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Stories for February 2018

Wednesday, February 28

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Empowering Women

Mentorship group celebrates first graduates

WomenFirst, a grass-roots organization helping women rebuild their lives and gain support through peer mentorship, will host a public celebration on Saturday, March 3 for their first graduating class from a 12 week women empowerment group, called “I Love Me.”

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Oregon Moves on Gun Control

People convicted of stalking and domestic violence or with restraining orders won't be able to buy or own guns or ammunition in Oregon under a new gun control measure that was passed last week in the Oregon Legislature and is now headed to Gov. Kate Brown who plans to sign it into law.

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New Gym for Heart Patients

Legacy Emanuel has opened a new cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program, which includes a 4,200-square-foot gym, to help heart and pulmonary patients on their road to recovery.

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‘That Was Fun! I can’t Wait to Read Again’

Dogs make great reading partners

For many children with learning challenges like dyslexia, the idea of sharing a book aloud is fraught with anxiety. Finding the courage to overcome the fear of reading can be a battle.

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Collision with Gentrification

Local theater group presents ‘Two Trains Running’

Portland’s African-American producing theater company PassinArt presents ‘Two Trains Running’ by August Wilson, opening Friday, March 2 and continuing all month at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate Ave.

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Local Author Weaves Hip Hop into Thriller

Hip Hop is alive and well in a post World War III world in a new graphic novel by Barron Bell, a Portland based professor and graphic novelist.

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Bold and Innovate Dance

A celebrated dance group known for their power and humor in addressing gender identity and racial inequality will perform three shows in downtown Portland this week and attend a special community workshop on Saturday with a local African American sorority.

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Women in Film Series Opens

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Hollywood Theatre in northeast Portland presents a month-long celebration of the women who have shaped the film industry, beginning with a screening of “Broadcast News” on Monday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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Inclusive Force in Hip Hop Tours

Brockhampton, a Los Angeles-based hip-hop collective known as one of the most progressive and inclusive forces in rap right now, brings their national tour to Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on Friday, March 2.

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Fix Your Sidewalks

Letter to the Editor

The city does not have the time or the finances to fix these sidewalk problems. I say to homeowners, fix your sidewalks.

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The Second Amendment and White Anxiety

America clearly has a gun problem

News anchors and pundits scratch their heads and ask, "What can be done to fix this?" while ignoring the obvious answer - limit access to guns.

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Been Waiting My Entire Life for a Black Superhero

The power of being represented

I remember stuffing my backpack full of action figures as a kid on my way to school. It never crossed my mind that all them were white.

Tuesday, February 27

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And In This Corner: Cassius Clay

Portland actor helms role of boxing legend

Themes of racial injustice and childhood bullying come to life in a new Oregon Children’s Theater play about a young Cassius Clay

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‘Get Out” Best Film of 2017

Game changing social thriller the best of the best

Here's my top best films of 2017

Wednesday, February 21

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Music and Activism Intersect

Civil rights leader fronts new CD with Pink Martini

Longtime Portland civil rights leader Kathleen Saadat has a hidden musical talent that the rest of the city is about to experience.

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Grad Honored with Benson Support

To honor its retiring chief executive officer Jim Piro, Portland General Electric recently donated $100,000 to the engineering program at his alma mater, Benson High School.

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Unity Center Fills Need

Capacity to treat mental health grows

Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health and Oregon Health & Science University are marking the one year anniversary of the opening of Unity Center for Behavioral Health in northeast Portland by bracing for more demand for its services.

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Cold Snap Brings Snow

Freezing weather with snow was forecast to keep its grip on the Portland area at least through Thursday as a cold snap brought the first measurable snowfall since Christmas Eve to the metro area and the plummeting temperatures triggered the reopening of emergency shelters in Multnomah County.

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Junior Chorale Forms for Easter

The Historic Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church is once again gathering children who love to sing, from the ages of 4 years to 14, for a 60-member junior gospel chorale which will perform this Easter.

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Helping Others Succeed

Multicultual center advocate honored

Liliana Luna will receive a Woman of Achievement award from the Oregon Commission for Women during a ceremony on March 1 that will be part of the Women's History Month proclamation signing by Gov. Kate Brown.

