02-08-2023  6:57 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek: Agency Leaders Used Jobs for Personal Gain

Kotek on Wednesday asked the board of commissioners of the state's marijuana and alcohol regulating authority to remove its executive director and other leaders

Arrest Made in Stolen Yacht Rescue, 'Goonies' Fish Incident

Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded Friday night with the arrest of a Canadian man.

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Call for PNW Emerging Artists

'Timescape' submissions due March 15 ...

Merkley Applauds President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union Address: America is Stronger When We Come Together to Lift Everyone Up

If there’s one takeaway tonight that will stick with me, it’s how much stronger our country can be when our leaders focus on...

Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs Partner to Support Veterans Through the Arts

0,000 in grants will support arts programming across four Veteran Homes ...

The Black Business Association of Oregon Hires its First Communications Director

Previously, Sommer Martin was director of downtown marketing for the Portland Business Alliance ...

Allen Temple C.M.E. Church Announces Annual Unsung Heroes & Heroines Award Luncheon

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge and honor individuals and/or organizations who are unsung heroes/heroines who make a...

Former Maui official gets 10 years for taking [scripts/homepage/home.php]M in bribes

HONOLULU (AP) — A former Maui County official was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for accepting [scripts/homepage/home.php] million in bribes from a Honolulu businessman in one of the biggest bribery cases in Hawaii history. Stewart Olani Stant, who was a wastewater manager and the director of...

Court upholds Wash. residency requirement for pot industry

SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge has upheld Washington's residency requirement for involvement in the state's legal cannabis industry — a decision at odds with a federal appeals court ruling concerning a similar requirement in Maine. A man who co-owns a chain of Washington cannabis...

Indiana State wins 84-62 against Valparaiso

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Courvoisier McCauley had 15 points in Indiana State's 84-62 victory against Valparaiso on Wednesday night. McCauley had six rebounds for the Sycamores (17-9, 10-5 Missouri Valley Conference). Robbie Avila scored 14 points while going 4 of 7 from the floor,...

Clay, Mogbo lead Missouri State past Belmont, 61-59

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Donovan Clay scored 18 points to lead Missouri State and Jonathan Mogbo finished an alley-oop dunk with 8.9 seconds left as the Bears knocked off Belmont 61-59 on Wednesday night. Clay had six rebounds and five assists for the Bears (13-12, 9-6 Missouri...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Stella Jean quits Milan Fashion Week over lack of inclusion

MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy. ...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders slams Biden for 'woke fantasies'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders painted a dystopian portrait of the country in her rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, leaning heavily into Republican culture war issues and accusing Biden of pursuing “woke fantasies.” ...

Douglas Emmett: Q4 Earnings Snapshot

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Douglas Emmett Inc. (DEI) on Tuesday reported a key measure of profitability in its fourth quarter. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment trust said it...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dudamel to become NY Philharmonic music director, leave LA

NEW YORK (AP) — Gustavo Dudamel will become music director of the New York Philharmonic for the 2026-27 season, ending a heralded tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic that began in 2009. The 42-year-old Venezuelan conductor agreed to a five-year contract as New York’s artistic...

U2's Bono, family of Tyre Nichols' among Jill Biden's guests

Rock star Bono, the family of Tyre Nichols and the 26-year-old who disarmed a gunman in last month’s Monterey Park, California, shooting were among the featured guests sitting alongside first lady Jill Biden at Tuesday's State of the Union address. The guests were invited “because...

The Oscar nominee that says a lot just with its title

NEW YORK (AP) — Long before a bemused Riz Ahmed read its name on Oscar nominations morning, the title of Pamela Ribon’s short film has tended to have an effect on those who hear it. Like when Ribon went to pick up her festival credential at SXSW in Austin, Texas, shortly before premiering her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Scoring King: James passes Abdul-Jabbar for NBA points mark

LeBron James got the first official statistic of his NBA career on a rebound. His next entry on the stat sheet was...

Primary care a hot target; CVS spends .6B on Oak Street

Big money is pouring into primary care clinics as the nation’s health care giants hunt for ways to cut costs by...

Biden in State of Union exhorts Congress: 'Finish the job'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden exhorted Congress Tuesday night to work with him to “finish the job”...

Blaze at US drone plant in Latvia; arson not suspected

HELSINKI (AP) — Firefighters worked for a second day Wednesday to fully extinguish a blaze at a U.S. company’s...

Live Updates | Turkey, Syria quake is deadliest since 2015

The catastrophic earthquake that razed thousands of buildings in Turkey and Syria became one of the deadliest...

