08-14-2022  7:59 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Hospital to Refuse Some Patients Due to Capacity

The hospital is caring for some 560 inpatients, more than 130% of its licensed capacity of 413 patients. ...

West Seattle Bridge to Reopen After Yearslong Closure

The 40-year-old bridge is among the city’s most important, previously allowing 100,000 drivers and 20,000 transit users to move...

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Coast Guard responds to small oil spill near San Juan Island

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a diesel spill off the west coast of Washington state's San Juan Island after a 49-foot (15-meter) fishing vessel sank with an estimated 2,600 gallons (9,854 liters) of fuel on board. A Good Samaritan rescued all five crew members...

Police: Woman dies in Seattle light rail station accident

SEATTLE (AP) — Police say a woman has died after being struck by a Seattle light rail train at a station on Sunday. KIRO-TV reports that firefighters worked to extricate the woman from between the train and a platform at the Mount Baker Station. She was evaluated by paramedics...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Developer finds human remains near Nashville Civil War fort

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A developer has unearthed human remains that could be two centuries old while digging to lay the foundation of a new Nashville project not far from a Civil War fort and a cemetery dating back to 1822. For Nashville, the discovery marks the latest intersection...

Kansas district rejects strategic plan urging diversity

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district's board rejected a proposed strategic plan after some members questioned its emphasis on diversity and students' mental health. The Derby Board of Education voted 4-3 this week to reject a plan presented after months of work by parents,...

Two years on, foundations stand by issuing bonds in pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — When the Ford Foundation took the unprecedented step in June 2020 of issuing jumi billion in debt to help stabilize other nonprofits, it delighted investors and inspired several other large foundations to follow suit. Two years later, the foundations all stand by...

ENTERTAINMENT

Oscar winner Troy Kotsur awarded key to Arizona hometown

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Troy Kotsur, who made history as the first deaf man to win an Academy Award, has been honored with a key to his Arizona hometown. Kotsur, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in March, was given the key Thursday in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, the city said...

Jon Batiste leaves Stephen Colbert's 'The Late Show'

NEW YORK (AP) — Jon Batiste, his career soaring after winning multiple Grammys this year, is leaving his perch as bandleader of “The Late Show” after a seven-year run backing up host Stephen Colbert. “We’ve been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon’s incredible talent...

In ‘The Princess,’ a documentary on Diana flips the focus

The last thing the world needs, you might think, is another Princess Diana documentary. It’s a fair thought considering that almost 25 years after her death, her life and impact is still media fodder. Whether it’s a magazine cover or a book claiming to have new revelations or just...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Top lawyers hired by those linked to Georgia election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — In the state investigation spurred by then-President Donald Trump's call to Georgia’s top...

EXPLAINER: Tension between Nicaragua and the Catholic Church

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Earlier this month Nicaragua shuttered seven radio stations belonging to the Catholic Church...

Norway puts down Freya the walrus that drew Oslo crowds

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities in Norway have euthanized a walrus that had drawn crowds of spectators in the Oslo...

Salman Rushdie 'on the road to recovery,' agent says

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie is “on the road to recovery,” his agent confirmed Sunday, two days...

Norway puts down Freya the walrus that drew Oslo crowds

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities in Norway have euthanized a walrus that had drawn crowds of spectators in the Oslo...

German minister decries ecological catastrophe in Oder River

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Germany's environment minister said the mass die-off of fish in the Oder River is an...

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.

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