01-20-2022  7:45 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer Boosts Efforts to Put Three Black History Landmarks on National List

Congressman makes case for Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, and the Golden West Hotel’s importance to city history and heritage.

PHOTOS: The Skanner Foundation 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships were awarded to an impressive group of 28 students at The Skanner Foundation 36th Annaul Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

Lawsuit Says New Majority Latino District in WA a 'Facade'

A Latino civil rights organization and others filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that says new political maps in Washington state approved by a bipartisan redistricting panel intentionally dilute Hispanic voters' influence.

Washington Students' Test Scores Drop Significantly

Reports show that between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met state standards on the math portion of the exam fell by 20 percentage points.

NEWS BRIEFS

PassinArt Introduces ‘Play Reading Mondays’

The Spanish Jade and The Learning Curve, both directed by William Earl Ray premiere in February ...

Revamped TriMet Website Makes Planning Trips Easier With Map-Based Tools

Riders can now track real-time locations of buses and trains on their smartphone ...

PHOTOS: Founder of The American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths Honored

Delbert Richardson's Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha XI Chapter fraternity brothers presented him a plaque that reads “Your commitment to...

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

Tony Jones was honored with the 2022 Parish Service Award, and the award for Community Service went to Terrance Moses ...

Culture + Trauma: An Artist Comes Home

An installation at the Alberta Arts Salon curated by Bobby Fouther is a visioning of the uncensored Black life. ...

Portland city workers take initial step toward strike

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than 1,100 municipal trade workers may strike as Portland leaders and a coalition of public employee unions remain at an impasse on a new contract agreement. Members of the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) voted to authorize a strike after...

Oregon residents decry proposed 'permanent' mask mandate

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of Oregon residents claimed government overreach on Thursday, as officials at the state’s health authority consider indefinitely extending the current indoor mask requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon Health Authority held a public...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Judge sides with Alaska attorney who alleged wrongful firing

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. judge sided Thursday with an attorney who said she was wrongly fired by the state over political opinions expressed on a personal blog. U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled that Elizabeth Bakalar's December 2018 firing violated her free speech...

Jury in federal trial in Floyd killing appears mostly white

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury of 18 people who appeared mostly white was picked Thursday for the federal trial of three Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing, a case that the judge told potential jurors has “absolutely nothing” to do with race. The...

The 18 jurors picked for federal trial over Floyd's killing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Eighteen people were picked to hear the federal case against three former Minneapolis officers who are charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights during the May 2020 arrest that led to the Black man's death. Twelve jurors will deliberate and six are alternates. Most...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Yinka, Where is Your Huzband' funny and big-hearted

NEW YORK (AP) — “Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband” by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (Pamela Dorman Books) Yinka Oladeji is a 30-year-old, Oxford educated, British Nigerian woman with a good job, living in London who happens to be single. Her accomplishments should carry weight within...

Spears case drives California bid to limit conservatorships

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Disability rights activists and advocates for Britney Spears backed a California proposal Wednesday to provide more protections for those under court-ordered conservatorships, while promoting less-restrictive alternatives. Their move came as the volatile...

Review: ‘Delta Man’ spotlights Allison-Spehar partnership

“Delta Man,” Bobby Allison and Gerry Spehar (Independent) The new album by longtime songwriting collaborators Bobby Allison and Gerry Spehar includes an exuberant self-assessment on “Bubba Billy Boom Boom & Me,” a tune as entertaining as its title. “We was...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Georgia DA asks for special grand jury in election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia prosecutor looking into possible attempts to interfere in the 2020 general election...

At 113, NAACP evolves for relevance on racial justice agenda

As the NAACP turns 113, look for its voice to grow louder on issues like climate change, the student debt crisis...

EXPLAINER: Why fear of 5G halting flights has faded

The rollout of new 5G wireless service in the U.S. failed to have the much-dreaded result of crippling air travel,...

EXPLAINER: How sweeping EU rules would curb tech companies

LONDON (AP) — Online companies would have to ramp up efforts to keep harmful content off their platforms and...

Serbia scraps planned Rio Tinto lithium mine after protests

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Trying to defuse large protests by environmentalists, Serbia’s populist government...

Cuban protesters await sentencing, facing long prison terms

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban courts have wrapped up the hearing phase of six mass trials for people accused of...

Anna Challet New America Media

If you had a room full of parents of public school students and asked them how their district should be using state education funds and what individual schools need, what would they say?

For Benita Ayala, whose two sons attend public schools in Sacramento, the answer is "simple things" – like more janitorial staff and a school library that's open every day.

Ayala says she sees a lack of basic services at both of her sons' schools. She gives an example of one day recently when her son Christopher had to use the restroom, but the door was locked even though the bathroom wasn't occupied, and a janitor couldn't be found to open it; her son finally urinated on himself. At her other son's school, the library is only open certain days of the week, and her son can't always access the materials he needs.

She's also concerned about the current focus on technology-based curriculums, especially in Christopher's case. Christopher has special needs and his class includes children who are deaf and non-verbal, and she points out that the existing technology in the classroom is antiquated.

"How are they going to access that [kind of] curriculum?" she says. "We need to allocate funds more in developing educators that can relate better to different kinds of special needs."

At a community forum in Sacramento last week organized by The California Endowment, a health foundation, as part of what it's calling the School Success Express Tour, parents met with state and local education officials to give their input on how money should be spent in their school districts. The forums are being held in 12 cities around the state.

Over the next eight years in California, education spending will increase by $18 billion, and under the state's new Fair School Funding law (also known as the Local Control Funding Formula), schools and parents have more say in how the budget increases will be spent.

Erin Kelly Rivera of Elk Grove, whose son Morgan has been bullied at school, thinks that money needs to be spent on counselors and staff training so that teachers know how to deal with bullying.

When Morgan was in third grade (he is now in fifth), he was being threatened repeatedly by some other children. He told his teachers and the adults on yard duty, but "they failed to do anything," Rivera says. "He said nobody was listening."

One day, Morgan left the school property because he was scared of the kids who were bullying him. At the time, he was eight years old. The school responded by deciding to suspend him for three days; the suspension was rescinded when the family went to the local media with the story.

Rivera says that in the time since the incident, the school hasn't done much to help her son. He's still having a hard time socially. "He feels like he's not good enough," she says. "He says, 'People don't want to come near me.'"

"The school district needs to do more. When kids bully, it needs to be handled differently. There needs to be counseling for the victim and for the bully," says Rivera.

Nicole Brock, who works for St. John's Shelter Program for Women and Children in Sacramento, came to the meeting on behalf of the single mothers that the program serves. Her main concern is school buses.

The mothers who live in St. John's transitional housing while completing an employment readiness program used to send their children to an elementary school around the corner from the housing complex, says Brock. But to cut costs, Sacramento Unified has recently closed several elementary schools, including the school that was nearby. Now those kids attend an elementary school that takes over 20 minutes to walk to.

"There's no school bus for the kids at the complex," says Brock. The children are young and must be accompanied on the walk, and the 40-minute round trip would cause their mothers to miss the shuttle to their employment program.

Brock echoes Benita Ayala's concern about focusing on technology while basic needs aren't being met. "We have to get the kids to school before we get them iPads. If we can't get them to school, that's a problem," she says.

The next community forum will be in East Oakland on October 21. For the complete schedule, visit TCE's website.

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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