02-17-2020  8:27 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

State and Local Leaders Push Back Against Fair Housing Changes

Trump administration proposes weakened regulation, tracking of housing discrimination


Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Attorney Jamila Taylor Announces Run for State House of Representatives in Washington

Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Irresponsible Government Use of Facial Recognition Technology

The technology heightens the risk of over-surveillance and over-policing, especially in communities of color ...

Jury decides convicted Oregon meth dealer should lose home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Yamhill County jury has concluded that police can seize the home of a woman convicted of a felony drug crime under Oregon’s civil forfeiture law.Sheryl Sublet, 62, pleaded guilty in 2018 to to selling less than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, The...

Police seek suspect who robbed 3 Portland banks in 1 hour

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man robbed three Portland banks in less than one hour last week, according to the Portland Police Bureau.The robberies occurred Friday, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported.The man wore glasses, a black beanie and flannel shirt.He robbed the Bank of the West on...


Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...


Bloomberg takes veiled swipe at rival's aggressive loyalists

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, Democratic presidential candidates campaigning were fixated on a rival who wasn't contesting the state. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg all went after billionaire Mike...

Ex-South African leader de Klerk sorry for apartheid comment

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former South African president FW de Klerk on Monday apologized and withdrew his statement that the country's former harsh system of racial separation known as apartheid was not a crime against humanity.De Klerk, the last president under apartheid, caused an uproar with...

Portugal leaders rally around racially abused soccer player

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices to a national outcry Monday over racist abuse aimed at a black FC Porto soccer player who walked off the field after hearing monkey chants.Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the incident was...


Snoop Dogg apologizes to Gayle King for rant over Bryant

NEW YORK (AP) — After days of blistering criticism, Snoop Dogg has finally apologized to Gayle King for attacking her over her interview with former basketball star Lisa Leslie about the late Kobe Bryant.“Two wrongs don't make no right. when you're wrong, you gotta fix it," he said in...

Voigt shocked paper ran her photo with Freni's obituary

Deborah Voigt was in California earlier this week when she got a text from a friend on the East Coast."So sorry to hear the news of your passing," read the Monday message.The Gazzetta di Parma newspaper in Italy had run an obituary of Mirella Freni, the great Italian soprano who died Sunday at age...

Lizzo talks diversity, self-confidence and femininity

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fresh from winning three Grammys, singer Lizzo visited Mexico City for a private concert, surprising her fans with acoustic versions of her hits and a toast with tequila.The star from Detroit, who won best pop solo performance (“Truth Hurts”), best...


Rain postpones Daytona 500, dampening event, Trump's visit

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain for the first time since 2012,...

Portugal leaders rally around racially abused soccer player

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices to a national...

GM plans to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors decision to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as part of a...

Popular Rwandan gospel musician found dead in police cell

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — A popular Rwandan gospel musician who in 2015 was found guilty of conspiracy to...

Pompeo in Africa visit praises Angola's moves against graft

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his latest Africa stop on Monday praised...

Syria military hails advance against rebels in 'record time'

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria praised its troops Monday for rapidly taking over rebel-controlled territory...

Bill Mears CNN Supreme Court Producer

HEREFORD, Arizona (CNN) -- No better symbol of the deep political and social divide over illegal immigration exists than here on the Mexico-U.S. border, along Glenn Spencer's rural desert property. And no better symbol exists of the contradictions and conundrums from an unresolved government enforcement policy.

Halfway down the 104-acre ranch is the state-of-the-art border fence: 18-foot-high steel beams, buried 6 to 8 feet deep to discourage tunneling. Imposing and discouraging. But then the tall ribbon stops, replaced by easily breached, angled beams, no more than 3 feet high. And further down, no fence at all where it crosses the heavily tree-lined San Pedro River.

As dusk approaches, two U.S. Border Patrol pickup trucks amble separately along Spencer's backyard in search of illegal crossings, which have been slowed but not stopped by these human barriers. The abundant mesquite bushes with their inch-long thorns might prove a more effective screen.

The story of the wall -- looking in or looking out, depending on your point of view -- is also the story of two opposing views, embodied by Spencer's border monitoring group and by Phoenix Police Officer David Salgado. Both have invested their time and reputations in a legal fight now before the U.S. Supreme Court: whether Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration unconstitutionally intrudes on the Obama administration's authority.

The state law SB 1070 has become a flashpoint for a decades-long national debate over controlling the borders. What the justices decide in coming weeks will have broad implications in this election-year issue, but could also set new legal markers in the equally strident debate over state versus federal power.

David Salgado: "It's a racist law"

For more than two decades, Salgado has been a self-described "beat cop" in the historic Garfield neighborhood, one of the oldest in Arizona's capital. As he walked the streets of the mostly Hispanic community with CNN, almost everyone greeted him by name. He said that rapport has helped built trust, and helped solve crimes. But the officer worries the new act may destroy all that.

"After the law went up, many didn't want to look at us anymore," he told CNN. "They were just afraid, and that brought division between the police and the Hispanic community."

Salgado was one of the first to sue the state in federal court, trying to block SB 1070 from taking effect. He said he would be forced to detain and question people based on their ethnicity, exposing him to civil lawsuits, something the legislation allows. "I can be sued if I act; I can be sued if I don't act."

"It's a racist law because it basically picks and chooses certain people, and I think that's wrong," he said on a recent morning. "I took an oath 20 years ago that said I'm going to enforce all laws and treat everyone equal. ... but I can't treat Hispanics equally because I'm going to have to profile them."

State officials strongly assert racial profiling would not be tolerated, and a state board has been created to set uniform enforcement standards. The law's backers say police officers are professionals and stopping crime is based on conduct, not skin color or ethnic background.

