04-15-2024  10:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

Five Running to Represent Northeast Portland at County Level Include Former Mayor, Social Worker, Hotelier (Part 2)

Five candidates are vying for the spot previously held by Susheela Jayapal, who resigned from office in November to focus on running for Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Jesse Beason is currently serving as interim commissioner in Jayapal’s place. (Part 2)

NEWS BRIEFS

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Oregon

Yolanda J. Jackson has been named Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. ...

Americans Willing to Pay More to Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap, Creating a New Opportunity for Black Business Owners

National research released today provides encouraging news that most Americans are willing to pay a premium price for products and...

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan Directs Development Funding to Complete Next Phase of Gateway Green Project

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is beginning a new phase of accessibility and park improvements to Gateway Green, the...

Application Opens for Preschool for All 2024-25 School Year

Multnomah County children who will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1, 2024 are eligible to apply now for free preschool...

PCC and LAIKA Partner to Foster Diversity in Animation

LAIKA is contributing ,000 to support student scholarships and a new animation and graphics degree. ...

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway. ...

Asbestos victim's dying words aired in wrongful death case against Buffet's railroad

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Thomas Wells ran a half-marathon at age 60 and played recreational volleyball until he was 63. At 65 years old, doctors diagnosed him with mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. “I’m in great pain and alls I see is this...

Caleb Williams among 13 confirmed prospects for opening night of the NFL draft

NEW YORK (AP) — Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection overall, will be among 13 prospects attending the first round of the NFL draft in Detroit on April 25. The NFL announced the 13 prospects confirmed as of Thursday night, and...

Georgia ends game on 12-0 run to beat Missouri 64-59 in first round of SEC tourney

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cain had 19 points, Justin Hill scored 17 off the bench and 11th-seeded Georgia finished the game on a 12-0 run to beat No. 14 seed Missouri 64-59 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Cain hit 6 of 12 shots,...

OPINION

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

COMMENTARY: Is a Cultural Shift on the Horizon?

As with all traditions in all cultures, it is up to the elders to pass down the rituals, food, language, and customs that identify a group. So, if your auntie, uncle, mom, and so on didn’t teach you how to play Spades, well, that’s a recipe lost. But...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Prominent New York church, sued for gender bias, moves forward with male pastor candidate

A search committee previously sued for gender discrimination over its hiring process has announced its pick for the next senior pastor of a prominent New York City congregation considered by some to be the flagship of the Black church in America. Candidate Kevin R. Johnson, founding...

Beyoncé is bringing her fans of color to country music. Will they be welcomed in?

NEW YORK (AP) — Dusty, worn boots. Horses lapping up water. Sweat dripping from the foreheads of every shade of Black skin as country classics blare through giant speakers. These moments are frequently recreated during Tayhlor Coleman’s family gatherings at their central Texas ranch. For her,...

Gene Herrick, AP photographer who covered the Korean War and civil rights, dies at 97

RICH CREEK, Va. (AP) — Gene Herrick, a retired Associated Press photographer who covered the Korean War and is known for his iconic images of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the trial of the killers of Emmett Till in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, died Friday. He was 97. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Golf has a ratings problem, and the Masters could shine a light on why viewers are tuning out

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Golf has a ratings problem. The week-to-week grind of the PGA Tour has essentially become No Need To See TV, raising serious concerns about what it means for the future of the game. Now comes the Masters, the first major championship of the year and...

George Lucas to receive honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival

George Lucas will receive an honorary Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival next month, festival organizers announced Tuesday. Lucas will be honored at the closing ceremony to the 77th French film festival on May 25. He joins a short list of those to receive honorary Palmes. Last...

Luke Combs leads the 2024 ACM Awards nominations, followed by Morgan Wallen and Megan Moroney

Luke Combs leads the nominees for the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nods to his name, it was announced Tuesday. For a fifth year in a row, he's up for both male artist of the year and the top prize, entertainer of the year. The 59th annual ACM Awards...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

IAEA warns that attacks on a nuclear plant in Russian-controlled Ukraine put the world at risk

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and Ukraine on Monday traded blame before the United Nations Security Council for...

Trump trial: Why can't Americans see or hear what is going on inside the courtroom?

