08-15-2022  6:46 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • Employees of NY State Solar, a residential and commercial photovoltaic systems company, install an array of solar panels on a roof, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in the Long Island hamlet of Massapequa, N.Y. Americans are less concerned now about how climate change might impact them personally — and about how their personal choices affect the climate than they were three years ago, according to a according to a June poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

    AP-NORC Poll: Many in US Doubt Their Impact on Climate

    Americans now believe in climate change, but they are less convinced that it will affect them or that their choices can make a difference than they were in 2019. Only about half say their actions have an effect on climate change, compared with two-thirds in 2019 Read More
  • The receipt for property that was seized during the execution of a search warrant by the FBI at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., is photographed Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

    FBI Seized Top Secret Documents in Trump Estate Search

    The FBI recovered “top secret” and even more sensitive documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, according to court papers released Friday, including some of the nation's most important secrets that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” damage to U.S. interests Read More
  • Jordan Brand and Howard University Announce 20- Year Partnership

    Jordan Brand and Howard University Announce 20- Year Partnership

    Together, Howard University and Jordan Brand aim to continue uplifting Black students and amplifying the influence of HBCUs on a collegiate sports level while also continuing the impact on culture globally.  Read More
  • Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

    Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

    The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true?  Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Inslee Issues Directive Outlining Monkeypox Virus Response

As of Friday, Washington state had confirmed 265 monkeypox cases. ...

Seattle Hospital to Refuse Some Patients Due to Capacity

The hospital is caring for some 560 inpatients, more than 130% of its licensed capacity of 413 patients. ...

West Seattle Bridge to Reopen After Yearslong Closure

The 40-year-old bridge is among the city’s most important, previously allowing 100,000 drivers and 20,000 transit users to move...

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Seattle ambulance contractor pays jumi.4 M in fines

SEATTLE (AP) — The private ambulance contractor for the Seattle Fire Department paid nearly jumi.4 million last year for violating the terms of its contract with Seattle and arriving late to calls. American Medical Response contracts with Seattle to provide basic life support...

Coast Guard responds to small oil spill near San Juan Island

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a diesel spill off the west coast of Washington state's San Juan Island after a 49-foot (15-meter) fishing vessel sank with an estimated 2,600 gallons (9,854 liters) of fuel on board. A Good Samaritan rescued all five crew members...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Developer finds human remains near Nashville Civil War fort

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A developer has unearthed human remains that could be two centuries old while digging to lay the foundation of a new Nashville project not far from a Civil War fort and a cemetery dating back to 1822. For Nashville, the discovery marks the latest intersection...

Kansas district rejects strategic plan urging diversity

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district's board rejected a proposed strategic plan after some members questioned its emphasis on diversity and students' mental health. The Derby Board of Education voted 4-3 this week to reject a plan presented after months of work by parents,...

Two years on, foundations stand by issuing bonds in pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — When the Ford Foundation took the unprecedented step in June 2020 of issuing jumi billion in debt to help stabilize other nonprofits, it delighted investors and inspired several other large foundations to follow suit. Two years later, the foundations all stand by...

ENTERTAINMENT

In ‘The Princess,’ a documentary on Diana flips the focus

The last thing the world needs, you might think, is another Princess Diana documentary. It’s a fair thought considering that almost 25 years after her death, her life and impact is still media fodder. Whether it’s a magazine cover or a book claiming to have new revelations or just...

'South Park' enjoys a silver anniversary of satire

NEW YORK (AP) — Reaching the age of 25 is usually a sign of hitting adulthood, a signal to put away all childish things. Not for “South Park” and stars Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman. The Comedy Central staple about four bratty, perpetually bundled-up youngsters in an unhinged...

Anne Heche remains on life support for donor evaluation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anne Heche remains on life support and under evaluation for organ donation after a car crash that led to her brain death, a representative for the actor said Friday. Under current California law, death can be determined by the loss of all brain function and in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Boredom, loneliness plague Ukrainian youth near front line

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Anastasiia Aleksandrova doesn’t even look up from her phone when the thunder of...

R Kelly trial on whether he fixed 2008 trial set to start

CHICAGO (AP) — Jury selection begins Monday at R. Kelly’s federal trial in his hometown of Chicago, where the...

What to watch: Cheney in trouble while Palin eyes comeback

WASHINGTON (AP) — Elections in Wyoming and Alaska on Tuesday could relaunch the political career of a former...

With war nearby, US shows support for Poland on army holiday

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish president and other officials marked their nation's Armed Forces Day holiday...

Pay pushes Venezuelan teachers to protest, consider quitting

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Public school teachers across Venezuela had planned to use their annual vacation bonus...

Myanmar court convicts Suu Kyi on more corruption charges

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in military-ruled Myanmar convicted the country’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on...

Ryan Kost Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- How much are politicians straining to convince people that the government is stimulating the economy? In Oregon, where lawmakers are spending $176 million to supplement the federal stimulus, Democrats are taking credit for a remarkable feat: creating 3,236 new jobs in the program's first three months.
But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours, or about one work week. After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed, according to an Associated Press analysis of state spending and hiring data. By the state's accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime.
"Sometimes some work for an individual is better than no work," said Oregon's Senate president, Peter Courtney.
With the economy in tatters and unemployment rising, Oregon's inventive math underscores the urgency for politicians across the country to show that spending programs designed to stimulate the economy are working -- even if that means stretching the facts.
At the federal level, President Barack Obama has said the federal stimulus has created 150,000 jobs, a number based on a misused formula and which is so murky it can't be verified.
At least 10 other states have launched their own miniature stimulus plans and nine others have proposed one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of them, like Oregon, have promised job creation as a result of the public spending.
Ohio, for instance, passed a nearly $1.6 billion stimulus package even before Congress was looking at a federal program. When Gov. Ted Strickland first pitched the idea last year, he estimated the program could create some 80,000 jobs.
In North Carolina, a panel authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in new debt to speed up $740 million in government building projects. According to one estimate, the move could hurry the creation of 25,000 jobs.
As the bills for these programs mount, so will the pressure to show results. But, as Oregon illustrates, job estimates can vary wildly.
"At best you can say it's ambiguous, at worst you can say it's intentional deception," said economist Bruce Blonigen of the University of Oregon. "You have to normalize it into a benchmark that everybody can understand."
Oregon's accounting practices would not be allowed as part of the $787 billion federal stimulus. While the White House has made the unverifiable promise that 3.5 million jobs will be saved or created by the end of next year, when accountants actually begin taking head counts this fall, there are rules intended to guard against exactly what Oregon is doing.
The White House requires states to report numbers in terms of full-time, yearlong jobs. That means a part-time mechanic counts as half a job. A full-time construction worker who has a three-month paving contract counts as one-fourth of a job.
Using that method, the AP's analysis of figures in Oregon shows the program so far has created the equivalent of 215 full-time jobs that will last three months. Oregon's House speaker, Dave Hunt, called that measurement unfair, though nearly every other state that has passed a stimulus package already uses or plans to use it.
"This stimulus plan was intentionally designed for short-term projects to pump needed jobs and income into families, businesses and communities struggling to get by," Hunt said in a statement. "No one ever said these would be full-time jobs for months at a time."
Still, critics say counting jobs, without any consideration of their duration, isn't good enough.
"You can't let them say, 'Well, we never said it was going to be full-time,''' said Steve Buckstein, a policy analyst for the Cascade Policy Institute, a free-market think tank. For the price of Oregon's $176 million, lawmakers could have provided all 3 million state residents with a one-hour job paying about $60, he said.
"By their definition, that's 3 million jobs," Buckstein said. "Is anybody gonna buy that?"
Oregon's 12.4 percent unemployment rate surpasses the national average of 9.4 percent. To supplement the federal stimulus, the state sold bonds to pay for everything from replacing light bulbs to installing carpet and finishing construction of a school in the farming community of Tillamook.
The "Go Oregon" program is still new. According to its latest progress report, 8 percent of the money has been spent and hundreds of projects have yet to be completed. More paychecks are bound to be written as construction continues.
If Oregon's dollars-to-jobs ratio remains steady, the program will create about 688 full-time, yearlong jobs. So far, it's generated only enough hours to employ 54 people full-time for a year.
Still, contractor Deborah Matthews of Pacificmark Construction, based in Milwaukie, Ore., is happy for any work. Her company picked up three contracts for painting, installing a water filter system and refurbishing a maintenance building. Prior to those contracts, which lasted about six weeks, she had laid off nearly all her construction workers. She brought back three full-time and hired a part-time worker.
"It was a little bit," she said, "to just keep us going."

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