04-15-2024  9:10 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

NEWS BRIEFS

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Yolanda J. Jackson has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. ...

Americans Willing to Pay More to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap, Creating a New Opportunity for Black Business Owners

National research released today provides encouraging news that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and...

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan Directs Development Funding to Complete Next Phase of Gateway Green Project

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is beginning a new phase of accessibility and park improvements to Gateway Green, the...

Application Opens for Preschool for All 2024-25 School Year

Multnomah County children who will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1, 2024 are eligible to apply now for free preschool...

PCC and LAIKA Partner to Foster Diversity in Animation

LAIKA is contributing ,000 to support student scholarships and a new animation and graphics degree. ...

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway. ...

Asbestos victim's dying words aired in wrongful death case against Buffet's railroad

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Thomas Wells ran a half-marathon at age 60 and played recreational volleyball until he was 63. At 65 years old, doctors diagnosed him with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. “I’m in great pain and alls I see is this...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

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. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Prominent New York church, sued for gender bias, moves forward with male pastor candidate

A search committee previously sued for gender discrimination over its hiring process has announced its pick for the next senior pastor of a prominent New York City congregation considered by some to be the flagship of the Black church in America. Candidate Kevin R. Johnson, founding...

Beyoncé is bringing her fans of color to country music. Will they be welcomed in?

NEW YORK (AP) — Dusty, worn boots. Horses lapping up water. Sweat dripping from the foreheads of every shade of Black skin as country classics blare through giant speakers. These moments are frequently recreated during Tayhlor Coleman’s family gatherings at their central Texas ranch. For her,...

Gene Herrick, AP photographer who covered the Korean War and civil rights, dies at 97

RICH CREEK, Va. (AP) — Gene Herrick, a retired Associated Press photographer who covered the Korean War and is known for his iconic images of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the trial of the killers of Emmett Till in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, died Friday. He was 97. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Golf has a ratings problem, and the Masters could shine a light on why viewers are tuning out

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Golf has a ratings problem. The week-to-week grind of the PGA Tour has essentially become No Need To See TV, raising serious concerns about what it means for the future of the game. Now comes the Masters, the first major championship of the year and...

George Lucas to receive honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival

George Lucas will receive an honorary Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival next month, festival organizers announced Tuesday. Lucas will be honored at the closing ceremony to the 77th French film festival on May 25. He joins a short list of those to receive honorary Palmes. Last...

Luke Combs leads the 2024 ACM Awards nominations, followed by Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney

Luke Combs leads the nominees for the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nods to his name, it was announced Tuesday. For a fifth year in a row, he's up for both male artist of the year and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 59th annual ACM Awards...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

IAEA warns that attacks on a nuclear plant in Russian-controlled Ukraine put the world at risk

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame before the United Nations Security Council for...

Bureau of Prisons to close California women's prison where inmates have been subjected to sex abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The beleaguered federal Bureau of Prisons said Monday it will close a women's prison in...

Ship that caused bridge collapse had apparent electrical issues while still docked, AP source says

BALTIMORE (AP) — Hours before leaving port, the massive container ship that caused the deadly collapse of a...

World paid little attention to Sudan's war for a year. Now aid groups warn of mass death from hunger

CAIRO (AP) — On a clear night a year ago, a dozen heavily armed fighters broke into Omaima Farouq’s house in...

The Latest | Israel says it will respond to Iran attack as world leaders urge restraint

Israel’s military chief said Monday that the country will respond after Iran launched an attack involving...

House Speaker Mike Johnson pushes towards a vote on aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Mike Johnson is pushing toward action this week on aid for Israel, Ukraine and...

Viji Sundaram New America Media

Editor's Note: Asian Americans own 5.7 percent of all businesses nationwide and 11 percent of small businesses. The majority of these small businesses have no paid employees, so the owners cannot take advantage of federal tax credits offered by the Exchanges or online health insurance marketplaces. Kathy Ko Chin, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization, talks to New America Media health editor, Viji Sundaram, about the importance of reaching out to these business owners.

NAM: What are Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations such as yours doing to get their communities to enroll in Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange?

APIAHF: Several organizations in California, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network have been advocating for months and trying to work with Covered California to provide education and assistance about Obamacare, including how to enroll in health insurance coverage, in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways. As a national organization, APIAHF has been advocating for full implementation of health reform, focusing primarily on ensuring that the federally facilitated Exchanges are accessible for people who do not speak English, or don't speak the language very well, and for immigrants who will face additional enrollment barriers.