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Paying Homage to Miles Davis

The Biamp PDX Jazz festival presents The Miles Electric Band, an 11-member all-star live group featuring Miles Davis alumni revisiting repertoire from Davis' electric period, will perform Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Revolution Hall in the former Washington High School, 1300 S.E. Stark St. Tickets available at ticketfly.com.

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Support Diversity in the Arts

PassinArts, Portland’s African-American producing theater company, invites the community to celebrate the group’s 30 year commitment to diversity in local arts and culture with a special night of musical entertainment, fine dining, and dancing at their “Sweet Taste of the Arts,” benefit, Saturday, Feb. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at DoubleTree by Hilton, 1000 N.E. Multnomah St.

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Reclamation of Black Artists

You’re invited to see the works of Portland artists Cole Reed, Marquis Johnson-Bey and Brenna King in “American Me: The Reclamation of Three Black Artists,” a special exhibit now showing during February in the Antoinette Hatfield Hall rotunda of the Potland’5 Centers for the Arts, 1111 S.W. Broadway.

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Betty Before X

Local author co-writes novel with daughter of Malcolm X

Jefferson High School alumna Renée Watson has co-authored a book with the daughter of the late civil rights icon Malcolm X, Ilyasah Shabazz, and will spend a week doing author visits and writing workshops at local schools, sharing her fifth book with young readers.

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‘Jazz by 5’ at Revolution Hall

A powerhouse lineup of jazz artists will perform ‘Jazz by 5,’ celebrating the eras of swing, bebop, avant-garde jazz and beyond, in a Sunday, Feb. 25 concert sponsored by the PDX Jazz festival at 7 p.m. at Revolution Hall at the former Washington High School in southeast Portland.

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The Racist and Disastrous War on Pot

Federal laws are broken and need fixing

If polling is correct, pot no longer gives Americans fits. Recent Gallup polls indicate that 64 percent of Americans approve of legalizing marijuana — the highest level of public support in almost 50 years. Nevertheless, we have an administration that is tone deaf to the will of the people and insists on reinstituting failed policies of decades past.

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Portland NAACP Updates Issues

The NAACP Portland update session is an opportunity to connect with the organization’s work in advancing racial justice in the community. The session will be held Saturday, Feb. 24 from noon to 2 p.m. at Lloyd Center in the former Deb’s retail store space just north of the ice skating rink.

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In Loving Memory

Jerry Murray

Jerry Murray of Portland died Jan. 17, 2018. He was born June, 4, 1946 in North Carolina to Hazel and Inetta Murray.

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In Loving Memory

Willie ‘George’ Rutherford

Willie “George or G.W.” Rutherford was born Feb. 22, 1941 and died Aug. 5, 2016. Happy birthday love!

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In Loving Memory

Nathaniel ‘Butch’ Baker Jr.

Nathaniel Johnnie “Butch” Baker Jr. of Portland was born Sept. 18 1955 and was called home on Feb. 8, 2018.

Tuesday, February 20

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World Cultures Resonate at PIFF

Film festival is a showcase of fresh perspectives

There is still a full week to go in the Portland International Film Festival -- Here's some of what I've seen so far.

Wednesday, February 14

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Envisioning Best Use for Russell Block

Open House to hear hopes, concerns and aspirations

A diverse group of community representatives tasked with leading the visioning and development process for the Hill Block project at North Russell Street and North Williams Avenue will hold an open house and information session on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at nearby New Song Community Church to collect feedback from community members regarding their hopes, concerns, and aspirations for the property.

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Black Parents Name Smith

The Black Parents Initiative, an organization that helps local families prepare children for academic success, announced Wednesday that it has named Chuck Smith as its interim leader, and has suspended executive director and co-founder Charles McGee as it investigate allegations of sexual assault made against him.

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Job Training Investment

Prosper Portland helps local nonprofit expand

The African-American led nonprofit Constructing Hope will expand its construction training facility in northeast Portland thanks to an investment of $300,000 from Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development agency.

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The Flu Took Me Out!

Can we please give a round of applause for the worst flu season ever!

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Church Hosts Obama Advisor on Faith

The community is invited to join a diverse Portland congregation for an evening with Joshua DuBois, former President Obama’s faith advisor, as he addresses “Faith in America Today” with music from some of Portland’s finest jazz musicians.

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Passing the Baton

Reviving an anti-poverty crusade

Dr. King had a dream of economic justice for all of our nation’s poor.

