10-24-2021  5:52 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland-Based Footwear Designer Plans to Reopen the Only HBCU in Michigan

Dr. D'Wayne Edwards, a Portland-based designer, announced his plans to reopen the Lewis College of Business, the defunct HBCU in Detroit. 

$2.1M Penalty for Roofing Company Over Emission Violations

Malarkey Roofing Products was penalized after the company disclosed it may have been emitting a large amount of formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen, since 2009.

Tool for Police Reform Rarely Used by Local Prosecutors

Brady Lists flag officers whose credibility is in question due to misconduct – a designation that must be shared with defense attorneys. Defense attorneys, public defenders, civil rights groups and some prosecutors are calling for an increased use of the lists.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC) Proposed as a Center for Black Arts and Culture

Feasibility Study for community-led vision moving forward thanks to Parks Local Option Levy

NEWS BRIEFS

Bootcamp for Prep Cooks Supplies Ingredients for Entry Into Food Service Career

Individuals interested in starting a career in food service have an exciting new choice – Prep Cook Bootcamp ...

WA BLM Demands Resignation of Criminally-charged Sheriff Troyer

"He is being charged with two crimes: false reporting and making a false statement when he said that newspaper deliverer Sedrick...

'A Dangerous Time': Portland Sees Record Homicides

Unlike previous years, more bystanders are being caught in the crossfire — from people mourning at vigils and sitting in cars to...

State Agency Inadvertently Releases Employees Vaccine Status

Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to...

Simple Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating After Fauci Greenlighted Halloween 2021

Halloween 2020 brought creative ways to trick or treat while minimizing the spread of infection (

Oregon State researcher suspected of sex crimes in Virginia

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State University faculty researcher has been arrested on suspicion of sex crimes allegedly committed in Virginia. The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports that 66-year-old Brett Tyler was booked into Benton County Jail on Thursday, Oct. 7. ...

Transgender council member likely first in Washington state

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — A crowd is pouring into a parking lot on Broadway Street in Aberdeen. People in booths are hawking homemade goods. There’s rainbow flags. Tweens with kitchen-sink dye jobs. Old folks and strollers. Everyone is cheering for the drag performers...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Race-blind redistricting? Democrats incredulous at GOP maps

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A decade ago, North Carolina Republicans redrew their legislative districts to help their party in a way that a federal court ruled illegally deprived Black voters of their right to political representation. A state court later struck down Republican-drawn maps as based on...

Zimbabwe's Dangarembga receives German peace prize

VIENNA (AP) — Accepting a prestigious German prize Sunday in honor of her work, Zimbabwean writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga called for a “new Enlightenment,” saying a fundamental shift is needed to overcome the structures of racial hierarchy that have led to violence in her home...

Oklahoma lawmaker criticized for Asian American comment

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican Oklahoma state senator is drawing criticism for referring to Asian Americans as “yellow families” during a legislative committee meeting on racial inequity. Sen. Dave Rader of Tulsa made the comment Wednesday to Oklahoma Policy Institute...

ENTERTAINMENT

In memoir, Katie Couric writes of feeling betrayed by Lauer

NEW YORK (AP) — On a summer day in the Hamptons last year, Katie Couric and her husband, John Molner, went out for a walk and saw a familiar white jeep drive by with Matt Lauer at the wheel. No waves, no hellos. Couric writes in her new memoir, “Going There,” that she...

Review: 'Ron's Gone Wrong' has the movie code all jumbled

There's a clear message in the new film “Ron’s Gone Wrong” and that message is to stop watching films like “Ron’s Gone Wrong.” A derivative tale about a middle schooler and his quirky computer sidekick, the animated film seems to want to preach we should all...

Caro exhibit 'Turn the Page' is a window into his world

NEW YORK (AP) — Days shy of his 86th birthday, Robert A. Caro has reached the point where his own life is a piece of history. The New-York Historical Society has established a permanent exhibit dedicated to Caro, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and many other honors for his epic...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Amid the Capitol riot, Facebook faced its own insurrection

WASHINGTON (AP) — As supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th, battling police and...

Brave new world: Atlanta beats LA 4-2, heads to World Series

ATLANTA (AP) — Led by an unlikely hero, the Atlanta Braves are heading back to a place that used to be so...

States mostly defer to union guidance for on-set gun safety

Safety standards developed by film studios and labor unions are the primary protection for actors and film crews...

Harrison Ford reunited with lost credit card in Sicily

MILAN (AP) — Harrison Ford lost his credit card during a stay in a beach town near Palermo,...

Russian COVID spike persists, setting new death record

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is reporting a record high number of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths as the...

Olympic sprinter Alex Quiñónez fatally shot in Ecuador

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuadorian sprinter Alex Quiñónez was fatally shot in the port city of Guayaquil,...

