09-27-2020  4:35 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Braces as Right-Wing Extremists Rally

Gov. Kate Brown warned violence would not be tolerated as right wing extremists converge on Portland "looking for a fight"

A Reminder: Delta Park is Vanport

As extreme right-wing, white supremacist groups prepare to converge on Portland tomorrow, here is a reminder of the historical significance of the place they plan to overrun and the stories of the people that lived there.

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

NEWS BRIEFS

Blumenauer Statement on Planned White Supremacist Rally in Portland

“These are evil people looking for a fight and national media attention. Let’s not give them what they want." ...

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Arrests in Portland protest follow fairly calm rally

PORTLAND (AP) — Several people in Portland, Oregon, were arrested in anti-police brutality protests that continued into early Sunday, hours after demonstrations ended with few reports of violence.The protests that began Saturday night were declared an unlawful assembly and police began...

Portland, Oregon, largely peaceful after right-wing rally

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a right-wing rally and counter-protests in Portland, Oregon, have largely dispersed without serious violence Saturday, though they are investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the...

No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nick Saban has never lost a season opener while coaching Alabama.Then again, he'd never had one like this.Yet despite an offseason largely scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic, and a delayed start to the season, Saban's second-ranked Crimson Tide looked just fine as they...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

OPINION

When Black Women's Lives Matter All Lives Will Matter

Brazen disregard for the lives and safety of Black women goes back over 400 years in U.S. history with the definition of Black women’s bodies as property at the complete disposal of white slave-owners ...

Sarah Iannarone Demands Action from Mayor Regarding Planned Right-Wing Demonstrations; Opens Safe Space for Portlanders

BIPOC, Queer, and other marginalized Portlanders will bear the brunt of these attacks simply because of their identity or the color of their skin. ...

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Organizer arrested after driving car into California protest

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An organizer of a Southern California demonstration against racism was in jail Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder after authorities say she drove through a crowd and struck two counterprotesters. Tatiana Turner, 40, was arrested Saturday in Yorba Linda after speeding...

Minnesota mayor disputes harassment of COVID-19 survey team

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mayor of a southern Minnesota city is disputing state health department claims that a COVID-19 survey team was threatened there earlier this month.State health officials on Friday reported cases of health workers being subjected to hostility — including racial...

Insider Q&A: Accenture directs capital to Black start-ups

NEW YORK (AP) — Kathryn Ross was one of just two Black women in Accenture's Miami office when she first joined the global consulting firm nearly 27 years ago. Now a managing partner, Ross was tapped in December to create the inclusion and diversity agenda for Accenture's venture capital...

ENTERTAINMENT

Q&A: Underwood on holiday album and her little drummer boy

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammy Award for cutest collaboration of the year goes to Carrie Underwood and her 5-year-old son Isaiah.He’s the little singing boy providing the adorable vocals on “Little Drummer Boy,” one of the 11 tracks on the country superstar’s new...

Billie Lourd introduces newborn son in surprise announcement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Billie Lourd has announced the birth of her son.Lourd announced on her social media Friday that she and her fiance, Austen Rydell, welcomed their newborn son into the world. She is the daughter of the late Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016 at the age of 60 following...

'Beginning' triumphs at San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain

SAN SEBASTIÁN, Spain (AP) — Georgian writer-director Dea Kulumbegashvili’s first feature film “Beginning” triumphed at Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival, scooping up four of its top prizes including best film and best director. The story about...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nearly a year after sudden exit, Shepard Smith returns to TV

NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks shy of a year after abruptly quitting Fox News Channel with a declaration that...

Appellate court halts Wisconsin ballot-counting extension

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Sunday temporarily halted a six-day extension for counting...

Joe Montana, wife block attempted kidnapping of grandchild

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and his wife confronted a home intruder who...

Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan; 18 killed

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has erupted again over the...

Greek police arrest 3 human traffickers, free 7 captives

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police said Sunday they have arrested three men of Pakistani origin for...

North Korea accuses South of intrusion to find dead official

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea accused South Korea of sending ships across the disputed sea boundary...

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Ivana Kottasov

LONDON (CNN) -- A year ago, Gisella Asante and her daughter Jan Asante found themselves standing in tears in the middle of broken glass, scattered clothes hangers, bits of wedding dresses and burnt pieces of fabric. Their small shop in south London had been targeted by a mob of looters during the city's worst riots in two decades.

It happened a few days after they celebrated the 20th anniversary of opening their business -- Gisella's, a fashion workshop. In just a few hours of riot madness, Gisella and Jan Asante lost 20 years' worth of work.

A display of valuable dresses made for high-profile celebrities: gone.

Unique accessories, some from remote parts of the world: gone. Handmade jewelry: gone. Wedding dresses ready to be picked up by brides-to-be: gone.

The overall loss is hard to estimate -- on top of all the things lost and damaged, business slowed down for months. "We were boarded for three months, that's how long it took," Jan said. "People thought we folded, it felt like we were in prison," Gisella added.

They estimate a loss of £30-40,000 ($55,000-65,000), but say it's hard to put a number on it. "The things are worth so much more. We made them all, they are irreplaceable," Jan said.

Fast forward a year and the place looks like nothing had ever happened. The only visible reminder of last year's events is a couple of wooden boards leaning against the wall. They used to cover the smashed windows.

Now they serve as a notice board, with pictures and supportive letters from customers that flooded the boutique after the riots.

"People sent messages, emails, they phoned to say they were sorry," Jan said. The reaction was overwhelming. "A friend of mine had to come in for a week just to answer the phone and reply to messages. It was like bereavement."

The revival of the boutique is down to the Asantes' loyal customers. "Lots of our regular customers made an effort to help. They didn't really need anything, and they would still come and buy something. Our customers are amazing," Jan said.

There was a point, they say, when they wanted to leave the shop closed and walk away. But the customers kept coming. "Having the customers, the work, it kept us going, we were on autopilot," Jan said. "It was exactly as the British say: 'Keep calm and carry on.'"

Thank-you notes from clients are displayed all around Gisella's. Many include wedding and honeymoon photos, as the boutique has long been a hotspot for brides who want something special.

"For the brides, weddings are about culture," Jan said. "They want to express their heritage, even if they are very modern, and they always ask us how they can show where they come from and who they are."

The traditional-meets-modern is the key to their success.

Gisella, originally from Tanzania, came to London from Kenya, where her daughter Jan was born to a Ghanaian father. It may sound complicated, but the multicultural heritage of the two women is exactly what makes their clothes special.

"We are inspired by modern Africa," Jan said. "We consider ourselves African, but are also Londoners, and that shows in our designs."

Their dresses are a mixture of modern cuts, African-inspired prints and precious fabrics from all around the world. Picking up a beautifully shaped dress, Jan points out the fabric. It comes from a remote area in Nigeria, where it was handmade. Together with a Western-style cut, it makes for a special piece of couture.

"I always talk to our customers about the story behind fabrics," she said. "It's nice to walk around knowing where your clothes came from."

The mother-daughter pair work as a team. Jan talks to the customers and prepares the designs, while Gisella is the one cutting the fabric and sewing.

The workshop is strictly divided in two zones. Each woman has her own territory, where she rules. They say it works perfectly, even though they both admit there are clashes from time to time.

"She is my mum, you always have to do what your mum tells you to," Jan admitted. "But we are also business partners. We have to negotiate and agree on everything. Sometimes it stretches your relationship to the limits."

On the one-year anniversary of the looting the boutique was unusually quiet, and there was time for reflection.

"I couldn't ask for a better daughter," Gisella said, doubting she would have been able to cope without her during the long months of recovery.

Then suddenly, she turned to Jan and said: "You have more strength than I thought you have. I've seen you rise so much. I am proud of you -- I never had the time to tell you."

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