Stories for December 2017

Wednesday, December 27

Tease photo

Bus tickets phasing out

TriMet expands electronic fare system

As TriMet expands its electronic fare system, retailers will soon shift to selling Hop Fastpass cards only, no longer selling conventional tickets and passes as soon as Feb. 1, officials announced last week.

Tease photo

Kwanzaa Events Fill Calendar

Community events for the week long celebration of Kwanzaa, a celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture, will continue this week in Portland.

Tease photo

Rewarding the Wealthy and Corporate America

Working people lose again

A Nation unable to pay its bills is borrowing to further enrich its billionaires and millionaires with a tax “reform” bill that transfers a massive amount of the nation’s wealth from the middle class to the nation’s richest individuals and corporations.

Tease photo

A Cruel Holiday Gift for Haitian Immigrants

Season is filled with fear and uncertainty

Two months after experiencing the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, my dad finally made it back home to Boston. What had started as a holiday vacation turned into weeks of sleeping outside the family home in Haiti, fearful that it would collapse on anyone sleeping inside.

Tease photo

A Year that Awakened and Energized America

We cannot and must not lose our momentum

Without any fear of exaggeration, it can be said, and has been—repeatedly—that the final result of the 2016 presidential election came as a devastating blow to many Americans.

Tuesday, December 26

Tease photo

Tensions Rise on County Board

Smith gaveled down; Kafoury regrets comment

When Multnomah County Commission Loretta Smith took aim at a housekeeping measure before the board of commissioners last week she was gaveled down by chair Deborah Kafoury who took offense at Smith’s remarks but later had to apologize for making a personal and vulgar attack on Smith’s character.

Tease photo

Surviving Together

Revealing portrait as homeless struggle through winter

A group of mostly women struggle to stay alive

Tease photo

Stabilizing Our Community

Legacy bricks raise capital for Allen Temple rebuild

Allen Temple CME church raises donations to rebuild after 2015 fire

Tease photo

Community Recognition

Portland Observer publisher honored

Mark Washington is honored for his work in the community

Tease photo

In Loving Memory

Gracie Gage

Services will be held Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 1 p.m. at University Park Baptist Church

Wednesday, December 20

Tease photo

Advancing the Conversation on Sexual Assault

Let’s agree on how to punish it

Our national debate about sexual harassment and assault seems to be missing a bit of nuance.

Tease photo

Corporate Interests Are Warping the Internet

Why should they hold even more power?

My identity was stolen this year. The perpetrator didn’t open credit cards in my name or gain access to my finances. Instead, they used my name to submit a comment to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of repealing net neutrality rules.

Tease photo

Journalist was a Fearless Civil Rights Legend

Honoring a legacy and press freedom

We join the nation in mourning Simeon Booker's passing last week at the age of 99.

Tease photo

Holiday Meals for Veterans

Members of the Active and Reserve National Guard and American Military Encouragement Network volunteer to distribute holiday food donations from the Sunshine Division warehouse in north Portland Tuesday.

Tease photo

Second City Hit Comedy

‘Twist Your Dickens’ at Armory’s Main Stage

The hilarious hit from comedy giant The Second City has returned to The Armory for another year of holiday jeer. A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens, written by Emmy Award-winners Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, is now showing through Sunday, Dec. 31 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage at The Armory, downtown.

Tease photo

TV Host Defends Reputation

Tavis Smiley says PBS made a big mistake by suspending him from his talk show.

Tease photo

Gingerbread Adventures

You’re invited to get into the holiday spirit by viewing some amazing gingerbread houses during Gingerbread Adventures at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Tease photo

Gray Whales on the Move

Watching week activities begin Dec. 27

Gray whales are on the move south again this winter, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is celebrating the annual event with Whale Watching Week, Dec. 27-31.

