08-07-2022  8:36 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

Court Filing Cites Inmates' Abuse at Sheridan Federal Prison

A growing number of people incarcerated at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution have complained about guards from other federal facilities coming in to toss their cells and indiscriminately beat people

NEWS BRIEFS

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Prosper Portland Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Community Livability Grants

Two projects in Gateway Regional Center, four projects in Central Eastside, five in Lents Town Center, eight in Interstate Corridor,...

Black Swimming Initiative and Metro Host Free Eco-Swim Camp at Broughton Beach on July 30

All ages are welcome to learn water safety, ecology and have fun in the water ...

Tribe: California wildfire near Oregon causes fish deaths

A wildfire burning in a remote area just south of the Oregon border appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish, the Karuk Tribe said Saturday. The tribe said in a statement that the dead fish of all species were found Friday near Happy Camp,...

Yet another heat wave grips parts of US West

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Pacific Northwest braced for yet another heat wave Saturday and the temperature in Denver hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, breaking a record set in 1877. Meteorologists on Saturday issued a heat advisory in Portland, Oregon, through Monday and also...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

US Secretary of State Blinken in South Africa on Africa tour

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his three-nation tour of Africa Sunday by visiting a museum in South Africa commemorating how the country's Black youths helped to end white racist rule. Blinken’s visit to Africa is seen as part of a competition...

Janice Longone, chronicler of US culinary history, dies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Janice Bluestein Longone, who is credited with collecting thousands of items chronicling the culinary history of the United States, including cookbooks, menus, advertisements and diaries, has died at age 89. Longone died Wednesday, according to Nie Family...

Dems rally around abortion. Are they reaching Black voters?

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Facing critical races for governor and U.S. Senate, Democratic hopefuls in Wisconsin are hoping that their support for abortion rights in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade can overcome the headwinds of a midterm election long expected to favor...

ENTERTAINMENT

Lady A postpones tour as Charles Kelley focuses on sobriety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Grammy-winning country trio Lady A has announced that its upcoming tour is being postponed to allow band member Charles Kelley time to focus on his sobriety. The group was set to start the tour on Aug. 13 in Nashville, but in a social media post, the...

Review: ‘Easter Sunday' is a loving ode to Filipino culture

A boisterous extended clan gathers for a family holiday, launching the requisite arguments, hurt feelings, grudges, inside jokes, laughter, love, reconciliation and lots of eating, plus maybe a car chase. So far, so familiar. What’s different about “ Easter...

Jo Koy's 'Easter Sunday' puts Filipinos front and center

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For a comedy, Jo Koy's new movie “Easter Sunday” had a lot of waterworks. The film was no ordinary job for the comedian and the rest of the cast. The magnitude of being on a mostly Filipino set led to happy cry-fests, Koy said. Emotions really hit when...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anne Heche in hospital, 'stable' after fiery car crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Anne Heche was in the hospital Saturday following an accident in which her car smashed...

Alex Jones’ .3M verdict and the future of misinformation

Alex Jones is facing a hefty price tag for his lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — .3...

In wake of floods, typical barbs at Kentucky political event

FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) — While Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was consoling families displaced by historic flooding in...

Ukraine grain shipments offer hope, not fix to food crisis

BEIRUT (AP) — A ship bringing corn to Lebanon’s northern port of Tripoli normally would not cause a stir. But...

Role of race contested in killing of Nigerian man in Italy

CIVITANOVA MARCHE, Italy (AP) — Two marches Saturday in a well-to-do Italian Adriatic beach town both sought...

Venezuela, Colombia border areas hopeful as reopening looms

SAN JUAN DE COLON, Venezuela (AP) — The freight company owned by Alfredo Rosales and his brothers was hustling,...

By Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

In the last 10 days, there have been at least 11 shootings in Portland. Four people have been reported injured; one person – in a shooting deemed self-defense by police – has died; and a number of buildings and other property have been damaged.

Although many of these shootings are suspected by police to be gang-related, many are just old-fashioned American gun violence.
In response, although the proposals have been in the works for months, Mayor Sam Adams has proposed a tweaking of the city's laws to ostensibly reduce gun violence. Critics say the proposals will do nothing to reduce gun crime and are an infringement on gun rights, as well as illegal under state law. Adams says he welcomes public comment on the proposals.
The proposed law changes include:
• Impose a special curfew for juveniles who have been found by a court of law to have violated gun laws.
• Create new city crime of failure to control access to a firearm by a child
• Create new city crime of failure to report theft or loss of a firearm
• Increase penalties for possession of a loaded firearm in a public place
• Exclude people who have been found by a court of law to have violated firearms use or possession laws from areas of the City in which illegal use of firearms is markedly greater than other areas.
Mayor Sam Adams told The Skanner News that while there may be problems with some of the proposals, his hands have been tied by the state legislature.
"It's the (Oregon Firearms Federation) type of lobbying that has stymied efforts for common sense gun safety reforms," he says. "The reason city government has attempted to do virtually nothing for two decades even though it's a problem in neighborhoods is because of bullying tactics and strength of the gun use lobby and state law that strangles local government's ability to make it safer from illegal gun use."
State law prohibits cities from addressing "the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms, their components or ammunition."
Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, based in Canby, says he thinks the Adams' proposals are misguided, at best.
"I don't think they'll do any good," he told The Skanner News. "I think none of this is lawful and they're also absurd."
Starrett says state law would prohibit the city from making a law regarding the storage of a firearm in regards to its accessibility to minors. It would also likely restrict the city from imposing a $500 fine on someone who failed to report the loss or theft of their firearm, which could fall under the "acquisition, transfer, ownership and possession" categories of law.
For Tom Peavey at the Office of Youth Violence Prevention, anything being done about the gun violence is a good thing.
"We have to do something," he said.
Tracking lost and stolen firearms is important in an investigation, he says, and the other proposals will help give police additional tools to suppress the violence.
Ross Gustafson, publisher of the American Gun Culture Report, a Portland-based counter culture gun magazine, says other cities have tried regulating handguns within city limits. In short, the efforts have not yielded positive results.
"Chicago had among the harshest gun restrictions in the country, but remained notoriously violent," Gustafson told The Skanner News. "Focusing on guns while ignoring root causes of crime will not work. On a national spectrum, violence can be seen wherever economic class divisions are most severe, not where gun laws are the most lax. If that were not the case, Vermont would be a battleground and Washington DC peaceful."

Ross also points to historically low crime levels as another reason that additional laws won't help.

Both Peavey and Adams also believe that a holistic approach will help put an end to this problem.
"This is a problem that involves lack of support for at-risk youth, the economy, lack of available jobs, lack of education," Peavey said. "It's because children aren't connected. There needs to be holistic treatment."
Adams says that the root causes of poverty and underemployment is a key focal point for his administration.
"Underemployment has impacted Portlanders of color (for generations)," he said.
By focusing on sustainable job creation, Adams hopes to help end this centuries-old problem.
And while the city is doing what it believes it can do within the constraints of state gun law, there are at least a few gaping holes in the proposal's logic. While a $500 fine might motivate a person to report their lost or stolen firearm, an additional $200 for losing the serial number might just push someone to tell law enforcement they sold it and didn't record the buyer's information.
In Oregon, it's perfectly legal to sell a firearm to another individual. No background check, law enforcement database or registration is needed, so long as the buyer and the seller are legally allowed to purchase and possess the firearm in question.
For Adams, this is exactly the kind of thing preventing city leaders from enacting reform.
"It's what we can do versus what is the full range of what should be done," he said.

Racial Profiling
In 2007, Portland's long-running experiment with Drug- and Prostitution-Free Zones ended a much-debated death. As it turns out, police had been using the exclusion orders disproportionately on Black residents, and many received the orders without so much as a conviction.
Adams told The Skanner News he doesn't want a gun crime exclusion zone ordinance to mirror the city's failure in those areas. He says he wants to be sure there is a balance between public safety and liberty.
"The exclusion zones have been terribly set up and managed in the past," he said.
The new zones would be narrowly tailored. The police could no longer exclude an individual based on an arrest or citation. The exclusion would be based on a gun crime conviction. The zones themselves would be narrowly tailored to only include areas of the city with high rates of illegal discharges, assaults or murders. The zones would also include exemptions.
In terms of how an exclusion zone could help reduce crime, one things for certain for Adams.
"The details matter," he said.
Gustafson says it could likely have a negative impact on recidivism.
"Even if it were applied to only the really nasty people who actually killed someone, now out of jail after 15 years, they couldn't be near their family and social support network in Southeast, say, without difficulty," he said. " This would do nothing but guarantee a whole new obstacle to reintegrating such ex-felons."

 

 

 

 


 


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