Tom Raum the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to undercut President Barack Obama's re-election prospects and offering Republicans an easy target. With prices pushing $4 a gallon and threatening to go even higher, Obama sought Thursday to confront rising public anxiety and strike back at his GOP critics.

"Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically," Obama said of Republicans. "You pay more; they're licking their chops."

Obama said dismissively that all the Republicans can talk about is more drilling - "a bumper sticker ... a strategy to get politicians through an election" - when the nation's energy challenges demand much more. In a speech in Miami, he promoted the expansion of domestic oil and gas exploration but also the development of new forms of energy.

For all the political claims, economists say there's not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices. Certainly not in the short term. But it's clear that people are concerned - a new Associated Press-GfK poll says seven in 10 find the issue deeply important - so it's sure to be a political issue through the summer.

"Right now, we're experiencing yet another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future," the president said. At an average of $3.58 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1, and experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by Memorial Day.

Those higher prices could hurt consumer spending and unravel some of the recent improvements in the economy. And they could also be a daily reminder to voters to question Obama's contention that he's making the nation - and them - more secure.

While motorists are already starting to complain, many economists see the $4-a-gallon mark as a breaking point above which the economy starts to suffer real pain. Analysts estimate that every one-cent increase is roughly a $1.4 billon drain on the economy.

Obama's Republican challengers aren't letting it all slide by. They have stepped up their attacks on his energy policies, including his rejection last month of a pipeline to carry oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And they're full of promises.

"I've developed a program for American energy so no future president will ever bow to a Saudi king again, and so every American can look forward to $2.50-a-gallon gasoline," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in the Wednesday night GOP debate in Mesa, Ariz. He calls his strategy "Drill Here, Drill Now."

At the same event, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania - who has warned of $5-a-gallon gas - asserted that "we have a lot of troubles around the world, as you see the Middle East in flames and what's going on in this country with gas prices and the economy." And former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney suggested that even more troubling than rising gasoline prices was Iranian President Mahmoud "Ahmadinejad with nuclear weapons."

In his speech at the University of Miami, Obama sought to draw a contrast with his GOP challengers and made a pointed reference to what he suggested was Republican glee at rising gas prices.

"And you can bet that since it's an election year, they're already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas," Obama said. "I'll save you the suspense. Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. .. We've heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren't stupid."

Addressing the rising public anxiety, Obama said, "There are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices." Anyone suggesting otherwise was not being honest, he said.

Still, Obama said he had ordered his administration to search for every possible area to help consumers in the coming months. He said his administration's "all-of-the-above strategy," one that includes oil, gas, wind and solar power, is the "only real solution" to the nation's energy challenges.

Gingrich quickly dismissed Obama's energy speech as "excuses and fantasies."

Presidents often get blamed for rising gas prices, but there's not much they can do about them. The current increases at the pump have been driven by tensions in Iran and by higher demand in the U.S. as well as in China, India and other quickly growing nations.

"Obviously, people go to the pump all the time, so it's something that really hits home with the voters," said Fred Greenstein, a Princeton University professor emeritus of politics. "It's an easy issue to talk about, and not an easy issue to accomplish very much on."

In his Miami remarks, Obama said that despite political criticism of his policies "America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. He also noted that, for the first time in 30 years, the United States is now exporting more petroleum products than it imports.

But Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, challenged Obama's apparent effort to take credit.

"While oil production is up, the increase relates almost entirely to investment and leasing decisions made before, sometimes long before, this administration came into office," Gerard said. "The increase is also due to oil and gas development on private and state lands over which the administration has little or no control at all."

Though Obama's approval rating on the economy has climbed, his negative rating on handling gas prices is stagnant. Just 39 percent approve of what he's doing there, and 58 percent disapprove, according to the new AP-GFK survey.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said gasoline prices are likely to keep rising as the summer driving season approaches. "Increasingly, it's becoming the biggest threat to the economy," he said. "And there is little presidents can do to influence gasoline prices in the near term."

Some lawmakers have called for Obama to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

"Rising gas prices could be the difference between an economy that continues to recover and an economy that sinks back into recession," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., among those calling for such a move.

The emergency reserve is kept in salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana and contains about 700 million barrels of oil. There are 42 gallons in each barrel. Last year, as prices rose, Obama authorized the sale of 30 million barrels of oil from the reserve.

However, economists suggest that tapping the reserve to increase the amount of oil on the market has only a modest and temporary effect on gas prices.

Will Obama take that step? White House spokesman Jay Carney says, "We never take options off the table."

Obama may just have to get used to the criticism, because it probably isn't going away anytime soon, said James Thurber, an American University political science professor. "Republicans will hit him with anything that comes up which makes him look bad," he said.

Still, as long as the economy seems to keep improving, Obama probably won't be hurt too much by the attacks "unless gas goes over $5 a gallon," Thurber said.

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Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum

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