12-04-2023  7:37 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Oldest Black Church in Oregon Will Tear Down, Rebuild To Better Serve Community

As physical attendance dwindles, First African Methodist Episcopal Zion is joining the growing trend of churches that are re-imagining how best to use their facilities.

Cities Crack Down on Homeless Encampments. Advocates Say That’s Not the Answer

Homeless people and their advocates say encampment sweeps are cruel and costly, and there aren't enough shelter beds or treatment for everyone. But government officials say it's unacceptable to let encampments fester and people need to accept offers of shelter or treatment, if they have a severe mental illness or addiction.

Schools in Portland, Oregon, Reach Tentative Deal With Teachers Union After Nearly Month-Long Strike

The agreement must still be voted on by teachers who have been on the picket line since Nov. 1 over issues of pay, class sizes and planning time. It must also be approved by the school board.

Voter-Approved Oregon Gun Control Law Violates the State Constitution, Judge Rules

The law is one of the toughest in the nation. It requires people to undergo a criminal background check and complete a gun safety training course in order to obtain a permit to buy a firearm. It also bans high-capacity magazines.


Talk A Mile Event Connects Young Black Leaders with Portland Police Bureau Trainees

Talk A Mile operates on the idea that conversation bridges gaps and builds empathy, which can promote understanding between Black...

Turkey Rules the Table. But an AP-NORC Poll Finds Disagreement Over Other Thanksgiving Classics

Thanksgiving may be a time for Americans to come together, but opinion is divided over what's on the crowded dinner table. We mostly...

Veteran Journalist and Emmy Award-Winning Producer to Lead Award-Winning Digital Magazine Focused on Racial Inequality

Jamil Smith will drive The Emancipator’s editorial vision and serve as a key partner to Payne in growing the rising media...

Regional Arts & Culture Council and Port of Portland Announce Selection of PDX Phase 1 Terminal Redevelopment Artists

Sanford Biggers and Yoonhee Choi’s projects will be on display with the opening of the new terminal in May 2024 ...

Portland Theatres Unite in ‘Go See A Play’ Revival Campaign

The effort aims to invigorate the city's performing arts scene. ...

Shooting at home in Washington state kills 5 including the suspected shooter, report says

ORCHARDS, Wash. (AP) — Five people were killed in a shooting at a Washington state home where police said the deceased included the suspected shooter, according to a news report. The Clark County Sheriff's Office said officers found the bodies inside a home in Orchards, Washington,...

Idaho baby found dead by police one day after Amber Alert, police say father is in custody

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho baby was found dead by police on Saturday, one day after an Amber Alert was issued for him, authorities said. The baby's father was taken into custody on an arrest warrant issued in connection with the death of his wife. Police found the body of...

Big Ten power Ohio State plays rising SEC team Missouri in 88th Cotton Bowl

Ohio State (11-1, Big Ten) vs. Missouri (10-2, SEC), Dec. 29, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN) LOCATION: Arlington, Texas. TOP PLAYERS Ohio State: WR Marvin Harrison, 1,211 yards receiving, 15 touchdowns, 18.1 yards per catch. Missouri: QB Brady Cook, 3,189...

Cotton Bowl pits SEC's Missouri against Big Ten power Ohio State in teams' 1st meeting since 1998

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Missouri is headed to its first New Year's Six bowl game in the 10 seasons since the four-team playoff began and will play No. 7 Ohio State, which has never missed one. They meet in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. The ninth-ranked Tigers (10-2, SEC) have 10 wins...


Why Are Bullies So Mean? A Youth Psychology Expert Explains What’s Behind Their Harmful Behavior

Bullied children and teens are at risk for anxiety, depression, dropping out of school, peer rejection, social isolation and self-harm. ...

Federal Agencies Issue $23 Million Fine Against TransUnion and Subsidiary

FTC and CFPB say actions harmed renters and violated fair credit laws ...

First One to Commit to Nonviolence Wins

Every time gains towards nonviolence looked promising, someone from the most aggrieved and trauma-warped groups made sure to be spoilers by committing some atrocity and resetting the hate and violence. ...


What is patently obvious to all Americans right now is the adolescent dysfunction of Congress. ...


Plan to add teaching of Holocaust, genocide to science education draws questions from Maine teachers

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Teachers and science advocates are voicing skepticism about a Maine proposal to update standards to incorporate teaching about genocide, eugenics and the Holocaust into middle school science education. They argue that teachers need more training before introducing such...

The next Republican debate is in Alabama, the state that gave the GOP a road map to Donald Trump

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican presidential candidates will debate Wednesday within walking distance of where George Wallace staged his “stand in the schoolhouse door” to oppose the enrollment of Black students at the University of Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. The state...

Barbie doll honoring Cherokee Nation leader is met with mixed emotions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An iconic chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller, inspired countless Native American children as a powerful but humble leader who expanded early education and rural healthcare. Her reach is now broadening with a quintessential American honor: a Barbie...


Book Review: Lauren Grodstein’s masterpiece of historical fiction set in Warsaw Ghetto during WWII

The Oneg Shabbat archive was a secret project of Jewish prisoners in the Warsaw Ghetto to record their histories as they awaited deportation to Nazi death camps during World War II. Lauren Grodstein has used this historical fact as the basis for her mesmerizing new novel, “We Must Not Think of...

Book Review: ‘Eyeliner' examines the staple makeup product's revolutionary role in global society

Zahra Hankir opens “Eyeliner: A Cultural History” by marveling over her mother’s elegant beauty process as she delicately sweeps black kohl on her waterline, dreaming of displaying that same confidence one day. For Hankir, eyeliner is more than just a cosmetic product. It...

Eddie Izzard returns to New York for a version of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' with just one actor onstage

NEW YORK (AP) — Eddie Izzard is returning to a New York stage this winter for an ambitious version of “Hamlet.” It's ambitious because the actor-comedian will be the only one on stage. Izzard will play all the William Shakespeare parts in a one-person staging adapted by Izzard's...


AP PHOTOS: 2023 was marked by coups and a Moroccan earthquake on the African continent

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Reports of gunfire in the capital, followed by a television announcement that the...

The next Republican debate is in Alabama, the state that gave the GOP a road map to Donald Trump

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican presidential candidates will debate Wednesday within walking distance of where George...

At UN climate talks, fossil fuel interests have hundreds of employees on hand

At least 1,300 employees of organizations representing fossil fuel interests registered to attend this year's...

Divers have found wreckage, 5 remains from Osprey aircraft that crashed off Japan, US Air Force says

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. and Japanese divers have discovered wreckage and the remains of five crew members from a U.S....

Dutch lawyers seek a civil court order to halt the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Human rights lawyers went to court in the Netherlands on Monday to call for a halt...

Rescuer raises hope of survivors at a Zambian mine where more than 30 have been buried for days

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — A member of a rescue team raised hope Monday that there may be survivors at a Zambian mine...

Greg Bolt and David Steves the Register-Guard

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- State legislators demanded better transparency and accounting from the University of Oregon on its $227 million arena project, after a labor group criticized the project's record-keeping and contracting methods.
The hearing before the state Senate's Business and Transportation Committee put the spotlight on the UO's handling of public records requests, which has taken a hit in recent controversies involving the athletic department, most notably the $2.3 million buyout of former Athletic Director Mike Bellotti -- also the subject of a separate legislative oversight hearing Monday at the Capitol.
At that hearing, UO President Richard Lariviere was asked once again to explain Bellotti's costly departure package. The payout was a compromise that gave Bellotti an amount he had some legal claim to, Lariviere said.
"I was not very pleased to have to pay that much," Lariviere said. "Mr. Bellotti was certainly not pleased to have to accept that much, compared to what he wanted."
At the arena hearing, John Williams, a research consultant for the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290 union, prompted lawmakers to recite a litany of complaints about arena record-keeping.
Williams said he had been told by the UO that certain records did not exist, only to learn later that they did, had not received responses from the UO to many other requests and was unable to get copies of reports the UO is required to keep. The records requests related to the UO's use, with state approval, of a no-bid contract for the project's general contractor, project manager and architect, and accounting for "in-kind" donations.
UO officials denied any improprieties and said the project remains on time and on budget. But they acknowledged shortcomings in dealing with public records requests and said they are developing new procedures for that.
The arena project is controversial in part because of its size and the university's decision to finance it using state-backed bonds. The UO has promised that the $227 million in bonds for construction and land will be repaid using arena and other athletic department revenues and that no public or tuition money will go to the project.
Some legislators were clearly irate at the UO's failure to provide timely documentation on aspects of the project, including change orders. Change orders document agreed-upon changes to the original construction plans and sometimes involve substantially higher costs than originally estimated.
Rep. Mike Schaufler, a Happy Valley Democrat and a contractor, scolded the UO for failing to produce the records and said it would affect his vote on future bond requests. "My trust here has been broken," he said.
A labor-dominated group, the Fair Contracting Foundation, has been running a campaign to draw attention to the arena project because of the no-bid contracts. The group opposes no-bid contracts and rented a billboard near the arena to chastise the UO.
The UO received state approval to award no-bid contracts to Portland-based Hoffman Construction and TVA Architects and Minnesota-based Ellerbe Beckett Architects. UO officials said those companies had put a lot of work into the project over several years leading up to its eventual approval, and the university didn't want to risk losing that investment by putting architecture and general contracting out to bid.
All subcontracts have followed public competitive bidding rules, said Francis Dyke, UO vice president for finance. She said the project so far has awarded $121.4 million in subcontract work, with Oregon firms winning $100 million of that.
Dyke said the UO is looking to improve its response to records requests.
The UO came under fire earlier this year for not responding to media requests for a copy of Bellotti's athletic director employment contract and discovering later that it never prepared one. Lariviere later reassigned Melinda Grier, the UO's attorney, to a law school teaching post and said he will not renew her contract when it expires next year.
Grier's office had substantial responsibility for public records requests at the time. Lariviere has changed that and is creating a separate office to handle the task.
In a separate hearing, Lariviere gave his most candid description to date of the Bellotti controversy.
Lariviere, who took the UO's top post last summer, said the messy chapter began when he let the popular former football coach know that he did not figure in the UO's future. Bellotti subsequently left to work as a commentator for the cable sports network ESPN.
``When Mike Bellotti told me about his ESPN opportunity, I encouraged him to take it because I told him it was not going to work for him to continue as the athletic director,'' Lariviere told lawmakers. ``That's when he told us we owed him a great deal of money as a result of his employment relationship. A very great deal of money. A pretty surprising number.''
Lariviere did not disclose a dollar figure.
After hearing Bellotti's severance request, the president said, he turned to Grier to ask what the UO contract stipulated about Bellotti's separation.
``And that's when I discovered there was no contract,'' he said.
Lariviere told the panel that he initially thought himself in a position of strength and explained to Bellotti that without a contract, the UO had no future obligation to him.
But then, the former coach revealed to Lariviere what Lariviere termed ``the even further surprising fact'' that as coach he had worked long periods under a written contract whose provisions had expired and been renewed verbally.
This put Bellotti on more solid legal ground, with a pattern of the UO creating for Bellotti a reasonable assumption that the ``rolling five year contracts'' that were only verbally worked out for him as football coach would carry over into his new career as athletic director, which began in 2009, Lariviere said.
Lariviere said he asked Grier what the longest work period could have been for Bellotti under a verbal contract and was told three years because contracts longer than that need formal state approval. Bellotti had finished one year's work as athletic director, leaving the UO exposed to the cost of buying him out for two years, Lariviere said.
At annual AD pay of $675,000, those two years would have cost the UO $1.35 million. After adding to that $900,000 because of a verbal commitment the UO had previously made to Bellotti to shift him from the high-paying coach job to the lower-paying AD job, Lariviere said he concluded that $2.3 million was the maximum amount that the UO could have owed Bellotti. That was, he added, ``the maximum amount, reasonably, that a court might find that he was due.''
Lariviere said Bellotti had asked for much more than that, but did not elaborate.