05-08-2021  1:20 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Extends COVID Workplace Mask Rule Indefinitely

State officials say the rule, which garnered thousands of public comments, will be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

As Reparations Hit Roadblock, Oregon Lawmakers Look to U.S. Congress and Cities

Sen. Frederick pushed for eligible Black Oregonians to receive a lifetime annuity as remedy for slavery, systemic racism.

Landmark Gun Safety Bill Clears Final Vote

The Oregon Senate repassed Senate Bill 554 – approving modifications made in the House to add storage and safety requirements among the bill’s components.

Shooting Highlights Lack of Body Cams Among Portland Police

Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland park. They yelled at a homeless man to put up his hands. Moments later, two shots rang out.

NEWS BRIEFS

Street Gallery: Crossing the Redline

Street Gallery, invites the public to an intergenerational art exhibit: “Crossing the Redline” ...

Unemployment Fix Passes Oregon Senate, Helps Get More Oregonians Back to Work

Many Oregon employers believe this policy will help support their rapidly changing workforce needs, COVID-19 regulations, and worker...

Concrete Wall Around Seattle Police Precinct Comes Down

The city decided to take the wall down after hearing from the community ...

Peloton Recalls Treadmills, Halts Sales, After a Child Dies

Peloton is recalling about 125,000 of its treadmills less than a month after denying they were dangerous and saying it would not pull...

Free Online Classes Promote Sustainable Living

Clark County’s Master Composter Recycler program is offering a series of free sustainable living webinars this spring. ...

Judge nixes reduced Klamath River flows for sucker fish

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ruled against the Klamath Tribes in a lawsuit that accuses federal regulators of violating the Endangered Species Act by letting water levels fall too low for sucker fish to spawn in a lake that also feeds an elaborate irrigation system along the...

Portland: Feds to blame for cops failure in settlement deal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland city officials said they welcome constructive criticism from federal Justice Department lawyers who found the Police Bureau has failed to adhere to a settlement governing officers’ use of force. But officials also blame the federal government for contributing to...

OPINION

OP-ED: The Supreme Court Can Protect Black Lives by Ending Qualified Immunity

The three officers responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor are not the first to walk free after killing an unarmed Black person, and unfortunately, especially if things continue as they are, they will not be the last. ...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trade Arron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr & Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. ...

Editorial From the Publisher - Council: Police Reform Needed Now

Through years of ceaseless protest, activists have tried to hold Portland Police to account. ...

After the Verdicts

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum shares her thoughts after the verdicts ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In the French language, steps forward and back for women

LE PECQ, France (AP) — The fight to make the French language kinder to women took steps forward, and back, this week. Warning that the well-being of France and its future are at stake, the government banned the use in schools of a method increasingly used by some French...

Rachel Zoll, much-admired AP religion writer, dead at 55

Rachel Zoll, who for 17 years as religion writer for The Associated Press endeared herself to colleagues, competitors and sources with her warm heart and world-class reporting skills, died Friday in Amherst, Massachusetts, after a three-year bout with brain cancer. She was 55. ...

Man charged in stabbings of 2 Asian women a no-show in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The arraignment of a man who allegedly stabbed two older women without warning at a San Francisco bus stop was postponed Friday after he refused to leave his jail cell and appear in court. Patrick Thompson's arraignment on charges of attempted murder,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jhené Aiko, Saweetie to perform on AAPI advocacy TV special

NEW YORK (AP) — Platinum-selling performers of part-Asian descent, including R&B singer Jhené Aiko and rapper Saweetie, will perform on a TV special produced by The Asian American Foundation, the newly formed organization launched to improve AAPI advocacy. TAAF announced...

In the shadow of COVID-19, a toll on entertainment workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Like so many, the pandemic upended life for actor and dancer Rena Riffel. The Los Angeles-based performer needed help with rent, utilities and counselling when jobs suddenly dried up. “Being an artist, we are already very fragile with our finances," she...