Other groups filing suit include clergy members, concerned their desert border rescues of illegal crossers, and even neighborhood day care transportation of young Hispanic-Americans, would leave them susceptible to random police suspicion and detention.

Salgado's attorney, Stephen Montoya of Phoenix, says some state officials, including Gov. Jan Brewer, are exaggerating the immigration "crisis."

"The whole rhetoric that Arizona is some kind of war zone isn't borne out," he said. "I don't have any problem with state law enforcement officers enforcing federal immigration law if they do so in accordance with federal immigration law, if they get the certification and training required from (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), if they get the supervision required by federal law from ICE. But unilaterally doing that without any federal involvement? That is a recipe for destruction, and the state has already seen that."

Salgado, who was born in Texas but has lived in Phoenix since age 5, admits his opposition to the law has also divided law enforcement, creating stress with some fellow officers questioning his motives.

The city's union for police officers as well as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio aggressively lobbied for SB 1070. Recently retired Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris is among law enforcement leaders who remain critics.

"The federal government is not doing its job" stemming illegal immigration, Salgado said. "But when they (state officials) want us to do their job, and where kids are being separated from their parents (in police sweeps), it's horrible. And that just bothers me as a human being."

He cites as another example his 78-year-old mother, a U.S. citizen like him. "If she gets nervous, that's all she'll do, she'll speak Spanish. So if she's driving a car and an officer stops her, that's all she's gonna speak, Spanish. And if she hands over her Arizona driver's license, and our computers are down, well, they can't verify it. So that officer has a right, under that law, to take my mother from the car to the station to fingerprint her to find out if she's legal or not.

"And that becomes personal to me," Salgado said, getting emotional. "Because there are many citizens here, especially in Phoenix, Arizona, where they don't speak English. But they are citizens, and that's going to violate their rights as an American."

Glenn Spencer: "You had better protect the people"

Two hundred and twenty miles south of the capital, the high desert views are spectacular. Isolated orange-colored mountains, Saguaro cactus, and javelinas -- pig-like native hoofed mammals -- brighten the arid landscape.

Glenn Spencer's laptop helps provide panoramic vistas, thanks to several cameras mounted on a 46-foot pole next to his ranch house. It is part of a high-tech monitoring system he set up as founder of the privately run American Border Patrol. He says its members are watching because the federal government has not been doing its job.

Volunteers, some hundreds of miles away, can use Spencer's Internet website to spot illegal immigrants and smugglers along a 20-mile stretch, reporting what they see to border protection officials.

Spencer -- a retired systems engineer and businessman -- claims that not only the 18-foot wall, but also the smaller barriers abutting his property were put up a couple of years ago by the federal government, after the ABP exposed what were nightly border crossings numbering sometimes in the hundreds.

"It used to be the Wild West, and now it's gated community here, so I look at that wall and I feel somewhat safe," which he says is not true of other border regions. Spencer firmly believes his group and the state can and should be assisting the federal government in what he labels a local and national problem.

"I think the Supreme Court has to stand up and say (to Washington): 'You had better protect the people, and they're going to protect themselves if you're not doing your job,'" he told CNN. "And we're going to make sure the federal government gets all the help it needs to do the job. You've got to do better but you haven't done it. We're going to let the states help you out."

ABP engineer Mike King showed off the group's latest technological advance: what it calls the Sonic Barrier, which can detect humans, vehicles, even aircraft moving within 300 feet of the Mexican border.

"It's a seismic line that we lay out, and it can be stretched out for an infinite number of miles, and it will detect every single thing that crosses it," King said. "It is user-friendly, it doesn't require a ton of manpower to be watching this, because the sensors do the job for you."

Using solar panels, batteries and digital converters that could someday be linked along five-mile increments, continually streaming images are sent to a central monitoring site. The cameras are also thermal and can be operated in the dark.

King demonstrated by having local Arizona residents walk along the border as test subjects. As they approached the metal fence, a red light and loud siren went off on King's computer in the ranch offices, alerting the intruders' presence.

Spencer has testified before state committees, trying to get officials to adopt the technology, which he claims would be much cheaper than "virtual fence" systems being developed by the feds.

Spotter planes -- including an unmanned "Border Hawk" equipped with cameras providing 360-degree digital cameras views -- are also used by ABP, a non-profit funded mostly by small individual contributions.

The group's work has been criticized by those claiming Spencer and his associates are self-appointed vigilantes, with a virulent anti-immigrant and anti-federal bias. But he broadly pronounces that American civilization is at risk, from security and economic standpoints, because of illegal immigration.

"I have nothing against Mexico or Mexicans, but when you import poverty on a massive scale, and you have a population of people who are far below the standard base of income of Americans, you can only expect to run into serious problems," he said.

"I think it is necessary for the state to assist our (federal) government to enforce our law. We are a nation of laws, and I think the state of Arizona wants to make sure it remains that way."

A point of agreement: The issues are complex

Both Spencer and Salgado agree the federal government is not doing enough to stem illegal immigration. They also recognize the complexity of the issues, and neither claims to have all the answers. But they disagree on what "help" is needed.

Groups and individuals filing legal briefs to the Supreme Court -- both for and against the law -- number in the hundreds: lawmakers, religious leaders, cities, and issue advocates. SB 1070's opponents use words like hate, fear, and extremism to describe its effects. Supporters call it patriotic, reasonable, and necessary.

Each side brings a unique perspective that must now be sorted out by the high court. What the justices say will be the final word of sorts, but for a border activist and Phoenix cop, the stakes are personal, and will be felt firsthand for years.

"This is the community I was brought up in," Salgado said of Phoenix. "This is where I belong."


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