12-10-2019  3:00 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Person dies when travel trailer catches fire, explodes

ALFALFA, Ore. (AP) — One person died when a travel trailer caught fire and exploded east of Bend, authorities said.KTVZ-TV reports Crook County deputies were sent shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday for a welfare check on someone living in the trailer near Alfalfa, according to Sheriff John...

Portland police release names in officer shooting of man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police have released the name of the officer who shot and killed a man Sunday afternoon outside a coffee shop on Portland's southeast side. The Portland Police Bureau said Monday that Officer Justin Raphael shot the man while Officer Daniel Leonard used less lethal...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

AP Source: Mizzou hiring Appalachian State's Eli Drinkwitz

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri reached an agreement Sunday with Eliah Drinkwitz to take over the Tigers' once-proud football program, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, making Appalachian State's successful coach the second-youngest in a Power Five...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NHL Commissioner: We will not tolerate abusive behavior

MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday the NHL will work swiftly to make changes to better deal with personnel conduct issues in the wake of incidents that surfaced in recent weeks.Speaking at the end of the first day of the Board of Governors meeting at the Inn at...

Jury selection starts for trial in college student's killing

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — Jury selection began Monday for the trial of a white man charged with a hate crime in the fatal stabbing of a black college student on the University of Maryland’s campus.Jurors are expected to hear opening statements for Sean Urbanski’s trial later...

Nevada third to vote, still up for grabs for 2020 Democrats

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada won its coveted early date in the presidential primary because it was supposed to offer Democrats something different.It’s more racially diverse than the two states that weigh in earlier, Iowa and New Hampshire. Its population is young, working class, largely...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Benson,’ ‘Star Trek’ actor René Auberjonois has died at 79

LOS ANGELES (AP) — René Auberjonois, a prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his part in the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” playing Father Mulcahy, has died. He was 79. The actor died...

Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO

NEW YORK (AP) — The Golden Globe TV nominations were most striking not for what they included, but what they didn't: The traditional broadcast networks were completely shut out in all 55 nominations.It was a crowning moment for Netflix, and not just for the jeweled one on Queen Elizabeth's...

Golden snubs and surprises, including little 'Cats' love

NEW YORK (AP) — Some Golden Globe nominations seemed like locks: Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hanks, Adam Driver and Eddie Murphy. But others were shocks, like Lupita Nyong'o not getting a nomination for “Us.” Other notable snubs and surprises:MEN ONLYOnly men made the best director...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Spy Harder: Patriots caught videotaping in Spygate sequel

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots acknowledged on Monday night that a video crew working...

In Sweden's Arctic, global warming threatens reindeer herds

KIRUNA, Sweden (AP) — Thick reindeer fur boots and a fur hat covering most of his face shielded Niila Inga...

India’s crackdown hits religious freedom in disputed Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For years Romi Jan’s mornings would begin with the plaintive call to prayer...

Former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov dies at 83

MOSCOW (AP) — The former mayor of Moscow and one of the founders of Russia's ruling United Russia party,...

South Korea says North's recent test was of rocket engine

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday that North Korea's recent unspecified...

Algerian court convicts 2 ex-prime ministers of corruption

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Two former prime ministers of Algeria have been convicted and sentenced to prison...

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MUIR BEACH, Calif. — At 7:00 AM Cyrina King often starts her workday taking the temperature of the compost pile. A recent graduate from Bard College, King is working as a summer counselor at Slide Ranch, a Marin-based organization that teaches farm skills and environmental science to children.

The pay may be minimal, but the position comes with perks that staff say far exceed those offered in corporate offices, including tent lodging, unlimited goat cheese, great views and a fantastic community.

Choosing to pursue work outdoors, some young adults today in Northern California are defying expectations of a generation thought to be too obsessed with technology to have interest in the great outdoors.

The average adolescent spends 7.5 hours per day consuming entertainment media, leaving little time for much else. Youth obesity rates are at record highs and attendance levels at US national forests and state parks have been declining for several decades.

