12-07-2019  11:58 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.


Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Oregon to change policy after losing parental rights fight

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials who attempted to end the parental rights of a couple because of the parents' low IQs have reached an agreement with U.S. officials requiring the state follow federal civil rights laws.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the Oregon Department of Human...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...


Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...


NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...


R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...


AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Family recounts heroics of fallen son in Pensacola shooting

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Joshua Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and looked forward to...

Venice tide barriers pass another test but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

Belarus eyes closer integration with Russia, fueling protest

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The leaders of Russia and Belarus sat down for talks Saturday on deepening ties...

AP PHOTOS: Ukraine war prisoners struggle to rebuild lives

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — For Anna Sergeyeva, rebuilding her life after surviving a week of captivity and...

Protests subside, but economic aftershocks rattle Haitians

Port-au-Prince (AP) — The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protesters have largely dissipated and...

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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Martha Redbone Trio
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