Memorial Put up at Hollywood Transit Center

Memorial Put up at Hollywood Transit Center

On May 26th, two people were killed and one man was wounded while protecting two women who were being verbally assaulted by a man on the MAX in Portland. Now, the brave actions of Ricky Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, and Micah Fletcher will be honored by the city of Portland.

Now, several months later, TriMet announced on Thursday plans to create two tributes to the two victims: one permanent memorial and one temporary. The tributes, according to TriMet spokeswoman Robert Altstadt, will also honor the women verbally assaulted.

The first tribute will be a “large commemorative plaque” will be located at the Hollywood Transit Center in downtown Portland and is being designed by John Larsen. It will be 4 feet by 6 feet and made of porcelain enamel on steel. The plaque will include images of the memorial created by friends, families, and strangers after the initial attack.

The temporary work of art will represent the messages that covered the walls of the transit center after the attack, and the artist will include some of the original messages.

The art will be installed in the transit center around May 2018.

Former abortion facility site to become a memorial for aborted children

Former abortion facility site to become a memorial for aborted children

A memorial for aborted children will be built on the site of a now demolished abortion facility in Toledo, Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health ordered the closure of The Center for Choice in 2013 after the facility was found in noncompliance with a Ohio law requiring a transfer agreement with a local hospital. All three Toledo area hospitals refused to sign the transfer agreement.

In 2014, the closed abortion facility was put on absolute auction and a group of pro-life leaders from the Diocese of Toledo, the Foundation of Life, the Greater Toledo House of Prayer, and three local pregnancy centers came together to purchase the land.

“When praying to keep the center closed, God gave me a vision of a demolished abortion clinic with a memorial park in its place,” Denise Emerine, director of the Greater Toledo House of Prayer said.

After purchasing the property, Toledo pro-life leaders began the project, “Isaiah 61,” named after a Bible chapter.

“If you read Isaiah 61, it’s beautiful,” Savannah Marten, director of The Pregnancy Center of Toledo, said. “It speaks of setting the captives free, and is a perfect picture of how the Lord has spoken into the property and what he desires it to become.”

The memorial, Hope Park, will be the first memorial park for the unborn in the city. The goal of Hope Park is to offer a space of continued healing for women who have experienced abortion.

“Quite a few women who enter our abortion recovery program had their abortions performed at the Center for Choice facility,” Marten said. “What an amazing picture of redemption for these women to re-visit the very site of their abortion to find a beautiful memorial park in its place. We’re really excited for the opportunity to use Hope Park for abortion recovery, and we pray other pregnancy centers throughout the region and state are able to do the same.”

Hope Park is set to open in October 2017.


Police tensions coast to coast: NYPD officers turn back on mayor, Portland embarks on policy reform

Police tensions coast to coast: NYPD officers turn back on mayor, Portland embarks on policy reform

During New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s eulogy for slain Officer Wenjian Liu yesterday, hundreds of police turned their backs on the mayor. The show of scorn highlighted growing tensions between de Blasio and the New York City police.

Officer Liu was shot dead with his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, on December 20. Married only two months previously, Liu’s police career embodied the American dream: after immigrating from China as a child, Liu wanted to become a police officer to help his community after the September 11 attacks.

More than 10,000 mourners arrived at the ceremony held outside the funeral home. Liu’s funeral arrangements were delayed to allow his family to travel from China to attend.

Police even went so far as to blame de Blasio for the death of Liu and Ramos. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, among those who turned their backs on the mayor at a hospital the day of the killings, told the Associated Press de Blasio had “blood on his hands.”

De Blasio supported protests following the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Police union leaders accused the mayor of thus encouraging a hostile environment that allowed the officers’ deaths.

New Yok Police

“Let us move forward by strengthening the bonds that unite us, and let us work together to attain peace,” de Blasio said at the funeral.

Though attending police seemed hardened to de Blasio’s words, Police Commissioner William Bratton urged officers to show respect. “A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton said in a memo.

Retired police, like New York Police Department detective Camille Sanfilippo, also turned their backs on de Blasio.

“The mayor has no respect for us,” Sanfilippo told the Associated Press. “Why should we have respect for him?”

“Across this country, we seem to be under attack in the law enforcement profession,” national secretary of the Fraternal Order of Police Patrick Yoes told the Associated Press. “We are public servants. We are not public enemies.”

While tensions rise in New York, the city of Portland is actively working to improve police policies, training, and community relations.

On Wednesday, Portland City Council will discuss a new ordinance proposing furthered police reform. The ordinance would add $75,000 a year to the city’s already approved $240,000 annual contract with Rosenbaum & Watson – the Chicago-based team of academics working with former Oregon Chief Justice Paul J. DeMuniz as the city’s new compliance officer and community liaison.

Following a 2012 U.S. Justice Department investigation, the city of Portland began instigating changes in its police policies, training, and management.

The 2012 investigation found that Portland police “engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force against people with mental illness” and that “stun gun use by officers was unjustified and excessive at times.”

“Getting out and engaging people is a critical component of helping police build trust in our community,” Portland Police Chief Michael Reese said in a video released during the aftermath of Ferguson.

“The importance of building greater trust between police officers and the people we serve is paramount,” Reese said.

The Portland City Council’s review of the ordinance is scheduled for 2 p.m. on January 7 in City Hall’s council chambers.

World Trade Center reopens 13 years after 9/11 terrorist attack

World Trade Center reopens 13 years after 9/11 terrorist attack


On Monday, November 3, the One World Trade Center skyscraper officially opened for business, just over 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the original Twin Towers.

“Today, as we open its doors for the first time, we remember that strength and courage will always conquer weakness and cowardice, and that the American spirit, defended by proud New Yorkers, will not be defeated,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement Monday.

The 104 story tower stretches 1,776 feet high and is built on a 16 acre site. One World Trade Center is the leading building for the new World Trade complex, which will include six new skyscrapers, a transportation hub, and a memorial display.

“The New York City skyline is whole again,” said Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Two memorial fountains are built on the footprints of the original towers to commemorate the 2700 lives lost during the attack. They are visible from the Northeast corner of the tower.


Construction began in April of 2006 despite controversial political, financial and legal infighting that threatened to derail the project.

Foye promises that One World Trade Center is “the most secure office building in America.”

Architects took extra measures by working with the New York Fire Department, police forces, and worldwide construction corporations to ensure the building is safe from potential future acts of terrorism.

“The city and the world were watching us, and we had to do it right, to do it better than before,” said chief architect, T.J. Gottesdiener. “And we did it, we finally did it.”

Gottesdiener explained that the high-rise was built with steel-reinforced concrete, which is much stronger than the original towers. The stairways are built with a hardened concrete core and are wide enough to allow firefighters to move as people exit. The building’s mechanical systems are also encased in hardened concrete.

“One World Trade Center serves as a symbol of the resilience of the people of New York. That lesson and example live on today as powerful as they were 13 years ago. This is a tremendous day for all New Yorkers, proving once again that the spirit of resurgence and community lives on stronger than ever before,” said Cuomo.