03-29-2023  12:40 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Signs of Love on Rucker Ave: Blushing Rocks, Scrambled Eggs, A Coffee Date

Messages on display on Totem Family Diner and Pacific Stone Co. retro signs in Everett, Wash. reveal “secret crushes.”

Idaho Hospital to Stop Baby Deliveries, Partly Over Politics

A rural hospital in northern Idaho will stop delivering babies or providing other obstetrical care, citing a shifting legal climate in which recently enacted state laws could subject physicians to prosecution for providing abortions, among other reasons

Water Contamination in Oregon Could Prompt EPA to Step In

It's been three decades since state agencies first noted high levels of nitrate contamination in the groundwater in Morrow and Umatilla counties and residents have long complained that the pollution is negatively impacting their health.

North Portland Library to Undergo Renovations and Expansion

As one of the library building projects funded by the 2020 Multnomah County voter-approved bond, North Portland Library will close to the public on April 5, 2023, to begin construction processes for its renovation and expansion.

NEWS BRIEFS

County Distributes $5 Million in Grants to Community-Based Organizations

Awards will help 13 community-based organizations fund capital improvements to better serve historically marginalized...

Call for Submissions: Play Scripts, Web Series, Film Shorts, Features & Documentaries

Deadline for submissions to the 2023 Pacific Northwest Multi-Cultural Readers Series & Film Festival extended to April 8 ...

Motorcycle Lane Filtering Law Passes Oregon Senate

SB 422 will allow motorcyclists to avoid dangers of stop-and-go traffic under certain conditions ...

MET Rental Assistance Now Available

The Muslim Educational Trust is extending its Rental Assistance Program to families in need living in Multnomah or Washington...

Two for One Tickets for Seven Guitars on Thursday, March 23

Taylore Mahogany Scott's performance in Seven Guitars brings to life Vera Dotson, a woman whose story arose in August Wilson's...

2 high school students killed in Portland triple homicide

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two of the three victims in a fatal shooting Saturday in Portland, Oregon, were high school students, school officials said Tuesday. The victims were identified as Franklin High School junior Eskender Tamra, and Roosevelt High School senior Isaac Daudi. The...

Judge: BNSF intentionally violated Swinomish tribe agreement

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that BNSF Railway intentionally violated the terms of an easement agreement with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington state by running 100-car trains carrying crude oil over the reservation. The ruling in the civil case...

MLB The Show breaks barrier with Negro League players

LOS ANGELES (AP) — MLB The Show has broken a video game barrier: For the first time, the franchise will insert some of the greatest Negro League players — from Satchel Paige to Jackie Robinson — into the 2023 edition of the game as playable characters. Video gamers are now able...

Jacksonville's Armstrong: HR surge 'out-of-body experience'

Jacksonville’s Kris Armstrong could always hit for power, but never like this. Armstrong slugged six home runs over eight at-bats against Central Arkansas this past weekend, and he's gone deep eight times in 15 trips to the plate since Thursday. “It's kind of an...

OPINION

Oregon Should Reject Racist Roots, Restore Voting Rights For People in Prisons

Blocking people with felony convictions from voting started in the Jim Crow era as an intentional strategy to keep Black people from voting ...

Celebrating 196 Years of The Black Press

It was on March 17, 1827, at a meeting of “Freed Negroes” in New York City, that Samuel Cornish, a Presbyterian minister, and John Russwurn, the first Negro college graduate in the United States, established the negro newspaper. ...

DEQ Announces Suspension of Oregon’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program

The state’s popular incentive for drivers to switch to electric vehicles is scheduled to pause in May ...

FHA Makes Housing More Affordable for 850,000 Borrowers

Savings tied to median market home prices ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Residents of historically Black town sue to stop land sale

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — One of the first historically Black towns in the U.S. is suing the local school board to stop the sale of land that is tied up with Florida's legacy of racial segregation decades ago and the state's fast-paced growth nowadays. An association dedicated to the...

Silicon Valley Bank collapse concerns founders of color

In the hours after some of Silicon Valley Bank’s biggest customers started pulling out their money, a WhatsApp group of startup founders who are immigrants of color ballooned to more than 1,000 members. Questions flowed as the bank’s financial status worsened. Some desperately...

India expels Rahul Gandhi, Modi critic, from Parliament

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top opposition leader and fierce critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expelled from Parliament Friday, a day after a court convicted him of defamation and sentenced him to two years in prison for mocking the surname Modi in an election speech. The...

ENTERTAINMENT

Taron Egerton slots Tetris story into place in new biopic

The origin story of the iconic computer game “Tetris” is more thrilling than you may think. It involves border crossing, authority dodging, underhand deals, putting your house on the line and — finally — trying to secure the rights for the game from behind the Iron Curtain....

'The Big Door Prize' asks deep questions about happiness

NEW YORK (AP) — Not to be rude, but are you living your best life? Are you sure? Might you be destined to be something else? Do you know what that could be? Those are some of the deep questions residents of the fictional town of Deerfield are dealing with as they confront...

