12-01-2021  5:05 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Sen. Manning on the Year Ahead and the Year That Was

Prominent BIPOC Caucus member concerned with gun regulation, access to Covid-19 testing

Dozens of Oregon Workers Fired for Not Getting COVID Shot

Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon's Cannabis Industry Could Be More Vulnerable Than Ever

Portland is the first in the country to allocate cannabis tax revenue to relieve the industry's impacts of...

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Controversial plan for Oregon natural gas terminal abandoned

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Canadian energy company called it quits Wednesday on a controversial natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal on the southern Oregon coast after failing to obtain all necessary state permits. Opponents of the Jordan Cove project, which would have...

COVID vaccines becoming tougher to find in some places

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Vaccines have suddenly become scarce in some parts of Oregon after months of vaccine surplus in the state and across that nation, officials said. The situation is a dramatic shift from the late spring, summer and early fall, when Oregon tossed out over...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Study: WNBA again earns A-plus grades in diversity hiring

A diversity report has awarded the WNBA high grades again when it comes to racial- and gender-hiring practices. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida Wednesday issued an A-plus to the WNBA for the league’s overall, racial...

Police shooting raises questions over Black man's gun rights

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Leaders in the Black community of Virginia Beach called Wednesday for a federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Black man, saying his right to carry a gun for protection was ignored during a night of violence earlier this year on the city's oceanfront....

Death of bullied Utah girl draws anger over suicides, racism

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — When her 10-year-old daughter tried spraying air freshener on herself before school one morning, Brittany Tichenor-Cox suspected something was wrong with the sweet little girl whose beaming smile had gone dormant after she started the fifth grade. She...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Leaving the Children of God 'sex cult'

NEW YORK (AP) — “Sex Cult Nun” by Faith Jones (William Morrow) Faith Jones’ vivid memoir “Sex Cult Nun” chronicles her 23 years in the infamous Children of God cult and her slow journey to leave. Born into the cult in 1977 in Hong Kong, Jones was cult royalty, the...

Review: Animated doc 'Flee' tells young refugee’s journey

Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen was 15 when he encountered a new face on a local train in his sleepy Danish town. It was the kind of place where immigrants couldn’t help but stand out, but Rasmussen noticed this kid’s style first. He had some and most people there didn’t. ...

Parton, Oh, Biles and teachers named 'People of the Year'

NEW YORK (AP) — People magazine has named Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, actor Sandra Oh, country icon Dolly Parton and the nation's teachers as its “2021 People of the Year.” “This year has been a transformative one, pushing us all to create something new and hopefully...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Baldwin to ABC about shooting: 'I didn't pull the trigger'

NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Baldwin told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview airing Thursday that he did not...

Biden says HIV/AIDS strategy needs to confront inequity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled his new HIV/AIDS strategy to end the more than...

Former player, labor lawyer lead MLB into 9th work stoppage

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Clark was a minor league prospect in the Detroit Tigers’ system and Rob Manfred a junior...

South Korea confirms first five cases of omicron variant

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Wednesday confirmed its first five cases of the new omicron coronavirus...

UK police investigating antisemitic hate crime in London

LONDON (AP) — British police said Wednesday they are investigating a video which appeared to show a group of men...

WHO nations launch steps toward deal to fight pandemics

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization hailing a key step by its member states on Wednesday to...

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?"

---

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

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events