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Rocky Butte bums for the 4th amendment win


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When we were picking up the garbage at the Butte cleanup, Odot had directed us to steer clear of any "homeless" domiciles. This lead to at least one spot of deep trash being left. Here's the whole story. Typical news edit error, they have 2 different numbers in the story:-) You'd think that would be the easy part to get right. $14,000, $24,000....same thing. LOL


I'm actually happy for the folks who had their trash trashed by the trashees.



"Agency paid $14,000 and tightened its procedures for campsite sweeps


By Kevin Harden


The Portland Tribune, Jul 26, 2011




Oregon’s Department of Transportation has paid $24,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed last year by several homeless campers whose possessions were tossed out by crews clearing rights of way of makeshift shelters.


The state transportation agency also agreed last month to write and enforce stricter procedures for handling possessions taken from homeless camps in rights of way. Under the rewritten rules, ODOT and other agencies must post adequate information about where campers can retrieve their belongings once they are taken in a campsite sweep.


“It was clear that we had not followed our own procedures in cleaning up the sites,” said Patrick Cooney, ODOT spokesman. “We worked with the Oregon Law Center to develop a new process and the ways we’re going to do this in the future.”


Under the settlement, Cooney said $14,000 pays attorney’s fees and $10,000 will be given to plaintiffs Joel Tucker, Steven Fletcher, Jeff Nelson, Robert Dean Thomas, Chandra Waulters and Mitchal Poncel.


Court papers completing the settlement are expected to be filed by early August.



In April 2010, six homeless people sued ODOT, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and about 50 unidentified county and state employees for what they said were violations of their Fourth Amendment constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and the failure of the agencies to follow state rules on storing personal items found in homeless camps.


The Oregon Law Center of Portland handled the case. The center also represents four homeless people who are challenging Portland’s anti-camping ordinance in federal court. That lawsuit, filed in mid-December 2008, was nearly settled last year, but an alternative dispute resolution process failed to produce an agreement.


In the lawsuit against ODOT, the homeless people said that during a sweep of their campsite near Interstate 205 and Southeast 92nd Avenue, state employees failed to follow agency rules and to properly store belongings for 30 days.


Tucker said took him 21 days to retrieve his possessions from a state storage facility, something he says should not have happened if the employees had followed state rules.


The lawsuit also asked a federal judge to approve an injunction against the state and county to block public employees from taking personal property from campsites without adequate notice and without posting information about how to retrieve the items.


Cooney said ODOT has the rewritten procedures are “more clear” and “put a finer edge” on the process “so everyone knows what to follow.”


“We want to do this properly and not heavy-handedly,” he said.




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wow.. not sure where i stand on that. love to see somebody stick it to the man, but the bums are what makes RB such a shithole- doesn't seem like giving them more heroin, hooker, and olde english money is a step in the right direction.


we better at least see some nicer tarp tents out there. the garbage bag lean-tos are creepy.

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I hate climbing there. But I will if my friends are there. There is something about the broken glass, homeless people, and the freeway noise that puts me off. Now the upper part near the top is great for bouldering but that lower cliff sucks in my estimation. Oh and don't forget the condoms and needles from broken and discarded rigs.


Bill told me to just think of the freeway noise as a river, the bums as bears, and the sharp objects encountered a sharp rocks and scree. I don't know but I can't get that Zen thing going.

I'll just drive further.


As for the bums we should tranquilize them and move them to downtown Portland to their native habitat.

Edited by Plaidman
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I think a lot of the "stuff" that occurs up there is that the city chose to site or allow a Methadone clinic (synthetic opioid treatment clinic) on 82nd avenue. Then the neighborhood went downhill and even more trash moved in. This is something that will and needs to happen someplace. But it is happening here. The Ram clinic just north of Fremont on 82nd ave near the Kings Row motel. The Kings row and surrounding area has had heroin and drug issues for a long long time...so it was a natural and good spot for a clinic to help those folks.


Yet in my belief system, "bums" - that is, in this case folks trying to live off the grid and on their own, who don't need to go through the soup line everyday for whatever reason but want to live with nature yet close to services, should get our support. They need water and sanitation. At the very minimum, they don't need the city stealing their only means of staying warm, sleeping bags and rain tarps, and throwing that critical stuff into the garbage with no recourse.


Not all bums are crooks. Not all crooks are bums. Not all bums at the Butte are recovering or attempting to be recovering opiate addicts. For myself, I don't want to start choosing the parts of the constitution I want to see happen and suggesting we change or ignore the parts I don't like. The search and seizure laws apply to homeless and those with homes alike. Fortunately. Sometimes bums are crazy. Sometimes they are crooks: often they just want a peaceful and beautiful spot to live unfucked by the man for a while.....


John, so you know, Glenn (You me and Glenn doing "Glenns route") was a bum during that time period. He lived at

Rocky Butte and in Washington Park....splitting his time between summer and winter homes so to speak I suppose. Drank too much was his issue. Toked out, but it was the beer that did him in.

...meantime, some of them sure toss a lot of trash on the ground and don't pick up their trash. True. But all the broken glass, hypodermics and condoms up there are most likely not bums, but just lowlifes. Glenn, I know, tried to make the place better.


Tomorrow night at 5:30 is the cleanup. Meet across from the Bible dome near Video Bluff again. I may not do it again, but it would be nice for Amber and Cory to see some support if anyone has free time. Not telling anyone what to do, last time ODOT had asked us not to touch anyone who was living theres' stuff, no matter if it is garbage or goods. Now, despite that they have settled the suit, we actually still need to be reasonable for the scattered folks living hand to mouth in the woods up there who are less fortunate than those of us living in kick assed comfortable homes. If we are unable to help them, the least we can do is to NOT hurt them by hauling that dirty blue tarp with the holes in it that looks like trash......away.


Regards to all, but especially to the new folks showing up doing all the heavy lifting up there.

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I know it wasn't bums that left the stripped engine block and dishwasher I hoisted out of there awhile back. I suspect the homeless who refuse services are a mix of both proud and challenged folks. Hard to blame them, particularly in these times.

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I suspect the homeless who refuse services are a mix of both proud and challenged folks. Hard to blame them, particularly in these times.


Mostly challenged. Hell I'll blame them. It's hard times for all of us and that's why we don't need to be picking up peoples shit. They should have thrown those bums away with the garbage and saved us tax payers some settlement money.

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