07-15-2024  10:24 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

2 Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over the July 4 Holiday Weekend

 A 26-year-old man from India slipped on rocks and was swept away in Avalanche Creek on Saturday morning. His body has not been recovered. And a 28-year-old man from Nepal who was not an experienced swimmer drowned in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground on Saturday evening. His body was recovered by a sheriff's dive team.

NEWS BRIEFS

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

UFCW 555 Turns in Signatures for Initiative Petition 35 - United for Cannabis Workers Act

On July 5, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 delivered over 163,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of...

Local Photographer Announces Re-Release of Her Book

Kelly Ruthe Johnson, a nationally recognized photographer and author based in Portland, Oregon, has announced the re-release of her...

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

PHOENIX (AP) — A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths, including retirees in Oregon, a motorcyclist in Death Valley, California and a 10-year-old boy who collapsed while hiking with his family on a Phoenix trail. Heat...

California reports first wildfire death of the 2024 season as fires persist across the West

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wildfires fueled by strong winds and an extended heat wave have led to the first death in California of the 2024 season, while wind-whipped flames in Arizona have forced hundreds to flee from what tribal leaders are calling the “most serious” wildfire on their reservation...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

OPINION

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Historically Black town in Louisiana's Cancer Alley is divided over a planned grain terminal

WALLACE, La. (AP) — Sisters Jo and Dr. Joy Banner live just miles from where their ancestors were enslaved more than 200 years ago in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Their tidy Creole cottage cafe in the small riverfront town of Wallace lies yards from property their great-grandparents...

Pastors see a wariness among Black men to talk abortion politics as Biden works to shore up base

WASHINGTON (AP) — Phoenix pastor the Rev. Warren H. Stewart Sr. has had countless discussions this election season with fellow Black men on the economy, criminal justice, immigration and other issues dominating the political landscape in their battleground state of Arizona. But never abortion. ...

Morehouse College president says he will retire next June

ATLANTA (AP) — Morehouse College President David Thomas announced that he will retire next year, saying it is time for new leadership at the prominent all-male, historically Black school he has led since 2018. Thomas, 67, said in a statement Friday that he will retire June 30,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: Kate Quinn returns with 'The Briar Club,’ a murder mystery during the 1950’s Red Scare

If you’ve never read a Kate Quinn novel, there’s no time like the present. Or like the 1950s in Washington, D.C. That’s the setting for Quinn’s “The Briar Club,” which is a murder mystery wrapped up in the stories of multiple women who rent rooms at a boarding house during the height of...

Music Review: In a new expanded collection, how much of John Lennon's 'Mind Games' is too much?

The new remixed and expanded “Mind Games: The Ultimate Collection" is for those John Lennon fans who really, really love his inconsistent 1973 record of the same name. The problem is, many Lennon fans would rank the original “Mind Games” fourth or fifth among his most beloved...

Music Review: Phish rock out with energy and urgency on their 16th studio album, 'Evolve'

There might never be a more apt title for a Phish album than “Evolve,” the jam masters' 16th studio album and first in over four years. Just as this boundary-pushing quartet has progressed over four-plus decades by fusing rock, jazz, bluegrass and other freewheeling sounds,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Battered by Hurricane Idalia last year, Florida village ponders future as hurricane season begins

HORSESHOE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Lisa Bregenzer’s waterfront home was her "little slice of heaven." She watched...

Former fire chief who died at Trump rally used his body to shield family from gunfire

BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — The former fire chief who was killed at a Pennsylvania rally for Donald Trump spent...

World’s rarest whale may have washed up on New Zealand beach, possibly shedding clues on species

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Spade-toothed whales are the world’s rarest, with no live sightings ever...

35 people die in a storm that brought heavy rainfall to eastern Afghanistan, Taliban official says

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A storm that brought heavy rainfall to eastern Afghanistan killed at least 35 people on Monday,...

Russian court orders house arrest for a general in custody on fraud charges

MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow on Monday ordered house arrest for a general in custody on fraud charges, in a...

