02-08-2023  3:33 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek: Agency Leaders Used Jobs for Personal Gain

Kotek on Wednesday asked the board of commissioners of the state's marijuana and alcohol regulating authority to remove its executive director and other leaders

Arrest Made in Stolen Yacht Rescue, 'Goonies' Fish Incident

Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded Friday night with the arrest of a Canadian man.

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Call for PNW Emerging Artists

'Timescape' submissions due March 15 ...

Merkley Applauds President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union Address: America is Stronger When We Come Together to Lift Everyone Up

If there’s one takeaway tonight that will stick with me, it’s how much stronger our country can be when our leaders focus on...

Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs Partner to Support Veterans Through the Arts

0,000 in grants will support arts programming across four Veteran Homes ...

The Black Business Association of Oregon Hires its First Communications Director

Previously, Sommer Martin was director of downtown marketing for the Portland Business Alliance ...

Allen Temple C.M.E. Church Announces Annual Unsung Heroes & Heroines Award Luncheon

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge and honor individuals and/or organizations who are unsung heroes/heroines who make a...

Family, community still searching missing crabber

LONG BEACH, Wash. (AP) — Family and members of the community are still searching for a missing crabber days after two others were rescued from a boat that sank near southwest Washington’s Willapa Bay, officials said. The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the...

Famed Portland goats let loose in protest of homeless sweep

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A herd of city goats well-known in Portland, Oregon, were temporarily set free Tuesday morning in what appeared to be an act of protest against a planned sweep of a nearby homeless encampment. The fence of the goats' enclosure in north Portland was cut,...

Missouri has 4 in double figures, beats South Carolina 83-74

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Kobe Brown scored 19 points to lead four in double figures as Missouri rolled past South Carolina 83-74 on Tuesday night. Missouri (18-6, 6-5 SEC), which rebounded from a 63-52 loss at Mississippi State, has won four of its last five games while South Carolina...

DeVries scores 32 as Drake downs Murray State 92-68

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Tucker DeVries' 32 points led Drake over Murray State 92-68 on Tuesday night. DeVries also contributed six rebounds for the Bulldogs (20-6, 11-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Roman Penn scored 18 points while going 7 of 12 and 4 of 5 from the free throw line, and...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Stella Jean quits Milan Fashion Week over lack of inclusion

MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy. ...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders slams Biden for 'woke fantasies'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders painted a dystopian portrait of the country in her rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, leaning heavily into Republican culture war issues and accusing Biden of pursuing “woke fantasies.” ...

Douglas Emmett: Q4 Earnings Snapshot

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Douglas Emmett Inc. (DEI) on Tuesday reported a key measure of profitability in its fourth quarter. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment trust said it...

ENTERTAINMENT

At last: Streisand memoir 'My Name is Barbra' coming Nov. 7

NEW YORK (AP) — Barbra Streisand's very long and very long-awaited memoir, a project she has talked about for years, is coming out this fall. Viking, a Penguin Random House imprint, will release “My Name is Barbra” on Nov. 7. Her memoir, fitting for a superstar of the grandest...

After ticket flap, Springsteen's fan magazine shutting down

NEW YORK (AP) — A magazine and website that has served Bruce Springsteen's fans for 43 years is shutting down, with its publisher writing that he's been disillusioned by the debate over ticket prices for their hero's current tour. Backstreets had been an unusually robust publication...

Dudamel to become NY Philharmonic music director, leave LA

NEW YORK (AP) — Gustavo Dudamel will become music director of the New York Philharmonic for the 2026-27 season, ending a heralded tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic that began in 2009. The 42-year-old Venezuelan conductor agreed to a five-year contract as New York’s artistic...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Microsoft's Activision deal hurts gamers, UK watchdog says

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft’s stalled .7 billion deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard has hit a...

Day care in Canada struck by city bus; 2 children dead

A city bus crashed into a day care center north of Montreal on Wednesday, killing two children and injuring six,...

