01-22-2022  6:57 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Report: Oregon Has Too Few Public Defenders

Oregon has only roughly one-third of the public defense attorneys it needs to provide reasonably effective assistance to low-income defendants

Blumenauer Boosts Efforts to Put Three Black History Landmarks on National List

Congressman makes case for Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, and the Golden West Hotel’s importance to city history and heritage.

Lawsuit Says New Majority Latino District in WA a 'Facade'

A Latino civil rights organization and others filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that says new political maps in Washington state approved by a bipartisan redistricting panel intentionally dilute Hispanic voters' influence.

Washington Students' Test Scores Drop Significantly

Reports show that between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met state standards on the math portion of the exam fell by 20 percentage points.

NEWS BRIEFS

Five Schools Return to In-person Instruction on Jan. 24

Alliance, Faubion, Franklin, Ockley Green, and Roosevelt return to in-person instruction; George, Harriet Tubman and Kellogg...

Portland Winter Light Festival Begins in Two Weeks, Illuminating City for Seventh Time

Free, all-ages, outdoor activity returns with new opportunities for outdoor art experiences all across Portland ...

PassinArt Introduces ‘Play Reading Mondays’

The Spanish Jade and The Learning Curve, both directed by William Earl Ray premiere in February ...

Revamped TriMet Website Makes Planning Trips Easier With Map-Based Tools

Riders can now track real-time locations of buses and trains on their smartphone ...

PHOTOS: Founder of The American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths Honored

Delbert Richardson's Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha XI Chapter fraternity brothers presented him a plaque that reads “Your commitment to...

Police: Lacey cops shoot, kill man who fired at officers

LACEY, Wash. (AP) — Lacey police shot and killed a man Thursday night who fired at officers, presumably hitting one in their bulletproof vest, authorities said. Police responded to a home around 8:30 p.m. after a woman called saying she had been attacked and had left the residence...

Peak yet to come, as Oregon sets daily COVID case record

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon health officials predict the number of COVID-19 cases will reach its peak within the next week amid a boom caused by the omicron surge. And authorities believe in early February coronavirus-related hospitalizations will likely surpass previous surge’s...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Jewish leaders urge worship attendance after hostage siege

On the eve of her 100th birthday Saturday, Ruth Salton told her daughter she was going one way or another to Friday night Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel, just days after a gunman voicing antisemitic conspiracy theories held four worshippers hostage for 10 hours at the Fort Worth-area...

McConnell responds to uproar over comment about Black voters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back Friday against the uproar over a comment he made about African American voters, calling the criticism directed his way “outrageous.” McConnell had been accused of racism for saying that “African...

Abuse victims see inequity in payouts at 2 Michigan schools

Two former University of Michigan football stars who stand to receive as much as 0,000 each through the school's sexual abuse settlement with more than 1,000 students say the per-victim payouts should be much higher, pointing to a similar case at rival Michigan State. Dwight Hicks...

ENTERTAINMENT

Eva Longoria Bastón's doc looks at Chávez, De La Hoya fight

Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya wanted to make a documentary about his 1996 fight against Julio César Chávez. It was coming up on 25 years since the “Ultimate Glory” showdown and he figured the time was right to look back. So he asked Eva Longoria Bastón, his friend of 20 years, if she’d be...

Review: Penny and Sparrow push past Americana in 'Olly Olly'

“Olly Olly,” Penny and Sparrow (I Love You / Thirty Tigers) In the first few unassuming bars of Penny and Sparrow’s new album, “Olly Olly,” it is not immediately apparent that this collection of songs signifies a shift for duo Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke. ...

'SNL' comics Jost, Davidson buy Staten Island Ferry boat

NEW YORK (AP) — “Saturday Night Live” comics Colin Jost and Pete Davidson have purchased a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry boat for 0,100 with plans to turn it into New York's hottest club. Jost and Davidson teamed up with comedy club owner Paul Italia on Wednesday's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk, dies at 95

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the practice of...

AP Week in Pictures: Global

JAN. 15 - 21, 2022 From people braving the icy lake waters in Russia for Epiphany, to a camel...

First flights leave Chinese city Xi'an as travel curbs ease

BEIJING (AP) — The first commercial airline flights in one month took off Saturday from Xi’an in western China...

Russia hits all-time high of new infections, blames omicron

MOSCOW (AP) — Daily new coronavirus infections in Russia reached an all-time high Friday and authorities blamed...

Burkina Faso forces fire tear gas at anti-govt protests

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Security forces fired tear gas at protesters barricading the streets and...

Latin America, Asia latest to get hit with omicron surge

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip...

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."

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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