12-09-2022  3:13 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Kwanzaa Returns In-Person to North Portland Library

For the past 20 years, North Portland Library has been hosting a community Kwanzaa event. After a two-year pause of in-person events, it's back.

NW Portland Store Allegedly Selling Psychedelic Mushrooms Raided

Witnesses say customers lined up around the block after a national story broke on the local business

Awash in Illegal Marijuana, Oregon Looks at Toughening Laws

So far this year, police have seized over 105 tons of illegally grown marijuana in Oregon. The grows use massive amounts of water in drought-stricken areas, contaminate the environment and employ migrant laborers who live in squalid conditions.

Merkley Introduces Bill to Ban Private Equity Firms from Predatory Housing Practices

End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act seeks to return single-family housing stock to families.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Celebrates the 10th Open Enrollment Period Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Eligibility rules have changed, making health coverage more affordable for an additional estimated 40,000 Oregonians ...

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

Oregon lawsuit spotlights destruction of Black neighborhoods

Bobby Fouther's childhood home is now a parking lot, the two-story, shingle-sided house having been demolished in the 1960s along with many other properties in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. “Growing up there was just all about love,” Fouther said. ...

Pricey pants from 1857 go for 4k, raise Levi's questions

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Pulled from a sunken trunk at an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, work pants that auction officials describe as the oldest known pair of jeans in the world have sold for 4,000. The white, heavy-duty miner's pants with a five-button fly were among...

Saxen's 19 help Saint Mary's knock off Missouri State 66-46

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen's 19 points helped Saint Mary's defeat Missouri State 66-46 on Wednesday. Saxen had six rebounds for the Gaels (7-3). Aidan Mahaney scored 13 points and Alex Ducas finished with nine points. Chance Moore led the Bears (4-5) in...

Purdue Fort Wayne takes down Southeast Missouri State 89-68

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarred Godfrey scored 19 points as Purdue Fort Wayne beat Southeast Missouri State 89-68 on Wednesday night. Godfrey had eight rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons (6-4). Bobby Planutis scored 14 points, and Quinton Morton-Robertson had 13. ...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court was wrapping up the final orders for the term. Among the cases before them was that of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had been sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage...

Pennsylvania panel updates anti-discrimination regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state panel on Thursday narrowly approved new definitions of sex, religious creed and race in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination regulations, with three members appointed by Democrats in favor and two Republican appointees voting no. The Independent...

St. Louis mayor appoints commission to consider reparations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is appointing a reparations commission that will “recommend a proposal to begin repairing the harms that have been inflicted” by slavery, segregation and racism. St. Louis joins a growing list of places trying to determine how to...

ENTERTAINMENT

SF Conservatory buys Askonas Holt representation agency

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Conservatory added a major classical music agency to its commercial businesses, announcing Friday it was acquiring London-based Askonas Holt. Askonas' clients includes conductors Daniel Barenboim, Myung-Whun Chung, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon...

PHOTOS: The highs and lows of entertainment's 2022 comeback

After keeping the world at arm’s length for roughly two years, the entertainment world could finally get more personal again in 2022. Fans unfettered from pandemic restrictions flocked to film festivals and concerts to get glimpses of their favorite stars, whether Timothée Chalamet...

'Top Gun' named best film by National Board of Review

NEW YORK (AP) — “Top Gun: Maverick,” 2022's biggest box-office hit, has been named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review. Though the National Board of Review, a long-running organization comprised of film enthusiasts and academics, has no overlap or...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Club shooter's 2021 bomb case dropped, family uncooperative

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter had charges dropped in a 2021 bomb...

Croatia beats Brazil on penalties in World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar is again going home without a World Cup title. Luka Modric's quest continues...

China struggles with COVID infections after controls ease

BEIJING (AP) — A rash of COVID-19 cases in schools and businesses were reported Friday in areas across China...

US keeps eye on China's space activities for potential risks

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. is closely monitoring Chinese activities that potentially threaten American assets in...

Neymar ties Pelé's record but loses again at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar walked off the field with teammate Dani Alves by his side, tears still rolling...

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 18

Highlights from the 18th day of the World Cup in Qatar on Friday. ___ AP World Cup...

