06-22-2021  1:00 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

BREAKING: Loretta Smith Announces Run for Oregon’s New Congressional Seat

Former county commissioner and two-time Portland City Council candidate wants to keep focus on education, police reform.

At 35, Felix Makes a Comeback and Lands Her 5th Olympics

The 35-year-old mom rallied from fifth at the start of the homestretch to the second-place finish at U.S. track trials.

11 U.S. Mayors Commit to Develop Reparations Pilot Projects

Eleven U.S. mayors — from Los Angeles to tiny Tullahassee, Oklahoma — have pledged to pay reparations for slavery to a small group of Black residents in their cities, saying their aim is to set an example for the federal government on how a nationwide program could work

Judge Dismisses Governor Inslee Recall Petition

The governor's office said Wednesday that a judge ruled to dismiss the petition filed in May by five residents in a citizen group known as Washingtonians to Recall Inslee

NEWS BRIEFS

PCC Won't Requires Students, Staff to Be Vaccinated This Fall

Behind this decision are several factors: ...

Vancouver Housing Authority Seeks Hotels and Motels to Turn Into Affordable Housing

Vancouver Housing Authority is on the hunt for hotels and motels to purchase for conversion to affordable housing. ...

Seniors Need Fans to Keep Cool in Hot Weather

Meals on Wheels People is again asking for donations of new or gently-used fans to help keep homebound seniors cool and healthy ...

Letter to Gov. Kate Brown from Senators Wyden, Merkley and Representative Blumenaur Addresses Rose Quarter Improvement Project

Elected offiicials seek to collaborate with the governor to reconnect and revitalize historic Albina ...

Oregon Senate Passes Expungement Reform, Bill Heads to House Floor

Senate Bill 397 would provide a more efficient and equitable path to a better future for thousands of Oregonians with a criminal...

Ex-principal accuses school district of discrimination

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) — A former South Albany High School principal is suing Greater Albany Public Schools, claiming the district racially discriminated against him and created a hostile work environment. Nain “Nate” Munoz filed the suit last month in U.S. District Court in...

Oregon lawmakers pass amendment to 'pause' evictions

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With the state and federal eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of June, Oregon lawmakers passed an added safety net for struggling tenants on Tuesday that will “pause” some evictions. Under the “Safe Harbor” amendment on Senate Bill 278...

OPINION

Rx Upper Payment Limit Bill Will Worsen Chronic Disease for Oregonians Most at Risk

A measure being considered by Oregon state legislature will perpetuate a harmful trend for Oregon’s communities of color. ...

COMMENTARY: 100 Days of Biden-Harris

I see the trillion price tag on the Biden legislation as more of an investment than simple spending. ...

Power and Pride to the People!

Happy Pride month to Black LGBTQ readers and to all of us who love LGBTQ people! ...

You Are Not an Imposter

felt I didn’t belong and secretly, I was waiting for the program to tell me that they made a mistake in my admission. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Opera singer says Paris police detained, strip searched her

PARIS (AP) — South African opera star Pretty Yende said she was detained by French authorities, strip searched and held in a dark room at Paris’ main airport after arriving this week for a starring role at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. “Police brutality is real for...

A last push, then a long wait in NYC mayoral primary

NEW YORK (AP) — Thirteen Democrats and two Republicans engaged in a last effort to rally supporters Tuesday as voters cast their ballots in New York City's mayoral primary, the first citywide election to use ranked choice voting. Several candidates in the race to succeed Mayor...

Virginia hopes to remove time capsule along with Lee statue

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — If a court clears the way, the state of Virginia expects to remove not just a soaring statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue but also a little-known piece of history tucked inside the massive sculpture’s base: a 134-year-old time...

ENTERTAINMENT

Spielberg's Amblin to make several films a year for Netflix

NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Spielberg, a filmmaker synonymous with big-screen enchantment, has set a new deal with Netflix in which his production company, Amblin Partners, will make multiple feature films per year for the streaming giant. The partnership, one long courted by Ted...

8 ways to get the most out of the farmers market with kids

If there's one terrific way to get kids interested in trying new foods, understanding where food comes from, and choosing produce over chips (at least some of the time), it’s a trip to the farmers market. Along with farmers selling produce, there are makers selling everything...

Elin Hilderbrand to retire from writing beach reads in 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — Elin Hilderbrand, known as the queen of the beach read, plans to retire from writing novels in 2024. The best-selling author's latest book “Golden Girl" is her 27th book and is now available. Hilderbrand says she deliberately wants to quit while there's still...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Iran's election unsettles Biden's hope for a nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Biden administration officials are insisting that the election of a hard-liner as Iran’s...

UEFA declines Munich application for rainbow-colored stadium

MUNICH (AP) — German soccer clubs are banding together to display rainbow colors during the country’s match...

Special Tony Awards given to 2 shows, 1 advocacy nonprofit

NEW YORK (AP) — The Tony Awards may be months away, but three groups can already celebrate: The Broadway...

AP PHOTOS: Indian police train villagers for border security

KATHUA, India (AP) — For nearly three months, from dusk to dawn, Rita Devi has followed a similar drill. ...

German lawmakers fault finance minister, auditor on Wirecard

BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers presenting a report Tuesday into the collapse of the payment processing company...

Serbian Roma girl band sings for women's empowerment

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Their songs are about “women chained” in abuse witnessed by generations, or teenage...

By Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade released an audit of Portland's Sheltered Market Program Wednesday that showed few successes and many failures for the 13-year-old program.

The program, which aims to increase the market share of minority and women-owned construction company contracts with the city, succeeded in many ways, but it also failed to help some of the companies it was supposed to help.
"These problems led to a number of costly contract failures and left many participants ill-prepared to compete in the local construction industry," Griffin-Valade said in her report.
Since the program began in 1997, there have been 167 contracts valued at $13.7 million awarded to participating firms, as well as training.
There was no system set up to handle the training and mentorship programs, which left some contractors unable to manage contracts they were awarded. According to the auditor, members of the Bureau of Purchasing, who ran the program, believed hands-on work was the best way to train for the job. This practice resulted in a number of failed contracts and losses to the city.
Many contractors hired subcontractors to complete 100 percent of their work, despite policies limiting subcontract work to 50 percent of the job.
Over time, the program's participants declined, leading to less competition. Of the 306 firms that were admitted to the program since 1997, 66 have graduated, 123 were removed by the city and 56 dropped out. The Bureau of Purchases failed to track program graduates to determine whether they were benefitting from the services offered.
The auditor's report says even the basis for the program – reducing disparity in construction contracts for the city – was being ignored. About 51 percent of contracts went to Caucasian males and 11 percent to African Americans – the only minority group with a significant disparity in the construction field in 1996.
The city has entered a $831,000 contract to study current disparities to be completed in 2010.
Workhorse Construction owner James Posey, who was involved in the 1996 disparity study, says the Sheltered Market Program has done the minority contractors in this city more harm than good.
"Anytime the city does a half-handed job, it comes back to hurt the broader minority community," he told The Skanner. Posey is the former co-chair of the National Association of Minority Contractors – Oregon, but no longer represents that organization.
He says the real failure comes from the city's decision to treat minority contractors differently, which breeds contempt from traditional companies.
"They set aside a few contracts that were peanuts for $200,000," Posey said. "When White guys could have larger ones with no adverse consequences."
The audit report comes on the heels of a deal between the Alliance of Minority Chambers of Commerce and the City Council to include at least one minority on all panels that review and award non-low-bid contracts. Roy Jay, president of the alliance, is heading up the task of finding qualified members for these construction boards. It should be underway in the spring.


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