News

Portland Tribune

Tear gas, other munitions delay Cottonwood School reopening
Author: Courtney Vaughn
School leaders, county commissioners urge ICE to cease use of chemical weapons during protests.

While students across Oregon returned to school weeks ago as mandated by the governor, the Cottonwood School of Civics and Science in Southwest Portland didn't reopen its classrooms for hybrid learning until Monday, ...

Gresham: Groundwater drills offer 'dramatic cost savings'
Author: Christopher Keizur
City takes first steps in looming break with Bull Run, prompted by expected cost hike

In a corner of Kirk Park, 1087 N.E. 188th Ave., a drill reaches 600 feet beneath the ground to tap into the Sand-and-Gravel Aquifer, which in half a decade will provide drinking ...

Gresham: Groundwater drills offer 'dramatic cost savings'
Author: Christopher Keizur
City takes first steps in looming break with Bull Run, prompted by expected cost hike

In a corner of Kirk Park, 1087 N.E. 188th Ave., a drill reaches 600 feet beneath the ground to tap into the Sand-and-Gravel Aquifer, which in half a decade will provide drinking ...

Oregon student joins LGBTQ suit against Christian colleges
Author: Ryan Clarke
Audrey Wojnarowisch among 33 plaintiffs in anti-discrimination suit led by a graduate of the Christian school

A first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Title IX religious exemption was filed in U.S. District Court on March 29, and its backers are hoping for a landmark ...

Oregon student joins LGBTQ suit against Christian colleges
Author: Ryan Clarke
Audrey Wojnarowisch among 33 plaintiffs in anti-discrimination suit led by a graduate of the Christian school

A first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Title IX religious exemption was filed in U.S. District Court on March 29, and its backers are hoping for a landmark ...

NYT Politics

Biden Choice for Justice Dept.’s No. 2 Is Seen as a Consensus Builder
Author: Katie Benner
Lisa Monaco, a veteran of national security posts, is expected to be a key player in the administration’s push to combat domestic extremism, embodied most publicly in the department’s inquiry into the Capitol attack.
Fund-Raising Surged for Republicans Who Sought to Overturn the Election
Author: Luke Broadwater, Catie Edmondson and Rachel Shorey
The lawmakers, who encouraged their followers to protest in Washington on Jan. 6, have capitalized on the riot to draw huge campaign donations.
The Covid-19 Plasma Boom Is Over. What Did We Learn From It?
Author: Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland
The U.S. government invested $800 million in plasma when the country was desperate for Covid-19 treatments. A year later, the program has fizzled.

Columbian Newspaper

Riot declared after windows smashed in Portland protests
Author: SARA CLINE and GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press

PORTLAND — Police in Portland declared a riot Friday night after authorities said protesters smashed windows and burglarized businesses during demonstrations that started earlier in the day after police fatally shot a man while responding to reports of a person with a gun.

 

The vandalism downtown came after the Friday morning police shooting but also was part of vigils and demonstrations already planned for the night in the name of people killed in other police shootings nationwide. They include 13-year-old Adam Toledo of Chicago and Daunte Wright, a Black man in a Minneapolis suburb.

 

Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis told reporters earlier in the day that a white man in his 30s was shot and killed by police, who opened fire with a gun and weapons that fire non-lethal projectiles.

 

The man was pronounced dead at the scene in Lents Park, which is in a leafy, residential neighborhood of the city.

 

Two officers fired a 40mm device that shoots non-lethal projectiles, and one officer — an eight-year veteran — fired a gun, police said in a statement. The officer is on paid administrative leave, and his or her name will be released Saturday, authorities said.

 

Davis did not know if the man who died had pointed a weapon at the officers and did not say how many shots were fired. A witness who spoke to reporters at the scene said the man, who had removed his shirt and was blocking an intersection, appeared to be in a mental health crisis, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

 

The police investigation into the shooting was being hampered by a “decent-sized crowd of fairly aggressive people” who showed up at the park within two hours of the shooting.

 

As investigators scoured the scene and documented evidence, nearly 100 yards (91 meters) away, a crowd of more than 150 people — many dressed in all black and some carrying helmets, goggles and gas masks — gathered behind crime scene tape, chanting and yelling at the officers standing in front of them.

 

As police began to finish on-scene investigation around 3 p.m. the crowd marched through the park, ripped down police tape and stood face to face with officers dressed in riot gear. Police left the park around 3:30 p.m., and the crowd remained and eventually stood in a nearby intersection, blocking traffic and chanting.

 

Police said later Friday they had used pepper spray on protesters in order to disengage. Some people hit officers with sticks and chased officers as they were leaving, police said in a news release. Officers deployed smoke canisters and then used a rubber ball distraction device, police said.