David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in 'Water Man'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While starring in films like “Selma” and “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” actor David Oyelowo discovered a new passion: directing. Oyelowo was inspired to step behind-the-camera after learning different nuances of the craft from respected directors like...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Texas GOP's voting restriction bill passes House

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has become the latest Republican-dominated state to advance sweeping new limits on...

Corruption, economic woes spark deadly protests in Colombia

BUCARAMANGA, Colombia (AP) — Kevin Anthony Agudelo wanted to live in a country where corruption was not part of...

AP Interview: NASA chief big on climate, hedges on moon date

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new administrator is big on tackling climate and diversifying the agency's...

Ahead of Harris meeting, Mexico president accuses US

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Just before an online meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Friday, Mexico President...

Deadly police shootout prompts claims of abuse in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A bloody, hour-long gunbattle in a Rio de Janeiro slum echoed into Friday, with...

AP PHOTOS: Spain takes vaccines to the rural homebound

SA POBLA, Spain (AP) — While thousands flock daily to health clinics and ad-hoc vaccination points across Spain,...

Gene Johnson the Associated Press

Philip Dawdy of Sensible Washington



SEATTLE (AP) -- Marijuana activists are taking another shot at a ballot measure legalizing the drug for adults under state law -- but they hope lawmakers beat them to it.

The organization Sensible Washington filed an initiative Wednesday that would remove all state criminal and civil penalties for the possession use and sale of marijuana in any quantity. But one of the effort's organizers, Philip Dawdy, said the group would likely be happy to drop it if the Legislature passes a bill introduced this week that would make pot available in state liquor stores.

``The Legislature can save us all a bunch of time and silly television commercials in the fall by passing the bill,'' Dawdy said.

The group needs 241,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Sensible Washington tried to get a similar initiative on the ballot last year, but fell about 50,000 signatures short. That proposal was criticized for not including a state regulatory system overseeing the marijuana industry; advocates insisted that the state's single-subject rule for initiatives barred them from removing legal penalties and regulating the drug in the same measure.

This time, the initiative includes language directing the Legislature to develop such regulations, including possibly taxing marijuana sales.

``It clears up any issue about whether we believe in regulations and would support them,'' said Sensible Washington attorney Douglas Hiatt.

He also said the group has received support from farmers around the state who are interested in growing hemp, cannabis plants cultivated for their fibers to make clothes, rope and myriad other items.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, filed a bill that would allow the sale of marijuana to people 21 and over through state liquor stores. The Liquor Control Board would issue licenses to commercial growers, and revenue from sales taxes and license fees -- possibly hundreds of millions of dollars a year, according to supporters -- could help pay for health care and substance-abuse treatment.

The bill also says the state would save millions of dollars a year in law enforcement costs. The Liquor Control Board would set limits on how much cannabis farmers could grow and how much adults could possess; criminal penalties would remain in place for amounts in excess of those limits and for interstate transportation. The board would be prohibited from advertising marijuana, and it would also legalize the cultivation of cannabis for hemp.

A similar effort by Dickerson failed in committee last year.

Though some law enforcement officials in Washington, including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, support the legalization and taxation of marijuana, Attorney General Rob McKenna's spokeswoman said he would oppose Dickerson's bill if it gets a hearing, and Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Executive Director Don Pierce said his group would probably do the same.

Pierce said he hadn't had time to read the measure or survey his members about it, but he cited a speech former Seattle police chief and current White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske gave to California law enforcement officials last year. Kerlikowske referenced studies linking chronic marijuana use with mental illness and other health problems, and argued that regulating and taxing cannabis would not be the cure-all proponents make it out to be because the black market would adapt to offer tax-free marijuana.

Proponents argue that marijuana is less harmful and addictive than alcohol, and that prohibition has cost taxpayers -- and defendants -- exorbitantly while doing nothing to reduce the drug's use.

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Kevin Saddler