03-30-2020  5:51 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Vote by May 19: Oregon’s Primary Election Continues as Planned

Oregon’s vote-by-mail system keeps May Primary on schedule

A Black Woman Is Leading The Charge To Create A Vaccine For The Coronavirus

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and her team have begun running the first human trials of the vaccine in Seattle

Make a Mask & Support a Whole Community

Cascadia will be coordinating a mask donation project for community members who are willing to get out their sewing machines and create homemade masks

Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package Covers 7 Major Areas

Oregon State Senator James I. Manning Jr. has provided a summary of what the Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package looks like

NEWS BRIEFS

Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled for 2020

Organizers say the decision to cancel the popular festival was not taken lightly ...

NAACP Calls COVID-19 Stimulus Package a Necessary Step, but Calls Upon Congress to Do More

The NAACP says in providing future relief, Congress must prioritize people first, not corporations ...

CARES Act Must Prioritize Nation’s Most Vulnerable Communities

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says the new bill puts the interests of corporations above the burdens faced by...

33 Attorneys General Warn Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, Craigslist: You Aren’t Exempt from Price Gouging Laws

The letters list several examples of price gouging including a Craigslist ad selling a bottle of hand sanitizer for 0 ...

OHSU Hotline to Answer COVID-19 Questions

Patients who call the hospital will have the option to be routed directly to the new hotline ...

Trump approves major disaster declaration for Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Oregon due to the coronavirus outbreak, the White House announced Sunday.The declaration orders federal assistance to aid state, tribal and local recovery efforts. The order is back-dated to Jan. 20...

Inslee: Washington needs more coronavirus test supplies

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday that Washington state still has a shortage of coronavirus testing kits and again suggested the shutdown of most businesses and extreme social distancing would likely have to be extended to fight the disease.Inslee appeared on CNN's “State of...

The Latest: 2 Madison Square Garden boxing cards called off

The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak's affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):10 p.m.Two boxing cards at Madison Square Garden have been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.A few hours after announcing the fights would proceed without crowds, promoter Bob Arum said Thursday...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

The ACA Has Never Been More Critical

Today I'm honoring the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law. ...

NAACP/Black Community: A Model for Resiliency

As America enters perhaps the most uncertain period in modern history, we will all be tested in new and unpredictable ways. ...

What the Government Can Do Now to Lessen the Impact of COVID-19

Dr. Roger Stark says during this pandemic the administration must give states more flexibility ...

The Homelessness Crisis – We Are Better Than This

Julianne Malveaux says this is not just about homelessness. It is about an economic crisis that has made affordable housing, jobs and economic security difficult to obtain ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Man, 72, wounded in Hanukkah stabbings dies from injuries

MONSEY, N.Y. (AP) — A man who was among the five people stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration north of New York City has died three months after the attack, according to an Orthodox Jewish organization and community liaison with a local police department.Josef Neumann, 72, died Sunday night,...

Counties without coronavirus are mostly rural, poor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows.Data compiled by Johns Hopkins...

Tech boom, MLB programs helping women find jobs in baseball

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Rachel Folden figured something out early on during her first spring training with the Chicago Cubs — long before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out team activities.None of the players care all that much that one of their coaches is a woman. As for the girls she...

ENTERTAINMENT

John Prine in critical condition with COVID-19 symptoms

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of John Prine says the singer-songwriter is critically ill and has been placed on a ventilator while being treated for COVID-19-type symptoms.A message posted on Prine's Twitter page Sunday said the “Angel from Montgomery” singer has been hospitalized...

Singer-songwriter Jan Howard dies at 91

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jan Howard, who had a No. 1 country hit “For Loving You” with Bill Anderson and wrote hits for others like Kitty Wells' “It's All Over But the Crying,” has died at age 91, according to the Grand Ole Opry.The Opry, of which...

Country singer Joe Diffie dies of coronavirus complications

NEW YORK (AP) — Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like “Home” and “Pickup Man,” has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61. Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:1. TRUMP...

Sesame Workshop enlists Elmo, Cookie Monster on hand washing

NEW YORK (AP) — Elmo, Rooster and Cookie Monster are doing their part to help keep kids safe as the...

Grandma is gone: Coronavirus keeps kids from older family

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A few weeks ago, Debbie Cameron saw her grandsons most days, playing the piano,...

Facebook gives 0M to journalism, easyJet grounds planes

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are...

Tokyo's infection spike after Olympic delay sparks questions

TOKYO (AP) — Before the Olympics were postponed, Japan looked like it had coronavirus infections contained,...

Police investigate break-in at shuttered Dutch art museum

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Police are investigating a break-in at a Dutch art museum that is currently...

McMenamins
By Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

After nearly seven years serving on the board of the Housing Authority of Portland, Commissioner Lee Moore has now been elected board chair. Moore sat down with The Skanner News to talk about his vision for HAP, how he's come full circle and why he believes the New Columbia model can be replicated.

The Skanner News: What motivated you to take on the position of the chair of the board?

Lee Moore: I was supposed to take it on last year, but I had just started with Clackamas River and Water, so we delayed that until this year. The reason I got involved in the Housing Authority initially is because of the work they were doing with New Columbia. They needed someone with some with a little bit more construction experience. I agreed to sit on the board, and after seven years, we needed to rotate chairs, it seemed an appropriate thing to do.

TSN: What do you hope to accomplish as board chair?

