09-22-2020  5:15 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

Enormous California wildfire threatens desert homes near LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An enormous wildfire that churned through mountains northeast of Los Angeles and into the Mojave Desert was still threatening homes on Monday and was one of more than two dozen major fires burning across California. Five of the largest wildfires in state history are...

Wildfire death toll in Oregon increases to nine

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The number of fatalities from Oregon’s recent wildfires has increased to nine people, the state's Office of Emergency Management confirmed Monday.Fires continued to rage across the West Coast Monday. The Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service reported Monday...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

SPLC Statement on the Passing of Rev. Robert S. Graetz Jr.

Graetz was the only white clergyman to publicly support the Montgomery Bus Boycott ...

Tell Your Senators: “Let the People Decide”

Just 45 days before Election Day, voters like you should have a say in choosing our next Supreme Court justice ...

Inventor Urges Congress to Pass Laws Upholding Patent Rights

German Supreme Court ruling prevents African American company Enovsys from licensing its widely used technology in Germany ...

The Extraordinary BIPOC Coalition Support Measure 110

Coming together to change the systemic racism of the failed approach to drugs and addiction ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Assaults, arson, slurs: Report finds anti-Semitism in Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — Small square brass plates set in the pavement remember Jewish residents of Berlin's Lichtenberg district who were torn from their homes and killed by the Nazis decades ago. Nearby, the charred remains of a Jewish-run bar destroyed by arson last month attest to a hatred that...

Hamlin, Michael Jordan partner on NASCAR team for Wallace

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Denny Hamlin has joined Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to form a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level.The partnership was announced Monday...

Black voters in Detroit key for Biden, but are they engaged?

DETROIT (AP) — Wendy Caldwell-Liddell is tired of waiting for change in Detroit.The nation’s largest Black-majority city has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and its ensuing economic fallout. More than 14,200 COVID-19 cases and 1,500 deaths have been confirmed in the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Debunked COVID story prompts differing responses on Fox News

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy apologized on Monday “for any confusion” in reporting a now-debunked story about the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, supposedly concealing the number of coronavirus cases linked to bars and restaurants in that city because they were...

The 'Pandemmys' were weird and sometimes wonderful

It was Regina King, winning her fourth career Emmy on Sunday, who perhaps summed up the proceedings the most succinctly — and accurately: “This is freaking weird."Why, yes, being handed your Emmy inside your home, by a person you didn't know was coming, with fellow nominees zooming in...

Review: 'Agents of Chaos,' from Russia, but not with love

Let's take a trip back in American history, but not too way back. To a time not that unfamiliar — the last presidential election. Do you remember all the stuff swirling around in 2016?Fancy Bear. Paul Manafort. Julian Assange. Guccifer 2.0. George Papadopoulos. The Steele dossier. The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UN diplomacy goes impersonal, but what’s lost along the way?

Each year, for nearly seven decades, the spectacle has unfolded in grand and scripted fashion: Leader after world...

As rich nations struggle, Africa's virus response is praised

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — At a lecture to peers this month, John Nkengasong showed images that once dogged...

'I miss mommy': Families shattered by COVID forge new paths

Just four months had passed since Ramon Ramirez buried his wife and now, here he was, hospitalized himself with...

As Europe faces 2nd wave of virus, tracing apps lack impact

LONDON (AP) — Mobile apps tracing new COVID-19 cases were touted as a key part of Europe’s plan to...

Assaults, arson, slurs: Report finds anti-Semitism in Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — Small square brass plates set in the pavement remember Jewish residents of Berlin's...

As rich nations struggle, Africa's virus response is praised

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — At a lecture to peers this month, John Nkengasong showed images that once dogged...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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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