Stories for June 2018

Wednesday, June 27

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Black Shoppers File Lawsuits

Five lawsuits alleging racial profiling where black shoppers were approached or detailed on unfounded accusations of theft at businesses in the Portland area have been filed in the last month.

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Not Backing Down

Protestors encamped at ICE building

Federal law enforcement officers distributed notices Monday to protesters encamped outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building on Southwest Macadam Avenue ordering them to vacate the property, under threat of arrest, even as the protestors called for more to join them.

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Joe Jackson, patriarch of musical Jackson family dies

‘Papa Joe," was known for his stern and unflinching presence

Joseph Jackson, the strong, fearsome patriarch of the musical Jackson family, has died, according to a person close to the family. He was 89

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First Miss Juneteenth Pageant

A new tradition for Oregon’s annual Juneteenth Celebration saw nine young women show courage, confidence and leadership as they competed in the first annual Miss Juneteenth Oregon Pageant presented by Above The Fray Design at the Billy Webb Elk Lodge in north Portland.

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My People’s Market

Following its inaugural run last fall, the multicultural marketplace returns to the Rose Quarter Commons on Saturday, June 30 with activities for the whole family from noon to 8 p.m., featuring live music, art, performances and plenty to eat and drink.

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Celebrate Cully Park’s Opening

Dream turns to reality with Saturday’s festivities

Portland Parks & Recreation and the “Lets Build Cully Park” coalition of more than 15 community-based organizations, invite area residents to join them to celebrate the grand opening of the new 25-acre Cully Park on Saturday, June 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Celebrating Good in the Hood 2018

Photos by Mark Washington and Danny Peterson/Portland Observer

Portlanders far and wide enjoy Saturday's Good in the Hood parade down Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. and the bustling King School Park grounds for the 2018 festivities.

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Summer Pools Open

It’s another fun summer of outdoor swimming and other aquatic activities for Portland Parks & Recreation.

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World Cup Soccer Weekend

A record 30 teams of all ages will participate Friday and Saturday, June 29-30 for the ninth annual Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament at Delta Park in north Portland, sponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation.

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Immigration and Trump’s Dehumanizing Language

Cruel policies follow such patterns of thinking

We shouldn’t narrow our focus on the morality of individuals or on episodic instances of cruelty or kindness when thinking of the concentration camps.

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Fireworks at Fort Vancouver

Vancouver will be treated to the largest and most memorable Independence Day fireworks display in the region.

Tuesday, June 26

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Sex Ed on the Line

Advocates fight new rule and brace for cuts

Sex education advocates brace for impact of new gag rule on discussing full range of options for preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases

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Cold Case Turns Seven Years

Family tries to break silence on murder

Family members of a Portland murder victim, Leonard James “LJ” Irving Jr., whose death remains unsolved seven years after the fatal shooting, are urging anyone who may have information leading to an arrest to speak up.

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A Role Model’s Impact

Rosemary Anderson honors late ‘Grandma Pearl’

A beloved staff member and role model for an alternative high school serving Portland’s black community has been honored posthumously for her life’s work and dedication to students, families, staff and others.

Wednesday, June 20

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Keeping it Affordable

Non-profit partners with AmeriCorps to revitalize homes

A nonprofit in northeast Portland is hosting 12 AmeriCorps volunteers this summer to protect vital affordable housing by upgrading homes with green technology, building community gardens and more.

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Honored for Social Justice

Two residents of the Vancouver area are being honored by the YWCA of Clark County for their leadership in working toward the elimination of racism and the promotion of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

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Churches Promote Early Screenings

A unique clergy breakfast program for congregations of all faiths to learn about and support breast health awareness is being held Thursday, June 28 at 8:30 a.m. at the Legacy Emanuel Lorenzen Conference Center in north Portland.

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Celebrating Juneteenth 2018

Portland’s 2018 Juneteenth parade honors the late Mother of Juneteenth in Oregon, Clara Peoples who brought the celebration of the emancipation of slavery from Muskogee, Okla. to Portland in 1945.

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Blues and Gospel Converge

"phenomenal Concert" at the Alberta Rose

Portland blues legends Norman Sylvester and LaRhonda Steele lead a special musical journey where blues and gospel converge Friday, June 29 at the Alberta Rose Theater.

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Hamilton Musical Tribute

Group performs Saturday at Alberta Rose

A tribute band to the Broadway hit musical Hamilton, called Rise Up, makes its Portland debut at the Alberta Rose Theater this Saturday, June 23 with two shows.

Tuesday, June 19

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Green and Equitable

Dispensary represents progress and end to war on pot

The opening of an African-American owned and hip-hop themed dispensary brings economic growth to a disadvantaged community while also giving back through its unique training program to help others find economic opportunity in the legal cannabis industry.

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Portland native makes splash in beauty industry

Brings science to her business

Portland native Kalauna Carter is making waves in cosmetics by helming an environmentally, cruelty free, nail polish business called Kolors by K that has already garnered some high profile customers.

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A fashion icon’s remarkable story

The life and career of André Leon Talley

New documentary ‘The Gospel According to André’ a dramatic profile of a fashion icon who reached for his own expressions of style

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Pardons Aren’t Policy

The president's offer to pardon people unjustly behind bars is a welcome one. But he could do so, so much more.

Individual pardons can’t replace policy in addressing racial inequity.

