09-24-2020  2:42 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

Seattle City Council Overrides Mayor's Veto of Policing Cuts

Seattle will reduce the police department’s budget and reallocate some money to community programs

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

NEWS BRIEFS

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

13 arrests, probe opened into officer conduct at protests

SEATTLE (AP) — Police in Seattle arrested 13 people as authorities said people smashed windows and spray painted buildings during protests Wednesday night following a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to not indict officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.Police said one Seattle...

Officials reporthighest daily COVID-19 case count since July

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority reported 382 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, the state's highest daily case count since mid-July. Officials also said 77 employees at a seafood processing plant on the Oregon Coast tested positive for coronavirus. The outbreak was tied to...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

No. 2 Crimson Tide visit Mizzou to begin SEC-only schedule

Alabama coach Nick Saban had nothing but praise for Eli Drinkwitz when discussing his Missouri counterpart this week.Hard to find much fault when Drinkwitz has only lost one game as a head coach.Of course, the up-and-coming boss of the Tigers also only has one season under his belt. But the 12-win...

OPINION

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

ACLU Statement on Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Verdict

Carl Takei, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, issued a statement about today's charges ...

True Justice Denied to Police Murder Victim Breonna Taylor, Greenlining Institute Says

The organization's president and CEO releases a response to today’s announcement of only minor charges -- "wanton endangerment" -- for one of the Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawyer: Case of Black inmate set to die reveals racial bias

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The lawyer for the first Black inmate scheduled to die this year as part of the Trump administration’s resumption of federal executions says race played a central role in landing her client on death row for slaying a young white Iowa couple and burning them in...

Idaho man sues over state's anti-sodomy law

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho man represented by a coalition of civil rights attorneys is suing the state's attorney general over Idaho's so-called “infamous crime against nature” law, which makes it illegal to have oral or anal sex. The man, who uses the pseudonym “John...

The Latest: Taylor's family to hold Friday news conference

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on a grand jury's decision not to indict police officers on criminal charges directly related to Breonna Taylor's death: (all times EDT)4:30 p.m.The family of Breonna Taylor plans to hold a news conference Friday morning along with civil rights attorney Ben...

ENTERTAINMENT

New Year's Eve in Times Square incorporates virtual elements

NEW YORK (AP) — New Year's Eve in Times Square will incorporate virtual elements, organizers said Wednesday as they gear up for a celebration that will have to be scaled down and socially distant in response to the coronavirus.Details are still coming together, but the Times Square Alliance,...

Annual Lennon tribute, in 40th year, goes online

NEW YORK (AP) — Like many other events, an annual John Lennon tribute concert that takes place in his adopted city of New York on his Oct. 9 birthday has been forced online because of the coronavirus pandemic.There was no way it was being canceled, not on what would have been Lennon's 80th...

Disney delays 'Black Widow,' Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. has further postponed its next mega-movies from Marvel, including “Black Widow,” while also postponing Steven Spielberg's “West Side Story” a full year in the company's latest recalibration due to the pandemic.Ten of Disney's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP-NORC poll: Support for racial injustice protests declines

NEW YORK (AP) — As the decision in Kentucky to bring charges against only one of three police officers...

Stuck at sea: Nations urged to help virus-stranded mariners

PARIS (AP) — Another COVID-19 problem that the U.N. is trying to solve: how to help more than 300,000...

Rejecting Trump, both parties' leaders see orderly election

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he...

UK may take part in COVID-19 vaccine 'challenge studies'

LONDON (AP) — The British government says it may take part in a study that tries to deliberately infect...

Kremlin critic Navalny's apartment seized, his aide says

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities seized Alexei Navalny’s Moscow apartment while the opposition...

At UN, Africa urges fiscal help against virus 'apocalypse'

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — African nations came out swinging on the third day of the United Nations annual...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Meghan Barr the Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- As spring approaches, Occupy Wall Street protesters who mostly hibernated all winter are beginning to stir with plans for renewed demonstrations six months after the movement was born.

The global protests against corporate excess and economic inequality are generally thought to have begun Sept. 17 when tents sprang up in a small granite plaza in lower Manhattan. The movement has lost steam in recent months, with media attention and donations dropping off as Occupy encampments across the country were dismantled, some by force.

On March 7, the finance accounting group in New York City reported that just about $119,000 remained in Occupy's bank account - the equivalent of about two weeks' worth of expenses.

