10-16-2019  7:48 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:___The East Oregonian, Oct. 15, on getting flu shots:Imagine if every year the U.S. military suffered thousands of causalities in some foreign conflict.It is a difficult and chilling scenario. Fortunately, no such war exists, but every year seasonal flu...

2 Oregon counties offer vote-by-mobile to overseas voters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two Oregon counties are offering the opportunity for members of the U.S. military, their dependents and others living overseas to vote in special elections this November with smartphones.While some technology experts have warned that such a system could be insecure,...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bulgaria arrests 6 soccer fans following racist acts

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian police arrested six soccer fans Wednesday and identified 15 people linked to making racist gestures, including Nazi salutes, during a European Championship qualifying match against England.Bulgarian fans also directed monkey noises at England's black players...

UEFA punishes Lazio for fans' racism at Europa League game

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has punished Lazio for fans' racist behavior by closing one end of Stadio Olimpico for its Europa League game against Celtic.UEFA says its disciplinary panel also threatened Lazio with a one-game full stadium closure, suspended for a one-year probationary...

Some decry Gov. Cuomo for using racial slur during interview

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Some criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday for using a racial slur for African Americans while discussing historical discrimination toward darker-skinned Italian immigrants.The Democrat used the slur in an interview on WAMC radio while speaking about Columbus Day...

ENTERTAINMENT

Only 3 returning big network shows see rise in live viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC's sophomore drama "A Million Little Things," reality show "Shark Tank" and the Fox first-responders drama "9-1-1" have something in common that they can take pride in.Over the first three weeks of the television season, they are the only three of 49 prime-time shows...

AP Exclusive: Julie Andrews reflects on her Hollywood years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Everyone is on their best behavior when Julie Andrews is around.It's early June in Los Angeles and Andrews is coming to film segments for a night of guest programming on Turner Classic Movies and speak about her new book, "Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years," which...

Gina Rodriguez apologizes for singing N-word lyric

NEW YORK (AP) — Gina Rodriguez has apologized for singing along on her Instagram story to a Fugees verse that includes the N-word.The "Jane the Virgin" actress deleted the short video she posted Tuesday and replaced it with her apology, but not before memes and other backlash ensued....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals...

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used...

Kim rides horse on sacred peak, vows to fight US sanctions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea released a series of photos Wednesday showing leader Kim Jong Un...

Probe uncovers high-level unease over Trump, Giuliani moves

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment inquiry is exposing new details about unease in the State...

Tensions high as South Sudan faces unity government deadline

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's fragile peace deal is faltering less than a month before the...

Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals...

McMenamins
Greg Bluestein the Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- The nation's largest private prison company made an enticing offer to 48 states that went something like this: We will buy your prison now if you agree to keep it mostly full and promise to pay us for running it over the next two decades.

Despite a need for cash, several states immediately slammed the door on the offer, a sign that privatizing prisons might not be as popular as it once was.

Corrections Corporation of America sent letters to the prison leaders in January, saying it had a pot of $250 million to buy facilities as part of an investment. The company is trying to capitalize on the landmark deal it made with Ohio in the fall by purchasing a facility, the first state prison in the nation to be sold to a private firm.

Prison departments in California, Texas and Georgia all dismissed the idea. Florida's prison system said it doesn't have the authority to make that kind of decision and officials in CCA's home state of Tennessee said they aren't reviewing the proposal. The states refused to say exactly why they were rejecting the offer.

"Knowing the state government, it has to have something to do with the potential political backlash," said Jeanne Stinchcomb, a criminal justice professor at Florida Atlantic University who has written two books on the corrections industry. "Privatization has reaped some negative publicity, so I can only assume that despite the possible benefits, there would be a price to pay for supporting it."

Bruce Bayley, associate professor of criminal justice at Weber State University, said he hoped something other than politics drove the states' decisions.

"It's always hard for politicians to turn down the money," said Bayley. "On the flipside, though, it speaks well to the professionalism of corrections departments of these states who don't want to sell out to companies just to add some money to their bank accounts."

Critics of private prisons called the offer a backdoor way to delay the sentencing reform movements that have sprung up in many states looking to cut prison budgets. Lawmakers in many conservative states that once eagerly passed tough-on-crime laws are now embracing alternative sentences for low-level offenders who would otherwise be locked up.

CCA said selling a prison to a private firm doesn't block states from pursuing sentencing reform. The company also said it was still too early to say whether any state would take them up on the bid.

"It was an outreach letter making them aware of these offers, it's yet another tool in the toolbox," said company spokesman Steve Owen. "We can design and build and own facilities from scratch or manage government facilities, but this is a third business model."

CCA said the offer was inspired by the $72.7 million sale of Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Ohio. CCA and its main competitors, which have said they don't plan to make a similar offer, typically build their own prisons or manage state-owned lockups.

"We want to build on that success and provide our existing or prospective government partners with access to the same opportunity as they manage challenging corrections budgets," Harley Lappin, the company's chief corrections officer, said in the letter to prison leaders.

Eligible facilities must have at least 1,000 beds, must be less than 25 years old and in good condition, and have to maintain at least a 90 percent occupancy rate.

The private prison industry boomed in the late 1980s and 1990s as states sought cheaper ways to jail people and voters began resisting building more prisons. Now companies like CCA and its main rival, Florida-based Geo Group Inc., operate dozens of private prisons throughout the nation.

But efforts to privatize prisons have become highly-charged political debates in many states, partly because a sale often requires legislative approval or an OK by the governor.

In Louisiana, lawmakers last year defeated Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to privatize and sell several state prisons to generate $90 million. Relatives of prison employees aggressively fought the move, fearing that they would get lower pay and less benefits working for a private firm.

An effort to privatize a chunk of Florida's prisons also met stiff opposition from lawmakers in February. They blocked what would have been the largest prison privatization in the U.S.

Some critics of CCA's bid said their concerns extend beyond the financial costs of a deal. About two dozen religious groups signed a letter saying that accepting the proposal would be "costly to the moral strength of your state."

"Mr. Lappin's proposal is an invitation to deepening state debt, increased costs to people of color who are disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration as well as their families and communities, and decreased public safety," said the letter, sent by groups including The Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.



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