05-23-2024  5:13 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in Oregon's Primaries

Oregon has multiple hotly contested primaries upcoming, as well as some that will set the stage for high-profile races in November. Oregon's 5th Congressional District is home to one of the top Democratic primaries in the country.

Iconic Skanner Building Will Become Healing Space as The Skanner Continues Online

New owner strives to keep spirit of business intact during renovations.

No Criminal Charges in Rare Liquor Probe at OLCC, State Report Says

The investigation examined whether employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission improperly used their positions to obtain bottles of top-shelf bourbon for personal use.

Portland OKs New Homeless Camping Rules That Threaten Fines or Jail in Some Cases

The mayor's office says it seeks to comply with a state law requiring cities to have “objectively reasonable” restrictions on camping.

NEWS BRIEFS

Election Day Information in Multnomah County: Ballots Must Be Returned by 8 p.m. May 21

Today, May 21, 2024, is the last day to vote in the primary election. ...

PCC and Partners Break Ground on Affordable Housing

The new development, set to be a vibrant community hub, will feature 84 income-based apartments ...

Metro Bond Funding, Major Maintenance Dollars Complete Trail Project

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan’s allocation of 0,000 in Park System Development Charge funds will further enhance...

Rose Festival Announces Starlight Parade Grand Marshal

The Portland Rose Festival announced today the 2024 CareOregon Starlight Parade Grand Marshal is Jenny Nguyen, founder and CEO of The...

Oregon Community Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

Oregon Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has elected two new members who bring extensive experience in community engagement...

Centrist challenger ousts progressive prosecutor in DA race in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Centrist district attorney candidate Nathan Vasquez has ousted the incumbent progressive prosecutor in Oregon’s Multnomah County, home to Portland, after running a campaign in which he vowed to be tough on crime. One of District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s...

Centrist challenger Nathan Vasquez ousts progressive prosecutor in district attorney race in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Centrist challenger Nathan Vasquez ousts progressive prosecutor in district attorney race in Portland, Oregon....

Defending national champion LSU boosts its postseason hopes with series win against Texas A&M

With two weeks left in the regular season, LSU is scrambling to avoid becoming the third straight defending national champion to miss the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers (31-18, 9-15) won two of three against then-No. 1 Texas A&M to take a giant step over the weekend, but they...

The Bo Nix era begins in Denver, and the Broncos also drafted his top target at Oregon

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — For the first time in his 17 seasons as a coach, Sean Payton has a rookie quarterback to nurture. Payton's Denver Broncos took Bo Nix in the first round of the NFL draft. The coach then helped out both himself and Nix by moving up to draft his new QB's top...

OPINION

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

Nation’s Growing Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps Need Policy Reform

Never-married Black women have 8 cents in wealth for every dollar held by while males. ...

New White House Plan Could Reduce or Eliminate Accumulated Interest for 30 Million Student Loan Borrowers

Multiple recent announcements from the Biden administration offer new hope for the 43.2 million borrowers hoping to get relief from the onerous burden of a collective

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Diversity jobs at North Carolina public universities may be at risk with upcoming board vote

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s public university system could soon join other major universities in drastically cutting existing diversity programs and jobs if its governing board votes to repeal a nearly five-year-old diversity, equity and inclusion policy on Thursday. The...

Ex-top prosecutor for Baltimore to be sentenced for mortgage fraud and perjury convictions

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A former top prosecutor for the city of Baltimore is to be sentenced this week for lying about her personal finances so she could improperly access retirement funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sentencing for former Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby is...

From schools to the Olympics, how France's staunch secularism affects religion in public life

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Walk around multicultural metropolises like Paris or Marseille, or any small village in the French countryside, and signs of faith are everywhere. Many Muslim women wear headscarves and historical Catholic churches anchor nearly every neighborhood. But...

ENTERTAINMENT

Cannes kicks off with a Palme d'Or for Meryl Streep and a post-'Barbie' fête of Greta Gerwig

CANNES, France (AP) — Beneath intermittent rainy skies, the Cannes Film Festival opened Tuesday with the presentation of an honorary Palme d'Or for Meryl Streep and the unveiling of Greta Gerwig’s jury, as the French Riviera spectacular kicked off a potentially volatile 77th edition. ...

Alice Munro, Nobel literature winner revered as short story master, dead at 92

Nobel laureate Alice Munro, the Canadian literary giant who became one of the world’s most esteemed contemporary authors and one of history's most honored short story writers, has died at age 92. A spokesperson for publisher Penguin Random House Canada said Munro, winner of the...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 26-June 1

Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 26-June 1: May 26: Sportscaster Brent Musburger is 85. Drummer Garry Peterson of The Guess Who is 79. Singer Stevie Nicks is 76. Actor Pam Grier is 75. Actor Philip Michael Thomas (“Miami Vice”) is 75. Country singer Hank Williams Junior is...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

5 dead and nearly 3 dozen hurt in tornadoes that tore through Iowa, officials say

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A deadly tornado that wreaked havoc in the small city of Greenfield, Iowa, left four...

Taiwan scrambles jets and puts missile, naval and land units on alert over China's military drills

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan scrambled jets and put missile, naval and land units on alert Thursday over Chinese...

