Stories for July 2017

Thursday, July 27

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Hash Oil Butane Caused Massive Blast

Cause found of deadly home explosion

A massive house explosion and fire that killed two men in north Portland Monday sending glass shards and debris across the street into Peninsula Park and damaging surrounding homes was caused by using butane to make hash oil, investigators have determined.

Wednesday, July 26

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Prodded Tech Increases Diversity

Some job gains made; more progress needed

A prodding of local tech companies to hire a more diverse workforce is gaining some traction.

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Reception for August Show

The August shows at Guardino Gallery kicks off Thursday, July 27 with a reception for the featured artists from 6 pm. to 9 p.m. at the gallery, located at 2939 N.E. Alberta St.

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Simpson Granted Parole

Release may come as early as Oct. 1

O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.

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Funk Legend Plays Portland

George Clinton, one of the foremost innovators of funk music, and the mastermind behind the bands Parliament and Funkadelic, comes to Portland for a performance on Sunday, July 30 at 8 p.m. at the Crystal Ballroom, downtown.

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Deadly Blast Levels House

Explosion kills two; other homes damaged

Investigators were on the scene of a deadly house explosion Tuesday trying to determine what caused a Monday afternoon inferno that killed two people at a home on North Kerby Street across from Peninsula Park, causing extensive damage to surrounding homes and sending glass shards and other debris across the street into the park and surrounding area.

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Lynch Schools Get New Names

Ending any confusion over the word describing the murder of black Americans by white mobs during the civil rights era and other periods of U.S. history, the Centennial School Board has announced plans to rename Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood and Lynch View elementary schools.

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Construction Pains Grow

Second minority business impacted by development

A second minority business is being impacted by a next door construction project in the King Neighborhood of northeast Portland.

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Creating Positive Images

Gallery shines light on historic mural artist

A new gallery will shine the spotlight on one of Portland’s most prominent black mural artists of a generation during an exhibit and art show that opens on Saturday, July 29 at GreenHAUS Boutique and Gallery, 18 N.E. Killingsworth St.

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Colwood Grand Re-Opening

Portland Parks & Recreation and Kemper Sports will host a grand reopening of the Colwood Golf Center in northeast Portland on Sunday, July 30, a free, family-friendly event from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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A Space to Create

JAW: Playwrights Festival an incubator of new works

Portland Center Stage at the Armory, downtown, hosts its annual festival for talented playwrights this weekend featuring staged readings of scripts in development along with a host of exciting performances, all free and open to the public.

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Rip City for All Ages, Skills

The fourth annual Rip City 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, a premier outdoor basketball event for the public, sponsored by the Portland Trail Blazers and supporting Special Olympics, takes over the Rose Quarter this weekend featuring divisions for all ages and skill levels.

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Augustana Hosts Summer Party

Augustana Lutheran Church has announced plans for its 25th annual “Summer in the City” neighborhood party on Sunday, Aug. 6 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25

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Trump’s Pro Torture-Friendly Administration

Appointments set off alarm bells

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Donald Trump is pro-torture. He said on the campaign trail he’d approve waterboarding “in a heartbeat,” plus “a hell of a lot worse.”

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Republicans are Right: Going to College Hurts

But not for the reasons you might expect

New public opinion polling shows most Republicans think colleges have a negative impact on the country. Unfortunately, they might be right — but not for the reasons you might expect them to give.

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In Loving Memory

Jimmie Excell Trice Sr.

Jimmie Excell Trice Sr. has passed away.

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Men and Women on the Side of Right

A civil rights icon charts a new course

After 12 historic years leading the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, the Rev. Dr. William Barber is stepping up to a new challenge.

Wednesday, July 19

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Shakespeare at Irving Park

A theater group that brings no-cost repertory Shakespeare in parks and other venues in Portland and across the state comes to Irving Park in northeast Portland and Willamette Park in southwest Portland for multiple performances this weekend and next weekend before moving to Laurelhurst Park for shows the weekend of Aug. 4-6.

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Clark County Farmers Market

Access to farm-fresh food and regional products just got more convenient in Vancouver with the opening of the Franklin Street Farmers Market in the plaza outside the Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Tuesday, July 18

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A Step Back on 48-Hour Rule

DA says agreement violates Oregon Law

The Portland Police Bureau’s controversial 48-hour rule, which was eliminated in negotiations with the city’s police union last year, is now back stronger than ever.

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Cultural Roots around the World

You’re invited to an evening of international food, crafts, live music, and dance performances when the Beaverton Night Market is held Saturday, July 22 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Round, 12725 S.W. Millikan Way.

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Making Amends

Racist past jettisoned in new name for dorm

New signs are up week at Unthank Hall, the University of Oregon dormitory renamed because of the Ku Klux Klan past of its former namesake.

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Human Beings, Not Numbers

Shining light on the humanity of the incarcerated

A new art show at the Pearl District’s Gallery 114 invites attendees to confront the humanity of the Oregon state prison system.

