10-16-2019  8:19 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:___The East Oregonian, Oct. 15, on getting flu shots:Imagine if every year the U.S. military suffered thousands of causalities in some foreign conflict.It is a difficult and chilling scenario. Fortunately, no such war exists, but every year seasonal flu...

2 Oregon counties offer vote-by-mobile to overseas voters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two Oregon counties are offering the opportunity for members of the U.S. military, their dependents and others living overseas to vote in special elections this November with smartphones.While some technology experts have warned that such a system could be insecure,...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bulgaria arrests 6 soccer fans following racist acts

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian police arrested six soccer fans Wednesday and identified 15 people linked to making racist gestures, including Nazi salutes, during a European Championship qualifying match against England.Bulgarian fans also directed monkey noises at England's black players...

UEFA punishes Lazio for fans' racism at Europa League game

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has punished Lazio for fans' racist behavior by closing one end of Stadio Olimpico for its Europa League game against Celtic.UEFA says its disciplinary panel also threatened Lazio with a one-game full stadium closure, suspended for a one-year probationary...

Some decry Gov. Cuomo for using racial slur during interview

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Some criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday for using a racial slur for African Americans while discussing historical discrimination toward darker-skinned Italian immigrants.The Democrat used the slur in an interview on WAMC radio while speaking about Columbus Day...

ENTERTAINMENT

AP Exclusive: Julie Andrews reflects on her Hollywood years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Everyone is on their best behavior when Julie Andrews is around.It's early June in Los Angeles and Andrews is coming to film segments for a night of guest programming on Turner Classic Movies and speak about her new book, "Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years," which...

Gina Rodriguez apologizes for singing N-word lyric

NEW YORK (AP) — Gina Rodriguez has apologized for singing along on her Instagram story to a Fugees verse that includes the N-word.The "Jane the Virgin" actress deleted the short video she posted Tuesday and replaced it with her apology, but not before memes and other backlash ensued....

Gooding faces new charges and a potential parade of accusers

NEW YORK (AP) — Cuba Gooding Jr. is facing a growing cast of sexual misconduct accusers, with prosecutors Tuesday unveiling new criminal charges against the actor and telling a judge they intend to have up to a dozen women testify that he violated them, too.Standing in a New York City...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals...

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used...

Kim rides horse on sacred peak, vows to fight US sanctions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea released a series of photos Wednesday showing leader Kim Jong Un...

Probe uncovers high-level unease over Trump, Giuliani moves

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment inquiry is exposing new details about unease in the State...

Tensions high as South Sudan faces unity government deadline

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's fragile peace deal is faltering less than a month before the...

Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals...

McMenamins
The Associated Press

Extended unemployment benefits for nearly 2 million Americans begin to run out Wednesday, cutting off a steady stream of income and guaranteeing a dismal holiday season for people already struggling with bills they cannot pay.
Unless Congress changes its mind, benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks will end this month.
That means Christmas is out of the question for Wayne Pittman, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and his wife and 9-year-old son. The carpenter was working up to 80 hours a week at the beginning of the decade, but saw that gradually drop to 15 hours before it dried up completely. His last $297 check will go to necessities, not presents.
"I have a little boy, and that's kind of hard to explain to him," Pittman said.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer issued a statement denouncing legislators failure to restore benefits. "I am deeply disappointed that Congress has yet to extend long-term unemployment insurance in time for the holidays," said Blumenauer. "For nearly two million workers, these monthly checks – just a couple hundred dollars to help make ends meet – have been a lifeline as they look for new jobs during this awful recession. I find it especially shameful that we are threatening to leave these families out in the cold at the same time that some members of Congress want us to spend $700 billion we don't have on tax cuts for millionaires who don't need them. Cutting off unemployment benefits won't help us end this recession, it will only make it worse. I call on members of both parties to set aside politics and vote to extend these benefits for unemployed Americans."
The average weekly unemployment benefit in the U.S. is $302.90, though it varies widely depending on how states calculate the payment. Because of supplemental state programs and other factors, it's hard to know for sure who will lose their benefits at any given time. But the Labor Department estimates that, without a Congress-approved extension, about 2 million people will be cut off by Christmas.

