12-08-2022  11:53 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Merkley Introduces Bill to Ban Private Equity Firms from Predatory Housing Practices

End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act seeks to return single-family housing stock to families.

US Judge Gives Initial Victory to Oregon's Tough New Gun Law

A federal judge delivered an initial victory to proponents of a sweeping gun-control measure to take effect this week while giving law enforcement more time to set up a system for permits

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

NEWS BRIEFS

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Awash in illegal marijuana, Oregon looks at toughening laws

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In 2014, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana after being told it would eliminate problems caused by “uncontrolled manufacture” of the drug. Illegal production of marijuana has instead exploded. Oregon lawmakers, who have...

Shots reported near SC power facility, no damage found

RIDGEWAY, S.C. (AP) — Duke Energy said it found no sign of property damage at a hydropower station in South Carolina where gunfire was reported nearby. Thousands of Duke Energy customers in neighboring North Carolina lost power Saturday night after authorities said one or more...

Saxen's 19 help Saint Mary's knock off Missouri State 66-46

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen's 19 points helped Saint Mary's defeat Missouri State 66-46 on Wednesday. Saxen had six rebounds for the Gaels (7-3). Aidan Mahaney scored 13 points and Alex Ducas finished with nine points. Chance Moore led the Bears (4-5) in...

Purdue Fort Wayne takes down Southeast Missouri State 89-68

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarred Godfrey scored 19 points as Purdue Fort Wayne beat Southeast Missouri State 89-68 on Wednesday night. Godfrey had eight rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons (6-4). Bobby Planutis scored 14 points, and Quinton Morton-Robertson had 13. ...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court was wrapping up the final orders for the term. Among the cases before them was that of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had been sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage...

Pennsylvania panel updates anti-discrimination regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state panel on Thursday narrowly approved new definitions of sex, religious creed and race in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination regulations, with three members appointed by Democrats in favor and two Republican appointees voting no. The Independent...

St. Louis mayor appoints commission to consider reparations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is appointing a reparations commission that will “recommend a proposal to begin repairing the harms that have been inflicted” by slavery, segregation and racism. St. Louis joins a growing list of places trying to determine how to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Lonely souls at the cinema in ‘Empire of Light’

Olivia Colman plays the manager of a movie theater in Sam Mendes’ new film “ Empire of Light.” It’s a cinema palace in a small town on England’s south coast that is showing its age. The once grand establishment used to play films on multiple screens on multiple floors. The top floor even...

How Michelle Williams found the music of Mitzi Fabelman

NEW YORK (AP) — In both Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” and Kelly Reichardt’s upcoming “Showing Up,” Michelle Williams plays women where life — societal hurdles and daily nuisances — gets in the way of self-expression. Mitzi Fabelman, the early-1960s matriarch...

Review: 'The Whale' is a hard but astounding film to watch

The center of gravity of “The Whale” is obviously the 600-pound man at its center. Look closely, though, and he's the one with a soul as light as a feather. Charlie is a reclusive, morbidly obese English literature teacher unable and unwilling to stop eating himself to death. As...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pausing breast cancer treatment for pregnancy appears safe

Young women diagnosed with breast cancer often must delay pregnancy for years while they take hormone-blocking...

Northern Plains tribes bring back their wild 'relatives'

FORT BELKNAP AGENCY, Mont. (AP) — Native species such as swift foxes and black-footed ferrets disappeared from...

PHOTOS: The highs and lows of entertainment's 2022 comeback

After keeping the world at arm’s length for roughly two years, the entertainment world could finally get more...

WHO: COVID disruption resulted in 63,000 more malaria deaths

The coronavirus pandemic interrupted efforts to control malaria, resulting in 63,000 additional deaths and 13...

Families dismayed at trial for Rio-Paris Air France crash

PARIS (AP) — Families of the 228 people killed on a Rio-Paris flight that crashed in 2009 were hoping for...

Nobel laureate: No lasting peace in Ukraine without justice

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — There will be no lasting peace in Ukraine until there is justice and human rights,...

By The Skanner News | 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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