06-01-2023  11:50 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Truck Driver Indicted on Manslaughter Charges After Deadly Oregon Crash That Killed 7 Farmworkers

A grand jury in Marion County Court on Tuesday indicted Lincoln Smith, a 52-year-old truck driver from California, on 12 counts, including seven charges of manslaughter, reckless driving and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Amazon Workers Stage Walkout Over Company's Climate Impact, Return-to-Office Mandate

The lunchtime protest comes a week after Amazon's annual shareholder meeting and a month after a policy took effect requiring workers to return to the office three days per week.

Happy Black Birders Week: Local Group Promotes Inclusivity in Birdwatching, Outdoor Enjoyment

Birdhers is in its fifth year of weekly walks and annual retreats.

Oregon Man Died Waiting for an Ambulance, Highlighting Lack of Emergency Responders

Officials in Multnomah County have said ambulances should arrive to 90% of emergency calls within eight minutes. However KGW-TV reported that during a five-month period ending in February, that mark was missed about a third of the time.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon and Washington Memorial Day Events

Check out a listing of ceremonies and other community Memorial Day events in Oregon and Washington. A full list of all US events,...

Communities Invited to Interstate Bridge Replacement Neighborhood Forums in Vancouver and Portland

May 31 and June 6 forums allow community members to learn about the program’s environmental review process ...

Bonamici, Salinas Introduce Bill to Prevent Senior Hunger

Senior Hunger Prevention Act will address challenges older adults, grandparent and kinship caregivers, and adults with disabilities...

This is Our Lane - Too: Joint Statement on the Maternal Health Crisis from the Association of Black Cardiologists, American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association

Urgent action is needed to combat the maternal health crisis in America and cardiologists have a vital role to play. ...

New Skateboarding Area Planned for Southeast Portland’s Creston Park

Area has largest number of overall youth and of people of color out of locations studied ...

Portland mulls ban on daytime camping amid sharp rise in homelessness

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — City Council members in Portland were considering on Wednesday whether to ban homeless camping during daytime hours in most public places, a move that aims to bring the city into compliance with a new state law and appease the growing number of residents frustrated by a...

Corporate Amazon workers protest company’s climate impact and return-to-office mandate in walkout

SEATTLE (AP) — Telling executives to “strive harder,” hundreds of corporate Amazon workers protested what they decried as the company's lack of progress on climate goals and an inequitable return-to-office mandate during a lunchtime demonstration at its Seattle headquarters Wednesday. ...

Foster, Ware homer, Auburn eliminates Mizzou 10-4 in SEC

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Cole Foster hit a three-run homer, Bryson Ware added a two-run shot and fifth-seeded Auburn wrapped up the first day of the SEC Tournament with a 10-4 win over ninth-seeded Missouri on Tuesday night. Auburn (34-9), which has won nine-straight, moved into the...

Small Missouri college adds football programs to boost enrollment

FULTON, Mo. (AP) — A small college in central Missouri has announced it will add football and women's flag football programs as part of its plan to grow enrollment. William Woods University will add about 140 students between the two new sports, athletic director Steve Wilson said...

OPINION

Significant Workforce Investments Needed to Stem Public Defense Crisis

We have a responsibility to ensure our state government is protecting the constitutional rights of all Oregonians, including people accused of a crime ...

Over 80 Groups Tell Federal Regulators Key Bank Broke $16.5 Billion Promise

Cross-country redlining aided wealthy white communities while excluding Black areas ...

Public Health 101: Guns

America: where all attempts to curb access to guns are shot down. Should we raise a glass to that? ...

Op-Ed: Ballot Measure Creates New Barriers to Success for Black-owned Businesses

Measure 26-238, a proposed local capital gains tax, is unfair and a burden on Black business owners in an already-challenging economic environment. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New federal proposal aims to stop racial bias in formulas used to value homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday that federal agencies are taking new steps to stop racial discrimination in appraising home values by proposing a rule intended to ensure that the automated formulas used to price housing are fair. “Everyone should be...

Racial bias in testing likely led to underdiagnosing Black men with lung problems, study suggests

NEW YORK (AP) — Racial bias built into a common medical test for lung function is likely leading to fewer Black patients getting care for breathing problems, a study published Thursday suggests. As many as 40% more Black male patients in the study might have been diagnosed with...

In the Amazon region where pair was killed, neglect and allegations of harsh justice

LADARIO, Brazil (AP) — One year ago on a Friday afternoon, Bruno Pereira, an expert on Indigenous peoples, and Dom Phillips, a British journalist, motored along the Itaquai river in far western Brazil, to the settlement of Ladario. The line of wooden houses here marks a boundary — between the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Music Review: Arlo Parks wishes her eyes were still wide on new album 'My Soft Machine'

“My Soft Machine,” by Arlo Parks (Transgressive) Britpop artist Arlo Parks approaches her work as a poet, laying incisive lyrics over a murkily cozy lo-fi hip-hop. On her second album, “My Soft Machine,” Parks balances childlike wonder with personal trauma and disappointment....

Jordan Donica, Tony Award nominee for 'Camelot,' is Broadway's rising star

NEW YORK (AP) — When Jordan Donica was about 9 or 10, his aunt took him to New York City with a mission: Get the notion of making it on Broadway out of his system. Thankfully, that mission failed spectacularly. “It was raining and I was dancing through the streets of Times Square,...

Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback lead ‘Transformers’ from Brooklyn to Peru

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback had been dreaming about writing something together for a few years. The two actors, both native New Yorkers, would meet up from time to time and talk about what it could be. They knew that it would have to be “epic” and “so Brooklyn.”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Amazon to pay million in privacy violation penalties for Alexa voice assistant and Ring camera

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon agreed Wednesday to pay a million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission...

Danny Masterson convicted of 2 counts of rape; ‘That '70s Show’ actor faces 30 years to life

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “That '70s Show” star Danny Masterson was led out in handcuffs from a Los Angeles...

LGBTQ+ people flock to Florida for Gay Days festival

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people are flocking to central Florida this weekend to go on...

Renewable energy surges, driven by solar boom and high fuel prices, report finds

BERLIN (AP) — The world is set to add a record amount of renewable electricity capacity this year as governments...

Senegal opposition leader Sonko convicted of corrupting youth, acquitted of rape

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Senegal opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was convicted Thursday of corrupting youth but...

NATO presses Turkey to approve Sweden's membership, eyes Ukraine security plan as summit looms

OSLO, Norway (AP) — NATO on Thursday ramped up pressure on member nation Turkey to drop its objections to...

Jennifer Liberto CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Federal workers' jobs will be under fire if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win November's election.

Both Romney and Ryan have made it clear that they think federal workers are one reason the nation's deficit is too high, and have talked about shrinking payrolls and cutting benefits.

In stump speeches, Romney says he wants to cut the federal workforce to "stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve." Ryan, a House Republican picked this weekend to be Romney's running mate, has a detailed budget plan that targets federal workers.

Unions, in particular, say they're concerned about Ryan, saying he has a record of "undermining" federal workers.

"Rep. Ryan's budget resolution showed a significant lack of understanding and appreciation for the important role federal workers have in protecting our borders, safeguarding our food and medicines, protecting consumers in financial markets, and providing so many other vital services to our nation," said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

Federal workers' pay has been frozen at 2010 levels, a move President Obama supported to save $60 billion from deficits over ten years. If Obama wins in November, the pay freeze is expected to ease.

New federal employees also face increased burdens to pensions. Under a law passed earlier this year, employees hired in 2013 with less than five years of service would pay 3.1% of their paychecks toward their pensions, up from the current rate of 0.8%.

In a Romney administration, three different cuts could be pushed targeting federal workers or their benefits, as suggested by the Ryan budget plan.

-- Federal pay freeze extended five years.

-- Cuts to 10% of the federal work force through attrition and a hiring freeze enacted, limiting agencies to hiring only one new employee for every three federal workers who retire.

-- Requiring federal workers to pay for as much as half of their defined retirement benefit they receive at retirement.

The Ryan budget suggests such changes would save as much as $375 billion from deficits over a decade.

Romney and Ryan, like other Republicans, generally believe that federal workers' pay and benefits are "out of line" with the private sector.

The question of whether federal worker pay is better than those in similar private sector jobs is a tricky one, much debated in Washington. Republican leaders like to say that federal workers are paid twice as much as those in the private sector. Yet, the federal Office of Personnel Management and unions say federal workers are paid 26% less than colleagues in the private sector. Both rely on government statistics to back up their claims.

On average, federal employees make $77,414 a year in wages, about 44% more than private-sector employees at $53,463, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The difference in pay is due to higher education levels in the federal workforce, more white-collar jobs, and the concentration of jobs located in Washington, a pricier place to live than other parts of the nation.

Most nonpartisan policy wonks agree with a recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that federal employees get better benefits than found in the private sector -- as much as 46% better on average compared to the private sector and looking at similar jobs in similar fields, the CBO report said.

That same report found that the federal government paid roughly 2% more in wages than the private sector paid to workers with comparable positions.