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How Meth-Amphetamine Ruined A Neighborhood

December 14th 2017 –

I’m not moving back to Oregon anytime soon (on a permanent basis) and the reason why… is Meth-Amphetamine.

But let me back-track for a second because when I first moved to Oregon I began running.

And every Wednesday at 5:30pm… I’d walk down to the local high school off of 82nd avenue, about 20 minutes through East Portland, to run. But to put that into context... not too far from this exact location… 2 men were brutally stabbed to death while aboard public transit, only 2 months after I left this past January.

And it was just different there… but as an example of this… the high school where I would jog had barbed wire fences surrounding it, almost like a prison.

But basically, whenever I ran there… I would always think to myself, “I’d bet that at least one kid has seriously gotten hurt trying to hop this fence.” And in fact, I’d imagine that many of the area’s local children had been hurt on this street but while the school’s pre-occupied with barbed wire fences, in some sort of crude attempt to deter addicts from stealing their track equipment, it’s hard to tell if the school was to blame or the neighborhood itself.

And that was usually my thought process, during my walks to the high school… where I’d encounter dozens of Methamphetamine needles, littered on the sidewalk.

Regardless, while I understand that this might not be the most uncommon occurrence, it was still startling to me and for a variety of reasons. And this stuck with me, even here in NYC… where these things also tend to occur and where I hope to one day become further involved in national politics. And in fact, largely due to this experience I now feel as though it’s my obligation… to bring these issues to light.

Nevertheless, that’s also where this issue becomes increasingly complicated, “culturally speaking.”

Meth needles on my way to the local high school on 82nd Avenue, in Portland, Oregon. -Photographed by: William Larsen

More meth needles scattered along the sidewalk of 82nd Avenue, in Portland, Oregon. -Photographed by: William Larsen. And this photo was taken at 6am, during the Summer of 2016.

Whereby, I don’t want to ramble anyone’s ear off, particularly over the grave and fatal consequences of hard drug use, nevertheless, a few things did occur to me due to these hypodermic needles… littering 82nd Avenue.

And most notably, that I believe this type of pollution has to end.

But maybe littering needles… long ago should’ve been considered, “an instant trip to prison,” or maybe… local police officers needed to set aside their personal fears, in order to patrol this neighborhood altogether. Still, those answers remain to be seen. Nevertheless, the reason that these needles personally bothered me so much, was actually far worse… because only 2 blocks from this site, where I photographed these needles, is a huge park where kids play soccer, also littered with needles!

And for that reason I called the local hospital, to see if any children had perhaps slid into a hypodermic needle, at the park? Presumably, while playing soccer. Nevertheless, the local hospital informed me of nothing except; “that they couldn’t divulge that information to the public,” but then recommended, that I inquire with the local police.

So I called the local police station and asked again, “have any children, perhaps been injured by hypodermic needles littered off of 82nd avenue? Civilians News wants to know, and there’s children playing soccer there 5 days a week.” Yet again, law enforcement (which I might add has no problem arresting my friends over marijuana possession every 3 days like complete hard asses) responded, “that they couldn’t divulge that information.” So to be clear, the police department and hospital… would not release any information, regarding children getting hurt in this manor, due to these needles… NOR DID THEY SEEM TO CARE!

And maybe, not one single kid… had ever slid into a hypodermic needle, littered off of 82nd avenue. Or maybe… 1 or 2 had… but now I don’t know and apparently I have no way of finding out. However, in March of 2017, I was so mad… that I wrote Detective Simpson (of the Portland PD) about the dangers of that soccer field… to which he also… did not reply.

And did Pete Simpson even take one moment of his time, to reply to my emails? No he didn’t! Whereby, I can’t even begin to explain my frustrations over a man who makes 60k dollars a year in TAX MONEY, ignoring my request for this information!

And I had hoped to gather more data, before posting this story, but since Officer Pete Simpson was clearly too busy posting Batman memes on Twitter, I figured now… was a good time to talk about it.

-William Larsen, Civilians News.