07-19-2024  9:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

SneakerWeek 2024 Launches in Pioneer Courthouse Square July 26

The event brings together industry experts, BIPOC designers and sneaker enthusiasts.

Money From Washington's Landmark Climate Law Will Help Tribes Face Rising Seas, Climate Change

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. The Quinault Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula is getting million to help relocate its two main villages to higher ground, away from the tsunami zone and persistent flooding.

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Merkley, Senators Urge VA to Expand Access to Medical Cannabis for America’s Veterans

Senators’ letter follows DEA’s recommended rescheduling of cannabis from earlier this year ...

Federal Appeals Court Declines to Restore Voting Rights in Mississippi

Thousands of Mississippians Face “Especially Cruel” Disenfranchisement Scheme ...

Draft of Statewide Wildfire Hazard Map Mandated by Legislature Released

The Oregon Department of Forestry today released drafts of new statewide wildfire hazard and wildland-urban interface maps developed...

Southwest Washington's Lemonade Day Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Named by the Greater Vancouver Chamber

Tatum Talbert was recognized for her exceptional achievement and creativity in the GVC’s 2024 Lemonade Day program. ...

Oscar Arana Selected as NAYA's Permanent CEO

The NAYA Family Center Board of Directors selected Oscar Arana (Chichimeca) as the organization's...

Seattle police officer fired over ‘vile’ comments after death of Indian woman

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer has been fired for making callous remarks about the death of a graduate student from India after she was struck last year by another officer’s vehicle in a crosswalk. Seattle interim police Chief Sue Rahr fired Officer Daniel Auderer on...

Oregon authorities recover body of award-winning chef who drowned in river accident

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities said Wednesday that they have recovered the body of award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy following her drowning in a river accident. The Benton County Sheriff's Office said it located her body Wednesday morning in the Willamette River between...

Chiefs set deadline of 6 months to decide whether to renovate Arrowhead or build new — and where

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs have set a deadline of six months from now to decide on a plan for the future of Arrowhead Stadium, whether that means renovating their iconic home or building an entirely new stadium in Kansas or Missouri. After a joint ballot initiative with the...

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...

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

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state's history. Their efforts in Coloma, a...

Legal fight continues with appeals over proposed immigration initiative for Arizona Nov. 5 ballot

PHOENIX (AP) — The fight to keep a proposed border initiative off Arizona’s Nov. 5 ballot is not over yet. Immigrant advocates kept the issue alive this week by filing notice to the state Supreme Court that they will appeal the judge’s ruling. A Maricopa County...

What Usha Vance's rise to prominence means to other South Asian and Hindu Americans

Usha Chilukuri Vance, entered the spotlight this week as the wife of JD Vance, former President Donald Trump's running mate in the 2024 presidential election. Her rise comes at a time when, across the aisle, there's another prominent figure of South Asian descent: Vice President...

ENTERTAINMENT

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....

Canadian officer says Alice Munro claimed her daughter was lying about being abused by stepfather

TORONTO (AP) — A retired police detective involved in the arrest 20 years ago of the husband of Canadian Nobel laureate Alice Munro, said Friday he was disturbed by the writer's reaction 20 years ago when she learned her husband would be charged for sexually assaulting her daughter. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

From a media perspective, it was a tale of two Trump speeches — and long enough for both

From a media perspective, Donald Trump failed to stick the landing at the Republican convention that nominated him...

Tiger Woods ends his season by missing the cut in the British Open

TROON, Scotland (AP) — Tiger Woods tied a personal record in the British Open on Friday, one he could have done...

Injured and locked-out fans file first lawsuits over Copa America stampede and melee

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The first lawsuits have been filed in connection with last weekend's melees that...

How Russia’s espionage case against Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich unfolded

Here are key developments in Russia’s case against Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was...

Nigeria fines Meta 0 million for violating data protection and consumer rights laws

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's government on Friday announced a fine of 0 million on Meta, saying its...