LM: The chair has some leadership responsibilities, the executive director, for example, reports to the chair. Even though he works for the board, the board is the legislative and policy board of the agency. I see this is a legacy position for me. When my parents came here, during the '40s, we stayed in Vanport, that's where I was born. We stayed in what was essentially government housing, then the flood occurred and we moved into government housing. Then we moved into University Park, which was government housing, until my parents saved up enough money to move into our first home in 1950.
We're involved in some initiatives now, one being, Moving to Work, getting our tenants, where possible, to go from government assisted housing to homeownership. As I reflected back on that, my parents made that transition, so for me it's coming full circle, so I can give back.
I've acquired a lot of expertise in construction, and management, I've done a lot of volunteer work throughout my career. At some point you have to give back. My mother always said that we have a responsibility to pay for the space we occupy, pay for the space for those we are responsible for, and give back to the community.

TSN: It seems to me that New Columbia is a good example of a mixed development, where homeowners and renters lives side by side, providing an example of how one might go from government assistance to self-reliance. Is this a model that works?

LM: Portland has an interesting legacy in housing. My parents couldn't buy their own home, they had to have a friend who was Jewish buy the property and then deed it to them. Vanport was actually created because a lot of people in the city didn't want poor people, Black or White, from the South, invading the city. Oregon's second largest city was created because many in this community didn't want to allow the socially disadvantaged, even though they were here for a social purpose, to intermix with the locals. Columbia Villa, when I was young, was White only. It wasn't until the late 50s that Columbia Villa became integrated. The whole idea of creating economic ghettos was something that the Housing Authority had – long before I came on the board – began working on. We have a large Section 8 portfolio, which is another attempt to integrate. That's one thing I like about Portland, there is no exclusive community. That makes Portland the richer. The New Columbia development was an extension of that. We want everyone to look at that new community and be able to drive through and it would not be obvious who was poor, for those living in apartments to those who were middle class. I believe New Columbia has satisfied that objective.

TSN: Is it possible to replicate the New Columbia model in other communities? There is the feeling among some people that living in public housing is a stigma.

LM: We won't know if the NC experiment works longer term. As a Housing Authority, we have to ensure it does succeed. With NC, you had a blank canvass. We tore down 83 acres and created a new environment. Then we move to Humboldt Garden, which we also tore down, but because of limited ground space, it was not possible to replicate (NC). At Hillsdale Terrace (in Southeast Portland), where we do have a high concentration of lower income, we also need to make sure that the type of housing we provide is quality housing. The whole Hillsdale Terrace issue has to do with what's there now is substandard housing. It's not where you live, but how you live. It's in serious need of improvement. We need to make sure our developments are not ghettoized by lack of quality of the facility.
Both the properties over at Multnomah, the National Guard facility that the city is looking at now, I think that is an opportunity that we can, if the city asks us to, that it could lend it to a mixed use, blended community.
I think we can begin to take some of our experiences and look regionally. Are there ways we can do blended development so we're not creating economic ghettos? We have to be careful about what we take to the suburbs. As the price of land in Portland increases, we don't want to be the San Francisco of the north. A lot of people are beginning to move to the 'burbs; we need to make sure the suburbs of today aren't the ghettos of tomorrow. We need to make sure those are planned activities so the surrounding communities aren't bearing the brunt of low-income housing. We also have to be careful we don't try to Portlandize the suburbs. There are different dynamics and needs that the suburbs have that we don't have in the city. Portland, over time, in order to accommodate the influx of people, has to grow vertically. Suburbs are going to grow horizontally. We're going to have to be a heck of a lot smarter. We have to be viewed as a resource, if we ever hope to be successful.

TSN: How has federal stimulus money changed the thinking at HAP?

LM: I think we need to look beyond that. We're beginning to engage in a 6 month strategic planning effort. One thing on the agenda is, what are the issues, what do we need to be doing and what's the best way to be doing that? We've been creative. We've done some partnering. The Morrison on Burnside, one tower is condos for middle class, one is low-income. We're doing the RACD (Resource Access Development Center) downtown, multi-off street housing for those who are less fortunate, that also offers a multitude of services. We are beyond this ideal that every public agency can do everything. We need to answer … Whose job is it to do what? We need to bring the leadership of all these constituencies together and figure that out. The public shouldn't be funding multiple agencies to do the same thing. There are also private agencies doing all these things.

TSN: I recently wrote an article about a woman living in Humboldt Gardens who experienced an excessively cold apartment. She even had frozen pipes in December. How often do board members speak with tenants about problems like this?

LM: All the time. I've even gone out to visit residents. If someone wants to communicate with me, they have free access to me. Our staff is very good at letting us know when there are problems, as they did with this issue with Humboldt Gardens. There were some communications issues at the front end, but once it got to our attention, we inspected multiple units. We had not put enough insulation in that unit, and that happens sometimes. Once construction is completed, you get in and find things that got missed. I think it's unfortunate that this is one thing that got missed. One of the things I wanted to know – the article talked about staff putting in portable heaters – are they going to have to pay for all the electricity use? Staff assured me the Housing Authority was picking up the tab for that, as well as the portable heaters. We ask the tough questions, that's our job.

TSN: Have there been any other construction-related problems in the new buildings?

LM: This was a flat-out oversight, you can't dress it up any differently. But, no, it hasn't been brought to our attention that anything else is wrong with the other buildings we've finished recently. One of the things we're doing with the stimulus money is going in and retrofitting a lot of our aging structures and bringing them up to current code.


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