06-24-2018  1:38 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

Marion County deputies investigating suspicious death

LYONS, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials are investigating after a man was found dead in a pond near his home in Lyons.The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to the scene Saturday afternoon after the body was found. Detectives also responded to the scene because the...

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Authorities investigating fatal Minneapolis police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota state authorities are investigating after Minneapolis police shot and killed a black man they say was firing a handgun as he walked outside.A demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon at a police precinct headquarters and a vigil near the north Minneapolis...

Jews, Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred

BERLIN (AP) — Some 25 Jews and Muslims rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.Some were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish community members donning skullcaps...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brigitte Nielsen, 54, has given birth to her fifth child

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brigitte Nielsen says she has given birth at age 54.The model, actress and reality star and her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi released a statement to People magazine Saturday saying their daughter Frida was born Friday in Los Angeles and weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces (2.3...

Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from award

CHICAGO (AP) — A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a major children's book award over concerns with how the early-to-mid 20th century author portrayed blacks and Native Americans.The Association for Library Service to Children's...

'Jurassic World' sequel stomps its way to 0 million debut

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs still rule the box office."Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" surpassed expectations to open with 0 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canada theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. While that total didn't approach the record-breaking...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Trump officials pledge to reunite families amid border chaos

Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after...

Trump tweets, hard-right voters hamper GOP immigration push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling...

Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser said in an interview published...

US Defense chief to visit China amid S. China Sea tensions

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in...

Libyan coast guard intercepts 450 migrants bound for Europe

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard intercepted Sunday some 460 African migrants, including dozens of children...

Jeff Tryens

Manhattan kids are a sophisticated lot. Two boys in the apartment building next door are picked up for school every morning by a limo. Parents talk to their kids as if they're little adults. Five-year-olds dress like they just stepped out of a clothing catalog. And then there's the blue seal. These little Manhattan sophisticates still delight in rocking back and forth atop this old-timey coin operated critter chained to the front of our corner drugstore. Pure un-jaded kid!

I put out my second Mayor's Management Report last week. Two hundred and twenty pages of performance statistics! After working my tail off to make the thing more interesting, I was gratified to see we got two good size stories in the New York Times and a bunch of other press. Every imaginable political sensitivity rears its ugly head in the final stages of putting out the MMR. This time it was the head of a large department phoning City Hall the night before we published insisting that we remove a graph because it showed an undesirable trend that this commissioner deemed misleading. We lost the graph but the press picked up on the issue nonetheless. Ha!

When I took this job I decided that I would try to maintain an arm's length relationship with it. No more taking losses personally. And it has worked. I had no trouble sleeping the night I lost that little battle.  It's a funny business. Our ironclad policy is information transparency and yet, by their very nature, people close to even the most committed politician see it as their business to put a positive spin on anything that might negatively impact the boss.

NYC government has re-immersed itself in the business of changing people's behaviors to improve their health. For a long time, the focus was on cigarette smoking, now it's obesity. So, in anticipation of the now famous partial ban on large, sugary drinks, my observation team (SCOUT) was tasked with the job of spot checking city government vending machine to insure they were in compliance with "Beverage Vending Machine Standards." Those would be: 1) a maximum of two slots for beverages above 25 calories, regardless of the number of slots; 2) at least two slots must contain zero calorie water; 3) only water and seltzer may be displayed at eye level; 4) all high calorie beverages must be 12 oz.; 5) no advertizing for high calorie drinks on the machine; and 6) caloric information must appear on all containers. Oh, and anyone buying more than one high calorie drink receives a mild electric shock when reaching in the machine for the second container. (Kidding.) One might wonder why we're pushing bottled water given the enormous waste associated with packaging water but that's the yin and yang of attempting to legislate behavior.

Last month, Pat and I went to a production of "Richard III" in Riverside Park. The "stage" was a large terrace adjoining a long set of stairs leading up to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Very cool setting and a stellar production. Just one small problem - the front of the "stage" was, in real life, a walkway to and from Lower Riverside Park. So in the middle of a particularly dramatic scene a woman with pooch walks right between the audience and the performance. I'm thinking, "Man, I'll bet she was embarrassed!" Fifteen minutes later, she walks back through the play from the other direction, totally oblivious.

What's that funny structure that suddenly appeared in the desolate enclosed courtyard of our building? Why a sukkah, of course. Also known as the "holiday hut," a sukkot is a temporary structure where some of our neighbors are taking their meals during the sukkah thanksgiving observance acknowledging the hardships that Jewish people experienced after their exodus from Egypt. During this week-long holiday, one sees little huts wheeled around town by Hassidic boys to allow people to take a moment out of their busy lives to contemplate their good fortune. All meals are shared in the sukkah, come rain or shine. It's a lovely tradition.

Well, that's all for now. Pat and I leave for China today. I'm speaking about NYC performance management at Lanzhou University and then we're off to the Tibetan region of Gansu province for horse trekking and monastery circumambulating.

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