04-26-2018  6:41 am      •     
The Skanner Report

Northwest News

Despite a court ruling, the agency is seeking to change its ways

A new Oregon Department of Transportation database will help the agency to better monitor the inclusion of minority- and women-owned subcontractors in its construction and maintenance projects — but not in the way the agency originally intended.
A recent decision by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down "hard" diversity contracting targets means the agency can no longer set definite goals for hiring minority- and women-owned businesses, said Michael A. Cobb, manager of ODOT's Office of Civil Rights.

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Classes for young mothers seek to reverse infant mortality trends

When it comes to birthing a healthy baby, 15-year-old Darkeesha Rasheed is discovering that it takes a whole lot of help. She's receiving that help from all the women in her Healthy Birth Initiative Class.
Even Rasheed's mother, Anna Polk, who has eight children of her own and is accompanying her daughter to the monthly Healthy Birth Initiative meetings, is learning a few things.


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A better life for Portlanders of color is goal of Sept. 16 summit

Religious and community leaders will try to determine what is needed to improve civil rights for Portland residents and throughout the state during a daylong community discussion sponsored by the Portland and Portland State University branches of the NAACP.
Called "Project Portland," the discussion will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, in the Moriarty Arts Building Auditorium at Portland Community College's Cascade Campus.


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Jared Spencer, an employee in Mayor Tom Potter's office, pauses to listen to the bagpipes at the end of Monday's commemoration of the Sept. 11 attacks in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Photo by Julie Keefe


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Achievement gaps linger, particularly in reading and writing

Seattle students have exceeded or come close to state levels in nearly all subjects and grade levels tested, according to results from the 2006 Washington Assessment of Student Learning.
"Once again, I am especially pleased to see that our students are progressing and closing the achievement gap in reading. While unacceptable gaps between students of color and White students still exist, I am confident that we will continue to narrow, and eventually close, those gaps," said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Raj Manhas.
The strongest improvements came in reading and writing. In reading, 80.2 percent of fourth-grade students met or exceeded the standard. In addition, 59.2 percent of seventh-grade and 81.9 percent of 10th-grade students met the standard.


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RENTON—The results of this year's Washington Assessment of Student Learning show on paper a problem the superintendent of public instruction says has been torturing her for a long time: Only about half of the state's students have mastered mathematics.
A bright spot: students in minority groups are closing the achievement gap in writing and reading, but they, too, are not making much progress in math.


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C.J. Thompson, right foreground, and his Rhythm Band entertain the crowd at the Casey Family Programs Community Barbeque, held Sept. 9 at the organization's offices on 23rd Avenue. The event celebrated 40 years of providing foster care programs.


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"Battle in Seattle," about the 1999 uproar, starts production next month

Filming is set to begin next month on a movie about the anti-globalization protests that erupted in Seattle in 1999.
"Battle in Seattle" was written and will be directed by Irish actor Stuart Townsend, who has cast girlfriend and Academy Award winner Charlize Theron as a pregnant bystander who loses her baby in the WTO riots.
"It's going to be the next 'Sleepless in Seattle,' " said James Keblas, head of Seattle City Hall's film office. "Once you capture a star like Charlize Theron, you are instantly a big picture."


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Mechanics with Waste Management Inc. agree to terms with owners

A federal mediator helped to negotiate a tentative settlement to end a strike against a major garbage hauler after union leaders threatened a much larger walkout Monday, a company spokesman said.
Picket lines came down Monday morning, garbage trucks were rolling again, and Dan Scott, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 174, said 35 to 45 mechanics employed by Waste Management Inc. of Houston would vote on ratification at a meeting Tuesday night.


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Macceo Pettis discusses concepts of nonviolent resistance with Ashley Sider Sept. 12 at a Northwest Interfaith Peace Gathering at Alberta Park. After inspirational speeches reflecting on the works of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., attendees broke into groups of two to discuss solving problems in a nonviolent way.


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