04-21-2024  5:52 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Don’t Shoot Portland, University of Oregon Team Up for Black Narratives, Memory

The yearly Memory Work for Black Lives Plenary shows the power of preservation.

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.


Governor Kotek Announces Chief of Staff, New Office Leadership

Governor expands executive team and names new Housing and Homelessness Initiative Director ...

Governor Kotek Announces Investment in New CHIPS Child Care Fund

5 Million dollars from Oregon CHIPS Act to be allocated to new Child Care Fund ...

Bank Announces 14th Annual “I Got Bank” Contest for Youth in Celebration of National Financial Literacy Month

The nation’s largest Black-owned bank will choose ten winners and award each a $1,000 savings account ...

Literary Arts Transforms Historic Central Eastside Building Into New Headquarters

The new 14,000-square-foot literary center will serve as a community and cultural hub with a bookstore, café, classroom, and event...

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Announces New Partnership with the University of Oxford

Tony Bishop initiated the CBCF Alumni Scholarship to empower young Black scholars and dismantle financial barriers ...

Oregon lodge famously featured in 'The Shining' will reopen to guests after fire forced evacuations

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's historic Timberline Lodge, which featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining,” will reopen to guests Sunday after a fire that prompted evacuations but caused only minimal damage. The lodge said Saturday in a Facebook post that it...

Record numbers in the US are homeless. Can cities fine them for sleeping in parks and on sidewalks?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most significant case in decades on homelessness has reached the Supreme Court as record numbers of people in America are without a permanent place to live. The justices on Monday will consider a challenge to rulings from a California-based appeals court that...

Two-time world champ J’den Cox retires at US Olympic wrestling trials; 44-year-old reaches finals

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — J’den Cox walked off the mat after dropping a 2-2 decision to Kollin Moore at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials on Friday night, leaving his shoes behind to a standing ovation. The bronze medal winner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 was beaten by...

University of Missouri plans 0 million renovation of Memorial Stadium

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri is planning a 0 million renovation of Memorial Stadium. The Memorial Stadium Improvements Project, expected to be completed by the 2026 season, will further enclose the north end of the stadium and add a variety of new premium...


Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...



Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 21-27: April 21: Actor Elaine May is 92. Singer Iggy Pop is 77. Actor Patti LuPone is 75. Actor Tony Danza is 73. Actor James Morrison (“24”) is 70. Actor Andie MacDowell is 66. Singer Robert Smith of The Cure is 65. Guitarist Michael...

What to stream this weekend: Conan O’Brien travels, 'Migration' soars and Taylor Swift reigns

Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” landing on Netflix and Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” album are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

Music Review: Jazz pianist Fred Hersch creates subdued, lovely colors on 'Silent, Listening'

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch fully embraces the freedom that comes with improvisation on his solo album “Silent, Listening,” spontaneously composing and performing tunes that are often without melody, meter or form. Listening to them can be challenging and rewarding. The many-time...


2 killed and 6 injured in shooting at Memphis park party, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Eight people were shot including two men who were killed at an unsanctioned public party...

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers' overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is...

Marijuana grow busted in Maine as feds investigate trend in 20 states

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The high electricity consumption of a home, its cardboard-covered windows and odor of...

At least 20 dead after a ferry sinks in Central African Republic, witnesses say

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — At least 20 people have drowned in Central African Republic after a...

Pakistani province issues a flood alert and warns of a heavy loss of life from glacial melting

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani province has issued a flood alert because of glacial melting and warned of...

The US military will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The United States will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger, U.S. officials said...

Roger M. Groves Professor of Law Florida Coastal School of Law

When a little boy starts dreaming big of being a great athlete, I suspect he is still watching cartoons and tickled with the simple pleasures of life. I doubt his mind is genetically programmed to say, "I am going to violate any NCAA rule there is in order to make millions for me." At the same time there are adults circling above waiting for the time when crayons turn to touchdowns.

