Inside Portland - June 13th, 2019

Inside Portland (Jun 13th, 2019)

Portland's Most Dangerous Intersections / Q Center History / Family Sues PSU

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Good news for weekend weather: the sun will stick around but the temperatures will drop to the 70s and low 80s.

1. City leaders are revisiting and updating their Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic deaths. Portland's Transportation Bureau (PBOT) has issued an updated report on Portland's most deadly intersections and roads. Of the 30 intersections highlighted, all but one were east of the Willamette River, and two-thirds of them were east of 82nd Avenue. Traffic deaths actually fell in 2018, down from 45 deaths in 2017 to 34 deaths last year. However, that's still roughly in line with Portland's 20-year average of 36 annual fatalities.  Proposed changes to the Vision Zero strategy include staggering street light timing so that pedestrian and car lights don't change at the exact same time. – KATU

2. Three Oregon bills addressing waste met different fates in Salem this week. Two of the bills passed, both of which essentially expand Portland rules statewide. One expands our ban on single-use plastic bags at places like grocery stores. The second bill that passed requires restaurants to ask whether customers want a plastic straw, rather than handing them out automatically. The third bill, which would have banned foam containers, fell flat. It failed in part because lawmakers want to support Agilyx, a Tigard company that recycles foam waste. Bill supporters say it isn't realistic to expect everyone in Oregon to drive their foam waste to Tigard, but three Democrats ultimately joined Republicans in shooting down the bill. – STATESMAN JOURNAL

3. Throwback Thursday: Q Center

Since 2003, North Portland's Q Center has served as a sort of hub for the LGBTQ community. But as an Oregonian profile points out, the center has been a work-in-progress that's still finding its footing. It was founded (and still resides) in the historically black Boise neighborhood, but as Q's current executive director Cameron Whitten points out, "it had this reputation as a culture club for wealthy, gay white men."

Those wealthy, gay white men included Sam Adams, who went on to become Portland's mayor (and the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city). Racial tensions within Portland's LGBTQ community saw several intense episodes since the Q Center's founding, including a 2013 drag show that planned to welcome a performer in blackface. In 2017, several Q Center executives quit suddenly. A chaotic period followed, but in that time the staff reshaped the nonprofit's mission to emphasize inclusivity. That mission manifests today in workshops on intersectional issues and partnerships with nonprofits that serve Portland's communities of color. – THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE

4. In Monday's issue, I touched on proposed tuition hikes at state universities, including PSU—but PSU has since backed off that plan. PSU had planned to increase tuition costs by 11 percent. Yesterday, PSU's Board of Trustees voted to lower the tuition hike to 4.9 percent. So what changed? On Tuesday, a key legislative committee in Salem approved a bill that would provide more funding for state universities. It would provide roughly $100 million beyond what universities expected to receive under Gov. Kate Brown's proposed budget. Since the tuition hike now falls below five percent, PSU no longer has to have it approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. – PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL

5. The family of Jason Washington, the man shot and killed by campus police at Portland State University, now plans to sue the university. The Navy veteran died on June 29, 2018. Bystanders said he was attempting to break up a fight outside a campus bar at the time, sparking months of protest. Washington had a gun in his possession, which he had confiscated from a drunk friend earlier in the night, and a grand jury later cleared officers of any wrongdoing. A letter to PSU describing the pending lawsuit lists defendants including PSU's police chief and president at the time, as well as the two shooting officers, James Dewey and Shawn McKenzie. – THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE

6. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner declared a homeless woman's death a suicide—but her family isn't so sure. Portland Police are now asking the public for more information about Titi Gulley's final days. – PORTLAND MERCURY

7. Trimet hosted several media outlets on a tour of the future Southwest Corridor MAX line. The construction will radically transform some areas along Barbur Boulevard out to Bridgeport Village, but we won't be riding the train until 2027. – KATU

8. Did your car get stolen in 1997? A scuba diving YouTuber may have found that, along with nearly a dozen e-scooters, while searching a Portland section of the Willamette. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

9. If you thought the past couple days were hotter than usual, you're correct. Tuesday and Wednesday both set new heat records for those calendar days. – WILLAMETTE WEEK

10. As of tomorrow, Portland will have a new Asian supermarket. Shun Fat took over the former Fred Meyer building on SE 82nd and Foster. The Oregonian has a first look photo gallery. – THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE

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