Earthquake takeaways: Hope fading in frigid Turkey, Syria

GAZIANTEP, Turkey (AP) — The search for survivors of the earthquake that toppled thousands of buildings in...

Special to the NNPA from the New York Carib News

Is Haiti on the road to some semblance of recovery, three and a half years after the mind-boggling, deadly and monstrous earthquake that struck in January 2010?

Some figures compiled by the International Organization for Migration, Oxfam and other international organization suggest the answer is a qualified yes. But before we declare the global and Haitian national reconstruction effort to be irreversible and well on its way, we should pause and insist that more needs to be done quite quickly, especially in the areas of housing, security and economic development.

When the IOM announced less than a week ago that 279,000 Haitians were still living in squalid conditions in tent cities, most of them in and around Port-au-Prince, the capital, the news was an improvement over the 360,000 displaced persons living hand to mouth in almost 500 tent camps in January this year, the third anniversary of the calamity. Clearly, it was a far cry from the 1.5 million Haitians left homeless after earthquake had pummeled the nations but such a large number is obviously untenable.

The international community, especially donor nations and individuals from around the world have earmarked almost $10 billion in assistance to help put Haitians back on their feet and improve living conditions but quite frankly there is more, much more that should have done to help the homeless, those who suffered serious injuries and to rebuild the country's infrastructure and the economy which suffered significant damage.

There is enough blame to go around, beginning with the international community which earmarked large sums of money at door conferences but took back much of the money to reimburse their treasuries for humanitarian activities they undertook after the act of nature left a trail of devastation across Haiti. A report of the Center for Global Development indicated that about a third of $ 6 billion set aside by to help in the rebuilding drive actually went back to the donors to reimburse them for their own civil and military work in Haiti. Much of the remainder reportedly went to international NGOs and private contractors to finance their Haitian operations. If accurate, those figures illustrate what's tragically wrong with the reconstruction of Haiti. Here was a dreadful situation that needed urgent and selfless responses but far too many donors seemed more interested in getting their share of their own money and NGOs taking their cut of the assistance instead of moving swiftly to help the economically and socially disadvantaged souls.

After all, Haiti was the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation where more than 40 per cent of the population existed below the poverty line, long before the act of nature impoverished so many people. It was as if every ounce of humanity was drained from the relief effort and siphoned off into less noble pursuits. It seemed to be a reflection of international greed and galloping and unbridled selfishness.

Although Haitian government officials aren't far wrong when they complain that less than 10 per cent of the humanitarian relief funds went to the government and that a mere one per cent of assistance was set aside for Haitian social services institutions and business, people there must shoulder some of the blame for the failures. Inefficiency and callousness took a painful toll on initiatives to relief people's suffering. Just as bad the current and previous administrations were far too slow in putting concrete and transparent initiatives in place to reduce the suffering, cut much of the chaos and return the country to some semblance of order.

That's why it didn't come as a surprise when the United Nations called on President Michel Martelly and his ministers to accelerate the pace of reconstruction and to do more to protect people's human rights. Martelly came to office pledging to cut the suffering almost immediately but it's clear that he hasn't lived up to his word.

But there were some extenuating circumstances to this awful situation. Not long after the earthquake which took more than 250,000 lives; left more people homeless than there are people in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and their Eastern Caribbean neighbors put together; and caused billions of dollars in infrastructural damage, a cholera epidemic erupted causing the deaths of almost 8,000 people. The health care calamity was traced to United Nations troops brought to the country to maintain law and order but ended up unleashing a deadly disease that Haiti hadn't experienced in more than a century.

As if those tragedies weren't enough, floods and hurricane-force winds washed away roads and bridges, destroyed food crops and polluted rivers and streams, major sources of drinking water. Haiti has had more than any fair share of difficulties, certainly more than any of its better-off Western Hemisphere neighbors.

What's needed is better coordinated action that would quicken the pace of re-development. The situation demands a more humane and collective approach to the problem by the international community and the Haitian government. For one thing, donor countries must link arms with Haitian institutions and stop treating them as if they were step-children in their own country. There is also a need for greater transparency in government operations that would eliminate the suspicions that abound about corruption there. The public sector and civil society must act in a way that inspires confidence in national institutions. International NGOs that act as if they are a law unto themselves in Haiti must be reined in by the foreign governments that supply them with the funds that keep their executives in Haiti living in grand style without recognizing that they are accountable to Haitians, in or out of the government or the private sector.

That may appear to be a tall order but it's the only solution to the indifference and the neglect that are commonplace in Haiti.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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