07-17-2024  9:59 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

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...

Money from Washington's landmark climate law will help tribes face rising seas, climate change

SEATTLE (AP) — 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, Gov....

2nd Washington man pleads not guilty in 2022 attacks on Oregon electrical grids

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A second Washington state man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of damaging power substations in Oregon in 2022. Tacoma resident Zachary Rosenthal, 33, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Portland on Tuesday to three counts of damaging...

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

Biden aims to cut through voter disenchantment as he courts Latino voters at Las Vegas conference

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden is trying to shore up support among disenchanted voters key to his reelection chances as he meets Wednesday with members of a Latino civil rights organization in the battleground state of Nevada. Biden is set to deliver an address to the UnidosUS...

2 men sentenced in 2021 armed standoff on Massachusetts highway

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — Two men have been sentenced for their role in an armed standoff on a busy Massachusetts highway in 2021 that lasted more than eight hours and caused traffic delays during a busy Fourth of July weekend. Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer was sentenced Tuesday in...

A Texas school that was built to segregate Mexican American students becomes a national park

A west Texas school built in 1909 for Mexican and Mexican American students as part of “separate but equal” education segregation was designated Wednesday as a national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally established the Blackwell School National Historic...

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

With Haitian migration growing, a Mexico City family of doctors is helping out

CIUDAD NEZAHUALCOYOTL, Mexico (AP) — Last year, the Hernández Pacheco family began to notice a number of...

Biden aims to cut through voter disenchantment as he courts Latino voters at Las Vegas conference

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden is trying to shore up support among disenchanted voters key to his...

Unity at the RNC, knocks on Trump's prosecutions and Senate politics: Takeaways from day 2

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Republican National Convention marched into its second day Tuesday, showcasing classic GOP...

In attack that shocks quiet Oman, gunmen kill 6 and wound dozens more at a Shiite mosque

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Several gunmen burst into a Shiite mosque in the Gulf Arab state of Oman and...

Swedish police await forensic results to confirm 2 bodies found in burnt car are missing Britons

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish police said on Wednesday that the two bodies found in a burnt Danish-registered car in...

El Salvador has arrested 3,319 minors and sentenced almost 600 as part of anti-gang crackdown

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A rights report released Tuesday says the government of El Salvador has...

Helen Silvis

 About 10,000 people turned out to the Convention Center, Wednesday, to see President Obama endorse John Kitzhaber for president. The Skanner News Video: Obama's speech.

Outside, well-behaved protesters voiced their opposition. Dudley supporters and Republicans trashed the Democratic agenda with signs railing against 'Obamania'  and saying 'Obamanomics doesn't work.' From the left, protesters called for the closing of Guantanamo and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Inside, the crowd waiting in the convention center was relaxed – so laid back, in fact, that a press photographer joked that it looked like a crowd of Portland 'stoners.'  But that slander was rapidly unmasked.  

As news circulated that Air Force One had landed and President Obama was on his way, excitement began to mount. Democrats waving Kitzhaber signs began to chant "Kitz, Kitz, Kitz."

Jefferson Smith, the young state legislator for East Portland and mid-County, came on stage to huge applause.

He responded with an energetic introduction that included a story about a waiter – a reference to a widely reported remark made by Republican candidate Chris Dudley suggesting that restaurant servers might not need minimum wage because of the tips they receive. One after another Democrats came out to pump up the energy: Jennifer Keenan of Planned Parenthood; Meredith Wood Smith, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon; and, taking the stage together Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep David Woo.

The focus of the night was the upcoming election and the Democratic candidate for Oregon governor, John Kitzhaber. The rally itself was styled as a victory rally. However, recent polls have shown Kitzhaber and Dudley are neck and neck.  Kitzhaber himself spoke briefly – after all his campaign video had been showing during lulls in the action.

Talking about his priorities as jobs, education, healthcare, clean air and water, supporting small businesses, he contrasted his experience in government with his opponent's lack of it. He would put families before special interests, Kitzhaber said.

"It's clear our only pathway to a prosperous and sustainable future requires a willingness to challenge the ways we've done business in the past." Then he introduced the president, detailing the work he has done to preserve jobs through the stimulus, to regulate Wall Street, and start bringing troops back from Iraq.

"Two years ago Oregon said 'Yes We can," he said. "President Obama rolled up his sleeves and … we made more progress on healthcare than any time since 1965."

When President Obama finally emerged the crowd went wild.

"I love you back," he said – a trademark Obama response that elicited more cheering.

Despite a head cold, the president gave a strong speech that clearly reached its target. He laid out the difficulties he has faced, crediting the Bush administration for: the worst economy since the Great Depression; the loss of 8 million jobs, most of them before his policies had been put into place; and two wars. Republicans and special interests in Washington had fought the administration's policies every step of the way, he said. They relied upon a politics of "amnesia" that Americans would forget that it was Republican policies that wrecked the economy and reduced the income of millions of middle class families. 

"I said change would be hard and some of you didn't believe me," he said, "but change is hard; it's hard and we are grinding it out day by day."

The president touched on the successes of his administration: healthcare, some regulation of Wall Street, saving jobs and bringing a halt to the recession through the stimulus. His biggest cheer of the night -- after his entrance and exit --  was when he talked about bringing home the troops in Iraq.

But the main purpose of the night was to secure a victory for John Kitzhaber in the governor's race. And Obama did the job he had come to do. He praised the former governor's experience saying, "This is not a difficult choice." And he recounted Kitzhaber's success in attracting jobs to the state and passing health care coverage for thousands of Oregon children. All despite a Republican-dominated legislature in Salem.

"Who hasn't voted yet?" he asked. "Show of hands, c'mon Fess up." And he exhorted those who raised their hands to vote and to persuade others to vote too.

For the Democratic crowd who came to the Convention Center for just this sort of rhetoric and reassurance the speech was a resounding success. The question now is whether the enthusiasm will spill out to voters across the state.

Several audience members who spoke to the Skanner News said they definitely planned to vote and would talk to their friends and family about voting. Tiajuana Howard was overjoyed that the president had shaken her hand.
"I'll never wash it again," she joked.
Her uncle, Kevin Howard, said he is skeptical about all politicians, and usually feels, "You usually end up voting for whoever tells you the best stories."
Like many other people, Howard said, he is feeling the economic pressures of the collapsing job market. He has a small plumbing business, he said, but can't afford to buy healthcare in the current economic climate. People are disheartened, he said, but after listening to the president's speech, he realized that change is not going to be easy or fast.
"I think people will vote," he said, "but I also believe people are disgusted with the whole representation thing in politics – because whether it is the Democrats or the Republicans who win it's the big corporations and lobbyists who have the say so. 
"I believe Obama is trying but he has been up againsta brick wall. This is something that has been created over a long time, not just with the Bush administration but even before that – and undoing those policies is hard. 
"Will it stop me from voting? No." 
Qu'Ran Perry said she was inspired by the president's speech. "What Obama said really spoke to us," Perry told the Skanner as people were leaving the event. "Kitzhaber said good things too. I think people will vote." 
Mariotta Gary-Smith said she thought the president's speech would remind people that change needs support from the ballot box. "I hope people do understand the importance of voting," she said. "The history of African Americans and voting should be enough to make sure we do." 
Miss Opal Strong, 91, said she had grown up during an era when African Americans were prevented from voting -- although conditions were better in her hometown, Tulsa, OK, she thought, than south of the Mason-Dixon line. She was very pleased to see President Obama speak. "He's cute," she said. "He's handsome, and I'm so sorry I didn't get to shake his hand.

 Kevin Howard left the event feeling that President Obama is trying to bring about real change, despite facing an uphill battle in Washington. The Convention Center event was special, Howard said, for several reasons. With no advance planning, he bumped into his niece that afternoon and learned that they both planned to attend the Kitzhaber rally. It was the first time ever he and his niece had had an opportunity to spend time doing something as family.
"It was the most exciting this that has ever happened to me, that I got to be that close to the first African American president of the United States," Trevor Howard said. "And to be here with my favorite niece, and for her to get a chance to shake hands with the president."