use of force against the mentally ill, following a federal report detailing the problem. The DOJ, city, and police union have employed mediation to try to agree on implimentation, but those talks have come to a standstill.
Here's a few photos from the City Club event.
Results for OPB
A new study into gang activity in the Portland area suggests the problem has declined generally in recent years, but has increased in pockets of east Multnomah County.
Ben Affleck wrote the screenplay, directed and stars in this bloated genre exercise, which never slows down enough to pack any real emotional impact.
Author Ben Westhoff talks with Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti about Tupac's influence on modern rappers, and the inherent contradictions of gangsta rap.
Governor Kitzhaber visited Northeast Portland Friday to talk about the problem of gang violence, and how to improve the economy.
More than 50 inmates died at the remote Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex during a grisly, 17-hour standoff believed to have originated as a clash between rival gangs.
Indonesian death-squad leaders re-enact their crimes in the style of gangster movies and westerns.