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Stories for January 2016

Tuesday, January 26

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Human Solutions Shelter Opening

An emergency family shelter is set to open in outer southeast Portland on Monday to help meet the needs of homeless families.

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Building Strong Communities

A legacy award is presented to Wells Fargo and its community relations team, including Cobi Lewis at Vancouver Avenue Baptist Church’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship luncheon.

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Building a Workforce

Trades Center seen as anti-poverty solution

Workforce needs in the manufacturing sector and the opportunity to be lifted out of poverty with family-wage jobs was front and center during a roundtable discussion at Portland Community College’s Swan Island Trades Center.

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Rooted in Hip Hop and African Culture

A stunningly fluid dance work rooted in martial arts, hip hop and African culture comes to Portland with White Bird’s presentation of "La Compagnie Hervé Koubi."

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Clark College Jazz Festival

The 54th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival presents three full days of exhilarating big band jazz this weekend.

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Alice’s Jazz Odyssey!

You’re invited to tumble down the rabbit hole as Alice’s adventures through Wonderland are transformed into a spectacular jazz odyssey!

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In Loving Memory

Rose Marie Blackamore-Reasonover

Rose Marie Blackamore-Reasonover was born Feb. 4, 1941 and died Jan. 19, 2016.

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In Loving Memory

David Lee Stewart

Funeral services for David Lee Stewart, who died Jan. 19, 2016, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. at Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church, 111 N.E. Failing St. A public visitation will take place Tuesday, Jan, 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Terry Family Funeral Home.

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Tax Help Available

IRS-certified volunteers help low income

IRS-certified volunteers are available again this year to help low and middle income families file tax returns and get the refunds they deserve.

Tuesday, January 19

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Community Activist Turns 100!

Since 1916, one local woman has beaten the odds in a long life dedicated to her family and community. Come celebrate her Friday, Jan. 26!

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Mary’s Woods Concert Series

Mousai Remix, a Portland -based string quartet comprised of Oregon Symphony members Emily Cole, Shin-young Kwon, Jennifer Arnold, and Marilyn de Oliveira, will perform on Sunday, Jan. 31.

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In Loving Memory

Lucille B. Nixon

Lucille B. Nixon was born June 15, 1920 and died Jan. 10, 2016. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 5935 N. Minnesota Ave.

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Nonprofits’ Spending under Cloud

Roy Jay, a prominent African American business leader and community advocate, is firing back against an Oregon Department of Justice investigation to determine if he unlawfully profited from the non-profit groups he headed.

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Racial Equity Progress

Report finds success but more work ahead

Racial equality legislation moved at a record pace in Oregon last year, but more engagement will be needed to advance civil rights bills in the future, according to a new annual report by a coalition of racial and social justice organizations.

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Polished Lush Vocals

R&B soul songstress Emily King will bring her lush vocals and pop funk tunes to Doug Fir Lounge on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. 

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Music of Harlem Celebrated

Jazz greats Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, as well as composers Jeffery Mumford and George Walker, will be featured in “Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance,” a free music theater concert, Monday, Feb. 1 at Clackamas Community College.

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Comic Focus of Fame

Comic and sports lovers are celebrating a new comic book focusing on Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson as the team’s undisputed leader becomes the latest subject of Storm Comics’ Focus of Fame series.

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Go Karts, Events and More

A local African American and his business partner are growing their Vancouver entertainment company with both fixed and mobile Go Karts tracks, meeting space for special events, and steps to expand operations with new locations.

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Boogie Cat Mardis Gras

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate Mardi Gras with Louisiana native and celebrated Portland jazz musician Norman “Boogie Cat” Sylvester.

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New Leader for Hispanic Chamber

The business group serving Portland’s Latino community has a new president!

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Why the President Should Visit Haiti

An addition for Obama’s bucket list

Why a visit to Haiti, the world's first Black Republic should be on Obama's bucket list.

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Hazardous Beauty

The intersection of gender, race and class draws fire when a new piece that focuses on interracial friendships comes to this month’s Fertile Ground Festival of New Works.

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Theatre, Dance, Music and More

Diverse lineup at festival of new works

The Portland-grown Fertile Ground Festival of New Works kicks off with dozens upon dozens of new artist works from Portland’s teeming jungle of artists to perform on stages, nooks and crannies all over Portland for 11 days from Thursday, Jan. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 31.

Thursday, January 14

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Advocates Demand Housing Justice

The Portland Tenants Union invites the community to join them at Portland City Hall Friday as they make demands for housing justice.

