Portland's mood disorder

BusinessWeek raises our sad index
BusinessWeek raises our sad index

Well, they got it half right.

BusinessWeek has just plunked Portland down in the No. 1 spot on its Unhappy City list.

The basis for the conclusion is serious stuff: The number of calls to Portland's crisis, suicide, alcohol/drug hotlines are way up, and funding for such things is in peril. Monies for treatment, prevention and emergency help for the problems these hotlines handle is never in abundance in Oregon, and the recession is kicking our fiscal butt even harder, already. But, alas, locals are so used to having social programs on a starvation diet that most of us haven't yet noticed that worsening situation.

We're unhappy, all right, but we have other reasons:

We're exhausted from sorting our trash into 19 different bins, then watching the garbage crew dump them in the same compartment on the back of the truck.

Bicyclists are dejected over motorists' reckless hogging of bike lanes; motorists are nervous wrecks from slamming on the brakes to miss those among the riders who are unlit, unreflectored, dressed in all-black clothing, and riding on dark, moonless nights.

We're blue because our mayor is a big-fat fiction writer and we thought we elected the nonfiction guy.

Those of us who relocated from other cities are morose because we know when this last pair of cute shoes wear out, we'll have nothing but Keens, Danskos and Birks in our closet.

We're sad that our backward tax structure means we have short school years, worn-out bridges, kids without healthcare and, yes, all those hotline calls for help we can't answer.

Above all, we're really down in the dumps that BusinessWeek outed us to the whole country.


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