Italian judge orders a journalist to pay 5,000 euros in damages for making fun of Meloni's height

ROME (AP) — A judge in Milan has ordered an Italian journalist to pay 5,000 euros (nearly ,500) in damages to...

Robert Samuels, Miami Herald

MIAMI (AP) - The phone calls clamored in from Miami, Europe and Australia to the line of a tiny office near Perez's Produce and Pig Farm.
Is it true? they asked the receptionist. Do you have really have Bubbles, Michael Jackson's old chimpanzee, there in ... how do you pronounce the name of that town?
Yes it's true. Bubbles -- Jackson's beloved chimp, the primate skeptics used as telltale sign of the pop star's eccentricity, the darling face in the video -- had long left Neverland. And he's retired in an ape sanctuary in the middle of Florida.
To understand the long reach of a single sequined glove, a parable exists about 200 miles northwest of Miami off of U.S. 27 at the Center of Great Apes. Bubbles has lived here alongside 41 other aging chimpanzees and orangutans for four years, with virtually no one squealing about it. That was until two weeks ago, when his megafamous owner confounded the world and suddenly died of cardiac arrest.
A place that averages three media requests a year soon received dozens in days. For the first time, they needed a publicist. The media kept badgering with similar, strange questions: Does Bubbles still moonwalk? Does he know the King of Pop is dead? And, most important, can we go see him?
Founder and director Patti Ragan told the vast majority of them no, fearing a tranquil locale -- not open to the public, it is a sanctuary after all -- would be transformed to some media zoo that conflicted its actual purpose.
Here, Bubbles the Chimp got the life his owner coveted for himself: a chance to live outside the public eye.
He is 26 years old now, around four feet tall, a pudgy 165 pounds. The chimp who dined with Liz Taylor and sat in the very studio while the “Badâ€" album was being recorded now spends his days in a 35-foot-high, 35 feet wide, 90-foot-long enclosure with his new, hairier family: Sam, Oopsie, Boma, Jessie, Kodua and the baby, Bobby Stryker.
Some days, he likes to climb to the top of his futuristic cage and sit alone. Up high, he stares into the distance.
“He's a very dignified chimp,'' Ragan said at the center's office. ``Everyone knows him as the pink-eared, pink-faced chimp in the red suit. But the world has missed his adolescence and adulthood. He's not the same.''
The tiny office is barely a dot on the lush, 120-acre property, where treetops overshadow treetops. The apes all live in large geodesic domes that connect to 4,000 feet of elevated tunnels, allowing them to peer into the kitchen where a cook prepares food, mosey into the veterinarian's center when they seek treatment, or gossip over a creek that runs through the property.
Ragan jumped into a slow-moving cart. Tracing along a path she rides several times a day, she's serenaded by the whoop of the woodpecker and the howl of the orangutan.
``Hi, Sweetheart,'' she calls to him in a high-pitched voice. ``How's my boy?''
Bubbles stands on his knuckles and turns his neck to see her. His pouts his upturned lips. The broad face is the same as always. His hair is unkempt, with a touch of gray. Taking a few ginger steps, he gently nods his head toward Ragan.
His new family can relate to him. Save for baby Bobby, they, too, are also former child stars. One was in the most recent version of Planet of the Apes. Another was in a popular Career Builder commercial. Ragan dubs them ``The Hollywood Chimps.''
When they argue, it's bitter. They squeal, poke, yell at one another, take sides. In seconds, they hug and make up.
While the others blow kisses, stomp and puff their chests, Bubbles stares and nods.
He is the sensitive one. He rarely starts a fight. If one occurs, he defers to Sam, a 40-year-old and oldest male of the group, to help quell the differences.
No one's ever seen Bubbles moonwalk -- they don't know if he still can. The chimpanzees love watching DVDs -- but Bubbles is never shown the ``Dangerous'' tour in Bucharest or the Leave Me Alone video, where he is seen riding an amusement park model plane with Jackson. The Chimps are more Jane Goodall buffs.
``Bubbles was obviously a well-loved chimp,'' Ragan said. ``It is obvious that Michael Jackson took good care of him ... But it's hard to say whether he inherited anything from Michael.''
