06-24-2018  1:38 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

On the hunt in Oregon for a rare Sierra Nevada red fox

BEND, Ore. (AP) — In a dense forest at the base of Mount Bachelor, two wildlife biologists slowly walked toward a small cage trap they hoped would contain a rare red fox species. Jamie Bowles, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife technician in Bend, and Tim Hiller, founder of the...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Abuse survivor finds new life, success in Pacific Northwest

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Jonathan Dutson long dreamed of moving to the Pacific Northwest, where its lush greenery offered a respite from the scorching Arizona sun he grew up beneath. But Dutson was looking as much for a new home as he was looking for an escape.Dutson was one of 700 who walked...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

OPINION

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Han Solo's Blaster from 'Return of the Jedi' tops auction

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Han Solo's Blaster from the "Return of the Jedi" has sold for 0,000 at a Las Vegas auction.Julien's Auctions says Ripley's Believe It or Not bought the item Saturday.The sci-fi weapon was the top-selling item at the Hollywood Legends auction.The blaster was part of a...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

France, Belgium seek UNESCO recognition for WWI memorials

BRUSSELS (AP) — France and Belgium are urging UNESCO to designate scores of their World War I memorials and...

Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant...

New Zealand leader names daughter Neve, leaves hospital

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford...

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

In about-face, Iraq's maverick al-Sadr moves closer to Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq's...

Mattis to visit China as Taiwan, S. China Sea tensions rise

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of "intimidation and coercion" in...

By The Skanner News

SEATTLE—By day, the historic Pioneer Square district is a vibrant cross-section of art galleries, toy shops and high-end restaurants that attract shoppers and tourists from around the world.

By night, it can reveal a not-so-chichi alter ego.

Last month's attack on a Seattle Seahawks player near a popular night club recently prompted the team's coach to bar his players from the area, even though it's just blocks from their home field.

"It's a place that probably has more diversity, in terms of both an economic and an ethnic sense, than any other neighborhood" in the city, said Peter Aaron, owner of the independent Elliott Bay Book Co.

The 35-year-old bookstore — a place where you're more likely to be shushed than shoved — shares block space with bars and hip-hop nightclubs that have a sometimes rougher mix of characters.

As daylight dwindles, body-thumping bass spills out into the night air and the area morphs into another creature.

On a recent Saturday night, free admission and cheap drinks boosted the crowd at Larry's Nightclub. Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin was severely beaten in a fight outside the club on Oct. 17. The bar was a favorite haunt for some of the team's players, but the Hamlin incident, along with an unrelated fight nearby a few weeks earlier, prompted coach Mike Holmgren to issue his edict.

"I mainly want the guys to think about where they go," Holmgren said. "It's an organizational guideline and I presented it to the players. I think common sense plays a role."

The spate of violence hasn't stopped crowds from gathering inside Larry's.

Music from Kanye West, the Black Eyed Peas and Chris Brown pull customers onto the dance floor as the DJ gives a shout out to go-go dancers on tables along the walls. Wearing pink or blue tinsel-like wigs, clunky black boots and more makeup than clothes, they're a visual draw for those not already occupied with a partner.

If you're not dancing or drinking, there's little interest in conversation, especially with a reporter.

Larry's and other nearby bars have drawn neighbors' ire because of after-bar fights, reports of underage drinking and fire-code violations.

Owner Larry Culp says his club is being unfairly targeted because he caters primarily to Blacks.
"It's a cultural issue here," said Culp, who has owned the bar since 1986.

To try and keep the peace, Culp employs at least seven security guards in and around the bar. On Saturday, some calmly escorted several people out of the nightclub.

Culp has also tried rolling closures, cutting off music and alcohol early and now is considering increasing lighting around the area.

"My response to any and all accusations is to try and do the right thing," he said.

However, residents worry newspaper headlines about the disturbances are feeding the public's negative image of Pioneer Square as an unsafe area.

"I think it creates a perception that is not at all accurate and probably makes people think twice about coming into the neighborhood at any time of day or night," Aaron says. "Based on what I've read, I wouldn't come down here at two o'clock in the morning."

Pioneer Square's Jekyll-and-Hyde nature is nothing new to the city.

Settled in 1852, the neighborhood was the nation's first Skid Row, so named for the logs that slid down toward the docks, and has always attracted people from both sides of the economic divide.

Early on, timber, salmon and coal helped build the economy and the district prospered and development soared.
In the 20th century, after sawmills were gone and downtown businesses moved north, the down-and-out urban area was frequented by street drunks and transients.

"The district has been schizophrenic since the late 1960s," said Walt Crowley, a Seattle historian and director of HistoryLink.org, a state historical Web site.

Buildings were restored after the Pioneer Square Historic District was established around 1970 and the neighborhood was transformed with music clubs, loft apartments and upscale taverns.

The Kingdome, built in 1976, periodically flooded the district with tens of thousands of sometimes rowdy baseball and football fans. The Dome's gone, but fans still flock to the stadiums that replaced it.

The most serious incident in the area's modern incarnation came in 2001, when Mardi Gras celebrations turned violent. Several thousand revelers jammed the streets, fighting, throwing beer bottles and smashing windows as police stood by. A 20-year-old man was killed by a blindside punch as he tried to help a woman who had fallen.

Worried that the district may again be disintegrating, community leaders and local law enforcement hope to put more of a nighttime shine on the neighborhood.

This past week, Mayor Greg Nickels responded to the Hamlin assault by calling for a task force of club owners, residents and business owners and an ongoing assessment program of nightclubs throughout the city.
"A vibrant night life shouldn't mean a violent night life," Nickels said.

— The Associated Press

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