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Johnson scores 20 to help No. 20 Utah women beat Oregon 70-48

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Johnson scores 20 to help No. 20 Utah women beat Oregon 70-48


SALT LAKE CITY — Jenna Johnson scored 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting, Maty Wilke hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points and No. 20 Utah beat Oregon 70-48 Sunday.

Alissa Pili, who had two points on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half, scored 14 of her 16 in the second half for Utah (18-7, 8-5 Pac-12).

The Utes led by as many as 14 points late in the first half but Kennedy Basham and Grace Vanslooten each scored four points in a 10-1 run that cut the Ducks’ deficit to 41-37 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. Pili answered with a jumper and then a 3-pointer and Wilke followed with a pair from behind the arc as Utah scored 11 of the final 15 third-quarter points to make it 52-41. The Utes opened the fourth with a 16-3 run and Oregon trailed by 20-plus for the final 6 1/2 minutes.

Phillipina Kyei made 7 of 9 from the field and led the Ducks with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Vanslooten scored 14 on 6-of-12 shooting. The rest of the team shot 26.9% (7 of 26).

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Oregon (11-14, 2-10) has lost each of its last seven games, six of which were against ranked opponents.

Oregon leads the all-time series with the Utes 24-13, though Utah has won the four games.

Oregon plays host to No. 10 Southern California on Friday. Utah wraps up a three-game home stand Friday against No. 4 Colorado.

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Oregon Democratic lawmakers reach tentative deal to address drug addiction crisis – Oregon Capital Chronicle

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Oregon Democratic lawmakers reach tentative deal to address drug addiction crisis – Oregon Capital Chronicle


Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday they have reached a tentative deal to create a new type of misdemeanor that would give defendants no jail time for drug possession and another chance to enter treatment programs.

The charge, hammered out near the mid-point of the 35-day session, will be folded into House Bill 4002, the vehicle lawmakers are using this session to address the fentanyl-fueled drug overdose and addiction crisis. Its purpose would be to give people found with small quantities of drugs ample chances to enter treatment and recovery rather than jail. 

“You’re going to see, when all this stuff settles, that we have lived up to the promise that we said we were going to do at the very beginning, which is we are going to have a robust housing package,” Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber, D-Beaverton, said in an interview with the Capital Chronicle. “And we are going to put a robust package together to try to solve the addiction crisis, and you’re going to see that those two packages are working, aligned and robust.”

The unclassified misdemeanor would carry potential jail time of up to 30 days for probation violations or up to 180 days when a defendant’s probation is revoked. But they could get an early release from jail if they entered inpatient or outpatient treatment.

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Suspects caught with illegal drugs for their own use would be offered a chance to enter a “deflection” program, to avoid jail and a record, and those charged with drug possession would also be offered a chance to enter a diversion program to get treated and have their case expunged. Drug dealers convicted of delivering a controlled substance within 30 feet of a park would face a higher sentence. 

The proposal would give counties the option to build their own deflection programs instead of making them mandatory statewide. That flexibility would help garner community support, said Leiber, also co-chair of the joint addiction committee that’s behind HB 4002. 

The misdemeanor charge would become effective Sept. 1, giving counties time to set up their programs and to educate the public.

The bill still includes other measures to combat addiction, including expanding treatment options and the time for welfare holds from 48 hours to 72 hours because fentanyl stays in a person’s system for longer than other drugs. 

In its original version, HB 4002 called for a class C misdemeanor, which carries up to 30 days in jail. Republicans and addiction treatment advocates had widely criticized that for different reasons. 

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Republican lawmakers said it didn’t go far enough and called for a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail. A coalition of Oregon cities and law enforcement groups also raised concerns about the potential ineffectiveness of deflection programs.

Advocates for treatment have said the original low-level misdemeanor would be unfair to users because it would recriminalize possession. Democratic lawmakers said they worked to address those concerns by limiting the jail time. The new misdemeanor would have no fines or court fees, another key difference from others.

Besides creating the misdemeanor, the proposal would put money into behavioral health workforce programs, recovery housing to keep people off the streets and residential programs and facilities. Counties would also be eligible for funding to start deflection programs. More than a dozen counties have signaled a desire to do so.

“We as a state are going to partner with those communities to help provide funding and training and support and set up these programs,” said Rep. Jason Kropf, D-Bend and co-chair of the joint addiction committee. 

Lawmakers have yet to figure out how much the proposal would cost. 

