(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, March 21 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
1. PPB explains lack of police response at Lloyd Center street takeover on Saturday
On Saturday night, the streets outside Portland’s Lloyd Center were blocked by cars doing donuts, burnouts and other stunts, all while hundreds of people stood and watched, some dangerously close to the action. Videos of the event could be seen on Snapchat’s “Snap Map” feature.
These events are incredibly dangerous, not just to those directly involved. Last year, a 26-year-old woman was hit and killed by a street racer while waiting for a bus in southeast Portland. In October, a Vancouver grandfather driving for DoorDash was killed in a crash that investigators believed involved street racers.
Saturday’s event left many local residents wondering where the police were. In a lengthy statement, Lt. Nathan Sheppard with the Portland Police Bureau cited several reasons for the lack of police response. According to Sheppard, because of the number of people and vehicles involved, a large and coordinated response from police is required to safely break them up. He also said these are “crowd control” events and blamed recent legislation, like Oregon House Bill 2928, for making police wary to respond. The 2021 bill restricted law enforcement from using chemical agents like tear gas except in events that legally constitute a riot.
PPB’s Central Precinct had 14 officers on duty on Saturday, according to Sheppard. The agency’s minimum for effectively answering 911 calls is 17 officers. He said officers were already responding to several serious calls, with more than 10 calls holding for a police response when the street racing calls came in.
2. Portland Mercado kicks off Tamales Festival on Wednesday
The Tamales Festival kicks off Wednesday at the Portland Mercado food carts. A variety of tamales from different regions of the country will be served through Sunday at the pod on Southeast Foster Road.
Havana Station will be serving Cuban tamales with pork and chicken, Tita’s Kitchen will be serving pork tamales wrapped in banana leaves and XŎCOTL will be serving sweet corn tamales topped with mango-passion fruit sauce. To see the full list of tamales being served this week, click here.
3. Horticulturalists say Portland trees blooming late this year
Trees across Portland and the Willamette Valley are blooming late this year. The buds on trees are opening later than they have in the last two years. Brooke Edmunds, an OSU Extension community horticulturalist in Marion, Polk, Linn and Benton counties, confirmed that blossoms are behind schedule this year.
“Compared to last year, it’s about a week [later] and then the year before that, about 10 days. So, anywhere in there, a week to 10 days, we’re just waiting for everything to start blooming,” Edmunds told KOIN.
She said it’s not just trees. All blossoming plants are running behind this year due to the colder later-winter weather the region has been experiencing. Edmunds said it’s possible many of the buds will remain closed for longer until temperatures rise.
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