12-09-2019  6:30 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Portland police release names in officer shooting of man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police have released the name of the officer who shot and killed a man Sunday afternoon outside a coffee shop on Portland's southeast side. The Portland Police Bureau said Monday that Officer Justin Raphael shot the man while Officer Daniel Leonard used less lethal...

Feds agree to review grizzly protections in contiguous US

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal officials will review whether enough is being done to protect grizzly bears in the contiguous U.S. states after environmentalists sued the government to try to restore the fearsome animals to more areas, according to a court settlement approved Monday.The...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

AP Source: Mizzou hiring Appalachian State's Eli Drinkwitz

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri reached an agreement Sunday with Eliah Drinkwitz to take over the Tigers' once-proud football program, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, making Appalachian State's successful coach the second-youngest in a Power Five...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Jury selection starts for trial in college student's killing

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — Jury selection began Monday for the trial of a white man charged with a hate crime in the fatal stabbing of a black college student on the University of Maryland’s campus.Jurors are expected to hear opening statements for Sean Urbanski’s trial later...

Nevada third to vote, still up for grabs for 2020 Democrats

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada won its coveted early date in the presidential primary because it was supposed to offer Democrats something different.It’s more racially diverse than the two states that weigh in earlier, Iowa and New Hampshire. Its population is young, working class, largely...

Black church believed to be oldest in US finishes repairs

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A 160-year-old church believed to be the oldest black church in the United States and built by enslaved Africans has been restored to a version of its former glory.A fresh coat of paint covers the freshly carpeted First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, which...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Benson,’ ‘Star Trek’ actor René Auberjonois has died at 79

LOS ANGELES (AP) — René Auberjonois, a prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his part in the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” playing Father Mulcahy, has died. He was 79. The actor died...

Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO

NEW YORK (AP) — The Golden Globe TV nominations were most striking not for what they included, but what they didn't: The traditional broadcast networks were completely shut out in all 55 nominations.It was a crowning moment for Netflix, and not just for the jeweled one on Queen Elizabeth's...

Golden snubs and surprises, including little 'Cats' love

NEW YORK (AP) — Some Golden Globe nominations seemed like locks: Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hanks, Adam Driver and Eddie Murphy. But others were shocks, like Lupita Nyong'o not getting a nomination for “Us.” Other notable snubs and surprises:MEN ONLYOnly men made the best director...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Strasburg, Nationals reach record 5M, 7-year deal

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Stephen Strasburg is returning to Washington with a record contract, and fellow free agent...

George Laurer, inventor of ubiquitous UPC, dies at 94

WENDELL, N.C. (AP) — George J. Laurer, whose invention of the Universal Product Code at IBM transformed...

Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO

NEW YORK (AP) — The Golden Globe TV nominations were most striking not for what they included, but what...

China claims everyone in Xinjiang camps has 'graduated'

BEIJING (AP) — People who were at vocational training centers in China's far west Xinjiang have all...

Michelle Obama promotes girls education in Vietnam school

LONG AN, Vietnam (AP) — Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at a school in southern...

Intl journalist group: fewer media staff killed this year

BRUSSELS (AP) — Deaths among journalists killed in the line of duty are lower this year, but a journalism...

McMenamins
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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