01-28-2023  6:39 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Russell leads SE Missouri State over Eastern Illinois 79-68

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Phillip Russell scored 19 points and Southeast Missouri State beat Eastern Illinois 79-68 on Saturday. Russell added six assists for the Redhawks (12-11, 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Adam Larson and Israel Barnes scored 11 points apiece. Larson blocked three...

Brown, Hodge lift Missouri over No. 12 Iowa State 78-61

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Kobe Brown scored 20 points, and D’Moi Hodge scored 17 points to help Missouri beat No. 12 Iowa State 78-61 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday. “To have a quad one win in January is very important,” Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. “I think...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since '97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Joe Henry returns with varied 'kind-word blues' set

“All the Eye Can See,” Joe Henry (earMUSIC) “There goes the sun,” Joe Henry sings, sounding nothing like George Harrison as he contemplates our long, cold, lonely winter. “All the Eye Can See” is the most diverse album of Henry’s career, surrounding his...

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump opens 2024 run, says he's 'more committed' than ever

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 White House bid with stops Saturday in...

Pence: 'Mistakes were made' in classified records handling

MIAMI (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he takes “full responsibility” after...

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid...

Study: Enough rare earth minerals to fuel green energy shift

The world has enough rare earth minerals and other critical raw materials to switch from fossil fuels to renewable...

Brutality of Russia's Wagner gives it lead in Ukraine war

Fierce battles in eastern Ukraine have thrown a new spotlight on Russia's Wagner Group, a private military company...

Challenge for Tunisian democracy: Getting voters to show up

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia was once the Arab world’s hope for a new era of democracy. Now it’s in the...

By Cain Burdeau and Michael Kunzelman of the Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) –Gray skies couldn't dampen the spirit as Mardi Gras revelers partied on Fat Tuesday in waves of parading, costuming, drinking –and political commentary.

Some bared flesh and threw beads on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, while others wore costumes lampooning the BP oil spill or other headline-grabbing events. Overall, this year's Carnival season has been among the most raucous since Hurricane Katrina, partly because it overlaps with many colleges' spring breaks.

Clarinetist Pete Fountain kicked off street parading shortly after dawn with his marching group. The traditionally African-American Krewe of Zulu and the parade of Rex, King of Carnival, followed. Mayor Mitch Landrieu led Zulu on horseback before dismounting at the antebellum-columned Gallier Hall for champagne toasts with Mardi Gras royalty.

The party would go on until midnight, when Carnival is replaced by the Christian season of Lent.

For many, the fun came in watching costumed partiers – and their themes.

A troupe of black-clad skeletons known as a Bone Gang paraded through the streets in a tradition dating from the 1800s that has voodoo overtones.

"The idea is it's kind of a warning for people in the neighborhoods, for the children in particular, to live right because we're all going to die,'' said Michael Crutcher, a Bone Gang member and college instructor.

In the Treme neighborhood, Ashley Scharfenstein, 24, dressed as a peacock with a black corset. She was jiving to the music at the street party, then strolled off to the French Quarter.

"Wherever the music takes us, we're going,'' she said.

Other costumed groups added political barbs to their revelry.

In Bywater, walking clubs gathered for the annual saunter to the Quarter known as the St. Anne's parade.

"This is what Mardi Gras is all about, lampooning,'' said Pat Kent, a retired hospital executive clad as a gun-toting priest. He and a friend were going as the "krewe of guns in church.''

"Today I'm packing for Jesus,'' he said. Kent said his costume was in protest of a new Louisiana law allowing people to carry weapons in church.

Nearby, the occasional clown, a Moammar Ghadafi lookalike, women in flowing dresses and a Roman soldier gathered.

In the French Quarter, satire was in bloom as maskers took aim at last year's BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Allen Logue, 58, was clad as a one-man oil spill clean-up crew. The oil field consultant from Barataria, La., didn't have to do much shopping to build his costume. He already had a hard-hat helmet and BP-branded sweat shirt from work he did for the company in Alaska.

"The only thing I had to shop for was the Jim Beam and that was to ease the pain of the oil spill,'' Logue said.

Logue also carried super-absorbent kitchen napkins to clean any mess he might encounter, though the most likely spill on Bourbon Street would be beer and not crude oil.

For Paul and Amy Maudive of Long Beach, Calif., coming to Mardi Gras has been a tradition since 1976. Each year they dress in an Elvis-themed costume. After Hurricane Katrina they wrapped themselves in the blue tarps that covered so many blown-away rooftops, and last year they billed themselves as Elvitar, in tribute to the movie "Avatar.''

This year, they were all oil spill.

Dressed in oil-stained jumpsuits with Elvis-style capes, they'd glued plastic birds and crabs to their costumes.

Sylvia Beyer, 57, of New Orleans led a group of 5 women in grass skirts and hats with the BP logo. On the back of their shirts were slogans, such as Broken Promises, Brazen Polluters and Bloody Pathetic. As they walked along, they passed out makeshift voodoo dolls with a photo of former BP CEO Tony Hayward pasted to each.

"We just wanted to stick it to BP. We put more time into these costumes than BP did in their disaster plan,'' Beyer said.

Hal and Sharon Moser of New Orleans mocked the new national healthcare program with their outfits. Hal Moser strolled along Bourbon Street dressed in a hospital gown with bloody bandages and a fake ax pasted to his head. "I've got a split-open headache from it,'' Moser said. His wife dressed as a nurse.

The Transportation Security Administration also took hits. One group outfitted as TSA inspectors carried signs referring to body cavity searches.

John Chapman of Mandeville, La., tried a different approach. He dressed as a Chilean miner, complete with an escape pod attached to his back.

Locals were in a triumphant mood, and not without reason.

New Orleans – America's poster child of disaster –has come a long way since Hurricane Katrina. Its beloved New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl last year and it has largely overcome the disaster of the BP oil spill.

This year, the timing of Mardi Gras helped. It fell later than usual and coincides with spring break for college students. Students have been out in force –giving more punch to the annual pre-Lenten celebration.

Two friends on spring break from Wilmington College made a 12-hour drive from Ohio.

Garret Lingoe, 21, a junior, clutched a beer at midmorning Tuesday as he talked in awe of Mardi Gras. "I didn't know I was coming here until about 5 days ago and I'm sure happy I did.''

Seth Howard, a 23-year-old senior, echoed his sentiments. "Everybody down here is just so nice and laid back.''

Ali Miller, 23, an early childhood education major at Southeastern Louisiana University, was jubilant as she walked Tuesday morning after a long night of drinking in the French Quarter.

"There is nothing like New Orleans,'' she said. "I would never ever want to grow up anywhere but here! And Mardi Gras is the craziest time you could ever have in life – I don't know what else to say.''

Mardi Gras was being celebrated across the Gulf Coast, in cities including Mobile, Ala., and Biloxi, Miss. In the Cajun country of southwest Louisiana, masked riders on horseback continued the tradition of riding from town to town making merry along the way.



MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.