06-21-2018  5:25 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

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 ...

Ex-basketball coach sentenced to 60 days for sex abuse

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Beaverton basketball coach has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation for sexually abusing a teenage girl he met through work.KOIN-TV reported Wednesday 34-year-old Laurence Metz was convicted of two counts of sex abuse.Metz was a coach...

Legal pot will roll out differently in Canada than in US

Mail-order weed? You betcha!With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...


How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...


Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...


Dig it: Archaeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Archaeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes.Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi...

Behind the making of Jack-Jack, the summer's breakout star

NEW YORK (AP) — The breakout star of the summer moviegoing season isn't a dinosaur, an Avenger or anyone aboard the Millennium Falcon. It's a giggling pipsqueak in diapers."The Incredibles 2," which last weekend set a new box-office record for animated films with 2.7 million in ticket...

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson are engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show."Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop...


New Zealand leader welcomes newborn girl 'to our village'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday...

Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

CHICAGO (AP) — Now that the world's leading public health group says too much Minecraft can be an...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio...

Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in...

Japan to scrap evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea...

Official: Polish leader's ill health not sparking infighting

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A government official is denying rumors that the illness of Jaroslaw Kaczynski,...

GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle, notorious for boom-and-bust cycles stretching back to the 19th century Alaska gold rush, is booming once again.

Thickets of yellow cranes have crowded the skyline, where new glass-sided office buildings, hotels and apartment towers blot out views of the mountains and the Space Needle. Food trucks dot the streets and young software engineers with disposable income fill the bars.

But the boom has brought handwringing, as residents fret over whether Seattle has become a traffic-snarled city for the rich with soaring rental rates, overly dependent on the company behind it all: Amazon.

The online retail giant has brought tens of thousands of workers to its campus in the South Lake Union neighborhood, overtaken the University of Washington as Seattle's biggest employer and lined up enough office space to roughly triple its headcount here.

"A lot of people who have lived in Seattle for 10 or 20 years are getting pushed out, "says Jeff Reifman, a former Microsoft programmer who has criticized the ways Amazon is changing Seattle, including in a well-read essay last year on how the influx of male tech workers has skewed the dating scene.

To some, the complaints sound like trying to find the dark cloud in the silver lining.

"Cleveland would be doing cartwheels for this type of situation," commercial real estate expert Jim Allison said.

He suggests such talk would have been unthinkable five years ago, when Seattle's biggest private employer, Washington Mutual, collapsed. He credits Amazon for Seattle's turnaround, and credits the city with being a model for the "right type of growth" — urban, young, educated and transit-oriented.

Nevertheless, growing pains are undeniable. Seattle, one of the nation's fastest growing cities, is expected to gain another 120,000 residents and 115,000 new jobs over the next 20 years. It's not just Amazon: Facebook, Google, Expedia and other tech giants have opened or are opening offices.

Those extra workers are putting pressure on rents, which have skyrocketed more than 37 percent in Seattle since mid-2010, according to Tom Cain of Apartment Insights Washington.

The median rental price for all homes in Seattle in May was $2,289 a month, Zillow reports, compared to a national average of $1,367.

Mayor Ed Murray, who has a special committee seeking ways to provide affordable housing and avoid displacing longtime residents, last week announced another step: An agency to coordinate public investments in transportation, parks and housing around new development.

Amazon says it has more than 20,000 workers in Seattle, and estimates suggest it has enough office space built or planned to grow to more than 70,000, taking up a huge chunk of the city's commercial real estate. That raises the specter among some residents of Boeing's bust in the early 1970s, when two real estate professionals put up a billboard reading, "Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights."

Boeing's downturn led to thousands of lost jobs, with ripple effects throughout Seattle.

While City Councilman Mike O'Brien said he loves that Amazon is hiring, it "can't continue to grow at the pace they're growing at."

"When it has a major hiccup — and it will — it will be a major shock to our system," O'Brien said.

Building in Seattle, Amazon has helped remake an old warehouse district into a hub of glass-paneled office buildings, along with new restaurants and a Tesla dealership.

Some businesses were kicked out when their buildings sold for Amazon or related projects, but Monty Holmes still runs his family-owned trophy shop, Athletic Awards, one of the few remaining enterprises from South Lake Union's days as a blue-collar neighborhood. He says business is great, thanks in part to Amazon, which buys employee awards and emblazoned clothing from him.

FareStart, a restaurant and catering business that trains homeless people for food-service careers, is across the street from a building under construction for Amazon. When the company moves in, FareStart expects to see more Amazon workers at lunchtime.

"It's more success for everyone," FareStart marketing director Tina Gonsalves said.

Amazon says 55 percent of its workers bus, bike or walk to work, and it notes it has given the city tens of millions of dollars for affordable housing, paid for a new street car and has contributed to nearly 100 charitable organizations.

"We made a decision to invest in our hometown and build an urban campus in the heart of Seattle," spokesman Ty Rogers said in an email.

But the company has also brought a lot of people into an area that has relatively little housing or public transportation, though the city has added bus service and street cars, and light rail lines are being expanded.

Some of Seattle's new arrivals have spread out, driving up rents in far flung neighborhoods. That's prompted concern about the effect on seniors, low-wage workers, artists and others.

Even app-economy workers have felt the pinch. Jen Joyce, a marketing manager for a ride-service company, was startled to learn the rent for her one-bedroom apartment was going up $200 a month.

Urban planner Alon Bassok was inspired by Seattle's growth challenges to run for City Council this year.

"We as a city have to figure out how to accommodate and rise to the occasion of something like Amazon rather than saying something's their fault," Bassok said.

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