05-22-2018  2:49 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Ejected for Trump-quoting shirt, student sues school

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon student suspended for wearing a "Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co." T-shirt has sued his school, claiming the punishment violated his right to free speech.According to a complaint filed May 18 in Oregon District Court, Addison Barnes wore the shirt to...

Police: 1 killed, 1 injured in Oregon shooting

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have made an arrest in a shooting that left one person dead and another wounded in a rural community west of Corvallis.Benton County Undersheriff Greg Ridler says deputies responded Monday night to a shooting in progress at a home on Tum Tum Road in...

Police identify driver in Oregon crash that killed 4

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have identified the wrong-way driver in a fiery, quadruple fatal crash in southwestern Oregon.Oregon State Police say a car driven by 65-year-old Gayle Ward of Vancouver, Washington, was southbound on Interstate 5 when it suddenly turned around and began...

Agencies warn of cougars after fatal attack on cyclist

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Local and federal agencies are warning residents in western Washington and central Oregon to be on the lookout for cougars.The Sunriver Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management both issued warnings Saturday after sightings of the animal were reported in Sunriver...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Clinton backing Abrams for Georgia governor

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the gubernatorial primary in Georgia (all times local):5:40 p.m.Hillary Clinton is urging Democrats in Georgia to make sure to vote in support of Stacey Abrams for governor.Clinton recorded a 60-second endorsement used by the Abrams campaign in direct phone calls...

Palestinians ask ICC to investigate alleged crimes by Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Accusing Israel of systematic crimes, including apartheid in the occupied territories, Palestinians on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court to open an investigation that could ultimately lead to charges against Israeli leaders.Israel immediately...

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly sexually abused and demeaned a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes, according to a lawsuit that furthers a string of misconduct accusations against the platinum-selling singer.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

Nielsen's top programs for May 14-20

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for May 14-20. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.1. "NCIS," CBS, 12.71 million.2. "Roseanne," ABC, 10.74 million.3. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 9.44 million.4. NBA Conference Finals: Golden State at Houston, Game 1, TNT, 8.9...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Judge sides with parents, boots adult son from New York home

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — In a real-life case of "Failure to Launch," an upstate New York judge Tuesday ordered...

Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declined to say Tuesday whether he has confidence in Deputy...

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott...

Tear gas, broken windows disrupt Paris labor march

PARIS (AP) — Clashes between police and groups of masked youths erupted Tuesday on the sidelines of a labor...

The Latest: Italy PM pick had 'no official status' at NYU

MILAN (AP) — The Latest on the law professor picked to be Italy's next premier (all times local):9:45...

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott...

Gov. John Kitzhaber
By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News

In this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber greets supporters at a Democratic election night party. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens, File)

 

After months of criticism, the launch of FBI and state-run investigations into his activities – and even a bit of heckling on national television – Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber Friday afternoon announced his resignation.

Kitzhaber and his fiancé, Cylvia Hayes, currently face an array of probes into alleged influence peddling related to her environmental consulting business, 3E Strategies

The move paves the way for Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown’s succession; she will be the first openly LGBT governor in office in U.S. history, according to the Human Rights Campaign, based in Washington D.C.

“Few are better prepared to lead the great state of Oregon than Kate Brown,” the organization said. “She's a known commodity to Oregonians with a distinguished record of service of over two decades. And while she'll make history as the nation's first sitting LGBT governor, the more important truth is that she's supremely capable of leading the state to better days ahead.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s office last week announced a criminal investigation into Hayes’ alleged use of her position as Kitzhaber’s fiance to earn consultant contracts with outside organizations that were also lobbying the state on policy issues; the pair also faces three ethics complaints filed in 2014 with the state Ethics Board.

“Today is a sad day for Oregon,” said Rosenblum. “I want to thank Governor Kitzhaber for his service to our state. The governor’s decision to resign will not affect our ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of his and Ms. Hayes’ conduct. Oregonians deserve nothing less than a full and fair investigation of all the facts, as well as the opportunity to reach a resolution that will truly allow our state to move forward.”

Former Oregon State Sen. Avel Gordly, who spent many years in Salem – and famously quit the Democratic Party before leaving office to become an independent in 2006 due to what she described as excessive partisanship among lawmakers -- called on Oregonians to take ownership of the state’s political system by returning to a tradition of “servant leaders.”

“This is a day and time of reckoning for all Oregonians,” Gordly said in a written statement to The Skanner News. “This day is not just about the tragic fall of one man forced to resign from office. We Oregonians get to look in the mirror and examine our role in the unfolding events. 

“We need to ask why it is that we have, for so long (at least three decades), tolerated and touted people and a political system that rewards nepotism, cronyism, old boy, old girl deal making- all behaviors framed in the arrogant and excluding belief that one party rule is a healthy condition that will foster inclusion and progress in our state.

“We desperately need new servant leaders. We need people who believe and act in a manner that presents public service as a noble calling and profession. We need more and inclusive servant leaders who, grounded in integrity and ethical behavior, will actively work to call out, reject and replace the toxic status quo way of doing business in Oregon.

“This is our Achilles heel. We need new and more inclusive servant leaders who will work for public policies that are right, just and fair. We need these servant leaders -- now.” 

Meanwhile, Kitzhaber’s friends and political allies issued statements of support for him as he leaves office.

