05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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According to a 2011 AARP study, nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to live in their homes as they age.

But, health issues, the loss of mobility and the need for help with home maintenance can threaten that independence.

Throughout the Portland area, there are seven virtual retirement villages in development that will enable people to age in their own homes with the help of an online network.

The Skanner News spoke with Patt Opdyke and Margaret Baldwin who are creating villages in the Portland area. Opdyke spearheads the North Star Village which serves neighborhoods in North Portland, the city of Linnton, Forest Park and Sauvie Island. Baldwin organizes the Northeast Village PDX, which covers neighborhoods north of the Banfield expressway, from the Concordia neighborhood to 122nd avenue.

They said older people will need help with “honey-do” tasks such as flipping mattresses or climbing ladders to change light bulbs or clean gutters.

“It's those little tasks that, if a person can't do them, life can become difficult. But if you have someone doing them, then you can remain living independently very comfortably,” Opdyke said.

The village movement was created so seniors could have access to help without giving up their independence by living in a nursing facility. In a virtual retirement village, services are brought to the elderly in their homes. Villages are networks that connect seniors with community resources, home health care agencies and volunteers.

Baldwin said this model is more efficient and cost effective because it connects seniors only to services they need instead of paying for full retirement care.

“It’s a much less expensive option than going to a retirement community where all of these services would be available, but it is very expensive,” Baldwin said. The Genworth Financial company estimates the median price of assisted living care in Oregon to be $46,560 per year.

The first virtual retirement village was started in 2002 in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. Since then, over 150 more villages have established themselves and there are 120 more in development worldwide.

Each village is a grassroots effort; the structure is based on the needs of the communities it serves. The villages in North and Northeast Portland are planning to have a network of social service and home health care agencies, strategic partnerships with neighborhood organizations and social and cultural activities.

There are also plans for a vetted vendor program that reviews and approves licensed contractors who perform home maintenance. Opdyke and Baldwin said it is important to verify services so seniors can feel safe opening their doors without being scammed or sold unnecessary upgrades.

Both Baldwin and Opdyke said that transportation was the biggest need for seniors who want to remain living in their homes. Some villages hire drivers, others rely on volunteers.

Opdyke said the social membership is one of the most important parts of the village. In other communities there are potlucks, social events, book clubs and exercise groups. She believes having a community keeps people feeling engaged.

“People build this tight-knit group and people feel like they belong, they feel like there is still something to wake up to in the morning to look forward to,” Opdyke said. “That is just as powerful if not more powerful than probably anything else that we could provide.”

Most villages are yearly membership organizations. The developing villages are still figuring out their due. Opdyke and Baldwin are looking at Eastside Village in Southeast Portland which is launching next month.

Eastside Village charges $500 for a single person or $740 for a couple each year. There is also a reduced charge for people who want only a social membership.

Baldwin said the biggest challenge in developing the village is marketing. She wants to reach people who are older than 65 years old who may not be using the internet. It is a challenge to describe a virtual village when most people think of a brick and mortar building, she said.

 She also wants to be able to reach the diverse racial and ethnic groups in Northeast Portland, so their needs are included in the growing community.

A large appeal of aging in place is the idea that both the younger generations and older generations benefit from living in a multi-generational neighborhood.

“I think that we oldsters have something to offer our neighborhoods, I think that by us staying in our neighborhoods, on our blocks, and shopping at our local stores -- we have something to offer here, we bring something to this whole fabric of our society,” Opdyke said.


For more information on the Northeast Village PDX email nevillagepdx@gmail.com or call 503-895-2750.

For more information on the North Star Village email northstarvillage@comcast.net or call 503-978-0540.

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