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NORTHWEST NEWS

Paris Train Attack Hero Makes Bid for Congress From Oregon

Over 60% of Alek Skarlatos' campaign funding comes from out of state, Democratic incumbent Peter DeFazio said during their debate. Some came from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

President of Portland NAACP Resigns Ahead of November Election

Rev. Mondainé denies allegations of abuse

Candidate Iannarone Welcomes Ruling on Complaint Against Mayor Wheeler

Mayoral challenger Sarah Iannarone has welcomed the Multnomah County Circuit court ruling requiring City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero to look into a complaint against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for loaning his own re-election campaign 0,000

Some Hospitals in Crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

The global surge in coronavirus infections is hitting the United States hard and overwhelming hospitals across the nation

NEWS BRIEFS

Confederate Flag Not Welcome in Oregon Historic Cemeteries

Oregon’s Commission on Historic Cemeteries recommends Confederate flags not be allowed in historic cemeteries, but cemeteries that...

The Last Day to Safely Mail Your Ballot is Tuesday, October 27

Ballot envelopes must be signed and ballots received by the elections office by Election Day, Tuesday, November 3 at 8:00 PM. Postmark...

iPhone Users: Beware of the 'Apple Support' Scam

Oregonians to hang up on unsolicited phone calls that sound like they are from Apple. ...

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Give Virtual Lecture Nov. 9 at Oregon State University

Gates is a Harvard University professor and host of a groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning PBS genealogy series “The African...

New Crisis Line will Serve BIPOC Community

Lines for Life have launched a new crisis line dedicated to and staffed by Black, Indigenous and People of Color ...

Governor extends Oregon's state of emergency due to COVID-19

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday extended Oregon's declaration of a state of emergency until Jan. 2 as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.The Oregon Health Authority reported 391 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the state total to...

Eugene man charged with murder, bias crime in man's death

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene man has been charged with murder and bias crime in connection with the fatal shooting of a man Monday in east Salem, police said. Salem police detectives arrested and charged 46-year-old Manuel North with second-degree murder, first-degree bias crime, and unlawful...

Missouri wide receiver arrested, dismissed from team

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri wide receiver Maurice Massey has been dismissed from the team after being arrested, school officials said Monday.Massey, 20, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of third-degree domestic assault, fourth-degree assault and first-degree property damage, according to...

Missouri grinds out 1st victory over Kentucky in five years

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri kept handing the ball to Larry Rountree, and Kentucky barely got a chance to take a turn. Rountree carried 37 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers dominated the clock and the Wildcats in a 20-10 victory on Saturday.Missouri (2-2 Southeastern...

OPINION

Open Letter to the Community on the Multnomah County Circuit Court Judicial Election

History has shown us that judges impact systemic change and have the opportunity to include the voices of our communities in the process. ...

Squaring Away the Cube

When I first heard that entertainer Ice Cube is supporting Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid, I did not believe it. ...

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

The Skanner News Statewide Election 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Portland Mayor, Portland City Council, and more ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Philadelphia victim's family sought ambulance, not police

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The family of a Black man killed by Philadelphia police officers in a shooting caught on video had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said.Police said Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was wielding a knife...

Tennessee Senate nominee connects activism to election

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — When the Rev. Tondala Hayward learned about plans to build a landfill next to her church in a predominantly Black, working-class neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, she called Marquita Bradshaw.Bradshaw spoke out against the landfill and helped Hayward mobilize...

Philadelphia victim's family sought ambulance, not police

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The family of a Black man killed by Philadelphia police officers in a shooting caught on video had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday.Police said Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was wielding...

ENTERTAINMENT

If Trump wanted people to avoid '60 Minutes,' it didn't work

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump can still be a potent television draw, although in the case of “60 Minutes” this past week, it probably wasn't what he intended.The 17.4 million people who watched the CBS newsmagazine, featuring interviews with Trump and Democratic...

Jon Stewart will be back in the host's chair for Apple TV+

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jon Stewart is returning to TV, more than five years after bowing out as host of “The Daily Show” and with a new home at Apple TV+.Stewart will host an hour-long, current affairs series that will explore topics of national interest as well as his advocacy...