The Occupy movement has influenced the national dialogue about economic equality, with the word "occupy" itself becoming part of the public lexicon. In his third State of the Union address, President Barack Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the movement's message. But has anything really changed in the past six months?

Some achievements that can be connected to the efforts of the Occupy movement, and some plans for the near future:

WHAT GOT DONE

In Albany, N.Y., Occupy protesters dubbed Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo "Gov. 1 Percent" for his refusal since the 2010 campaign to agree to a millionaire tax, and because his major campaign financial support comes from corporate executives.

Cuomo tried to evict Occupy Albany from the park co-owned by the city and the state. But the Democratic mayor, Gerald Jennings, agreed to allow Occupy Albany to stay on the city-owned side. Local Democratic District Attorney David Soares also announced he wouldn't prosecute anyone for disorderly conduct at Occupy Albany who might be arrested by state police - who answer to Cuomo.

In a surprise, Cuomo reversed his position on the millionaire tax in December to avoid further cuts to schools and health care. Part of the $2 billion in revenue went to a modest but rare income tax cut of $200 to $400 for most middle class families. Cuomo refers to the millionaire tax as the biggest tax cut for the middle class in decades.

Democratic lawmakers attributed Cuomo's move in part to the Occupy protesters who had targeted him across the street from the Capitol for months and had begun demonstrating just outside his office.

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An Atlanta pastor, whose church struggled to pay its bills after its building was struck by a 2008 tornado, credits Occupy Atlanta with helping it to avoid foreclosure. The Rev. Dexter Johnson's church, the Higher Ground Empowerment Center, took out a loan to rebuild and has struggled to pay its mortgage in recent months.

Johnson said the bank had agreed to work with the church to help pay its mortgage after demonstrations by Occupy members. Demonstrators had set up a camp at the church in Atlanta's Vine City neighborhood, just west of downtown.

In January, Johnson learned his congregation would be allowed to stay in the building.

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In Rhode Island, Occupy Providence pushed for - and won - a temporary day center to serve the homeless during the winter. Protesters made the center's opening a condition of their departure from a public park downtown, where they had camped against the city's wishes for more than three months.

While the city didn't fund the center, officials pledged to help its operator, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, find money for it.

"It shows that with pressure from people, a government can be made to move," protester Robert Malin said at the time of the center's opening.

The city had threatened legal action to remove the protesters and their tents from the park, but the two sides instead went into mediation before a judge.

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Also in Rhode Island, the state's junior U.S. senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, introduced a bill in November to crack down on high credit card interest rates - the same week he visited the Providence encampment. While there was no direct relationship between Occupy and the bill, Whitehouse spokesman Seth Larson said Thursday, the legislation no doubt resonated with the protesters.

"It was timely, and I'm sure the Occupy folks appreciated this bill," Larson said.

Whitehouse had introduced similar legislation a year earlier.

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Occupy protesters helped save an Iraq war veteran's home from foreclosure in Atlanta, the Huffington Post reported. "I strongly believe Occupy Atlanta accelerated the process and helped save my home," Brigitte Walker, whose home activists began occupying Dec. 6, told the website. "If it had not been for them standing up, I probably wouldn't be having this happy ending." Walker had left Iraq in May 2004 when she was injured by the shock from mortar rounds, the Post reported.

Occupy Minneapolis also worked with community organizers to help a former Marine who faced eviction from his home strike a deal with his bank, the Post reported.

WHAT'S NEXT

Occupiers in New York City will commemorate the six-month mark with a rally Saturday in Zuccotti Park, where protesters camped out for months until the city ousted them in November.

Organizers are hoping donations will start to flow in as protests begin anew this spring, including a global day of "economic disruption" on May 1.

And in some states, Occupy supporters are making forays into politics. Asher Platts is running for the state senate in Maine as a "Clean Elections" candidate. Platts, an activist who attended the protests last fall, is running on an Occupy platform.

In suburban Philadelphia, Occupy protester Nathan I. Kleinman is running a write-in campaign for Congress against four-term Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the Democratic primary on April 24. The 29-year-old said he never would have mounted a run without his Occupy experience. Kleinman withdrew from the ballot after a court hearing in which Schwartz's supporters questioned some of the 1,500 required signatures he had gathered to appear on the ballot.

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jeff Martin in Atlanta, Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia, Michael Gormley in Albany, N.Y., Erika Niedowski and David Klepper in Providence, R.I., and News Researcher Julie Reed in New York.

© 2012 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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