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NORTHWEST NEWS

Judge Tells Attacker to Study Sikhs as Part of Sentence

Andrew Ramsey pleaded guilty to counts of intimidation and assault targeting Harwinder Singh Dodd

Oregon Passes Bill to Keep Guns From Stalkers and Abusers

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature pushed through a gun control bill Thursday after they sacrificed a more sweeping one.

Lillard, Kemba, Lebron Among Noteworthy All-NBA Picks

Lillard receives All-NBA honors for the fourth time in his career.

Workshop Teaches ‘Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs’ Curriculum

Applications open for educators’ workshop on teaching Portland Black history

NEWS BRIEFS

Legislature Passes Youth Criminal Justice Reform

State senate passes SB 1008, which would mitigate mandatory minimums for youth ...

The Portland Clinic Foundation Awards $60,000 to 28 Portland-Area Nonprofits

Recipients include SEI, Coalition of Communities of Color ...

Albina Vision Trust Receives Meyer Memorial Trust Grant

Two-year grant will be used to increase Albina Vision’s capacity ...

Community Celebrates New Evelyn Crowell Center African American Exhibit at Cascade

On Monday, June 3, the PCC Cascade campus will host an official opening ceremony for the Evelyn Crowell Center for African American...

James Bible Seeks Bellevue City Council Seat

Civil rights attorney says he wants to prioritize housing, wages ...

Hate makes a comeback in the Pacific Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Nearly two decades after the Aryan Nations' Idaho compound was demolished, far-right extremists are maintaining a presence in the Pacific Northwest.White nationalism has been on the rise across the U.S., but it has particular resonance along the Idaho-Washington border,...

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley proposes wilderness protections

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is taking another swing at adding wilderness protections to a large mountain above the Painted Hills near Mitchell in Eastern Oregon.The Statesman Journal reports the bill, introduced last week, would establish 58,000 acres of wilderness on...

Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant finds new home at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — By the end of last season, Missouri fans were enjoying quarterback Drew Lock's final days running the Tigers' offense and wondering who would take over this fall.The answer came in a Twitter post the night of Dec. 4 when Kelly Bryant announced he was transferring to...

OPINION

Another Case of Alzheimer’s

When I looked at my email in-box this afternoon, I encountered one of those messages that I dread: yet another person I know has been institutionalized as a result of Alzheimer’s. ...

More Bold Actions Needed to Abate the Nation’s $1.5 Trillion Debt Crisis

When a Black billionaire adopted Morehouse College’s 135th graduating class, paying their student loans, he not only impactedtheir lives, but also the lives of family members who have co-signed on these loans ...

Forget the Adversity Score, Just Dump the SAT

Forget the Adversity Score, Just Dump the SAT ...

On the History of Medical Marijuana

The recent legalization of cannabis medicinally throughout the United States of America has made Cannabis sativa L., colloquially termed marijuana, hemp, or weed, the growing topic of conversation. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ku Klux Klan rally in Ohio; no reported clashes, problems

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A small group of Ku Klux Klan members penned in by fencing, surrounded by police and drowned out by hundreds of protesters, held a rally in Ohio with no reported clashes or problems.The city of Dayton blocked streets with large trucks Saturday and brought in officers from...

FRENCH OPEN '19: A look at younger, less-famous challengers

PARIS (AP) — There's been unprecedented tennis parity so far in 2019, including the clay-court circuit leading to the French Open: A total of 23 players split the 25 WTA and ATP titles on the slow, red surface.That means there are plenty of people who can succeed over the next two weeks at...

'Huge' challenges as Ramaphosa takes oath in South Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday urged the country to pursue "an extraordinary feat of human endeavor" as he was sworn in for a five-year term with a delicate fight against government corruption ahead of him."The challenges our country face...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mexican American sisters of 'Vida' back amid gentrification

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Starz drama "Vida" returns for its second season on Sunday with an even deeper exploration of an issue facing many U.S. Latino communities: gentrification.The show follows Emma and Lyn, played Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera respectively, who have inherited from...

Adam Levine leaving 'The Voice' after 16 seasons

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Levine is leaving NBC's "The Voice" after 16 seasons.Carson Daly made the announcement Friday morning on the "Today" show. Daly said Gwen Stefani will return for season 17 in Levine's chair.The Maroon 5 frontman wrote a length Instagram post Friday, saying the...

Quentin Tarantino wins top dog award at Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France (AP) — Whether or not Quentin Tarantino wins the Palme d'Or this year, at least he's not coming home without a trophy.The director of the Cannes Film Festival entry "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" scooped up the top prize at the Palm Dog Awards. The awards are handed out...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Leonard scores 27, Raptors advance to first NBA Finals

TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry stole the ball and pushed it ahead, then waited for Kawhi Leonard to arrive...

At the spelling bee, the most common sound is the toughest

WASHINGTON (AP) — The word that knocked runner-up Naysa Modi out of last year's Scripps National Spelling...

Nepal's record-setting Everest guide returns hero

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Family, friends and supporters welcomed a veteran Sherpa guide upon his return to...

US sanctions on Iran felt in Iraqi Shiite tourist shops

BAGHDAD (AP) — For years, Karar Hussein has sold sweets in his shop near the entrance to one of Shiite...

Taiwanese same-sex couples wed at vibrant banquet

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — More than 1,000 people attended a mass wedding banquet in Taiwan's capital to...

Iran's president says country could hold vote over nuke deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president has suggested the Islamic Republic could hold a referendum over the...

McMenamins
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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