The economy has been hit hard here. Oregon has the second-highest unemployment in the nation (after Michigan, and we don't make cars).
But I just found out something that plain freaks me out. Not only did Portland's Twenty-Third Avenue Books, a small but well-stocked bookstore, close in January, but it's owner became HOMELESS. She ended up panhandling in front of the store!
"Neighbors got together to get Griffin’s cellphone reconnected — she owed $400 to the phone company. And they helped her find a place to live temporarily, so she could stop couch surfing and carry on with the job searching."
That's so horrible I can't even contemplate it. I've seen two of my favorite authors at her store - John Dufresne and Susan Fromberg Schaffer.
You can read the article at http://blogs.wweek.com/news/2009/07/08/from-bookstore-owner-to-homeless-another-terrible-tale-from-nw-23rd-ave/