By Cari Hachmann/ The Portland Observer
Jumping one by one from a Tri-Met bus they weighed with heaps of bagged garbage, a legion of young people in
yellow shirts from the transit agency’s First Step program stormed the parking lot in front of the Portland Observer on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on a recent morning.
Armed with garden gloves and white plastic receptacles, and obviously trained to the T in finding trash in a timely manner, the young workers hunted behind flower bushes, under cars, and around the perimeters of the building.
“What we’re doing is trying to hit the hot spots, or large accumulations of garbage,” said A.K. Roberts, a commander from the First Step program. “We’ve already been to Hillsboro and Beaverton and now we’re going around other hot spots and trying to keep businesses looking clean.”
Once the land which sits adjacent to a bus stop was cleared of any noticeable debris, the group posed for a quick photograph and withdrew into their deployment vehicle in search of more dirt to decontaminate.