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Stories for January 2018

Wednesday, January 31

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Tubman’s Revival

Educator with deep community ties plans school’s future

Natasha Butler’s extensive resume and experience in education and school administration might make her more than qualified as the planning principal for the re-opening of Harriet Tubman Middle School this fall. But the personal connection she has to the area and the north Portland school in particular can’t be replicated in just anybody’s repertoire.

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Measure 11 Impacts on Youth Severe

Civil rights panel calls for changes

Oregon incarcerates young people and transfers them to adult court at a higher rate than almost any other state, according to a report released Tuesday by the Oregon Council on Civil Rights.

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TriMet Approves Low Income Fare

TriMet will launch a new low-income fare program on July 1.

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Dream Center Opens

New resource for students facing barriers

A long-held dream to help immigrant and refugee students facing unique barriers by providing them with resources that focus on empowerment, support and staying enrolled in school, has come to fruition with the opening of the Dream Center at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus in northwest Portland.

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SEI Opens Doors for Black History

Black history events are open to the public during February at Self Enhancement, Inc., the program serving youth and families from the African American community.

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Graduation Rates Rise and Fall

Gaps persistent despite recent gains

New data shows the graduation rate is improving in Portland Public Schools except for black and African-American students, which as a group saw a three percent decline in how many students finished high school last year. The figures released from the Oregon Department of Education, also show that statewide, the black and African-American graduation rate increased by 1.5 percent during the same period.

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Rough Cut Release Party

Award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist Curtis Salgado and renowned guitarist Alan Hager celebrate the release of their first collaborative CD, “Rough Cut” with two performances on Friday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Mississippi Studios in north Portland.

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Athletic Director’s Lifetime Honor

Marshall Haskins, the athletic director for the Portland Interscholastic League since 2013, received a lifetime achievement award from the World Arts Foundation during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute event.

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Keeping Up with Grandma

Grandma reminded me of the importance of drinking water first thing in the morning to get yourself hydrated. We have talked about this previously but now it’s coming from grandma so you have to listen.

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Influenced by a Narrow- Minded World View

Trump’s slander misrepresents America

On the eve of the eighth anniversary of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the island nation of Haiti and the start of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, President Trump sat in a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform and publicly questioned why the United States -- a nation founded and built by immigrants -- should continue to accept immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa.

Tuesday, January 30

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Lined Up for Super Bowl

The Philadelphia Eagles take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4 in Minnesota.

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African Films

Festival celebrates Black History Month

The Cascade Festival of African Films, sponsored by Portland Community College, offers audiences the rare and edifying opportunity to see Africa through the lenses of its own people.

Wednesday, January 24

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With Honor and Integrity

New police chief makes pledge; speaks to racial inequities

Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw championed the long worn path to civil rights progress and challenged the city and law enforcement to address racial inequities that still exist during her ceremonial installation as the city’s first African American female police chief Monday.

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Beloved Diner Shutters Doors

A beloved Greek diner that has been a welcoming presence and neighborhood institution for generations has put its ‘closed’ sign up for good, after 43 years.

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Recruiting Candidates

Color PAC executive hits the ground running

Color PAC, a local organization dedicated to improving equity in public policy by recruiting, training, and supporting candidates of color for state and local office, has expanded its mission with the hire of their first-ever state director.

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Sentenced for Strip Club Murder

(AP) -- A woman who fatally stabbed another woman at a Portland strip club was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday.

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Activist Derides Remark

Takes to social media when asked about bomb

When a security guard at City Hall searched a bag from a Portland activist and community leader and joked about searching for a bomb, the resident, an immigrant from Somali and official candidate for political office in Oregon wondered if he was being racially targeted.

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Changes at Warner Pacific

A name change, decreased tuition and more class offerings are being implemented at Warner Pacific College—now Warner Pacific University.

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In Loving Memory

Dennis G. Payne Sr

Dennis G. Payne Sr. was born Jan. 23, 1948 and died Jan. 21, 2018.

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In Loving Memory

Gertrude ‘Trudy’ Rice

Funeral services are pending for Gertrude ‘Trudy’ Woods Rice, a beloved Portland mother and one of the first members of the African American community to work as a registered nurse in Oregon.

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Piano Prodigy in Portland

Musician performs new work by Darrel Grant

Award-winning pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, 21, will be performing a new composition by acclaimed Portland musician Darrell Grant and other works in a series of performances, Jan. 25-27, and at various locations.

