FONT

MORE STORIES


Plus, Vision Zero goal getting farther away and internal problems delay civic engagement reform hearing

KOIN 6 NEWS - Frank Gable after being released from prison.The Oregon Department of Justice is continuing to try to return Frank Gable to prison.

Gable was freed on June 28 after Oregon U.S. District Court Magistrate John Acosta overturned Gable's life sentence without parole for killing former Oregon Corrections Director Michael Francke in 1989. The justice department filed its appeal of the ruling with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 12. It argues that Acosta was wrong and his ruling should be reversed.

Gable's federal public defender, Nell Brown, will ask for an extension to respond because she is on medical leave. Michael's brothers, Kevin and Patrick Francke, oppose the appeal, repeatedly telling anyone who will listen that Gable is innocent and did not receive a fair trial.

The appeal was filed by Deputy Oregon Attorney General Fred Boss. His boss, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, was removed from the case because she was serving on the Oregon Court of Appeals when it upheld the conviction in 1994.

Vision Zero not meeting goal

The City Council was apparently right to begin backing off from its Vision Zero promises earlier this year. Traffic-related fatalities are now higher this year than in all of 2018, despite the official goal of eliminating all fatal crashes by 2025.

A female driver in a two-car crash died on Monday, Aug. 12, raising the 2019 death toll to 35, one more than during all of last year.

The Vision Zero goal was first adopted by the City Council in 2015. During a June 13 briefing this year to the council on the policy by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, some officials conceded the goal might be unrealistic. Commissioner Nick Fish compared it to the failed 10-year Plan to End Homelessness adopted by council in 2005.

"Perhaps we will never do it," admitted PBOT Director Chris Warner, who still supported the goal.

Traffic fatalities fell from 45 in 2017 to 34 in 2018, but are surging this year. Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly has said she will ask voters to support the temporary 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax that funds safety projects next year.

That's not very neighborly

The City Council hearing on the controversial proposed rewrite of the civic engagement process has now been set for Nov. 7 at a location yet to be determined. That could change, however. As The Oregonian reported on Aug. 10, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is not happy with how the Office of Community and Civic Life, which she oversees, has handled the process.

In fact, the office is still finalizing the proposal, which is controversial because — as currently written — it would remove all references to longstanding neighborhood organizations from the section of the city code governing engagement. Supporters say the proposal will expand citizen participation by deleting privileges for neighborhood-based organization, while critics say it will undermine four decades of effective civic engagement.

Those who can't wait until Nov. 7 to gnash their teeth over such issues can attend a work session on "housing opportunities" on Tuesday, Sept. 3, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. It will include a discussion of residential densities issues that the two sides also are fighting over. The work session also can be watched online and on community television.


Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)