10-15-2021  12:58 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

Republicans Sue Over New Oregon U.S. House Maps

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno and three other Republicans say the new maps are partisan gerrymandering, unconstitutional and contrary to state law.

NEWS BRIEFS

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

Rainier Valley Homeownership Initiative will create at least 100 for-sale homes, permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income...

Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

Schrader Calls Climate Change “biggest threat to Americans” after voting against key policy in committee ...

Darrell Grant Is Restoring Portland’s Soul With Albina Pop-up Studio

After a summer of bringing artistic collaborations to the city’s North Park blocks and Tilikum Plaza, Darrell Grant continues The...

Oregon Consumer Advisory Council recruiting new members

The Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Consumer Activities is pleased to announce a recruitment for openings on the Oregon Consumer...

NAACP Portland Launches New Event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Facebook Live event on October 23, will be an hour of education and celebration of the power and resilience of Black women...

OR court: Illegal to deny gun sales to people 18 and 20

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out an age discrimination lawsuit against a gun retailer, declaring it illegal to deny gun sales to buyers between the ages of 18 and 20. Brandy Dalbeck filed a ,000 lawsuit...

Oregon set to expand hotline for bias crime reporting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When Oregon’s Bias Response Hotline went live on Jan. 2, 2020, people were able to answer about half of incoming calls reporting hate crimes or bias incidents. With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

No. 21 Texas A&M tries to avoid 'Bama hangover at Mizzou

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly news conference going through everything that Texas A&M did well the previous week, when the Aggies stunned then-No. 1 Alabama before a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. It was a long list. So it wasn't surprising that by the end...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Mexico judge denies lab workers' claim in vaccine fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge on Friday denied a request by dozens of scientists and others at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate, meaning workers risk being fired if they don't comply with the lab's afternoon deadline. The case comes as...

New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

NEW YORK (AP) — The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams...

Puerto Rico ponders race amid surprising census results

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The number of people in Puerto Rico who identified as “white” in the most recent census plummeted almost 80%, sparking a conversation about identity on an island breaking away from a past where race was not tracked and seldom debated in public. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Film TV workers union says strike to start next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions. A strike would bring a halt to...

Gary Paulsen, celebrated children's author, dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Paulsen, the acclaimed and prolific children's author who often drew upon his rural affinities and wide-ranging adventures for tales that included “Hatchet,” “Brian's Winter” and “Dogsong,” has died at age 82. Random House Children's Books...

Todd Haynes: Finding the frequency of the Velvet Underground

The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

China crackdown on Apple store hits holy book apps, Audible

Amazon's audiobook service Audible and phone apps for reading the holy books of Islam and Christianity have...

Southern Baptist leader resigns amid abuse review division

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A top Southern Baptist Convention administrator is resigning after weeks of internal...

Crime at the center of Atlanta mayor's race as voting begins

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta mayoral candidates are talking about affordable housing, hoping to stave off a secession...

The Latest: Court rejects challenge to Maine shot mandate

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal appeals court has denied an emergency request to stop a COVID-19 vaccine mandate...

Cyprus to revoke 'golden passports' granted to 45 people

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' government has started procedures to revoke citizenship granted to 39 foreign...

More repression, fewer jobs: Jordanians face bleak outlook

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — As a poorly paid public school teacher, Khaled Jaber always needed a side hustle, working...

Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press for The Skanner

ATLANTA (AP) Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.  The Skanner News Video
The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find nine translators in the Southeast who are fluent in Ebonics, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Monday.
Ebonics, which is also known as African American Vernacular English, has been described by the psychologist who coined the term as the combination of English vocabulary with African language structure. At least one blogger - who says he is a former federal investigator -- charges that the agency will make sure the translators give them exactly the incriminating evidence they want.
Some DEA agents already help translate Ebonics, Sanders said. But he said wasn't sure if the agency has ever hired outside Ebonics experts as contractors.
"They saw a need for this in a couple of their investigations," he said. "And when you see a need it may not be needed now, but we want the contractors to provide us with nine people just in case."
The DEA's decision, first reported by The Smoking Gun, evokes memories of the debate sparked in 1996 when the Oakland, California, school board suggested that black English was a separate language. Although the board later dropped the suggestion amid criticism, it set off a national discussion over whether Ebonics is a language, a dialect or neither.
The search for translators covers a wide swath of the Southeast, including offices in Atlanta, Washington, New Orleans, Miami and the Caribbean, said Sanders. He said he's uncertain why other regions aren't hiring Ebonics translators, but said there are ongoing investigations in the Southeast that need dedicated Ebonics translators.
Linguists said Ebonics can be trickier than it seems, partly because the vocabulary evolves so quickly.
"A lot of times people think you're just dealing with a few slang words, and that you can finesse your way around it," said John Rickford, a Stanford University linguistics professor. "And it's not _ it's a big vocabulary. You'll have some significant differences" from English.
Critics worry that the DEA's actions could set a precedent.
"Hiring translators for languages that are of questionable merit to begin with is just going in the wrong direction," said Aloysius Hogan, the government relations director of English First, a national lobbying group that promotes the use of English.
"I'm not aware of Ebonics training schools or tests. I don't know how they'd establish that someone speaks Ebonics," he said. "I support the concept of pursuing drug dealers if they're using code words, but this is definitely going in the wrong direction."
H. Samy Alim, a Stanford linguistics professor who specializes in black language and hip-hop culture, said he thought the hiring effort was a joke when he first heard about it, but that it highlights a serious issue.
"It seems ironic that schools that are serving and educating black children have not recognized the legitimacy of this language. Yet the authorities and the police are recognizing that this is a language that they don't understand," he said. "It really tells us a lot about where we are socially in terms of recognizing African-American speech."
Rickford said that hiring Ebonics experts could come in handy for the DEA, but he said it's hard to determine whether a prospective employee can speak it well enough to translate since there are no standardized tests. He said the ideal candidate would be a native speaker who also has had some linguistics training.
Finding the right translators could be the difference between a successful investigation or a failed one, said Sanders. While he said many listeners can get the gist of what Ebonics speakers are saying, it could take an expert to define it in court.
"You can maybe get a general idea of what they're saying, but you have to understand that this has to hold up in court," he said. "You need someone to say, 'I know what they mean when they say 'ballin' or 'pinching pennies.'"  The Skanner News Video

PHOTO: Image From The Boondocks animation by Aaron Magruder The Skanner News Video: DJ Chedda

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