07-09-2020  11:55 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Oregon Appeals Court Affirms Portland Renter Relocation Law

The Court affirmed a Portland ordinance requiring landlords to pay tenants’ relocation fees if their rent is increased by at least 10% or if they’re evicted without cause.

Seattle Urged to See a 'World Without Law Enforcement'

Proposals include removal of 911 dispatch from Seattle Police control, budget cuts of 50%

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches


OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a virtual Oregon State University Science Pub on July 13 ...

Capital Rx Establishes Scholarship at Howard University to Support Next Generation of Pharmacists

“Each of us has a role to play in paving a more equitable path for the future of the industry,” said AJ Loiacono, Founder and CEO...

Adams Joins Lawmakers in Move to Repeal Trump’s Birth Control Rule

Without action, SCOTUS decision clears way for Trump Admin rule to take effect ...

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

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The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

Police: Transgender person assaulted, robbed in Wilsonville

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Portland: 3rd class-action suit over police use of force

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Another class-action lawsuit has been filed against the city of Portland, marking the third such lawsuit filed related to the use of force and munitions at protests that began after the police killing of George Floyd. The class-action complaint filed this week named...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...


Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...


Syracuse University appoints diversity director for sports

Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack has added a position to his department, bucking a trend toward athletic cuts during the coronavirus pandemic. Salatha T. Willis was named associate athletic director for diversity, culture and climate this week. He is charged with developing and implementing...

Tapping into crime fears, GOP conflates mayhem with protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — For FRIDAY PMsApocalyptic images of blazing buildings and window-smashing protesters pop up on the TV screen as a caller to a 911 emergency line reaches voicemail. The computer offers to take reports of rapes, murders or home invasions, adding, “Our estimated wait...

Homeland Security gets new role under Trump monument order

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters who have clashed with authorities in the Pacific Northwest are not just confronting local police. Some are also facing off against federal officers whose presence reflects President Donald Trump's decision to make cracking down on “violent...


Family re-imagines Bob Marley classic for COVID-19 relief

NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Marley’s Grammy-winning children and chart-topping grandson have re-imagined one of his biggest hits to assist children affected by the coronavirus pandemic.Stephen Marley, Cedella Marley and her son, Skip Marley, have joined forces to produce a new version of...

Asian American girls saw pivotal icon in 'Baby-Sitters Club'

Author Ann M. Martin had no master plan when she decided to make one of the core members of “The Baby-Sitters Club” a Japanese American girl named Claudia.Claudia Kishi happened to be everything the “model minority” stereotype wasn't. She got bad grades. She thrived in...

Police: Pop Smoke's social media led killers to LA home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities believe rising rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February after his social media posts led five suspects to the house he was renting, police said after detectives arrested the group Thursday morning.Los Angeles...


Lives Lost: Young Venezuelan dreamed of better life in Peru

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Yurancy Castillo did not want to leave her family. But as inflation in Venezuela...

Brazil LGBTQ group hides from virus in Copacabana building

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In a courtyard a few blocks from Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, a dozen...

Authorities search for 'Glee' star believed to have drowned

Authorities planned Friday to renew the search for “Glee” star Naya Rivera, who is believed to have...

The Latest: India reports more than 26,000 new virus cases

NEW DELHI — India’s is reporting another record one-day spike in coronavirus cases, prompting some...

Asia Today: Australia's Victoria state has record 288 cases

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's Victoria state on Friday reported the new daily record of 288...

Japan braces for more heavy rain as death toll rises to 66

TOKYO (AP) — Parts of Japan still searching for missing people and evacuating those stranded by deadly...

Courtesty Portland Community College

Dr. Amo DeBernardis, the founding president of Portland Community College, passed away Friday, Feb. 19. He was 96.

DeBernardis, or "Dr. De" as he was known at the college, served as PCC's president from 1961 up until 1979 when he retired. His strong vision helped establish PCC's footprint that the community knows today. He spearheaded development of all the major comprehensive campuses (Sylvania, Rock Creek and Cascade) and devised its mission.
DeBernardis pioneered concepts that today are integral to PCC's mission, such as fostering a robust open campus, cultivating business partnerships and designing curriculum aimed at giving students and employers what they want and not meet some academic agenda.
"When we started Portland Community College in 1961 the name of the game was 'students come first and everything else about the college is supportive and secondary,'" wrote DeBernardis in the PCC historical book "They Just Did It." "This perception of what a college should be should never change."
In 1961, DeBernardis was named administrator of the newly founded Portland Community College while remaining assistant superintendent of Portland Public Schools. PCC had been the Vocational and Adult Education Division of PPS in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, the State Legislature approved a bill authorizing the formation of community colleges in Oregon.
It wasn't easy establishing PCC then. Detractors kept advising him that a community college would never make it in Portland. The colorful DeBernardis was known for his passion for education and his ability to be blunt and forceful, and an administrator at the time said that if the college refused to be born naturally, DeBernardis would have taken a scalpel in hand and performed a caesarian to make it happen.
PCC would soon have space in the 22-classroom building in the old Failing Elementary School, which would later be renamed the Ross Island Center. In a bold move that would come to symbolize his management style during his tenure, DeBernardis pulled up stakes from his own office at Portland Public Schools and moved to a room at the building. He had been warned it was a poor career move and that he was tying his future to a hopeless cause.
Far from it. Today, PCC is the largest institution of higher learning in Oregon, serving about 87,200 full- and part-time students, and serves the geographic area the size of Rhode Island. It has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers and 200 community locations. The college now is experiencing one of its most dramatic growth spurts in enrollment with 10 consecutive terms of increases. This winter term, PCC has grown by more than 22 percent in credit students compared to last year.
That wasn't the last time DeBernardis would assert his will on modeling PCC. The famous "Battle for Rock Creek" is stuff of legend in the college community and is probably the most public example of how determined DeBernardis could be. Starting in 1968 when he and his administrators began planning for a campus on the Westside, DeBernardis sparred with the Washington County Planning Commission, Department of Environmental Quality, Columbia Region Association of Governments, Portland Area Metropolitan Boundary Commission, conservation groups, State Legislator Vera Katz, college faculty and even his own board member – Earl Blumenauer, who was elected to the PCC Board on the platform of stopping a Rock Creek Campus.
This war of wills featured PCC pouring fresh concrete on a Rock Creek building one day before the use permit expired in 1974 and many subsequent battles in the Legislature punctuated by DeBernardis storming out of a Ways and Means Committee hearing when Katz threatened to block funding, yelling, "We're going to build Rock Creek anyway!" Despite this, thanks to DeBernardis' determination, the committee voted to fund the campus construction.
Even though his parents, who emigrated from Italy, had very little formal education (his dad was a third grade drop out) they instilled a strong commitment to education in the young Amo.
"They saw a value in education and were determined that their children would have a basic education," DeBernardis recalled.
His parents, Bert and Maddalena, also believed that idle hands can lead to trouble and thus enlisted Amo in the family's small wicker furniture business. At home, he spoke very little English as Italian was the language of the household and when outside of the home, he tried to hide his Italian heritage and dared not speak the language to anybody.
He enrolled in Kennedy Grade School in Northeast Portland and wasn't the best student and often skipped classes. But it was the school's principal who instilled the value of staying in class that sent DeBernardis on his way to an education.
"I'm sure that had it not been for our principal I would have never finished elementary school," he said. "I would have probably have dropped out and gone another route."
He gradually got hooked on school and would later attend Benson High (a vocational school) against his parents' wishes, where he excelled at auto mechanics, math, English and blacksmithing. After an accident in the shop where he sustained an eye injury, his father sat him down and demanded he attend an academic school. So he transferred to Jefferson High School, where teachers taught more than what was in class and inspired DeBernardis to expand his talents. For example, during his senior year he built a 16-foot boat to compliment his active involvement with Sea Scouts.
This interest in the sea would pay off in an unusual way when PCC established a marine technology program to teach students about boatmanship, boat repair and maintenance. To get the program off the docks, the college secured a mooring near downtown Portland and purchased the TD-81 tug boat, which was in Ballard, Wash. DeBernardis and a collection of deans, administrators and a licensed skipper sailed the tug all the way from the Puget Sound to Portland in four days. The tugboat journey featured storms, a loss of power, a near miss of the Steel Bridge, and DeBernardis getting slammed into the bulkhead on some choppy waters when he tried to navigate the tug near Westport. Unfortunately, in the years after this grand endeavor the program was scrapped for a lack of enrollment.
He went on to attend Oregon State University (then Oregon State College) where he graduated with honors in industrial arts and vocational education. He completed his master's degree at OSU in audiovisual aids and education, later earning a doctorate in higher education, curriculum and education administration from the University of Oregon. But his wish was to work as a shop teacher, which he did at Ockley Green Elementary School where he excelled as somebody who preached learning by doing through "the school of hard knocks."
In the years following his retirement, Amo DeBernardis has had the College Center Building at the Sylvania Campus dedicated and renamed in his honor (1995) and the city of Portland proclaimed June 20, 1995 as "Amo DeBernardis Day." He also was an active donor to the PCC Foundation and his family suggests memorial contributions to the Amo DeBernardis Scholarship Fund at the Foundation.
Checks should be made payable to the PCC Foundation, PO Box 19000, Portland, OR 97219, Attn: Dr. Amo De Bernardis Scholarship.

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