Month: May 2010

MLK Boulevard to be moved to Interstate Avenue Urban Renewal Area?

Amid debate about whether the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area is successful in accomplishing its stated goals, The North Northeast Economic Development Initiative Community Advisory Committee  voted earlier this month to approve a proposal  recommending expansion of the areas covered by the Interstate URA.

The Portland Development Commission and the city itself need to sign off on the recommendations, which include adding MLK all the way from Broadway Street to Lombard Avenue to the Interstate URA.  Currently, MLK Boulevard from Rosa Parks Way to the Convention Center is included in the Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area (OCCURA), which expires in 2013.

Some useful links:

  • The PDC’s announcement of the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to change URA boundaries
  • The Daily Journal of Commerce’s announcement of the proposed changes to the URAs, which includes the note that the advisory committee “supported making the Interstate urban renewal area project list the top priority for the adjusted area”.

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Urban Renewal Areas are concatenations of complex policies about land use and planning, and can be difficult to understand.  It’s important to note that the OCC Urban Renewal Area has helped rehabilitate old buildings and construct new ones on King Boulevard, though it’s anyone’s guess how much attention development on MLK will get if the street joins a URA centered on Interstate Avenue.

Trimet trims service to MLK, other routes; hikes fares.

The 6 on MLK Boulevard will run a bit less frequently, giving more of us the opportunity to pay what will be $2.05 per ride for the privilege of standing because the bus is too crowded to sit.

All on the info on service cuts & fare hikes that are scheduled to begin this September can be found on the Trimet website.

OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon is hosting monthly Bus Riders Unite! meetings.

Israelite Church of God event today at McCoy Village.

“Is the Holy Bible the Word of God, or the word of man?”

This afternoon, hosted at McCoy Village Community Center, 4430 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard:

The Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ is half of a block west of MLK Boulevard, at 309 NE Wygant:

According to the wiki entry on Black Hebrew Israelites,

In late 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described as black supremacist what it called “the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement”. It wrote that the members of such groups “believe that Jews are devilish impostors and … openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery”. The SPLC also said that “most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence”.

The Black Hebrew groups characterized as black supremacist by the SPLC include the Nation of Yahweh and the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ. Also, the Anti-Defamation League has written that the “12 Tribes of Israel” website, maintained by a Black Hebrew group, promotes black supremacy.

A Washington City Paper article published in 2008 goes deeper into the ideology of the Israelite Church.  The Israelite Church’s main website is apparently at http://www.theholyconceptionunit.org/ – though I’ve never been able to get anything other than a ‘bandwidth exceeded – access denied’ message from it – but the Israelite Church’s myspace is here.

Portland ‘cold case’ police files.

From an oregonlive.com article posted this afternoon:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams released his “recalibrated” budget today, saving the mounted patrol and cold case units in the Portland Police Bureau.

He had cut the items in his first proposed budget, only to get a public scolding from then Police Chief Rosie Sizer. That led to Sizer’s ouster as police chief last week.

You can check out info on some of the Portland Police’s cold cases here, including this particularly ugly case:

WILBUR H JONES
Case # 75-46014. Fifty eight year old Wilbur Jones, an invalid confined to a wheelchair, was found June 16,1975 stabbed to death with his own broken cane. His murder occured in his room at the Shangri La Motel, 6828 NE Union avenue (Now Martin Luther King Blvd.)

The Shangri-La was converted into apartments/condos and is now Woodlawn Terrace, with the motel’s former entrance on Union/MLK now boarded over. Local art & curator Mack MacFarland dug up footage of a remodel of the Shangri-La filmed in the 1950’s, showed it as part of an exhibit of historical videos related to the city at a PICA:TBA festival, and posted it to youtube.