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Reaction is mixed among advocates, Republicans

As details trickled out Wednesday, reaction varied.

Recovery advocates expressed disappointment and warned that it would reverse progress that followed Measure 110, the voter-backed law that decriminalized possession of small amounts of drugs and put a share of cannabis revenue toward addiction services and programs. Advocates warned the changes would disproportionately harm communities of color.

“Time and time again, the lived experiences of people who would be most harmed by criminalization was ignored,” Oregonians for Safety and Recovery, a coalition that includes the ACLU of Oregon, Drug Policy Alliance and Health Justice  Recovery Alliance, said in a statement. “Time and time again, the evidence that recriminalization of addiction is a failure has been ignored.”

Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, said he’s not seen the proposal yet. Mannix, a committee member, is sponsoring an alternative proposal that would create a misdemeanor with requirements for care and treatment, customized based on their needs. Jail would be possible, but only to encourage accountability and treatment, he said. 

“My Democratic colleagues are trying really hard to avoid using the word ‘incarceration,’” Mannix said. “I would rather use the word ‘accountability.’”

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He said he hopes flexibility in the bill allows counties to create innovative programs. 

UPDATED at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 with reactions from Rep. Kevin Mannix and recovery advocates.

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Oregon ‘Latina Mamas’ cooking classes share food (and wisdom) made from scratch

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Oregon ‘Latina Mamas’ cooking classes share food (and wisdom) made from scratch


Sylvia Poareo’s Ashland kitchen was filled with the aromas of roasting ancho and guajillo chiles Thursday night. Cozying around her stove were a handful of people watching Sabina Ramirez, known as one of the Latina Mamas, mix onions, garlic and cinnamon with the chiles to make mixiote chicken steamed in banana leaves.

Poareo translated questions asked in English for the Spanish-speaking Ramirez, but Ramirez’s hands-on teaching needed no words. Soon, everyone was happily busy, pureeing homegrown tomatillos for salsa verde, smashing seasoned and soft pinto beans for refried beans and tasting the developing flavors.

More than a cooking class, Poareo’s regular gatherings honor migrant hands that tend to Rogue Valley fields and the wisdom of sharing food made from scratch.

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Community members donate $35-$65 to the cooks through a nonprofit to hear how the Mamas select ingredients and prepare meals in a traditional way. Guests see their teacher’s hands rolling limewater-cured maize into a dough that will be formed into thin patties and placed on a hot comal to make fresh corn tortillas. They take turns with the steel tortilla press or practice flattening the stone-ground flour balls made with masa harina by hand.

“The intention here is not to receive written recipes; food is medicine, and the medicine is in the coming together,” said Poareo, whose mother was a migrant worker from Mexico. “We are honoring and featuring the women who make food, and together we are sharing our humanity.”

Anthropologists say food is a way of communicating a culture without words, and cuisines, like ingredients and cooking methods that Mexico’s Indigenous people originated, are recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Making tortillas from maize using nixtamalization has been passed on over millennia and continues today.

Angel Medina, founder and co-owner of the Republica & Co. hospitality company based in Portland, wants his De Noche restaurant customers to be able to watch a tortilla puff up before their eyes.

“It’s not a show, it’s culture,” he said. “This cuisine isn’t meant to be easy. It takes hours, from start to finish after the corn is grown, to make a tortilla, and we present this as an art created in every house in every home in Mexico.”

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The cooking classes in Ashland are fundraisers for victims of the 2020 Almeda fire that roared through the Rogue Valley cities of Talent and Phoenix, burning 2,400 structures, displacing families, and intensifying the state’s affordable housing shortage.

At the time Poareo found herself serving as a go-between, bringing supplies from Ashland residents to many migrant workers who relocated to trailers, spare rooms and hotels without kitchens.

And yet, in the midst of having lost everything and lingering in limbo, “Mamas found a way to make food for their children that provided a sense of stability, security and comfort in chaos,” said Poareo. “Care, love and devotion are communicated through nourishment, and I’d like people to remember that.”

Ramirez’s family lost their home in the fire and when Poareo met them at a hotel, she asked them to live in her house. The Ramirezes stayed for two months before finding permanent housing.

Each morning, around 5 a.m., Sabina Ramirez made tortillas from scratch and fed her family and the Poareo family breakfast. She then packed her children’s lunches and then put in a full day as a farmworker.

