06-18-2018  8:30 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Black Pioneers Host ‘Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!’ Event June 9

Representatives from local organizations will talk about how individuals can get involved in promoting social change ...

Genealogical Forum of Oregon Hosts ‘Starting Your Genealogy’ Workshop

Free forum offers assistance for those just getting started ...

Literary Arts Offers Writers of Color Fellowship

Deadline to apply is July 9, 2018 ...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

Man found shot to death at high school track in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a man was found shot to death on a high school track.Officers responded before 5 a.m. Sunday to the temporary site of Grant High School. The school is using the former Marshall High School campus as it undergoes a renovation.Authorities did not...

Old farm warehouse may be saved as part of Hanford history

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — One of Washington state's most endangered historic places is located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland. That's according to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.The long warehouse along the Columbia River was once owned by farmers Paul and Mary...

Oregon dog that survived 2 gunshot wounds finds new home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A dog that was shot twice and left for dead in a rugged area of northeast Oregon has been given a new home.KATU-TV reports the dog named Rez was found in the mountains near Pendleton, Oregon, in February covered in blood from two bullet wounds in the head, causing him...

OPINION

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

Black Women Are Changing the Tide of American Politics

Black women voters will make the difference in the midterm elections and the future of American politics ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Celeb chef Samuelsson to open restaurant in Miami's Overtown

OVERTOWN, Fla. (AP) — Chef Marcus Samuelsson has bought a former pool hall in Overtown, a historic black neighborhood in Miami, with plans to open a restaurant.He hopes his project will contribute to a multimillion-dollar revitalization effort already under way.Samuelsson, a James Beard...

The Latest: Top teams have trouble winning at World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):11:35 p.m.Parity has come to the World Cup.Five of the top six nations in the FIFA rankings have played, and none has won. Only two of the top dozen teams have victories.Top-ranked Germany lost to No. 15 Mexico,...

Maryland Democratic primary has 2 black candidates leading

BALTIMORE (AP) — With two leading candidates who have a shot at becoming Maryland's first black governor, the crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary reflects the state's changing demographics and the party's efforts to harness the energy of an increasingly diverse electorate around the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Warner Bros. crackdown puts Dark Mark over Potter festivals

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it's necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity. Fans, however, liken the move to Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun, while festival directors say they'll...

Cornell's daughter pays tribute to late rocker with duet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Cornell's daughter has released a recording of a duet with her late father as part of an emotional tribute to the late rocker on Father's Day.Toni Cornell released the duet of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" on Sunday along with a note thanking her dad for his...

Jay-Z, Beyonce release surprise album 'Everything Is Love'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming.The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper's disgust at this year's Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Thomas Markle says Prince Harry said to give Trump a chance

LONDON (AP) — The father of the former Meghan Markle says he talked politics with Prince Harry over the...

Global warming cooks up 'a different world' over 3 decades

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — We were warned.On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told...

Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining a previously undisclosed meeting between...

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health...

Peek at the future: Electric plane cruises skies over Norway

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway's transportation minister and the head of the Scandinavian country's...

2 Koreas agree to march together at Asian Games

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Athletes from the rival Koreas will march together under a single flag in the...

Villa de Mariposas residents celebrate with Portland Police officers
By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News

Portland Police Youth Services Division Captain Chris Uehara, at right, celebrates with an apartment full of moms from Villa de Mariposas as well as more than a dozen police officers and many kids. Uehara starts as North Precinct Commander on Jan. 2, 2015.  See our entire album of photos from the event on The Skanner News Facebook page. Lisa Loving photo

 

Portland Police’s Spencer Sheldon is a school resource officer at Benson High school. 

Along with Youth Services Division Captain Chris Uehara, Officer Julia Rico and about a dozen others, Sheldon found himself in a tiny, steaming-hot apartment last Thursday afternoon watching incoming Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea repair a broken down old dining room table.

The officers had heard of a destitute family and wrapped around them with food and clothing; now the mom, Henriquetta, was throwing a holiday party for the police who’d pitched in their own time and money to help.

On his hands and knees, with a screwdriver and a flashlight, O’Dea and an assistant worked to reattach the legs to the table as the mom of the house – who spoke only Spanish – presided over cauldrons of steaming tamales and a gaggle of giggling elementary schoolers in the Villa de Mariposas apartments.

Sheldon, a native of Hawaii, was recruited to the Portland Police a few years ago, and now he spends his days connecting to Benson students and trying to meet their needs – sometimes family-by-family.

“A staff member brought a student to my attention who needed assistance because she didn't have a lot of money,” Sheldon explained.

The officers signed the student up for the Portland Police Sunshine Division’s Shop with a Cop program, where kids can pick out clothing, shoes and other items from Fred Meyers – for the past 12 years the department store and the Portland Police Bureau have partnered to serve hundreds of local families this way each year.

“Then I found out that she had a little sister also so we brought her into it too,” Sheldon says. “And then we figured out that their mom needed help with food, so we brought them up a Sunshine food box.”

But when Sheldon brought the food box to the apartment, Henriquetta warned him not to put it on the dining room table, which was broken.

That's when Sheldon remembered that O’Dea volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, and that he probably had the skills and equipment to repair the table.

“So I emailed the chief and he agreed to come out today,” Sheldon says. “And the mom said – we want to throw you a party for all you’ve done to support us.”

So, to make a long story short, Chief O'Dea found himself on his hands and knees with the screwdriver wrestling with the dining room table as tamales simmered on the stove – now cared for by another Portland Police officer -- in the tiny apartment. 

But the repair was a ruse; in fact, the police officers had pooled their money to purchase a new dining set as a surprise.

A dozen elementary school aged children giggled as they dragged the chairs up the stairway into the apartment; when Henriquetta re-entered her home and saw the new dining set, she cried. So did Officer Rico, Chief O’Dea and many others.

Downstairs even more kids ran around the community room waiting for the tamales to finish cooking, tearing open candy canes they’d been given by a smiling cop in a Santa hat.

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