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Injured in Leap to Escape Fire

A longtime Portland resident and business owner was injured after jumping out of a second story window to escape an apartment fire in northeast Portland Thursday.

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Turning Back the Clock to a Time of No Rights

Health care repeal is a direct attack

The health care repeal that Republicans are pushing through Congress is a direct attack on the lives of black people throughout the country.

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Madison grows Muslim Student Alliance

A group of students at Madison High, the most ethnically and culturally diverse school in Oregon, is leading the way to facilitate positive perceptions about families in Portland who have emigrated from Muslim-majority countries around the world.

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Dance Films: Movement and Flow

The Northwest Film Center presents six Portland-made films featuring dance and movement.

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On Mississippi Avenue

Benefit Concert for IRCO

A celebration of IRCO, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization serving refugees, immigrants and the community at large, will take place during a benefit concert, Thursday, July 27 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Mississippi Pizza Pub’s Atlantis Lounge, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave.

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In Loving Memory of Ethel Simon-McWilliams

Dr. Ethel Simon-McWilliams, an accomplished educational leader in Portland for decades and the former chief executive of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, now known as Education Northwest, died July 12, 2017. She was 78.

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Trump’s Worst Collusion is with Corporations

Billionaires doing a lot better than Putin

Many leading liberals suspect, now with a little more evidence, that Trump worked with Russia to win his election. But we’ve long known that huge corporations and wealthy individuals threw their weight behind the billionaire.

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A Vital Connection Between Head Start and School

Working together for better results

I have been working in our community with Head Start since 1975. I have never been as excited as I am today about the path ahead to make progress for our students because of a new partnership Albina Head Start formed with Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School this past school year.

Tuesday, July 11

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‘Our Kids Can Achieve’

Retiring school leader on defying expectations

One of Portland’s most influential black educators has retired.

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Beyond White Culture

Diversity at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Stories of people of color written by people of color now playing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

Wednesday, July 5

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First Muslim Cultural Festival

The community is invited to enjoy the best of Muslim cultural traditions at the first annual Portland International Muslim Cultural Festival on Saturday at Director Park, downtown.

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Health Care Proposal Built on Inequality

Epitomizes separate and unequal

Our representatives are on the brink of instating a health care plan that epitomizes separate and unequal. Thirteen U.S. Senators -- all white men -- sat behind closed doors in Washington, D.C. and crafted a replacement to the Affordable Care Act.

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Connecting to the River

Free canoe paddles for environmental focus

Free guided big canoe excursions along the lower Columbia River and its tributaries started up last week and will continue all summer as a non-profit works to keep the public informed on efforts to restore and protect habitat, improve water quality and reduce pollution.

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Affordable Commercial Space

Incentives offer help to minority businesses

A new Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program by the city’s economic development agency addresses a dramatic increase in retail rents and a decrease in vacancy rates which have resulted in the displacement of small businesses from urban neighborhoods.

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Author Breaks Yoga Stereotypes

Search for the term yoga online—the results display an endless scroll of slender young white women. It’s easy to see how someone who doesn’t fit that mold might feel alienated.

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On the Front Lines

Peer-recovery counselors battle opioid epidemic

A unique, collaborative approach to addiction care at Oregon Health and Science University is helping to tackle the opioid epidemic.

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In Loving Memory of Abe Rogers Jr.

Abe Rogers Jr. Sunrise: April 17, 1947 Sunset: June 19, 2017

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In Loving Memory of Willie Mae Hart

In Loving Memory of Willie Mae Hart

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Summer Concerts and Movies

Blues singer kicks off Vancouver series

The city of Vancouver presents another summer of free concerts and moves at locations throughout the city beginning this week.

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City Sues Trump Over Sanctuary Cities

Portland has joined Seattle in going to court to challenge President Donald Trump’s executive order on “sanctuary cities.”

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Prisons, Poverty and the Price of Freedom

Jay-Z gesture bring focus to justice reforms

Hip-hop legend Jay-Z recently celebrated Father's Day by allowing incarcerated fathers to spend the day with their families.

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All Set for Mississippi Street Fair

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 8, for the 16th annual Mississippi Street Fair.

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Ethic Dance Showcase

You’re invited to enjoy a showcase of traditional ethnic dances when “Ten Tiny Dances."

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Fighting for Benson

Supporters rally to save sports programs

Students and alumni of Benson High School are keeping pressure on Portland Public Schools to continue to fund athletic programs at one of the district’s most diverse schools. A group of students and community members gathered in front of the northeast Portland school last week to show their support for school sports. It followed a protest one week earlier before the Portland School Board.

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Revitalizing Cultural Roots

Grants support black history museum, other projects

Prosper Portland, the city’s renamed economic development agency, is awarding a series of grants to help revitalize and expand north and northeast Portland establishments that represent the rich history and culture of Portland’s historically black neighborhoods.