Tuesday, February 13

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A Lens to the World

Immersed into an array of cultures at PIFF

Two weeks of world cinema will be scattered all over the city as the Portland International Film Festival begins Thursday, Feb. 15 and continues until March 1.

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Inspired to Keep Others Out of Gangs

She knows Portland’s history because she lived it

Nicky Taylor’s personal story of growing up with gangs in Portland and then escaping from gangs, a story inextricably tied to the city’s history of murder and mayhem on the streets

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Court Pick Apologizes for Racist Remarks

Oregon nominee says college writings were misguided

Federal prosecutor and Oregon native Ryan Bounds has come under fire for making racist, sexist and homophobic attacks on multiculturalism back in college

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Family Seeks Justice

Family Seeks Justice

Demanding accountability for what they believe was a wrongful death of their 17-year-old son and nephew

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Home Going Celebration

A Home Going celebration for our father J.T. Tims will be held Saturday, Feb. 17

Friday, February 9

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Better Health Care for Communities of Color

With this huge responsibility comes opportunity

Health equity is achievable and requires deliberate action on our part. That’s what we believe at Health Share of Oregon

Wednesday, February 7

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Community-Driven Banks Merge

Combining the financial strength and clout of two financial institutions is intended to boost banking services to low and moderate-income communities, and provide financing for renewable energy, affordable housing, and women and minority-owned businesses.

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Civil Rights: Then and Now

Social justice activists will lead the discussion

A free open-to-the-public panel discussion about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and what can be accomplished going forward will draw several Portland activists, past and present

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Our Quest for Social Justice Will not Wane

Cascade Connections

Just recently, here at the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College, a group of people saw fit over the winter holiday to come onto our campus and leave behind an assortment of anti-Semitic and white-supremacist posters, fliers, and stickers. The current political climate, it seems, has emboldened some racists and bigots to come out of the shadows and impose their views on others.

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Eagles Win Epic Super Bowl

Backup quarterback leads team to title

The Philadelphia Eagles won an epic shootout over the Patriots Sunday in Minneapolis, Minn. to win the franchise's first Super Bowl.

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Running for Public Office

Maxwell enters county commission race

Sharon Maxwell, a successful business owner and recognized community leader from Portland’s African American community has announced plans to run for Multnomah County Commissioner in the upcoming May Primary.

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Dennis Edwards was ‘Voice for the Ages’

Remembering a Motown legend

Dennis Edwards, a Grammy-winning former member of the famed Motown group The Temptations, is being remembered after his death on Thursday after a long illness. He was 74.

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Community Reading Project Begins

‘Exit West’ to spark conversations on humanity

Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads 2018, the library’s 16th annual community reading project, kicked off this month with the distribution of thousands of copies of Moshin Hamid’s Exit West.

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Black Film Festival Begins

Actor Joe Morton to attend special screening

A film festival to examine the black experience in America and showcase the cinematic achievements of African African-American stars and filmmakers fills the calendar this month at the nonprofit Hollywood Theatre in northeast Portland.

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What Trump Wants on Immigration is Ethnic Cleansing

‘Open hand’ full of poison pills

Trump had extended an “open hand” to work with Democrats on immigration, they reported. He crowed that he’d come up with a “bipartisan approach” that “should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise.” What Trump didn’t say was that he’d already removed deportation protections from the 700,000 young people who rely on the DACA program, which Trump unilaterally revoked.

Tuesday, February 6

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First Black History Festival

Theater group puts focus on culture, identy

World Stage Theatre, a multi-cultural local organization committed to performances that inspire social reflection, hosts its first annual Black History Festival NW this month.

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The Greatest Honor

FBI agent looks back on exciting career

Special Agent Pete Collier outside the Portland FBI Field Office where is retiring after an illustrious 27 year career as an FBI agent.

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Dynamic Portland Pastor Dies

Rev. W. G. Hardy Jr. was humble and inspiring

Rev. W. G. Hardy Jr., a humble spiritual leader from Portland’s African American community who inspired so many others with his inspiring sermons and lifelong service to his church and community, succumbed to a three year battle with kidney cancer on Friday.

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In Loving Memory

Mildred Carr

Mildred Carr was born Nov. 28, 1923 and died Feb. 3, 2018.

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In Loving Memory

Randy D. Barfield

Randy D. Barfield passed away peacefully at his home in Portland on Jan. 24, 2018.