07 30 2016
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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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There is no shortage of angles when it comes to Soapbox Theory and Screw Loose Studio. Yes, the two businesses are in one of the last Black owned properties in their urban renewal area; they have been successful in Portland while doing mostly culturally specific designs and products; Cleo and Kayin Talton Davis, owners of Screw Loose Studio and Soapbox Theory, respectively, are an almost too good to be true husband-wife business team.

Any of those could be a hook for this article.
But the real story, the inescapable, winding thread, is that two creators built their businesses on their terms and when they share their stories, none of the aforementioned hooks are a surprise.

"I have always been a 'Let's try it' type of person," says Kayin. "I've always been the type to take things apart. Building a business, the components are different. I like the challenge."
Screw LooseLong before they met, Kayin and Cleo had visions for their careers. They studied engineering and product design in school, spent time working in the field and eventually decided they needed to express their creativity.

You can find the still-evolving result inside a sky blue print shop on Williams Avenue. One side is the Screw Loose Studio workspace, equipped with multiple computers, a human sized printer and a wall full of design samples featuring everything from Malcolm X, to Run-DMC, to "Che Pac."

"A lot of times, when I was younger, and people would see my designs, they'd say, 'you have to have a screw loose to think of combining these elements like that,'" says Cleo. "It was actually a compliment, not an insult."

The other half of the shop is a retail space for Soapbox Theory. It includes everything from business cards with Black superheroes, to plates featuring smiling Black children of all shades, to "Brobots."

"One of my taglines is 'Bold. Creative. You,' says Kayin. "A lot of people ask me what Soapbox Theory means. Everyone, given the forum, has something to express.
Soap Box Plates"There aren't a lot of products out there that represent Black, African American people with any kind of positivity behind it or even just, sometimes even neutral is negative. There's no positivity. There's no just, 'This is who I am. This is me,' without having to align with something else. Without having to align with sports, with a team, with music, with some other form of other identity."

When Cleo opened the shop in 2006, the couple had yet to meet. Fittingly, they registered their businesses only a month apart.

They were on different paths to the same destination, but the common thread was a larger vision and resistance to conventional ways of getting there.

Cleo grew up wanting to be an inventor. The closest thing he knew was his uncle, an architectural engineer at Arizona State University, who introduced him to t-shirt printing at a young age.

Despite being selected for the Talented and Gifted program in kindergarten, he was well behind his peers in math and reading.

When he got to Cleveland High School, he was placed in a math class for kids with learning disabilities. He forced himself to do a chapter's worth of homework every night to get on track for a college architecture program.

From there, he started carving out a few hours every day to lock himself in his room, put on slacks, a dress shirt and tie, and work on designs. By senior year, he only went to school on Fridays to turn in homework and spent the rest of his time downtown, hanging around Portland State University and going to art museums.
He graduated and went to University of Oregon for architecture. After two years he went down to California where he went back and forth between school and jobs in his field, studying product design along the way.
Soapbox RobotAround the time Cleo began college, Kayin discovered her love for engineering in middle school.

She took part in the Math Science Engineering Achievement program, graduated from Benson and went to the University of Pittsburgh for mechanical engineering.

There were only three Black students, out of 180 total, admitted into the engineering program at Pitt as freshmen. Kayin was one of two women and the only Black student in her 20 person class.

"It was very hard to be on any kind of team," she says. "One team I was on, they would schedule all the team meetings when I was in class. You would go to the professor and he would say, 'Go work it out with your team.' I had to prove myself a lot more than a lot of people had to."

Feeling the need to express her creativity, she started Soapbox Theory in 2001. It started as a hobby, where she made greeting cards for friends and family.

Her work showcased positive images of Black children.

"I wanted people of color to relate to what I was drawing," says Kayin. "It's something you can identify with. 'I remember when we used to play like that or my cousin wears his hair like that.'

"It's not aggressive. It's empowering without specifically being Black power."

Soapbox ShirtAfter two years, she came back to Portland and transferred to PSU, where she developed an interest in product design.

She graduated in 2005 but no available jobs fed her creative urges.

"There was one that I could've gotten but I didn't want to work as an engineer in a steel mill or a foundry. Some place just gray," says Kayin.

She decided to go back to school for industrial design and began attending the Art Institute of Portland.

As her business got more serious, she got restless.

"By second term, I said forget it. I know all of this," says Kayin. "I wasn't going to pay to learn what I'm already doing in business."

Meanwhile, Cleo was working in warehouses and as an electrician to build seed money for a printing business. He had moved back to Portland in 2003 and was using his free time to print in his basement and peddle shirts on the street, a craft he honed at 16.

"When you start printing, you're selling t-shirts to friends and family," he says. "You're looking for churches and festivals. Looking for civic and community groups. From there, whenever big events come into town, then you can sell on the streets. Anything hits the news, you take your message, put it on a t-shirt. Put it on the street."

Soapbox Che PacBy 2006, he had the seed money, found a location on Williams Ave., and opened Screw Loose Studio.

Little did he know, he was about to meet his future wife and add a new dimension to his business.

The couple met that year and within six months, began working together.

"It helps out in many ways," says Cleo. "On the business side of things, you have an actual partner with creativity and vision also. It helps out a lot because you always have resources to pull from."

The partnership also allows Kayin to work mostly from home.

"When I was younger I wanted to have my own business so I could work from home and stay home with any children I had," she says.

Now, the team is building its brand not just locally, but across the country.

Kayin gets most of her business from larger cities with larger Black populations but her clients are as diverse as her products.

"Kids are drawn to all the kid's stuff because they're bright cheerful colors," she says. "When something has a message—when something is positive—people are drawn to that positivity."

Unlike his wife, most of Cleo's business is done locally. He gets some customers from Washington and California too but most people hear about his shop through word of mouth.

Soapbox superheroesDuring a talk with this interviewer, a customer from Grant High stopped by to tell Cleo that a shoe design made one of the school's coaches cry. He smiles, thinking about the moment.

"We've had a lot of cases where people come back or when they come in, they give us a big hug," he says. "That's what gives you a lot of business. You don't have to pound the pavement and advertise like crazy. You do good work, it speaks for itself and other people will speak for it."

Screw Loose Studio is located on 3940 N. Williams Ave. Appointments are appreciated but not necessary. For more information on Soapbox Theory, go to soapboxtheory.com or call 503-943-9560. For more information on Screw Loose Studio, go to screwloosestudio.com or call 503-546-9727.

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