07-15-2018  12:35 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Mark Christopher Lawrence to Perform at Harvey’s Comedy Club July 13-15

Former Big Mike of “Chuck” will perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday ...

Dragon Fest 2018

Lions, dragons and breakdancers descend on Seattle’s Chinatown-International District for the Pacific Northwest’s largest...

Hiker falls 100 feet to death in Skamania County

CARSON, Wash. (AP) — Search crews have recovered the body of a 23-year-old woman who was killed in a 100-foot fall while hiking in Skamania County.The Columbian newspaper reports that Leslie Mar, of Vancouver, was hiking with a partner on Friday evening when she slipped from a ledge at...

Deadly fire shuts down key route to Yosemite National Park

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire that killed a California firefighter grew quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park as crews contended with sweltering conditions Sunday, authorities said.The blaze that broke out Friday scorched more than 6 square miles (16...

Man wounded in deputy-involved shooting in Everett

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a domestic violence suspect was shot in the leg during a confrontation with deputies in Everett.The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team says the shooting occurred Saturday night after a woman reported that her 67-year-old husband was beating...

Hiker falls 100 feet to death in Skamania County

CARSON, Wash. (AP) — Search crews have recovered the body of a 23-year-old woman who was killed in a 100-foot fall while hiking in Skamania County.The Columbian newspaper reports that Leslie Mar, of Vancouver, was hiking with a partner on Friday evening when she slipped from a ledge at...

OPINION

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

NAACP Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

NAACP opposes Kavanaugh's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Fountain, wing-like benches anchor memorial

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on plans for a memorial at a South Carolina church where nine African-American worshippers were slain in 2015 (all times local):12:50 p.m.The historic South Carolina church where nine African-American worshippers were slain has released plans for a memorial...

Trump's remarks about changing European culture draw ire

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's lament this week that immigration is "changing the culture" of Europe echoed rising anti-immigrant feelings on both sides of the Atlantic, where Europe and the United States are going through a demographic transformation that makes some of the white...

Judge dismisses suit filed by family of man killed by police

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal judge's ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed black man fatally shot by an Ohio police officer says the man's civil rights were not violated.Cleveland.com reports U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled Friday it was a "close and difficult...

ENTERTAINMENT

Rapper buys every seat in house, takes strangers to movies

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine rapper surprised moviegoers with free tickets to a sci-fi satire movie.Rory Ferreira, who goes by the stage name Milo, bought all 129 seats to the 4:20 p.m. showing of the movie "Sorry to Bother You" at the Nickelodeon in Portland, Maine, on Saturday. The...

Baron Cohen pranks 2 more celebrity politicians for show

Some politicians are going through the several stages of panic associated with an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen: remorse, damage control, anger and regret for being duped.One of the comedian's latest targets, defeated Senate candidate Roy Moore, is threatening a defamation lawsuit over an...

Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nancy Sinatra Sr., the childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra who became the first of his four wives and the mother of his three children, has died. She was 101.Her daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr., tweeted that her mother died Friday and a posting on her web page said she died...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police: Suspect in shooting of 3 Kansas City cops holed up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A suspect in the non-fatal shooting of two Kansas City police officers shot a third...

The Latest: Croatia PM says fans rejoice despite Cup loss

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):9:45 p.m.Croatia's Prime Minister...

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO (AP) — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and...

Politics guide Syrians backing Croatia in World Cup final

AIN TERMA, Syria (AP) — Most of the Syrian troops and residents of Ain Terma, just outside the capital...

Russian women push back at shaming over World Cup dating

MOSCOW (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of foreign men have flooded into Russia for the monthlong World Cup,...

Reports detail Mossad raid on Iranian nuclear documents

JERUSALEM (AP) — Some U.S. media reported new details on Sunday from a Mossad operation that smuggled...

Tom Watkins CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Todd Park's job is to unleash the power of innovation inside the oh-so change-resistant walls of government, and he appears to love it.

"It's just awesome, awesome, awesome stuff," he told an audience composed primarily of tech geeks at the Social Good Summit being held here this weekend at the 92nd Street Y.

In the three years since the federal government recruited Park to serve as a tech entrepreneur in residence, he has hunted down e-file cabinets packed with data and shaken them out, crediting such efforts with helping build the economy and even save lives.

"Civilian and commercial access to GPS alone is estimated to have contributed $90 billion in value to the American economy last year," he said Saturday night.

Park describes his work as running an incubator inside the government. But, instead of birthing companies, he builds on new ways to advance the president's goals.

Before working in government, Park co-founded two health information technology companies -- including one that produced web-based software for doctors' offices -- that made him a rich man.

He went on to create tele-health services for use by rural villagers in India and a number of other ventures, but says his work for the feds is "the most amazing, most entrepreneurial experience" he has had.

Park said he drew inspiration from "Joy's Law," named after Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy. "He once said, no matter who you are, you have to remember that most of the smartest people in the world work for somebody else," Park said.

"Don't think about what you can do yourself, but how you can enable everyone else in the world who cares about that mission to move the ball down the field."

One way he has been embracing Joy's Law has been through open-data initiatives, which were inspired by what happened when the government made available free and online the reams of weather data it had collected for decades -- and then stored out of public view.

Soon, such innovators as The Weather Channel and weather.com had sprouted up, and weather apps were being designed for smart phones -- "creating jobs and growing the economy."

The work requires no new legislation, no new regulations and no expenditure of large amounts of taxpayer capital, he said.

"You basically take data that taxpayers have already paid for and you jujitsu it; let entrepreneurs tap into this national resource and turn it into awesomeness."

Two years ago, the government converted health data that had been previously locked in books into e-files and made it available free.

"Data by itself is useless," he said. "I cannot feed my baby daughter data. It's only useful if you apply it to create public benefit," Park said.

Though his efforts in opening the health data to the public initially were met with skepticism from entrepreneurs, their stance had changed by last June, when more than 1,600 entrepreneurs, innovators and others attended the government's first "health datapallooza" at a convention center in Washington.

Over two days, 242 companies competed for 100 spots to present innovations such as how to better manage asthma and how to help doctors deliver better care.

"Total taxpayer expenditure: zero."

An emergency room doctor in Denver, Colorado, used the database to create iTriage, a company that helps patients punch in their symptoms to identify possible care options, even booking their appointments.

Testimonials for the product -- which has been used 8 million times -- include such claims as, "This saved my life," Park said.

The company has hired 80 people and is looking to hire 20 more, he said.

And that's a tiny slice of what's available at data.gov, health.data.gov, energy.data.gov, safety.data.gov, Park said.

"It's a little overwhelming," he added.

 

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