12-10-2019  4:57 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

San Francisco Aims to Rein in Tests of Tech Ideas on Streets

Entrepreneurs would not be allowed to test their products in San Francisco's public space unless the tech in question is declared a "net public good."

Portland-area Residents May Vote on Funding for Homeless

There may be a measure on the November 2020 ballot to fund likely hundreds of millions of dollars for increased social services

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Man gets jail, probation for strangling 85-year-old mom

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man who violated a no-contact order and strangled his 85-year-old mother has been sentenced to six months in jail and two years of probation. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said 57-year-old James Keith was sentenced Tuesday. Keith assaulted...

M lawsuit claims meningococcal diagnosis delayed

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State University student who visited Portland-area medical providers amid a 2017 meningococcal outbreak at her Corvallis campus — but was not immediately diagnosed with the disease — has sued for million.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports then...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trump to sign order targeting anti-Semitism at colleges

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting antisemitism on college campuses, the White House said.The order, which is likely to draw criticism from free speech advocates, will broaden the federal government's definition of antisemitism and...

In South Carolina, Steyer investing in black voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the waning weeks before South Carolina's presidential primary, Democrat Tom Steyer is renewing his focus on the black voters who play a pivotal role in the first-in-the-South state, rolling out a proposal to improve historically black colleges and institutions.The...

Multistate voter database suspended in lawsuit settlement

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A much-criticized database that checks whether voters are registered in multiple states has been suspended “for the foreseeable future” until security safeguards are put in place as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit, a civil rights group said...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says more than 26M watched 'The Irishman' in 7 days

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix says that 26.4 million households worldwide watched “The Irishman” in its first week of streaming. That figure includes those who watched at least 70% of Martin Scorsese's 3 1/2 hour crime epic. Netflix selectively announces viewership for its films and...

NFL, NCAA football fuel Fox TV's win of the prime-time week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fueled by both college and pro football, Fox won a rare title as champ of the broadcast week among networks. Fox's Thursday night NFL airing of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears was the week's top show of any kind with 18.23 million viewers, and its broadcast of the Big...

The Associated Press picks the top moments on TV from 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Many have noticed how fragmented our TV viewing is, with multiple competing streaming services and dozens of channels pulling us in different directions. But the year also saw some jaw-dropping moments that found huge audiences, whether it was a royal interview or a viral...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Adam Sandler on plunging into the Safdies' 'Uncut Gems'

TORONTO (AP) — Adam Sandler was waiting to be thrown into a midtown fountain on Sixth Avenue for a scene in...

Newspaper criticizes film's take on Olympic bombing coverage

ATLANTA (AP) — After a bomb exploded in a downtown Atlanta park midway through the 1996 Olympics, a...

Thousands rally around Holocaust survivor in Milan

MILAN (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who has been put under police protection due to anti-Semitic threats was...

In Mexico, effeminate Zapata painting draws fury

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A painting showing Mexican Revolution hero Emiliano Zapata nude and in an effeminate...

Parisians dodge strikes by logging on to share rides, bikes

ARGENTEUIL, France (AP) — Adrien Lachevre and Nailat Msoili live a few kilometers (miles) apart in Paris'...

Thousands rally around Holocaust survivor in Milan

MILAN (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who has been put under police protection due to anti-Semitic threats was...

McMenamins
Meghan Barr and Ryan J. Foley the Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, according to a survey by The Associated Press.

The heaviest financial burden has fallen upon law enforcement agencies tasked with monitoring marches and evicting protesters from outdoor camps. And the steepest costs by far piled up in New York City and Oakland, Calif., where police clashed with protesters on several occasions.

The AP gathered figures from government agencies in 18 cities with active protests and focused on costs through Nov. 15, the day protesters were evicted from New York City's Zuccotti Park, where the protests began Sept. 17 before spreading nationwide. The survey did not attempt to tally the price of all protests but provides a glimpse into costs to cities large and small.

Broken down city by city, the numbers are more or less in line with the cost of policing major public events and emergencies. In Los Angeles, for example, the Michael Jackson memorial concert cost the city $1.4 million. And Atlanta spent several million dollars after a major snow and ice storm this year.

But the price of the protests is rising by the day - along with taxpayer ire in some places.

"What is their real agenda?" asked Rodger Mawhinney as he watched police remove an encampment outside his apartment complex in downtown Oakland. "I've gone up and asked them, `What are you truly trying to accomplish?' I'm still waiting for an answer."

The Occupy movement has intentionally never clarified its policy objectives, relying instead on a broad message opposing corporate excess and income inequality. Aside from policing, cleaning and repairing property at dozens of 24-hour encampments, cities have had to monitor frequent rallies and protests.

The spending comes as cash-strapped police departments have cut overtime budgets, travel and training to respond to the recession. Nonetheless, city officials say they have no choice but to bring in extra officers or hold officers past their shifts to handle gatherings and marches in a way that protects free speech rights and public safety. In some cities, officials say the spending is eating into their overtime budgets and leaving less money for other public services.

Protesters blame excessive police presence for the high costs in some places. And they note the cost has been minimal in other cities, and worth the spending because they have raised awareness about what they say is corporate greed and the growing inequality between rich and poor.

"We're here fighting corporate greed and they're worried about a lawn?" said Clark Davis of Occupy Los Angeles, where the city estimates that property damage to a park has been $200,000.

In Oakland, where protesters temporarily forced the shutdown of a major port, the city has spent more than $2.4 million responding to the protests. The cash-strapped city, which had to close a $58 million budget gap this year, was already facing an uphill battle when Occupy Oakland began Oct. 10.

