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Stories for March 2018

Wednesday, March 28

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Gang Enforcement Team Faulted

Audit finds lack of accountability reduces trust

Portland police gang enforcement carried out traffic stops that disproportionately affected black residents.

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The Murder of Fred Hampton

Collection of pristine preservation films from UCLA on tour

A film that investigates the 1969 Chicago police killing of founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party

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Church Invite for Easter Services

Vancouver Avenue congregation hosts series of events

Historic Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church opens doors for Easter and Holy Week

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Legacy Promotes Colon Health

Learn more about prevention

The public is invited to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on Friday, March 30 to learn more about colorectal health by walking through a giant inflatable colon that shows how polyps can turn into cancer.

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Videos Promote Pedestrian Safety

Aiming to eliminate traffic-related deaths and injury

A series of eight videos highlighting the pedestrian experiences of Portlanders with differing abilities navigating the city are now available to watch online to promote safety and improve the city’s walkability

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A Community Conversation about Menthol Cigarettes

African American coalition looks at negative impacts

We're talking about restrictions on menthol flavored tobacco

Tuesday, March 27

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City Council Election Face Off

Black voices candidates’ forum sparks debate

Diverse group of candidates advocate for change on hot topic issues like homelessness, gentrification and racism

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Fostering a Love of Reading

Diverse books let children see themselves

Helping children see themselves in the literature they read

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Connecting at Benson

Principal lets guard down to dance and inspire

School leader finds a way to connect with the over 300 new freshman that come to his school

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Racing for Change

Civil rights exhibt free for kids

A spring break special to tour exhibit on Oregon's Civil Rights years

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‘Citizen King’ Film Screening

Film focuses on final years of civil rights leader

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a screening of the documentary ‘Citizen King.”

Wednesday, March 21

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Housing Crisis Hits Renters Hard

The housing crisis has hit renters especially hard, with a quarter of all renters and nearly two-thirds of all low-income renter families in Oregon spending more than half of their income on housing, according to a new report by the Oregon Center for Public Policy.

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Concert to Dazzle with Ten Grands

Get ready to be dazzled once again with 10 pianos and 10 world class pianists performing on one stage as the renowned Portland musician Michael Allen Harrison presents his 18th annual Ten Grands Legends concert featuring home grown favorite and Grammy nominated singing sensation Julianne Johnson Weiss.

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Every Family Has a Secret

Mom has been holding on to some secrets and her son some resentments in “Our Mother’s Brief Affair,” a play about family, love, regrets and the truth from Portland’s Triangle Productions.

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Stunning Cruelty to Immigration Enforcement

Children separated from parents

We’ve reached a cruel new phase in the U.S. government’s war on immigrants without papers. And it should disturb you no matter what your views on immigration.

Tuesday, March 20

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Fighter Jet Noise Upsets Neighbors

Cully man uses billboards to make case about landings

Resident encourages people to sign petition against flights over civilian areas by the Oregon Air National Guard

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Women of Color direct opening plays at Ashland

Fresh take on two classics at Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Two plays directed by women of color offer a fresh take on two classics as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens a new season

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'It’s Our Place to Speak Out’

A generation tormented by gun violence comes of age

To say that my generation, whatever you may call us, has no place in discussing gun violence is ludicrous.

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Play Tackles Truth in Relationships

Playwright Andrew Hinderaker mashes illusion and magic with alluring results in the “The Magic Play”

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Rising to the Top

August Wilson finalists in diversity in the arts competition

Thirteen young women gave their all at the recently competed August Wilson Monologue Competition

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In Loving Memory

Leonard Paden

Longtime Portland resident Leonard Paden passed away on Monday, March 12, 2018.

Thursday, March 15

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Hit Musical Lands in Portland

‘Hamilton,’ the hip-hop smash hit Broadway musical that retells the story of the founding of America, begins its Portland premiere March 20, but getting a ticket over its three weeks of performances will not be easy.

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Robot Revolution

OMSI exhibit brings coolest robots ever

A new exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) some of the most innovative robots from all over the world.

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Entertaining Dance Crowds

Kam Franklin fronts the Suffers, a popular 8-piece gulf coast band from Houston, Texas that brings elements of classic soul and rock and roll to crowds that love to dance.

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Chinese LGBTQ Choir Visits

Will perform with Portland’s gay men’s group

Twenty-three performers from the Beijing Queer Chorus, China’s first LGBTQ chorus, will be special guests of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus for its “Pacific Voices” shows this weekend at Kaul Auditorium on the Reed College campus in southeast Portland.

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Welcome Immigrants

You’re invited to join Portland Parks & Recreation for a Portlanders Stand with Refugees and Immigrants celebration on Friday, March 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the East Portland Community Center, 7040 S.E. 106th Ave.

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Fear and Terror as a Normal Part of School

Sane gun laws needed to prevent shootings

Due to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the politicians that support them, meaningful discourse on the issue of gun control is nearly impossible, and in that silence, school shootings from Sandy Hook to Parkland keep the classroom a battleground, not a place of learning.

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Black Immigrant Lives Matter Too

We are stronger together

We are long overdue for a discussion about immigration as it relates to black immigrants, particularly at this moment as the current presidential administration clamors to end legal protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and congressional leaders lurch from one proposed bipartisan solution to another in search of a permanent legislative fix.