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Poareo, who grew up in foster care in Southern California and has since made a life and healing practice out of reconnection and reclamation, feels she has a foot in two cultures: The Mexican community of Phoenix and Talent, and the majority white community of Ashland where she has lived since 2019.

“People wanted to help (fire victims), but they didn’t have the connection,” said Poareo, a trained social worker and spiritual teacher who uses Curanderismo healing practices in her work.

Her idea: Invite people to her home to learn the sacred arts of making real food from master cooks who do this as a daily practice.

The message: Food is more than nourishment to the body. It’s reassuring, grounding and keeps families together.

All donations go directly to the Latina Mamas through the nonprofit Association for the Integration of the Whole Person that aids ministries and theaters as well as alternative and traditional spiritual work, according to aiwp.org.

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“These Mamas have a wisdom passed on by their mothers and grandmothers that they bring in the face of trauma,” said Poareo. “They make miracles with tomatoes, chili, spices and love. To learn with my dear amigas and be fed by them is a profound gift from their heart, joy and cultural pride.”

Ramirez grew up in Oaxaca, the southern Mexico city recognized by gastronomes as a culinary paradise. She learned to cook from her mother’s generation, using staples of corn and beans, tomato and avocado, and spices like vanilla and chili peppers that Indigenous people cultivated to season fish and turkey long before the Spanish introduced dairy to make quesillo as well as domesticated cows, sheep and chickens.

During the Feb. 22 class, Ramirez will teach the complex process Mexico’s Indigenous people developed that uses water, heat and limewater to turn maize into hominy for life-sustaining, nutritious tortillas and tamales. Participants will practice the process of nixtamalization, an Aztec word for “lime ashes” and “corn dough,” as corn kernels are made into stew, a Michoacán-style posole.

Despite the stress and fear facing migrant workers, the Mamas want to share their skills and have fun, and guests want to connect and learn. Throughout last Thursday’s three-hour class, Ramirez was smiling, encouraging participants to take part in food preparation techniques not included in most cookbooks.

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Last Thursday’s session was the second class Lua Maia of Ashland has joined and she’s signed up for this week’s class on posole with fresh nixtamal.

“There are not many cooking classes offered in Ashland, and none led by someone born in Oaxaca who learned to cook as a child,” she said. Last week, “I saw how to soak a raw, organic chicken in vinegar and sea-salt to clean it and other meticulous details.”

The cooking classes are more like a dinner party with new friends. Strangers chat and make connections while learning. Donna Jones of Ashland signed up for the series of classes because she wanted to study Mexican cooking, but she’s discovered so much more.

“Growing up, my mom, like most moms, made dinner in the kitchen and I missed out,” said Jones last Thursday. “I want my children to know how meals are made, and now I have more to share.”

When the mixiote chicken, refried beans, salsa verde and tortillas were ready, participants sat at a long dining table and were asked to join in expressing gratitude. They each spoke from their heart, thanking Poareo for opening her home to them and Ramirez for teaching them.

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One participant told Ramirez in English, “your food needs no translation.”

Ramirez quietly accepted the compliments, then it was her turn to speak. In Spanish, she thanked each participant for taking the time to see how much goes into making a meal, from planting seeds to serving.

She added: “Thank you for helping my family and may you be abundantly blessed with good health and finances.”

After a meal of vegetarian enchiladas in January, participants were asked to remember that every ingredient on the table — fruits, vegetables, grains — came to them through largely migrants’ hands. The husband of one of the Mamas pointed to the Mexican cheese and gently added that “it’s not just the milk that made the cheese, but people who milked the cow, fed the cow, grew
the corn or hay, and cleaned the stalls and so on.”

In the U.S, the majority of agricultural workers were foreign born, most often in Mexico, according to 2023 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic report. The USDA in 2021 found 28% of farmworkers are women. Some of these workers travel and work throughout the U.S., serving the trillion-dollar agricultural industry, reports the National Center for Farmworker Health.

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Poareo said migrant people experience stigma and mixed messages between groups that welcome migrants and those that scapegoat them.

“They are living under the feeling of animosity so witnessing them being honored makes me so happy,” she said. “They deserve to be honored.”

In the U.S., financial success is celebrated, but there’s a lack of honoring essential earth-based and ancestral skills that are healing for people, Poareo said. She’s hoping to change that, one dinner at a time.

Poareo knows people can be relaxed together under one roof, sharing their cultures through music, art and food. Her hosted cooking class can be replicated, she said.