Chrissy Teigen delivers heartfelt essay on miscarriage

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chrissy Teigen wrote a heartfelt message about the recent loss of her third child with husband John Legend.Teigen delivered the essay in a Medium post Tuesday. It was her first public response since she and Legend announced the loss of their son, Jack, in a heart-wrenching...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fitting finale: Dodgers win title, Turner tests positive

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — No large dogpile, no champagne and a mask on nearly every face — the Los...

Hurricane Zeta speeds toward a storm-weary Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Zeta was speeding toward storm-weary Louisiana with landfall expected...

New deaths as fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh keeps flaring

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Deadly fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region...

Qatar apologizes, investigates forced airport examinations

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar apologized Wednesday after authorities forcibly examined female...

Strong typhoon slams Vietnam; at least 2 dead, 26 missing

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Typhoon Molave slammed into Vietnam with destructive force Wednesday, killing at...

Poles join nationwide strike in revolt over abortion ruling

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — People across Poland are vowing to stay off their jobs on Wednesday as part of a...

Vote like your life depends on it
Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

PRESS RELEASE
January 21 2010
The Skanner News
Contact Bernie Foster mailto:[email protected]

Audit Finds Minority Program Failed

Construction industry disparity continues 13 years after city effort

Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade released an audit of Portland's Sheltered Market Program Wednesday that showed few successes and many failures for the 13-year-old program.
The program, which aims to increase the market share of minority and women-owned construction company contracts with the city, succeeded in many ways, but it also failed to help some of the companies it was supposed to help.
"These problems led to a number of costly contract failures and left many participants ill-prepared to compete in the local construction industry," Griffin-Valade said in her report.
Since the program began in 1997, there have been 167 contracts valued at $13.7 million awarded to participating firms, as well as training.
There was no system set up to handle the training and mentorship programs, which left some contractors unable to manage contracts they were awarded. According to the auditor, members of the Bureau of Purchasing, who ran the program, believed hands-on work was the best way to train for the job. This practice resulted in a number of failed contracts and losses to the city.
Many contractors hired subcontractors to complete 100 percent of their work, despite policies limiting subcontract work to 50 percent of the job.
Over time, the number of program participants declined, leading to less competition. Of the 306 firms that were admitted to the program since 1997, 66 have graduated, 123 were removed by the city and 56 dropped out. The Bureau of Purchases failed to track program graduates to determine whether they were benefitting from the services offered.
The auditor's report says even the basis for the program – reducing disparity in construction contracts for the city – was being ignored. About 51 percent of contracts went to Caucasian males and 11 percent to African Americans – the only minority group with a significant disparity in the construction field in 1996.
The city has commissioned a new study to current disparities due to be completed in 2010, at a cost of $831,000.
Workhorse Construction owner James Posey, who was involved in the 1996 disparity study, says the Sheltered Market Program has done the minority contractors in this city more harm than good.
"Anytime the city does a half-handed job, it comes back to hurt the broader minority community," he told The Skanner News. Posey is the former co-chair of the National Association of Minority Contractors – Oregon, but no longer represents that organization.
He says the real failure comes from the city's decision to treat minority contractors differently, which breeds contempt from traditional companies.
"They set aside a few contracts that were peanuts for $200,000," Posey said. "When White guys could have larger ones with no adverse consequences."
The audit report comes on the heels of a deal between the Alliance of Minority Chambers of Commerce and the City Council to include at least one minority on all panels that review and award non-low-bid contracts. Roy Jay, president of the alliance, is heading up the task of finding qualified members for these construction boards. It should be underway in the spring.
Bernie Foster, The Skanner News publisher said the auditor's findings were no surprise to him. "This goes way beyond the sheltered market program," he said. "Certain companies have made a living by abusing the system."
Foster gave an example from his own dealings with a program set up to increase minority contracting opportunities. His company was working with Lamar Advertising to bid for a contract with the regional transportation organization TriMet, he said.
"Advertising is not underwater welding or rocket science. It's selling products and services. They would not have got that contract if they had not partnered with us -- giving them a five-point advantage. But as soon as they were awarded that RFP, they dropped us, so now I am taking them to court."
The court case has yet to be resolved.

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