Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Last week the Portland Tribune published an article citing the growing drug problems in Old Town/Chinatown, terming the corner of NW 6th and Flanders "the center of 'Crack Alley'." Does that location sound familiar? While p:ear was absent from the article, it is worth noting that we are one of the few business and buildings open throughout the day and the presence of drugs on our corner has been detrimental both to our youth, some of whom are dealing with addiction issues, and our programs. While coming to work at the p:ear barista school coffee cart early in the morning, our baristas have had to chase away drug dealers congregating new the cart, and foot traffic along NW Flanders has decreased along with potential business for the coffee cart. While Executive Director Beth Burns does not endorse re-instating the Drug Free Zone in Old Town (see Sisters of the Road's Chani Geigle-Teller's comments in the article for reason why), p:ear urges city and neighborhood leaders to work together to address these issues in a safe and respectful way for all the businesses, social service organizations and inhabitants of Old Town.