TriMet crackdown yields results

Number of citations for riding without fare increases 7-fold from last year

TriMet has taken a harsher stance against riders caught without valid fare. Moving from a policy of education to one of enforcement has resulted in a nearly sevenfold increase in $175 citations since July 2011.

On Dec. 13, TriMet released a Fare Enforcement Report, which compared the number of warnings, citations and exclusions issued by TriMet for 2010 and 2011. In September of 2010, TriMet gave 1,128 warnings, 198 citations and 430 exclusions. In comparison, during September 2011 only 487 warnings were given, but 2,028 citations and 563 exclusions were issued.

Gary Haugen volunteered to be executed , and was scheduled to die on Dec. 6. He was on death row for murdering a fellow inmate in 2003.

Governor Kitzhaber halts Haugen execution

Oregon capital punishment suspended until 2015

On Nov. 22, Governor John Kitzhaber issued a temporary halt to the use of capital punishment in Oregon. This decision comes just two weeks before the scheduled execution of Oregon State Penitentiary death row inmate Gary Haugen.

In the last 49 years, only two people have been executed in Oregon. Both executions took place during Kitzhaber’s first administration, in 1996 and 1997, and both men had volunteered to die by waiving their remaining appeals.

Mohamed Mohamud 19, was arrested at last year’s holiday tree-lighting ceremony at Pioneer Square for attempted terrorism.

One year later: Mohamed Mohamud terrorism trial postponed

Defense requests more evidence, pursues entrapment case

Mohamed Osman Mohamud—the then 19-year-old accused of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction at last year’s Pioneer Square tree lighting ceremony—has yet to stand trial nearly a year after the incident occurred.

The most recent court proceedings have pushed the trial date back to May 15, 2012 to allow more time for the defense and prosecution to exchange discovery evidence.

Mohamud’s arrest was the result of an elaborate sting operation involving two FBI operatives, months of undercover communication and a giant fake explosive device.

Occupy Portland may move to South Park Blocks

PSU administration ready, took preemptive measures Sunday

The Occupy Portland movement—after being expelled from Chapman and Lownsdale Squares by Portland Police—may migrate its protest to the South Park Blocks located on the Portland State Campus.

Monica Rimai, vice president of finance and administration, stated that unless circumstances change dramatically, all university functions will operate normally: classes will continue as scheduled and campus buildings will remain open.

Farmers Market

Farm fresh on campus

Each Saturday, more than 160 vendors and 10,000 people flock to buy local produce, make a full lunch out of free samples and—most importantly—support local farmers.

Anna Curtin, education and events manager for the Portland Farmers Market, said that in order to have a coveted stall at the PSU market a vendor must meet very specific criteria.

Without exception, all stalls must sell food and food products only. Crafts, heavily processed foods and nationally-distributed packaged foods are strictly prohibited. Curtin also said that stalls for ethical and environmentally responsible farmers are given top priority. Vendors must be local (from Oregon and Southwest Washington) and produce a consistently high-quality product.

PSU on NE Portland development

Community panel hosts PSU Professor

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods will be hosting a discussion panel looking at the history of economic development in Northeast Portland from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Curious Comedy, located at 5225 NE MLK Blvd.

The event, titled “Historical Perspective For Today’s Understanding: Economic Development in N/NE Portland,” will be the first in a multiple-part speaker series that aims to educate people on the economic developments that affect communities in the city’s North and Northeast areas.

PSU professor receives nearly $1 million grant

Study will focus on the link between alcohol consumption and suicide

Portland State professor of public health Mark Kaplan will be the chief investigator of a new study researching the connection between acute alcohol use and suicide. The project will be funded by a $953,459 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an institute within the National Institutes of Health.

Figo House owner discusses ‘eminent domain’

Documentary film screening addresses College Station construction

On Oct. 8, Randal Acker, an attorney and the owner of the Figo House—the only historic home remaining at the College Station site on the outskirts of the Portland State campus—joined documentary filmmaker MichaelGalinsky for a showing of his film, Battle for Brooklyn, at the Hollywood Theatre in Northeast Portland.

PSU ‘unranked’ in US News and World Report

Non-traditional characteristics don’t fit with the US News methodology

The U.S. News and World Report’s latest annual ranking of the country’s best colleges has listed Portland State as “unranked.”

David Santen, a senior writer for university communications, explained that PSU’s status as “unranked” simply means that the university has a rating, but is in a lower tier than the schools that receive a numerical rank.
The 2012 U.S. News and World Report rankings collected statistical data from over 1,600 academic institutions.

PSU construction focuses on campus improvements

Projects will increase university’s energy efficiency

Several construction projects are underway on Portland State’s campus. New student housing at College Station, an underground heating and cooling system and the yet-to-be-built Life Sciences building are the three major projects dominating PSU construction.