06-19-2018  1:40 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

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 ...

Prosecutor: Oregon man justified in shooting near hotel

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.However, Robert Garris was foolish to appoint himself "sheriff of the Days Inn" and initiate a confrontation with the...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed because of damage from a wildfire that scorched the area last year.The Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall Creek area near Eugene, also are...

Spokane man convicted in 2015 deadly shooting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane man has been convicted of killing a Moses Lake teenager during a 2015 robbery attempt.The Columbia Basin Herald reports Jeremiah Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession...

Police seize 2,500 marijuana plants from 6 Tacoma homes

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say eight people have been arrested after police searched six Tacoma houses connected to an illegal marijuana growing operation.The News Tribune reports authorities seized at least 2,500 marijuana plants from the properties that police searched Monday...

OPINION

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

City where many slaves entered US to apologize for slavery

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a...

School honoring Confederate general to be renamed for Obama

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia city is rebranding its only school named after a Confederate general to honor the United States' first black president.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Richmond School Board voted 6-1 Monday to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama...

ENTERTAINMENT

List of winners from the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Winners of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, presented Saturday at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California:Movie of the year: "Black Panther"Actor in a Movie: Chadwick Boseman, "Black Panther"Show of the Year: "Stranger Things"Actor in a Show: Millie Bobby Brown,...

In 'Jurassic World,' a dino-sized animal-rights parable

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" are many things. They are special-effects wonders. They are unruly house guests. And they are some of the biggest, most foot-stomping metaphors around.Since Steven Spielberg's 1993 original, the dinos of "Jurassic Park" — many of them...

Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media

NEW YORK (AP) — In a phone conversation with her executive producer over the weekend, "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King wondered if there wasn't more the network could do on the story of children being separated from parents through the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

On a big night for 'Panther,' Boseman honors real-life hero

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The MTV Movie & TV Awards gave "Black Panther" its first taste of awards...

US could back 1st pot-derived medicine, and some are worried

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether...

Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you

GOTHIC, Colo. (AP) — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist.More than 40 years ago, the University...

Engine catches fire on plane with Saudi WCup team, none hurt

MOSCOW (AP) — Officials say an engine of a Russian plane carrying the Saudi Arabian soccer team to a World...

3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Three of the six men who were injured in a drive-by shooting in the center of...

In Mexico, longtime foes 'AMLO' and elite getting pragmatic

MEXICO CITY (AP) — On the campaign trail, presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has railed...

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

Shortly before the Portland Public School board met Tuesday night, PPS Superintendent Carole Smith sent a letter to parents and staff announcing her retirement at the end of the 2017 school year.

She outlined what she called the successes of her last nine years at PPS. She also stated that the PPS board had asked her to stay to give them time to conduct a search for a new superintendent.

But according to PPS School board member Paul Anthony, there was no discussion from the school board about Smith’s retirement prior to her sending the announcement, which was immediately picked up by local media. KATU news reported that board chair Koehler had asked Smith to stay on through the end of the next school year.

“It is not true that the school board asked Carole Smith to stay,” Anthony told The Skanner News. “To the best of my knowledge the school board has not been consulted on it at all, except that I got a brief text message from Tom Koehler, the board chair, five minutes before OPB made the announcement.”

“The board has asked me to stay through the end of my contract in June, 2017 to allow them to move forward to conduct a superintendent search at the appropriate time and set the district up for a successful and smooth transition of leadership, as well as continue our work on health and safety,” Smith wrote.

Local activists held a demonstration – announced weeks in advance of the board’s meeting – and called for Smith to be fired.

A crowd of nearly 75 parents, students and advocates marched and testified about high lead levels in water at the schools and alleged civil rights violations against Black students.

Don’t Shoot Portland organizer Teressa Raiford testified about the short life of her nephew, Andre Dupree Payton, who was shot and killed on the corner of NW 2nd and Couch at 2 a.m., September 26, 2010.

She said Payton went to schools that talked about equity and culturally competent education, but his death showed the failure of that system. Raiford asked for oversight and accountability for equity funding.

Her call for Smith to be fired was repeated by the shouts of the protestors in the gallery. She also called out the school board, saying they were complicit and unwilling to challenge the administration.

"If you guys don't remove Carole before next year, it means that you don't have the backbone to be the board next year," Raiford said.

The demonstration at the meeting represented a wide swath of parents and advocates. Their concerns expanded beyond the single issues of radon, leaded water, racism, or civil rights. The crowd called out for accountability, transparency and oversight.

Kim Sordyl, parent and PPS critic, said the discovery of lead in the water – and the district’s handling of the issue -- affected every student, teacher and staff member and has brought the community together to demand change from an administration resistant to admitting fault.

“There is no leadership at PPS. It is all about coverups and public relations and promoting the careers of administrators in PPS,” Sordyl told The Skanner News. “PPS had absolutely no right to decide for parents and staff members whether their children would drink leaded water. And that’s exactly what they did -- they decided for us.”

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