11-30-2021  5:06 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Oregon governor calls for special session to protect renters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With winter coming and federal funds drying up, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday she'll call a special session of the Legislature Dec. 13 to approve state funding for rental assistance and extend eviction protections issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

Oregon tests voluntary electronic tool to verify vaccination

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is working on an electronic vaccine verification tool that residents could use to share their COVID-19 vaccination status with businesses that ask for proof of verification. The Oregon Health Authority said the tool would be optional and people...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Attorney: Potter will testify at trial; 4 jurors seated

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot Daunte Wright will testify at her trial, her attorney said Tuesday as jury selection began with potential panelists questioned closely about their attitudes on policing, protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. ...

Black artist Josephine Baker honored at France's Pantheon

PARIS (AP) — Josephine Baker — the U.S.-born entertainer, anti-Nazi spy and civil rights activist — was inducted into France's Pantheon on Tuesday, becoming the first Black woman to receive the nation’s highest honor. Baker's voice resonated through streets of Paris'...

France is inducting entertainer Josephine Baker into its Pantheon, the 1st Black woman to earn nation’s highest honor

PARIS (AP) — France is inducting entertainer Josephine Baker into its Pantheon, the 1st Black woman to earn nation’s highest honor....

ENTERTAINMENT

Home of Marilyn Manson searched in sex assault investigation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Media storage devices and other items were seized as a search warrant was served on the home of rocker Marilyn Manson in a months-long investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence, authorities said Tuesday. Manson, 52, whose legal name is Brian...

'The Lost Daughter' wins big at 31st Gotham Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Maggie Gyllenhaal's Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lost Daughter" won four Gotham Awards including best feature film at the 31st Gotham Awards, the annual New York independent film celebration that serves as a boozy kickoff to Oscar season. Gyllenhaal won...

Review: In memoir, it's good to be comedy king Mel Brooks

“All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business” by Mel Brooks (Ballantine) Bagels and Nova Scotia lox for the writing team’s breakfast while punching up the script for “Blazing Saddles.” Earl Grey tea and English digestive biscuits while developing Gene Wilder’s...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Detective: Brothers detailed how Jussie Smollett staged hoax

CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers arrested for an alleged attack on Jussie Smollett recounted for Chicago police how...

States: Sackler family members abusing bankruptcy process

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge should reject a sweeping settlement to thousands of lawsuits against OxyContin...

3 lawyers readying arguments in high court abortion case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Leading up to Wednesday's major abortion case at the Supreme Court, the justices have heard...

German prosecutors probe alleged tax evasion by tax advisers

German investigators searched offices of accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the homes of current and...

EU draft pulled after Vatican complains Christmas 'canceled'

ROME (AP) — The European Commission on Tuesday retracted internal communication guidelines that had proposed...

Brazil sees 2 confirmed omicron cases, Latin America's 1st

SAO PAULO (AP) — Health officials in Brazil have reported the country's first confirmed cases of the omicron...

Helen Silvis of The Skanner News

The Seattle Schools board voted unanimously to fire Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson without cause Wednesday evening. School board members said the decision was necessary to restore trust in the school system after a state auditor's investigation into the district's Regional Small Business Development Program showed financial mismanagement. 

The audit said up to $1.5 million of district money was spent for "questionable" value to the school district, and said $280,000 had been spent on services never provided.

"What has occurred -- the financial scandal, the cronyism, the obvious lack of transparency -- is an insult to the taxpayers of Seattle," the board's vice-president Michael DeBell told the meeting. "You pay your property taxes, you obey the rules. Others should do the same."

Black community leaders in Seattle strongly disagreed with the school officials' characterization of the case, arguing that the audit was misleading and unfair. The auditors' investigation into mismanagement says the Seattle Urban League failed to properly bill and account for school district funds, which were used to run the Contractor Development & Competitiveness Center. The CDCC was set up in 2002 to help minority businesses -– historically locked out of government projects -- bid for a share of government work. The auditor's investigation also criticizes the lobbying and outreach work by leading advocates from the Black community.

In a press conference Wednesday, the Urban League said it had done everything required by the district liaison Silas Potter, who ran the BEX program, and other program managers. Potter said his managers knew everything he was doing and did not identify any problems. He told the Seattle Times that his supervisors approved his working methods.

"I've been thrown under the bus," he told the Seattle paper. "It's a lot bigger than Silas Potter. They're trying to minimize their exposure of what they've done and maximize what Silas has done."
 
The Urban League defended its work Wednesday in a press conference.
 "We absolutely did nothing wrong," said Tony Benjamin, manager of the  CDCC. "The auditor said we did nothing wrong. We just believe more clarification is needed on the items in question."

Benjamin said the audit was just flat out wrong in some areas. For example, he said, the audit states that a computer database system designed to link contractors and construction projects never worked. The Urban League developed a prototype and provided it to the district, he told The Skanner News, but the district decided not to further pursue the project.

Eddie Rye, a longtime advocate for minority and small businesses in construction, defended his role in the  program. Rye told The Skanner News that he was misled by school district management, who never hinted that there were problems.

"A lot of what was in the audit was personal opinion," Rye said. "They have no idea about we are doing in the community."

Rye was hired by the district to lobby and work with the small business training and technical assistance project. He says he and those he worked with believed in what they were doing and still do. When the 2009 Sutor group report flagged problems, the school district should have acted to change practices and communicate expectations to its contractors, he said.

"I can only be responsible for my own actions," he said.

"All this stuff was very helpful, The classes were very helpful to a lot of small business people. So to say nobody got anything out of the project, that is very far from the truth."
More about the audit and the investigation here.

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