05-24-2018  7:10 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Man gets 13 years for crashing motorhome into patrol cars

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for assault against Salem police officers after leading police on a chase through Salem and ramming his motor home into officers in their patrol cars.The Statesman Journal reports 61-year-old Roy...

Woodburn officer gets 150 days in jail for child sex abuse

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A former Woodburn police officer has been sentenced to 150 days in jail and five years of probation for having sex with an underage girl and soliciting sexual contact from the child online.The Statesman Journal reports that 29-year-old Daniel Kerbs was sentenced Wednesday....

Worker who died in fall at Sound Transit site identified

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials have identified the man who died after falling from a light rail column at a Sound Transit construction site in Bellevue.The Seattle Times reports 63-year-old Walter Burrows was a foreman and a longtime employee at Kiewit, the company building the elevated light rail...

Case of Legionnaires' disease suspected at UW Medical Center

SEATTLE (AP) — A case of Legionnaires' disease has been suspected at the University of Washington Medical Center.KOMO-TV reported Wednesday that this is the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility.Officials said the patient "has been diagnosed with a...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bucks' Brown decries 'police intimidation' during arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and says officers have been disciplined for acting "inappropriately" after the Bucks player was zapped with a stun gun during his arrest for a parking violation in January.Brown, who is African-American, said in a...

George Zimmerman tells court he's [scripts/homepage/home.php].5 million in debt

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The ex-neighborhood watch volunteer who killed a black teen in Florida in 2012 says he's [scripts/homepage/home.php].5 million in debt and has no income.George Zimmerman filed paperwork detailing his financial state as he fights a misdemeanor stalking charge.The Orlando Sentinel reports a public...

Senate primary splits Arizona conservatives between 2 icons

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (AP) — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was asking dozens of tea party activists for their backing in Arizona's Republican Senate primary when one audience member said it was a shame disgruntled conservatives couldn't send "both of you" to Washington.The man...

ENTERTAINMENT

In taking on 'Solo,' Ehrenreich faced an unenviable task

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thandie Newton jokes that there might be something off about Alden Ehrenreich — because how else could he take on the pressure-filled role of Han Solo with so much ease?"Every week, I was expecting a call that Alden had had a nervous breakdown and wouldn't be coming...

Rockwell work at center of controversy gets M at auction

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — One of the two Norman Rockwell paintings at the center of a Massachusetts museum's contentious decision to sell 40 works of art has been sold at auction for more than million."Blacksmith's Boy — Heel and Toe," also known as "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop," was...

Michael Jackson estate slams ABC TV special on his last days

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The estate of Michael Jackson is objecting to an ABC TV special on the end of the King of Pop's life, calling it a crass attempt to exploit Jackson without respect for his legacy or children.The estate said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that "The Last...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Then and now: France's World War I battle-scape

PARIS (AP) — U.S. troops fighting in France in World War I found a landscape ravaged by trench warfare and...

Bucks' Brown decries 'police intimidation' during arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and says officers have been...

Feds: Uber self-driving SUV saw pedestrian but didn't brake

DETROIT (AP) — Federal investigators say the autonomous Uber SUV that struck and killed an Arizona...

More than 350 observers to monitor Turkish elections

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An international security body says it is deploying 22 long-term and 350 short-term...

North Korea demolishes nuclear site ahead of Trump summit

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea (AP) — Just weeks ahead of a planned summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Kim...

Spanish ruling party fined in major corruption case

MADRID (AP) — The conviction of more than two dozen Spanish businesspeople and officials in a major...

Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

PRESS RELEASE
January 21 2010
The Skanner News
Contact Bernie Foster mailto:Bernie@theskanner.com

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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