07-18-2024  4:02 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Money From Washington's Landmark Climate Law Will Help Tribes Face Rising Seas, Climate Change

Tens of millions of dollars raised by a landmark climate law in Washington state will go to Native American tribes that are at risk from climate change and rising sea levels to help them move to higher ground, install solar panels, buy electric vehicles and restore wetlands. The Quinault Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula is getting million to help relocate its two main villages to higher ground, away from the tsunami zone and persistent flooding.

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

UNCF Celebrating 80 Years of Transforming Lives

The UNCF Each One Teach One Luncheon is Sunday, July 21, 2-5 p.m., Hyatt Regency at the Oregon Convention Center. ...

Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Awarded $1.499 Billion

Federal support again demonstrates multimodal replacement of the Interstate Bridge is a national priority ...

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...

Oregon authorities recover body of award-winning chef who drowned in river accident

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities said Wednesday that they have recovered the body of award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy following her drowning in a river accident. The Benton County Sheriff's Office said it located her body Wednesday morning in the Willamette River between...

Aging bridges in 16 states will be improved or replaced with the help of B in federal funding

Dozens of aging bridges in 16 states will be replaced or improved with the help of billion in federal grants announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden's administration, the latest beneficiaries of a massive infrastructure law. The projects range from coast to coast, with the...

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

The 900-Page Guide to Snuffing Out American Democracy

What if there was a blueprint for a future presidential administration to unilaterally lay waste to our constitutional order and turn America from a democracy into an autocracy in one fell swoop? That is what one far-right think tank and its contributors...

SCOTUS Decision Seizes Power to Decide Federal Regulations: Hard-Fought Consumer Victories Now at Risk

For Black and Latino Americans, this power-grab by the court throws into doubt and potentially weakens current agency rules that sought to bring us closer to the nation’s promises of freedom and justice for all. In two particular areas – fair housing and...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Mexico governor cites 'dangerous intersection' of crime and homelessness, wants lawmakers to act

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Citing what she calls the “dangerous intersection” of crime and homelessness, New Mexico's governor is calling on lawmakers to address stubbornly high crime rates as they convene Thursday for a special legislative session. In issuing her proclamation, Gov....

City council vote could enable a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark — and the old site's transformation

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A key city council vote Thursday on a major redevelopment project in St. Petersburg could pave the way to give baseball's Tampa Bay Rays a new ballpark, which would guarantee the team stays for at least 30 years. The .5 billion project, supporters say,...

John Deere ends support of 'social or cultural awareness' events, distances from inclusion efforts

NEW YORK (AP) — Farm equipment maker John Deere says it will no longer sponsor “social or cultural awareness” events, becoming the latest major U.S. company to distance itself from diversity and inclusion measures after being targeted by conservative backlash. In a statement...

ENTERTAINMENT

NBA agrees to terms on a record 11-year, billion media rights deal, AP source says

The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deals, a record 11-year agreement worth billion that would assure player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will surely change how some viewers access the game for years to come. A person familiar with...

On anniversary of Frida Kahlo's death, her art's spirituality keeps fans engaged around the globe

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Frida Kahlo had no religious affiliation. Why, then, did the Mexican artist depict several religious symbols in the paintings she produced until her death on July 13, 1954? “Frida conveyed the power of each individual,” said art researcher and curator Ximena...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27: July 21: Actor Leigh Lawson (“Tess”) is 81. Singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is 76. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) is 76. Actor Jamey Sheridan (“Homeland”) is 73. Singer-guitarist Eric Bazilian of The Hooters is 71....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

China investigators suspect construction work caused fire that killed 16 people in shopping mall

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese investigators suspect construction work sparked a fire that caused 16 deaths in a...

Hundreds attend vigil for man killed at Trump rally in Pennsylvania before visitation Thursday

SARVER, Pa. (AP) — Hundreds of people who gathered to remember the former fire chief fatally shot at a weekend...

The Latest | Israeli minister's visit to Jerusalem holy site puts pressure on cease-fire talks

A leading far-right figure in the Israeli government visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Thursday, a...

Student protesters vow 'complete shutdown' in Bangladesh as clashes continue

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Police clashed Thursday with student protesters attempting to impose a “complete...

Pacific island leaders agree to enhance Japan's role in the region amid growing China influence

TOKYO (AP) — Leaders of 18 Pacific island nations and areas agreed to an enhanced role of Japan in the region's...

In landmark verdict, South Korea's top court recognizes some rights for same-sex couples

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s top court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples are eligible to receive...

Jen Chien Kalw/ New America Media

Pazhae Horace has a summer job with California Youth Energy Services, or CYES. It's a program that hires youth aged 15-22 to do free "green house calls" in their communities. They go into people's homes to evaluate energy and water efficiency, and then help install things like water-saving shower heads, or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Horace is 22, and this is her third summer working for the CYES site in Berkeley and Emeryville. She says that, at first, she was worried about talking to strangers, but now she really likes meeting new people, and helping them become more green.

Jodi Pincus is executive director of Rising Sun Energy Services, the non-profit which runs the CYES summer program, along with other green job training for youth and adults. She says CYES gives youth more than just employment. "You know, they're not getting a job at Starbucks," she says, "where they could learn equally valuable soft skills or professionalism. But it's not as meaningful in the sense of their contribution to the environment or to their community."

Rising Sun has been doing the CYES program for 14 summers now, long before the current green jobs trend. This partnership with PG&E and local city governments has grown from a pilot program of 15 youth serving 300 homes in Berkeley, to about 100 youth going into 3000 homes in 10 Bay Area cities. Pincus says one key to Rising Sun's longevity has been its so-called "triple bottom line" of people, planet and prosperity.

What that means in practice is giving young people -- especially low-income and at-risk youth -- job skills and paid employment. At the same time, they're learning about climate change and sustainability.

"We're preparing them for any job that they will have in their future, and ideally, they will have a job in the green economy," Pincus says.

The Green Economy

Early in the Obama administration, the "green economy" was getting a lot of attention. The President's massive 2009 economic stimulus plan included $500 million for job training in the emerging clean energy market. $150 million of that was supposed to go to low-income communities, through a program called Pathways out of Poverty.

People like former Oakland resident Van Jones -- for a time the White House's "Green Czar" -- predicted that the emerging green economy would lift low-income communities out of poverty. In response to the flood of federal funding, hundreds of "green job training" programs sprung up around the country. But according to a 2011 report by the Department of Labor, many couldn't do what they promised -- get their graduates into steady, well-paying jobs.

Carol Zabin, a labor researcher at UC Berkeley, says there was a misconception that green jobs were somehow different from regular occupations. She says most green jobs -- at least the ones in the big sectors of energy efficiency and renewables -- are really construction jobs.

"So we made a pretty big mistake I think," she say, "in developing a lot of short-term green jobs training that weren't really related to these broader occupations."

Broadening the Definition of a Green Job

Like Rising Sun in Berkeley, Solar Richmond started as more of a traditional job training model -- in this case for solar panel installation. It's now grown into something more complex, with other types of training, and job opportunities built right into the organization. In the city of Richmond, unemployment is high --about 4% higher than the national average. And median family income is about 12% less than in California as a whole.

Akeele Carter, Solar Richmond's program manager, says there just weren't enough jobs out there for her solar installation graduates. So the organization branched out into marketing, advocacy, and outreach. And with the help of partners like the City of Richmond, they created paid positions -- within the organization -- that used those skills.

"Because some people aren't meant to go on the roof," she says. "Some people like to talk and advocate, and they like to go out and meet people, and they like to canvas, or even sales."

According to the Solar Richmond website, they've created over 300 temporary jobs and 50 permanent ones since 2006. But Carter, who went through the program herself, says its about more than just job training.

"They have to be built up," she says, "to have that confidence and say, 'You know, I may be from a low-income community, but there's so many skills that I have innately inside of me, and talent that I need to tap into. That's going to allow me to get that job -- whether it's green, blue or white.'"

22-year-old Lela Turner found Solar Richmond's training program after a year of community college. She learned the carpentry and construction trade, but also skills like meditation, public speaking, and time management.

"I got my license, I got my first apartment, I got a lot of stuff," Turner says. "I got my first car through Solar Richmond -- they helped me out with so much stuff."

She now works as an administrative assistant in the main office. She's also one of four people -- and the only woman -- chosen to start Solar Richmond's new solar installation co-op, Pamoja Energy Solutions.

Labor researcher Carol Zabin says in-house initiatives like the co-op are a good response to the lack of green jobs. But most graduates of training programs go into entry-level jobs, which are often low-wage or short-term. Zabin says that placing people into better-paying jobs is a link that's often broken.

"It's also the link that's most challenging for organizations that sit in the position of training at-risk youth and low income folks, and folks with barriers to employment," she says. "Because they don't have any control over the whole system. And they don't have any control over how jobs get created.

And especially since the stimulus funding has run out, they don't have the money to just create hundreds of jobs on their own. So, even though Lela Turner says she's happy to be working at Solar Richmond, she actually has to have another job to make ends meet. "I also work at Ross as a retail associate," she says. "I'm in the fitting room and I'm a cashier. So I work normally six days a week."

Pazhae Horace is also glad to be where she's at this summer, doing green house calls for Rising Sun. But she says she's looking further down the road.

"I'm planning on going back to school for like business and communications, so that I can get a degree, further my career that way," she says. "And maybe stay in this nonprofit, or stay in the green field."

The "green field" may not have the same luster it did a few years ago. But for these young people just entering the workforce, it's still a good place to start.