Tuesday, December 19

Tease photo

George Zimmerman Threatens Jay-Z

Sparks feud on social media

Back and forth generated by documentary series that rapper Jay-Z is producing about Trayvon Martin shooter

Tease photo

Permanently Affordable

Non profit plans condos to create shared equity, stability

Portland community land trust has plans to develop a major affordable condominium project giving priority to displaced residents

Tease photo

Jury Rules Shooting Justified

Burglary suspect was shot during police chase

Grand Jury determines that a Portland Police Bureau officer was justified when he shot and wounded an unarmed black bank robbery suspect

Tease photo

Going Too Fast

Amtrak Cascades crashes on inaugural run

The Amtrak train bound for Portland and Seattle making its first ever run along a faster new route was hurtling 50 mph over the speed limit when it jumped the track and plunged off an overpass south of Seattle Monday, killing at least three people, injuring dozens more and crushing two vehicles.

Tease photo

Giving Back for the Holidays

Donated car to help a family in need

J.R. Watkins is the lead mechanic for Elite OnSite, a new player in the Portland and Vancouver fleet services industry. This past November, he saw the opportunity to combine his professional skills and industry contacts to give back to a family in need. The goal was to refurbish a used car to mint condition before the holidays, so that a Christmas giveaway could be coordinated.

Tease photo

Christmas Dinner and More

The plans are set for Portland’s largest Christmas dinner, free to anyone in need and anyone without family or friends to share the holidays.

Tease photo

Christmas at the Grotto

Operating nightly with sights and sounds of the season

Since 1988, the Grotto's Christmas Festival of Lights has been an ever-growing community tradition that celebrates the true spirit of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12

Tease photo

Trump behavior cited in resignation calls

But Oregon's U.S. House members don't stand for impeachment

Impeachment vote fails; but But Trump behavior cited in resignation calls

Tease photo

Vera Katz Remembered

Three term mayor broke barriers; had tough but tender style

Vera Katz, a former three-term Portland mayor and first female speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives who died Monday after a long battle with complications from cancer is being remembered as a politician who broke gender barriers and deployed a tough-but tender political style to advance her priorities.

Tease photo

Driving Healthcare Equity

First African American to chair Planned Parenthood chapter

Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette has a new chair, small business owner and health care practitioner Sita Symonette, the first African American woman to lead the board in its 54 year history.

Tease photo

First Equity Director Resigns

The first director of a Portland office charged with removing barriers in government for Portlanders of color and people with disabilities is leaving his post.

Tease photo

A Fun, Festive Favorite

Portland Playhouse presents ‘A Christmas Carol’

“A Christmas Carol,” the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformative journey of redemption, a mainstay of Portland Playhouse’s annual season five years running, is back for the holidays, a fun, festive and family favorite featuring a diverse cast from a theater group based in northeast Portland.

Tease photo

Rhodes Scholar Story Inspirational

Letter to the Editor

It’s inspiring and comforting to see a young man with enough emotional maturity to realize life after basketball does exist and that it can offer some truly amazing rewards- like a Rhodes Scholarship.

Tease photo

Empowering Young Adults to End Social Injustice

Tomorrow’s leaders form alliance group

A national survey by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that between 2004 and 2015, there were likely a staggering 250,000 hate crimes each year in the country, the majority of which go unreported to police.

Tease photo

Igniting a Movement for a Moral Economy

GOP tax plan sheds light on inequality

If you’re expecting a gift card from your boss as an end-of-year bonus, enjoy it this year because you probably won’t get one in 2018. The Senate tax bill would ban such rewards.

Tease photo

Black Identity Extremists Who Don’t Exist

Resisting the FBI’s new racial targeting

It is the wisdom of the ancestors that “if you know the beginning well, the end will not trouble you.” Therefore, when we receive news that the FBI released a so-called “intelligence assessment” pretending a threat from a group of “black identity extremists” that doesn’t exist, we need not be shocked, shaken or even surprised.

Tease photo

In Loving Memory

Willesha Elene Wade

Services for Willesha Elene Wade of Portland, who died Dec. 1, 2017, will be held Thursday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at New Song Community Church, 2511 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Thursday, December 7

Tease photo

No Support for Impeachment from Oregon

Entire House delegation voted to kill measure

When a black Democratic lawmaker from Texas introduced a resolution in Congress to impeach President Trump on Wednesday, not one member of Oregon’s congressional delegation supported it.