Will Ferrell, Alicia Silverstone star in Super Bowl ads

NEW YORK (AP) — The Super Bowl is advertising's biggest, glitziest stage. Big name advertisers...

Danish queen to undergo 'major back surgery'

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, whose half-century reign makes her Europe’s...

Blaze at US drone plant in Latvia; arson not suspected

HELSINKI (AP) — Firefighters worked for a second day Wednesday to fully extinguish a blaze at a U.S. company’s...

Stella Jean quits Milan Fashion Week over lack of inclusion

MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive tax package that would save millions of Americans thousands of dollars in higher taxes is headed for a vote in the House Thursday even as rebellious Democrats complain it is too generous to the wealthy.

House Democratic leaders plan to pass the bill Thursday. But first, they will hold a vote on imposing a higher estate tax than the one negotiated by President Barack Obama.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the package Wednesday, with broad bipartisan support. Now, Obama is urging the House to pass it without changes, so he can sign it into law.

"I know that not every member of Congress likes every piece of this bill, and it includes some provisions that I oppose," Obama said. "But as a whole, this package will grow our economy, create jobs, and help middle class families across the country.

"As this bill moves to the House of Representatives, I hope that members from both parties can come together in a spirit of common purpose to protect American families and our economy as a whole by passing this essential economic package," Obama said.

The stakes are high as the House begins debate. If the House passes the higher estate tax, the bill would go back to the Senate, jeopardizing the entire package and representing a public rebuke of Obama by members of his own party.

A vote is expected Thursday afternoon.

Many House Democrats, even critics of the bill, are resigned to it ultimately passing with the lower estate tax, especially after the Senate passed it, 81-19.

"The overwhelming vote in the Senate should bring everyone to religion," said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J. But, he added, "Let's have a tangible signal that we really feel that this is unreasonable, what we're doing in terms of the estate tax."

Tax cuts affecting Americans at every income level are scheduled to expire Jan. 1 — a little more than two weeks away. The package would extend them for two years.

The tax cuts includes a more generous child tax credit, tax breaks for college students, lower taxes on capital gains and dividends and a series of business tax breaks designed to encourage investment. The package would also renew a program of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and enact a one-year cut in Social Security taxes.

A worker making $50,000 in wages would save $1,000 under the cut in Social Security taxes. A worker making $100,000 would save $2,000.

The bill's cost, $858 billion, would be added to the deficit.

"The president has been clear from the beginning that there are provisions in this bill he does not support," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. "But they were necessary compromises in order to secure the president's top priorities — initiatives targeted to strengthen growth, create jobs and help working and middle-class families.

At the insistence of Republicans, the plan includes an estate tax that would allow the first $10 million of a couple's estate to pass to heirs without taxation. The balance would be subject to a 35 percent tax rate.

Many House Democrats want to impose a higher estate tax, bringing back the levels in place in 2009. They persuaded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to allow a vote on the change, arguing that the higher estate tax would affect only 6,600 of the wealthiest estates, and would save $23 billion.

"It doesn't create jobs, it adds to the deficit," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said of the more generous estate tax. "Is that the message this Congress wants to send at a time of high deficits?"

In 2009, individuals could pass $3.5 million to their heirs, tax-free. Couples could pass $7 million, with a little tax planning, and the balance was taxed at a top rate of 45 percent.

The estate tax was allowed to expire for 2010. But under current law, it would come back in 2011 at even higher levels, with a top tax rate of 55 percent. Democrats said their plan to reinstate the 2009 tax is still more generous than current law; many Republicans said the estate tax should be done away with altogether.

"I don't like this bill, but I like even less the notion of raising taxes on average Americans," said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said any changes to the bill would derail the entire package, putting millions of Americans at risk of a significant tax increase next year.

"Now it's up to our colleagues in the House, and we urge Democrat leaders to resist playing political games and making partisan changes so that American taxpayers won't be hit with a huge, job-killing tax hike on Jan. 1," McConnell said.

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.