04-13-2024  3:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

Winning Powerball Ticket Worth $1.3 Billion Sold in Portland

A Powerball player in Portland has won a jackpot worth more than jumi.3 billion. The prize is the eighth largest in U.S. lottery history. The Oregon Lottery says the winning ticket was sold in Portland, Oregon. The winning numbers were: 22, 27, 44, 52, 69 and the red Powerball 9

NEWS BRIEFS

Americans Willing to Pay More to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap, Creating a New Opportunity for Black Business Owners

National research released today provides encouraging news that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and...

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan Directs Development Funding to Complete Next Phase of Gateway Green Project

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is beginning a new phase of accessibility and park improvements to Gateway Green, the...

Application Opens for Preschool for All 2024-25 School Year

Multnomah County children who will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1, 2024 are eligible to apply now for free preschool...

PCC and LAIKA Partner to Foster Diversity in Animation

LAIKA is contributing ,000 to support student scholarships and a new animation and graphics degree. ...

Mt. Hood Community College Hosts Spring Career Fair Featuring Top Portland Employers

The event will be held April 24 at Mt. Hood Community College. ...

10 years after armed standoff with federal agents, Bundy cattle are still grazing disputed rangeland

BUNKERVILLE, Nev. (AP) — The words “Revolution is Tradition” stenciled in fresh blue and red paint mark a cement wall in a dry river wash beneath a remote southern Nevada freeway overpass, where armed protesters and federal agents stared each other down through rifle sights 10 years ago. ...

'I'm dying, you're not': Those terminally ill ask more states to legalize physician-assisted death

DENVER (AP) — On a brisk day at a restaurant outside Chicago, Deb Robertson sat with her teenage grandson to talk about her death. She’ll probably miss his high school graduation. She declined the extended warranty on her car. Sometimes she wonders who will be at her funeral. ...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

A Full Court Press to Get the Lead Out

With a “goal of identifying and remediating lead hazards in at least 2,800 Lancaster County homes,” LG Health is setting an example for the private sector. And the Biden-Harris administration’s focus on environmental justice and access to clean and safe...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Some fear University of Michigan proposed policy on protests could quell free speech efforts

A University of Michigan proposal aimed at deterring disruptions on its Ann Arbor campus after anti-Israel protesters interrupted an honors convocation is sparking backlash from free speech advocates. Violations of the policy, which has yet to be implemented, could result in...

Texas' diversity, equity and inclusion ban has led to more than 100 job cuts at state universities

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A ban on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in higher education has led to more than 100 job cuts across university campuses in Texas, a hit echoed or anticipated in numerous other states where lawmakers are rolling out similar policies during an important election...

Officer who fatally shot Kawaski Trawick 5 years ago won't be disciplined, police commissioner says

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kawaski Trawick inside his Bronx apartment five years ago will not face internal discipline, the city’s police commissioner, Edward Caban, announced Friday. In a statement, Caban said the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: Jen Silverman’s gripping second novel explores the long afterlife of political violence

Earlier this year a former member of the far-left Baader-Meinhof gang who spent decades in hiding was arrested by German police in connection with a string of crimes. It was just another example of the long afterlife of the anti-war movement of the late 1960s, which Jen Silverman explores in a...

What to stream this week: Billy Joel sings, Dora explores and 'Food, Inc. 2' chows down

A Billy Joel concert special celebrating his residency at Madison Square Garden and Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal playing cowboys and former lovers in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Strange Way of Life” are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. ...

Movie Review: ‘Food, Inc. 2’ revisits food system, sees reason for frustration and (a little) hope

The makers of the influential 2008 documentary “Food, Inc.” never planned to make a sequel. They figured they’d said it all in their harrowing look at a broken, unsustainable food system — a system led, they argued, by a few multinational corporations whose monopoly squeezes out local...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

174 people stranded in the air are rescued, almost a day after a fatal cable car accident in Turkey

ISTANBUL (AP) — The last of 174 people stranded in cable cars high above a mountain in southern Turkey were...

'Run, run, run': Chaos at a Sydney mall as 6 people stabbed to death, and the suspect fatally shot

SYDNEY (AP) — A man stabbed six people to death at a busy Sydney shopping center Saturday before he was fatally...

Bird flu is spreading to more farm animals. Are milk and eggs safe?

A bird flu outbreak in U.S. dairy cows has grown to affect more than two dozen herds in eight states, just weeks...

Belgium launches probe into suspected Russian interference in upcoming EU elections

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday an investigation into suspected...

The US and UK restrict the trade of Russian-origin metals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and U.K. will begin restricting the trade of new Russian-origin metals — including...

US, Japan and South Korea hold drills in disputed sea as Biden hosts leaders of Japan, Philippines

ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (AP) — A U.S. carrier strike group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has held...

