03-03-2021  9:50 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Sheriff's sergeant on leave over a year in sex abuse probe

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sergeant remains on paid leave more than a year after Redmond Police started investigating him over an alleged sexual assault.A newly released police report outlines an ongoing criminal investigation into Richard...

University of Oregon to return to mostly in-person classes

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon will go back to predominately in-person instruction for the fall term, officials said. President Michael Schill says the decision was made following an announcement Friday from Gov. Kate Brown that higher education will be included in the...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides that fought for Black civil rights and an end to racial segregation when he received his next assignment.It was one that would help change the course of American history.“I...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged Israeli crimes in the Palestinian territories, plunging the court into the midst of one of the most fraught conflicts of the past half century.The...

NBA says million going to HBCUs through All-Star Game

ATLANTA (AP) — The last shot of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game will be worth 0,000 for either the Thurgood Marshall College Fund or United Negro College Fund, the league said Wednesday in revealing how an estimated million in charitable donations from the contest will be...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Klara and the Sun' is a poignant mediation on love

“Klara and the Sun,” by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf)“Klara and the Sun,” by Nobel-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro, takes readers on a journey through the mind of Klara, one of many artificial friends who have been built to keep lonely children company. Klara is a one-of-a-kind...

Vanessa Bryant still perseveres after Kobe, Gigi's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year.Bryant said...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: 'It's always special'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has won nine Grammys throughout her career is competing for her 50th honor.Parton's first Grammy nomination was at the 1970 show for “Just Someone I Used...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides...

Biden stands by May timeline for vaccines for all US adults

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine...

EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has...

Google vows no new user tracking in Chrome to sell ads

LONDON (AP) — Google says it won't develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it...

China, looking post-virus, to push tech autonomy at Congress

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leaders are shifting focus from the coronavirus back to long-term goals of making...

Julie Pace the Associated Press

Photo credit: Pete Souza

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Targeting Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, President Barack Obama is heading to New Hampshire, a political battleground, to begin a year-end push to extend payroll tax cuts.

During a speech Tuesday at a Manchester high school, the president was to argue that a failure to extend the tax breaks would hurt middle-class families already struggling amid a shaky economy, effectively daring congressional Republicans to block the extension and thus increase taxes.

"If we don't act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year. And I'm not about to let that happen," Obama said Monday, previewing the message he was expected to deliver.

But if Republicans are in Obama's sights, he's firmly in theirs, too.

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is airing his first TV ads in the Granite State, and they are sharply critical of Obama's economic record. He also ran ads in New Hampshire newspapers that say to Obama, "I will be blunt. Your policies have failed."

The president's trip follows the collapse of the special congressional deficit-reduction supercommittee, which failed to reach a deal on $1.2 trillion in cuts. Democrats had hoped to tuck the payroll tax extension, as well as a renewal of jobless benefits for the unemployed, into a supercommittee agreement.

With that option seemingly off the table, the White House plans to make a full-court press for a separate measure to extend the payroll tax cuts before they expire at the end of the year - and set up Republicans as the scapegoat if that doesn't happen.

The White House says a middle-class family making $50,000 a year would see its taxes rise by $1,000 if the payroll tax cuts are not extended.

Republicans aren't wholly opposed to the extension. In fact, party members sent the White House a letter in September stating that extension of the payroll tax cut is one element of Obama's $447 billion jobs bill where the two sides may be able to find common ground.

Some Republicans worry that the tax cut extension would undermine the solvency of Social Security, and others are opposed to any effort to pay for the renewal by taxing the wealthiest Americans.

Last year's cut in the 6.2 percent payroll tax, which raises money for Social Security, was accomplished with borrowed money. The White House has been vague on exactly how it wants to see another round of cuts paid for; spokesman Jay Carney on Monday said only that the money should come from "asking millionaires and billionaires to pay a little bit extra."

A senior administration official said the president would not insist on the cuts being paid for immediately. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal administration strategy.

The 2 percent payroll tax cut expiring in December gave 121 million families a tax cut averaging $934 last year at a total cost of about $120 billion, according to the Tax Policy Center. Economists say allowing the cuts to expire would harm an economy already hobbled by 9 percent unemployment.

Obama wants to cut the payroll tax by another percentage point for workers, at a total cost of $179 billion, and cut the employer share of the tax in half as well for most companies, which carries a $69 billion price tag.

The issue could appeal to independent voters in low-tax New Hampshire, the presidential swing state Obama won in 2008. With Republican candidates blanketing the state with an anti-Obama message ahead of the Jan. 10 primary, the president and his surrogates, including Vice President Joe Biden, are seeking to steal some of the spotlight for their economic message.

It's been nearly two years since Obama visited New Hampshire. And on Tuesday, he'll find a state that has shifted distinctly to the right since his 2008 victory. Recent polls indicate that, if an election between the two of them were held today, Obama would lose by roughly 10 percentage points to Romney.

Romney's print ads, in the form of an open letter, say the evidence on Obama's economic stewardship is "unequivocal" - his policies have "fallen short even by the standards your own administration set for itself."

"Far from bringing the crisis to an end, (they) have actively hindered economic recovery," the ad says.

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Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in Manchester, N.H., contributed to this report.

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