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Stories for February 2014

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Friday, February 28

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New Stewardship

Community radio station hires local activists

Monica Beemer and Mic Crenshaw, two very well-known local non-profit leaders begin their stewardship at KBOO this month. They’ll share the duties of Station Manager.

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Liv Warfield Makes it Big

Powerhouse vocalist in national spotlight

Portland powerhouse vocalist Liv Warfield is having a breakout year. Warfield had her national TV debut last month with a stunning performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where she performed a song from her new album’s lead track, "Why Do You Lie."

Wednesday, February 26

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The Oscars and My 10 Best Films of 2013

Some wonderful films get the attention they deserve

Our 'Opinionated Judge' Darleen Ortega reflects on her 10 favorite films of 2013 in preparation for this years upcoming Oscars

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The Black Experience

Local author weaves personal tales into fascinating read

A debut book of poetry about the pain of political prisoners and the power of the black American experience intricately weaves personal tales into a fascinating read. The author, Walidah Imarisha, is local activist and professor of Black Studies at Portland State University. The Portland Observer’s Donovan M. Smith sat down with Imarisha at Powell’s Bookstore to discuss the inspirations behind “Scars/Stars” and to dig into the nuances behind her work.

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PCC Men's Basketball Win First Title

Coach shatters losing ways with PCC's first ever post season birth

Portland Community College's basketball squad has earned their first title in school history after defeating Pierce College in a 92-86 bout. The win is highlighted by the fact that just two seasons ago, the PCC basketball squad capped of their season with 0 wins.

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White Fighter Pilots Saved by Black Squadron

Thanks for bringing Uncle Don Home

At the Tuskegee Alabama Army Airfield in the early 1940s a group of young black men would come to not only meet the arduous task of becoming Air Force fighter pilots, they would make an incredible mark in history for their pilot prowess and become a shining example in the fight against racism.

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Bringing Cultural Awareness to Campus

‘We can’t forget the community we come from’

Staci White reminds us of the importance of the Black Student Union at PCC and knowing African history.

Wednesday, February 19

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Drawing to a Final Verdict

Ancer L. Haggerty reflects on journey to and from the bench

Judge Ancer L. Haggerty seems to prefer to let his distinctions and accomplishments shine for themselves. The journey that saw him go from just another face in the Marines to making history as both the first African-American federal judge and first black circuit court judge in Oregon was not necessarily what he envisioned for himself early on.

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Favorites to Watch

It’s the final stretch for Portland International Film Festival

Our 'Opinionated Judge' reviews films from the final stretch of this year's Portland International Film Festival.

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Relating to the African-American Experience

Black Resource Center going strong

The Black Resource Collection in the North Portland Library is home to a vast collection of materials concerning worldwide black culture. The compilation of items of over 7,000 materials-strong consists of various books, periodicals, films and music relating to the African-American and overall black experience.

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Cully Park Closer to Reality

Northeast site gets $1.25 million for construction

The future building of Thomas Cully Park in northeast Portland is moving ahead thanks to new $1.25 million investment by the city of Portland. Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz announced last week that the funding comes from System Development Charges – money raised from construction development, rather than general fund tax dollars.

Monday, February 17

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Budding Actors Hone Skills

Celebrating a playwright of color and performers of all colors

Portland area students are getting exposed to the work of the late Pulitzer Prize winning and African American playwright August Wilson in a real theater experience. Sixteen high school students are finalists for parts in a local acting competition’s final round. The Portland August Wilson Monologue Competition Regional Finals are produced and presented by the Red Door Project, and co-hosted by Portland Center Stage.

Thursday, February 13

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Portland International Film Festival Comes to Life

Screenings get past weather warnings

The Portland International Film Festival trudges on through all kinds of weather -- and I found a decent turnout at the screenings I attended

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A Tough Act to Follow

The GOP's melodrama over the Affordable Care Act is a joke

The GOP's Unaffordable We Don't Care Act

Wednesday, February 12

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Oregon as ‘Whitelandia’

Film examines the state’s racial dealings past and present

Two Oregon filmmakers looking to examine the state's tumultuous racial dealing with documentary "Whitelandia".

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Change Agent

Issues of race and disability move into the spotlight

Issues of race and disability have moved into the spotlight at City Hall thanks to Portland’s first ever Office of Equity and Human Rights. Dante J. James, the office’s first bureau director, presented an annual report on the work accomplished by the department to the full City Council last month and recently met with the Portland Observer to help build public support for the mission.

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Breast Cancer Survivors Group Formed

A Northwest spinoff of the Sisters Network Inc. , the group will host meetings every second Saturday at the Key Delta Community Center located at 5940 N. Albina Ave.

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Speaker to Address Climate Justice

Warren Washington, a pioneer in the development of the climate models that are used to evaluate humankind’s impact on the global environment, will speak on climate change, societal impacts and environmental justice on Thursday, Feb. 13 as part of the Black History Month events at Lewis & Clark College.

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Judge to Share Her Pioneering Journey

Black History Month at Portland Community College

The centerpiece to Portland Community College's Black History Month celebrations is the inspiring journey of the Honorable Adrienne Nelson, a judge with the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

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In Loving Memory

Jessie Mae Petties-Cox

A memorial service for Jessie Mae Petties-Cox will be held Friday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. at Mallory Church of Christ, 3908 N.E. Mallory Ave.

Wednesday, February 5

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International Films Hit Portland

Diverse lineup promises another great run

It's time for one of Portland’s highlights of the year: The Portland International Film Festival. For the last 37 years, the Northwest Film Center has been hosting PIFF and its diverse array of films to screen over two glorious weeks in February. It's such a brilliant opportunity to see films from all over the world, most of which you won't ever see in wide release and many of which may be hard to find after the festival runs its course.

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Healing Hurt People Lecture

Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia a Portland native, and licensed and board-certified psychiatrist in the state of Oregon is set to keynote a Black History Month lecture at Oregon Health Sciences University.

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Night of Comedy a Valentine Twist

Stories from the dark side of dating

Advocates of Planned Parenthood offer a unique twist on Valentine's Day with "It's Not Me, It's You: Stories from the Dark Side of Dating," a night of comedy on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Mission Theater, 1623 N.W. Glisan St.

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Great Divide of Income Inequality

The growing gap between rich and poor

“Income inequality” has become the political buzzword of 2014. President Obama has made it a central theme of his second term. Both progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans in Congress are making it a focus of this year’s mid-term elections, and leading voices for human rights have called on government and business leaders to take immediate action to close the income gap for the sake of long-term economic and social stability. "--Marc H. Morial president of National Urban League

Tuesday, February 4

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Trader Joes deal collapses after public outcry

It's back to the table for PDC and the community

After Trader Joes decision to pull out of a deal that would have brought the specialty grocer to a prime piece of land in the heart of of Portland's historic African-American community, leaves the community, leaders, business owners, and the city questioning what is next for what has one of the most complicated and controversial sites in town.