 

Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between officers and demonstrators, ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

 

Over the summer, there were demonstrations for more than 100 straight days. Earlier this week, a crowd set a fire outside the city’s police union headquarters following recent fatal police shootings in Chicago and Minneapolis.

 

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has decried what he described as a segment of violent agitators who detract from the message of police accountability and should be subject to more severe punishment.

 

Videos on social media Friday showed protesters skirmishing with police, who used mace to keep them away from the crime scene. Detectives huddled over a covered body still at the scene as dozens of protesters chanted, banged drums and waved signs condemning the police from about 100 yards (91 meters) away.

 

“We’ve had to summon just about every police officer in Multnomah County to keep this group far enough away … to preserve what we refer to in our business as the integrity of the scene, so that nobody who shouldn’t be in there goes in there,” Davis said, adding that deputies with county sheriff’s office were also helping.

 

Wheeler visited the shooting scene and issued a statement urging Portland residents to “proceed with empathy and peace” while the investigation unfolds.

 

These shootings always are traumatic for everyone involved and for our community, regardless of the circumstances,” Wheeler said. “I want to offer my sympathy to the individual involved and to their family. My thoughts also are with the officers who were involved.”

 

Todd Littlefield, who lives near where the shooting happened, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he went to the park after he heard gunfire.

 

“I was just getting in my truck, and I heard a loud shot,” he said.

 

Littlefield drove to the park and saw several officers standing behind trees and their cars, ordering a man to show his hands, he said.

 

Juan Chavez, an attendant at a nearby gas station, said he saw a man standing in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic, with his shirt off. He appeared to be unstable and disoriented, Chavez told the newspaper.

 

Police then showed up, and the man entered the park before Chavez said he heard two gunshots.

 

The area where the shooting happened is within the boundaries of operation for a new city pilot project called Portland Street Response in which a team without police officers responds to reports of homelessness or people in mental health crisis.

 

The pilot project team was not called out Friday and would not respond to a call involving reports of a person with a gun, Davis said.

100-year-old wood to mend Capitol
Author: Chris Cioffi, CQ-Roll Call

WASHINGTON — Only a few people on Earth know where to find a stash of century-old rare mahogany that can be used to repair priceless furnishings damaged on Jan. 6 by a pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol.

Robert “Bob” Ross is one of those people.

The acting assistant director of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisc., knew the exact location of a 3,000-pound stack of the wood that was collecting dust. The 78 mahogany boards, likely brought to the Badger State as part of research into airplane propeller materials during WWI, sat in a basement storage stall for a century waiting for a purpose.

“We actually had an allocation from the War Department to put together a propeller research laboratory,” he said. “And I believe these specimens were used in the research.”

While the origin of the wood is hazy, Ross said he’s confident of several facts. The lab originally got it through a New York supplier called I.T. Williams & Sons, which harvested mahogany from places in Central America, Africa and Asia.

A flatbed truck hauled it 850 miles last month to Washington, where it will be used to repair doors and other parts of the Capitol damaged on Jan. 6, according to the Architect of the Capitol. The work to plane, cut and repurpose the wood is expected to begin in June.

That same old-growth wood, prized for its durability, straight grain and reddish-brown color, can’t be purchased today. The trees have protected international conservation status.

“The old-growth mahogany that the Forest Products Laboratory has had in their safekeeping since the early 20th century and has now transferred to us is truly invaluable and is unavailable at any price, anywhere in the world,” said Mary Oehrlein, the AOC’s historic preservation officer.

The boards, each measuring 11.9 inches by 12 feet, will be used “to restore historic millwork in the nation’s temple of democracy,” said Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton. “Our skilled woodworkers will use both traditional and modern carpentry techniques to create new millwork and doors using this repurposed wood.”

It’s not clear exactly which pieces the wood will be used to repair, but in the aftermath of the mob attack, damage could be seen on high-profile doors, including ones that open to the House chamber.

With its 60 research scientists, the lab has been a player in both civilian and military wood tech since it opened in 1910. It has helped develop new types of strong and economical engineered wood products for structures, new packaging for shipping containers, lightweight parts for planes and recycling-compatible self-stick stamp adhesive.

“There’s a lot of history here, and there’s a lot of outstanding research,” Ross said.

The wood enthusiast and Michigan native has worked for over three decades at the facility. One of his specialties is using ultrasound and X-ray technology to evaluate wood without destroying it.

“It’s parallel to the people who develop equipment for the medical profession to look inside people — only I do it for wood,” he said.

Pages