You know the old expression about the numbers speaking for themselves?
From April 2011 through June 2013, 202 people in Portland committed suicide. That’s roughly 34.4 people per 100,000, or three times the national rate, according to a report issued by the Portland Police Bureau.
Another way to look at that is there were approximately 7.5 suicides a month, or one every four days.
There were nearly twice as many suicides as homicides and traffic fatalities combined.
You know the old expression about the numbers speaking for themselves?
Lynsie Lee, a single, working mom in the Portland area, found herself Wednesday in the national spotlight.
A graduate of Reynolds High School, Lee went to Mt. Hood Community College where she studied philosophy and geology. She’s also smart and funny, which has attracted more than 10,000 followers to her Twitter account.
Her activity there – some 40,000 tweets - also brought her to the attention of a woman making a documentary about Twitter, Follow Friday.
Also in the film are such notables as Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed and Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark and candidate for the United States Senate.
Lee and Booker tweeted back and forth, sometimes flirtatiously and on Wednesday that became national news.
As the rains come, it seems easy to forget how dry much of the state was and the fires that were raging just a few weeks ago.
With those fires were the hundreds of firefighters who traveled from all over to save homes, land, lives.
In the process, two firefighters in Oregon lost their lives.
It starts slowly.
It will be a beautiful end of summer day, barely a cloud in the sky, the temperature hovering in the 70s. You will look into the endless blue above, feel the gentle breeze and wonder why anyone would live anywhere else.
Then there’s a cloud. And another cloud. And then a cloud that looks somewhat ominous; dark. Suddenly you notice that the blue that had been everywhere has been reduced to patches.
The single dark ominous cloud seems to have joined with other clouds and they are gray, heavy, almost engorged on the now-absent sun.
And you feel a drop. And another drop. Before you know it, you have gone from wondering why anyone would live anywhere else to wondering why anyone stays.
More often than not, you will find Chris Smith on the floor.
The 45-year-old nurse practitioner at The Children’s Center in Oregon City makes it clear that it’s her choice.
“I am 5’11" and I am very careful to never ever be in a position where I might be towering over a child,” she says. “Just as often as not I will do an exam while sitting on the floor.”
Smith has been at the center for about four years. She has spent most of that time as the full-time employee who evaluates children and teens who are suspected victims of abuse.
“No one is going to bite you, so you can just relax and after the first few minutes of talking I think you will probably get over your innate nervousness.”
It was Sept. 27, 1950 and the man talking, Myles Lane, was an assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was talking to a witness who was appearing before a grand jury investigating Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Lane may have claimed that the witness had nothing to worry about, but the whole situation was intimidating on several levels.
On Friday morning, in the courtroom of Judge Henry Kantor, we'll hear the latest in a case that has captivated Oregon for more than three years.
Well, sort of.
There will be a hearing in the ongoing divorce case between Kaine Horman and Terri Moulton Horman.
Of course, it is the disappearance of Kaine’s son – Terri’s stepson – Kyron that has captivated Oregon. The divorce proceedings are just a sideshow.
He grabbed his collar, his firefighter’s hat and coat and headed to the World Trade Center.
He would die there a couple of hours later when debris fell on his head.
“Jesus, please end this right now,” he was reportedly saying. “God please end this!”
Mychal Judge, a Franciscan friar, was victim 0001 in an attack that would claim nearly 3,000.
Father Mike was the chaplain for the fire department. He was a willing listener to anyone who needed someone to talk with. I have not met anyone better at keeping his mood at even keel, putting things in perspective.
“I can’t figure out what I’ve won,” said Michael Wright, owner of the property where the Right to Dream Too homeless camp is located.
He is expected to join his lawyer along with Commissioner Amanda Fritz on Monday afternoon to announce the camp will move to a new location near the Broadway Bridge.
Since it became known that a deal was in the works, people have been asking Wright if he will see the settlement as a victory.
“I think I’m going to be right back at square one,” he says.
Kim Fox sees what’s going on as nothing short of murder.
“For months we have been working to make this happen and now, at the 11th hour, just as we are about to make this dream come true, it’s being yanked out from under us. It’s horrible what they are doing.”
Fox and her husband have been working since February to save the historic Edwin Rayworth House from destruction.
Justin Carey is unsteady at first.
Dressed in a black t-shirt and black gym pants that have been trimmed to take into account the fact that he no longer has a right leg, the teenager grips the bars tightly as he stands.
It is the first time the Battle Ground teen has stood since June when he was hit by a car as he waited for the bus to take him to school.
On Tuesday, Carey was surrounded by his parents, his little sister and his best friend, Zach, in the offices of Evergreen Prosthetics where he was fitted with a prosthetic leg.
The former Amy S. takes a deep breath. She sighs. She takes another deep breath. She is at the end of her rope.
"Were you raised by wolves?" She asks me. "Were you born in a cave?"
It is a ridiculous question on several levels.
One, she has been camping with me and knows that I have zero wilderness survival skills. If I had been raised by wolves, that clearly would not be the case. Two, she has met my parents - her in-laws - and clearly they are not wolves.
At 11 years old Dakota Watson has had more to worry about than most people in lifetimes many times longer.
The fact that he goes through life as if he doesn’t have a care in the world is something that should make everyone take a breath the next time they complain.
He was born with one working kidney and by the time he was 2 days old, he was undergoing his second surgery. Since then, he has been to the operating room 23 more times. Again – he is 11 years old.
Out of prison a week, Ryan Homsley is already the suspect in a bank robbery.
Homsley captured headlines three years ago when he walked into a bank, put a box in front of the teller, told her it was a bomb and demanded money. He made off with $505. What got everyone’s attention, though, was the uncanny likeness to the Where’s Waldo character.
It’s not known if it was intentional, though it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t.
He was caught not long after.
That brings us to the sentencing memorandum his lawyers filed before he was sentenced to ten years in prison.
The Portland Public Schools would like you to know all about Alexandra Gritta, and who could blame them?
The soon-to-be-senior at Lincoln High School in Portland is a published author. She has set up a charity. She is an award-winning filmmaker. And last week was given the Congressional Award Gold Medal, which is given to students who show remarkable achievement and service.
According to the school district: “Alexandra turned her love for horses into a charity that qualified her for the voluntary public service portion of the award, spending hundreds of hours and raising over $25,000 for organizations with missions to rescue and provide safe habitats for horses."