Congressional opponents of extending the benefits beyond this month say fiscal responsibility should come first. Republicans in the House and Senate, along with a handful of conservative Democrats, say they're open to extending benefits, but not if it means adding to the $13.8 trillion national debt.
Even if Congress does lengthen benefits, cash assistance is at best a stopgap measure, said Carol Hardison, executive director of Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte, N.C., which has seen 20,000 new clients since the Great Recession started in December 2007.
"We're going to have to have a new conversation with the people who are still suffering, about the potentially drastic changes they're going to have to make to stay out of the homeless shelter," she said.
Forget Christmas presents. What the so-called "99ers" want most of all is what remains elusive in the worst economy in generations: a job.
"I am not searching for a job, I am begging for one," said Felicia Robbins, 30, as she prepared to move out of a homeless shelter in Pensacola, Fla., where she and her five children have been living. She is using the last of her cash reserves, about $500, to move into a small, unfurnished rental home.
Robbins lost her job as a juvenile justice worker in 2009 and her last $235 unemployment check will arrive Dec. 13. Her 10-year-old car isn't running, and she walks each day to the local unemployment office to look for work.

Jeanne Reinman, 61, of Greenville, S.C., still has her house, but even that comes with a downside.
After losing her computer design job a year and a half ago, Reinman scraped by with her savings and a weekly $351 unemployment check. When her nest egg vanished in July, she started using her unemployment to pay off her mortgage and stopped paying her credit card bills. She recently informed a creditor she couldn't make payments on a loan because her benefits were ending.
"I'm more concerned about trying to hang onto my house than paying you," she told the creditor.

Ninety-nine weeks may seem like a long time to find a job. But even as the economy grows, jobs that vanished in the Great Recession have not returned. The private sector added about 159,000 jobs in October — half as many as needed to reduce the unemployment rate of 9.6 percent, which the Federal Reserve expects will hover around 9 percent for all of next year.
"I apply for at least two jobs a day," said Silvia Lewis, of Nashville, Tenn., who's also drained her 401(k) and most of her other savings. "The constant thing that I hear, and a lot of my friends are in the same boat, is that you're overqualified."
JoAnn Sampson of Charlotte hears the same thing. A former cart driver at U.S. Airways, she and her husband are both facing the end of unemployment benefits, and she can't get so much as an entry-level job.
"When you try to apply for retail or fast food, they say 'You're overqualified,' they say 'We don't pay that much money,' they say, 'You don't want this job,'" she said.
Sampson counts her blessings: At least her two children, a teenager and a college student, are too old to expect much from Christmas this year.

Shawn Slonsky's three children aren't expecting much either. The 44-year-old union electrician in northeast Ohio won't be able to afford presents or even a Christmas tree.
His sons and daughter haven't bothered to send him holiday wish lists with the latest gizmos and gadgets.
Things used to be different. Before work dried up, Slonsky earned about $100,000 a year and he and his wife lived in a three-bedroom house where deer meandered through the backyard. For Christmas, he bought his aspiring doctor daughter medical books, a guitar, a unicycle.
Then he and his wife lost their jobs. Their house went into foreclosure and they had to move in with his 73-year-old father.
Now, Slonsky is dreading the holidays as he tries to stretch his last unemployment check to cover child support, gas, groceries and utilities.
"You don't even get in the frame of mind for Christmas when things are bad," he said. "It's hard to be in a jovial mood all the time when you've got this storm cloud hanging over your head."

This report includes contributions from Associated Press writers Meg Kinnard, in Columbia, S.C.; Ray Henry, in Atlanta; Melissa Nelson, in Pensacola, Fla.; Lucas L. Johnson II in Nashville, Tenn.; and Jeannie Nuss in Columbus, Ohio.

PHOTO Rep. Earl Blumenauer

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