09-27-2020  7:36 am   •   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. ...

Late night protest in Portland, Oregon, declared unlawful

PORTLAND (AP) — Law enforcement declared an unlawful assembly late Saturday, forcing protesters from downtown Portland, Oregon, and making several arrests, just hours after demonstrations earlier in the day ended without many reports of violence.Hundreds of people were gathered downtown in...

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

Some Breonna Taylor protesters out past curfew, fires set

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A diverse crowd of hundreds marched in Louisville's streets chanting “Black Lives Matter" on Saturday night, the fourth night of protests after a grand jury declined to charge officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.People in the crowd also chanted...

Homespun BLM products include cookie kits, garden gnomes

A few weeks after nationwide protests erupted over the police killing of George Floyd, Julie Muller looked for something positive she could contribute to the movement from her Houston home.The 67-year-old white woman, who has been selling homemade cookie-decorating kits online since March, decided...

After a year of drama, the Lakers reach NBA Finals anyway

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Here’s a list of just some of the things the Los Angeles Lakers have gone through in the last 12 months: playing through a politically charged situation in China during the preseason and more massive fallout after returning home, the death of Kobe Bryant...

ENTERTAINMENT

With spy series 'Tehran,' Israelis reach out to an enemy

NEW YORK (AP) — Things are not as they seem in the new Apple TV+ series “Tehran” — as it should be in a spy thriller. The series opens with a commercial flight from Jordan to India that's suddenly diverted to Iran. A few of the passengers on board have secrets. Those...

Demi Lovato, Max Ehrich call off engagement after 2 months

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Singer-actors Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich have called off their engagement after two months. Lovato and her former fiance have parted ways, according to a person close to Lovato who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The split...

J-pop stars ARASHI release English surprise before hiatus

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Japanese pop sensation ARASHI has a big surprise for fans as they near their planned hiatus at year's end: a collaboration with Bruno Mars on their first all-English single.The band told The Associated Press the multi-Grammy Award-winning musician delved into their...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Late night protest in Portland, Oregon, declared unlawful

PORTLAND (AP) — Law enforcement declared an unlawful assembly late Saturday, forcing protesters from...

Morocco faces down COVID spread with tough rules

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — With air and sea borders closed for months and eight cities barring people from...

Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan; 2 killed

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Fighting erupted anew Sunday between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed...

Romania's municipal election seen as test for December vote

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Voters in Romania were casting ballots Sunday in municipal elections, which are...

Attenborough gives shark tooth to 7-year-old Prince George

LONDON (AP) — Veteran broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough has given Britain’s Prince...

The U.S. reckoning on race, seen through other nations' eyes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — It's not only in the United States where protests against racial...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Kyung Lah CNN

Editor's note: The following story contains graphic language and descriptions.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Allegations of lewd acts committed by a teacher on students in a Los Angeles-area elementary school sent shockwaves across the community last year.

But the outrage didn't end there. Amid a year-long police investigation involving dozens of photos showing the alleged acts, the school district -- faced with strict state rules -- could not fire the teacher.

Instead, it paid him $40,000 to quit his job.

Police arrested Mark Berndt, 61, in January and charged him with 23 felony counts stemming from allegations that he bound young students and then photographed them with semen-filled spoons held at their mouths and 3-inch cockroaches crawling across their faces.

Investigators believe the children didn't realize that they were being victimized, thinking they were playing a game.

Berndt pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held on $23 million bail while he awaits trial, expected next year.

The Los Angeles Unified School District found itself caught between protecting children and protecting the legal rights of a teacher who had been accused of -- but not formally charged with -- serious crimes against children.

Under California's due process for teachers, the school district could have kept Berndt on paid administrative leave, but it would have had to engage in lengthy legal wrangling to remove him from his position. That process could have taken months, even years, and there are no exceptions for teachers accused of sex crimes against children.

Outraged by the Berndt case, California state Sen. Alex Padilla drafted a bill this year that would have allowed a faster way for schools to fire teachers accused of the most heinous crimes against children.

"We were very specific to those serious and egregious crimes," Padilla said of the bill. "Sex, drugs, violence involving students. These are no-brainers."

While senators overwhelmingly voted in support of Senate Bill 1530, it was met with strong opposition from the powerful California Teachers Association.

The teachers' union says that Padilla's bill would have eliminated essential legal protections for teachers and that it believes the current system is an appropriate process.

In the halls of the state Capitol, Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter veered sharply away from CNN's camera without stopping to answer questions about her refusal to cast a vote on Padilla's bill.

Her aide swung a palm over the camera, saying, "no comment."

Carter is one of 11 members of the California State Assembly Education Committee, which considered SB1530 after it passed the state Senate. The bill needed a simple majority from the committee before it could go on to the full Assembly.

But the bill failed by one vote. Four members -- including Carter -- were present but abstained from the vote.

"I think it's spineless, and I think it's gutless," said former state Sen. Gloria Romero, who used to head the Education Committee.

"They go there to vote, not to remain silent when their name's called. That, to me, is what's disgusting," said Romero, who now works to reform California's educational system with Democrats for Education Reform.

By refusing to vote, Romero said, the lawmakers can avoid looking bad to their constituents while keeping the campaign contributions from California's powerful education unions flowing. She said she believes the four lawmakers abstained "out of fear and intimidation that those campaign dollars will no longer flow their way."

Those members of the Assembly's Education Committee who voted "no" or didn't cast a vote received more campaign contributions from teachers' unions than their fellow committee members except the chairman, according to data from Maplight, which bills itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group dedicated to looking at money's influence on politics.

From January 2009 to May 2012, "teachers' unions gave 5.4 times as much (campaign contributions) to the committee members who voted 'no' versus the ones who voted 'yes,' " said Daniel Newman, Maplight's co-founder and president. "The people who voted 'yes' got much less money than the people who voted 'no' and voted 'no vote.' You can see how the money correlates with the vote. It shows interest groups that invest in politics buy results."

The California Teachers Association maintains that its campaign contributions to lawmakers were not the driving factor in convincing them to vote down or not vote on the measure. It described the bill as "unnecessary legislation that would have eroded (teachers') rights during dismissal proceedings."

But Newman says it's all part of a corrupt system across the country in which lawmakers spend much of their time in office raising money for campaigns. That makes them have to bend to campaign contributions in the "corrupt system of money-dominated politics," he said.

"This pattern of contribution is very similar on bill after bill, on topic after topic, whether it affects unions, banks, corporations," he said. "On average, the lawmakers vote with the side that tends to give them the most money."

All but one of the four assembly members refused repeated requests for comment about why they abstained from voting on the measure. Assemblymember Das Williams explained that he felt that "the bill was too much of an overreach" and he was concerned about its effect on teachers' rights.

Williams said he is now working with Padilla to possibly revive the measure or create a similar measure that addresses his concerns.

But it could be too little too late for the Los Angeles school district, which is facing a lawsuit filed by the mothers of the 23 children at the center of the charges against Berndt.

The lawsuit, filed in July, seeks unspecified damages and school district reforms. It accuses the district of maintaining " a practice and custom of maintaining a 'Culture of Silence' to hide teacher misconduct, and to ignore teacher misconduct."

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