02-06-2023  4:52 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Victims to speak in court in Chasing Horse's sex abuse case

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Victims, police detectives and federal agents are expected to speak in court Monday...

Greece: Snow reaches Acropolis, halts services

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — High winds and a cold snap in Greece halted ferry services and highway traffic and dusted...

Vinícius Júnior again targeted by racist insults in Spain

MADRID (AP) — The hate attacks against Vinícius Júnior continued in Spain over the weekend, with the Brazil...

Concern rises for lives of 2 Thai activists on hunger strike

BANGKOK (AP) — Concerns about the condition of two hunger strikers in Thailand seeking political and judicial...

Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House GOP leaders are struggling with divisions within their party over whether to extend the payroll tax cut, after the Senate punted on its efforts to keep the tax holiday going another year.

Senate votes Thursday exposed wide reluctance by Republicans to go along with the costly proposal that's a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's jobs agenda. That puts the focus on the GOP-controlled House.

The cut in Social Security payroll taxes encountered stiff opposition from many House Republicans in a closed-door meeting on Friday, and it seemed plain Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner have a lot of persuading to do before the payroll tax measure and an accompanying extension of unemployment benefits is ready for a vote.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said the current 2 percentage point cut in the Social Security payroll tax hasn't helped. Extending the tax holiday for another year would cost $120 billion.

"It hasn't stimulated the economy at all," Gohmert said. "But over the long term it does add to our deficit."

With just two or three weeks before Congress adjourns for Christmas, Republicans are deeply unhappy with a year-end agenda populated with Obama initiatives like the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits, as well as a nearly $1 trillion stack of unfinished spending bills.

"There's not a hell of a lot of enthusiasm for anything right now," said Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas.

On Thursday, as expected, Senate Republicans defeated Obama's plan to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of next year while also making it more generous for workers.

But in a vote that exposed rare divisions among Senate Republicans, more than two dozen of the GOP's 47 lawmakers also voted to kill an alternative plan backed by their leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to renew the existing 2 percentage point payroll tax cut.

A spokesman for Boehner, R-Ohio, said House Republicans weren't planning on negotiating with Democrats before unveiling a payroll tax cut plan - and the spending cuts to pay for it - next week. But the Senate vote would seem to indicate that House Republicans will be hard-pressed to muscle a payroll tax cut through without Democratic support. And those votes could be hard to come by if the GOP plan contains spending cuts Democrats dislike.

Many Republicans and even some Democrats say the payroll tax cut hasn't worked to boost jobs and is too costly at a time when the deficit requires the government to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spends.

"I can't find many people who even know that they're getting it, OK?" said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who opposed both tax cut plans. "So with that being said, we're going to double down on something that we thought should have worked that didn't work."

The defeat of the competing Senate plans came as Boehner said for the first time that renewing the payroll tax cut would boost the lagging economy. Boehner also promised compromise on a renewal of long-term jobless benefits through the end of 2012.

The payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits are at the center of a costly, politically-charged year-end agenda in which Democrats seem poised to prevail in renewing a tax cut that many Republicans back only reluctantly. But Republicans are insisting - in a switch from last year - that the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits be paid for by cutting spending.

Both parties are seeking the political high ground as next year's elections loom, with Democrats accusing Republicans of siding with the rich, and Republicans countering that Democrats were taxing small business owners who create jobs.

The first payroll tax plan to fall was a Democratic measure that was at the heart of the jobs package Obama announced in September. It would cut the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent next year and also extend the cut to employers, with its hefty $265 billion cost paid for by slapping a 3.25 percent surtax on income exceeding $1 million.

Republicans and a handful of Democrats combined to kill the measure on a 51-49 tally that fell well short of the 60 votes required under Senate rules. For the first time, a Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, voted to support the millionaires' surcharge.

In a surprising result, Democrats and more than two dozen Republicans then voted 78-20 to kill the $120 billion GOP alternative that would have simply extended the existing 2 percentage point payroll tax cut, financed by freezing federal workers' pay through 2015 and reducing the government bureaucracy.

Republicans offered a simple one-year continuation of the existing law, jettisoning Obama's call to deepen the cut to 3.1 percentage point on workers' first $106,800 in earnings, while expanding it to cut in half employers' Social Security contributions for their $5 million in payroll.

To pay for the measure, Senate Republicans proposed freezing federal workers' pay through 2015 - extending a two-year-freeze recommended by Obama - and reducing the bureaucracy by 200,000 jobs through attrition.

The Democratic plan would give a worker earning $50,000 a more than $1,500 tax cut; the GOP plan would provide a $1,000 tax cut for such an earner. A two-income family making $200,000 would reap a $6,000-plus tax cut under the Democratic plan and a $4,000 tax cut under the GOP version.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.