NCAA President Mark Emmert is paid substantial money to oversee and regulate the relationship between adults and the teenagers we call student-athletes. With 15 high profile football programs under investigation just this year, Emmert looked at who was influencing who and said the real problem is with the adults. His challenge to boosters, college presidents and sports administers was to change the risk-reward proposition of not the players – the adults.

Emmert, like college football fans throughout America thought they heard it all after 14 of the tall cotton colleges in the sport had enforcement problems. Then came the University of Miami. Miami was once so successful it became known as "the U" - the school that over a decade ago was the cream of the crop in college football.  After their fall from grace, they tried to get back to former prominence and seemed to takes some risks along the way.

Miami got caught, through a convicted Ponzi scheme felon of still undetermined veracity. More than 70 players were implicated. Several players were subsequently suspended by the school while the NCAA continues its investigation. But Miami does not have to give back the money made on the backs of those now-disgraced players. It does not have to return funds from gate receipts. It does not have to put electrodes to the brains and hearts of new found or reclaimed fans and make them go back to Miami apathy. Nor does it have to refund the millions annually received as royalties from sales of logoed merchandise.

Miami-gate would not have happened if the reward was not worth the risk, and money was not as revered as a means of access. The felon, Nevin Shapiro, gained access because he was willing to pledge $150,000 to the athletic program. He got access to the players he revered and a student-athlete lounge named after him. It's hard to imagine he could have the lounge for them to hang out and he not have the ability to hang with them. And what did he risk? If he is inclined to have a Ponzi investment scheme, he is certainly willing to live on his wits, and risk the most volatile aspects of a very volatile securities market. And he must have been willing to risk beyond his knowledge base – be it voluminous securities laws or voluminous NCAA rules.

Miami or other big time athletic programs could certainly and easily have a rule that rejects sums of over, say, $1,000 per donor.  Congress struggles with the same issue: when is too much money the equivalent of too much influence over the purpose of the law – the purpose to go good for American or in the case of the school its own student athletes. Either laudable cause, it is still lobbying for a more pernicious and pecuniary gain that is the enemy. Neither Congresspersons nor athletic programs have done a good job of resisting the wiles of the booster. And it appears they are losing the war of principalities.   

The NCAA, or the conferences, or the institutions could but have failed to establish an anti-lobbying rule with teeth. The lobbyist is either an individual or corporation. It matters little whether it is a student lounge or a luxury box. That is a matter of degree not of kind. The kind of transgression is the same. 

There are other adults to consider.  We have a group of well-intentioned decision makers that are old-styled corporate executives struggling to understand how to reach players that come from a culture and way of thinking with which they are unfamiliar. These decision makers have different titles, like NCAA executive committee members, conference and college presidents, commissioners, directors of athletics. But over 90 percent of them are older white males that are generationally challenged. Much like General Motors executives who could not understand and react to a changing marketplace, they are not the likely source for new ideas. I have been quite impressed with the ideas of a younger cross-cultural set of law students and young professionals. But they do not have a seat at the decision-making table. That is an analysis for another day.

And there is no final solution until the good grownups filter out the bad grownups that can have access to and prey upon at-risk teenagers. They have access primarily because they have money. Miami-gate is Exhibit A to the problem. Nevin Shapiro is a Ponzi schemer and now convicted felon because of it. But he was previously able to donate $150,000 to the Miami program and receive a student lounge named after him. He thereby gained access to the players. If he had not gained access he would not have had the opportunity to help over 72 players receive…shall we politely call…untoward recruiting favors.

So we can continue to heap more punishment on current players and colleges and coaches. But until we attack this problem from all its source points the root causes of the issues will still grow new infractions. Many of us will again simply blame the teenagers, claiming "they don't get it", when in fact the phrase is equally applicable to us.

 Previous installments of this series on how the NCAA can change itself:
Use technology to keep tabs on repeat offenders
Demand action from corporate entities
Set up a strong mentoring program

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast