07-21-2024  1:14 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

SneakerWeek 2024 Launches in Pioneer Courthouse Square July 26

The event brings together industry experts, BIPOC designers and sneaker enthusiasts.

Money From Washington's Landmark Climate Law Will Help Tribes Face Rising Seas, Climate Change

Tens of millions of dollars raised by a landmark climate law in Washington state will go to Native American tribes that are at risk from climate change and rising sea levels to help them move to higher ground, install solar panels, buy electric vehicles and restore wetlands. The Quinault Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula is getting million to help relocate its two main villages to higher ground, away from the tsunami zone and persistent flooding.

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

NEWS BRIEFS

Merkley, Senators Urge VA to Expand Access to Medical Cannabis for America’s Veterans

Senators’ letter follows DEA’s recommended rescheduling of cannabis from earlier this year ...

Federal Appeals Court Declines to Restore Voting Rights in Mississippi

Thousands of Mississippians Face “Especially Cruel” Disenfranchisement Scheme ...

Draft of Statewide Wildfire Hazard Map Mandated by Legislature Released

The Oregon Department of Forestry today released drafts of new statewide wildfire hazard and wildland-urban interface maps developed...

Southwest Washington's Lemonade Day Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Named by the Greater Vancouver Chamber

Tatum Talbert was recognized for her exceptional achievement and creativity in the GVC’s 2024 Lemonade Day program. ...

Oscar Arana Selected as NAYA's Permanent CEO

The NAYA Family Center Board of Directors selected Oscar Arana (Chichimeca) as the organization's...

Seattle police officer fired over ‘vile’ comments after death of Indian woman

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer has been fired for making callous remarks about the death of a graduate student from India after she was struck last year by another officer’s vehicle in a crosswalk. Seattle interim police Chief Sue Rahr fired Officer Daniel Auderer on...

Oregon authorities recover body of award-winning chef who drowned in river accident

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities said Wednesday that they have recovered the body of award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy following her drowning in a river accident. The Benton County Sheriff's Office said it located her body Wednesday morning in the Willamette River between...

Chiefs set deadline of 6 months to decide whether to renovate Arrowhead or build new — and where

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs have set a deadline of six months from now to decide on a plan for the future of Arrowhead Stadium, whether that means renovating their iconic home or building an entirely new stadium in Kansas or Missouri. After a joint ballot initiative with the...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

OPINION

The 900-Page Guide to Snuffing Out American Democracy

What if there was a blueprint for a future presidential administration to unilaterally lay waste to our constitutional order and turn America from a democracy into an autocracy in one fell swoop? That is what one far-right think tank and its contributors...

SCOTUS Decision Seizes Power to Decide Federal Regulations: Hard-Fought Consumer Victories Now at Risk

For Black and Latino Americans, this power-grab by the court throws into doubt and potentially weakens current agency rules that sought to bring us closer to the nation’s promises of freedom and justice for all. In two particular areas – fair housing and...

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state's history. Their efforts in Coloma, a...

Legal fight continues with appeals over proposed immigration initiative for Arizona Nov. 5 ballot

PHOENIX (AP) — The fight to keep a proposed border initiative off Arizona’s Nov. 5 ballot is not over yet. Immigrant advocates kept the issue alive this week by filing notice to the state Supreme Court that they will appeal the judge’s ruling. A Maricopa County...

What Usha Vance's rise to prominence means to other South Asian and Hindu Americans

Usha Chilukuri Vance, entered the spotlight this week as the wife of JD Vance, former President Donald Trump's running mate in the 2024 presidential election. Her rise comes at a time when, across the aisle, there's another prominent figure of South Asian descent: Vice President...

ENTERTAINMENT

On anniversary of Frida Kahlo's death, her art's spirituality keeps fans engaged around the globe

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Frida Kahlo had no religious affiliation. Why, then, did the Mexican artist depict several religious symbols in the paintings she produced until her death on July 13, 1954? “Frida conveyed the power of each individual,” said art researcher and curator Ximena...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27: July 21: Actor Leigh Lawson (“Tess”) is 81. Singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is 76. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) is 76. Actor Jamey Sheridan (“Homeland”) is 73. Singer-guitarist Eric Bazilian of The Hooters is 71....

Canadian officer says Alice Munro claimed her daughter was lying about being abused by stepfather

TORONTO (AP) — A retired police detective involved in the arrest 20 years ago of the husband of Canadian Nobel laureate Alice Munro, said Friday he was disturbed by the writer's reaction 20 years ago when she learned her husband would be charged for sexually assaulting her daughter. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

With GOP convention over, Milwaukee weighs the benefits of hosting political rivals

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Downtown Milwaukee turned red last week as thousands of Republican National Convention...

Behind Biden's asylum halt: Migrants must say if they fear deportation, not wait to be asked

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Posters inside a complex of giant, white tents tell migrants in English, Spanish, Mandarin...

The biggest of stories came to the small city of Butler. Here's how its newspaper met the moment

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — When gunshots echoed at the Trump rally where she was working, Butler Eagle reporter Irina...

How Olympics opening ceremony artistic director Thomas Jolly is capturing the essence of France

PARIS (AP) — In a luxurious hotel room on the 16th floor, overlooking the heart of Paris and the iconic Seine...

Myanmar's civil war has seen a devastating increase in attacks on schools, researchers say

BANGKOK (AP) — An intensification of fighting in Myanmar’s civil war has brought a sharp increase in...

11 dead and dozens missing after a highway bridge in China crumbles in flooding and heavy storms

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Chinese authorities say at least 11 people have died and 30 are missing in the partial...

Ryan Kost Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- How much are politicians straining to convince people that the government is stimulating the economy? In Oregon, where lawmakers are spending $176 million to supplement the federal stimulus, Democrats are taking credit for a remarkable feat: creating 3,236 new jobs in the program's first three months.
But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours, or about one work week. After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed, according to an Associated Press analysis of state spending and hiring data. By the state's accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime.
"Sometimes some work for an individual is better than no work," said Oregon's Senate president, Peter Courtney.
With the economy in tatters and unemployment rising, Oregon's inventive math underscores the urgency for politicians across the country to show that spending programs designed to stimulate the economy are working -- even if that means stretching the facts.
At the federal level, President Barack Obama has said the federal stimulus has created 150,000 jobs, a number based on a misused formula and which is so murky it can't be verified.
At least 10 other states have launched their own miniature stimulus plans and nine others have proposed one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many of them, like Oregon, have promised job creation as a result of the public spending.
Ohio, for instance, passed a nearly $1.6 billion stimulus package even before Congress was looking at a federal program. When Gov. Ted Strickland first pitched the idea last year, he estimated the program could create some 80,000 jobs.
In North Carolina, a panel authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in new debt to speed up $740 million in government building projects. According to one estimate, the move could hurry the creation of 25,000 jobs.
As the bills for these programs mount, so will the pressure to show results. But, as Oregon illustrates, job estimates can vary wildly.
"At best you can say it's ambiguous, at worst you can say it's intentional deception," said economist Bruce Blonigen of the University of Oregon. "You have to normalize it into a benchmark that everybody can understand."
Oregon's accounting practices would not be allowed as part of the $787 billion federal stimulus. While the White House has made the unverifiable promise that 3.5 million jobs will be saved or created by the end of next year, when accountants actually begin taking head counts this fall, there are rules intended to guard against exactly what Oregon is doing.
The White House requires states to report numbers in terms of full-time, yearlong jobs. That means a part-time mechanic counts as half a job. A full-time construction worker who has a three-month paving contract counts as one-fourth of a job.
Using that method, the AP's analysis of figures in Oregon shows the program so far has created the equivalent of 215 full-time jobs that will last three months. Oregon's House speaker, Dave Hunt, called that measurement unfair, though nearly every other state that has passed a stimulus package already uses or plans to use it.
"This stimulus plan was intentionally designed for short-term projects to pump needed jobs and income into families, businesses and communities struggling to get by," Hunt said in a statement. "No one ever said these would be full-time jobs for months at a time."
Still, critics say counting jobs, without any consideration of their duration, isn't good enough.
"You can't let them say, 'Well, we never said it was going to be full-time,''' said Steve Buckstein, a policy analyst for the Cascade Policy Institute, a free-market think tank. For the price of Oregon's $176 million, lawmakers could have provided all 3 million state residents with a one-hour job paying about $60, he said.
"By their definition, that's 3 million jobs," Buckstein said. "Is anybody gonna buy that?"
Oregon's 12.4 percent unemployment rate surpasses the national average of 9.4 percent. To supplement the federal stimulus, the state sold bonds to pay for everything from replacing light bulbs to installing carpet and finishing construction of a school in the farming community of Tillamook.
The "Go Oregon" program is still new. According to its latest progress report, 8 percent of the money has been spent and hundreds of projects have yet to be completed. More paychecks are bound to be written as construction continues.
If Oregon's dollars-to-jobs ratio remains steady, the program will create about 688 full-time, yearlong jobs. So far, it's generated only enough hours to employ 54 people full-time for a year.
Still, contractor Deborah Matthews of Pacificmark Construction, based in Milwaukie, Ore., is happy for any work. Her company picked up three contracts for painting, installing a water filter system and refurbishing a maintenance building. Prior to those contracts, which lasted about six weeks, she had laid off nearly all her construction workers. She brought back three full-time and hired a part-time worker.
"It was a little bit," she said, "to just keep us going."