09-20-2019  2:05 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

New Treasurer Steps In At Multnomah Dems

Self-described ‘boring guy’ Dean Price steps in amid party tensions

Governor's Lawyer Declines Court Nod Amid Uproar

Misha Isaak has declined his appointment by Gov. Kate Brown to the Court of Appeals after the state's public records advocate accused him of unethical behavior

Resignation of Oregon Public Records Advocate Stirs Doubts

Ginger McCall says Brown's general counsel pressured her to secretly advocate for governor's office

NEWS BRIEFS

Johnell Bell Named to National Small Business Leadership Council

Portland small business owner joins National Economic Development Association ...

Buffalo Soldier Dedication to Be Held at Fort Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 21

The installation will be the first African-American memorial in the city of Vancouver ...

Africa-America Institute Set to Honor Angola, New York Times Magazine, and Netflix Film During 35th Annual Awards Gala

New York City’s premiere Africa event takes place during the week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session. ...

YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

Portland students join global climate protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of students demanding action on the global climate crisis walked out of class in Portland, Oregon, part of global protests that stretched from Australia to South America.KOIN reports that students rallied Friday outside City Hall, making demands of Mayor Ted...

Prosecutors say key witness lied in motorcycle gang trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a judge in Las Vegas to throw out the testimony of a key witness in a federal racketeering trial after they say he lied on the witness stand.The trial stems from a 2011 shootout that killed a rival Hells Angels leader in a northern Nevada...

South Carolina tries to keep success against Missouri going

The only player on the Missouri roster who knows what it's like to beat South Carolina is Kelly Bryant, and the quarterback transfer didn't even accomplish the feat with the Tigers.He did it two years ago while playing for Clemson.The Tigers, who welcome South Carolina to Faurot Field for their SEC...

SEC building some of the top defenses in college football

While defenses are still a work in progress around the Southeastern Conference, they still rank as some of the best in college football.Florida leads the nation with 16 sacks, including 10 in the opener against rival Miami. Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia combined to shut out overmatched opponents...

OPINION

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Judge refuses to toss Coast Guard officer's gun charges

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday refused to dismiss gun charges against a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of being a domestic terrorist who stockpiled weapons and drafted a hit list of prominent Democrats and TV journalists.U.S. District Judge George Hazel rejected defense...

Feds: Virginia man facing weapons charges is a neo-Nazi

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Authorities say a northern Virginia man arrested this week on gun charges is a neo-Nazi who has bragged about committing racially motivated violence.At a detention hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria, an FBI agent testified that 21-year-old Andrew Thomasberg...

2 Muslims accuse American Airlines of religious profiling

DALLAS (AP) — Two Texas men who are Muslim say they were profiled when their American Airlines flight was canceled after crew members felt uncomfortable because the men waved to each other.Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh and Issam Abdallah say they have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Galifianakis and Aukerman on 'Between 2 Ferns: The Movie'

NEW YORK (AP) — Some Netflix titles involve anguished discussion over whether the movie will also get a substantial theatrical release. This was not the case for "Between Two Ferns: The Movie.""Netflix was like: Do we even want to put this on our platform? Maybe it should be a ringtone,"...

'Game of Thrones,' 'Veep' make last Emmy Awards stand

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Game of Thrones" has dominated the Emmy Awards with the formidable power of, say, your average fearsome, flame-belching dragon. Same goes for "Veep," but picture a cutthroat politician instead.The drama and comedy series are among the front-runners for Sunday's ceremony...

'House Hunters' host Suzanne Whang dies at 57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Suzanne Whang, whose smooth, calm voice provided the narration for HGTV's "House Hunters" for years, has died. She was 57.Her Tuesday death was confirmed Friday by her longtime agent, Eddie Culbertson. Whang first gained fame as the on-screen host of the show, where...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

It's no joke: women rule the Emmy comedy series category

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When the winner of the best comedy series Emmy Award is announced Sunday, odds are good...

Facebook says it has suspended 'tens of thousands' of apps

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook said Friday that it has suspended "tens of thousands" of apps made by about...

Revelers reach gates of Area 51 then peacefully rejoin party

HIKO, Nev. (AP) — Hundreds of curious Earthlings from around the world traveled to the secret Area 51...

Greek island refugee camp too crowded to house newcomers

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A perpetually overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos can't...

Hurricane Lorena nears Mexico's resort-studded Los Cabos

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Lorena neared Mexico's resort-studded Los Cabos area Friday as...

Cubans wait hours in gas lines as fuel crisis bites

HAVANA (AP) — A fuel shortage blamed on the Trump Administration has turned filling a tank in Cuba into an...