But, while addiction to screens keeps many indoors, some young adults are rejecting this trend and are declining to spend their time tuned-in, logged-on or otherwise zoned out.

Employment is one area where young adults' interest in the outdoors is most visible. For recent graduates, choosing a career is often the most important decision they have ever made and some are rejecting the notion that a college degree is a license to sit in front of a computer 8 hours per day.

King said that she believes this is characteristic of her generation's unique position as the last to grow up before the proliferation of portable electronic devises. Personally witnessing the rise of electronic media, she said she feels she has a responsibility to sustain interest in the outdoors.

This sentiment is reflective of Richard Louv's book The Last Child In the Woods, published in 2005, in which Louv writes about psychological and behavioral problems associated with diminished time spent outdoors in childhood.

"I was encouraged to find that many people now of college age — those who belong to the first generation to grow up in a largely de-natured environment — have tasted just enough nature to intuitively understand what they have missed," Louv writes in the introduction of his book.

"This yearning is a source of power. These young people resist the rapid slide from the real to the virtual, from the mountains to the Matrix. They do not intend to be the last children in the woods," he writes.

Various staff members at Slide Ranch say that working in an office setting simply does not appeal to them. King said that she has instead found learning farm skills empowering. Other opportunities for recent graduates, such as working for a large established company, "are really limited and really fake," she said.

Maya Havusha, who works with King, said that spending long hours indoors conducting research for her thesis convinced her to pursue a career that involved working outdoors.

Her job at the ranch involves working with children, milking goats and attending to a variety of other farm chores.

Havusha said she was also motivated to work at the ranch because she feels responsible for teaching future generations about the environment. She said that teaching is one way she feels that she can make a real impact.

"Our kids probably won't know anyone who doesn't know what the Internet is," she said. What we're teaching the kids is just the bare minimum. "It's basic level stuff, this is a goat, not a cow."

At UC Berkeley, the student career office has seen a growing interest in the environmental field in recent years. The career office has begun offering a specialized green career jobs fair, which showcases opportunities in industry, sciences and community non-profits, including opportunities that would bring students outdoors.

"I think there are a number of students for whom the idea of working 9-5 at a desk sounds very limiting and a little dreary," said Suzanne Helbig, Assistant Director of the Career Center at UC Berkeley in a phone interview. "It's not something they're used to. Especially being college students, they're out walking about from building to building, from topic to topic so a lot of this desire comes from wanting variety in their jobs," she said.

While there are enticing opportunities for those seeking work outdoors, there is also stiff competition.

The East Bay Regional Park District, which offers paid student internships in natural sciences and environmental education, receives typically 200 applications for just 10-12 internship positions. Among applicants, about 60 percent indicate that they would prefer a position outdoors as opposed to a desk job.

"People have grown up going to our parks and to hear that there is actually a paid internship available at the park district is almost unbelievable," said Sonja Stanchina, a human resources officer for the agency, characterizing the response of applicants.

Positions for the National Park Service's approximately 10,000 seasonal positions are often competitive as well but the perks have no comparison in office work, said Park Service Spokesperson Kathy Kupper. "Park rangers get paid in sunsets," she said, adding that staff at the park service have the opportunity to be "working in places where people travel to and spend money just to go on vacation."

There has been about a 10 percent increase in applications for seasonal positions at the park service, according to Kupper.

Many popular outdoor careers, such as botanists, foresters, landscape architects and wildlife biologists have higher than average pay but are projected to grow at slightly slower rates than the overall workforce, according the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But, the summer already half over, in early-July King and Havusha were searching again for jobs.

For this, they must return inside to their computers. It felt ironic, Havusha said. "I was emailing [potential employers] saying that I want to spend my life with kids outside."

For others, working at a park for the summer is just a way to soak in some sunlight before beginning an indoor career, which some believe to be an inevitable reality. Kupper said that she finds about 20 percent of seasonal employees intend to later pursue careers in completely unrelated fields, such as in law or accounting. These employees figure "I've got a couple summers to live the dream, to work with my hands," she said.

Jobs outdoors offer these individuals "an opportunity to work outside before they're looking at it from the inside out," she said.

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