“Anyone who has relationships can find ways to bridge communities and make people feel honored,” she said.

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— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman





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Opinion: Oregon’s looming disasters call for wholesale change to fund, boost our preparedness

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Opinion: Oregon’s looming disasters call for wholesale change to fund, boost our preparedness


Paul Evans

Evans, a Democrat, represents House District 20-Monmouth in the Oregon Legislature. He co-chairs the Subcommittee on Public Safety for the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, and serves on the House Committee on Emergency Management, General Government and Veterans.

We live on borrowed time. We are overdue for a catastrophic seismic event in the magnitude of a possible 9.0+ on the Richter scale. Though many expect government to respond effectively, we are not prepared for a minuteslong quake, a mileslong tsunami, or the predictable post-event realities. In simplest terms, Oregon is failing to appropriately prepare for a disaster that threatens to be the largest, most destructive in American history.

When the Cascadia Subduction Zone rips, casualties will be measured in the thousands. The tsunami itself is estimated to kill at least 20,000 people. Thousands more will die because of the impacts triggered by minutes-long violent vibrations. The anticipated liquefaction will drop the ground beneath us, leveling or rendering useless most of our existing structures and forever altering the landscape of the Willamette Valley.

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Unfortunately, the people killed in the quake and the tsunami represent a small fraction of the casualty projections. Right now, planners estimate emergency response operations in days, not hours; we forecast a recovery period lasting years, not months. Current resilience assessments suggest tens of thousands of additional deaths due to widespread scarcity of drinkable water, food, medical care, sanitation and shelter. The economic cost of such a disaster is expected to surpass $355 billion.

These eye-popping estimates are not hyperbole. We have witnessed the tragic aftermath of catastrophe in nations around the world. Even Japan, a nation that was well prepared for an 8.5 event, was devastated when hit with a 9.0 in 2011.

The scale, shape and size of the coming catastrophe can overwhelm us. We cannot prevent it. We cannot control it. However, we can reduce the risks. But that will require Oregonians to support a wholesale change in the way we approach and fund our disaster preparedness to match the seriousness of what we face.

Two bills before the Legislature, House Joint Resolution 201 and House Bill 4075, lay the foundation for how we can accelerate our preparation. If passed by legislators, HJR 201 would ask voters in November 2024 to approve a constitutional amendment to create a new statewide property tax for public safety.

If and only if, the voters approve HJR 201, new funding would go for all-hazards safety programming including more training opportunities for communities, coordinated “defensible space” fuels reduction efforts, property “hardening” grants, and other priority mitigation work. It would also pay for critical response and recovery staffing and supplies for largescale incidents. And Oregon would have a reliable mechanism to match federal funding for regional wildfire mitigation strategies in populated as well as unpopulated areas.

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HB 4075 is a companion bill that provides guidance for sound implementation. It would create a task force empowered to develop the operating procedures and rules for transitioning the new statewide authority into a functional organization. The bill provides a transparent approach for executing the larger vision.

Together, HJR 201 and HB 4075 provide us with a desperately needed revenue stream with targeted outcomes and robust oversight. Admittedly, proposing a “new” revenue method is always controversial. There will be some who may misrepresent the approach as an attempt to fund problems beyond catastrophic disasters. Others may misunderstand how this tax would work. Whatever the case, it is essential for us to act sooner than later.

We have a duty to transform our circumstances through securing the resources necessary for expanded training for first responders, volunteers, and neighborhood teams. Passage of HJR 201/HB4075 would allow us to invest in improved facilities for responders and victims. It would give us opportunities that we have never had before to mitigate, and at times perhaps prevent catastrophic wildfire. And it would simultaneously boost our seismic response and recovery capabilities.

We have made significant progress in recent years, including modernizing our statewide emergency response structures and systems, deploying critical equipment to high-risk areas and making other essential improvements in statewide interoperability. But we must accelerate our work.

Benjamin Franklin once said that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” We know the threats our region faces. The question is whether we will do what’s needed to prepare for them.

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Although there is no singular “simple answer” to the challenges faced, we must begin with demanding permanent funding appropriately scaled to the task before us.

Passage of HJR 201 and HB 4075 can be the first step toward building a culture of resilience. Our lives, and the lives of our children may well depend upon it.

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Submit your essay of 600-700 words on a highly topical issue or a theme of particular relevance to the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and the Portland area to commentary@oregonian.com. Please include your email and phone number for verification.



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