03-22-2023  2:16 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • Oregon Bill on Abortion, Gender-Affirming Care Sparks Debate

    Oregon Bill on Abortion, Gender-Affirming Care Sparks Debate

    An Oregon bill that would expand access to reproductive health and gender-affirming care drew emotional testimony, mirroring the culture war debates over abortion, gender identity and parents' rights that are playing out in state legislatures across the U.S. Read More
  • Detective Cookie Boulden, Seattle City Council member Tammy Morales and community members dig up a shovel full of dirt during the official ground breaking ceremony for the Detective Cookie Chess Park on the Rainier Avenue South and 51st on June 14, 2022. Detective Cookie's chess club has been helping southend kids learn the game of chess for more than a decade. (Photo/Susan Fried)

    Detective Files Discrimination Claim Against Seattle Police

    Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin filed the tort claim Friday. It alleges she has faced daily discrimination during her 43 years with the department. Read More
  • Family friend Tony McDavid walks through the wreckage of the beachfront home of Nina Lavigna, as friends help recover salvageable belongings after half of her house collapsed following beach erosion from Hurricane Nicole, Nov. 12, 2022, in Wilbur-By-The-Sea, Fla. A major new United Nations report being released Monday, March 20, 2023, is expected to provide a sobering reminder that time is running out if humanity wants to avoid passing a dangerous global warming threshold. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

    United Nations Report will Give Stark Climate Warning

    A major new United Nations report being released Monday will  provide a sobering reminder that time is running out if humanity wants to avoid passing a dangerous global warming threshold. The report by hundreds of the world’s top scientists is the first to summarize the research on global warming compiled since the Paris climate accord was sealed in 2015 Read More
  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a Friends of Ireland Caucus St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol, March 17, 2023, in Washington. Top Republicans, including some of former President Donald Trump’s potential rivals for the party’s nomination, rushed to his defense on Saturday after Trump said he is bracing for possible arrest. McCarthy said a possible indictment would be “an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance

    Some Top Republicans Rally to Trump as Possible Charges Loom

    Top Republicans, including some of Donald Trump’s potential rivals for the GOP's 2024 presidential nomination, are rushing to his defense after Trump said he's bracing for possible arrest.in a case that the Manhattan district attorney is investigating over hush money payments made to women who alleged Trump had sexual encounters with them Read More
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Oregon Bill on Abortion, Gender-Affirming Care Sparks Debate

An Oregon bill that would expand access to reproductive health and gender-affirming care drew emotional testimony, mirroring the culture war debates over abortion, gender identity and parents' rights that are playing out in state legislatures across the U.S.

The Big Problem for Endangered Orcas? Inbreeding

People have taken many steps in recent decades to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales, which have long suffered from starvation, pollution and the legacy of having many of their number captured for display in marine parks.

Amazon Cuts 9,000 More Jobs, Bringing 2023 Total to 27,000

The job cuts would mark the second largest round of layoffs in the company's history

Starbucks New CEO Laxman Narasimhan Takes His Seat

Narasimhan succeeds longtime Starbucks leader Howard Schultz, who came out of retirement last spring to serve as interim CEO while the company searched for a new chief executive.


Tiffani Penson Announces Campaign for PCC Board, Zone 2

Penson is proud of the accomplishments of PCC ...

Black Bag Speaker Series: Oregon Black Pioneers Historic Photograph Collection

OBP will present the history and context of a photo album, found in a house located in historically Black North Portland, that was...

The Making of American Whiteness Book Presentation and Signing to be Held at OHS

The Making of American Whiteness book will be presented by Dr. Carmen P. Thompson, in conversation with Dr. Darrell Millner on...

Support for Survivors of Child Sex Trafficking Unanimously Passes Oregon Senate

SB 745 will require juvenile departments to screen for survivors of sex trafficking, connect identified survivors with critical...

Reusable Food Container Bill Passes Oregon Senate

SB 545 will allow restaurants to fill consumer-owned containers with food ...

Oregon lawmakers approve 0M for housing, homelessness

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers passed a sweeping 0 million housing and homelessness package on Tuesday, displaying a bipartisan will to tackle two of the state's most pressing crises. The vast majority of the funding — about 7 million — is aimed at boosting...

Names released of deputy shot in Seattle, resident who died

SEATTLE (AP) — Law enforcement officials have released the name of a King County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot in Seattle Monday while serving an eviction notice as well as the person found dead inside the Ballard neighborhood residence. Detective David Easterly was shot and...

The maddest March ever? Underdogs head to the Sweet 16

We know you're upset. Underdogs have blown up every bracket in the country. An upside of the upsets: perhaps the maddest March ever. Defending national champion Kansas and fellow No. 1 seed Purdue are gone — the Boilermakers with a slice of unwanted history. The Sweet...

March Madness betting guide: Upsets shuffle favorites' odds

LAS VEGAS (AP) — March Madness isn't just about filling out — and later trashing — brackets. There are more ways to bet the field in the NCAA Tournament, an event that will consume basketball fans over the next three weeks. Here's a look at the favorites, underdogs and long shots. ...


Celebrating 196 Years of The Black Press

It was on March 17, 1827, at a meeting of “Freed Negroes” in New York City, that Samuel Cornish, a Presbyterian minister, and John Russwurn, the first Negro college graduate in the United States, established the negro newspaper. ...

DEQ Announces Suspension of Oregon’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program

The state’s popular incentive for drivers to switch to electric vehicles is scheduled to pause in May ...

FHA Makes Housing More Affordable for 850,000 Borrowers

Savings tied to median market home prices ...

State Takeover Schemes Threaten Public Safety

Blue cities in red states, beware: conservatives in state government may be coming for your police department. ...


2nd officer in inmate's fatal beating gets same 20-year term

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The second of three former correctional officers sentenced in the fatal beating of a state inmate received a 20-year prison term Monday, the same as a co-conspirator despite a judge's declaration he could have stopped the attack as the senior officer. U.S....

Montana senator wants to block mandatory diversity training

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker in Montana wants to prohibit mandatory diversity training for state employees with a bill whose language matches a Florida law that is temporarily blocked by the courts. The proposed “Montana Individual Freedom Act,” would prohibit...

Silicon Valley Bank collapse concerns founders of color

In the hours after some of Silicon Valley Bank’s biggest customers started pulling out their money, a WhatsApp group of startup founders who are immigrants of color ballooned to more than 1,000 members. Questions flowed as the bank’s financial status worsened. Some desperately...


Itching to start spring garden cleanup? Not so fast!

When the blare of the year’s first leaf blower awakened me one morning last week, I realized spring cleanup had commenced -- no matter that March could still roar like a lion here in my Long Island, New York, neighborhood. It stands to reason that professional landscapers cannot...

Tom Hanks named Harvard's 2023 commencement speaker

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Two-time Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks was named the principal speaker at Harvard's commencement on May 25, the Ivy League university announced Tuesday. Hanks, 66, has appeared in almost 100 films. Nominated for an Oscar six times, he won best actor...

'Succession' star Sarah Snook pregnant with 1st child

NEW YORK (AP) — “Succession” star Sarah Snook had a surprise reveal at the show’s season four premiere — she is pregnant with her first child. Snook proudly showed off her baby bump in New York at Monday's premiere, which was attended by fellow stars Brian Cox, Jeremy...


Asian shares advance on back of Wall Street rally

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares advanced Wednesday after a Wall Street rally led by the banks most beaten down by...

March Madness Mix: Dominant Gamecocks amid Sweet 16 parity

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina is keenly aware that everyone remaining in the women's NCAA Tournament...

Ohtani fans Trout, Japan tops US 3-2 for WBC championship

MIAMI (AP) — Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had dreamed of this moment, along with millions of fans throughout...

UN: 26% of world lacks clean drinking water, 46% sanitation

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new report launched Tuesday on the eve of the first major U.N. conference on water in...

Marcos defends US military presence, which China opposes

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday defended his decision to allow a larger...

Uganda's legislature passes harsh new anti-LGBTQ bill

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan lawmakers passed a bill prescribing jail terms of up to 10 years for offenses...

Dan Merica CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When Sen. Mark Begich looks at the next two years, he says he is not concerned about the tough votes he is bound to have to make that could have an impact on his re-election in 2014.

The moderate Democrat from Alaska even laughs a bit when he says, "Every vote we take here is tough."

"My strategy has always been to do what I am going to do and focus on my issues," Begich said in an interview with CNN.

Begich is one of six moderate Democrats from "red" states whose terms ends in two years. Max Baucus of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas are among the 20 Democrats whose terms will be up in 2014; Republicans will defend 13 seats.

Though no Republican has declared a run against Begich, speculation in Alaska is that Gov. Sean Parnell will challenge the first-term senator. Since 2008, when the former Anchorage mayor narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Ted Stevens, Begich has voted as a moderate and has shown willingness to work with the other party.

At times, he says, that can get lonely: "You feel like a Lone Ranger sometimes."

Asked about positions he has taken on oil and drilling or on transportation in the 112th Congress, Begich said, "Sometimes I feel like I look around and I look behind me and there aren't many national Democrats there. But that is the way it goes."

Though fiscal cliff and budget issues are likely to dominate Congress' lame duck session -- and likely the new Congress -- there are any number of issues that could emerge in President Barack Obama's second term that could test moderate Democrats.

Much has been made of liberal Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin elected to the Senate last week and both parties being pulled away from the middle, but Begich points out that moderate Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana also were elected.

Senate votes will be heavily scrutinized in midterms

But Begich's optimism may not be well-founded -- the reality, says Nathan Gonzales from the Rothenberg Political Report, is that even the most benign votes Begich and his fellow moderates make will be used against them in 2014.

"Senators that are up for re-election are up under a larger microscope. Their votes will be dissected even more closely when they are in cycle," Gonzales said.

Joe Manchin of West Virginia fired a warning shot -- literally -- to his fellow Democrats when the former governor was running against Republican businessman John Raese in the special election to fill the remainder of the late Sen. Harry Byrd's term.

In a 30-second statewide TV ad, Manchin fired a bullet through a symbol of the House-passed cap-and-trade legislation -- a bill incredibly unpopular in his coal-rich state -- thereby both highlighting his opposition to the proposal and trumpeting his support of Second amendment rights.

Democrats may also be emboldened by the way voters in some states last week supported Democrats in the Senate even while voting for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"We learned from Tuesday's results that voters are willing to split their tickets," Gonzales said.

In Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, all states in which Romney outran Obama by more than 10 points, Democrats won Senate seats. Though ill-chosen comments on rape by Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana helped the Democrats in each case, Landrieu's chief of staff, Jane Campbell, is encouraged.

Though she did not guarantee victory -- "I am not telling you that it is going to be easy. Her races have never been easy," Campbell said -- she did sound confident.

Landrieu "has run three times in a state that has always had a Republican lean, and her numbers have gone up every single time," Campbell said. Every election "she has always been among the top targets and she has always shown the people of Louisiana and they have asked her to come back."

Campbell noted the senator focuses on issues that her constituents care about, singling out protecting the state's bayous, holding BP oil company responsible for recovery from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, and education.

Focusing on issues important to constituents

Begich took the same tack -- listing issues like oil and natural gas, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and transportation -- as his selling points to Alaskan voters. Throughout the conversation he mentioned issues most Democrats wouldn't touch, like auditing the Federal Reserve, strengthening gun rights and lowering the corporate tax rate.

Begich's strategy seems clear -- focus on issues that matter to Alaskans for the last two years of his term.

"I always run like I am 15 points behind. You always run hard," Begich said. "I am focused in the last several years on the issues that matter to Alaska."

But how does that jibe with the wider Democratic caucus?

When the 113th Congress is commenced in January, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will have to unite his caucus. With a mixed bag of priorities, and a handful of more moderate members focusing on getting re-elected in 2014, that could prove taxing.

"Leader Reid has a difficult task and I think the president is going to be looking to define his legacy," Gonzalez said. "I think he is going to try to get something big done that is going to have political consequences. The ones who have the most on the line are the people who will face voters in the midterm."

Jim Manley, who used to work as the chief spokesman for Reid, said he expects that the majority leader is going to go out of his way to make sure every Democrat feels comfortable with each vote.

"There are different ways to juggle votes," Manley said. "In the end, Reid understands that they have to do what they have to do to get re-elected. Reid understands that they need to do what they have to do to represent their constituents."

After all, Manley pointed out, Reid has had to do this ever since becoming majority leader in 2006.

"He spent the last couple of years juggling the competing concerns of (moderates) Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson against the demands of (progressives) Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders."

Begich says he assured Reid before the 2012 elections that he is ready to take hard votes and that the leader doesn't have to worry about putting him in a tough spot. Even so, said a confident Begich, he likes where he is two years out from the election.

"Some of the guys who were running for re-election (in 2012) had to moderate in my direction," Begich said. "I came in with these positions already because that is who I am."

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.