Wednesday, June 13

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Congratulations to Grant and Benson Honor High School Grads!

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Stunning Original Dance

Portland’s NW Dance Project presents “Summer Performances,” three stunning and original dance works coming Thursday, June 14 to Saturday, June 16 with 7:30 p.m. shows at Lincoln Performance Hall on the Portland State University campus, downtown.

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Dr. Charles Drew Blood Drive

The Coalition of Black Men is joining the local chapter of the Red Cross by asking community members to please consider signing up for the Dr. Charles Drew Blood Drive, coming Saturday, June 16 as Portland’s celebrates Juneteenth.

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Waters of the World

Site specific dance for public engagement

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest presents its newest work, the world premiere of “Waters of the World,” as it forges ahead on building Portland audiences for dance by performing at site specific venues to cultivate public engagement.

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County Sues Trump Administration

Suit filed for changes to federal sex-ed grant requirements

Mulnomah County is suing the Trump administration for restricting a teen sex education grant to apply to abstinence-only curriculum.

Tuesday, June 12

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Community Land Trusts Build on Affordability

Portland’s Proud Ground shows the way

For many millennials, the choice between a job and an opportunity to own home is a stark one.

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More Than a Game

Coach offers kids opportunity for success

A basketball team for youth is changing the game when it comes to giving kids opportunities to college scholarships and putting them on track to a professional athletic career.

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New leader comes from Mayor’s office

TriMet Executive Hired

A high ranking African American in Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office will be TriMet’s new Chief Operating Officer.

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Senate Panel Approves Bounds

Controversial nomination gets past objections; Trump’s other nomination goes unopposed

A controversial nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ryan Bounds from Oregon, won a party line 11-10 vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday overcoming objections from Oregon politicians for his record of making racist, sexist and homophobic attacks on multiculturalism as a student at Stanford University.

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Socially Conscious Films Round-Out Fest

Reviews from the Seattle International Film Festival, Part 2

I spent five days last week at the Seattle International Film Festival, sampling an array of what was on offer for Seattle's three-and-a-half week festival. A few of these films will get a theatrical release, and many others will appear in an online platform.

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Recess on the Line

Community rallies to rebuild playground

Community members have created a GoFundMe page to help build a new playground at James John Elementary in north Portland because the district won’t pay for a new one, organizers said.

Wednesday, June 6

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Tournament Champions

Congratulations to the MJP Property Management team girls from the Beaumont Softball Little League in northeast Portland for their Minors division championship in Clackamas over the weekend where they defeated the Centennial Angels, 19 to 12, for first place. Also, compliments to Beaumont’s Blind Onion team who won second place.

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Free June Fishing Events

June is a great time to grab a fishing pole and head outside! And for kids and families there are free fishing events in southwest Washington to enjoy with no reservation needed in advance, just show up.

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Get Outdoors Day at Fort Vancouver

kick off summer by joining in on free, outdoor activities and family fun at the 10th annual National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver.

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African Dance Troupe Showcase

Portland’s Kúkátónón dancers and drummers, featuring West African dance, drumming, storytelling, vocals and a special ballet presentation, comes Saturday June 9 at 6:30 p.m. to the auditorium at Jefferson High School.

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Get Your Things Fixed for Free

A free community event where participants can bring broken or damaged common household items and have them fixed for free by skilled volunteers will take place Thursday, June 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C. St. in Vancouver.

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King Market Summer School

Summer school is in session as the King Portland Farmers Market kicks off its annual series of on-site community classes on topics including cooking and fresh floral design featuring ingredients and flowers from market vendors.

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Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity

Calling people ‘animals’ devalues lives

I’ve been deeply uneasy with some trends that seem to rank some people as more valuable and others as less. One of them is the idea that immigration should be based on “merit.”

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NFL Anthem Policy is Pure Hypocrisy

A variation of an old, familiar theme

The NFL’s new “anthem policy” requires players to "respect” the flag and the national anthem or stay in the locker room until it is played. The NFL refers to this as a compromise — it was anything but.

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Manifest Destiny in Modern America

When white privilege feels threatened

Recent instances of white people calling the police to come and control the presence of a black person have startled many Americans. But for many African Americans, this behavior by white people is nothing new.

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Achieving at Jefferson

The Portland Observer congratulates the honored graduating seniors of color at Jefferson High School who achieved a top grade point average in the 3.0 to 4.0 range during their entire high school years.

Tuesday, June 5

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Unlawfully Held

Mass detainment during protest not justified

A controversial mass detainment by Portland police of nearly 400 anti-Trump protestors at a demonstration in downtown Portland last year is now being hit on three sides for not being legally justified.

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Urban Champion

Ed Washington honored for improving lives of others

Portland civic leader and champion to the causes of urban issues and civil rights is receiving Pioneer Award for Public Service.

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New Films and World Insights

Reviews from the Seattle International Film Festival

A great opportunity to catch a huge variety of films on the big screen from all over the world

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Senator Denied Look at Immigration Facilities

Turned back from separated immigrant children

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. ties to find out what's going on behind closed doors at some of the country's detention facilities amid concerns about the separation of children from their parents.

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Star Power Push for Baseball in Portland

NFL quarterback and singer are financial backers

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, the singer Ciara, have joined the effort to bring Major League Baseball to Portland.