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Comedy in Age of Trump

Comedian navigates race relations on stage and in podcast

Nathan Brannon, 34, is a stand-up comedian from Portland who has appeared on Comedy Central, travels throughout the country to perform, and is currently promoting his second comedy album, ‘Because,’ which came out in October 2016 under record label Kill Rock Stars.

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Weird Nights Tour

Two young singers making a splash on the national stage, Devvon Terrell and Kayla Brianna, are making their stop in Portland.

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Racist Past of Immigration Policy Retooled

What sort of country do we want?

The condemnation of Trump’s remarks on immigration has been swift and widespread. Most of the denunciations cast his ideas as seriously out of line with American ideals on immigration.

Wednesday, January 17

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March for Justice

A peaceful march for freedom, unity and justice led by young people in the community in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday fills both sides of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Monday.

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River Keepers

Citizen activists keep watch on EPA cleanup plans

Community advocates are raising alarms to how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to evaluate future cleanup work as plans move ahead to isolate and remove decades of toxic pollutants from the Willamette River.

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Trump’s Rhetoric Backlash

Uses words laced with profanity and racism

President Trump has once again garnered worldwide criticism for profane and racist comments, this time about African countries and Haiti during an Oval Office meeting with several members of Congress to discuss bi-partisan immigration plans.

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Billboard Called Racist

King Neighborhood asks for new message, apology

A seemingly innocuous billboard advertising Dr. Martens boots that has popped up around northeast Portland and in other locations has been called out as harboring a racist message.

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Election Campaign Kickoffs

Smith goes for city post; McGee for county

Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, the only representative from the black community in local city or county government, made her campaign for a future open seat on the Portland City Council official Saturday; and Charles McGee, an activist parent from the black community, announced that he will run to replace Smith.

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Pastors as Advocates for Social Justice

Haynes and Bethel honored for community service

Two African American Portland pastors dedicated to advocating for social justice and social change, Dr. LeRoy Haynes of Allen Temple CME Church and Rev. Dr. T. Allen Bethel of Maranatha Church, were recently honored for their longtime work in the community.

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Jaw Dropping Funk and Hip Hop

Portland’s White Bird Uncaged series welcomes back legendary hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris with his world-famous company, the Rennie Harris Puremovement American Street Dance Theater and his new work “Lifted.”

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Fertile Ground for New Works

A city wide festival for artistic creators

Now in its ninth year, the Portland-grown Fertile Ground Citywide Festival of New Works flourishes in a town of prolific playwrights, abundant actors, innovative dancers, talented designers and adventuresome producers.

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Enabling White Supremacy Takes Place Every Day

We can’t afford to delude ourselves

Most black folk might get offended if it is suggested that they are enablers to white supremacists. Yet, this enabling takes place every day.

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Katz Public Tribute

Art Museum to host celebration of life

Loved ones, colleagues and admirers of the late Portland Mayor Vera Katz will have a chance to celebrate her life on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum.

Thursday, January 11

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Explore the Radical Legacy of MLK

Free event at WSU Vancouver

The public is invited to Washington State University Vancouver on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to participate in "Reclaiming Our King: The Radical Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr." The free event with lunch included will take place from noon -- 2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15 in the Firstenburg Student Commons.

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College Hosts Keynote Scholar

The community is invited to hear Portland scholar and activist Walidah Imarisha speak at Western Oregon University for their annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative dinner on the school’s campus in Monmouth on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.

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Perspectives in Leadership

Blazers executive to address young professionals

The Urban League of Portland Young Professionals, a volunteer group helping build a pipeline of young new leaders who consider Portland as their home, will host a free career and leadership discussion for young professionals on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Moda Center.

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Clark College Revisits 1968

MLK events on history and culture

Clark College in Vancouver will honor the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 17 with two free and open to the public events that focus on African-American history and art.

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Our Beautiful Mother

Pearl Smothers Mashia

Home going services for Pearl Smothers Mashia will be held Saturday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 8501 N. Chautaqua Blvd.

Wednesday, January 10

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Church Honors Family Legacy

Mark Washington, publisher of the locally owned and operated Portland Observer, was recognized for his community service and honored during a Dec. 31 celebration at Emmanuel Temple Church, a diverse and historic African American congregation serving north and northeast Portland.

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Putting At-Risk Kids on Path to Non Violence

Youth mentor speaks from experience

Dontae Blake, 43, is an ex-gang member from northeast Portland trying to reconcile his past by connecting younger gang members to nature in an effort to prevent them from going down the same path he once walked down.