Except for one thing: If someone raises a camera, he'll turn and walk away.
Like most chimps, Bubbles' rendezvous with fame was short. After they pass the age of 7, they grow too strong and too independent to be cajoled into performing tricks for treats.
They suffer the fall of a young celebrity whose gimmick goes stale. They become sideshow acts in unaccredited zoos or tools for breeders. And as the public becomes fascinated with newer, younger chimps, older ones can be left to endure invasive tests in the name of scientific query.
Apes at this sanctuary aren't used for research. The females are given Depo-Provera and the males receive vasectomies to prevent breeding. There are no indignities like species-bending outfits, cameras or pies in the face. There are just stuffed peppers with peanuts and cinnamon and socialization into a new group of primates just like them.
It's not always easy or consistent. Sometimes those animals will meld well, playing and laughing and giggling with others and then -- Ragan can see it -- they have this existential moment when they wonder, just how did life get to this?
Staff has never seen Bubbles in that crisis. He was about 3 years old when he left a cancer research lab and was given to the King of Pop. He had some small roles in commercials and television shows, but was mostly known as socialite -- traveling with the star to Japan and hobnobbing with Quincy Jones, Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli and others.
When Jackson's children came along, he gave Bubbles -- by then, a teenager -- to Hollywood trainer Bob Dunn. In 2004, Dunn stopped training apes and donated the Hollywood Chimps to the west-central Florida sanctuary, one of 10 in North America.
Ragan, a Miami native, founded the nonprofit in 1993 after acting as foster parent to an orangutan who had a sick mom. Through the work, she became concerned about how showbiz apes live out the next 30 years of their lives. She searched throughout Florida for the perfect spot for the sanctuary before deciding on rural Wauchula.
The citrus groves, cow pastures and sweet air of the countryside give way to a tiny downtown, where country music is played through city-owned speakers on Main Street. This week, signs planted on green spaces advertised foreclosure relief and an upcoming concealed weapons class. The businesses are just starting to put up lettering indicating ``Se Habla Espanol.''
The last time anyone could remember anyone on national television invoking the name of this 4,000-person city was in 1981, when two families discovered that a nearby hospital had mistakenly swapped their babies. Last week, the city found themselves being talked about on Anderson Cooper, The Today Show and The Colbert Report, courtesy of a resident most will never see.
``I didn't even remember he was even here until I saw him on TV,'' said Amye Mitchell, a 34-year-old, sixth-generation Wauchula resident and local waitress. ``I thought how this is great publicity for us. It put some attention on a small-town ... Most people don't even know where Wauchula's at. Or how to spell it.''
When he arrived, Bubbles was undoubtedly the chimp with the highest profile. The center downplayed it. Until two weeks, Bubbles' biography only said that he was once in a music video.
In 2006, Richard Shepard, the local emergency management director, was taking a tour around the center when Ragan introduced them.
``Is that the Bubbles?''
``Yes,'' she said.
``It's sort of a well-kept secret here,'' Shepard recalled. ``I bet six in 10 people in Wauchula don't know he's here.''
The day 31 million people stopped their daily routines to watch Michael Jackson's memorial service on television, Bubbles -- who is an ape, not a monkey -- sat atop his balcony.
Bobby Stryker, the baby 5-year-old chimp with a white tuft on his back, climbed to sit with him. Then, he poked him. Bubbles tickled back, turning him around in a large red plastic bowl made of discarded parts of an old McDonald's Playland.
Ragan hasn't attempted to let Bubbles know that Michael Jackson, who had not seen the chimp in at least six years, has died.
``How do you expect me to explain it?'' Ragan said. 'I'm not sure if he would recognize the words 'Michael Jackson.' I'm sure it was a big part of his life when he was little because he got experiences most chimps don't get to have. But this was only a fifth of his life.''