Wednesday, December 6

Tease photo

Networking for Jobs

County recruits for courthouse, health department builds

Multnomah County is getting out the word to connect job-seekers with opportunities as the county moves ahead on two construction projects, a new courthouse and health department offices, downtown.

Tease photo

Affordability for Now

Investment example of what may be lost in future

A proposed 240 unit, 12-story mixed-use complex reserved for lower income tenants, the largest affordable housing investment in Portland for decades, is an example of creating needed housing with federal financial supports that may be unavailable in the future because of tax legislation moving through Congress.

Tease photo

Oregon Ballet Executive Hired

Oregon Ballet Theatre has hired Michel R. Greer as its new executive director, a former professional dancer who went on to complete degrees in economics and education to pursue a career in business management and later become the executive director of the Portland Opera in Portland, Maine.

Tease photo

Santa Cuts at Moore Street

"Santa Cuts" will return to the Salvation Army’s Moore Street Community and Worship Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14 to give local children ages 0-18 a haircut for free.

Tease photo

Viewing for Christmas Ships

Space is available for the public to view the annual Christmas Ships parades by visiting the M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp on the Columbia River across from the Portland airport.

Tease photo

Kwanzaa Celebration at Kaiser

African American employees with Kaiser Permanente are inviting the community to join them for a celebration of Kwanzaa, the holiday honoring the culture and traditions of people of African origin or descent.

Tease photo

Invest in Treatment, Mental Health and Better Medicine

The pain behind opioid abuse

Nine years ago, I lost my brother to a heroin overdose.

Tease photo

Rent Control, Gun Control and Impeachment

What would Nelson Mandela do?

The excellent editorial cartoon and commentary about gun control (Preventing Gun Deaths and Protecting Gun Rights, Portland Observer, Nov. 15 issue) highlights the need to not lose heart when advocating for what the mainstream media tends to characterize as "impossible" goals.

Tuesday, December 5

Tease photo

A Rhodes Scholar

Portland student soars to new academic heights

Portland student becomes one of only 32 other Americans selected for fellowship at Oxford University in England, the United Kingdom’s top-ranked university and one of the worlds’ most prestigious.

Tease photo

No Sit’ Resistance to Mayor

Protestors say response criminalizes homeless

Portland’s Resistance calls ‘no-sit zones’ a means of ‘criminalizing houeselessness’ and criticizes Mayor Ted Wheeler for authorizing eight more city blocks with those designations

Tease photo

Zimbabwe and Where it All Went Wrong

The people shall govern

Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe's second president on Nov. 24, replacing his former boss Robert Mugabe who had led the nation in southern Africa since it gained political independence from Britain in 1980.

Tease photo

Bigger Than Ever

Zoo’s popular holiday light display is back

ZooLights is back! The Oregon Zoo’s walk-through winter wonderland of more than 1.6 million colored lights has opened for its 30th season and is more popular than ever.

Tease photo

On Alberta Street

Little Things Gallery Show

The ever popular “Little Things” holiday group show at Guardino Gallery is back for its 17th year.

Tease photo

Homegoing Celebration

Perry Allen

A homegoing celebration for Perry Lee Allen, who died Nov. 23, 2017, will be held Thursday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. at Mt. Olivet Church, 8501 N. Chautauqua Blvd.

Tease photo

In Loving Memory

Adelbert ‘Delbert’ Williams

He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife, sons, daughter, brothers and sisters and a host of nieces and nephews and grandchildren

Friday, December 1

Tease photo

Livability Grants Awarded

Projects promote shared prosperity

Prosper Portland, the city of Portland’s urban development agency, is awarding $1.7 million in Community Livability Grants, leveraging $11 million in private investment, to promote projects with shared prosperity benefitting communities of color and people with low incomes.