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Retired Boys and Girls Club Manager Remembered

In Loving Memory

Family and friends are mourning the death of Linda K White; a long time child activist and a retired manager of the Blazers' Boys and Girls Club.

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Church Events Celebrate Dr. King

This weekend two Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations at Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church will honor the late civil rights leader by holding a “Salute to Greatness” student scholarship and civic awards luncheon on Saturday at 12 p.m. and an “Empower the Dream” interfaith gathering and speaker series on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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“Keep Alive the Dream” Tribute

World Arts event largest MLK celebration

Oregon’s largest salute to Martin Luther King Jr. will once again come on the anniversary of the civil rights hero’s birthday and the national holiday that honors his contributions to racial progress in America .

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Honoring King and Building Community

Volunteer events to pack the MLK weekend

More than 1,500 volunteers will fan out this weekend across the greater Portland metro area in service to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Bringing People Together

Interfaith group inspired by MLK

Influenced by the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who promoted love, respect, and justice, a group of local religious leaders of different faiths, known as the Beloved Community of Oregon, is now hosting monthly meetings for the public in an effort to bring people together.

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Promoting Black Male Achievement

Community driven group fights for progress

Black Male Achievement, an organization that runs within the city of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, has been fighting to improve the life outcomes of black men and boys since 2014.

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Oregon’s Civil Rights Years

Black Pioneers share exhibit ‘Racing to Change’

The Oregon Black Pioneers exhibit “Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years,” opens to the public on Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Jan. 15, at the Portland Historical Society, downtown.

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Revealing Portrait of Activist Artist

A new documentary on the life of Lorraine Hansberry, a black writer, feminist and outspoken trailblazer at the height of the Civil Rights movement gets a free screening in Portland with the film’s director in attendance.

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Celebrating Musicians and Film

Reel Music Festival opens Friday for January run

The Northwest Film Center’s 35th annual Reel Music Festival kicks off this week with documentaries about some of music’s most legendary acts, celebrating jazz, blues, rock, soul, classical, avant-garde and every genre in between.

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Swiggle Mandela’s Cross Promotion

Local rap star takes ‘Stoopid’ to the next level

If you support local black-owned businesses, independent artists, and great music you should definitely be listening to Swiggle Mandela.

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Dreams of Owning a Home in My Neighborhood

Pathway 1000 presents a path forward

Let’s face it, I am in my early 30’s, I work full-time, and the only affordable place for me to reside in Portland is a shared living space with ye ole Mother Hen. It is as lively as it sounds.

Tuesday, January 9

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New Minority Leader On Equality and MLK

Jackie Winters earns respect from all sides

The ideals that Martin Luther King Jr. espoused and lived by are personal for Sen. Jackie Winters, but one episode in her own life brought it all into sharp focus.

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Dismayed by Failure to Fund Kids’ Healthcare

Downtown rally calls for action

Advocates rally to fund a federal healthcare insurance program for children

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County Commissioners Tap Down on Conflict

Pledge calls on restoring trust

After some recent tensions on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, a new statement focuses on restoring trust, signed by each member of the governing panel.

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In Loving Memory

Louise Matthews

A celebration of life service for Louise M. (Blakely) Matthews

Wednesday, January 3

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Healthcare on the Line

Measure would protect coverage for working poor

A wide coalition of health care advocates, including progressive and social justice organizations, are encouraging a yes vote in an upcoming special election to fund a major slice of the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s health insurance program serving low income residents.

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New Leader for Port of Portland

Governor names official to governing panel

Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Alice Cuprill-Comas as president of the Port of Portland Commission.

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A Change of Pace

Soul singer from NYC settles in

In her latest single, ‘Sittin’ Pretty,’ acclaimed Portland-based soul singer Fritzwa combines elements of jazz, classical, soul, and R & B to create a tune that is both rhythmic and relaxing.

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Ruling Validates Equality Law

Labor commissioner wins case against bakers

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian says Oregon’s protections against discrimination in public accommodations remain strong after a higher court affirmed a finding that an Oregon bakery discriminated against a couple because they were Lesbians.

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Encouraging the Walk

Visitors to downtown Vancouver are being greeted in the New Year with colorful new wayfinding signs to encourage walking and exploration of the city.

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A New Year’s Resolution: Time to Speak Up

When men do things that make me uneasy

As we go into a new year, I have a resolution. I’m going to speak up more when men do things that make me uneasy.

Tuesday, January 2

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Adrienne Nelson Picked for Supreme Court

Gov. Brown names first African American to highest court

New voice is a widely respected civil rights champion