Stories for March 2015

Tuesday, March 31

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King’s ‘Stand by Me’ Honored

One of the most broadcast songs of the 20th century, Ben E. King's "Stand by Me," has been selected for preservation at the Library of Congress, along with recordings from Joan Baez, The Righteous Brothers, Steve Martin and the darker sounds of the band Radiohead.

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Medical Records Go Online

All medical records for the approximately 650 youth in the Oregon Youth Authority's close-custody facilities are going electronic to make youth intake and healthcare more efficient, accessible and cost efficient.

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Zoo Says Goodbye to Beloved Rama

Leg injury was no longer responding to treatment

Rama, a 31-year-old Asian elephant known for his sweet disposition and Jackson Pollock-like painting technique, was humanely euthanized at the Oregon Zoo Monday.

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Activist Teacher Remembered

A longtime Portland educator who helped countless Portland students embark on careers in journalism and other pursuits, including the editor of the Portland Observer as a student at John Adams High School, is being remembered after his death at the age of 92.

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Our Challenges Are Not Insurmountable

Education key driver to opportunity

There’s no other way to say it. Black America is in crisis.

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In Loving Memory

David Ray Nicholas Dec. 14, 1954 -- April 2, 2014 David, we miss you so very much! Love, your family

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A National Crisis of Household Debt

Demanding solutions to help families

Family debt is no personal failing — it’s a national crisis. Even as unemployment declines, the debt crisis is holding back a full economic recovery and pushing more people into poverty.

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Look Who’s Turning 100!

Willie Mae Hart

You’re invited to the 100th birthday celebration for Mrs. Willie Mae Hart on Saturday, April 11 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mt. Olivet Family Life Center, 872 N. Chautaqua Blvd. RSVP with Sharon at 503-493-4082.

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Solidarity with Peoples Struggling Against Racism

Learning lessons from history

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination – one of the treaties against racism that the United States has ratified and is subjected to review for compliance.

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Living a Life That Matters

Legendary trumpeter shows the way in ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’

The heralded film “Whiplash” depicts—realistically, I expect—a world of hungry aspiring jazz musicians.

Monday, March 30

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Fitness with ‘JJ’

What’s Holding You Back?

The hardest thing about any goal that you have in your life is the “start.”

Wednesday, March 25

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Living a Life That Matters

Legendary trumpeter shows the way in ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’

The heralded film “Whiplash” depicts—realistically, I expect—a world of hungry aspiring jazz musicians who are easy prey for a brutal, sadistic conductor who deliberately pits them against each other, feeds and then assaults their fragile egos, and continually moves success just beyond their reach.

Tuesday, March 24

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No-Cream Pasta Primavera

Spring veggies benefit from a quick roasting in olive oil and herbs before being tossed with penne. No cream here, just the fresh flavors of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon.

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No Turning Back

Setbacks won’t change plans for one league

The re-establishment of the Portland Interscholastic League at the 6A level will continue into the next school year, despite setbacks in its inaugural year for at least two high school football programs which struggled to enroll enough players to compete at the 6A level, the highest ranking for the state’s largest high schools.

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Getting Ready for College and Career

Youth expo brings real world learning

Getting ready for college and career took on new meaning for the more than 3,000 Portland Public students who mingled with some of the region’s major employers at the NW Youth Careers Expo earlier this March.

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Security Means More than New and Bigger Guns

Risky war business

From the Islamic State to the streets of Paris, Americans get bombarded daily with fresh reminders of conflicts around the world. What’s harder to figure out is what to do about it. What would actually make us safer?

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Skills for Manufacturing Jobs

Making an impact for underserved women

Oregon Tradeswomen and Bank of America are deepening their partnership to help create a skilled workforce to fill some of Portland’s 87,000 advanced manufacturing jobs.

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Staying on the March Right Now

Stand up to those wanting to turn back the clock

Fifty years ago I traveled from Mississippi to Selma, Ala. to join Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of fellow citizens marching the 54 miles to the steps of the state’s capitol in Montgomery.

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Fair Trade Is a Racial Justice Issue

Another wrong-headed trade pact

The work of repairing the racial fissures that broke wide open in Ferguson, Mo., last year goes beyond the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

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Building Skills in the Military

Tyrone Dumas of Portland has embarked on a Navy career serving as an Airman Apprentice with an elite group known as the “Flying Eagles.”

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Bring Diversity to Your Business

Portland General Electric is gearing up to host its annual Diversity Summit for Portland businesses and organizations.

