12-08-2022  1:00 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Merkley Introduces Bill to Ban Private Equity Firms from Predatory Housing Practices

End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act seeks to return single-family housing stock to families.

US Judge Gives Initial Victory to Oregon's Tough New Gun Law

A federal judge delivered an initial victory to proponents of a sweeping gun-control measure to take effect this week while giving law enforcement more time to set up a system for permits

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

NEWS BRIEFS

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Oregon high court declines to overturn decision on gun law

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court late Wednesday declined to overturn a lower court judge’s decision and allow a tough new voter-approved gun law to take effect this week. Chief Justice Martha Walters denied the emergency motion to intervene filed earlier in the day...

Gov. extends emergency order as respiratory illnesses surge

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is extending a state of emergency as a surge of respiratory illnesses in adults and children — including RSV, the flu and COVID-19 — strains hospitals. The executive order issued Wednesday calls for the Oregon Health Authority and other...

Saxen's 19 help Saint Mary's knock off Missouri State 66-46

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen's 19 points helped Saint Mary's defeat Missouri State 66-46 on Wednesday. Saxen had six rebounds for the Gaels (7-3). Aidan Mahaney scored 13 points and Alex Ducas finished with nine points. Chance Moore led the Bears (4-5) in...

Purdue Fort Wayne takes down Southeast Missouri State 89-68

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarred Godfrey scored 19 points as Purdue Fort Wayne beat Southeast Missouri State 89-68 on Wednesday night. Godfrey had eight rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons (6-4). Bobby Planutis scored 14 points, and Quinton Morton-Robertson had 13. ...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Pennsylvania panel to vote on proposal defining sex, race

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania government regulations would be revised with extensive definitions of sex, religious creed and race under a proposal set for a vote on Thursday — a change some Republican lawmakers see as an overreach on a subject they think should not be addressed without...

Family sues over police killing of Black Michigan motorist

DETROIT (AP) — A white Grand Rapids police officer who shot and killed a Black motorist during a traffic stop last spring had no reason to pull him over, attorneys for the motorist's family said after filing a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday. Christopher Schurr, who was fired...

Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church

Friction has long-simmered within the global Anglican Communion over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. The divisions widened this year as conservative bishops affirmed their opposition to LGBTQ inclusion and demanded...

ENTERTAINMENT

Will Smith's 'Emancipation' role taught him lesson post-slap

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While filming “Emancipation,” Will Smith routinely drew inspiration from the words “sacred motivation” that were written on the front page of a script. But the Oscar winner heavily leaned on the phrase even more in recent months, as he tried to overcome the backlash to...

Apple Music offers a chance to sing with your favorites

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Music wants to help you and your friends sing along to your favorite songs with a new feature it's rolling out just as people gather for end-of-year parties. Apple Music Sing gives the user the ability to adjust a song's vocals and an enhanced beat-by-beat...

Sharpton says film debuts at 'critical point' in US politics

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton has been called a lot of names in his public life: a hustler, a racist, an opportunist, a fraud, a rat, a jester. He embraces at least one of the intended insults, a name often hurled by his critics on the right and the left: “Loudmouth.”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Lebanese banks battered by meltdown struggle to survive

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s once burgeoning banking sector has been hard hit by the country’s historic economic...

Georgia vote gives Harris reprieve as Senate tiebreaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris needed to get to the U.S. Senate to break a tie. But first she...

EXPLAINER: China's relaxed 'zero-COVID' brings big changes

BEIJING (AP) — In a move that caught many by surprise, China announced a potentially major easing of its rigid...

South Korea widens back-to-work orders on striking truckers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s government expanded its back-to-work orders Thursday against thousands...

Australia wants Indonesia to monitor released bombmaker

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's government on Thursday said it was seeking assurances from Indonesia that...

Under China's 'zero COVID,' uncertainty reigns and unsettles

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — As coronavirus cases rose in Shanghai earlier this year and the city's lockdown stretched...

Helen Silvis of The Skanner

Imagine the chaos if a tremendous earthquake suddenly struck the Northwest tonight. What if the quake and its aftershocks were  powerful enough to rip up streets, destroy bridges and buildings and knock out power and water supplies in Portland or Seattle?
It would be devastating for some. But because our local emergency services teams have spent years preparing for a disaster, they would have everything under control in a few hours. Right?
Wrong. The harsh truth is that you will have to take care of yourself and your family for at least three days following a disaster. This holds true for natural disasters such as earthquakes, winter storms or flu epidemics, and also for man-made disasters such as a radiation leak or terrorist attack.
"Before the National Guard or FEMA arrive it's going to take time — it's going to take days," says Linda Swift, emergency preparedness manager with the Oregon Trail Chapter of the Red Cross.  "We always say make a 72-hour kit, but if it was a week that would be better.
"You're going to have to survive for a minimum of three days and possibly more. You won't see the police department or the fire department. Our fire department might be destroyed. People need to realize those things will not be there for them."
Emergency staffers at the state, county and city levels all agree that every one of us needs to prepare for at least 72-hours without government assistance.