McMenamins
Jay Alabaster the Associated Press

ISHINOMAKI, Japan (AP) -- When water begins to trickle down the streets of her coastal neighborhood, Yoshiko Takahashi knows it is time to hurry home.

Twice a day, the flow steadily increases until it is knee-deep, carrying fish and debris by her front door and trapping people in their homes. Those still on the streets slosh through the sea water in rubber boots or on bicycle.

"I look out the window, and it's like our houses are in the middle of the ocean," says Takahashi, who moved in three years ago.

The March 11 earthquake that hit eastern Japan was so powerful it pulled the entire country out and down into the sea. The mostly devastated coastal communities now face regular flooding, because of their lower elevation and damage to sea walls from the massive tsunamis triggered by the quake.

In port cities such as Onagawa and Kesennuma, the tide flows in and out among crumpled homes and warehouses along now uninhabited streets.

A cluster of neighborhoods in Ishinomaki city is rare in that it escaped tsunami damage through fortuitous geography. So, many residents still live in their homes, and they now face a daily trial: The area floods at high tide, and the normally sleepy streets turn frantic as residents rush home before the water rises too high.

"I just try to get all my shopping and chores done by 3 p.m.," says Takuya Kondo, 32, who lives with his family in his childhood home.

Most houses sit above the water's reach, but travel by car becomes impossible and the sewage system swamps, rendering toilets unusable.

Scientists say the new conditions are permanent.

Japan's northern half sits on the North American tectonic plate. The Pacific plate, which is mostly undersea, normally slides under this plate, slowly nudging the country west. But in the earthquake, the fault line between the two plates ruptured, and the North American plate slid up and out along the Pacific plate.

The rising edge of plate caused the sea floor off Japan's eastern coast to bulge up - one measuring station run by Tohoku University reported an underwater rise of 16 feet (5 meters) - creating the tsunami that devastated the coast. The portion of the plate under Japan was pulled lower as it slid toward the ocean, which caused a corresponding plunge in elevation under the country.

Some areas in Ishinomaki moved southeast 17 feet (5.3 meters) and sank 4 feet (1.2 meters) lower.

"We thought this slippage would happen gradually, bit by bit. We didn't expect it to happen all at once," says Testuro Imakiire, a researcher at Japan's Geospatial Information Authority, the government body in charge of mapping and surveys.

Imakiire says the quake was powerful enough to move the entire country, the first time this has been recorded since measurements began in the late 19th century. In Tokyo, 210 miles (340 kilometers) from Ishinomaki, parts of the city moved 9 inches (24 centimeters) seaward.

The drop lower was most pronounced around Ishinomaki, the area closest to the epicenter. The effects are apparent: Manholes, supported by underground piping, jut out of streets that fell around them. Telephone poles sank even farther, leaving wires at head height.

As surrounding areas clear rubble and make plans to rebuild, residents in this section of Ishinomaki are stuck in limbo - their homes are mostly undamaged and ineligible for major insurance claims or government compensation, but twice a day the tide swamps their streets.

"We can't really complain, because other people lost so much," says Yuichiro Mogi, 43, as his daughters examine a dead blowfish floating near his curb.

The earthquake and tsunami left more than 25,000 people either dead or missing, and many more lost their homes and possessions.

Mogi noticed that the daily floods were slowly carrying away the dirt foundation of his house, and built a small embankment of sandbags to keep the water at bay. The shipping company worker moved here 10 years ago, because he got a good deal on enough land to build a home with a spacious front lawn, where he lives with his four children and wife.

Most of the residences in the area are relatively new.

"Everyone here still has housing loans they have to pay, and you can't give away this land, let alone sell it," says Seietsu Sasaki, 57, who also has to pay off loans on two cars ruined in the flooding.

Sasaki, who moved in 12 years ago with his extended family, says he hopes the government can build flood walls to protect the neighborhood. He never paid much attention to the tides in the past, but now checks the newspaper for peak times each morning.

Officials have begun work on some embankments, but with much of the city devastated, resources are tight. Major construction projects to raise the roads were completed before the tsunami, but much of that work was negated when the ground below them sank.

The constant flooding means that construction crews can only work in short bursts, and electricity and running water were restored only about two weeks ago. The area still doesn't have gas for hot water, and residents go to evacuee shelters to bathe.

"We get a lot of requests to build up these areas, but we don't really have the budget right now," says Kiyoshi Koizumi, a manager in Ishinomaki's roads and infrastructure division.

Sasaki says he hopes they work something out soon: Japan's heavy summer rains begin in about a month, and the higher tides in autumn will rise well above the floor of his house.

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