10-14-2019  8:53 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jessye Norman, opera icon, memorialized at hometown funeral

Jessye Norman's illustrious opera career and extraordinary artistry was honored at her public funeral. So was Jessye Norman the loyal friend, the humanitarian, the teacher and the person not only celebrated for her golden voice, but for her heart of gold.Several speakers at Saturday's four-hour...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

Book by Fusion GPS founders coming out next month

NEW YORK (AP) — The co-founders of a political research firm behind allegations about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia have a book coming out next month.Random House announced Monday that "Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump"...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and...

Haiti's embattled president faces 5th week of protests

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's embattled president faced a fifth week of protests on Monday as road...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

This just in from Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen:

One of Multnomah County's many important functions is to gather, maintain and provide county residents with public records. Records of marriage, divorce, court matters, land ownership and more are all housed within our Recording Office for the use and benefit of the public.  

For this reason, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will vote on a resolution at its Nov. 15 meeting that would initiate a lawsuit to be filed by the county against banks belonging to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, ("MERS") in the State of Oregon.

MERS is a privately held company that serves as a registry to electronically track ownership of mortgage loans nationally for the ease and convenience of large financial institutions like, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, among others.  

MERS allows financial institutions to expeditiously transfer loans by circumventing public recording offices. Banks do not list themselves as the holder of a mortgage on county land records, and instead list MERS, creating a shadow recording system hidden from public view. Those quick transfers have enabled banks to package and sell mortgages to investors - the same mortgage packages that caused the collapse of our financial markets and what we now know as the Great Recession.  

By using MERS to circumvent county recordings, these backdoor dealings have also cost the public significant losses in county revenue in recording fees - resources that would otherwise be used to bolster our numerous health and human services and support our most vulnerable county residents. Perhaps even more importantly, this non-disclosure by members of MERS has made it difficult for homeowners in Oregon to pinpoint who their actual mortgage loan is with and resulted in an inaccurate public record of what financial institution owns or has owned the mortgage loan on a given property.

When I took public office years ago, I made a pledge to always look out for how things affect our residents and taxpayers. Because Multnomah County maintains this record for the public benefit, we are obligated to ensure the accuracy of recorded information. We will take action against any entities that willfully do harm to the public record through the recording of false or misleading documents.

Our proposed lawsuit will not only call for a recovery of county recording fees dodged by the banks belonging to MERS, but reform to the system that has allowed these activities to take place and will seek to require MERS to restore the integrity of our public records.

Our board meets on Thursday, Nov. 15 to decide on this action. As always, our weekly board meetings are open to the public and take place at 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, starting at 9:30 a.m. To see a news report on MERS, click here.

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