PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland neighborhood around Northeast Alberta is gearing up for the second Last Thursday of the season — the first with the City of Portland as the manager.
At the May 28 event, 3 people — including 2 teens — were wounded in a shooting at NE 20th and Alberta. Turon Lamont Walker Jr., 16, was indicted on 17 charges in the shooting. He is the grandson of Portland’s director of Office of Youth Violence Prevention, Antoinette Edwards.
Extra police patrols are likely at this Last Thursday.
In March, Mayor Charlie Hales said the city would reduce their involvement with the 15-block fair along NE Alberta Street and that sponsors were being sought.
The city will be involved in June, July and August. There was no official city presence at the May event nor will there be for the upcoming September event.
The event will also close at 9 p.m.
Mayoral spokesperson Dana Haynes said after the shooting the city is looking for some organization to effectively manage it.
Haynes said the triple-shooting at Last Thursday was a “terrible, terrible thing” that was “about violence in the city.” The event itself was not the reason for the shooting, he said.
“We’ve spent about three years trying to bring it in a little bit, change the hours of it, change the actual space of it to make it a better neighbor,” he told KOIN 6 News. “We’re going to continue that project. We’re also going to try and find someone to take it over from the city so the tax payers aren’t paying for it.”
He said he’s not sure exactly when that will happen. Though there are organizations that do many social events, the city has had trouble finding an organization able to handle an event the size of Last Thursday — up to 20,000 people each time.
“But we’re going to find it, no question about it, because it’s such a terrific event for that neighborhood,” he said.