The Black Athlete by Omar Tyree

It looks like African-American quarterbacks have come a long way in American football, not just to play and to start, but to win and win big. I remember watching my hometown Philadelphia Eagles in the mid to late 1980s when athletic quarterback, Randall Cunningham, would only see action off the bench during 3rd and 17 plays to run around and make miracles happen. Now we have four major universities vying for the first NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision Playoff Championship title, while starting three African-American quarterbacks and one Samoan.

Top-ranked Alabama starts a fifth year senior in Blake Sims out of Gainesville, Ga., second-ranked Oregon starts the current Heisman Trophy winner and Hawaiian-born and raised Samoan, Marcus Mariota, third-ranked Florida State starts last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and champion, “Famous” Jameis Winston out of Bessemer, Ala., and the fourth-ranked Ohio State starts Cardale Jones, a third-string redshirt sophomore from Cleveland, who stepped in for only one game after first-string starter J.T Barrette and second-string starter Braxton Miller both went down to season-ending injuries. And get this, all three Ohio State quarterbacks are African-American.

Unbelievable! I’m old enough to remember when African-American quarterbacks were still not considered smart enough to lead their teams to championships. I even rooted against Doug Williams out of Grambling University when lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 9-0 NFC Championship loss to the Los Angeles Rams in 1980. What can I say? I was ten-years old and a huge Wendell Tyler, Vince Ferragamo, Billy Waddy, Jim and Jack Youngblood, Nolan Cromwell and the Los Angeles Rams fan that year. But when Doug Williams later led Washington to a 42-10 NFL Super Bowl XXII win over John Elway’s Denver Broncos in 1988 and became the first African-American quarterback to win in all, I rooted for him then, even though Washington was enemy territory for us Philadelphians.

As a freshman in college that year, I finally understood how big of a deal it was for an African-American quarterback to win it all. And I actually liked John Elway. He was one of my favorite quarterbacks of the 1980s and 90s. However, Doug Williams’ MVP performance and big win was about more than just playing football. His victory represented national pride in our African-American race and culture, along with respect for our continued struggle to fight against stereotypes and discrimination as professionals competing at the highest levels of American society.

So I rooted for Warren Moon in all of his record-breaking years with the Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings with no championships. I rooted again for Randall Cunningham and his high-scoring, 16-1, Minnesota Vikings team in their disappointing 30-27 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the 1998 NFC Championship. I rooted for Kordell “Slash” Stewart in his years of doing everything in Pittsburgh. And I rooted for Steve “Air” McNair when his upstart Tennessee Titans lost Super Bowl XXXIV in a nail-biting 23-16 game against the St. Louis Rams. Until, finally, Russell Wilson was able to win it all for the Seattle Seahawks in last year’s 43-8 demolition of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

On the college level, African-American quarterbacks have had a lot more success, particularly over the past twenty years. Who could ever forget Tommie Frazier and his back to back championships for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 1995 and 1996? What Peyton Manning was unable to do—bring home a University of Tennessee championship title, while quarterbacking the Volunteers from 1995-1998—was achieved by Tee Martin with MVP honors after an undefeated 13-0 season and a 1999 Fiesta Bowl win over Florida State. Vince Young did the same for the Texas Longhorns in a classic 2006 Rose Bowl Championship win over the heavily favorite USC Trojans.

Then we had Cam Newton, who led the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated season through the torturous SEC for a National Championship title over the high-scoring Oregon Ducks in 2011. Newton won the Heisman Trophy, became the #1 pick in the NFL draft, and changed the way the quarterback position is now played at the professional level.

Last year we had Jameis Winston, a quarterback just as big and as strong as Newton, who led the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles back to a BCS National Championship title by finally dethroning the mighty SEC school’s domination with another great game and a win over Auburn, mostly using his arm.  

And please don’t forget Charlie Ward, the all-athletic, 1993 Heisman Trophy winner and 1994 Orange Bowl Champion from Florida State, who eventually went on to play professional basketball for the New York Knicks. Or the Florida Gators Chris Leak, who won the BCS National Championship Game in 2007 over Ohio State in the middle of early Tim Tebow excitement—who only came in for short yardage running plays or jump-passes at the goal line.

So here we have it in 2015; Blake Sims, Jameis Winston, Cordale Jones and Marcus Mariota in the first 4-team, NCAA Playoff Championship series of FSU Division 1 football. One of these men of color will win it all. And if happens to be Marcus Mariota, becoming the first light brown, Samoan quarterback to win the national title, then so be.

Diversity is exciting, pulling millions of inspired people to the games for much more than just sports, but for cultural identification, pride and the continuous struggle to compete and win regardless of your race, creed, gender, economics or historical circumstances. That’s what makes sports so great an international equalizer. We all get a chance to line up and go for it. So let the games begin, and may the best brown man win… until next year, when they all start over again with 0-0 records.

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast