Rebecca Ellis, OPB

Rebecca Ellis

OPB

Portland, OR, United States

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Recent articles by Rebecca:

OPB

Portland firefighters endorse Jo Ann Hardesty’s opponent, snubbing their boss

Isaac McLennan, the president of the Portland Fire Fighters’ Association, said the union’s 14-person executive board voted Monday to endorse challenger Rene Gonzalez over Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the fire bureau. → Read More

OPB

Ballot measure to overhaul Portland city government survives legal challenge

A ballot measure aimed at overhauling Portland’s approach to government and voting structure can move to the November ballot, according to a Monday court ruling. → Read More

OPB

Portland facility to treat water for lead comes online

Portland’s water engineers have completed a treatment facility they hope will take care of the city’s lead problem once and for all. → Read More

OPB

People for Portland tries again on ballot measure to crack down on public camping

The nonprofit political group pushing Portland-area leaders to get tougher on homelessness has refiled a ballot measure aimed at changing the region's approach to the housing crisis. → Read More

OPB

People for Portland is spending big to change the city’s approach to homelessness. Is it working?

Six months and at least a million dollars later, both critics and those who dug into their pockets to finance the effort are mulling the same question: Has it made a difference? → Read More

OPB

Auditors say Portland isn’t ready to help people living with disabilities in an emergency

Portland officials have put lives in danger and the city in legal jeopardy by failing to prepare to assist people with disabilities in the event of a disaster.That’s according to a new audit released Wednesday. → Read More

OPB

Portland city officials welcome private security firm’s investigations even as prosecutors skeptical

Despite the concerns of local law enforcement, other city leaders are more comfortable with the role Echelon Protective Services in downtown Portland is playing, even as it hits at the heart of the city’s ongoing debate over how to handle homelessness. Part 3 of 3. → Read More

OPB

Police, prosecutors wary of private security’s expanded role in downtown Portland

To businesses and property owners in downtown Portland, Echelon Protective Services’ seamless slip into a police role was a lifeline. But to the people taxpayers pay to provide public safety in Portland — the city police and county prosecutors — the area’s growing reliance on a private security firm was a source of deepening alarm. → Read More

OPB

The sudden and troubling rise of a private police force in Downtown Portland

As business and property owners become increasingly frustrated with Portland’s public safety system, they are tapping private security to fill the vacuum. But while businesses and property owners may treat private security firms such as Echelon like a public safety agency, state law does not. The result: Across the city, private security firms — even the most highly regarded ones — are thrust… → Read More

OPB

Portland delays vote on boycotting Texas after abortion ban

Portland made national headlines last week when the mayor announced he wanted to ban city business and employee travel related to the state of Texas due to the state’s new abortion law, which dramatically curtails access to the procedure. Now the city is delaying that vote. → Read More

OPB

Portland may exempt police force from citywide vaccine mandate

The city attorney’s office advised city staff on Tuesday that the order requiring Portland’s police force to be vaccinated was now legally dubious due to new guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. → Read More

OPB

Medical examiner determines Multnomah County death not linked to heat wave

On Saturday, the Oregon medical examiner determined that heat did not contribute to that person’s death. → Read More

OPB

Portland OKs new rules on homeless camp removals, steps closer to establishing outdoor shelters

The city council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday to kick off the establishment of ‘safe rest villages’ — outdoor shelters on city property where people experiencing homelessness can safely camp and receive basic services. The outdoor villages will be equipped with bathrooms, laundry, showers and case management services provided by the county, according to Commissioner Dan Ryan, who… → Read More

OPB

Portland joins other NW cities, banning all fireworks amid record-breaking heat

With temperatures hitting an all-time high this week, the city’s fire bureau announced the ban Tuesday morning and said it would take effect immediately. The bureau did not say when the restrictions would lift, but they will likely remain through the weekend. This means no fireworks allowed for Fourth of July festivities. → Read More

OPB

Portland unveils plan for city’s South Park Blocks

New art. New bike paths. More trees. More seating. Fewer cars. These are some of the highlights of the South Park Blocks master plan, a dramatic redesign of the 12-block park in downtown Portland. The plan has been in the city’s pipeline since the spring of 2019 and will officially be presented to council on July 7. → Read More

OPB

City agreed to pay disgraced bureau director’s 1 year salary in exchange for resignation

Suk Rhee received a little over $178,000 to resign, according to a targeted severance agreement obtained by OPB. → Read More

OPB

Renters of color in Portland left behind by 2020 housing market, city analysis finds

The analysis, which will be presented to the city council Wednesday, found the city’s housing prices have continued a rapid ascent while the incomes of residents of color made only modest gains. → Read More

OPB

New study finds widespread reports of menstrual irregularities among Portland protesters

Last summer, in the midst of nationwide racial justice demonstrations that regularly ended with law enforcement emitting clouds of tear gas, anecdotes started cropping up online of protesters convinced regular exposure to the chemical had disrupted their menstrual cycles. → Read More

OPB

Portland to pilot landlord-tenant mediation in effort to avert evictions

On Wednesday, City Council will vote on awarding a $150,000 contract to Portland-based nonprofit Resolutions Northwest to provide mediation services for landlords and tenants in a conflict that would traditionally lead to eviction filings. The votes comes before an anticipated flood of evictions when the states COVID-19 eviction moratorium expires this summer. → Read More

OPB

Federal analysis shows Oregon’s homeless population in decline prior to pandemic

Oregon got a spot of bright news in an otherwise grim report on the nation’s homelessness crisis released Thursday.The review, conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, found Oregon had the largest one-year decrease in the absolute number of people experiencing homelessness of any state in the county. → Read More