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Stories for May 2018

Wednesday, May 30

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Countdown for Signatures

Assault weapons ban effort gets July 6 deadline

If passed, the initiative would require currently owned semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines to be registered by their owners, as well as for the prohibition of the future sale and transfer of these weapons and magazines statewide.

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In Loving Memory

Clarence Gene Watkins

Clarence Gene Watkins peacefully passed on April 19, 2018 in Portland.

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In Loving Memory

Charles A. Leech

Charles A. Leech of Portland was born Sept. 19, 1943 in Columbus, Miss. and died May 19, 2018.

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In Loving Memory

Rosalyn Sherman Stanton

Rosalyn Sherman Stanton was born on June 3, 1950 and died May 14, 2018.

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In Loving Memory

George Myron Mayes

George Myron Mayes was born on May 8, 1955 and passed on May 3, 2018 in Portland.

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Celebrate State Parks Day

More than a dozen state parks in Oregon are holding free events and offering free campsites on Saturday, June 2 for State Parks Day.

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On Her Shoulders

The Northwest Film Center presents the award-winning documentary “On Her Shoulders.”

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‘Lady Day’ at the Armory

Famed jazz singer comes to life in riveting portrait

Deidrie Henry returns to The Armory to star as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a riveting portrait of the famed jazz singer’s life told through an imagined final performance in a small bar in South Philadelphia in 1959.

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Young Trees Need Watering

Tips to give plantings a good start

With trees leafed out and putting on new growth, urban trees need to be watered to survive and thrive.

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Summer Reading for Kids

Beaverton City Library offers a Summer Reading program to encourage children of all ages to read this summer.

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Why Now is the Time to Celebrate Malcolm X

His gift to American history

Today his legacy is more relevant than ever.

Tuesday, May 29

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Stepping Up for Kids

Rockwood Boys & Girls Club’s first summer season

The Rockwood Boys & Girls Club is now taking signups for its very first summer season of activities and programs serving a growing need to an ethnically diverse and often economically disadvantaged population in east Portland and Gresham.

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Sidewalk Attack

Motorist arraigned for attempted murder

Greg Phillip Porter, 61, faces three counts each of attempted murder, assault, reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver.

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Transit Memorial Dedication

Hope and remembrance one year later

Hundreds of Portlanders gathered Saturday at a new mural adorning the Hollywood Transit Center with messages of hope and remembrance one year after a double fatal stabbing on MAX light rail stunned the community.

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Rare Perspectives on Stage

Oregon Shakespeare Festival makes space for authentic, rarely-heard voices

It is no exaggeration to say that three plays currently on offer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival are making space for authentic, rarely-heard perspectives, and are changing the landscape of the American theater.

Wednesday, May 23

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‘We Choose Love’ Memorial

The grey walls of the Hollywood Transit Station have been transformed into a memorial mural with color, images and words of love in response to the horrific racist attack on a Max train last year that claimed the lives of two men, and seriously wounded another and forever touched the lives of many others.

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Portland Juneteenth Planning

Plans are being made for Portland’s annual Juneteenth celebration, coming Saturday, June 16, with the Clara Peoples Freedom Trail Parade and followed by festivities at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital field on North Russell Street between Vancouver and Williams.

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Juneteenth Origin Debunked

Author corrects myths about the holiday

Donald Norman-Cox, a 64 year old resident of Denton, Texas has a message for the nation regarding next month’s Juneteenth celebration: “Tell it right or stop talking.” Since the mid-2000s, Mr. Norman-Cox has sporadically informed college and community groups that parts of the Juneteenth explanation are flagrantly wrong. This year, his message has muscle.

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Gorge Express Bus Returns

The popular Columbia Gorge Express bus service by the Oregon Department of Transportation begins its third year on Friday, May 25 and now it will go as far east as Hood River and operate seven days a week, year-round.

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Fighting Ben Carson's 300 Percent Rent Hike

Portland’s Gray Panthers mobilize

Ben Carson, Donald Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), proposed a 300 percent rent hike last month against low-income tenants across the country. Portland Gray Panthers is fighting back!

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Letter to the Editor

Thank You Voters

Thank you to the 18,000 voters who believed in me, my passion, and skill sets to create positive change within our communities.

Tuesday, May 22

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A City Transformed

Vanport Mosaic commemorates 70 years since flood

The Vanport Mosaic Festival is pulling out the stops for six days of activities that weave together fun, fascination, family and serious reflection

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Neighbor Mourned

Miracles Club to honor 85-year-old killed

Recovery assistance center serving the African American community is mourning the death of local welder and fabricator Eugene C. Gora, 85, who was found murdered May 10 at his landmark red welding garage, next door.

