NYOBJanuary 26, 2018 11:23 PM



By Chris Lydgate, Nick Budnick | Published December 23, 2002. Updated December 11, 2017.

Portland’s brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage–so we grabbed theirs.

It’s past midnight. Over the whump of the wipers and the screech of the fan belt, we lurch through the side streets of Southeast Portland in a battered white van, double-checking our toolkit: flashlight, binoculars, duct tape, scissors, watch caps, rawhide gloves, vinyl gloves, latex gloves, trash bags, 30-gallon can, tarpaulins, Sharpie, notebook–notebook?

Well, yes. Technically, this is a journalistic exercise–at least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves. We’re upholding our sacred trust as representatives of the Fourth Estate. Comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable.Pushing the reportorial envelope–by liberating the trash of Portland’s top brass.

We didn’t dream up this idea on our own. We got our inspiration from the Portland police.

[Moderator: Too-long excerpt of 15-year-old article cut.]

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