02-28-2020  11:41 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
Reparations Gaining Support The Skanner Reports
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Civil Rights Organization Condemns Trump’s Dangerous Call For Supreme Court Recusals

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called the president's recent request for Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor to...

Voting Rights Advocates File Emergency Lawsuit After Georgia Officials Strike Early Voting Sites

In a similar situation in 2016, hundreds of voters were forced to wait up to four to five hours to cast their ballot ...

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New coronavirus cases of unknown origin found on West Coast

Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington state worried about the novel coronavirus spreading through West Coast communities after confirming three patients were infected by unknown means.The patients — an older Northern California woman with chronic health conditions, a high...

Mormon crickets reported early this year in northern Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Mormon crickets, the grasshopper-like insects that pose threats to crops and drivers. are hatching early this year in northern Nevada.KRVN-TV reports that the Nevada Department of Agriculture has confirmed some of the earliest hatchings of Mormon crickets in years, with the...

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

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Restaurants in LA's Koreatown reel amid coronavirus rumor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a Koreatown restaurant known for its beef bone broth soup, the lunchtime crowd Friday was half its normal size. The reason was a virulent rumor about a customer with coronavirus.Han Bat Shul Lung Tang was one of five restaurants that lost business after being named in...

Biden looks for first 2020 victory in South Carolina primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Democrats' 2020 nominating fight turned to South Carolina on Saturday for the first-in-the-South primary, with Joe Biden confident that his popularity with black voters will seal him a victory and help blunt some of front-runner Bernie Sanders' momentum.The primary...

'Bernie or brokered': Democratic race at critical crossroads

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Democrats' 2020 primary season enters a critical four-day stretch that will help determine whether the party rallies behind Bernie Sanders or embraces a longer and uglier slog that could carry on until the national convention.This marks a dangerous moment for a...

ENTERTAINMENT

Ben Affleck on the pain and catharsis of 'The Way Back'

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the many stories that have stuck with Ben Affleck from his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, one has especially resonated for the actor. Recovery is often described as a process of removing a damaging habit from your life. One man articulated it in a more positive way. He...

Lady Gaga's father cites homelessness for his bar's woes

NEW YORK (AP) — Lady Gaga's father is refusing to pay 0,000 in rent and fees for his restaurant at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, saying the homeless population is hurting his business.Joe Germanotta, owner of Art Bird & Whiskey Bar, said he wants the Metropolitan Transit...

'Amazing Race' suspends filming as virus precaution

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The globe-trotting reality series “The Amazing Race” is taking a breather as a precaution due to the virus outbreak affecting several countries.CBS said in a statement Friday that it had temporarily suspended production and was sending contestants and crew...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Report: Los Angeles deputies shared Kobe Bryant crash photos

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether deputies shared graphic photos of the helicopter...

Grandfather, Navy vet among 5 victims of Wisconsin shooting

The five men who were killed by a co-worker at a Milwaukee brewery include an electrician, a Navy veteran, a...

Liberal gun owners face dilemma in 2020 field

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Like many liberals, Lara Smith considers herself a feminist, favors abortion rights and...

Parents of 'terrified' Africans stranded in China want help

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — She wakes every day long before dawn to chat with her three stranded daughters on...

Virus outbreak in Iran sickens hundreds, including leaders

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After facing sanctions and the risk of war amid tensions with the United...

Turkey moves ahead with its threats to send refugees to EU

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Hundreds of refugees and migrants in Turkey have begun heading for the...

McMenamins
Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

Gen. Erik Shinseki, left

Even as Congress heads toward a showdown vote on health care reform this weekend, a new report slams rationed care and long waits for treatment at three of four Veterans Administration facilities – two of which are in Oregon.
The report, released Thursday by the Inspector General's Office, faulted management for making veterans wait too long for treatment because of poor communication and a lack of performance standards around timely completion of health exams.
Inspectors scrutinized wait times at VA facilities in Temple, Texas; in Winston-Salem, N.C.; in Hillsboro, and Roseburg.
Policy requires medical exams to be completed within three working days, the report says, but in Hillsboro 96 percent of the exams were not, while in Roseburg 45 percent were not.
Veterans Administration officials have already demanded the Hillsboro facility speed up 73 exam requests "for veterans who were seriously injured, classified in the Global War on Terror priority group, or due to the age of elderly veterans," according to the report.
In Texas, the exams were judged as timely within policy, and in Winston-Salem a backlog of 1,334 lingered with an average "age" of 40 days.
Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden Thursday sent a letter to Gen. Erik Shinseki, the Veterans Affairs secretary, demanding immediate fixes to the problems, new systems to prevent unacceptable delays in the future, and immediate services to the individual veterans whose care has been held up.
"These exams are very important in determining disability ratings and any delays can jeopardize access to the appropriate care regimen and potentially deny veterans needed medical treatment," said spokeswoman Julie Edwards.
"This report really laid out the problem and we want to make sure it's addressed as soon as possible."
The report indicated that Hillsboro's problems were in large part due to the recent move of their exam clinic from Vancouver, Wa., which triggered a 90 percent turnover in administrators.
Also cited was an 18-percent increase in workload, the elimination of orthopedic and general medical providers, and an increase in exams for "unique medical conditions."
"I was particularly concerned to learn the extent to which veterans in the Portland and Roseburg areas have to wait for appropriate determinations of their cases," Merkley wrote in his letter to Shinseki.
"Although the Veterans Affairs Regional Office asked that these be expedited, the report concludes that 'the VA medical facility in Portland had not committed sufficient resources to ensure veterans received timely Compensation and Pension medical exams,'" the letter says.
The report found that in Roseburg, clinic managers facing a critical mass of exam requests longer than 90 years old had begun taking newer patients before working through their backlog – apparently to skew the statistical information to look like they were complying with policy.
"As a result, veterans experienced extensive delays in having the results of their exams returned to the Veteran Affairs Regional Office," the letter says. "This report makes it clear that the VA has not committed sufficient resources to provide adequate and timely care to our veterans."
Merkley and Wyden are demanding a response from Shinseki on the issue within two weeks.
The Veterans Administration tipline for suspected wrongdoing is 1-800-488-8244.

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