December 14th 2017 – By: William Larsen – Civilians News – “News For All Views”
– How Meth-Amphetamine Ruined A Neighborhood –
I’ve spent a majority of my life in 3 cities. I grew up outside of Detroit. I went to college in Miami, and my first job (after college), was in Portland, Oregon.
However, in January 2017, I left Portland, and started over (yet again), in NYC.
And while I do love NYC, with it’s bustling atmosphere and chippy demeanor, I’ve only recently begun to call this place, “home.” In either case, I will always miss Portland, with it’s pine tree skylines and valley climates, and Mount Hood shining in the distance.
Nevertheless, I am not moving back to Portland anytime soon. And the biggest reason, why I’m never moving back to Portland, on a permanent basis, is Meth-Amphetamine.
I used to run outside a lot, back when I was in Portland, it was like a weekly ritual. Every Wednesday, when school was out, I would go outside to run at the local high school, off of 82nd avenue. In fact, it was not far from this exact location, where 2 men were brutally stabbed to death, riding the public transportation system, only 2 months after I left. This area of Portland, was more reminiscent of Philadelphia, or Detroit and exemplified every sense of gentrification (and reverse gentrification), that a city could entertain. Portland, Oregon. 82nd Avenue.
The high school where I would run, had barbed wire fences surrounding it….. almost like a prison.
Every time I ran there, I would think to myself, “I bet at least one kid has seriously injured himself, trying to hop those fences.”
In fact, I’d bet my journalistic credibility, that many children have been injured on that city block….. 82nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon.
But this was my dilemma…… While the local high school, had barbed wire fences, likely to deter local addicts from stealing track equipment……. it was hard to tell if the school was to blame for the inappropriately placed barbed wire, or the neighborhood itself…..
This was because rather frequently, during my walk to the high school, to run my weekly ritual…. I’d encounter Methamphetamine needles littered all over the sidewalk.
While this might not be the most uncommon occurrence, or the most controversial subject matter, it was still startling (to me) for a number of reasons. In fact, it bothered me so much, that it became something I won’t soon forget. This stuck with me, even here in NYC, where these types of things also do occur, and where I hope to one day become further involved in national politics. In fact, largely due to this experience, I now feel as though it’s somewhat my obligation, to bring up these issues.
However, that’s also where this issue becomes increasingly complicated, “culturally speaking.”
I don’t wish to ramble on, particularly over the grave and fatal consequences of hard drug use, however, a few things did become clear to me, as to why hypodermic needles increasingly littered the street, off of 82nd Avenue.
Most notably, that this has to end……
Maybe littering the sidewalk with hypodermic needles, long ago needed to be considered a crime worthy of an instant prison sentence. Or maybe, police needed to set aside their fears, in order to patrol this very street altogether….. This remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, the reason this bothered me so much, was actually far worse…..
2 blocks from this site, where I photographed these needles, was a local park, where children often practiced little league soccer. Worse yet, often times these same addicts, more than likely littering these very same needles, rested and slept, in that park.
For these reasons, I later called the local hospital, to see if any children, “had perhaps slid into a hypodermic needle,” while playing at this park…. perhaps during one such soccer practice. The hospital simply replied, “they could not divulge this information to the public,” but they then recommended to call local police, to further inquire.
So, I called local police authorities and asked again, “have any children, perhaps been injured by the increasing amount of hypodermic needles, for which I keep seeing littered along the sidewalk and grass, off of 82nd avenue? Because there’s children playing soccer there 5 days a week!”
Again, the police responded that they could not divulge this information…….
Maybe, not one single child had ever slid into a hypodermic needle, littered off of 82nd avenue. Or maybe, one or 2 had….. I don’t know and apparently have no way of finding out. However, one evening, this past March, I again wrote, “detective Simpson of the Portland PD,” a very strongly worded letter, concerning my thoughts on this very subject…. (to which he also, did not to reply.)
Pete Simpson, didn’t even set aside a moment of his time, to reply to my emails. This was particularly troubling as a journalist, because he didn’t take my emails seriously, despite the fact that Comedy Central is now mocking me, “as fake news……” However, you can see Pete had plenty of time to post meme’s and snicker about his job on Twitter.
I hoped to gather more data, before posting this story, but since Pete was too busy posting Batman memes on Twitter, I figured now was a good time to talk about it.
And that lead me to the root of the problem…..
This issue, is just as much about, “the future of culture,” as it is, “the crime itself.” Actually, in many ways, this is culturally systemic…… Furthermore, in my opinion, the real issue here, (especially when it comes to things of this nature) has become, “talking about the issue itself.”
A lot of people in the inner city, especially NYC, where I now call home….. simply do not believe in talking to the police altogether. In fact, many people across America, fear police intervention and discourage police contact.
Similarly, I find many police officers ALSO shy away from these types of issues. I believe this is often due to the officer’s themselves and their personal beliefs and fears… In turn, this often creates a circumstance, which leaves children vulnerable because police officers favor their own personal security, over the protection of neighborhoods like 82nd Avenue…
-William Larsen, Civilians News.