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School Needs a New Home

Lease running out for De La Salle North Catholic High School

De La Salle North Catholic High School is inviting community members to help in the search for a new school building.

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Scholarship Fashion Show

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church is inviting the community to its 10th annual Scholarship Fashion Show and Dinner, coming Friday, June 1 at 6 p.m. to the historic church located at 3138 N. Vancouver Ave.

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Obama’s Sign TV Netflix Deal

(AP) -- Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.

Thursday, May 17

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A Runoff for November

Smith optimistic she can catch Hardesty

It’s certain that Portland will seat its first black female City Council member next year as the two top candidates in the race, Jo Ann Hardesty, who captured 46 percent of the vote, and Loretta Smith, with the second highest total of 21 percent, will face off in the November.

Wednesday, May 16

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We Are Better Together

Portland Observer Publisher Mark Washington was Mayor Ted Wheeler’s “We are Better Together” guest and Outlaw was the forum speaker, sharing her experience and reflections as a young officer rising through the ranks of the Oakland Police Department, her brief tenure in Portland as the first African American female chief, and her plans to make a difference in our community.

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Kenton Street Fair Sunday

A free event open to all ages, the Kenton Street Fair will showcase local businesses, food and music on Sunday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on North Denver Avenue between Schofield and Willis streets.

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On Maternal Healthcare, Race Trumps Everything

There are so many lies in American popular culture, beginning with the moment we’re born – in the maternity ward. Several studies demonstrate that racism in America kills black expectant mothers and their newborn babies, but popular culture tells us that they are receiving the best health care.

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In Loving Memory

Jimmy L. Lockhart

Jimmy L. Lockhart was born April 18, 1934 and died April 28, 2018.

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Samson Gets To Know Herd

The encounter last week was the first since he arrived at the zoo on April 11 as caregivers begin to introduce the Asian elephant to his new family.

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New Heights for Jazz Trombonist

Javier Nero, a young jazz trombonist, composer and bandleader who grew up in Portland and Vancouver, is slated to record his first full professional studio album in the coming weeks and a crowd sourcing campaign has been launched to help him cover the expenses.

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Dismantling Barriers

“Fences’ drama at Portland Playhouse

Portland Playhouse presents ‘Fences’ another August Wilson play with an amazing African-American narrative where the issues of mental health and racism undergird a powerful and engaging script.

Tuesday, May 15

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‘Left Hook’ to Displacement

New play premieres for Vanport Mosaic

A new play that touches on the history of displacement in 1970s Portland, where hundreds of homes and businesses were razed in historical black neighborhoods, will debut as part of the Vanport Mosaic Festival.

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Legacy Fabricator Killed

Community in shock after 85-Year-old murdered

Community members of a northeast Portland neighborhood have been stunned by the murder of an 85-year-old man whose welding shop was a landmark of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

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Writing to Make a Difference

Local playwright debuts new work after injury

Kwik Jones is set to premiere his new play, “Jupiter is Stormy” for a free one-day-only showing during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

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Malcolm X’s Daughter to Visit

Activist to keynote Portland NAACP event

Ilasah Shabazz is coming to Portland Saturday, May 26 to be the keynote speaker at a fundraising brunch by the Portland NAACP.

Wednesday, May 9

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Activists Remember Her Name

A memorial for Kendra James was put up on the Skidmore Street overpass above I-5 over the weekend in the same section of road where she was killed in a officer involved shooting 15 years ago.

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Activists Form Mother’s Day Bail Out

The activist group Portland’s Resistance started a crowd funding campaign Sunday to bail out moms so they can reunite with their children on Mother’s Day.

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Engineering Major Finds Success

Mt. Hood Community College student Victor Ogelle has long had a fascination with computers and robotics, stemming back to his secondary school days in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Free Fishing Clinics Begin

The Mt. Hood National Forest will be hosting its annual Free Youth Fishing Clinics starting on Saturday, May 12 for the Barlow Ranger District and Saturday, May 19 for the Hood River Ranger District, both kicking off at 8 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.

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Youth Media Film Screenings

A showcase of final films produced by local youth to inspire their own stores of what it means to grow up black in Portland is ready for a night of public screenings.

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Happy Birthday George!

George Kelly of Portland (seated, center) celebrates his 94th birthday with his family and friends, including (pictured from left) Brenda Prevot, Kevin Kelly and Gail Lane, who came from Texas and Tennessee, and Tony Holman of Portland.

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In Loving Memory

James Ray Burns

A homecoming memorial service for James Ray Burns, who passed away April 11, 2018, will be held Saturday, May 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Genesis Community Fellowship, 5425 N.E. 27th Ave.