Donald Trump may be stuck in a Manhattan courtroom, but he knows his fave legal analysts

NEW YORK (AP) — If there are bragging rights associated with Donald Trump praising your legal acumen when he...

Leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet Monday for their first trilateral talks since 2019

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet next week in Seoul for their first...

Deputy Russian military chief of staff jailed for bribery in latest arrest of high defense official

MOSCOW (AP) — A deputy chief of the Russian military general staff has been arrested on charges of large-scale...

With Ukraine losing ground, allies debate how to squeeze cash for Kyiv out of frozen Russian assets

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Ukraine's allies are wrestling with how to squeeze money out of frozen Russian assets...

Russel Westbrook throws it down at All-Star weekend
The Black Athlete by Omar Tyree

Each year in mid-February, the NBA All-Star Game plants itself in a different American city and takes over for a weekend’s worth of basketball games, events, after parties and entertaining shows, with plenty of American celebrities in attendance from every walk of life.

 

In 2002, I attended the NBA All-Star game festivities in my hometown of Philadelphia, and enjoyed a Roots concert, while bumping into a dozen of old friends from my high school days. That next year in 2003, I attended All-Star Game events in Atlanta, where I finally had a chance to witness the legend of Allen Iverson and his dozen-man entourage at a hotel restaurant. Both occasions remain eye-popping and memorable, as if they had just happened yesterday.

 

I never even thought about attending the actual games. I was fine with watching it all on TV; the sophomore and rookie challenge, the celebrity charity game, the 3-point contest, guard skills performances, the slam dunk contest, an army of fun interviews, and the All-Star game itself.

 

With the NBA All-Stars, their peers and families all sitting at courtside, we get a chance to witness them return to being oversized kids, who once dreamed about being professional athletes and making an All-Star game appearance in a number of capacities themselves. These happy ballers then receive an overflow of validation from the excited movie stars, musicians, politicians, popular businessmen, supermodels and comedians, who all sit at courtside with them and whoop it up for the big show, while thousands of fans sit and enjoy it right behind them.

 

Each year I sat at home and watched as a kid myself, and as an adult with my two sons, while only imagining what it felt like to be: Dr. J; George Gervin; Michael Jordan; Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille Oneal, Kobe Bryant and now Lebron James: Dirk Nowitzki: Stephen Curry: James Harden: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. What does it feel like to be celebrated by so many American citizens and superstars in their own light, who all come out and sit still to be amazed by you?

 

For those few hours in time, the world seems to stop and stand still for superstar basketball players; or at least it felt that way to me. The validation of skills was the reason why we all wanted to become professional athletes in the first place, not just to play the game and to live comfortably with million-dollar contracts; but to be celebrated for adding something special to the world--whether it be in football, boxing, baseball, hockey, track and field, World Cup soccer, or the Olympic Games.

 

With as much glitter, star-power and fashion statements that are made each year during the Academy Awards, The Grammys, The ESPYs, American Music, MTV, Soul Train, BET and NAACP Image Awards, nothing seems as fun or as natural as the NBA All-Star Game. There’s no fake adoration or bitten tongues, while dressed in thousand-dollar designer gowns and penguin suits from athletes who celebrate their game, themselves and each other. It’s all real excitement and jubilation, while dressed in warm-up, sneakers, blue jeans, jackets, shades, baseball caps and jewelry.

 

I watched it all again this weekend from New York City, where a Muggsy Bogues-sized comedian Kevin Hart—who has become a staple at NBA events—won another celebrity game becoming MVP, while playing against 13-year-old phenom, Mo’ne Davis, who is now transitioning from Little League Baseball, to her first love of basketball.

 

I watched Steph Curry and his gray-headed dad, Dell, lose in a team shoot-out against a current NBA player, a retired NBA veteran and a current WNBA player, before Steph went on to later swish 21 of 25 shots for a record 27 points to win the 3-point shooting contest. Zach LaVine, a 19-year-old leaper, who was a UCLA freshman last year this time, scored a perfect 100 points after two incredible back-to-back dunks, with legendary leaper, Dr. J, taking his sweet old time as the fifth and final decision-making judge.

 

Then we watched the marquee game, where Oklahoma Thunder’s fireball of energy, Russell Westbrook, scored 41 points for the MVP Award--one shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 42 in 1962. The teams also scored a combined record of 321 total points in a 163-158 win for the Western Conference over the East.

 

That’s 321 points with no overtime minutes, and a new record of 48 3-pointers. You talk about going all out to excite the fans; that’s what the NBA All-Star Game is all about—FANtastic!

 

No wonder my two sons dreamed so hard of outgrowing their dad for dunking height. They dreamed of joining Victor Olapido, the Maryland-born son of Nigerian and Sierra Leone immigrant parents, who came in second to LaVine in the Slam Dunk Contest, while the world stood still to watch, along with young professional basketball hopeful from more than twenty-five different countries around the world, now from Brazil to Russia.

 

Sometimes I wish the NBA All-Star Game and events could last for a whole week instead of a mere weekend. If only the rest of us could have a weekend of celebration like they do for what we do, we could all feel reenergized each year to continue loving the jobs and careers that we engage in and celebrate each other. Wouldn’t that be nice? It would make us all feel like All-Stars.

 

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