Think Out Loud

Think Out Loud

OPB's daily conversation covering news, politics, culture and the arts.

Episodes

June 17, 2021 50 min
We spoke to poet Claudia Rankine in front of a live audience at Literary Arts in downtown Portland in 2018. Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including National Book Award finalist "Citizen: An American Lyric." Rankine was awarded the MacArthur "genius" grant in 2016 and founded the Racial Imaginary Institute to explore whiteness in American culture. We listen back to that interview today.
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There is a shortage of affordable housing on the Oregon coast. This is not a new problem, and it only intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic, as coastal real estate became even more attractive to people who could afford to work remotely. A 2019 housing study in Clatsop County on Oregon’s north coast flagged vacation rentals as one of the contributing factors to the lack of affordable housing in the area. Some coastal communities ha...
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Portland musician Aaron Nigel Smith calls the genre he works in “family music.” He writes songs for kids and their families to enjoy together. For Juneteenth this year he’s releasing a special collaboration album with songs from 23 other artists. The album is called All One Tribe, and it’s a celebration of Black musicians, children, and families. Aaron Nigel Smith joins us, along with the musician Shine, to talk about the album.
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The Oregon legislature’s 2021 session is drawing to a close, and it’s been an eventful five months, with a slow start but then a lot of activity: on pandemic response, policing, gun laws, and much more. Democratic lawmakers, who hold sizable majorities, will also be leaving some of the priorities undone. OPB political reporter Sam Stites gives us an overview of the bills that passed, and a preview of the final weeks of the session.
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Rupert Kinnard introduced his character the Brown Bomber in 1977, and later, BB's sidekick Diva Touché Flambé. Kinnard created the first African American LGBTQ characters in comics, and his stories are featured in the new documentary, “No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics.” Throughout his career, Kinnard contributed to Willamette Week and co-founded Just Out. He was also the first Black member of the first LGBTQ-rights u...
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As Oregon moves closer to hitting the 70% first-dose vaccination rate statewide, disparities remain. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Oregonians have the highest vaccination rate by race and ethnicity, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority. Latinx and Hispanic Oregonians have the lowest. Alyshia Macaysa is the incoming executive director of the Oregon Pacific Islander Coalition. Oralia Mendez is a manager of workf...
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Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Tuesday that his office indicted Portland Police Bureau officer Corey Budworth with one count of fourth degree assault. The indictment is the second against a Portland police officer stemming from last year’s racial justice protests during which the bureau documented more than 6,000 use of force incidents against protesters. DA Schmidt explains what happens next.
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In February, trees in cities and towns across the state crashed down after a devastating ice storm. Months later, several cities in Oregon are still dealing with tree damage from the storm. We hear from Megan Big John, parks manager for Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation, and Mark Becktel, Salem’s public works operations manager, on how tree damage can create new issues, especially as fire season begins in Oregon.
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Teachers' unconscious racial bias in the classroom can significantly affect how different students are taught — and what they learn. Portland State University Math Education professor Eva Thanheiser has just won a $640,000 grant to preemptively reduce bias among K-12 math teachers. The effort does not develop a curriculum. Instead, it takes a professional development approach for teachers to bring in the experience of students ...
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Voters in Multnomah County approved the Preschool for All program last November. The program is slowly ramping up with the goal of enrolling up to 1,000 kids in the fall of 2022. The program has ambitious goals, including raising wages for preschool teachers and, eventually, providing free access for all 3 and 4-year-olds in the county. There are also a lot of challenges, including the volatile nature of income tax revenue. Multnom...
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Rep. Mike Nearman was expelled from the Oregon House in a widely anticipated vote June 10, a first in state history. Only Nearman himself voted against the resolution, finding that he had engaged in “disorderly behavior” by facilitating the Capitol building incursion by armed far-right protesters six months ago. We get perspectives on what’s next for state GOP lawmakers and the Legislature, just a couple of weeks before the 2021 se...
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Oregon is the first state where legislative aides are unionized. The effort has been afoot since last year, overcoming some opposition from lawmakers who attempted to prevent it. Staffers prevailed and now the union is poised to negotiate its first contract after the 2021 session wraps up. We ask two newly unionized staffers Logan Gilles and Claire Prihoda about what was behind this effort and what changes and protections they’re h...
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The NCAA track and field championships took place this weekend in Eugene at the historic Hayward field, hosting collegiate athletes from across the country. Oregon’s Carmela Cardama Baez beat the current cross-country champion from Alabama to win the 10,000 meter race. We’re joined by former sports writer for The Oregonian, Ken Goe and sports desk editor for The Daily Emerald Charles Gearing, who tell us how other runners fared and...
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Portland’s annual Pride celebration was hastily moved online last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a statewide ban on large gatherings. This year, even though outdoor gatherings have been sanctioned once again, the Pride parade, and most accompanying events, will be virtual, with the exception of a Drag Diva Brunch and an LGBTQ-friendly vaccination clinic. Meanwhile, the Eastern Oregon city of Pendleton will have its first Pr...
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The Oregon Senate has passed a bill that would allow college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. A number of other states have passed similar bills, and the NCAA and federal lawmakers are taking up the issue as well. Courtney Cox, an assistant professor at the University of Oregon, explains how all of this will affect athletes in Oregon.
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Climate change activists have a lot to celebrate this week with the cancelation of the Keystone oil pipeline. Closer to home, a bipartisan bill to move Oregon’s energy grid to 100% renewable energy is on a trajectory toward Gov. Kate Brown’s desk. We get more details from Rep. Khanh Pham, D-Portland, and Allie Rosenbluth, campaigns director for Rogue Climate, a climate action group based in Southern Oregon.
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South Salem High School graduate Kundai Kapurura says last year, between the pandemic, the movement for racial justice and the wildfires, she was overwhelmed with a desire to help. She reached out to fellow student Sophia Cobb after noticing her eye-catching Instagram pictures of clothing she’d made. The two soon created Philanthropy Phabrics, a company that sells embellished and customized clothes and donates a portion of the proc...
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In the past, Oregon’s indigenous students couldn’t wear eagle feathers on their graduation caps, mukluks on their feet, or traditional stoles over their graduation gowns without the fear that they would be stopped or have these items confiscated by school administrators. Now, a new law signed by Gov. Kate Brown ensures that Native American students in Oregon can wear culturally significant items at public school events, including g...
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Oregon House Republicans are calling on one of their own to resign. A video surfaced last week of state Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, telling a group of supporters how he would let them into the closed state capitol building. He did just that five days later. We’ll talk about this, and look ahead to the last weeks of the legislative session, with Oregon House Minority Leader Rep. Christine Drazan, R-Canby.
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June 9, 2021 52 min
Jacqueline Woodson is the author of “Miracle’s Boys,” “Harbor Me” and many other books for children and young adults. Her bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming” is written in verse and in 2015, the Poetry Foundation named her the Young People’s Poet Laureate. She was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 2020. We spoke with Woodson in front of a small audience at Literary Arts in downtown Portland in 2019.
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