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In Loving Memory

Albert ‘Al’ Williams

Though God decided Al’s journey had ended on the evening of March 9, 2015, our hearts will be filled with happy, funny, crazy, and loving memories forever.

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Author’s Book Reading

Novel brings up issues of addiction and fear

A new novel follows the descent of an African-American family into the bare horror of the afterlife of slavery in its modern attachments to the black body.

Wednesday, March 18

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Boyfriend Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking

The boyfriend and pimp of a Portland woman murdered by a Marine in Hawaii two years ago has pleaded guilty to a human trafficking charge.

Tuesday, March 17

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A Vampire to Capture You

Surrender to a mood of appreciation

Something about the idea of a class of immortal beings, lurking in the shadows and choosing victims among the living because they must, persists in our collective imagination, fascinating terrain for exploring our own shadow regions.

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Time to Redefine the Measures of Our Success

What do we Americans truly value?

What do we stand for as a nation and who do we wish to be? In a 1968 speech at the University of Kansas, Sen. Robert Kennedy correctly worried too many used our nation’s wealth as the standard of greatness rather than the human values that should matter most.

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‘Scandal’ Star Cast as Anita Hill

HBO says "Scandal" star Kerry Washington will play Anita Hill in a film about Clarence Thomas' 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

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The Next Chapter in the Struggle for Racial Justice

Equality and justice for all

Ferguson, Mo. awakened many Americans to a reality too well known in communities of color throughout the nation. From New York City to Los Angeles, the story repeats itself: an unarmed African- American male is shot to death by a police officer.

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Indebted students are force to be reckoned with

The time bomb of student debt

There’s a generational time-bomb ticking — and the student debt crisis is the trip wire. Adults under 35 disproportionately bear the brunt of escalating inequality.

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Explore Vancouver Parks and Trails

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Vancouver area parks and trails with the help of two new maps developed by Vancouver Parks and Recreation.

Wednesday, March 11

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In Loving Memory

Ashley Marie Harris will truly be missed. She was born Jan. 25, 1989 and died March 5, 2015. Services will be held Saturday March 14 at 11 a.m. at Omega Funeral Chapel, 223 S.E. 122nd Ave

Tuesday, March 10

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Boardroom is new Frontier for Diversity in the NBA

Earl Lloyd left a legacy to follow

In an era that can boast of legendary feats of basketball from black players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and countless others, one might find it difficult to remember there was ever a time when black athletes were not a significant presence on professional basketball courts.

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Grading Students Changed My View of Education

A crash course on reality and higher standards

My view of education changed the first time I had to grade my students. It was a difficult assignment, and I hadn’t prepared them adequately for it. I naively thought that because the material was easy for me, it would be easy for them, too. That was not the case.

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Sticker Shock

Bible College land turns to market rate housing

While it may not be unusual to have sticker shock for the price of new housing in the heart of Portland’s historic African American community where gentrification is rampant, a property sold by the North Portland Bible College and turned into apartments by private developers, is making eyes roll.

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Clamp Down on E-Cigarettes

Multnomah County Commissioners have voted to restrict e-cigarettes and so called “vaping” devices to protect children and public health.

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Season Ending Injury

Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews will miss the remainder of the season pending surgery and the recovery from an injury.

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Grant Girls Soar Undefeated

The Grant High School Girls Basketball team is headed to the state playoffs after beating Franklin.

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Intolerance of Past and Today

A wonderful exhibit on Anne Frank and the holocaust comes to the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

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Preserving Our Cultural and Natural Heritage

We can take nothing for granted

The historic Golden West Hotel stands as a marker to the development of the African American middle class in Oregon – and the nation.

Wednesday, March 4

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Giuliani's Words Do More than Hurt - They Divide

A horrible thing to say on many levels

Questioning the president's patriotism isn't just inappropriate; it demonstrates a complete lack of respect. It begs the question that as Giuliani continues to seek a prominent role on the national political stage, will he choose to rehearse only in the Theater of the Absurd?

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No Safe Way to Haul Oil by the Trainload

Pull the brakes on reckless, lethal transport

Some 1.4 million gallons of oil spilled in U.S. rail accidents in 2013 — more in one year than over the previous four decades combined.

Tuesday, March 3

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Window into Oppression

Human spirit refuses to be crushed in ‘Timbuktu’

Gorgeous, poetic, pointed, and profound, this story of a small African community's experience of jihad manages to tell a political story without polemics, to portray with depth and insight how its victims actually experience religious extremism, and, at the same time, to unforgettably illustrate how the human spirit resists attempts to crush it.