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Beaverton Library Book Sale

Thousands of used books, movies and music will be available for purchase at unbeatable prices at the first ever spring book and media sale at the Beaverton City Library Main branch.

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Close Encounters at the Zoo

New behind-the-scenes animal encounter tours at the Oregon zoo range from a painting session with macaw artists Pele and Makani to a meet-and-greet with the zoo’s lively Humboldt penguin colony.

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Classical Singer to Front Benefit

A benefit concert featuring an acclaimed spiritual and classical singer and her exciting choral group will highlight a special benefit to support the rebuilding fund for Allen Temple CME Church, a historic black church in northeast Portland that was severely damaged by two electrical fires in 2015.

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Teen Musical Revisit

The 1980s get some kind of wonderful when Staged! Productions revisits the “Say Anything” generation through the fresh eyes of the next generation, with their world premiere “John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical,” now playing through May 20 at the Alder Stage in Artists Repertory Theatre, downtown.

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Police Using Lethal Force with Impunity

Victims and families in double bind

The family of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was shot by Sacramento police, has filed a lawsuit in federal court, denouncing his death as yet one more police-perpetrated murder.

Tuesday, May 8

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New Added Focus for Good in the Hood

Multicultural festival sets course for annual event

The Good in the Hood music festival and community celebration is making plans for this year’s event with a new added focus, a return to a previous venue and a legendary R & B performer.

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Controversial Judge Pick Gets Hearing

Oregon senators call process unfair

A controversial judicial pick from Oregon for the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals will have his nomination considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday despite opposition by Oregon’s two U.S. Senators.

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Make Your Vote Count

Ballots due for vote-by-mail election

Official ballots must reach Elections Office by the Tuesday, May 15, 8 p.m. voting deadline

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N Touch Reunion

Portland musican brings back original players

After 17 years apart, the original members of a popular band that started in north Portland, N Touch, will reunite for a one night only performance

Wednesday, May 2

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Support for Housing, Police

Mayor sets priorities with new budget

Mayor Ted Wheeler announced his proposed general fund budget of $553 million Monday, which included increased monies for homeless services, affordable housing, police officers, and new small business support.

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Hip Hop Day Founder Dies

Idris ‘Starchile’ O’Ferrall was visionary

Beloved hip-hop performer, promoter, and one of the founding planners of Portland’s Hip-Hop Day, Idris O’Ferrall, who went by the stage name “Starchile,” died Thursday at the age of 42 from complications of central nervous system lymphoma, a cancer that was diagnosed last month, O’Ferrall’s father said on a Facebook post.

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Tears and Grief at Lynching Memorial

Tears and expressions of grief met the opening of the nation's first memorial to the victims of lynching Thursday in Alabama.

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Blues on the Rails

Portland Blues man Norman Sylvester pays tribute to his southern roots when he and his family boarded a Union Pacific vista dome train to Portland in 1957 from the farmlands of Louisiana in hopes of a better life.

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In Loving Memory

Gladys Farve

In loving memory of Gladys Farve who was born Dec. 12, 1941 and died May 4, 2016.

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Cinco de Mayo Weekend Fun

Enjoy live entertainment, authentic foods, carnival rides, family fun, and much more at Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, the largest multicultural festival in the state, opening Friday, May 4 and continuing through Sunday, May 6 at Waterfront Park, downtown.

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By Choice or Circumstance

Site specific dance presents ‘Let Alone’

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest, a site specific dance company presents “Let Alone” a world premiere production tackling homelessness and the need for shelter with shows on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. in the former Pioneer Oil Building, a historic warehouse at 2636 N.E. Sandy Blvd.

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Current and Classic Showcase

The Portland Ballet presents Current/Classic, showcasing its advanced company dancers for two special concerts, Friday and Saturday, May 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University.

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Making Informed Choices on May 15 Ballot

The case for JoAnn, Julia, Maria and Kayse

The May 15 primary election provides voters with four excellent choices in local races: JoAnn Hardesty for the open seat on Portland City Council; Julia DeGraw for incumbent Nick Fish's City Council seat; Maria Garcia for Loretta Smith's old spot on the Multnomah County Commission; and Kayse Jama to replace incumbent landlord state Sen. Rod Monroe.

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Confronting a Violent and Tragic Legacy

Honored to participate in museum opening

I was deeply honored to participate last week in the opening summit of the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala.

Tuesday, May 1

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Women of Color Rise as Top Candidates

Loca election races follow national trend

May 15 Primary Election shapes up to be a historic contest

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Portland Observer Election Endorsements

Candidates we know and support

These qualified individuals for office have deep, personal connections to our community