VIDEO

Are You Prepared?

"There is that expectation that government will take care of me in an emergency," said Bob Grist, a senior planner with Multnomah County Emergency and Disaster Management. "You can just walk down to the corner and get food and water. It doesn't get there by magic. It takes time to get that kind of assistance effort organized. In Portland supplies may have to come from Eugene, from Medford — from outside the area. You're talking about a logistical nightmare."
Emergency planners at state and local levels say government and first responders will be working hard to save lives, secure neighborhoods and restore services. But in any major disaster, emergency responders would quickly be maxed out dealing with the most immediate problems.
In fact, past research on disasters shows that 80 percent of rescues are performed by untrained private citizens, said Lawrence Behmer, who coordinates the City of Portland's Neighborhood Emergency Teams program, known as NET. Sometimes, however, because these ordinary heroes don't know the safest way to proceed, they risk their own lives unnecessarily. That's why Portland offers free NET training in how to save lives in a disaster.  The program, (known in Seattle as SDART, Seattle Disaster Aid and Response Teams, and nationally as the CERT, Community Emergency Response Team) seeks to boost emergency response capacity throughout the country by teaching volunteers basic search and rescue and first aid skills.
"The idea is that in a massive disaster citizens are the first responders," Behmer told The Skanner. "It can take a while for the fire department to get to you — they are going to be in the most dangerous areas.
"Net volunteers learn to work as a team to elevate debris and pull a victim to safety."

Unprepared and Out of Luck
Public awareness campaigns such as the Red Cross's "Together We Prepare," King County's  "Basic, Better, Best" or the national "Ready" campaign urge every household to make a disaster plan and put together a 72-hour emergency kit containing at minimum a gallon of water a day for each person, enough food for three days, a flashlight, a first aid kit and a radio. So far, however, the volume on that message has been low, so low that a majority of us have tuned it out.
Cynthia Thomas-Johnson, who runs a foster care agency, said she thought about making a disaster plan after the Katrina disaster.
"I thought about putting an emergency kit together, but I guess I'm one of those people who think it will never happen," she said. "I know what goes in it, but I just haven't got one in place."
Thomas-Johnson has plenty of company. A national survey by the American Public Health Association in 2007 found that almost half of us have no emergency plan or supplies.
Asked about how well they would cope with a public health crisis, 27 percent of those surveyed said they felt prepared. However further questions revealed that only about half of them — 14 percent — had put aside the recommended three-day supply of water, food, medicines and a first-aid kit. The reasons?  About 38 percent of us say we simply would rather not think about what would happen in a public health crisis. And 44 percent of Americans say they don't believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.

 
 

Before the National Guard or FEMA arrive it's going to take time — it's going to take days...We always say make a 72-hour kit, but if it was a week that would be better.

Linda Swift said that in reality emergencies happen all the time. The Red Cross responds to an emergency about once every 12 hours, where at least one family has suddenly become homeless. Most of these small disasters are fires.
But emergencies that affect whole communities are not rare either, Swift points out. Severe storms last January caused flooding and landslides all over the Northwest. In the worst affected areas, such as the Oregon coast, telephone communications were knocked out so the 911 system was useless.
In Vernonia, Ore., it took days for rescuers to reach many victims.
The floods showed how many people lack basic survival supplies. People with serious medical problems realized they had no back up generator to power their medical equipment, Swift said. Relatives from all over the country flooded the Red Cross with calls.
"We had to explain that no-one was getting in or out and we had no way of contacting their relatives," Swift said. "It was very hard."
Swift recognizes that putting out extra money for emergency supplies is a hardship for many low-income families.
"Water is going to be a critical issue," she said. "Perhaps you turn on the tap and nothing comes out or it is contaminated.
"What we try to do is encourage people to just one time a month start to put water aside. Wash your own containers, fill them and put them aside. Water bottles don't have to be new. We recommend a gallon a day per person."

For more information on preparedness click on our disaster button on our home page.

LINKED STORIES
Prepare, Survive a Disaster
When Disaster Strikes It's Up to You
72-hour Emergency Kits and Family Plans
Wanted: Heroes
What Do You Do When All the Lights Go Out
Disasters Are Not Rare, FEMA Count 69 a year
Multnomah County Info and Trainings

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