Wednesday, January 13

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Answering Call to Save Black Lodge

Supporters organize Thursday fundraiser

The Sons of Haiti Masonic Lodge on the corner of North Mississippi and Fremont Street, one of the last black-owned corners of the area, is getting some help from the neighborhood to remain in place and meet city regulations that demand the property stay compliant for land use regulations or face steep fines.

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Storytelling Banquet Fights Hunger

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will draw people to the Linnton Community Center in northwest Portland for a benefit banquet to raise funds to fight hunger.

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Builders Program Fights Displacement

Repairs help 12 longtime residents stay put

A Portland Housing Bureau grant to a community development nonprofit is providing some critical home repairs to mitigate displacement of longtime homeowners in north and northeast Portland.

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A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Dr. King

Program set for 31st annual celebration

Portland’s World Arts Foundation is proud to present its 31st consecutive Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this year at the Highland Center.

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Ophelia in Oblivion

Poet writes play on family trauma, secrets and regrets

One of Portland’s celebrated black writers and artists is getting ready to debut a dramatic new full-length play as a staged reading that explores death, karma, guilt and family dysfunction.

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Harrowing film ‘The Revenant’ broadens truths

Director portrays First Nations people with dignity

The critical reaction to the work of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu chronically illustrates how dominant culture bias affects what stories are told and valued on film.

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Terry Porter Beer Crafted

Former NBA and Portland Trail Blazer point guard Terry Porter has teamed up with Gilgamesh Brewing of Salem to create a new, limited-edition craft beer.

Tuesday, January 12

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From MLK to Today

New voices and leaders emerge

This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. special edition represents more than the Portland Observer’s hard work or the history of the late civil rights leader – it showcases a year when the dignity of black lives has been made even more evident by new voices in the struggle against discrimination and other injustices.

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In Loving Memory

Keith James

A memorial service was held Sunday in Portland for Keith James, a long time resident who died recently in California.

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Broken Promises

World premiere hits cultural theater

Teatro Milagro launches its 2016 national tour in Portland with the world premiere of "Broken Promises" by Olga Sanchez, based on local stories of sex teenage sex trafficking.

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In Loving Memory

Arnold Anthony Pitre

Arnold Anthony Pitre was born on Nov. 20, 1945 in Vanport to William Joseph Pitre and Wilma Lee Pitre.

Monday, January 11

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Ancestry in Motion

Connecting the past to the present

Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater is excited to present their second full evening event, “Ancestry in Motion,” bringing a captivating weekend of African dance to Portland audiences.

Tuesday, January 5

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Musical ‘Book of Mormon’ Returns

Back by popular demand, “The Book of Mormon,” which played record breaking engagements in 2013 and 2014 returns to Portland for two weeks from Saturday, Jan. 12 to Jan. 24 at Keller Auditorium.

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In Loving Memory

Rhonda Henry

Rhonda Henry was born Aug. 24, 1956 and died Dec. 30, 2015.

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Moved to Act

Obama gets emotional on gun control

President Barack Obama moved Tuesday to use his executive authority to require all gun sellers to register as dealers — even those who sell at gun shows and online — and to run background checks on all prospective purchasers, aiming to curb a scourge of gun violence despite unyielding opposition to new gun laws in Congress.

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Growing to Stop Hunger

Volunteers mark 20 years of local food bank support

Produce for People, a volunteer effort to supply food to local hunger relief agencies in coordination with the Community Gardens program at Portland Parks and Recreation, is celebrating the New Year with a report that 42,000 pounds of organic, locally grown produce was harvested in 2015 to help feed people.

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Gritty ‘Tangerine’ on My ‘Best of 2015’ List

Made on a tiny budget of $100,000, "Tangerine" is the quintessentially Hollywood picture.

Monday, January 4

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Stakes High for Opportunity and Justice Issues

Social structures of the past are challenged

The 2016 Presidential election still is more than 10 months off, but already it promises to serve as a referendum on social justice and racial reconciliation, in a year when national attitudes are changing faster than ever – and not always for the better.

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A Passion for Lying, Cheating and Stealing

My Person of the Year

It’s time — past time, really — to name the person of the year. (Time Magazine does it. Why not me?)

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Don’t Want to See Mistakes of Past Repeated

The education inequality struggle

2015 was a hard year for poor children and children of color in a gridlocked and cantankerous Congress.

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Remembering Natalie Cole

Daughter of jazz legend carried on his legacy

Jazz legend Natalie Cole's light continues to shine well into the 21st century and she is remembered by countless fans this week following her death.