NEW YORK (AP) — It's a moment in history — the first U.S. president facing criminal charges in an American...

Trump will return to court after first day of hush money criminal trial ends with no jurors picked

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump will return to a New York courtroom Tuesday as a judge works to find a panel of...

House Speaker Mike Johnson pushes towards a vote on aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Mike Johnson is pushing toward action this week on aid for Israel, Ukraine and...

In Modi's India, opponents and journalists feel the squeeze ahead of election

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are increasingly wielding strong-arm...

Israel’s military chief says that Israel will respond to Iran’s weekend missile attack

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military chief said Monday that his country will respond to Iran’s weekend attack,...

Jeannine Aversa the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — It turns out the recession ended more than a year ago.
Feeling better now?
The panel that determines the timing of recessions concluded Monday that this one ended — technically, anyway — in June 2009, and lasted 18 months. The duration makes it the longest since World War II.
It may be over, but you won't be hearing any cheers from the millions of Americans who are struggling to find a job. Or are worried about the ones they have. Or have lost their homes. Or are behind on the mortgage.
"Every single one of the individuals who wrote the report needs a serious reality check," said Bob Johnson of the Queens borough of New York, who is 46, had worked in communications and has been looking for a job for more than three years.
Not that it's the fault of the academics — in this case the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of economists based in Cambridge, Mass. It's their job to declare when recessions officially begin and end.
Their finding is one that economic historians spend a lot of time pondering. Politicians care, too. They don't want to be blamed for downturns that happen on their watch.
One of those politicians is President Barack Obama, who inherited the recession — it began in December 2007, according to the bureau. Obama found little reason Monday to celebrate that it had officially ended.
"The hole was so deep that a lot of people out there are still hurting," the president, whose Democratic Party faces a likely setback in the midterm elections, said at a town-hall meeting sponsored by CNBC.
Obama has made a point of noting small signs of progress in the economy, which is growing slowly. Some Democrats have urged him to stop boasting about any progress at all, for fear that it irks people who feel things aren't getting better and makes politicians seem out of touch.
For Melody Brooke, a 55-year-old marriage and family counselor in Lewisville, Texas, it didn't feel in her household as if the recession ended 15 months ago. Her household finances were in shambles at the time.
"It felt like the heat of it for us," Brooke said.
Her outlook is starting to brighten. Her husband finally found full-time work about a month ago. And Brooke's counseling business is picking up: She's on track to make about $35,000 for the year.
For the rest of the country, the statistics are familiar and grim. Since the recession began, 7.3 million jobs have disappeared. Nearly 2.5 million homes have been repossessed. Unemployment is at 9.6 percent.
Since the technical end of the recession, the economy has been growing. But the growth has been painfully slow.
How slow? The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures the U.S. economy will grow 2.6 percent this year. It would take growth twice that fast to drive down unemployment by a single percentage point.
Unemployment usually keeps rising well after a recession ends. That's because it takes time for companies to gain confidence in the economy, know that customer demand will last, and add jobs.
But for the past few recessions, it's taken longer and longer for unemployment to come down. In 1982, for example, unemployment peaked the same month the recession ended. After the 2001 recession, the gap was 19 months.
This time around, it's been 15 months, and economists don't expect unemployment to come down significantly anytime soon.
In part, that's because of how the unemployment rate is calculated. It's based on a survey of households. Only out-of-work people who are looking for jobs are counted as unemployed. Those who have quit looking out of discouragement aren't included. As the economy improves, more of these people will start looking for jobs and will be counted again as unemployed. That will drive up the unemployment rate, at least for a while.
To make its call on the end of a recession, the bureau looks at the stats behind the gross domestic product, which measures the total value of the economy. Plus, it reviews incomes, employment and industrial activity.
The bureau pointed out that a downturn in the economy anytime soon would now mark the start of a new recession. The last time that happened was in 1981 and 1982, most economists believe.
The last recession that lasted longer than this one was, well, something far worse than a recession: The Great Depression. It included a downturn of three and a half years, ending in 1933, and another lasting more than a year, ending in 1938.

More: Poverty Expert Dedrick Muhammad Calls for $40 Billion Jobs Program.
AP Writers Candice Choi in New York, Dave Carpenter in Chicago and Charles Babington in Washington contributed to this report.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast