05-13-2021  7:53 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Governor Kate Brown Sets Vaccination Targets for Oregon to Reopen

Most statewide coronavirus related restrictions will be lifted when 70% of Oregon's residents who are 16 years and older receive the first COVID-19 vaccine dose. In addition, counties will be eligible to move into the “lower risk” category when 65% of the area's eligible population is vaccinated.

Reductions at Center for Women’s Leadership Mean No Advisory Board

Citing budget cuts and fundraising shortfalls due to the pandemic, PSU and the center’s board chair announce the illustrious board will be dissolved this summer.

Inslee OKs Bill Curbing Debt-Based License Suspensions

An estimated 46,000 people have their licenses suspended annually because they fail to pay court-imposed fines for noncriminal moving violations as minor as neglecting to use a turn signal.

Drug Overdoses Skyrocket in Washington State Amid COVID

The Seattle Times reported that fatal drug overdoses increased more than 30% last year compared to 2019, according to the data, an increase more than twice as large as any other year in the past decade.


Portland Audubon Hosts ‘Nature Night, Centering Justice and Identity’ Virtual Event

The discussion to be held on June 1, focuses on building inclusive scientific communities for our shared future ...

Gov. Inslee Signs Agriculture Worker Overtime Bill

Senate Bill 5172 creates a phased-in path toward full overtime pay for agricultural workers by 2024. For 2022, they ensure overtime...

PCC Art Student Exhibition Showcases Pandemic-Era Resilience

The exhibition opens on Monday, May 17 and runs through June 4 and includes a salon-style virtual showcase of two- and...

Oregon Lawmakers Extend Grace Period for Past-Due Rent

Currently, tenants have until July, but under Senate Bill 282 tenants will have until Feb. 28, 2022. ...

Billboard Campaign Connects Black-on-Black Gun Violence to White Supremacy

Community-based organizations respond to the underlying issues that are feeding into this public health crisis: White supremacy ...

Gov. Brown decides against closing minimum security prison

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A minimum security state prison in southern Oregon that was slated to close in 2022 will remain open. Gov. Kate Brown told the Lake County Prison Committee this week that the Warner Creek Correctional Facility will stay open through the rest of her...

Appeals court overturns conviction in killing of woman

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned the 2017 murder conviction of a teen who fatally stabbed a woman as she hung flyers near an apartment complex. The court overturned the conviction of Jaime Tinoco-Camarena on Wednesday, concluding that...


OP-ED: The Supreme Court Can Protect Black Lives by Ending Qualified Immunity

The three officers responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor are not the first to walk free after killing an unarmed Black person, and unfortunately, especially if things continue as they are, they will not be the last. ...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trade Arron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr & Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. ...

Editorial From the Publisher - Council: Police Reform Needed Now

Through years of ceaseless protest, activists have tried to hold Portland Police to account. ...

After the Verdicts

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum shares her thoughts after the verdicts ...


Colleges pushed anew for reparations for slavery, racism

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — For Brown University students, the Ivy League college's next step in its yearslong quest to atone for its legacy of slavery is clear: Pay up. Nearly two decades after the Providence, Rhode Island, institution launched its much-lauded reckoning,...

Jewish group condemns 'pure antisemitism' in German protests

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's leading Jewish group on Thursday sharply condemned protests in front of a synagogue in the western city of Gelsenkirchen as “pure antisemitism.” Several other German cities including Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover have seen anti-Israeli protests over...

Justices consider hearing a case on 'most offensive word'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Collier says that during the seven years he worked as an operating room aide at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, white nurses called him and other Black employees “boy." Management ignored two large swastikas painted on a storage room wall. And for six months, he...


Barry Jenkins on his unflinching epic ‘Underground Railroad’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins was considering adapting Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the Underground Railroad into a limited series, he kept hearing the same thing: Impossible. It would be emotionally and mentally...

Phylicia Rashad to lead Howard College of Fine Arts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Famed actor Phylicia Rashad is returning to her alma mater as the new dean of the Howard University College of Fine Arts. The longtime performer and Tony Award winner, who role to cultural prominence as Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” graduated magna...

Review: Angelina Jolie leads tense ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’

It would be an understatement to say that Angelina Jolie is put through the wringer in writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s new film “ Those Who Wish Me Dead.” In just 100 minutes, she is beaten and bruised by nature, men and even some of her own choices — like a crazy...


Judge weighing relevance of Ahmaud Arbery's mental health

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia judge will continue hearing legal motions Thursday in the murder case of three...

Justices consider hearing a case on 'most offensive word'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Collier says that during the seven years he worked as an operating room aide at...

Colleges pushed anew for reparations for slavery, racism

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — For Brown University students, the Ivy League college's next step in its yearslong quest...

Drop in Xinjiang birthrate largest in recent history: report

BEIJING (AP) — Xinjiang in far western China had the sharpest known decline in birthrates between 2017 and 2019...

Frustration in Japan as leader pushes Olympics despite virus

TOKYO (AP) — A full-page newspaper ad says Japanese will be "killed by politics" because the government is...

West and rights groups accuse China of massive Uyghur crimes

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany...

The Skanner It's Easy
Marijuana bud
Barrington Salmon Special to the NNPA from the Washington Informer

The District of Columbia is joining a growing number of states and cities which are reversing their positions with regards to marijuana use.

The majority of the D.C. Council, as well as the mayor, have coalesced around the issue of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. And there are several bills submitted for consideration by members of the legislative body that would decriminalize the possession of one ounce of cannabis or less.

"I worked awful hard to keep hundreds of thousands of young black men out of jail," Ward 8 Council member Marion S. Barry said during an interview Monday evening. "They are getting records for selling marijuana when their real crime is an economic crime. It's no different than burglary or robbery. Give people jobs. They can make more money selling weed but if given an opportunity, a significant number of young people will take the opportunity to hold a job. I saw that 12 years ago at Benning Terrace."

Barry, 77, said the move by the council mirrors what's happening elsewhere in the country.

"The mood of the country is changing drastically. About 100 million Americans have used marijuana. The whole climate has changed. I said that we needed to decriminalize more than 10 years ago."

Barry and Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells drafted the bill which would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana punishable by a $100 fine. The legislation would replace current law that imposes six month of jail time and a $1,000 fine on anyone caught with the drug in their possession.

Barry, a four-time mayor of the city who is in his second term as a council member, said he expects smooth sailing for the bill because six other council members have signed on as co-sponsors. They are Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), David Grosso (I-At-Large), and Anita Bonds (D-At-Large).

Wells, 56, chairman of the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee, said the issue is one of fairness and social justice.

"Ninety percent of the arrests in Washington, D.C. for criminal possession of marijuana are African American, when we are a city that is only about 48-49 percent African American," Wells said during a recent interview on CNN. "The over-criminalization of African-American youth is so much due to the criminalization of marijuana. And to what end? It means that you are much less likely to be able to get a job, go to school, or get housing, and that just doesn't make sense."

Two studies released this year bear Wells and Barry out. In July, the Washington Lawyers' Committee published findings of a report that said although blacks now comprise less than 50 percent of the District's population, nine out of 10 people arrested on drug possession charges are African American. Meanwhile, a study by the American Civil Liberties Union said that the city is arresting more people than ever before for marijuana possession, with African Americans accounting for the bulk of the numbers.

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