08-03-2020  8:20 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Police Declare Unlawful Assembly During Protest

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty addressed event organised by NAACP focused on Black Lives Matter

Shootings Increase During Portland Protests

Between June 1 and end July 31, 2020 there were 125 reported shootings compared to a total of 59 shootings in 2019

Portland Protest Scene Relatively Calm After US Drawdown

Under the deal announced by Governor Kate Brown, the federal agents will withdraw in phases.

Portland Approves $114 M Relief Budget with Focus on Communities of Color

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no, arguing for better houseless resources.

NEWS BRIEFS

House Approves Legislation to Stop Trump Attack on Fair Housing

Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer amendment would block rollback of anti-discrimination rule ...

Louis Mair Named as New Principal at Harriet Tubman Middle School

Louis comes to Harriet Tubman from Georgia, where he was a leader in building an inclusive and supportive learning community. ...

Portland City Council OKs Independent Police Oversight Board

The measure advanced by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty would set up a commission of undetermined size ...

TODAY: Blumenauer holds forum with Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

The forum can be viewed on Youtube and takes place today at 4:00 PM PDT. ...

State Rep. Will Dismukes Called Upon to Take Accountability and Reconcile with Alabama History

The Republican Alabama state representative gave the invocation at an annual birthday celebration for a Confederate general and leader...

Boat passenger missing after mishap on Columbia River

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man is missing after a boat he was in took a sharp turn and ejected two people into the Columbia River near the north end of Broughton Beach Park Sunday afternoon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports emergency responders from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office...

Body of climber who died on Mount Jefferson recovered

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The body of a Kennewick, Washington, climber who died in a fall from Mount Jefferson in central Oregon has been recovered.The Tri-City Herald reports David Freepons, 68, was climbing July 25 with a group at the mountain that is about 50 miles from Bend, Ore., when he...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

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...

OPINION

Bill Deiz urges Oregonians to Defend their Constitutional Rights

Elements of federal police, sent in by our president, are nightly tormenting our citizens with tear gas, impact munitions, kidnappings and beatings, and other criminal acts, in order to suppress our rights of free speech and free assembly ...

The Power of Love

Powerful lessons for me today on forgiveness. ...

Loretta Smith—Vote Yes

The Skanner News endorses Loretta Smith for City Commissioner, Position 2 ...

Essay on War Against Portlanders Who Support Black Lives Matter

The author questions how people can see only the cops' side when their criminality and lawlessness against peaceful protest is fueling the rage on the streets. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'If not now, when?': Black women seize political spotlight

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — The little girl ran up to her, wide-eyed and giddy.“Are you Charisse Davis?” the fourth grader asked. Davis was stunned. A former kindergarten teacher and librarian, she was more accustomed to shuttling her two sons to basketball practice than being seen as...

China accuses US of harassing Chinese students, researchers

BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday accused the United States of “monitoring, harassing and willfully detaining” Chinese students and researchers in the U.S. Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s comments follow the denial of a bail request in California for a...

AP VoteCast: How Black women shape Democratic politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black women are often called the backbone of the Democratic Party — reliable and loyal voters whose support can make or break a candidate.In 2018, they were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates, according...

ENTERTAINMENT

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Aug. 9-15

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Aug. 9-15.Aug. 9: Actor Cynthia Harris (“Mad About You,” “L.A. Law”) is 86. Jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette is 78. Comedian David Steinberg is 78. Actor Sam Elliott is 76. Singer Barbara Mason is 73. Actor Melanie Griffith is 63. Actor...

Tamar Braxton pays tribute to boyfriend for 'saving my life'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tamar Braxton is thanking her boyfriend for “saving my life” after her hospitalization last month.Braxton posted a lengthy message on social media late Saturday that paid tribute to David Adefeso being her “angel on earth.” She said she is...

Pandemic parody of `Goodnight Moon' to be released in fall

NEW YORK (AP) — A popular online spoof of the children's favorite “Goodnight Moon,” reworked for the coronavirus, will be published by Penguin Random House this fall. The Penguin imprint Philomel Books announced Monday that “Good Morning Zoom,” written by Lindsay...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

As US milk sales rise amid pandemic, "Got milk?" ads return

The dairy industry has a familiar question for you: “Got milk?”Six years after the popular tagline...

John Hume, who worked to end N. Ireland violence, dies at 83

LONDON (AP) — John Hume, the visionary politician who won a Nobel Peace Prize for fashioning the agreement...

