04-22-2024  6:07 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • Cloud 9 Cannabis CEO and co-owner Sam Ward Jr., left, and co-owner Dennis Turner pose at their shop, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Arlington, Wash. Cloud 9 is one of the first dispensaries to open under the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board's social equity program, established in efforts to remedy some of the disproportionate effects marijuana prohibition had on communities of color. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

    The Drug War Devastated Black and Other Minority Communities. Is Marijuana Legalization Helping?

    A major argument for legalizing the adult use of cannabis after 75 years of prohibition was to stop the harm caused by disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in Black, Latino and other minority communities. But efforts to help those most affected participate in the newly legal sector have been halting.  Read More
  • Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

    Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

     Seattle is marking the first anniversary of its landmark Race and Social Justice Initiative ordinance. Signed into law in April 2023, the ordinance highlights race and racism because of the pervasive inequities experienced by people of color Read More
  • A woman gathers possessions to take before a homeless encampment was cleaned up in San Francisco, Aug. 29, 2023. The Supreme Court will hear its most significant case on homelessness in decades Monday, April 22, 2024, as record numbers of people in America are without a permanent place to live. The justices will consider a challenge to rulings from a California-based federal appeals court that found punishing people for sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    Supreme Court to Weigh Bans on Sleeping Outdoors 

    The Supreme Court will consider whether banning homeless people from sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to cruel and unusual punishment on Monday. The case is considered the most significant to come before the high court in decades on homelessness, which is reaching record levels In California and other Western states. Courts have ruled that it’s unconstitutional to fine and arrest people sleeping in homeless encampments if shelter Read More
  • Richard Wallace, founder and director of Equity and Transformation, poses for a portrait at the Westside Justice Center, Friday, March 29, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

    Chicago's Response to Migrant Influx Stirs Longstanding Frustrations Among Black Residents

    With help from state and federal funds, the city has spent more than $300 million to provide housing, health care and more to over 38,000 mostly South American migrants. The speed with which these funds were marshaled has stirred widespread resentment among Black Chicagoans. But community leaders are trying to ease racial tensions and channel the public’s frustrations into agitating for the greater good. Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Drug War Devastated Black and Other Minority Communities. Is Marijuana Legalization Helping?

A major argument for legalizing the adult use of cannabis after 75 years of prohibition was to stop the harm caused by disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in Black, Latino and other minority communities. But efforts to help those most affected participate in the newly legal sector have been halting. 

Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

 Seattle is marking the first anniversary of its landmark Race and Social Justice Initiative ordinance. Signed into law in April 2023, the ordinance highlights race and racism because of the pervasive inequities experienced by people of color

Don’t Shoot Portland, University of Oregon Team Up for Black Narratives, Memory

The yearly Memory Work for Black Lives Plenary shows the power of preservation.

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

NEWS BRIEFS

Earth Day Announcement: Mt. Tabor Park Selected as a 2024 Leave No Trace Spotlight

Mt. Tabor Park is the only Oregon park and one of just 24 nationally to receive honor. ...

OHCS, BuildUp Oregon Launch Program to Expand Early Childhood Education Access Statewide

Funds include million for developing early care and education facilities co-located with affordable housing. ...

Governor Kotek Announces Chief of Staff, New Office Leadership

Governor expands executive team and names new Housing and Homelessness Initiative Director ...

Governor Kotek Announces Investment in New CHIPS Child Care Fund

5 Million dollars from Oregon CHIPS Act to be allocated to new Child Care Fund ...

Bank Announces 14th Annual “I Got Bank” Contest for Youth in Celebration of National Financial Literacy Month

The nation’s largest Black-owned bank will choose ten winners and award each a $1,000 savings account ...

KC Current owners announce plans for stadium district along the Kansas City riverfront

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ownership group of the Kansas City Current announced plans Monday for the development of the Missouri River waterfront, where the club recently opened a purpose-built stadium for the National Women's Soccer League team. CPKC Stadium will serve as the hub...

Two-time world champ J’den Cox retires at US Olympic wrestling trials; 44-year-old reaches finals

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — J’den Cox walked off the mat after dropping a 2-2 decision to Kollin Moore at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials on Friday night, leaving his shoes behind to a standing ovation. The bronze medal winner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 was beaten by...

OPINION

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mississippi lawmakers move toward restoring voting rights to 32 felons as broader suffrage bill dies

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators advanced bills Monday to give voting rights back to 32 people convicted of felonies, weeks after a Senate leader killed a broader bill that would have restored suffrage to many more people with criminal records. The move is necessary due...

William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist, scholar and friend of Malcom X, has died

BOSTON (AP) — William Strickland, a longtime civil rights activist and supporter of the Black Power movement who worked with Malcom X and other prominent leaders in the 1960s, has died. He was 87. Strickland, whose death April 10 was confirmed by a relative, first became active in...

Foundation to convene 3rd annual summit on anti-Asian hate, building AAPI coalitions

NEW YORK (AP) — A foundation launched in the wake of anti-Asian hate will hold a wide-ranging conference bringing together Asian American and Pacific Islander notable figures for a third year. The Asian American Foundation will hold a Heritage Month Summit next month in New York...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: Conan O’Brien travels, 'Migration' soars and Taylor Swift reigns

Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” landing on Netflix and Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” album are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

Music Review: Jazz pianist Fred Hersch creates subdued, lovely colors on 'Silent, Listening'

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch fully embraces the freedom that comes with improvisation on his solo album “Silent, Listening,” spontaneously composing and performing tunes that are often without melody, meter or form. Listening to them can be challenging and rewarding. The many-time...

