12-13-2019  2:57 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

Puget Soundkeeper and Waste Action Project Send Notice of Intent to Sue to Ardagh Glass

Violations listed include illegal discharges into the Duwamish River, failure to collect stormwater samples and failure to install required treatment systems

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

Max, a two-year-old Labrador/Weimaraner mix, is going to a new home with the Dunlap family of Damascus ...

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy Parsons’ limited offerings, then keep walking.Parsons never got her order for 350 trees from a North Carolina farm. Supplies were short, she was told. Instead, she was shipped some...

Dozens out sick at Vancouver schools, Seattle school closed

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of students are out sick at several Vancouver Public Schools elementary schools, prompting cleaning, disinfecting and a letter to parents warning them of the symptoms of the stomach flu.The Columbian reports at Harry S. Truman Elementary School, 72 of the...

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

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anti-Semitism order raises tough issue of defining prejudice

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s order to expand the scope of potential anti-Semitism complaints on college campuses is raising the stakes of an already tense battle over how to define discrimination against Jews.The executive order Trump signed on Wednesday tells the...

New Jersey attackers linked to anti-Semitic fringe movement

The deadly shooting rampage at a New Jersey kosher market has cast a spotlight on a fringe movement known for its anti-Semitic strain of street preaching and its role in a viral-video confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial this year.Investigators believe that the man and woman who killed three...

Man convicted in 2017 Charlottesville car attack to appeal

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An Ohio man plans to appeal his convictions for driving his car into a crowd of counterprotestors during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia.The Daily Progress, citing online court records, reports that a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr. filed a notice of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Weinstein lawyer says 98% of creditors agreeing to settle

NEW YORK (AP) — Ninety-eight percent of The Weinstein Co.'s creditors are joining a tentative settlement that plaintiffs say includes million for over two dozen actresses and former employees who claim Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them, a lawyer said Thursday.The attorney, Karen...

Review: In Malick's 'A Hidden Life,' a hymn of defiance

Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” resides above the clouds in a small Alpine hamlet.Franz Jägerstätter lives there, in Austria, with his wife, Franziska, and their young daughters. They spend their days working and playing in the hillside fields, enraptured by their...

Wilde defends 'Jewell' reporter over sex-for-tips claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Olivia Wilde said Thursday she does not believe the real-life journalist she plays in the new film “Richard Jewel” “traded sex for tips" despite that insinuation in the movie. In a series of tweets, Wilde called late Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy...

Tokyo being billed as 'Recovery Olympics' -- but not for all

FUTABA, Japan (AP) — The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics will kick off in Fukushima, the northern...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

EU leaders break stalemate over climate target, claim deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU leaders broke a deadlock early Friday and claimed a deal over a key climate target by...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

UK vote eases corrosive uncertainty hurting businesses

LONDON (AP) — The British election result is a boost to the economy and financial markets in the short term...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) -- More than half the nation disapproves of President Barack Obama's policies to reduce stubbornly high unemployment, a new Associated Press-GfK poll said Friday as Obama refocused his job-creation efforts on a business-friendly vision emphasizing innovation and exports to other countries.

Marking the halfway point in his four-year term, the president used a visit to Schenectady, birthplace of the General Electric Co., to declare that his job is "putting our economy into overdrive" and to announce a restructured presidential advisory board stressing increased employment and greater business opportunities abroad.

"America's home to inventors and dreamers and builders and creators," Obama told workers at G.E.'s 23-acre turbine and generator plant. "You guys are a model of what's possible."

The trip came as a new AP-GfK poll showed more than half the nation disapproving the way Obama is handling the economy, 53 percent to 47 percent. That's actually a bit more favorable than two months ago, but those who say they see economic improvement has dropped to just 35 percent from 38 percent in August and 40 percent a year ago.

Lack of hope is greatest with lower-income people and those in the Northeast and the West, signaling potential political trouble spots for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

Obama's New York visit was the first of many treks during the second half of his term that the president is expected to take to put a more hopeful countenance on the economy amid high unemployment - now at 9.4 percent. Yet, while the White House was eager to highlight economic successes such as General Electric, Obama took pains not to oversell an optimistic view to a skeptical public.

"It's a great thing that the economy is growing, but it's not growing fast enough yet to make up for the damage that was done by the recession," he said.

Overall, 53 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is governing, and that includes a narrow majority of all-important independent voters. The job approval numbers represent a slight uptick from November and come after Obama negotiated with Republicans on a tax package and sought to build bridges with the business community.

Displaying stepped-up outreach, Obama on Friday named GE's chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, as the head of a Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The panel replaces Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which had been chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Obama announced late Thursday that Volcker, as expected, was ending his tenure on the panel.

Immelt has been an advocate of alternative forms of energy, and the GE facility Obama visited, the company's largest energy plant, is the future site of GE's advanced battery manufacturing program. New battery technology has become something of an Obama pet project as a symbol of innovation, clean energy and job creation

The trip followed on the heels of a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao that featured announcement of new trade deals worth about $45 billion and vows to ease restrictions on U.S. investments in China.

"We want to open up their markets so we have two-way trade, not just one-way trade," the president said.

As Obama made his pitch Friday, the top-ranking African-American in Congress called on the president to make a more concerted effort to help hard-hit minority communities. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said the recession had left minorities with extraordinarily high unemployment rates, and he called on Obama to direct at least 10 percent of any recovery efforts into communities that have had 20 percent or higher poverty rates for 30 years.

In Immelt, Obama has a useful corporate ally. As chief executive of a multinational company, Immelt was one of 20 CEOs who met with the president during a daylong summit at Blair House last month. He was one of 14 U.S. business leaders invited to meet with Chinese President Hu this week at the White House and was among the guests for the state dinner that followed.

General Electric is a multinational conglomerate with interests than range from energy to finances to media. GE is also a huge federal government contractor, and is currently on tap to build an engine for a Joint Strike Fighter that the administration doesn't want but that Congress insists on financing. On Friday, the White House renewed the president's threat to veto spending bills that contain money for the engine.

The GE plant is benefiting from a power turbine contract with India announced during Obama's Southeast Asia trip in November.

GE reported 52 percent growth in earnings on Friday, a result of increased equipment orders and lending. GE stock gained 5.8 percent, leading the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones industrial average.

His appointment adds another corporate insider to the White House orbit, underscoring the administration's efforts to build stronger ties to the business community. Earlier this month, Obama named former Commerce Secretary and JPMorgan Chase executive William Daley as chief of staff.

The change also signals Obama's intention to shift from policies that were designed to stabilize the economy after the 2008 financial meltdown to a renewed focus on increasing employment, a vexing task that could affect his re-election efforts. The White House says the board's mission will be to help generate ideas from the private sector to speed up economic growth and promote American competitiveness.

The Chamber of Commerce approved of the appointment, calling it a "promising step" toward creating jobs and enhancing U.S. competitiveness. But the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which brings together manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union, dismissed Immelt as "an outsourcing CEO" whose appointment would "alienate working class voters."

Indeed, GE has increasingly relied on foreign workers, a point Immelt alluded to Friday.

"I know that despite the fact that 60 percent of GE revenues are outside the United States," he said, "I personally and this country share responsibility and accountability to make sure this is the most competitive and productive country in the world

Tom Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, blamed Immelt for GE's decision to close plants in Virginia, Massachusetts and Ohio. Noting that two plants made incandescent bulbs, Buffenbarger said: "We are rewarding the guy who is turning off America's lights, literally."

 

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