Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey, center, talks with Sauvie Island resident Jerry Parson, left, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Sauvie Island Bridge on Wednesday. The new bridge will replace the cracked original structure, which was built in 1950.
Portland-based poet, activist and newspaper columnist S. Renee Mitchell has been selected to receive the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism. Mitchell, named as one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century," will receive the award during a gala ceremony in New York City on May 16. Past winners include actress/activist Jane Fonda; Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize; Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi of Iran, the first woman to hold a ministerial cabinet post in the United Arab Emirates; and Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, co-founder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. The international award is offered by Women's eNews, a New York-based global online magazine. It selected the 21 award winners from hundreds of nominations of passionate trailblazers — all over the world — who "stand out for their extraordinary visions and commitment to working on behalf of women." "In a year where many believe there has been a profound scarcity of leadership, it is thrilling to once again find so many women and men who are dedicated to expanding values that cherish the lives of women," Women's eNews Editor-in-Chief Rita Henley Jensen said on the magazine's Web site.
Considering what is coming out of Washington these days, you can't help but look forward to the new year, since the last one couldn't end soon enough. Last year started with the president announcing that privatizing Social Security and cutting future benefits was his No. 1 priority. Luckily, once Americans cut through the cant, they overwhelmingly rejected his plan.
Sisters of the Road will observe its annual remembrance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 16 with a downtown march and rally. The King Day celebration, the Sisters' 14th celebration, carries the theme "MLK Everyday: Traveling the Road of Change Through Nonviolence." The march is set to gather at 2 p.m. at Sisters of the Road Café, 133 N.W. Sixth Ave.
The National Marrow Donor Program and its local donor center, NMDP of Oregon/Southwest Washington, are working with the American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Region to encourage people to come together. The groups are asking local African Americans to join the NMDP registry during the Martin Luther King Jr. Blood and Bone Marrow Drive from Jan. 16 through 21.
Everybody Reads, Multnomah County Library's fourth annual community reading project, begins this month and continues throughout the month of February. This year's book is The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling and highly acclaimed tale of the friendship of two boys set against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.