06-16-2021  5:54 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Police Officer Indicted Over August 2020 Use of Force Incident

Officer Corey Budworth has been charged with one count of Assault in the Fourth Degree for alleged criminal conduct that occurred during a protest.

MacKenzie Scott, Citing Wealth Gap, Donates $2.7 Billion

This is the third round of major philanthropic gifts Scott has made, which together rival the charitable contributions made by the largest foundations

Oregon GOP Legislator Ousted Over State Capitol Breach

Republican lawmakers voted with majority Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives to expel an unapologetic Rep. Mike Nearman with a 59-1 vote.

Senator Lew Frederick: Juneteenth Senate Floor Speech

Sen. Frederick carried HB 2168 in the Oregon Senate, and gave a moving floor speech, illustrated with treasured family photos, prior to the Senate vote on June 1.

NEWS BRIEFS

Severe Blood Shortage: Donors Needed Now to Address Delays in Patient Care

New effects of pandemic leading to significant drop in nation’s blood supply ...

Employment Department’s Domain Registration Expires

The Oregon Employment Department’s website for posting economic data went away over the weekend, apparently because the state...

Student-led Nonprofit is Seeking High Schoolers to Join its 'Summer Action Team'

Formed in 2020 in response to COVID-19, the Portland Student Pandemic Response provides space for students to make a lasting impact...

Oregon DOJ’s 2021 “Community Conversations” Series Underway

Listening sessions seek input on improvements to victim services ...

Christopher R. Upperman Joins Advocacy Organization Law Champs

Upperman, formally in the Obama administration as well as on the Biden Harris transition team and currently Manager, is currently...

Climate change threat: Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes listing a bird found in the North Cascades as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due to the likelihood that climate change will shrink its high-elevation habitat throughout the state. The Mount...

Former WNBA, Louisville guard Schimmel arrested in Oregon

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Former WNBA All-Star Game MVP and Louisville All-American guard Shoni Schimmel is being held in an Oregon jail on multiple charges including felony assault and criminal mischief. Schimmel, 29, was arrested early Monday and remained in the Umatilla County...

OPINION

Rx Upper Payment Limit Bill Will Worsen Chronic Disease for Oregonians Most at Risk

A measure being considered by Oregon state legislature will perpetuate a harmful trend for Oregon’s communities of color. ...

COMMENTARY: 100 Days of Biden-Harris

I see the trillion price tag on the Biden legislation as more of an investment than simple spending. ...

Power and Pride to the People!

Happy Pride month to Black LGBTQ readers and to all of us who love LGBTQ people! ...

You Are Not an Imposter

felt I didn’t belong and secretly, I was waiting for the program to tell me that they made a mistake in my admission. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Video shows man apologized before Honolulu police shot him

HONOLULU (AP) — Doorbell camera video obtained and made public by lawyers representing the family of a man fatally shot two months ago by Honolulu police provides more information about the events that unfolded before the deadly encounter with officers. The footage shows that...

After enrollment dips, public schools hope for fall rebound

Ashley Pearce’s daughter was set to start kindergarten last year in Maryland’s Montgomery County school system. But when it became clear that the year would begin online, Pearce found a nearby Catholic school offering in-person instruction and made the switch. Now Pearce is...

US military's elite commando forces look to expand diversity

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy never had to look too hard to fill its elite SEAL force. For years, eager recruits poured in to try out for naval special warfare teams — but they were overwhelmingly white. Now, Naval Special Warfare Command leaders are trying to turn that around,...

ENTERTAINMENT

New York Philharmonic to resume performances Sept. 17

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Philharmonic will resume subscription performances in September following a historic 18-month gap caused by the coronavirus pandemic, presenting a shortened schedule of 78 concerts in a season shifted from Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall while the orchestra’s...

Winfrey, Hearst have Black journalists tell elders' stories

NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey and Hearst Magazines are teaming up for interviews that pair young Black journalists with elders who include civil rights activists, celebrities and others sharing some lessons learned in life. The project, “Lift Every Voice,” will be featured...

Winfrey's new book pick is novel 'The Sweetness of Water'

NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey's next book club pick is a debut novel set in Georgia at the end of the Civil War: Nathan Harris' “The Sweetness of Water.” “One of my great joys is finding a new author whose work I can share and support,” Winfrey said Tuesday in a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Durant's sensational performance sends Nets to 3-2 lead

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant has always been one of the NBA's most unstoppable scorers. The...

British lawyer Karim Khan sworn in as ICC's chief prosecutor

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — British lawyer Karim Khan was sworn in Wednesday as the new chief prosecutor for...

China set to send first crew to new space station Thursday

JIUQUAN, China (AP) — The three members of the first crew to be sent to China's space station say they're eager...

UK fends off demands to give workers more virus support help

LONDON (AP) — The British government fended off calls Tuesday to provide more financial support to businesses...

The Latest: France to drop masks outdoors, nightly curfew

PARIS — France is lifting mandatory mask-wearing outdoors and will halt an eight-month nightly coronavirus...

Experts: UK is losing race to adapt to climate change

LONDON (AP) — Britain is losing the race to adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change, including...

Jonah Most New America Media

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.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events