10-15-2021  8:03 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Center Commends Senator Whitehouse for Hiring Monalisa Dugué as Chief of Staff

Dugué is one of two Black Chiefs of Staff in the Senate ...

FBI Offers up to $25,000 for Information in Mass Shooting Event

18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris killed and six others injured in a Portland shooting on July 17, 2021 ...

Nearly 100 Animals Seized From Woofin Palooza Forfeited to MCAS

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has ruled that dogs and cats seized from an unlicensed facility named Woofin Palooza are now...

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

Rainier Valley Homeownership Initiative will create at least 100 for-sale homes, permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income...

Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

Schrader Calls Climate Change “biggest threat to Americans” after voting against key policy in committee ...

'Lawless city?' Worry after Portland police don't stop chaos

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week – smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least 0,000 in damage – but police officers didn't stop them. Portland Police Bureau officials say...

Legionnaires outbreak persists at Portland apartment complex

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials have confirmed that a North Portland apartment complex had a new case of Legionnaires’ disease in late September, the latest in an outbreak attributed to the waterborne illness since January. The Multnomah County Health Department said the...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

No. 21 Texas A&M tries to avoid 'Bama hangover at Mizzou

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly news conference going through everything that Texas A&M did well the previous week, when the Aggies stunned then-No. 1 Alabama before a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. It was a long list. So it wasn't surprising that by the end...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Carolina awards Staley 7-year, .4 million contract

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It certainly was a big day for Dawn Staley. South Carolina's national championship coach thought it was just as important for women's basketball and gender equity. Staley and the school announced a new, seven-year contract that will pay her [scripts/homepage/home.php].9 million...

New Mexico judge denies lab workers' claim in vaccine fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge on Friday denied a request by dozens of scientists and others at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate, meaning workers risk being fired if they don't comply with the lab's afternoon deadline. The case comes as...

New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

NEW YORK (AP) — The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams...

ENTERTAINMENT

Film TV workers union says strike to start next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions. A strike would bring a halt to...

Gary Paulsen, celebrated children's author, dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Paulsen, the acclaimed and prolific children's author who often drew upon his rural affinities and wide-ranging adventures for tales that included “Hatchet,” “Brian's Winter” and “Dogsong,” has died at age 82. Random House Children's Books...

Todd Haynes: Finding the frequency of the Velvet Underground

The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Cities, police unions clash as vaccine mandates take effect

Police departments around the U.S. that are requiring officers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are running up...

China crackdown on Apple store hits holy book apps, Audible

Amazon's audiobook service Audible and phone apps for reading the holy books of Islam and Christianity have...

Climate activists resume weeklong protest at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Indigenous groups and other environmental activists marched to the Capitol Friday as they...

Norway town absorbs horror of local's bow-and-arrow attack

KONGSBERG, Norway (AP) — Residents of a Norwegian town with a proud legacy of producing coins, weapons and...

El Salvador explores bitcoin mining powered by volcanoes

BERLIN, El Salvador (AP) — At a geothermal power plant near El Salvador’s Tecapa volcano, 300 computers whir...

Australian state to end quarantine for vaccinated travelers

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Sydney will end hotel quarantine for vaccinated passengers when scheduled...

Jen Chien Kalw/ New America Media

Pazhae Horace has a summer job with California Youth Energy Services, or CYES. It's a program that hires youth aged 15-22 to do free "green house calls" in their communities. They go into people's homes to evaluate energy and water efficiency, and then help install things like water-saving shower heads, or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Horace is 22, and this is her third summer working for the CYES site in Berkeley and Emeryville. She says that, at first, she was worried about talking to strangers, but now she really likes meeting new people, and helping them become more green.

Jodi Pincus is executive director of Rising Sun Energy Services, the non-profit which runs the CYES summer program, along with other green job training for youth and adults. She says CYES gives youth more than just employment. "You know, they're not getting a job at Starbucks," she says, "where they could learn equally valuable soft skills or professionalism. But it's not as meaningful in the sense of their contribution to the environment or to their community."

Rising Sun has been doing the CYES program for 14 summers now, long before the current green jobs trend. This partnership with PG&E and local city governments has grown from a pilot program of 15 youth serving 300 homes in Berkeley, to about 100 youth going into 3000 homes in 10 Bay Area cities. Pincus says one key to Rising Sun's longevity has been its so-called "triple bottom line" of people, planet and prosperity.

What that means in practice is giving young people -- especially low-income and at-risk youth -- job skills and paid employment. At the same time, they're learning about climate change and sustainability.

"We're preparing them for any job that they will have in their future, and ideally, they will have a job in the green economy," Pincus says.

The Green Economy

Early in the Obama administration, the "green economy" was getting a lot of attention. The President's massive 2009 economic stimulus plan included $500 million for job training in the emerging clean energy market. $150 million of that was supposed to go to low-income communities, through a program called Pathways out of Poverty.

People like former Oakland resident Van Jones -- for a time the White House's "Green Czar" -- predicted that the emerging green economy would lift low-income communities out of poverty. In response to the flood of federal funding, hundreds of "green job training" programs sprung up around the country. But according to a 2011 report by the Department of Labor, many couldn't do what they promised -- get their graduates into steady, well-paying jobs.

Carol Zabin, a labor researcher at UC Berkeley, says there was a misconception that green jobs were somehow different from regular occupations. She says most green jobs -- at least the ones in the big sectors of energy efficiency and renewables -- are really construction jobs.

"So we made a pretty big mistake I think," she say, "in developing a lot of short-term green jobs training that weren't really related to these broader occupations."

Broadening the Definition of a Green Job

Like Rising Sun in Berkeley, Solar Richmond started as more of a traditional job training model -- in this case for solar panel installation. It's now grown into something more complex, with other types of training, and job opportunities built right into the organization. In the city of Richmond, unemployment is high --about 4% higher than the national average. And median family income is about 12% less than in California as a whole.

Akeele Carter, Solar Richmond's program manager, says there just weren't enough jobs out there for her solar installation graduates. So the organization branched out into marketing, advocacy, and outreach. And with the help of partners like the City of Richmond, they created paid positions -- within the organization -- that used those skills.

"Because some people aren't meant to go on the roof," she says. "Some people like to talk and advocate, and they like to go out and meet people, and they like to canvas, or even sales."

According to the Solar Richmond website, they've created over 300 temporary jobs and 50 permanent ones since 2006. But Carter, who went through the program herself, says its about more than just job training.

"They have to be built up," she says, "to have that confidence and say, 'You know, I may be from a low-income community, but there's so many skills that I have innately inside of me, and talent that I need to tap into. That's going to allow me to get that job -- whether it's green, blue or white.'"

22-year-old Lela Turner found Solar Richmond's training program after a year of community college. She learned the carpentry and construction trade, but also skills like meditation, public speaking, and time management.

"I got my license, I got my first apartment, I got a lot of stuff," Turner says. "I got my first car through Solar Richmond -- they helped me out with so much stuff."

She now works as an administrative assistant in the main office. She's also one of four people -- and the only woman -- chosen to start Solar Richmond's new solar installation co-op, Pamoja Energy Solutions.

Labor researcher Carol Zabin says in-house initiatives like the co-op are a good response to the lack of green jobs. But most graduates of training programs go into entry-level jobs, which are often low-wage or short-term. Zabin says that placing people into better-paying jobs is a link that's often broken.

"It's also the link that's most challenging for organizations that sit in the position of training at-risk youth and low income folks, and folks with barriers to employment," she says. "Because they don't have any control over the whole system. And they don't have any control over how jobs get created.

And especially since the stimulus funding has run out, they don't have the money to just create hundreds of jobs on their own. So, even though Lela Turner says she's happy to be working at Solar Richmond, she actually has to have another job to make ends meet. "I also work at Ross as a retail associate," she says. "I'm in the fitting room and I'm a cashier. So I work normally six days a week."

Pazhae Horace is also glad to be where she's at this summer, doing green house calls for Rising Sun. But she says she's looking further down the road.

"I'm planning on going back to school for like business and communications, so that I can get a degree, further my career that way," she says. "And maybe stay in this nonprofit, or stay in the green field."

The "green field" may not have the same luster it did a few years ago. But for these young people just entering the workforce, it's still a good place to start.

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