08-09-2022  7:19 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Personal Information of Some in Jails Possibly Compromised

A statement from the county said names, dates of birth and photos — as well as medical information like diagnoses and treatments —...

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

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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...

Republicans shut of out Washington Secretary of State race

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Until Democratic state Sen. Steve Hobbs was appointed as Washington’s secretary of state last November, Republicans had a hold on the office for 56 years. Now, they've been shut out of the general election. Hobbs captured about 40% of the vote and easily...

Portland accuses DOJ of moving cops accountability goalposts

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The city of Portland has accused the U.S. Department of Justice of stating incorrect information and misinterpreting police programs while negotiations continue about how to bring Portland back into compliance with a police use of force federal settlement agreement. ...

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

Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son's birthday during the weekend. Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee's...

Lutheran bishop issues public apology to Latino congregation

Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, issued a public apology Tuesday to members of a majority Latino immigrant congregation for the pain and trauma they endured after the predominantly white denomination’s first openly transgender bishop unexpectedly...

8 minority jail officers settle suit over guarding Chauvin

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Eight minority corrections officers who were working at the jail where a former Minneapolis police officer was awaiting trial in the death of George Floyd were awarded nearly jumi.5 million Tuesday to settle a lawsuit. The officers filed the racial...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: 'Day Shift' and 'Five Days at Memorial'

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David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

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'P-Valley' explores Black strip club culture, gay acceptance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Katori Hall first pitched the idea to convert her popular play about Black strip club culture into the television series “P-Valley,” the Pulitzer Prize winner was either quickly rejected after meeting with networks or denied before she could fully explain the concept. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden, Democrats bet on long-term goals for short-term boost

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AP PHOTOS: Serena Williams, the athlete and cultural icon

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FBI's search of Trump's Florida estate: Why now?

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Hamas issues, then rescinds, sweeping rules on Gaza coverage

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In reversal, Brazil court reopens case of rainforest park

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Rescuers to move whale stranded in French river to saltwater

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Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

When the U.S. Civil Rights Commission National Conference opened this morning in Washington DC, not only were no civil rights groups present – but at least one sitting member of the body sat it out.
Commissioner Michael Yaki, one of only two Democrats on the supposedly bi-partisan commission, says conservatives appointed by former President George W. Bush have hijacked the event in an attempt to validate their politicized Civil Rights agenda before their terms end in December.
Yaki, an attorney from San Francisco and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, charges that the panel has organized the event in secret without any participation from the two Democrats and one of the Republicans who was critical of the way it was being handled.
"We were not told the dates, we weren't told what the topics were, we weren't told who the speakers were," Yaki told The Skanner News. "If you look at the way it was being addressed, when you think about civil rights in the 21st century, you have to deal with the new emerging populations and new issues that are confronting us."

A Conservative Coup?

Yaki and many critics are still outraged over the 2004 move that saw Bush, in an historic twist of the rules, successfully seat six Republicans on the eight-member panel, after two Republicans who had already been appointed changed their party affiliations to "Independent."
Effectively isolating the Commission's two Democrats, the move skewed the panel away from its traditional mission of watchdog for the Constitutional rights of underserved communities, and towards an anti-affirmative action partisanship.
Ever since, the Commission has made headlines and rocked social justice boats by releasing a string of reports calling for an end to affirmative action, Title IV for women's athletics, and government's role in policing institutional racism.
Conflicts escalated sharply in July when one Republican appointee, Vice Chair Abigail Thernstrom, told a reporter for Politico that her fellow conservatives on the Commission had openly discussed using the obscure case of a fringe group of Black nationalists to "bring (U.S. Attorney General) Eric Holder down" and damage President Barack Obama's credibility.
That group, the New Black Panther Party, triggered a right-wing media furor when a member stood outside a Philadelphia voting place on Election Day in 2008 holding a police-style nightstick.
After the Department of Justice investigated the group for voter intimidation, it brought charges against three individuals but eventually sustained an injunction only against the one toting the nightstick – touching off allegations that it "didn't want to protect the civil rights of white people."
In August, the Commission formally asked Congress for permission to sue the U.S. Department of Justice to force it to continue investigating the New Black Panther Party – a move widely expected to fail and which has drawn mainstream criticism of the Civil Rights Commission's agenda.

Discussing Its Own Demise

Today's National Conference should have included panels on immigrant rights, Islamophobia, gay and lesbian struggles for marriage equality and the right to serve in the military, Yaki says.
The Commission's website lists a sparse handful of panel discussions and lectures, including "The Role of Family Structure in Perpetuating Racial and Ethnic Disparities;" "New Tools for a New Civil Rights Era?" (asking the question, "If declining levels of present-day discrimination—accomplished through vigorous government enforcement—are unsuccessful at ameliorating current disparities, is it time to reconsider our tactics?"); and a closing panel, "The Future of the Civil Rights Commission" (looking at the questions of, in part, "…whether it is appropriate for the federal government to take the lead on such issues or whether the government body has outlived its usefulness, as some contend.")
The keynote speaker is conservative former Washington Post columnist William Raspberry.
Media contact for the event, Christina Bregale, did not respond to The Skanner News' request for comment.
"Its stunning lack of diversity is, I think, a testament to the fact that conservative majority just wants a conference in its own way, in its own light, that is not reflective of this country or the civil rights commission mission as a whole," Yaki said.
He decried the lack of involvement of staunch civil rights groups.
"I think what you're going to find is a lack of the traditional civil rights organizations that have been at the forefront of combating discrimination in this country," Yaki said. "You're not going to find the NAACP present, you're not going to find MALDEF (the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) present, you're not going to find any of the Asian American justice groups present, I think that there is no representation from the gay and lesbian community."

Waiting for New Leadership

A press release Monday from Bragale, the conference organizer, says 200 attendees are expected Tuesday. Yaki said it's his understanding that the event cost about $100,000 to mount.
"I think they're spending a more than a hundred thousand dollars for maybe a couple hundred people showing up," he said.
"It's not to say that there aren't some good issues that are going to be addressed, but if it's going to be a national conference how can you not have issues that impact the Latino community? How can you not deal with the number one civil rights issue of our time, which is these anti-immigrant laws being passed throughout this country that have a disproportionate impact on our Latinos? How can you not address the phobia about Muslims that includes honest, God-fearing Americans in its wake? These are serious and important issues that we should be ahead of the curve – right now we're so far behind it," he said.
"I think that the best thing to do is just ignore the noise that these people are producing for the next six months and when President Obama has two new appointments that will even the odds on the commission.
"But I really think from now until December it's best to ignore everything that they do, because everything that they do right now I think is irrevocable tainted by a very partisan agenda."

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