Carla K. Johnson and Robert Ray the Associated Press


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

CHICAGO (AP) -- Seven vinyl banners draped this month along one of Chicago's most iconic bridges, advertisements some have dubbed "a visual crime" and "commercial graffiti," are reviving a debate about how governments raise money in tough economic times.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, a public school district in Colorado is selling ads on report cards and Utah has a new law allowing ads on school buses. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration, straining to fill a $600 million budget hole, is looking to raise $25 million from ads on city property - including bridges, electrical storage boxes and garbage cans.

The effort kicked off this month with Bank of America ads on the 81-year-old Wabash Avenue Bridge, which crosses the Chicago River and has appeared in movies including "About Last Night" and "The Dark Knight."

"I think it's disgusting," Chicago resident Linda Rosenthal said recently, shaking her head as she surveyed the signs. "The architecture in Chicago is stunning. To see this awful advertisement angers me."

The white ads with blue lettering and Bank of America's logo are posted on limestone bridge tender houses, which hold the equipment used to raise the bridge when tall boats pass beneath. Bank of America paid $4,500 to put seven signs on the bridge for about a month, said city spokeswoman Kathleen Strand.

Strand promised the city's new campaign will have "policies to protect the integrity of Chicago's facade" and likened the initiative to the Chicago Transit Authority bringing in about $20 million annually from abundant ads on buses and elevated trains that don't seem to anger anybody.

"The municipal marketing strategy is really about pursuing innovative opportunities to avoid having to cut city services or increase the tax burden on Chicagoans," Strand said.

Still, some ask where the line will be drawn. Could the city's historic Water Tower be next? Or Grant Park's famed Buckingham Fountain?

The city's two major daily newspapers have faced off with opposing views. Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin called the bridge ads "a visual crime" and "a grotesque cheapening of the public realm." A Chicago Sun-Times editorial said the ads, while unappealing, "beat going bust."

Bank of America spokeswoman Diane Wagner said the company said yes when Chicago officials asked if the bank wanted to advertise on the bridge because it's a major employer and philanthropic supporter in the city.

"We agreed to be the first company to display on the bridge because we want to help the city explore new revenue sources and we think this is an innovative way to generate new revenue," Wagner said.

Chicago advertising professionals doubt it was a smart move for either side.

"I have made my living in advertising, but there has to be better ways to raise money," said Tim Terchek, executive creative director of the Drucker Group ad firm. What's more, the bridge ads could backfire if public disgust sticks to the bank, he said.

Leo Burnett Company's chief strategy officer Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, whose office overlooks the bridge ads, said they are a blight.

"It's like commercial graffiti," Hahn-Griffiths said. "It makes no sense from a marketing perspective and I question the intent of doing this because it does not seem like a smart decision."

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, president and CEO of the Chicago-based Congress for the New Urbanism, suggested the city could instead rent out spaces like the City Hall lobby or library and cultural center theaters for weddings and other events.

"Placing advertising on a city's architectural assets takes away from the public realm," Norquist said.

Some officials across the country, and the world, are turning to private money for public projects.

In Rome, an Italian shoe company founder has pledged to foot $34 million to restore the Colosseum - the ancient arena blackened by pollution - and its founder has said the gesture could launch more private sponsorship for public benefit in Italy. In Venice, Mayor Giorgio Orsoni defended the use of publicity on restoration of such projects as the famed Doges Palace, saying sponsors' contribution allowed the work to be accelerated.

But Venice also has strict rules on the use of advertisements. Only 10 percent of an exposed facade can be covered, and ads for cigarettes, alcohol and those featuring nudity are banned.

Back in the U.S., a suburban Salt Lake City school district plans to be Utah's first to plaster its buses with advertisements in an effort to generate additional revenue without raising taxes. While the ad revenue is expected to supplement the Jordan School District's budget, officials said it won't be enough to make up for the recent budget cuts.

It's a similar story in Golden, Colo., where Jefferson County Public Schools' report cards now feature ads for the CollegeInvest college savings program. The ads raise $30,000 a year.

"Parents understand where we are at with the funding issues and most of the reaction has been positive," said school district spokeswoman Lorie Gillis.

Retiree Jim Phillips, who leads free tours of Chicago's bridges, challenged the city to channel public curiosity about the structures into money-making ventures, such as charging tourists to see the bridge houses' inner workings.

"If it gets to the point advertisements go on more of these historic structures, I don't think there's any way to stop them on others," Phillips said. "What if you put a NASCAR suit on the Picasso? What if you slapped a Google sign on one of the lions at the Art Institute?"

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Associated Press writers Peter Banda in Golden, Colo., and Colleen Barry in Milan, Italy, contributed to this report.

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