07 30 2016
  7:58 am  
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The Wake of Vanport
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  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
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  • SEATTLE (AP) — Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. But critics say not enough is known about their risks, and they want GMOs labeled so people know what's in their food. Several Asian countries temporarily banned U.S. wheat imports after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an Oregon farm in 2013. It also popped up in a field at a university research center in Montana in 2014. It wasn't immediately clear how altered wheat cropped up in Washington. But the U.S. Agriculture Department said there is no evidence it has entered the market. If it did, the FDA concluded that "it is unlikely that the wheat would present any safety concerns if present in the food supply," the department said. A farmer discovered 22 plants in an unplanted field, and the wheat was developed to be resistant to the herbicide known as Roundup, created by seed giant Monsanto, the USDA said. An agency spokeswoman did not know where in the state it was found. Federal officials said they were working with the farmer to ensure that none of the modified wheat is sold. Out of caution, the agency said it is holding and testing the farmer's full wheat harvest, but so far it has not found GMOs. The plants are a type of wheat that had been evaluated in limited field trials in the Pacific Northwest from 1998 to 2001 but never commercialized, Monsanto said in a statement. It said the type found in Washington state is similar to the one discovered in Oregon three years ago; it has the same inserted DNA but in a different location. No variety of genetically engineered wheat has been approved for commercial use or production in the U.S. GMOs are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA. Most genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like cornstarch, soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup. Only a handful of modified fruits and vegetables are available, including Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash and a small percentage of sweet corn. The FDA also has approved for consumption a genetically engineered salmon that would grow faster than traditional salmon, but it's not yet available in grocery stores. South Korea said Friday that it will inspect U.S. wheat imports for genetically modified wheat, the Yonhap News Agency reported. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has asked the USDA for information on the unapproved wheat and inspection methods. The USDA said it has validated a test that Monsanto developed for the herbicide-resistant wheat, which would be available to trading partners. "Trading partners will get the tests. I believe that once they have those in place, they'll continue buying," said Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission, a state agency that represents wheat farmers. "We don't anticipate any major disruptions." The USDA also said it has beefed up oversight of genetically engineered field trials and now requires developers to apply for a permit for those involving GMO wheat starting this year. In 2014, genetically modified wheat plants were found at a university research center in Huntley, Montana, where it was legally tested by Monsanto in the early 2000s. The plants in eastern Oregon were found in a field that had never conducted such tests, and the USDA closed its investigation two years ago unable to determine how the wheat got there. Different strains were found in each state. The Washington Association of Wheat Growers and the Washington State Agriculture Department referred questions to federal authorities.
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  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
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  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
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Continuing in the tradition of mixing environmental consciousness with young people and art, Seattle's Urban Wilderness Project returns this month with its beloved open-mic storytelling team competitions.

BoUnce is a monthly series held the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. This month it's Wednesday, July 31, at Columbia City's Royal Room, at 5000 Rainier Ave.

BoUnce is the sport of storytelling, requiring skill and improvisation – not unlike basketball, says poet and storyteller Jourdan Keith, who founded the organization and created the art form. Two teams of players face off to win cheers and prize money from the audience.

"BoUnce integrates the arts across genres, racial and cultural lines through the team-style competitions that give LGBTQ, straight, People of Color and white writers and performers a time and place to tell their stories together," Keith says.

The evening begins with a free of charge flash writing workshop at 6 p.m. Sign-ups for those who want to participate in the performance begin at 6:30 p.m. Come with a piece you have already written or create a story, poem or song on the spot based on the theme. July's theme is "Hotter Than …"

The performance itself starts at 7:30 p.m.

Cost is pay as you will – the group literally passes the hat for contributions. No one is turned away for lack of funds, which are shared with the BoUnce winners.

These are the rules of the game: Poets, storytellers, spoken word and hip hop artists join together to make up the storytelling sports teams. All players on each team must perform to qualify for the prize. Youth and adults sign up to perform and are randomly placed with 2- 4 other individuals to form 3 on 3, or 5 on 5 teams or you can come with a team ready to play.

There are four quarters per game. First Quarter: Free Style; Second Quarter: How and Why Stories. Third Quarter: If I'm Lyin', I'm Dyin' ( Liar's Round/ Tall Tales) Fourth Quarter: Improvisation.

Scoring: 3 points max awarded by each judge from the audience per performance.

Criteria: Content, Performance, On Topic. Each month there is a different theme. Maximum performance time is six minutes. Teams are scored by judges from the audience and the winning team shares half the door.

Keith says the project was inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, when segregation brought literary giants, jazz musicians and basketball players together in one venue. BoUnce includes Seattle literary luminaries, vocalists, spoken word artists and storytellers who all come together to participate with others who walk in off the street.

Keith is herself a literary light, with a history of fellowships and awards from Jack Straw, Hedgebrook, VONA, 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs for her choreopoem/play, "The Uterine Files" and "Coyote Autumn," a travel memoir.

As the Urban Wilderness Project gears up for BoUnce, the group is also, through their Wilderness WORKS program, holding 17-day backpacking trips for young people.

Supporters say this group is unique in the region in the way it blends environmental exploration for youth of color with writing, storytelling and literature.

Another key project, Urban Wilderness' Griot WORKS, trains youth and adult participants to become storytellers through workshops and performances in their community.

The idea jumps off from the ancient West African tradition of encapsulating news events, history and personal experiences in the form of stories and songs shared by wise men and women; griots still exist today and are powerful, important members of their communities.

Another major initiative Keith has brought to the organization is embracing an understanding of the water ecosystem in the Puget Sound region.

Perhaps one of the most compelling programs offered by Urban Wilderness is called R U An Endangered Species? Human Estuaries™ Campaign.

Through that campaign's Blue Corps program, running Thursdays through Aug. 14, participants – who applied and were accepted in June – learn to understand the connection between the water in the human body with the water bodies in the natural environment.

The young people take guided tours around local beaches, watch films about the issues involved, then create poetry, stories, visual art and more that are all geared toward preservation and personal health.

Keith is celebrating her 10th year of bringing young people of color from the urban center into the wilderness as a strategy for healing the deep wounds of racism – some of which are connected to the history of lynchings in rural areas.

As part of the experience, participants may work on trail upkeep or in some cases – including Haiku Hikes – write poetry about their trip.

"I had worked for several different organizations that served youth in the community but often they lacked the cultural connections that were required to actually reach the kids they had received funding to serve," Keith says.

"I thought it was critical that we bring in that cultural piece, so you'll see in the environmental work that we do, we integrate storytelling, we integrate the language and the visuals of the people that we're serving, and that are represented in our organization."

For more information contact Jourdan Keith at 206-579-5848 or through www.urbanwildernessproject.org.


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