Brazilian police launch mega-operation in Rio de Janeiro favelas to fight organized crime

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Rio de Janeiro’s state law enforcement agencies launched a mega-operation with a force...

LeBron James plays for Cleveland Cavaliers against Knicks
Omar Tyree

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives past New York Knicks' Cole Aldrich (45) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

I was prepared this week to write an article on sports and fatherhood. Instead, I was struck by the season opening basketball game of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, October 30th, featuring the return of Akron, Ohio's native son, LeBron James. With hours of national sports coverage and thousands of fans who traveled downtown to enjoy a free concert from Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons—including live commentary from Charles Barkley and jokes from comedian/actor Kevin Hart—the event was overwhelming.

The city unveiled a new 10-story high LeBron James banner, featured six hours of fan experience from Nike, invited fans to game watching parties at more than 40 bars and restaurants, and unveiled a humungous, state-of-the-art scoreboard inside Quickens Loan Arena, where those with tickets to the game received free LeBron James T-shirts, a season schedule magnet for their refrigerators and twenty-thousand glow-in-the-dark wands to wave during the game announcements in high-definition 3D.


Of course, the game was sold out, with superstar musician, Cleveland native and part team owner, Usher Raymond and his protégé Justin Bieber sitting courtside, along with filmmaker, Spike Lee, football Hall of Famer turned TV star, Michael Strahan, and dozens of other national and local celebrities all to see the homecoming of LeBron. Nike even unveiled a new commercial, where "King James" invites the entire city of Cleveland into a team huddle and prep-talk to win a championship in classic black and white film. 


It felt like I was watching the NFL Super Bowl, but it was only Cleveland's first game of the season with LeBron back, featuring his new teammates; Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Deon Waiters, Tristan Thomas and more. It was also the season premiere of new Cleveland head coach, David Blatt.
By the way, the game included NBA All-Star an Olympian Carmelo Anthony and his New York Knicks, with the second game of their new head coach, Derek Fisher. And after all of the crazy build-up, LeBron James went on to have a horrible outing in a 95-90 loss. At one point in the first half, he was 1-9 shooting with four turnovers, on his way to 17 points and eight turnovers.


I felt sorry for the dude. I could only imagine how anxious he was to get it all over with. At the end of the day, he still needed two and half hours worth of energy to play a basketball game before granting a hundred post-game interviews about the loss. Not only that, I read his wife Savannah finally gave birth their first baby girl to add to his excitement and exhaustion on Monday night, October 27th.


But with all of the sports commentators speaking about how amazing the opening night was, I couldn't help thinking about the American hypocrisy of sports and race. I've been to the city of Cleveland on several occasions and know people from the area, as well as from other cities of Ohio. And it's the same old American story; blacks live on one part of town in poverty, while whites live on the other in wealth. And race relations still don't mix like you would think they would in year 2014.


So I watched the rehashed stories of white Cleveland Cavaliers fans who angrily burned LeBron James jerseys just four years ago when he left the city to take his talents to South Beach, and I chuckled at their audacity. Thousands of these same angry white fans now profess to love him again, including Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, who was forced to humble himself and apologize for his tantrum and public letter, which lambasted LeBron and his character.


I'm sorry, folks, I know we all look at sports as the perfect meeting ground between race, gender, class, creed and culture, but it continues to astonish me how the white American populace could care less about Lebron James' twin brother, if he wasn't blessed with the same freakish athletic skills to play basketball. And if James had such a twin brother, would these fans bother to even buy him a drink? Not unless he brought LeBron with him.


As we inch closer to year 2015, we still have millions of white Americans who would never read this sports column just because it has the word "black" in it, identifying a people and culture that they refuse to learn anything about. And if black athletes couldn't dunk, shoot, rebound, or pass a basketball; run, pass, catch, intercept, kick or punt a football; or throw, catch, hit or pitch a baseball, white Americans wouldn't care to know them either.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction and a professional journalist @ www.OmarTyree.com