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Stories for April 2017

Tuesday, April 25

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City Matters

Mayor up front on the issues

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler pushed his agenda on the critical issues of housing affordability and police reforms during a visit to the offices of the Portland Observer, Oregon’s longest serving minority publication Friday.

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Police Oversight Hurdles

Community fight to keep reforms on track

Portland community leaders are fighting to keep efforts to reform the Portland Police Department on track amidst a slew of delays, complications and opposition from the Trump Administration.

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Arrest in Fire Attack at Denny’s

Police arrested Deshawn Swanger, 24, on Friday on a charge of attempted murder.

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A Feast of Films to Watch

Documentaries are windows into African American life

Darleen Ortega writes her second installment about her annual sojourn to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C.

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Taxes to Fund Disastrous Nuclear Weapons

Change will not happen on its own

The Trump Administration is proposing a dramatic increase in the budget for nuclear weapons while simultaneously proposing a dramatic decrease for social and environmental programs.

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New Classic Jazz Quartet

Portland jazz composer and pianist Darrell Grant kicks off a two week tour of Oregon concerts this weekend with his MJ New Quartet, a group inspired by the legendary group Modern Jazz Quartet.

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‘Fluffy’ Iglesias on Tour

Gabriel ‘I'm Not Fat, I'm Fluffy’ Iglesias will perform in Portland.

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Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt

It doesn’t have to be this way

Many indebted graduates begin their work lives with damaged credit histories and greater economic vulnerability.

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In Loving Memory of Velesia R. Campbell

In Loving Memory of Velesia R. Campbell

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Helping Hungry Families

Focused on alleviating hunger and helping people become more food secure, Smithfield Foods joined forces with Fred Meyer to donate nearly 25,000 pounds of protein to Oregon Food Bank last week.

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Playback Confronts Mental Health

You’re invited to an evening of interactive community theater aimed to help break the sigma surrounding mental health.

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Defending Voting Rights across the Nation

A commitment to equality and opportunity

A federal court this month dealt a blow to Texas’ efforts to disenfranchise voters of color.

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In Loving Memory of Henry Knight

In Loving Memory of Henry Knight

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Young R&B Singer on Tour

Ella Mai will be at the Crystal Ballroom.

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Building the Wall

A play about what happens if we let fear win

The Portland theater company Triangle Productions has joined other theaters around the county in rolling out a world premier play about what happens if we let fear win.

Wednesday, April 19

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Meet the 2017 Rose Festival Court

Portland's honored royalty

Outstanding young women from Portland area high schools

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TriMet Police Budget Draws Fire

Rider advocates oppose new transit precinct

Advocates for low-income, transit-dependent communities are challenging TriMet’s budget priorities, arguing that an added emphasis on policing comes at the expense of efforts to make public transportation more affordable to riders.

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Clean Up Alberta Street

Earth Day event planned rain or shine

Friends and neighbors and other volunteers will focus on cleaning up litter, clearing storm drains, weeding and mulching at bus stops and removing graffiti along Northeast Alberta Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Northeast 33rd Avenue.

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Earth Day Festival Saturday

Multicultural celebration at Mt. Scott Park

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry presents the city’s annual Arbor Day Festival this year on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22

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In Loving Memory

Judy Mae Phillips

The family thanks you for all the prayers

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In Loving Memory

Sharon L. Joiner

Sharon L. Joiner, the beloved wife of Phillip S. Joiner, went home to rest on April 6, 2017.

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In Loving Memory

Velesia C. Campbell

May our loving mother and grandmother rest in heavenly peace

Tuesday, April 18

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Music To Feed Your Hip-Hop Craving

Portland’s Swiggle Mandel’s new mix tape

Like wet is to water, Swiggle Mandela lyrics are liquid.

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Performance artist brings Rodney King to stage

"Can we all get along?"

Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre will present “Rodney King,” written and performed by acclaimed actor and performance artist Roger Guenveur Smith

Wednesday, April 12

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Priced Out

Portlanders Can't Afford Portland

As rental and housing prices continue to rise and wages remain stagnant, Portland's black community is being hit hard in the struggle to stay housed.

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City Hall Shake Up

Second bureau director dismissed

Paul Scarlett, Portland’s director of the Bureau of Development Services for the last 12 years, told his department employees on Monday he was resigning.

Tuesday, April 11

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Always in Remembrance

Juanita Walton (Mrs. Roy Jay)

“It’s hard to forget someone who gave so much to remember”

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In Loving Memory of Roderick L. Peterson

In Loving Memory of Roderick L. Peterson.

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Ten Grand Pianos Showcase

Ten Grand Pianos, a musical showcase to benefit music education programs will fill the stage at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m.

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Zoo Egg Hunts and More

Eggs-citing times are in store Saturday, April 15, when the Oregon Zoo hosts its annual Rabbit Romp, a celebration of spring geared toward families.