Gwyneth Paltrow accuser calls Utah ski crash 'serious smack'

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow over a 2016 skiing collision at an upscale Utah resort told a jury Monday that the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer crashed into him from behind and sent him “absolutely flying.” “All I saw was a whole lot of snow. And I...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Harris out to reframe US views on Africa, foster partnership

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — If U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has a favorite number on her trip to Africa, it's...

Spain clean energy case shakes confidence in EU investment

MADRID (AP) — Renewable energy investors who lost subsidies promised by Spain are heading to a London court to...

Palestinian teachers' strike grows, reflecting deep crisis

AL-AZZA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — In schools across the world, children are halfway into their second...

Kim wants N. Korea to make more nuclear material for bombs

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for his nuclear scientists to increase...

Myanmar junta dissolves Suu Kyi's party, much of opposition

BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s military government took another major step in its ongoing campaign to cripple its...

Israel's Netanyahu may have tough time saving judicial plan

JERUSALEM (AP) — As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put his contentious judicial overhaul plan on hold this...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats voted Thursday to reject President Barack Obama's tax deal with Republicans in its current form, but it was unclear how significantly the package might need to be changed.

The Skanner News Video

By voice vote in a closed caucus meeting, Democrats passed a resolution saying the tax package should not come to the House floor for consideration as written, even though no formal House bill has been drafted. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced the resolution.

Said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas: "If it's take it or leave it, we'll leave it."

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said "it's a pretty clear message. We don't like the bill."

The vote will at least temporarily stall what had seemed to be a grudging Democratic movement toward the tax package. Before the caucus vote took place, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Obama's tax compromise embodies "the objective we need to reach" even though Democrats dislike several components.

"We're going to have an increase in taxes on working Americans ... if we continue to have gridlock," Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on MSNBC.

But the the voice vote in the caucus was quite lopsided. Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada told reporters afterward that "one person voted against it. That would be me."

Asked what happens next, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 person in the Democratic leadership, said, "I don't know. Well wait and see."

Speaking earlier Thursday at a White House event promoting American exports, Obama said the vote will determine whether the economy "moves forward or backward."

The president again pressed Congress to pass the agreement, saying it has the potential to create millions of jobs. He said if it fails, Americans would see smaller paychecks and fewer jobs.

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said "the jury is still out" on the measure's enactment because many Democrats are furious over an estate tax provision.

Obama agreed to exempt the first $5 million of a deceased person's estate, and to tax the rest at 35 percent. Congressional Democrats had expected a 45 percent tax rate on anything above $3.5 million. Without congressional action, the estate tax will revert to an even higher rate: 55 percent on estates valued above $1 million. That should have strengthened Obama's hand when negotiating with Republicans, Van Hollen said.

Some Democrats have reluctantly embraced the tax package, which would let rich and poor Americans keep Bush-era tax cuts that were scheduled to expire this month. Even so, 54 House Democrats wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they're opposing the deal.

Led by Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, they said they were against "acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires."

"We're paying a king's ransom," Welch said in an interview. "We didn't need to and couldn't afford to."

The 54 Democrats, by themselves, would not be enough to block the package in the House, depending on how much support it gets from Republicans.

After Obama publicly defended the plan for a third day Wednesday, and Vice President Joe Biden met with Democratic lawmakers in the Capitol for a second day, several Democrats predicted the measure will pass, mainly because of extensive Republican support.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., predicted the tax cut compromise "will be passed by virtually all the Republicans and a minority of Democrats." He said he would vote against it.

Obama said more congressional Democrats would climb aboard as they studied details of the $900 billion year-end measure.

Raising the direst alarm yet, his administration warned fellow Democrats on Wednesday that if they defeat the plan, they could jolt the nation back into recession.

Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser, told reporters that if the measure isn't passed soon, it will "materially increase the risk the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip" recession. That put the White House in the unusual position of warning its own party's lawmakers they could be to blame for calamitous consequences if they go against the president.

With many House and Senate Republicans signaling their approval of the tax cut plan, the White House's comments were aimed mainly at House Democrats who feel Obama went too far in yielding to Republicans' demands for continued income tax cuts and lower estate taxes for the wealthy.

Obama says the compromise was necessary because Republicans were prepared to let everyone's taxes rise and to block the extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans if they didn't get much of what they wanted.

Economists say the recent recession officially ended in June 2009. But with unemployment at 9.8 percent, millions remain out of work or fearful of losing ground economically, and the notion of the nation falling back into a recession would strike many as chilling. It also could rattle markets and investors.

The deal Obama crafted with Senate Republican leaders would prevent the scheduled Dec. 31 expiration of all the Bush administration's tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, even though Obama had often promised to end the cuts for the highest earners.

House Democrats, who will lose their majority in January, still hold a 255-179 edge in the current Congress. To pass a big bill with mostly Republican votes would mark a dramatic departure from recent battles, such as the health care overhaul, which was enacted with virtually no GOP support in either chamber.

Passage of Obama's plan seems more assured in the Senate, where numerous Democrats have agreed that the president had little choice in making the compromises with Republicans. Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he and colleagues are considering possible changes, and action could come within days.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.