City Hall Update: Federal judge cuts Portland some slack
A federal judge said Portland is not fully complying with all the terms of a previous U.S. Department of Justice settlement, but gave the city at least six months to resolve the shortcomings last Wednesday.
Portland has admitted the police have used excessive force against the mentally ill. During the previously scheduled update hearing on the settlement, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon said the city has failed to restore a required citizen police oversight committee after the original one fell apart. But the city responded it had approved a process for a replacement, to be known as the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing.
The hearing was attended by Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, among other city officials, representatives of advocacy organizations and community members.
Uber says it's sorry
Uber apologized to the City Council on April 16 for how it has done business in Portland since starting operations in December 2014.
Without going into specifics, the April 16 letter from Alejandro Chouza, Uber general manager for the Pacific Northwest, acknowledges "certain missteps" in the past and promises to work closer with long-term partners like the city and TriMet to improve access and service.
Commissioner Nick Fish has promised to crack down on Uber for starting service without being licensed, using software to evade regulations, and other violations over the years.The apology comes about a month after the city fined Uber $3.5 million and only renewed its permit to operate for six months, instead of the standard one year.
Garbage rates going up
The City Council voted to increase garbage collection rate by about $2.25 a month on Wednesday to help compensate for new China policies that restrict U.S. imports of recyclable materials.
China's new policy means local companies that have been providing such materials have lost revenue, undermining the financing system for garbage and recycling companies licensed by the city.
"The rate increase is needed to cover higher costs for recycling, labor, fuel and garbage disposal. In particular, new quality standards for recycled materials sold to international manufacturers require local recycling facilities to hire additional workers," said the announcement by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)