08-11-2020  8:14 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Prosecutor Won't Act on Low-level Portland Protest Arrests

At least several hundred people who have been arrested in the past few months will not face criminal prosecution.

Lawmakers Adjourn Special Session, Restrict Choke Holds

Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, says choke holds are "a tool to take a life."

Seattle Police Chief to Resign Following Department Cuts

Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief, said in a letter to the department that her retirement will be effective Sept. 2.

Black Portlanders Struggle to be Heard Amid Protests

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing Steering Committee will meet Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 5:30 –7pm


Oregon Housing and Community Services Awards $60,822,101 to Build and Preserve 802 Affordable Homes

Investments address the statewide shortage of affordable housing through the development and preservation of affordable rental homes. ...

Phase Two Re:Imagine Grant Deadline August 11

The fund focuses on supporting ten artists with grants of $5,000 as they reimagine their practices and pivot toward the...

U.S. Bank Announces $1 Million in Grants to Black-Led CDFIs; Additional Support for African American Alliance

A total of 15 CDFIs will receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 while the African American Alliance will receive...

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

White Democrats in Congress Falling Short on Reparations Bill

Democracy in Color releases “The White List” showing 79% of democratic House members haven’t cosigned HR 40 despite popular...

Big Ten, Pac-12 pull plug on fall football amid pandemic

A crumbling college football season took a massive hit Tuesday when the Big Ten and Pac-12, two historic and powerful conferences, succumbed to the pandemic and canceled their fall football seasons.Five months almost to the day after the first spikes in coronavirus cases in the U.S. led to the...

U.S. judge: Cities cannot fine people for living outside

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon city has joined Boise, Idaho, in eliciting a precedent-setting court ruling that could change how cities nationwide cite and fine people living outside. A U.S. judge decided last month that Grants Pass, Oregon, violated its homeless residents’ Eighth...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

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...


Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

The legislators say Trump appointee Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the US Postal Service and could harm the election ...

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...


How it happened: Inside Biden's search for a running mate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gretchen Whitmer wanted out. The Michigan governor had caught the interest of Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting committee, who were drawn to her prominence in a crucial battleground state and her aggressive response to the coronavirus outbreak there. But by late...

Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat...

Greene, who made racist videos, wins GOP nod in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Marjorie Taylor Greene, a businesswoman who has expressed support for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon and been criticized for a series of racist comments, has won the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.Greene beat neurosurgeon John...


Politically charged 'black-ish' episode gets belated home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A politically charged episode of “black-ish” from 2017 that was shelved by ABC has found a home on Hulu, a corporate sibling of the Disney-owned broadcast network.“I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves,” series...

The Weeknd, Roddy Ricch, Maluma, CNCO to perform at MTV VMAs

NEW YORK (AP) — Chart-topping Grammy winners The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch are set to perform at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards this month.MTV announced Tuesday that Colombian singer Maluma and Latin boy band CNCO will also perform at the Aug. 30 event, which was originally to take place at...

Fox news, business cable channels to stream internationally

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Fox News and Fox Business channels are going international.A digital streaming service with the pair will launch in Mexico on Aug. 20, expanding to Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom on Sept. 17, Fox News Media said Tuesday.Fox News International will be available...


Big Ten, Pac-12 pull plug on fall football amid pandemic

A crumbling college football season took a massive hit Tuesday when the Big Ten and Pac-12, two historic and...

After multiple crises, this time Lebanese feel broken

BEIRUT (AP) — For nearly a week, Mona Zahran had to sleep on a couch pulled across her apartment's front...

New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy

NEW YORK (AP) — Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the...

Hong Kong residents defend free press as China cracks down

HONG KONG (AP) — Last year, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to demand full...

New Zealand scrambles to find source of new virus infections

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Health authorities in New Zealand were scrambling Wednesday to trace the...

Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

ALONG THE GANGES, India (AP) — More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of...

ODOT I-205 toll
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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