07-05-2020  9:36 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Portland protesters clash with police, throwing fireworks

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than 12 people were arrested in Portland early Sunday after throwing fireworks and mortars as they clashed with police during the latest rally decrying police brutality. Police used tear gas and crowd control munitions to stymie protesters who they say broke...

1 of 2 protesters hit by driver on Seattle freeway dies

SEATTLE (AP) — One of two people hit by a man who drove his car onto a closed Seattle freeway and into a crowd protesting police brutality has died.Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died Saturday evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said. Taylor and Diaz Love, 32, of...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anti-racism groups in Paris call out colonizer street names

PARIS (AP) — Paris police blocked anti-racism groups from leading a “de-colonial tour” of Paris on Sunday to call attention to monuments and streets honoring historical figures tied to the slave trade or colonial-era abuses.Instead, the protesters marched around a monument in...

F1 Drivers all wear "End Racism" T-shirts, but 6 don't kneel

SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Valtteri Bottas kneeled holding the winners’ trophy at Formula One's season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, where the podium trio held up a black T-shirt with “End Racism” written on it. That message was said before the race, too, when...

Bottas wins F1's season-opening Austrian GP, Hamilton 4th

SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday while Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty.Bottas took a knee as he received the winners’ trophy and the podium trio held up a black...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fewer will attend camp this summer; some camps won't survive

FAYETTE, Maine (AP) — Camp Winnebago was founded during the Spanish Flu and weathered all manner of health...

Naked men and drunks: England assesses the reopening of pubs

LONDON (AP) — It seems to have been more like a typical Saturday night than a drunken New Year's Eve.The...

1 of 2 protesters hit by driver on Seattle freeway dies

SEATTLE (AP) — One of two people hit by a man who drove his car onto a closed Seattle freeway and into a...

Russian shot dead in Austria, police probe political motive

BERLIN (AP) — Police in Austria say they have detained a Russian man after one of his compatriots was shot...

Muti conducts Syria musicians in memorial concert amid ruins

RAVENNA, Italy (AP) — Nine musicians from the Syrian diaspora in Europe are playing Sunday in the 24th...

Israeli leader's son takes center stage in corruption sagas

JERUSALEM (AP) — As scandal-plagued Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands trial for corruption, his...

McMenamins
By Halimah Abdullah CNN




WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Colorado state Rep. Tony Exum thought he was being punked.

The voice on the other end of the line claimed to be Vice President Joe Biden. It said it wanted to underscore the broader national importance of the heated gun control policy debate raging in Colorado.

"He asked me if the gun control laws we were debating had a chance of being passed, and I told him I thought it did. He talked about what gun control laws would mean and the difficulty of getting those passed in the country," Exum said of the call he received from Biden late last week. "At first I thought it was a prank call."

The brief exchange between Exum -- who represents a small section of southeast Colorado Springs where he once responded to shootings as a firefighter -- and the vice president, who heads up the Obama administration's gun control reform efforts, wasn't a chance encounter.

Calls to state lawmakers by the vice president are "unusual," but not necessarily a bad thing, said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

"It's clear that the administration has placed gun violence prevention near the top of its agenda," Webster said. "States passing stronger gun laws builds momentum for change in other states and at the federal level. Colorado is an important state not only because it has experienced two of the most high-profile and deadliest mass shootings, but because it is a purple state with a lot of gun owners."

(A shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, last July killed 12 people and injured 58. In April 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killed 13 and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.)

The state battles are important because the administration needs to send a signal back to Washington that the gun laws the White House supports need not have negative political consequences, gun policy experts say.

Having the vice president reach out to local lawmakers "may provide cover for some states that are passing these types laws so that there is some national conversation on this," said economist and pro-gun advocate John Lott.

In many ways, Colorado is ground zero for states' battles over gun control policy.

As the nation awaits congressional action on a slate of gun control measures ranging from an assault weapons ban to expanded background checks, many states have taken matters into their own hands.

"Some very pro-gun states are passing legislation that says, in essence, we won't follow certain federal laws," Webster said.

There are more than 1,000 gun policy bills pending in the nation's state legislatures, according to an analysis by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The measures run the gamut from assault weapons bans and expanded background checks to proposals allowing guns in schools and in churches.

More than half of the nation's state legislatures have had measures introduced that aim to nullify the effect of any federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to data collected by the he National Conference of State Legislatures.

For example, on January 21, Mississippi lawmakers introduced nearly a dozen such proposals. All of the measures failed, most of them in committee.

Most of these types of proposals hit state legislatures within days of the White House's January announcement of 23 executive actions on gun control and the introduction by California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein of a proposed ban of some assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

"The bluest states are being aggressive -- New York with the broadest prohibitions relevant to the mentally ill and lowest maximum ammunition capacity and broadest assault weapon ban," Webster said.

Biden traveled to a gun policy conference in Connecticut last month in the aftermath of December's Newtown school shootings, to underscore the administration's push for tougher laws as the state considers a broad set of gun control bills. Similar efforts are under way in New Jersey.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has spent tremendous political capital in his effort to enact several pieces of gun control legislation including stricter handgun purchaser licensing, banning the sale of assault weapons and ammunition-feeding devices with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, and expanded prohibitions for the dangerously mentally ill.

Across the country in California, state lawmakers are considering measures that would expand the categories of high-risk people who cannot legally purchase or possess firearms -- including repeat drug and drunk driving offenders and people who violate domestic violence restraining orders.

The debate has been especially heated in Colorado, where memories of Aurora and Columbine run deep.

On Monday, a small plane flew above the Colorado Capitol building pulling a banner that advised Gov. John Hickenlooper, "Hick: Do not take our guns." Opponents packed the Capitol's halls and honked horns in the parking lot.

Inside the statehouse, Mark Kelly -- the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democratic congresswoman who was shot while meeting with constituents in Arizona in January 2011 -- stressed the importance of universal background checks. Like Congress, the Colorado state legislature is considering a package of gun control legislation designed to broaden background checks to include private sales and limit the size of ammunition magazines.

There are at least seven gun control measures up for a vote before the state Senate by the end of the week that, if passed, could potentially be on the governor's desk by the end of the month.

Back in Washington, the fate of several pieces of similar gun policy legislation wending their way through a Senate committee could foreshadow the nature of the upcoming congressional gun control debate. But the politics of all of these measures is tricky and the stakes are high, said Alan Lizotte, dean and professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany.

"Both Democrats and Republicans are in a tough spot on this," Lizotte said.

The speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat, says though he too was surprised to receive a call about his state's gun control battle from Biden last week, he understands the stakes.

The vice president "definitely said they were paying attention to all states that were having the debates, including Colorado," Ferrandino said.

However both he and Exum added that though they appreciated the White House calls, they were already staunch supporters of stricter gun control legislation.

"Our goal is to pass the best policy for Colorado," Ferrandino said. "If the vice president wants to take that and help at the national level, or other legislators want to see if that will help with their state, then we'll gladly talk with them."

 

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