09-21-2021  6:42 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

How to Tell DEQ to Step Up Its Emissions Caps – And Go Further

Two activists created a website to inform the most climate-vulnerable on how to take action.

Washington Governor Inslee Asks Feds for Medical Staffing Help

Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon Dems Void Power-Sharing Redistricting Deal With GOP

The Democratic speaker of the Oregon House on Monday rescinded a deal she made with Republicans to share power as lawmakers redraw political boundaries and add an additional U.S. House seat for the state.

Lawsuits Claiming 2020 Ballots Were Manipulated Come to WA

The lawsuits seek a full audit conducted in the same manner as one carried out in Arizona — which has so far yielded no evidence of widespread fraud

NEWS BRIEFS

IPAC Announces September 21 Kickoff of the Portland Peace Initiative

A new coalition intends to show how peace is possible in Portland ...

OHSU Offers Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment at Portland Expo Center

This newest drive through testing site is open Monday through Friday. ...

Pfizer Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 is Safe with Robust Antibody Response

These are the first such results released for this age group for a US Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer said it plans to submit to the U.S....

Chris Rock Says he Has Covid-19 and Tells People to Get Vaccinated

The 56-year-old comedian wrote on Twitter: “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get...

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

Immigrant rights activist targeted for deportation can stay

SEATTLE (AP) — A Northwest immigrant rights activist who had been facing deportation said Tuesday she can now remain in the U.S., after the Department of Homeland Security agreed to drop her case. Maru Mora Villalpando, a Mexico City native, has been in the U.S. since...

Southern Resident grandmother orca missing and likely dead

SEATTLE (AP) — The Center for Whale Research has declared an orca in one of the Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident killer whale pods “missing and likely dead.” The Bellingham Herald reports mother and grandmother L47, or Marina as she was also known, was missing...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Wray: Afghanistan unrest could inspire extremism inside US

WASHINGTON (AP) — The possibility of a 9/11-type attack has diminished over the last 20 years, but the Taliban victory in Afghanistan could embolden U.S.-based extremists at the same time that the FBI is confronting increasing threats from individuals motivated by racial and political grievances,...

Review: Johnson explores violence against Native Americans

“Daughter of the Morning Star,” by Craig Johnson (Viking) Cheyenne Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long’s niece, Jayla, star of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team, is in danger. The girl has been getting credible death threats, so Long asks her friend, Absaroka...

Workers reinstall Wisconsin statues downed in 2020 protest

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin workers reinstalled two statues Tuesday on the state Capitol grounds that protesters ripped down during a demonstration last year in the wake of George Floyd's death. Workers reinstalled a 9-foot-6-inch statue of Wisconsin abolitionist Col. Hans...

ENTERTAINMENT

In ‘This is the Night,’ a love letter to cinema, ‘Rocky III’

Filmmaker James DeMonaco remembers the day “Rocky III” hit theaters as if it were yesterday. On Staten Island in 1982, it was an all-out event. He waited four hours in line to get tickets and saw it twice in a day. Kids at his school carried the poster around like a trophy....

Review: 'Echoes of the Dead' is a fast-paced thriller

“Echoes of the Dead,” by Spencer Kope (Minotaur) When four wealthy men, one of them a congressman, disappear on their annual fishing trip to the Upper Kern River near Bakersfield, California, Magnus “Steps” Craig of the F.B.I. Special Tracking Unit senses real trouble. ...

Review: 'True Raiders' a fun read about true treasure hunt

“True Raiders” by Brad Ricca (St. Martin’s Press) For fans of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” there’s something just as exciting as seeing Indiana Jones swashbuckling his way through the jungles in search of treasure. That thing is hearing Dr. Henry Jones describe the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Haitian trip to Texas border often starts in South America

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Robins Exile downed a traditional meal of plantains and chicken at a restaurant run by...

Mexico buses, flies Haitians from remote area on US border

CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico has begun busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the U.S. border,...

'The world must wake up': Tasks daunting as UN meeting opens

NEW YORK (AP) — In person and on screen, world leaders returned to the United Nations' foremost gathering for...

Deported Haitians try to rush back into plane amid anger

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Dozens of migrants upset about being deported to Haiti from the U.S. clashed with...

Brazil's Bolsonaro rebuffs criticism on pandemic, Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro issued a defense of his administration at the U.N....

At UN, Moon pushes peace with NKorea after missile tests

Never once mentioning missiles, South Korean President Moon Jae-in again pushed for peace and reconciliation with...

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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