06-24-2018  12:20 am      •     
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 ...

On the hunt in Oregon for a rare Sierra Nevada red fox

BEND, Ore. (AP) — In a dense forest at the base of Mount Bachelor, two wildlife biologists slowly walked toward a small cage trap they hoped would contain a rare red fox species. Jamie Bowles, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife technician in Bend, and Tim Hiller, founder of the...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Abuse survivor finds new life, success in Pacific Northwest

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Jonathan Dutson long dreamed of moving to the Pacific Northwest, where its lush greenery offered a respite from the scorching Arizona sun he grew up beneath. But Dutson was looking as much for a new home as he was looking for an escape.Dutson was one of 700 who walked...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

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

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Han Solo's Blaster from 'Return of the Jedi' tops auction

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Han Solo's Blaster from the "Return of the Jedi" has sold for 0,000 at a Las Vegas auction.Julien's Auctions says Ripley's Believe It or Not bought the item Saturday.The sci-fi weapon was the top-selling item at the Hollywood Legends auction.The blaster was part of a...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In about-face, Iraq's maverick al-Sadr moves closer to Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq's...

US moves 100 coffins to N. Korean border for war remains

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to...

New Zealand leader names daughter Neve, leaves hospital

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford...

AP PHOTOS: Germany salvages campaign on Day 10 of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Germany midfielder Toni Kroos scored a dramatic late winner to come from behind and beat...

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

In about-face, Iraq's maverick al-Sadr moves closer to Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq's...

Greg Belisle
By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News

Incumbent Portland Public Schools board member Greg Belisle announced this weekend he is not running for re-election.

The current Zone 7 representative on the panel, Belisle’s move opens up the race for anyone from Lents or surrounding neighborhoods.

Board co-chair for two terms since first winning a seat in 2011, Belisle has worked in nonprofit management as well as education. He currently works with the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program, is a member of his children’s PTA as well as AFSCME Local 88.

Belisle on Saturday released this memo on his decision not to run:

Dear Portland Public Schools community,

I have decided not to run again for the Portland School Board. It has been my great honor and privilege to serve our community these past four years. I have chosen not to run so I can spend more time with my family.

Portland Public Schools is a district on the rise. With consistently rising graduation rates, a narrowing of academic racial disparities on multiple measures, four years of successful capital projects, and responsible financial reserves, the district is in the strongest position it has been in decades. These successes have been a result of a priority focus on students, difficult decisions, strong voter support, and extraordinary leadership of Superintendent Smith who has led the district under the most challenging circumstances.

This progress and momentum makes my decision not to run again especially difficult. The challenges and pressures continue to increase in public education and it is hard to find people committed to all student to serve in this volunteer capacity. This election will be pivotal in whether we continue to make progress or the progress reverses.   

I have been clear throughout my service that the most significant challenge facing education in Oregon is funding. If we are to see marked improvements, we will not only need a significant increase in investment by the legislature, but the revenue and expense structure in the state must be fundamentally changed. Even in the best of financial times, the current structure's volatility will undermine any investment or progress.Oregon has a history of bold leadership and action. I encourage us to gather our hopes, overcome our fears, and act boldly to write a different story for this generation of students and those to come. 

It is an exciting time for Portland Public Schools. The district is growing with parents confidently sending their kids to Portland Public Schools. Student achievement is improving. And our community will be proud of the facility upgrades and modernizations voters approved as part of the 2012 capital bond program. It will be a significant community accomplishment when we approve the second capital bond in 2016 and reaffirm our commitment to the 32 year plan to rebuild or modernize all our schools. 

Thank you for your support, encouragement and engagement over my four year term. I ask you stay engaged and continue to support the district in the multitude of ways our community has historically. For while we have made progress, there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Sincerely, 

Greg Belisle 

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