Many AAPI community-based organizations and community health centers in California and other states are doing their own outreach to help get individuals enrolled in the communities they serve. They have been using a variety of ways to do outreach and education, including creating their own educational materials in various languages for individuals/clients/patients they already serve and organizing town hall meetings and focus groups. APIAHF has developed several outreach materials including fact sheets, FAQs, an ACA toolkit for communities, and an "Enrollment Style" video available at our Health Reform Resource Center. We have also partnered with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to translate an educational tool titled, "The Health Care Law and You" into 11 different Asian and Pacific Islander languages that provides an overview of the law's benefits.

NAM: Since the majority of Asian American-owned small businesses have no paid employees, and are therefore not eligible for the small business tax credit, how would you encourage them to enroll on the individual exchange?

APIAHF: If they are not eligible for tax credits, small business owners may still qualify for no-cost health insurance through the expanded Medi-Cal program or, depending on their income, financial assistance to help afford private coverage. These small business owners can find out what plans they are eligible for and what forms of assistance are available for themselves and their families at the individual marketplace website.

NAM: A majority of API small business owners in California will not qualify for coverage through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program). Should there be a strategy to enroll those of them who are self-employed?

APIAHF: Small business owners will now have access to more affordable health insurance coverage that was not available before through Covered California. In order to get individuals enrolled in coverage, Covered California should engage in targeted marketing strategies using trusted sources of information in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander small business community (community-based organizations, community health centers, faith-based organizations and various forms of ethnic media) to: 1) emphasize the importance of having health insurance, 2) explain the new coverage options, and 3) highlight that health insurance is more affordable now because of the Medi-Cal expansion and availability of financial assistance for low- and middle-income individuals and families through the Covered California marketplace.

NAM: Many editorials in major newspapers have criticized the Obama administration of doing a poor PR job in promoting Obamacare, which is why many states are now scrambling to do outreach, given that Open Enrollment on the Exchange and in Medicaid (Medi-Cal in Calif.) is just around the corner. Do you agree with the critics?

APIAHF: A "poor PR job" is not the reason why states are concentrating efforts on outreach. The Affordable Care Act represents a dramatic shift in how Americans can and will access health care and health insurance. These are systemic changes that will forever change the way we obtain and understand health care. Change takes time, and while millions have already benefited from Obamacare, millions more will gain health insurance for the first time in just the next few months.

NAM: When the ACA was being drafted, did APIAHF lobby the Obama administration to do away with the five-year waiting period for immigrants to qualify for public health programs?

APIAHF: We have been longtime advocates for eliminating the 5-year waiting period. We advocated against its formation in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) in 1996, and have used every available legislative opportunity to eliminate the waiting period including most recently the Senate-passed immigration reform bill. Fortunately, some states such as California and New York use state dollars to provide these immigrants with health insurance coverage. In addition, immigrants subject to the 5-year waiting period are eligible for premium assistance to purchase health insurance plans offered through the marketplaces.

NAM: On your website, you talk about mixed status families and the Exchanges, how such a status will "only add confusion and delay, and even erroneous denials of enrollment." Could you explain what you mean by that?

APIAHF: Eligibility determinations based on immigration status can be very complicated due to the patchwork of restrictive laws and regulations, even for trained eligibility staff. The most common composition of a mixed immigration status family is of an undocumented parent with U.S.-born children. While the children are eligible for safety-net programs like Medi-Cal or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) because they are citizens, the undocumented parent is generally not eligible, yet that parent must often complete application forms on his/her child's behalf. While there are protections and guidance in place for individuals applying for benefits on another person's behalf, most immigrant applicants and many program staff are unaware of these protections, and, based on past experience with enrollment into other public programs, turn individuals away due to assumptions about what information is required for beneficiaries vs. a parent completing the application on a child's behalf. Additionally, research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicated that families with mixed immigration status did not enroll in Medicaid coverage when states used online applications—the primary method of enrollment for the health insurance marketplace—indicating that this will be a serious challenge moving forward.

NAM: What would you like to see included in the immigration reform bill now debated in Congress that would benefit the APIAHF communities in terms of health care?

APIAHF: Our vision for health equity in immigration reform is for parity in access to health care and health insurance for everyone, regardless of immigration status. Our top policy priority is for the elimination of the five-year waiting period for legal permanent residents who are hardworking, paying taxes and call America home. We also hope newly legalized immigrants (referred to as provisional immigrants in S. 744) are provided the same access and affordability options as lawfully present immigrants and citizens so that they can stay healthy and continue to contribute to their communities.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast