06-25-2024  8:14 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Parts of Washington State Parental Rights Law Criticized as a ‘Forced Outing’ Placed on Hold

A provision outlining how and when schools must respond to records requests from parents was placed on hold, as well as a provision permitting a parent to access their student’s medical and mental health records. 

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Art Exhibit 'Feeling Our Age-Sixty Over Sixty' Opens

The exhibition runs through mid-August, 1540 NW 13th Ave. at NW Quimby. ...

PCCEP Forum on Brain Injuries, Policing, and Public Safety

This Wednesday, June 26, 6-8:30 p.m. in person at The Melody Event Center ...

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

Olympic champion Athing Mu's appeal denied after tumble at US track trials

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Track officials denied an appeal by 800-meter Olympic champion Athing Mu, who got tangled in a pack of runners and fell at the U.S. trials, denying her a chance to defend her title. Mu's coach, Bobby Kersee, said Mu got clipped by another runner on the...

Jury awards more than million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded .1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top European rights court says Russia responsible for breaching rights in Crimea after 2014 takeover

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Europe's top human rights court ruled Tuesday that Russia was responsible for a string of human rights violations in Crimea since overrunning and later illegally annexing the Black Sea peninsula in 2014. The European Court of Human Rights said in a...

Alabama town's first Black mayor, who had been locked out of office, will return under settlement

NEWBERN, Ala. (AP) — The first Black mayor of a small Alabama town, who said white officials locked him out of town hall, will return to the role under the terms of a proposed settlement agreement. Patrick Braxton will be recognized as the lawful mayor of the town of Newbern, under...

California lawmakers abandon attempt to repeal law requiring voter approval for some public housing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday abandoned their attempt to repeal the nation's only law requiring voter approval for publicly funded affordable housing projects, a provision added to the state Constitution more than half a century ago that aimed to keep people of color...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: 'Kung Fu Panda 4' chops, PBS hits the disco and Kevin Hart chats

The debut of “Echoes,” a sequel series to “Orphan Black," and the documentary “Bread & Roses” looking at how Afghan women’s lives were impacted after Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021 are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. ...

Music Review: Concert album from the Tomasz Stanko Quartet explains the jazz lineup’s staying power

Jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko ’s first notes on the new album "September Night,” dark and slightly distant, sound as though they’re coming from the hereafter. Stanko died in 2018, and his new album is a previously unreleased recording of a 2004 concert by his quartet. Along with...

Music Review: Linda Thompson’s family and friends sing her songs on 'Proxy Music'

Linda Thompson, who ranks among the finest singers of her generation, hardly sings a note on “Proxy Music," her first album in over a decade. Instead, Thompson makes herself heard through her songwriting. She’s often remembered for music she made with Richard Thompson, including...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US surgeon general declares gun violence a public health emergency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday declared gun violence a public health crisis, driven by...

On heartland roads, and a riverboat, devout Catholics press on with two-month nationwide pilgrimage

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — “Bye bye, Jesus!” a child called out as the riverboat chugged away from shore into...

A potential Trump VP pick backs a controversial CO2 pipeline favored by the Biden White House

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is one of Donald Trump’s most visible and vocal backers,...

Parliament speaker. The Tehran mayor. A heart surgeon. The race is on for Iran's next president

Six candidates have been approved by Iran's theocracy to run in Friday’s presidential election to replace the...

With another setback for cease-fire talks, worries of full-scale war for Israel and Lebanon escalate

BEIRUT (AP) — The prospect of a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group terrifies...

International court seeks arrest of Russian officials over attacks on Ukrainian power plants

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it issued arrest warrants for...

Terence Chea the Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Fifteen years ago, California voters were asked: Should colleges consider a student's race when they decide who gets in and who doesn't?

With an emphatic "no," they made California the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions, as well as hiring and contracting.

Since then, California's most selective public colleges and graduate schools have struggled to assemble student bodies that reflect the state's demographic mix.

Universities around the country could soon face the same challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to revisit the thorny issue of affirmative action less than a decade after it endorsed the use of race as a factor in college admissions.

The high court agreed in February to take up the case of a white woman who claims she was rejected by the University of Texas because of its race-conscious admissions policy. The justices are expected to hear arguments this fall.

College officials are worried today's more conservative court could limit or even ban the consideration of race in admissions decisions. A broad ruling could affect both public and private universities that practice affirmative action, a powerful tool for increasing campus diversity.

"If the decision is very broad and very hostile to affirmative action, the future of the rest of country may look very similar to California," said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers. "It would be very disruptive at many institutions."

The effects of California's ban, known as Proposition 209, are particularly evident at the world-renowned University of California, Berkeley campus, where the student body is highly diverse but hardly resembles the ethnic and racial fabric of the state.

With affirmative action outlawed, Asian American students have dominated admissions. The freshman class admitted to UC Berkeley this coming fall is 30 percent white and 46 percent Asian, according to newly released data. The share of admitted Asians is four times higher than their percentage in the state's K-12 public schools.

But traditionally underrepresented Hispanic and black students remain so. In a state where Latinos make up half the K-12 public school population, only 15 percent of the Berkeley students are Hispanic. And the freshman class is less than 4 percent African Americans, although they make up 7 percent of the K-12 students.

Junior Magali Flores, 20, said she experienced culture shock when she arrived on the Berkeley campus in 2009 after graduating from a predominantly Latino high school in Los Angeles.

Flores, one of five children of working-class parents from Mexico, said she feels the university can feel hostile to students of color, causing some to leave because they don't feel welcome at Berkeley.

"We want to see more of our people on campus," Flores said. "With diversity, more people would be tolerant and understanding of different ethnicities, different cultures."

UC Berkeley has tried to bolster diversity by expanding outreach to high schools in poor neighborhoods and considering applicants' achievements in light of the academic opportunities available to them.

But officials say it's hard to find large numbers of underrepresented minorities competitive enough for Berkeley, where only about one in five applicants are offered spots in the freshman class.

In addition, California's highest-achieving minority students are heavily recruited by top private colleges that practice affirmative action and offer scholarships to minorities, administrators say.

"It's frustrating," said Harry Le Grande, vice chancellor of student affairs at Berkeley. "Many times we lose them to elite privates that can actually take race into account when they admit students."

Backers say affirmative-action policies are needed to combat the legacy of racial discrimination and level the playing field for minorities who are more likely to attend inferior high schools. Colleges benefit from diverse student bodies, and minority students often become leaders in their communities after graduating from top colleges.

"It's critical that our most selective institutions that look at least somewhat like the rest of our society," Nassirian said.

Ward Connerly, an African-American businessman who has led a national campaign against affirmative action, sees the practice as a form of racial discrimination.

"I don't believe in proportionality," said Connerly, who heads the American Civil Rights Institute. "The taxpayers have a right to say that we want every kid to be treated without regard to race, color, creed or national origin."

Connerly became wary of UC's efforts to admit more underrepresented minorities when he was a university regent in the 1990s. He pushed the board to bar UC from considering race in school admissions in early 1996 before he helped qualify Proposition 209 for the ballot that year.

"I looked at the extent of our diversity efforts and I concluded we were a lawsuit waiting to happen," Connerly said. "There was a very clear view that we had to be concerned about the growing Asian influence at the University of California."

The year after California's ban took effect, the number of black, Latino and Native American students plummeted by roughly half at Berkeley and UCLA, the UC system's most sought-after campuses.

Voters in Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Washington and Nebraska have since approved similar bans with similar results.

At the University of Washington, the number of underrepresented minorities dropped by a third after voters banned affirmative action in 1998.

Despite consistent opposition, California's ban has remained enshrined in law. Earlier this month, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Proposition 209 for the second time. The three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge in which Gov. Jerry Brown joined minority students in arguing the law is unconstitutional.

Affirmative-action advocates say Proposition 209 has created a "new Jim Crow regime" in California, where elite public colleges are dominated by white and Asian students while black and Hispanic students are relegated to less prestigious campuses.

"It is extraordinary that the vast majority of high school graduates in this state are minorities, and they're denied the opportunities to go to their state universities," said attorney Shanta Driver for the group By Any Means Necessary, which filed suit to overturn the ban.

UC officials have tried to increase campus diversity by admitting the top 9 percent of graduates from each high school, conducting a "holistic review" of applications that decreases the weight of standardized test scores and eliminating the requirement to take SAT subject exams.

Administrators note the number of Hispanic students at UC's nine undergraduates has been steadily increasing. The California residents admitted to the UC system for this fall are 36 percent Asian American, 28 percent white, 27 percent Hispanic and 4 percent African American, according to the latest figures.

"We're very interested in a diverse student body that reflects the state of California and the nation," said UC provost Larry Pitts. "We have reasonable diversity, but not as much as we would like."

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.