06-18-2024  6:09 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • (Photo by Nati Harnik/AP)

    Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

    Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. Read More
  • Dancer Prescylia Mae, of Houston, performs during a dedication ceremony for the massive mural

    Juneteenth Explained: What Is the Holiday, Why Was It Created and How Should It Be Celebrated?

    Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the U.S. learned they were free. For generations, Black Americans have recognized the end of one of history’s darkest chapters with joy, in the form of parades, street festivals, musical performances or cookouts. There’s a push today for people to see beyond the revelry and learn about Juneteenth’s history. Read More
  • Adrian Perkins in his office in Chicago, Thursday, June 13, 2024. During his 2022 reelection campaign for mayor of Shreveport, La., a video, paid for by a rival political action committee, used artificial intelligence to superimpose Perkins’ face onto the body of an actor playing him. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    AI is Making Controversial Changes to State and Local Elections

    Text, photos, videos and audio created using artificial intelligence are increasingly making their way into campaigns for state and local office. AI deepfakes that misrepresent candidates can do more damage in those races because campaigns have fewer staffers and less money. Yet some local candidates see AI as an equalizer against more powerful or well-financed candidates. They can use it for the practical aspects running a campaign, which frees them up Read More
  • Charles McMillan, a witness to George Floyd’s murder, speaks at the site where Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

    Americans Used to Unite Over Tragic Events − and Now Are Divided by Them

    "Public tragedies have contributed to the increasing political polarization and the sectarian tone of political rhetoric today. One question I sought to answer in my book is why?" Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

‘Feeling Our Age’: Oregon Artist Explores Aging Through Portraiture

64 women were painted and asked to reflect on lives well lived.

Off-Duty Guard Charged With Killing Seattle-Area Teen After Mistaking Toy for Gun, Authorities Say

Prosecutors charged 51-year-old Aaron Brown Myers on Monday in connection with the death of Hazrat Ali Rohani. Myers was also charged with assault after authorities say he held another teen at gunpoint. His attorney says Myers sincerely believed he was stopping a violent crime.

James Beard Finalists Include an East African Restaurant in Detroit and Seattle Pho Shops

The James Beards Awards are the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars. For restaurants, even being named a finalist can bring wide recognition and boost business.

Ranked-Choice Voting Expert Grace Ramsey on What Portland Voters Can Expect in November

Ramsey has worked in several other states and cities to educate voters on new system of voting. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Word is Bond, Portland Art Museum, Portland Sneaker Week Announce Juneteenth Celebration Event, June 20

This Juneteenth program uses the shoe as a medium to amplify the creative voices and visions of Black men and their communities ...

Southeast Portland Natural Area Improvements Coming, Funded by Development Fees

Kelly Butte Natural Area trails, park amenities planned ...

Montavilla Pool to Reopen in July After Mandatory Maintenance

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Coalition of 43 AGs Reach $700 Million Nationwide Settlement With Johnson and Johnson Over Deceptive Marketing; Oregon to Receive $15 Million

Today, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 42 other attorneys general announced they have reached a 0 million nationwide...

Juneteenth 2024 Events in Portland and Seattle

View events celebrating Juneteenth in the Portland and Seattle area ...

US acknowledges Northwest dams have devastated the region's Native tribes

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. government on Tuesday acknowledged, for the first time, the harmful role it has played over the past century in building and operating dams in the Pacific Northwest — dams that devastated Native American tribes by inundating their villages and decimating salmon runs...

US government for the first time acknowledges how damming of Pacific Northwest rivers devastated region's Native tribes

SEATTLE (AP) — US government for the first time acknowledges how damming of Pacific Northwest rivers devastated region's Native tribes....

Kansas lawmakers approve a plan to lure the Chiefs from Missouri by helping to finance a new stadium

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators approved a bipartisan plan Tuesday aimed at luring the Kansas City Chiefs away from Missouri by helping to finance a new stadium for the Super Bowl champions. The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and sent to Democratic Gov....

Kansas lawmakers to debate whether wooing the Chiefs with new stadium is worth the cost

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators trying to lure the Kansas City Chiefs to their state argue that helping the Super Bowl champions build a new stadium could bring Kansas millions of dollars in income taxes from players and coaches, which are currently going to Missouri. Some...

OPINION

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Religious and cultural mentions removed from names of China's Xinjiang villages, rights groups say

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Authorities in China’s western Xinjiang region have been systematically replacing the names of villages inhabited by Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to reflect the ruling Communist Party’s ideology, as part of an attack on their cultural identity, a report released...

The beginner's guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s...

Colorado justices consider a pink and blue cake's meaning in a transgender discrimination case

From plain white cakes to rainbow-colored ones, the Colorado Supreme Court considered a variety of hypothetical cake-design scenarios Tuesday as it heard arguments in the case of a Christian baker who refused to make a pink cake with blue icing to celebrate a gender transition. The...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Margo’s Got Money Troubles’ tells a tale of modern love and success

The cover art and title of “Margo’s Got Money Troubles” don’t quite convey the wild ride readers who crack open this new fiction from Rufi Thorpe will take. There’s a reason Apple TV optioned it as a series starring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning before it was even published. This is a...

Music Review: Paul McCartney and Wings' oft bootlegged 1974 'One Hand Clapping' deserves applause

The sound of Paul McCartney and Wings' “One Hand Clapping” used to only be heard on bootlegs, or in snippets available on archival releases over the years. But it's new (mostly) complete official release deserves two-handed applause. As aging rockers empty their...

Book Review: 'Swole' explores what masculinity could be in a hyperconnected, TikTok-imaged world

Author Michael Brodeur takes the gym too seriously, and not seriously at all at the same time, in his book “Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscles” in an effort to show the readers that the overly online world of hypermasculinity is an illusion and what a man can be is what you...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Who will have the 2024 song of the summer? We offer some predictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Since the beginning of time or, at least, pop music, only a few have earned the designation of...

Boeing CEO defends his safety record, spars with senators and apologizes to crash victims' relatives

Boeing CEO David Calhoun defended the company’s safety record during a contentious Senate hearing Tuesday, while...

This law is a lifeline for pregnant workers even as an abortion dispute complicates its enforcement

NEW YORK (AP) — Victoria Cornejo Barrera thought the legal helpline for workers sounded too good to be true and...

Netanyahu dissolved his war Cabinet. How will that affect cease-fire efforts?

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded his war Cabinet Monday, a move that...

Treasury sanctions network connected to separatist Bosnian leader

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Absentee voters in France scramble to make their voices heard in high-stakes legislative election

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By Dave Gram of the Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The storm that had been Hurricane Irene crossed into Canada overnight but wasn't yet through with the U.S., where flood waters threatened Vermont towns and big city commuters had to make do with slowly reawakening transit systems.

The storm left millions without power across much of the Eastern Seaboard, killed at least two dozen and forced airlines to cancel about 9,000 flights. It never became the big-city nightmare forecasters and public officials had warned about, but it caused the worst flooding in a century in Vermont.

Many of the worst effects arose from rains that fell inland, not the highly anticipated storm surge along the coasts. Residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey nervously watched waters rise as hours' worth of rain funneled into rivers and creeks. Normally narrow ribbons of water turned into raging torrents in Vermont and upstate New York late Sunday, tumbling with tree limbs, cars and parts of bridges. 

"This is not over," President Barack Obama said from the Rose Garden.

Hundreds of Vermonters were told to leave their homes after Irene dumped several inches of rain on the landlocked state. Gov. Peter Shumlin called it the worst flooding in a century, and the state was declared a federal disaster area.

"We prepared for the worst and we got the worst in central and southern Vermont," Shumlin said Monday. "We have extraordinary infrastructure damage," including communities that were cut off, hundreds of roads closures and the loss of at least three historic covered bridges.

Video posted on Facebook showed a 141-year-old covered bridge in Rockingham, Vt., swept away by the roiling, muddy Williams River. In another video, an empty car somersaulted down a river in Bennington.

"It's pretty fierce. I've never seen anything like it," said Michelle Guevin, who spoke from a Brattleboro restaurant after leaving her home in nearby Newfane. She said the fast-moving Rock River was washing out the road to her house.

Officials at one point thought they might have to flood the state capital, Montpelier, to relieve pressure on a dam. But by Monday morning that threat had abated.