Retail rout gains pace, Lord & Taylor seeks bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — Lord & Taylor, America's oldest retailer, is seeking bankruptcy protection, as is the...

Gold in secret vault is traced to Hugo Chávez's former nurse

MIAMI (AP) — It was 2014 and Venezuela's former treasurer Claudia Díaz was looking for a safe haven to...

Rajapaksa brothers to get strong support in Sri Lanka polls

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s powerful, popular Rajapaksa brothers are likely to get strong...

Isaias near hurricane strength as it crawls toward Carolinas

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Isaias was forecast to become a hurricane Monday as it neared landfall in the...

ODOT I-205 toll
McMenamins
Melanie Hicken CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Bankruptcy or not, Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, says the city simply can't afford the pensions it has promised tens of thousands of retired and current city workers, many of whom are counting on the checks to make ends meet.

So how much money do Detroit's retirees actually get?

On average Detroit's firefighters, police officers and other city employees receive pension checks that are similar or slightly smaller in size than the national average of $30,000 a year, according to pension experts. But compared with larger cities that have higher living costs, like Chicago and Los Angeles, Detroit's pensions checks often pale in comparison.

"My basic takeaway was that [Detroit's] pension system itself was not overly generous," said Jean-Pierre Aubry, assistant director of State and Local Research at Boston College's Center for Retirement Research.

While workers who reach the city's top posts, like police or fire chief for example, can retire with annual pensions that reach into the six-figures, the vast majority receive much smaller payments, Aubry said.

Retired general city workers, such as librarians or sanitation workers, received average payments of $18,275 a year in 2011, according to the Detroit General Retirement System. But those who put in the most time (or earn higher salaries) can see far healthier payments. A general city employee who retired in 2011 with an average ending salary of $60,000 and 40 years of service could receive around $45,000 a year.

Such benefits are more or less on par with the Detroit-area union auto workers. Retirees of the three big automakers receive average annual benefits of about $18,000 per year, in addition to another roughly $15,000 to $18,000 in Social Security payments, according to the United Automobile Workers, or UAW.

That's a big distinction: While retired Detroit firefighters and police officers receive more generous pension checks than auto workers -- checks averaged almost $30,000 a year in 2011 -- they often don't receive the added bonus of Social Security payments.

A 30-year veteran of the fire department who retired last year with an average ending salary of $60,000 would have qualified to receive around $44,000 a year, according to calculations using the plan's pension formula.

Police officers and firefighters in big cities often take home much more lavish pension checks. For example, with average annual benefits of $55,104, retirees of Chicago's police force took in nearly double Detroit's retirees. Meanwhile, retired Chicago firefighters had average annual payments of more than $60,000.

Chicago has its own budget woes, however. Last week, rating agency Moody's downgraded the city's credit rating, citing the city's ballooning pension obligations.

Even retired police and firefighters in Kansas City, Mo. -- a city with roughly two-thirds the population of Detroit and a similarly affordable cost of living -- take in more, with average annual payments of almost $42,500.

Still, it isn't all bad news for city workers. Since Detroit's firefighters and police offers are able to retire a decade (or more) before they reach the typical retirement age of 65, retirees can receive their benefits for decades. In addition, many retired officers have time to pursue other careers and accumulate additional savings.

In addition to a lifetime of payouts, city workers also receive retiree healthcare, a benefit that is rarely offered by private sector employers.

They can also extend their pension benefits to a spouse after they die by opting for smaller monthly pension checks, said Don Taylor, president of the Retired Detroit Police and Firefighters Association. The amount the payments are reduced by depends on the spouse's age.

Taylor himself receives about $2,500 a month from his 26 years in the Detroit Police Department, about a few hundred less than he would receive if he hadn't opted to include his wife in the plan. Taylor, 64, will also receive a small Social Security check from his 10 years as a travel agent. But other than that, he has no other retirement savings.

Regardless of whether Orr's proposed cuts go through, pension checks for younger employees will be less generous, said Leon LaBrecque, founder of a Michigan-based wealth management firm, who has worked with hundreds of Detroit city retirees.

Current workers have already agreed to pension cuts. For example, in 2011, Detroit police and firefighters agreed to a roughly 15% cut for pension benefits accrued from future years of service.

"There's this myth that everyone in Detroit is getting a fat pension," LaBrecque said. "But that's clearly not true."

 

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