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Easter Picnic at Peninsula Park

A local charity invites families and individuals in need to join them for an Easter Sunday picnic at Peninsula Park with sandwiches, salads, chips and soft drinks, plus an Easter Egg Hunt for children.

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Racism, Militarism and Extreme Materialism

Is it too late to heed MLK’s warning?

Fifty years ago this month, a year to the day before he was murdered, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called us to overcome the giant triplets plaguing our society – racism, militarism and extreme materialism – in his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” address at Riverside Church in Manhattan.

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In Loving Memory of Mary Harrison

In loving memory of Mary Harrison

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Failing Ploys from The Great Distracter

Diverting attention from Russia

Three of Donald Trump’s latest ploys to distract attention from Russiagate have failed.

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From the Guardino Gallery

Three local artists are being featured during April at Guardino Gallery, 2939 N.E. Alberta St.

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Opening Eyes to the Struggles of Others

New documentaries offer something for everyone

There is something about my yearly sojourn to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C. that really helps me reset my perspective. My own suffering and struggle is placed back into the context of struggle around the world. After four days of empathy with the struggles of others, I'm ready to return to my own, in solidarity.

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Alpenrose Easter Egg Fun

The Alpenrose Dairy Easter Egg Hunt, a Portland tradition since 1962, returns Saturday April 15 with a special appearance by the Easter Bunny.

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A Powerful Warning Still Relevant Today

Dr. King’s antiwar speech 50 years later

Fifty years ago on April 4, 1967, our prophet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the historic speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” at New York City’s Riverside Church. It was his first major public antiwar speech and a powerful warning that a rise in racial hatred, militarism and violence could destroy America.

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Meals and Gifts on Easter

The homeless and anyone in need are welcome to attend a free Easter brunch on Easter Sunday, April 15 at the Union Gospel Mission, 15 N.W. Third Ave., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Lady Sings the Blues

Siren Nation presents tribute concert

A Portland group dedicated to promoting the works of local women in music, film, and other performance and visual arts will host its 11th annual Billie Holiday Tribute Night benefit on Saturday, April 15 at the Alberta Rose Theater.

Thursday, April 6

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Off the Sideline

One year of getting kids into the game

The rising costs of participating in school-based sports and after-school activities is causing more families to opt out, but a Portland non-profit has found a way to get more kids into the game.

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Are You Watching Iraq? You Should Be

U.S. may be killing more civilians than the Russians

The full story of what happened in the al-Jidideh neighborhood isn’t yet clear, but the toll is unmistakable.

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Support for the Creation of a Public Bank

Embracing socially responsible values

Mayor Wheeler recently announced that the city of Portland, in protest of Wells Fargo’s financial involvement with the Dakota Access Pipeline, will pursue other, more socially responsible, banking alternatives.

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A New Fix to Close the Gender Pay Gap

Don’t peg new wages to old ones

Tuesday, April 4 was Equal Pay Day. Never heard of it? If you’re a working woman or someone who cares about the working women in your life, you need to study up.

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Legendary Funk and Soul

Tickets have gone on sale for a Portland concert with the Ohio Players.

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Tickets for Summer Concerts

Tickets are now on sale for the first half-dozen shows coming to the Oregon Zoo’s Summer Concerts

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Free Shuttle Back for Season

Washington Park’s free shuttle is back.

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Author Exposes Online Hate

Delves into the anonymous, bigoted speech

An award-winning black journalist is taking on the trolls. Anita M. Samuels’ new book, “Rants & Retorts: How Bigots Got a Monopoly on Commenting about News Online,” exposes the rise in online hate speech.

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Tar Heels National Champs

North Carolina has its sixth NCAA basketball championship.

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Hands On for Critter Count

Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center has a call out to slither, crawl or hop to the annual Critter Count, seeking and exploring a variety of critters to help evaluate water quality and changing environmental conditions.

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Ducks Just Shy in Final Four

Oregon struggled shooting from the perimeter and gave up two offensive rebounds on missed free throws in the final 6 seconds, leading to a disheartening 77-76 loss to North Carolina in the Final Four Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

In Loving Memory of Paul J. Buscovick

In memory of Paul J. Buscovick.

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Housing for Seniors

Nonprofit opens first Vancouver project

REACH Community Development has just opened its first Vancouver senior housing project, Isabella Court, bringing much needed affordable, sustainable housing to Clark County.

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Lease Alberta Commons

Small, minority-owned businesses still have the opportunity to participate in the retail mix at Alberta Commons, now under construction at the corner of Northeast Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street.

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Assembly for Black Affairs Turns 40

The official state advocacy group for Oregon’s black population turns 40 years old this week. The Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs will celebrate with a ceremony in the Legislative Chambers at the State Capitol in Salem on Friday, April 7 at 10 a.m.