11-28-2022  4:20 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Science of Lullabies: Portland Music Educator Gathers Songs of Soothing from Around the World

Licia Claire Seaman’s new book shares stories, neurobiology and music. 

The KKK in Oregon: Same Wine, Different Bottle

Oregon and the Klan: Guest Column: The tactics and rhetoric deployed by today’s Trump-centric conservative movement read like the playbook of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago.

Sheriff, Group Sue to Block Strict Oregon Gun Control Law

An Oregon gun rights group and a county sheriff have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a voter-approved ballot measure, saying it violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

Environmental Groups Oppose Pipeline Expansion in Pacific NW

The U.S. government has taken a step toward approving the expansion of a natural gas pipeline in the Pacific Northwest, but environmentalists and the attorneys general of Oregon, California and Washington states warn that allowing fracking will increases emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas implicated in climate change

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Faces Snow-Plow Driver Shortage Heading Into Winter

New federal licensing rules for drivers resulted in longer wait times to obtain a commercial driver's license, which contributed to...

Air Pollution Monitoring to Increase for Oregon Communities

Two of Oregon’s most economically disadvantaged and racially diverse communities are getting a boost in their fight against air...

Georgia High Court Reinstates Ban on Abortions After 6 Weeks

The high court put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while it considers an appeal. Abortion providers who had resumed...

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Pose Ongoing Concern to Health of Youth in Los Angeles County, Report from Public Health Shows

Excess consumption of added sugars contributes to the high prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity, and increases the risk for...

Local police say 2 other stabbings, Idaho killings unrelated

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Almost two weeks after four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in their rooms, local police and federal agents continue to follow leads, but said they have ruled out any connection to two other stabbings in the Pacific Northwest. “There have...

Winter storm to bring heavy snow to mountains

SEATTLE (AP) — The National Weather Service urged holiday travelers to heed their warnings about a winter storm that was expected to bring snow to the mountain passes starting Saturday night and could drop snow on the metro areas by Sunday into next week. “Heavy mountain snow is...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Buffalo gunman pleads guilty in racist supermarket massacre

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The white gunman who massacred 10 Black shoppers and workers at a Buffalo supermarket pleaded guilty Monday to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges, guaranteeing he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Payton Gendron, 19, entered the plea Monday in...

Georgia runoff: Early voting for Warnock-Walker round 2

ATLANTA (AP) — In-person early voting for the last U.S. Senate seat is underway statewide in Georgia's runoff, with Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock working to get the jump on Republican challenger Herschel Walker who is putting less emphasis on advance balloting. After winning a...

Pence calls on Trump to apologize for dinner with antisemite

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence on Monday said Donald Trump “demonstrated profoundly poor judgment” and called on him to apologize after the former president had dinner last week with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West days after...

ENTERTAINMENT

NYPD: No known threats to Macy's parade, but tight security

NEW YORK (AP) — New York is planning tight security around the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the wake of mass shootings elsewhere in the U.S., police said Wednesday, while stressing that there's no known, credible threat to the famed event itself. The holiday tradition, which...

New musical brings high-energy world of K-pop to Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — There are some familiar storylines in a new musical opening on Broadway — a singer and her relationship with the mentor who guided her; a newcomer trying to find his place; young women chasing their dreams. But they've never sounded quite like this. ...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 4-10

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 4-10: Dec. 4: Game show host Wink Martindale is 89. Singer Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon is 86. Actor-producer-director Max Baer Junior (“The Beverly Hillbillies”) is 85. Bassist Bob Mosley of Moby Grape is 80. Singer-bassist Chris Hillman...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

McCarthy's pursuit of speaker's gavel comes at a high cost

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is in the fight of his political life, grinding through the...

14 years later, NATO is set to renew its vow to Ukraine

BUCHAREST (AP) — NATO returns on Tuesday to the scene of one of its most controversial decisions, intent on...

Lull in Russian attacks against Ukraine energy, aid pledged

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia held back Monday from launching a new round of strikes that have been expected...

Poles vent anger at leader over his policies, ideas on women

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Some 300 demonstrators gathered Monday outside the house of Poland’s ruling party leader...

New arrest warrant issued for McCann suspect in other cases

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities in Germany said Monday they have issued a new arrest warrant in separate cases for a...

Ex-president of Comoros convicted of selling passports

PARIS (AP) — A court in the Indian Ocean island of Comoros sentenced former President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi on...

Lois Beckett of Propublica

With housing prices dropping sharply, and foreclosure filings against more than 1 million properties in the first half of this year, the Obama administration is scrambling for ways to help homeowners.

One place they won't be looking: an estimated $30 billion from the bailout that was slated to help homeowners but is likely to remain unspent. Instead, Congress has mandated that the leftover money be used to pay down the debt.



Of the $45.6 billion in Trouble Asset Relief Program funds meant to aid homeowners, the most recent numbers available show that only about $2 billion has actually gone out the door.

The low number reflects how little the government's home loan modification and other programs have actually helped homeowners deal with the foreclosure crisis.

The programs have been marked by poor oversight and consistent under-enrollment. Homeowners have been forced to navigate an often bewildering maze at banks marked by slow communication, lost documents and other mistakes.

The amount of money spent is also low because the government pays out its incentive over a number of years. As of July, according to a Treasury spokeswoman, the government is on track to eventually spend $7.2 billion helping homeowners enrolled in its main loan modification program. That number doesn't factor in other homeowners who may enter the program before it ends in December 2012, but it does assume that all homeowners currently in the program will be able to continue making payments.

In November, the Congressional Budget Office lowered their estimate of the total amount of money the government would spend on its foreclosure relief programs from $22 billion to $12 billion. (The New York Times reported today that the government has "spent or pledged" $22.9 billion of the TARP money so far, a figure that's dramatically higher than ours and that the Treasury spokeswoman said was the Times' own number.)

According to the original TARP legislation, unused funds should be returned to the Treasury and used to reduce the debt. While Congress has the power to re-route those funds into new programs, Republicans seem unlikely to endorse such a plan.

An Obama administration statement noted that they were continuing to look for ways to "ease the burden on struggling homeowners" through new proposals and reconsidering old ones.

The other ideas the administration is looking at have received mixed reviews. Among them: turning foreclosed homes into rental properties or allowing homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today's lower interest rates, an old idea that may not actually help a large new segment of homeowners.

"We have no plans to announce any major new initiatives at this time," the statement noted.
PHOTO: Foreclosed home in Salinas California, by Nick Anfinsen

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