“John Kitzhaber loves Oregon deeply and has contributed enormously to making our state a better place,” said US Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon. “Today, he did what was right for Oregon by resigning.  

“I know that our incoming Governor, Kate Brown, will continue the fight for our Oregon values, from clean air and clean water to a robust economy, and I look forward to working with her.”

Brown yesterday released a public statement that caught the attention of the whole nation, in which she said that Kitzhaber had called her back from a conference in Washington DC but then acted erratically when they met, denying he would quit but then discussing what would happen if he did.

“This is clearly a bizarre and unprecedented situation,” she said.

After Brown is sworn in as governor, she will choose her own replacement as Secretary of State. State law says only that she must choose someone from her own political party.

This is Kitzhaber’s statement in full:

Governor Kitzhaber Announces Resignation

Resignation effective at 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Governor Kitzhaber released the following statement today.
I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon. 
 It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken – it is to stand and fight for the cause.  For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue.
I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling – and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon – is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value.
It is something that is hard for me to comprehend – something we might expect in Washington, D.C. but surely not in Oregon. I do not know what it means for our shared future but I do know that it is seriously undermining civic engagement in this state and the quality of the public discourse that once made Oregon stand out from the pack.
Nonetheless, I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life. As a former presiding officer I fully understand the reasons for which I have been asked to resign. I wish Speaker Kotek and President Courtney and their colleagues on both sides of the aisle success in this legislative session and beyond. And I hope that they are truly committed to carrying forward the spirit of bipartisanship and collaboration that has marked the last four years in Oregon.
In 1968 I was inspired to commit my life to public service by the last campaign of Robert Kennedy. Forty-one years ago I started work as an emergency room doctor in Roseburg with a goal to make life better for those in my care. Ever since then, I have sought to keep that focus by trying to make things better for the people and the communities of this state that I love. I have had the extraordinary privilege of pursuing that work as a State Representative, State Senator, Senate President and as your Governor.
Over those years, I have had the honor to be a part of some remarkable achievements.

n  We responded to the worst recession and financial crisis since the Great Depression by rebuilding an Oregon economy that has added jobs and vitality in many regions of our state.  And, unlike many other parts of our nation, we did it together with cooperation and respect for Oregon and for each other.

n  We successfully defended Oregon’s spectacular natural heritage of clean water, clean air, forests, farmland and special places.  We created the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds and nearly 90 watershed councils.

 

n  We have also found ways to support our rural communities and to create jobs in our natural resources industries while enhancing the environment.

n  When forces of intolerance sought to divide us we stood up for the principal that every Oregonian deserves respect and basic rights – including the right to choose and the right to marry the person we love.

n  And I am proud that Oregon has not invoked the death penalty during my last four years on the watch.

n  We have stood by our working men and women steadfastly supporting collective bargaining and the right to for  a union.

n  We have transformed our health care system, improving access and quality while lowering costs through our new Coordinated Care Organizations.  Tonight over 95 percent of Oregonians will go to bed knowing that they have health insurance coverage.  We did that together.

n  In a three-day special session we reformed our public pension system, provided tax relief to small businesses and raised new revenue for mental health and for public education  -- the foundation of our future.

n  We have passionately pursued the goal of equity and opportunity – especially for those Oregonians who have been left behind: communities of color, English language learners and those in poverty, those in the rural parts of our state, the very young and the very old.

n  We have laid the groundwork for eliminating the achievement gap and ensuring that over 90 percent of our children could be reading at level in 3rd grade within five years.

n  And we are poised to reach agreements that will resolve the century-old water crisis in the Klamath Basin and expand irrigated agriculture in the Umatilla.

 
As important as what we have accomplished – how we have accomplished it is perhaps even more important. We have had a great tradition of overcoming partisan differences in this state and doing what is right for Oregon. That tradition had faltered, but over the past four years we have rebuilt a functional political center, reaching across party lines to do difficult, important things by reducing polarization and building community to help right the ship and chart a better course for our future.
I ran for a fourth term as your governor to continue that progress. But the questions that have been raised about my administration – specifically allegations against me concerning the work done by my fiancé Cylvia Hayes and the contracts she obtained during my last term – and the escalating media frenzy that has stemmed from this – has clearly reached the point of no return.
I am confident that I have not broken any laws nor taken any actions that were dishonest or dishonorable in their intent or outcome. That is why I asked both the Ethics Commission and the Attorney General to take a full and comprehensive look at my actions – and I will continue to fully cooperate with those ongoing efforts.  I am equally confident that once they have been concluded Oregonians will see that I have never put anything before my love for and commitment to Oregon and faithfully fulfilling the responsibilities of the public offices I have held
But it is also clear that this process will take months.
I have always had the deepest respect for the remarkable institution that is the Oregon Legislature; and for the office of the Governor. And I cannot in good conscience continue to be the element that undermines it. I have always tried to do the right thing and now the right thing to do is to step aside.
One thing I hope people know about me is that I love this state and its people, its rivers, its mountains and its landscapes with every fiber of my being. It is because of that love that I tender my resignation as Governor, effective at 10 a.m. on February 18, 2015. Secretary of State Kate Brown will take the oath of office as Oregon’s Governor at that time. Oregon will be in good hands and I wish her well.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you and our state. It has been the honor of my life. And I believe I can say that looking back over those years we have left it better than we found it. 

 

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