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Students Declare ‘Enough’

Walkouts a unifying message on reducing gun violence

At least 45 Portland area schools joined hundreds more across the nation Wednesday in solidarity with student-led walkouts to declare “enough” in response to growing gun violence and the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla. one month ago.

Wednesday, March 14

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Empowering Women

Protesting the economic inequality and oppression women face at home and internationally, over 200 women from all walks of life rallied in Pioneer Courthouse Square and then took to the streets downtown for International Women’s Day. The demonstrations last Thursday were among many marches and rallies calling for social change held across the world.

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Gun Control for Domestic Abusers

The focus on preventing gun violence took a big step in Oregon last week thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Kate Brown that makes it harder for people convicted of domestic abuse to get guns, as well as a lesser known law implemented in January that allows courts to temporarily ban individuals shown to be at high risk of harming themselves or others from obtaining guns.

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Inspired Creations

Portland man builds unique, sustainable birdhouses

You won’t see a more popular street vendor with humans and animals alike than the birdhouse toting George Mayes, who makes a striking impression on street corners with his bicycle and hand-crafted wooden trailer. Packed full of what looks like rustic, miniature cabins -- some even complete with chimneys, staircases, awnings and roof shingles – the cart is loaded with the future nesting homes for our feathered, flying neighbors.

Tuesday, March 13

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Disaster in Cully

Scrap yard fire destroys homes; brings evacuations

A 5-alarm fire that started Monday morning at an auto salvage yard in the Cully Neighborhood spread to nearby houses, destroying a six unit apartment, a duplex, killing more than a dozen cats, and displacing an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 residents.

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Generals Take State!

Grant bests Jefferson in exciting final

Grant wins first state basketball championship in 10 years

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Jeff Alumni Oppose Name Change

Group will host public discussion next week

A group representing past and present students of Jefferson High School has taken a stand against changing the name of the school

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In Loving Memory

Tina Osoms

A home going service will be held March 21

Monday, March 12

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In Loving Memory

Darryl Thomas

Services scheduled at Emmanuel Temple

Wednesday, March 7

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‘Get Out’ Writer Wins Oscar

Writer and director Jordan Peele, 39, made movie history Sunday by becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award for best original screenplay for the movie ‘Get Out.’

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Feeding the Hungry

Church helps by fixing hundreds of sandwiches

The Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church congregation in northeast Portland is upping the ante when it comes to their assistance feeding and clothing the homeless.

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PIL Teams Play for State

Four Portland schools are competing for a state championship in basketball this week with the Oregon 6A tournaments for boys and girls being held at the University of Portland in north Portland.

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A Pathway to Return

Housing reserved for displaced residents

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI) has broken ground on the future site of four new townhomes at North Williams Avenue and Emerson Street that will be first homes for purchase by first-time homebuyers as part of the non-profit’s Pathway 1000 initiative, a 10-year plan to construct 1,000 new affordable homes and rentals.

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Exploring Race, Power and Justice

Forum to address criminal justice alternatives

What if the justice system were focused on repair rather than retribution? What would a system that minimizes suffering look like? An onstage conversation with a diverse group of Oregonians with deep knowledge of the criminal justice system will be the focus of a public forum by Oregon Humanities on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 N.E. Alberta St.

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In Loving Memory

Stanley Wheeler

Our beloved father and husband, Stanley Wheeler, aka Big Stan, passed away on his 67th birthday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Vancouver.

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Moving Portrait of Black Life

The Northwest Film Center brings one the year’s most incisive, tender portraits of life in America with the screening of “Quest,” a documentary that follows a black family living in Philadelphia during the Obama presidency.

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Playhouse Reopens with ‘Scarlet’

Condemned by her community, Hester fights to build a life for her and her daughter in puritan Boston in ‘Scarlet,” the first Portland Playhouse production returning to their newly restored performance venue in northeast Portland.

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Burning Obsession for Jazz

One man’s burning obsession for American jazz takes center stage when Artists Rep presents “The Holler Sessions,” written, directed and performed by Frank Boyd in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based theatre ensemble, “the Team.”

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Geriatric Otter Loves Hoops

Eddie, the Oregon Zoo’s ultra-geriatric sea otter, turned 20 Friday, but keepers and basketball experts agree: He can still dunk with the best of them and might even have the highest shooting percentage in town.

Tuesday, March 6

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Rebuke to Arming Teachers

Porland union leaders speak out against the idea

Arming teaches as a response to school shootings draws fire from Portland union leaders in law enforcement and education

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School Band on a Lifeline

Sounds of Jefferson is back; but program needs funds

In the 1970s, Jefferson High was a performing arts school with a thriving school band, the Sounds of Jefferson. Today, the focus is on college prep academics and the school’s highly-rated dance program is the only remnant of those days.

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Courage and Political Will in the Gun Reform Debate

Advocacy grows after latest school shooting

As horrified as we were then, just after the Columbine shooting in 1999, we could not have imagined the next 19 years would bring not reforms, but even more lenient gun laws; another 200-plus school shootings, and more than 122 students, teachers and coaches slain.

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Another Undefeated Season

Congratulations to the Portland Observer Ballers, a sixth grade youth basketball team from north and northeast Portland playing in the Portland Parks and Recreation league.