Nearly 5 million homes and businesses lost power at some point during the storm. Lights started to come back on for many on Sunday, though it was expected to take days for electricity to be fully restored.

Only about 50,000 power customers in New York City went dark, but people there had something else to worry about: getting to work Monday.

The metropolitan area's transit system, shut down because of weather for the first time in its history, was taking many hours to get back on line. Limited bus service began Sunday and New York subway service was partially restored at 6 a.m. Monday.

Commuter rail service to Long Island and New Jersey was being partially restored, but the Metro-North Railroad to Westchester County and Connecticut was suspended because of flooding and mudslides.

Riders were warned to expect long lines and long waits, but early commuters reported empty subways and smooth rides.

Mentor Vargas, 54, said he made his 40-minute trip on the J train without incident. "It seems people aren't going to work today," he said on his way to work at a repair company in Queens.

Likewise, Philadelphia's transit system was mostly restarted Monday, though some train lines weren't running because of downed trees and wire damage.

Airports in New York and around the Northeast reopened to a backlog of hundreds of thousands of passengers whose flights were canceled over the weekend.

Some of New York's yellow cabs were up to their wheel wells in water, and water rushed over a marina near the New York Mercantile Exchange, where gold and oil are traded. But the New York flooding was not extensive from Irene, whose eye passed over Coney Island and Central Park.

The New York Stock Exchange was opening for business on Monday, and the Sept. 11 memorial at the World Trade Center site didn't lose a single tree.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to order 370,000 residents to evacuate their homes in low-lying areas, saying it was impossible to know just how powerful the storm would be. "We were just unwilling to risk the life of a single New Yorker," he said.

Irene had at one time been a major hurricane, with winds higher than 110 mph as it headed toward the U.S. It was a tropical storm with 65 mph winds by the time it hit New York. It lost the characteristics of a tropical storm and had slowed to 50 mph by the time it reached Canada.

Chris Fogarty, director of the Canadian Hurricane Centre, warned of flooding and wind damage in eastern Canada and said the heaviest rainfall was expected in Quebec, where about 250,000 homes were without power.

At least 25 people died in the U.S., most of them when trees crashed through roofs or onto cars. One Vermont woman was swept away and feared drowned in the Deerfield River.

Officials worked to repair hundreds of damaged roads, and power companies picked through uprooted trees and reconnected lines.

One private estimate put damage along the coast at $7 billion, far from any record for a natural disaster.

Twenty homes on Long Island Sound in Connecticut were destroyed by churning surf. The torrential rain chased hundreds of people in upstate New York from their homes and closed 137 miles of the state's main highway.

Authorities in and around Easton, Pa., kept a close eye on the rising Delaware River. The National Weather Service forecast the river to crest there at more than 27 feet, about 5 feet above flood stage.

In the South, authorities still were not sure how much damage had been done but expressed relief that it wasn't worse.

"Thank God it weakened a little bit," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who toured a hard-hit Richmond neighborhood where large, old-growth trees uprooted and crushed houses and automobiles.

In Norfolk, Va., where storm surges got within inches of breaking a record, most of the water had receded by Sunday. There was isolated flooding and downed trees, but nowhere near the damage officials predicted.

"We can't believe a hurricane came through here," city spokeswoman Lori Crouch said.

In North Carolina, where six people were killed, the infrastructure losses included the only road to the seven villages on Hatteras Island.

"Overall, the destruction is not as severe as I was worried it might be, but there is still lots and lots of destruction and people's lives are turned upside down," Gov. Beverly Perdue said in Kill Devil Hills.

In an early estimate, consulting firm Kinetic Analysis Corp. figured total losses from the storm at $7 billion, with insured losses of $2 billion to $3 billion. The storm will take a bite out of Labor Day tourist business from the Outer Banks to the Jersey Shore to Cape Cod.

Irene was the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since 2008, and came almost six years to the day after Katrina ravaged New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005.

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Samantha Gross, Beth Fouhy, Samantha Bomkamp, Verena Dobnik, Jonathan Fahey, Tom Hays, Colleen Long and Larry Neumeister in New York; Brock Vergakis in Virginia Beach, Va.; Marc Levy in Chester, Pa. and Jeff McMillan in Philadelphia; and Seth Borenstein and Christopher S. Rugaber in Washington.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast