01-26-2022  4:37 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Report: Oregon Has Too Few Public Defenders

Oregon has only roughly one-third of the public defense attorneys it needs to provide reasonably effective assistance to low-income defendants

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.

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

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU to Present 'To Survive on This Shore

Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults' ...

Final Week for 'Mending The Social Fabric' Interactive Exhibit

A parachute with rips and tears encourages community over the course of the exhibition as visitors sit and mend. The piece will be...

Nearly 35,000 Oregon Households Have Received More Than $243 Million in Rental Assistance Relief During Pandemic

OHCS will again begin accepting new applications for OERAP starting on Wed., Jan. 26, 2022. ...

Five Schools Return to In-person Instruction on Jan. 24

Alliance, Faubion, Franklin, Ockley Green, and Roosevelt return to in-person instruction; George, Harriet Tubman and Kellogg...

COVID cases decline in Seattle area, surge moves east

SEATTLE (AP) — Cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 are decreasing in the Seattle metro area, but hospital leaders are warning that the variant is gaining steam in eastern Washington and could further stress health care facilities. In King County, data shows the rise in omicron...

Oregon Legislature: Will Dems, GOP be able to get along?

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As Oregon lawmakers prepare to return to the state Capitol next week for the 35-day legislative session, Republicans and Democrats have differing opinions on what that time should be used for. While Republicans say traditionally the short legislative session...

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

Biden nominating 6 lawyers for federal prosecutor posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating six lawyers to run U.S. attorney’s offices across the country, a diverse group of candidates in the latest picks for the top law enforcement positions. The nominees, being announced by the White House on Wednesday, would run the...

India's Republic Day parade curtailed amid COVID-19

NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of people braved a morning chill Wednesday on a ceremonial boulevard in India's capital to watch a display of the country’s military power and cultural diversity, but the colorful annual Republic Day spectacle was curtailed amid COVID-19. Nearly 500...

Prosecution witnesses say they feared for Floyd's life

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors at the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights are trying to show that even bystanders knew the Black man needed help, while the officers failed to act as former Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on...

ENTERTAINMENT

At Sundance, documentaries resurrect lost eras of music

NEW YORK (AP) — Can a music scene still develop the way grunge did in 1990's Seattle or hip-hop did in the Bronx in the 1970s? Or has the digital makeover of music made such geographical-based explosions obsolete? It's a question that hovers over the Sundance Film Festival...

‘Aftershock’ puts human face to maternal health crisis in US

It was 2017 when filmmaker Paula Eiselt started seeing articles about rising maternal mortality rates in the United States. She’d had traumatic experiences giving birth to her four children, but didn’t realize that the problems were widespread and disproportionately affecting Black women. ...

Howie Mandel urges pal Jay Leno to air 'Late Night' laundry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Howie Mandel has a bone to pick with his longtime friend Jay Leno. On the podcast “Howie Mandel Does Stuff,” he tells Leno he should have publicly defended himself in the “Tonight Show" rivalries of decades past, when Leno and David Letterman and then Leno...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Picasso heirs launch digital art piece to ride 'crypto' wave

GENEVA (AP) — Pablo, meet Crypto. Heirs of Pablo Picasso, the famed 20th-century Spanish artist,...

Meet Methuselah, the oldest living aquarium fish

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat fresh figs, get belly rubs and is believed to...

Indigenous town in Mexico survives on remittances from US

COMACHUEN, Mexico (AP) — In Comachuen, a Purepecha Indigenous community of about 10,000 inhabitants nestled high...

Pope's right knee ligament inflamed, curbing mobility

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis said Wednesday he is suffering from an inflamed ligament in his right knee that makes...

Australia navy ship with infected crew offloads aid to Tonga

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian navy's largest ship docked at disaster-stricken Tonga on Wednesday and...

WHO: Record weekly COVID cases last week but deaths stable

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization said there were 21 million new coronavirus cases...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- If any Americans are willing to fork over more to state governments in 2010, it might just be those of Oregon, where voters are deciding the fate of two proposed tax increases that target the wealthy and corporations.
Ballots must be received by the elections office on Jan. 26. Voters are encouraged to drop off their ballots at an official drop location to ensure their vote is counted.
Click here for a google map of official drop locations.
Oregon voters the past two weeks have been marking referendum ballots on two tax issues, one raising rates on people who make more than $125,000 a year in taxable income -- $250,000 for joint filers -- and on businesses, many of whom pay a minimum tax of $10 a year.
The mailed-in and dropped-off votes will be counted Tuesday. The results are likely to be part of the national spin cycle the next morning and could give legislators in other states a hint about whether they can ask taxpayers for help in repairing ravaged budgets.
The only independent polls made public so far show the tax increases ahead but with shrinking margins. If they pass, that would be a break with history. Despite Oregon's reputation for left-leaning politics, voters have often shot down tax measures.
But if the poll results prove out, "I think that would bode well for Arizona's efforts to balance our budget," said Phoenix political consultant Doug Cole.
Cole is running an election campaign for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who has proposed a temporary sales tax increase in the face of fierce opposition in her own party. She's running to keep the office she inherited as secretary of state when Democrat Janet Napolitano joined the Obama administration, and she faces strong competition in the primary.
Here and there in legislative sessions just getting under way in January, leaders have talked about or pushed tax increases, as in Arizona, Illinois or Washington state.
"What we hear over and over again from the states is that everything is on the table," said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Oregon's tax increases came out of a legislative session last year in which Democrats with commanding majorities pared the budget, deployed some reserves, parceled out federal stimulus dollars, and tiptoed around tax increases that would have hit large numbers of Oregonians.
They assumed any tax measures would be referred to the voters, as is routine in Oregon, and would face difficulty, as is also routine.
Nine times since the 1930s, for example, Oregon voters have rejected sales tax proposals, leaving the state government relying primarily on income taxes at some of the highest rates in the nation and secondarily on lottery proceeds. Twice in the past decade, voters have rejected broad-based income tax increases. In 2007 they rejected higher taxes on cigarettes, whose revenue would have been used to provide health insurance for children.
So, legislative leaders crafted tax packages that by state estimates would hit about 2 percent of the top earners and put the biggest bite on corporations, many based out of state, with the largest amount of sales.
"These increases are more carefully focused on those who have resources in order to protect services for everybody," said Democratic Rep. Dave Hunt, speaker of the Oregon House.
The measures were referred to the voters by business leaders, and the resulting campaign has seen them duking it out with the unions representing teachers and state workers.
The business campaign featured contributions from the likes of Phil Knight of Nike and Tim Boyle of Columbia Sportswear. But business interests haven't had a united front, and some high tech companies, fretting about the education system they rely on for workers, have stayed on the fence.
In the last week of the campaigns, the unions were ahead of business in fundraising, although both sides have had plenty of money for broadcast advertising.
A telephone poll of 500 likely voters Jan. 14-15 had the individual income tax measure ahead 52-39 and the corporate taxes ahead 50-40.
A poll released Friday put the margins for individual taxes at 50-44, and the corporate taxes at 48-45, within the margin of error, plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
The polls were conducted by Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall Inc. for Oregon Public Broadcasting, Fox 12 TV and the Portland Tribune.
Pollster Tim Hibbitts said the results are consistent with trends in previous tax votes. He said they show that the results are likely to be close and either measure, or both, could fail.

 


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