06-21-2018  7:00 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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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

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MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

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

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Oregon allows rancher to kill a wolf after calves attacked

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife managers have issued a permit that allows a rancher in Eastern Oregon to kill a wolf after three of his calves were injured by the predators last week.The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday they confirmed that the calves were hurt by wolves...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...


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 ...


3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...


Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...


No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Suu Kyi says outside hate narratives driving Myanmar tension

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A social media account run by the office of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi quotes...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Bruce Poinsette of The Skanner News

Duke Ellington blowing out his birthday candles

Richard Brown needs your help. Brown acquired two photos from a local tavern taken in 1943, including one of jazz legend Duke Ellington celebrating his 55th birthday. However, he can't identify most of the people captured in these moments in Portland history. With the help of Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and citizens of Portland, Brown hopes to trace the names of the people, help bring communities together and educate people on the city's often forgotten history.

"There were a lot of things going on in the community back in 1943," he says. "Everybody knew everybody, unlike today. People don't have the connections that they had back in the day."

For example, Brown says he was at the Elks Club recently when a woman came in and by chance, someone in another group recognized her. After people in the group made connections, they realized that some of them were actually related.

"You have to stay connected," says Brown. "One of the things that gentrification has done is make that even more difficult. When the community was out here in North and Northeast Portland, it was easy to stay connected.

"That was the impetus for me to find people in the community. Once you get a name it's pretty easy to go backwards to find out how these people are connected."

The two black and white photos are currently housed at the Multnomah County office. One shows Ellington blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, surrounded by women and instruments in the background. The other captures 30 people posing at a bar.

Brown originally acquired the photos two or three years ago. He says the process of reaching out to identify people has been like "pulling hen's teeth".

Before Smith offered to help, Brown was carrying the pictures in his car and pulling them out in random conversations, with virtually no success. To date, he says he has met a couple of people who recognize a couple of people but that's about it.

Smith says she was happy to help Brown in his efforts.

Via email, she says, "Richard is a person who has devoted himself to making our community a better place. A big part of achieving that goal is learning more about the history of where we all live and the people who came before us. When Richard showed me these photos and said he was trying to identify the folks in them, I immediately thought two things: what a great way for members of our community to participate to fill in a piece of our community's history and what an innovative way to do it."

Brown is a Smithsonian community scholar and a veteran photographer. After finishing his service in the military he moved to Oregon in 1976 and did photography for the Portland Observer. He has put on historical exhibits and continues to do workshops at schools. Recently he has started documentary photography.

Richard Brown

"My thing was photographing community people," says Brown. "Every time I make a discovery it's really great. I think that kind of excitement can get young people more involved in reading and research. Then maybe they'll decide there's something to education."

During one particular workshop at Jefferson High School, Brown gave students cameras and tape recorders and had them interview the oldest member of their families. One student was only able to get one picture and ask his great aunt one question because she took 45 minutes to answer. Brown gave him a roll of film to take more pictures but the student was absent the next two days of class. It turns out that the student's great aunt had died over the weekend. That's when the student found out the value of his interview, says Brown.

"A lot of people don't like to do it because they don't think they know what to say," he says. "I tell them, older people, especially people that have been retired a while and don't do a whole lot, they want somebody to talk to. You don't even have to ask them a question. They will talk you to sleep. They want to tell those stories but no one wants to hear them.

"Generations are not talking. Even when I was a youngster, I don't remember my parents sitting down with us and talking about their growing up. And I regret that."

For more information on the photos, contact Richard Brown at 503-289-0707.

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