Book Review: 'Nothing But the Bones' is a compelling noir novel at a breakneck pace

Nelson “Nails” McKenna isn’t very bright, stumbles over his words and often says what he’s thinking without realizing it. We first meet him as a boy reading a superhero comic on the banks of a river in his backcountry hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump tried to 'corrupt' the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump tried to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election by preventing damaging...

Toxic: How the search for the origins of COVID-19 turned politically poisonous

BEIJING (AP) — The hunt for the origins of COVID-19 has gone dark in China, the victim of political infighting...

Biden marks Earth Day by going after GOP, announcing billion in federal solar power grants

TRIANGLE, Virginia (AP) — President Joe Biden marked Earth Day by announcing billion in federal grants for...

European Space Agency adds 5 new astronauts in only fourth class since 1978. Over 20,000 applied

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — For the past year, five fit, academically superior men and women have been spun in...

Chinese general takes a harsh line on Taiwan and other disputes at an international naval gathering

QINGDAO, China (AP) — One of China's top military leaders took a harsh line on regional territorial disputes,...

Mexico's likely next president has a Jewish origin. Is that relevant in a deeply Catholic country?

MEXICO CITY (AP) — By mid-2024, Claudia Sheinbaum will most likely become Mexico’s first female president. She...

By Tom Cohen CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Now we're getting somewhere.  Expected concessions by House Speaker John Boehner have moved negotiations on avoiding the fiscal cliff to a new level as the deadline for Congress to act shrinks to two weeks.

Sources told CNN over the weekend that Boehner's latest proposal dropped Republican opposition to two key demands by President Barack Obama -- higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and an automatic extension of the federal debt limit.

Boehner's office insisted no deal had been reached, but didn't dispute the information from the sources about the concessions.

"The lines of communication remain open but there is no agreement, nor is one imminent," said Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel.



Congress had been scheduled to end its work last week, but legislators will return Monday with leaders warning members to be prepared to stay until Christmas and then return after the holiday until the year's end.

While the latest twists in the negotiations indicate a possible breakthrough, Boehner's offer also included hardline positions on spending cuts and reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that are opposed by Obama's liberal base.

The Ohio Republican's move sought to shift the onus on Obama to bring the Democratic position on spending cuts and entitlement reforms closer to the changes sought by the Boehner and the GOP.

Obama has repeatedly said that once Republicans accepted that tax rates on high-income Americans must increase, he would be willing to negotiate on other issues.

The president also has insisted that raising the federal debt ceiling should be separated from the political process of negotiating deficit reduction.

With the federal debt approaching the current ceiling of $16.4 trillion, Boehner's new offer would allow the government to again raise the borrowing cap -- a move that has faced strong GOP opposition since Republicans swept the U.S. House in 2010.

Boehner has consistently insisted that any increase in the debt limit must be offset by equal or greater spending cuts.

It was not immediately clear if his new proposal yielded on that demand, or whether Boehner will insist that proposed spending cuts in his plan must offset any debt limit increases.

According to one source, who spoke on condition of not being identified further, Boehner also proposed allowing tax rates on household incomes over $1 million to return to the higher rates of the 1990s while extending current reduced rates for all income up to that threshold.

In addition, his proposal includes a chained Consumer Price Index, which takes into account changes in quantity and prices of products, and an increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Those two steps would affect benefits for senior citizens and other participants in entitlement programs, and labor unions and advocacy groups for the elderly were expected to oppose them.

A source familiar with the talks called Boehner's offer "insufficient on revenue and rates."

However, the White House does consider it "progress" and reiterated Steel's statement, saying that the "lines of communication are open," the source said.

Obama and Boehner did not speak Sunday, sources said.

The president demands that tax rates increase on incomes over $250,000, a stance that was central to his re-election campaign and is supported by most Americans, according to consistent poll results.

Boehner has been under pressure from the White House, Democrats, the business community and some fellow Republicans to give up a staunch opposition to any increase in tax rates.

A separate source said there was not enough time to get a deal passed before Christmas. If a deal gets reached soon, then passage by January 1 would be tight but achievable, the source said.

Last week, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen said a deal would have to be reached by Christmas to allow enough time for the legislative process to approve the required measure or measures by the end of the year.

Boehner previously had offered to increase tax revenue by eliminating unspecified deductions and loopholes, but drew the line at allowing any rates to go higher.

Conservatives trying to shrink the federal government generally oppose increasing tax revenue. They are particularly opposed to higher tax rates because history shows that once rates go up, it is difficult to later reduce government revenue by lowering them again.

Obama and Democrats argue that increased revenue, including higher tax rates on the wealthy, must be part of broader deficit reduction to avoid the middle class from getting hit too hard.

Boehner met Thursday afternoon with Obama at the White House in their second face-to-face talks of the week. The two then spoke by phone on Friday, according to news reports.

CNN's Jessica Yellin and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.

 

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast