Starbucks store in Portland, Oregon, says it will close permanently because of safety concerns

Starbucks is closing one of its stores in the heart of Portland, Oregon, over safety concerns — the latest symptom of the city’s problems with crime, drugs and homelessness.

Entrepreneurs in the area say customers are staying away because of the city’s problems.

A sign in the window of the Starbucks store in the city’s Pearl District said Thursday would be the last day.

An employee confirmed that it was due to insecurity.

“We’ve had some incidents,” he said before directing inquiries to the company’s headquarters.

Minutes later, a man in a wheelchair urinated on the sidewalk a few feet from the store entrance.

The issue of drugs and crime dominates a closely fought race to become the next governor of the state.

Republican nominee Christine Drazan has specialized in tackling lawlessness and could become the first GOP candidate to occupy the governor’s mansion since 1982.

“If even coffee shops can’t stay open in Portland for public safety reasons, something has to change,” she tweeted.

“Politicians deployed their own power before they kept our communities safe.”

Customers arrived at a Starbucks store in downtown Portland on Tuesday to be told it will close Thursday as businesses struggle to survive amid crime and homelessness problems. The Troubles Are at the Heart of an Oregon Governor Election

The sign thanked customers for their habit and said staff would be transferred to nearby stores

Homelessness has hit the city and drug use has apparently worsened since a 2020 referendum decriminalized hard drugs, including heroin, cocaine and meth.

The town is dotted with small encampments. The Pearl District is one of the worst affected areas

Customers said they were sorry the store was closing.

Wendy, who had just picked up a bag of coffee beans, said the area had become a magnet for those in trouble.

“Just walk by and try not to bother you,” she said, before pointing to an empty restaurant down the street that had closed a year ago.

She added that she now carries mace spray with her.

Betsy Johnson, who is running as an independent in the election, met concerned entrepreneurs the day before to hear their concerns.

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She said the underlying cause was a 2020 referendum decriminalizing hard drugs.

‘We have people literally dying on the street; she said.

“And then we have to get serious to get some of the accelerator off of this — vote measure 110, which has basically flooded our streets with drugs, open-air drug markets everywhere.”

“We shouldn’t kid ourselves that this is the cause.”

According to polls, the Oregon governor’s race is now a battle between Democratic candidate Linda Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan, who has built up a narrow lead. No Republican has won since 1982

Rolling poll averages suggest Drazan is slightly ahead of Democratic Party candidate Tina Kotek, as this poll published this week by Emerson College Polling

She said the decision may have been made out of compassion for addicts, but it has ruined the local economy.

“There’s nothing humane about this kind of laissez-faire attitude to let people live and do whatever they want, wherever they want, because your businesses and your employees and by extension the Oregon and Portland economies are hurt by this kind of attitude.” , ‘ she said.

Jim Rice, owner of the Fields Bar and Grill just around the corner from the closing Starbucks branch, described a perfect storm of misery.

“In the past year and a half, businesses have experienced riots, smashed windows, vandalism and more than five burglaries last year,” he said.

He described surveillance videos showing someone using a cart to drive the safe away from his bar.

“It’s been very difficult. The problems with homeless people, addiction problems, are unprecedented and it’s a point where we definitely need to do something,” he said.

“Most of the people I talk to are sick and tired.

‘We definitely need one thing: new leadership.’

Last year there was a record number of homicides in the city, with 90, breaking the previous record of 66.

Opponents say Democratic candidate Tina Kotek offers more of the same kind of leadership that has brought the city to this state.

Polls suggest there are enough disillusioned Democrats swinging behind Johnson to give Drazan the chance to take over the state for the Republicans for the first time in decades.

On Wednesday evening, the candidates face each other in a televised debate.

Jacky

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