"The cost of the encampments is growing and putting a strain on our already fragile resources - police, public works, and other city staff," said Mayor Jean Quan. "We will continue to be vigilant and ensure that public safety remains our first priority and that our downtown businesses are protected from vandalism. We will not tolerate lodging on public property, whether in parks or open space. It is illegal."

Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, said Occupy-related costs will soar past $3 million when it's all said and done. The city, he said, had to pay more for mutual aid when police removed the encampment at City Hall for a second time on Nov. 14, nearly three weeks after its first early morning raid, leading to dozens of arrests.

"A lot of this could've been avoided if we stood our ground when we went in there in the first place," Arotzarena said. "I know we would've saved the city a significant amount of money."

Portland, Ore., has spent a total of about $785,000 - much of that in police overtime when officers enforced the mayor's order to evict protesters from two downtown parks because of concerns about sanitation and public safety. Randy Leonard, a city commissioner and former firefighter, said he thinks the protest could have cost the city much more if not for a restrained police response.

"The amount of money we're saving by (our) very strategic response versus sending police out en masse to arrest people and cause confrontations dwarfs whatever we've spent so far," Leonard said.

In New York City, the police department has spent $7 million in overtime on the protests. But that's small change given the department's $4.5 billion budget, which allots money for emergency overtime. Last year, the NYPD spent about $550 million on overtime.

"Public safety and providing essential services is what we do. So the first thing we're going to do is handle the situation, and any situation that comes up," Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said. "So yes, this has been significant and it's been going on for many days, but really in the broad scheme of things, it's not something that we aren't prepared to deal with."

Pete Dutro, a protester in charge of finances in New York City, called the NYPD's response "completely unnecessary."

"It's $7 million of taxpayers' money that's being spent to stifle our First Amendment rights," he said. "You know, they've consistently overreacted."

In Seattle, where the National Guard was deployed during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests, the mayor has publicly supported the Occupy protesters. But that doesn't mean taxpayers won't feel the pinch later on; the city has already spent at least $625,000 on the protests, with the police department taking the bulk of the costs.

"These costs are currently being absorbed by the departments and may result in reduced service levels in other areas in the future," said Julie Moore, a spokeswoman for Mayor Mike McGinn. She did not specify which public services might suffer.

Other cities were not too concerned about mounting costs, with officials saying they budget for events like these.

"Our view is that unexpected things happen," said Sonji Jacobs, spokeswoman for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "Occupy Atlanta is something that folks didn't necessarily see coming, but the good news is that we have flexibility in our budget."

Overall, the city spent nearly $652,000 on the protests, paying for everything from overtime for police officers and firefighters to running its mobile command center. The city has $56 million in its reserve fund.

Costs were far lower in Boston than City Council President Stephen Murphy initially predicted last month, when he said police costs for providing security at Occupy Boston for October would be as high as $2 million, based on what a police commander at the scene of mass arrests told him.

The city of Boston has spent $575,000 in overtime through mid-November to pay officers policing Occupy Boston. That's about 2 percent of this year's $30 million police overtime budget.

"We have a history of starting, as well as managing, historic demonstrations," said City Councilor Michael Ross. "We've done it well and we've managed it well, and that's not going to stop anytime soon, and that doesn't cease to exist after it hits a certain budget threshold."

St. Louis; Des Moines, Iowa; Providence, R.I.; and Burlington, Vt., were among the cities surveyed by AP that reported costs of less than $10,000.

Don Tripp, the parks director in Des Moines, said protesters camped out in a city park have arguably saved money by taking their garbage out of the park in barrels and shoveling the sidewalk after the first snow, tasks city employees normally handle.

Unlike some other cities, protesters also agreed to pay the full cost of their electricity usage. Tripp noted the protests did come with an intangible "social cost" - discouraging other residents from using the park that they pay to maintain, too.

"But at the end of the day, the thing that has been in the back of my mind is that during times of public discourse in our country parks are noted for being places where people have the chance to demonstrate their First Amendment rights," he said. "I think their use has been consistent with that."

But not all protesters have been the best neighbors. In Tennessee, where protesters have been camped outside the Capitol, a State General Services spokeswoman said two cleaning crew members have spent about three hours every morning pressure-washing entrances to the building using household cleaners to deodorize them.

And in Los Angeles, property damage to the park surrounding City Hall - where nearly 500 tents are jammed in - is estimated to be at least $200,000, including the destroyed lawn, sprinklers, graffiti on a fountain and damage to trees and shrubs. City Hall spokesman Peter Sanders says there's not a definite estimate on damage yet because workers have not been able to properly inspect the site.

For police officers, the longer hours mean bigger paychecks but come at a cost, driving up their stress levels and potentially leaving less money for other initiatives in the long-term.

Unlike a parade or a one-day march, the Occupy protests are in their third month in some cities and show no signs of easing up, said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a think tank for police chiefs.

"You're dealing with 50 to 75 cities where this is going on. In some cities it's a minimal expense. In some cities, it's considerable," he said. "For a city that has slashed overtime, this has an impact. And that means they are going to have to cut back in other ways."

---

Foley reported from Iowa City, Iowa. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Nigel Duara in Portland, Ore., Christina Hoag in Los Angeles, Colleen Long in New York, Errin Haines in Atlanta, Jay Lindsay in Boston, Jamie Stengle in Dallas, April Castro in Austin, Texas, Patrick Walters in Philadelphia, Chris Grygiel in Seattle, Terry S. Collins in Oakland, Calif., Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt., Jim Salter in St. Louis, Lucas Johnson in Nashville, Tenn., Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., Laura Crimaldi in Providence and Karen Hawkins in Chicago.

© 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.

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