01-16-2022  10:23 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner Foundation Drum Major for Justice 2022 is Teressa Raiford

Through political campaigns, legal actions, founding the grassroots organizing group Don't Shoot Portland and through her fearless determination to speak up against racial injustice, Portland-born Teressa Raiford has made a lasting impression on our city and our state

Paid Workplace Training Internships Program Receives Support From City

Black, Latinx students receive skilled on-the-job training, career coaching, through POIC-RAHS program

Oregon Supreme Court OKs Dropping Bar Exam for Alternatives

The state’s highest court in a unanimous vote “expressed approval in concept” to a pair of alternative pathways designed for law students and postgraduates seeking admittance to the state bar

Washington Lawmakers Kick off Mostly Remote Session

Lawmakers in Washington state have started a new legislative session amid the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and much of their work will be done remotely 

NEWS BRIEFS

Shabbat Service Honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Congregation Beth Israel's Shabbat Service will be online Friday, Jan.14, at 6 p.m. to honor Dr. King’s work and legacy. ...

MLK Virtual Youth Summit Offers Resources for Portland’s Young African Americans 

With the ongoing rise in youth violence in our community, Highland Christian Center aims to take practical steps to reach our youth...

Underground Railroad Topic of Genealogy ZOOM Presentation

The public is invited to join the Genealogical Forum of Oregon’s African American Special Interest group Saturday, Jan, 15, from...

Recycled Arts Festival Accepting Applications for Artists, Vendors, and Educational Booths

The annual festival is returning to Esther Short Park on June 25-26. ...

Nominations Sought for Oregon Urban Forestry Awards Program

Nominations are being sought for individuals, communities and organizations in the state who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments...

Double dealing: Legal, illicit blur in California pot market

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On an isolated farm, greenhouses stand in regimental order, sheltered by a fringe of trees. Inside are hundreds of head-high cannabis plants in precise rows, each rising from a pot nourished by coils of irrigation tubing. Lights powerful enough to turn night into day blaze...

6 people shot outside Oregon concert; suspect not in custody

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon set up a tip line Saturday and asked for witnesses to come forward with any information about a shooting that injured six people outside a concert. Officers responded to the WOW Hall in Eugene after reports of a shooting near the venue's rear...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Fund to preserve, assist Black churches gets M donation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A new effort to preserve historic Black churches in the United States has received a million donation that will go to help congregations including one that was slammed during the tornado that killed more than 20 people in Mayfield, Kentucky, last month. ...

Celebrated Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee dies at 102

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over three wars and later helped to bring attention to the Black pilots who had battled racism at home to fight for freedom abroad, died Sunday. He was 102. McGee died in his sleep at his home in...

Iowa coach disbands diversity group created after 2020 probe

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has disbanded an alumni advisory committee that was created after a 2020 investigation found evidence of racial bias against Black players in his program and bullying behavior by some of his assistants. The Gazette reports ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Los Angeles police investigate Ye after battery complaint

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police are investigating after a battery report was filed Thursday against Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. The incident that spurred the complaint took place in downtown Los Angeles at about 3 a.m. Thursday, LAPD spokeswoman Redina Puentes said. No...

Elvis Costello rocks out from the back porch

NEW YORK (AP) — Elvis Costello's 32nd album rings with the sound of a tight rock ‘n’ roll combo sweating together on a tiny stage, feeding off each other to produce a joyful noise. Yet that's all a mirage. Costello and his three-piece band, the Imposters, were...

Review: Jamestown Revival, more than just a roadhouse band

Jamestown Revival, “Young Man" (Thirty Tigers) The list of really good Americana roadhouse bands that have emerged from the Texas music scene over the years is a long one. The list of those that distinguished themselves by doing something fresh and original, not so much. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Snow, ice blast through South with powerful winter storm

ATLANTA (AP) — A dangerous winter storm combining high winds and ice swept through parts of the U.S. Southeast...

Djokovic heads for Belgrade after deportation from Australia

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Novak Djokovic was heading home to Serbia on Monday after his deportation...

Brady throws for 2 TDs, SB champions dominate Eagles 31-15

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — As the game clock expired, Tom Brady raised his arms in triumph along the sideline, whirled...

Chinese city Xi'an lifts some restrictions after lockdown

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese city of Xi’an has gradually begun lifting restrictions after over three weeks of...

Celebrated Greek painter Alekos Fassianos dies at 86

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Alekos Fassianos, one of the most important modern Greek painters, died Sunday at his home...

Ex-leader Poroshenko to go to Ukraine to face charges

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is returning to Ukraine to fight...

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.

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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