01-18-2020  4:44 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

Native American Curriculum Rolls Out in Oregon Classrooms

The state developed the curriculum, as required by Senate Bill 13, with the input of Native leaders for 18 months, but is still behind. A soft roll-out begins this month

Community Surprised at Police Chief’s Departure, Concerned by Quick Replacement

Deputy Chief Jami Resch immediately named as successor.

NEWS BRIEFS

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Black Guest at Downtown Portland Hotel Sues Over ‘No Party’ Promise

Felicia Gonzales claims the front desk clerk at the Residence Inn told her that all guests had to sign the policy, but she watched...

National Urban League Warns Trump Administration: Don't Weaken Community Reinvestment Act to Allow Racial Discrimination in Lending

Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act could further limit access to the American Dream ...

Democrats: Oregon climate bill is priority. GOP resists

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the speaker of the House of Representatives, both Democrats, said Friday that passing legislation aimed at stemming global warming is their priority when lawmakers return to the Capitol next month. But Rep. Christine Drazan, the leader of the...

Power still out, no school for some as storms continue

SEATTLE (AP) — Hundreds of people without power for as long as a week are slowly seeing their lights come back on after storms that brought feet of heavy snow to Western Washington, while thousands in Southern Oregon lost power in a Thursday snowstorm. Puget Sound Energy estimates that power...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

How Being 'Tough on Crime' Became a Political Liability

In one of the most stunning shifts in American politics in recent memory, a wave of elected prosecutors have bucked a decadeslong tough-on-crime approach adopted by both major parties ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 more linked to neo-Nazi group arrested in Georgia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base were charged with conspiring to kill members of a militant anti-fascist group, police in Georgia announced Friday, a day after three other members were arrested on federal charges in Maryland and...

Virginia's highest court upholds weapons ban at gun rally

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's highest court on Friday upheld a ban on firearms at an upcoming pro-gun rally in the state's capital, an event that authorities feared could erupt in violence at the hands of armed extremists.The Virginia Supreme Court's decision came a day after gun-rights...

Trump's black voter outreach looks in part to the pews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In the eight years since he became a pastor at First Immanuel Baptist Church, Todd Johnson says he's seen his congregation's politics make a subtle shift.The Philadelphia church, which recently hosted a Donald Trump campaign event reaching out to black voters, has...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan put on 'administrative leave'

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy has placed Deborah Dugan, its president and CEO of just six months, on administrative leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization.The move announced late Thursday comes 10 days before the 2020 Grammy Awards will be...

Nashville songwriters spread outside country at Grammys

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville songwriters are showing up at the Grammys this year, but not just in the country music categories. The city’s writing talent has been increasingly tapped to help craft nominated soundtracks, pop songs and R&B albums over the last couple of...

Dior sparks mayhem with couture-infused Paris menswear show

PARIS (AP) — Guests crammed into Dior's annex in Paris' Place de la Condorde on Friday amid chaos before the show. Some guests had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit as cars came to unload celebrities, including David Beckham and Robert Pattinson, at an industrious pace. Mayhem such...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

PHOTO GALLERY: A selection of pictures from the past week

Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page...

Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday took another step toward dismantling Michelle Obama's...

US to screen airline passengers from China for new illness

NEW YORK (AP) — Three U.S. airports will screen passengers arriving from central China for a new virus that...

Turkey's Erdogan: Europe must back Libyan govt in Tripoli

Ankara (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the European Union to support the...

AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruption

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on...

Portrait found in gallery's walls verified as missing Klimt

PIACENZA, Italy (AP) — Art experts have confirmed that a painting discovered hidden inside an Italian art...

McMenamins
Zanne Gamboa the Associated Press

Congress ordered the high-tech fence in 2006 amid a clamor over the porous border, but the project yielded only 53 miles of protection.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the lesson of the multimillion-dollar program is there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution for border security.

Napolitano said the department's new technology strategy for securing the border is to use existing, proven technology tailored to the distinct terrain and population density of each region of the nearly 2,000-mile U.S-Mexico border. That would provide faster technology deployment, better coverage and more bang for the buck, she said.

Although it has been well known that the virtual fence project would be dumped, Napolitano officially informed key members of Congress Friday that an "independent, quantitative, science-based review made clear" the fence, known as SBInet, "cannot meet its original objective of providing a single, integrated border security technology solution."

The fence, initiated in 2005, was to be a network of cameras, ground sensors and radars that would be used to spot incursions or problems and decide where to deploy Border Patrol agents. It was supposed to be keeping watch over most of the southern border with Mexico by this year.

Instead, taxpayers ended up with about 53 miles of operational "virtual fence" in Arizona for a cost of at least $15 million a mile, according to testimony in previous congressional hearings.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said the SBInet concept was unrealistic from the start. Napolitano's decision "ends a long-troubled program that spent far too much of the taxpayers' money for the results it delivered," said Lieberman, I-Conn.

The high-tech fence was developed as part of a Bush administration response to a demand for tighter border security that arose amid a heated immigration debate in Congress.

The Bush administration awarded Boeing a three-year, $67 million contract. Then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said at the time the department was "looking to build a 21st century virtual fence."

But the fence had a long list of glitches and delays. Its radar system had trouble distinguishing between vegetation and people in windy weather, cameras moved too slowly and satellite communications also were slow. Although some of the concept is in use in two sections of Arizona, the security came at too high a cost.

DHS and Boeing officials have said that the project called for putting together the first of its kind "virtual fence" too quickly by combining off-the-shelf components that weren't designed to be linked

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, top Democrat of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the committee held 11 congressional hearings on the fence project and commissioned five reports by the Government Accountability Office, which blasted the project. Thompson, who chaired the committee until Republicans took over the House this month, called the project a grave and expensive disappointment.

Last January, Napolitano suspended spending on the project beyond work on two phases of the fence in Arizona. She ordered a study to determine whether SBInet could be fixed so it worked effectively and fulfilled its original goal. She also asked for a study to come up with lower cost, equally effective alternatives. She used $50 million meant for the fence to buy other technology and Border Patrol vehicles.

Boeing was the contractor for SBInet. Despite the problems, the Homeland Security Department granted Boeing a second one-year option on a three-year contract to work with the department for maintenance and upkeep of the two Arizona sections that are operational. That agreement continues through September 2011.

Some technologies from the project, such as stationary radar and infrared and optical sensor towers, will be used in future border security that will largely rely on mobile surveillance systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, thermal imaging devices and tower-based remote video surveillance systems. Money that was provided in an interim spending bill for the high-tech fence will go to the proven technologies.

The agency said in a report that it does not intend to use the existing Boeing contract to buy other technology systems for future southwest border security. It also said it will conduct "full and open competition" for elements in the new border security plan.

The Homeland Security Department has been studying other areas of the southern border to decide what technology and other resources would best beef up security in those areas. An initial proposal of technology needed to monitor three sectors - El Paso, which includes New Mexico; San Diego and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas - was to be done by this month. Proposals for border security technology for other sectors should be available by March, according to the report.

Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, criticized the administration for taking too long to make its final decision to cancel SBInet and too long to decide what to do next. He wants a comprehensive border security plan that provides staffing, fencing and technology.

In a statement, Boeing said it is proud of the accomplishments of its team and the "unprecedented capabilities" delivered in the last year to assist Border Patrol. The company said it appreciates that Homeland Security Department recognizes the value of the fixed towers Boeing built as part of SBInet.

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