The anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall has brought the issue of emergency preparedness into the national spotlight. While hurricanes aren't a threat here in the Pacific Northwest, we nonetheless face a range of potential large-scale disasters, including volcanoes, floods, earthquakes and another sort of emergency that's on the minds of public health officials everywhere — an influenza pandemic.
"It's not a question of if we will have an influenza pandemic — it's a question of when," said Susan M. Allan, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., director of the state of Oregon's Public Health Division. "Some day there will be a pandemic."
Dealing with just such a pandemic was the subject of a statewide conference held last week at the Oregon Convention Center. Public health officials from the state, county and municipal levels, along with emergency response and law enforcement personnel, researchers and representatives of community health organizations met to discuss how they would work together in the event of a deadly flu outbreak.
Soon-to-be third-grader Olivia Wolfe, 8, left, and her pre-kindergarten sister Georgia Wolfe, 4, show off the brand new backpacks filled with school supplies that they received Aug. 26 at Northeast Portland's Grant Park. The supplies were given away at event sponsored by Friendship Christian Fellowship Church, which also provided free food and a blow-up, carnival-style playground for children and their parents to enjoy. The church is opening a new branch in September at 2738 N.E. 34th Ave.
A new study found that people living in Multnomah County's poorest neighborhoods face a much greater risk of sudden cardiac arrest than people living in the wealthiest areas.
For people younger than 65, residents from the poor neighborhoods were more than twice as likely to have their heart suddenly stop than people living in the rich ones.
Marian de Bardelaben is the first African American state president of the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators.
Two new teams will make their International Fight League debuts on Sept. 9, when the IFL World Team Championship visits Portland. The evening of mixed martial arts bouts starts at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Coliseum in the Rose Quarter.
The event will feature four squads, including Matt Lindland's new Wolfpack, based in Portland, vs. Maurice Smith's Tiger Sharks of Seattle; and Bas Rutten's Anacondas, who train in Los Angeles, vs. Antonio Inoki's Sabres, another of the IFL's latest additions, from Tokyo.
Veteran Seattle Seahawk wide receiver Bobby Engram will help kick off the first of what organizers hope will become an annual walk around Seward Park to benefit children with sickle cell diseaseand raise awareness of the affliction.
SPOKANE—Despite eight years of effort, minority enrollment is still down at Washington colleges and universities after voters passed an initiative outlawing racial preferences in admissions.
Black, Hispanic and American Indian students are less likely to go from high school to college, and more likely to drop out, than their White peers. And fewer than 5 percent of faculty members in the state are Black, Hispanic or Native American.
Yet minority groups are the fastest-growing parts of the population, expected to grow from 22 percent to 28 percent of Washington's total by 2020.
"I think there has been progress, it's just been slow progress," said Ricardo Sanchez, an associate director of education policy for the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board. "People are feeling more and more the need to do better."
A draft report by the Higher Education Coordinating Board looked at Washington's diversity efforts since the passage of Initiative 200 in 1998 and recommended improvements.
Mike Corsini has relied on others to help him vote for more than two decades. Next month, he will roll his wheelchair into a voting booth and select his favored candidates through a touch-sensitive electronic screen — the first ballot he'll cast on his own since an injury rendered him a quadriplegic 28 years ago.
Corsini, 43, will be able to vote on an electronic voting machine configured specially for use by the blind and the disabled, allowing them access to voting in a completely private way — the first time such equipment has been available statewide.
Corsini, of Spanaway, has voted by mail in Pierce County for a decade. But even then he needed help because he can't grasp things in his hands. Now, all he'll need to do is press on the touch screen machine to register his vote.
A year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial called upon leaders of the nation's major political parties to hold their 2008 conventions in New Orleans.
"This would not only provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the city's economy and put people to work, it would also send a powerful message to the nation and the world that you are squarely and solidly in support of rebuilding the storm-torn regions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama," said Morial, who was mayor of New Orleans from 1996 to 2002.
The Seattle community is invited to a celebration and evening of appreciation honoring the Rev. Frank and Phyllis Brydwell's 40 years of service to the music ministry at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, there will be a community musical tribute featuring choirs from around the city.
Linda Martin of Linda Martin Ministries is a nationally renowned gospel artist and will be among the ministers, community choirs, the Mt. Calvary Praise Dancers and local soloists who will honor the Brydwells for their commitment and dedication to Mt. Zion's music ministry.