Large black and white photos of local residents have popped up around the downtown Hillsboro area as part of the “Hello Neighbor” Project. Students from South Meadows Middle School worked with professional photographer and journalist Julie Keefe, learning to not only to take photographs but also how to conduct interviews to learn the unique story of each subject. The students took portraits of people they admire in the community, interviewing them with questions such as: “What inspires you?” and “What are you most proud of?” The portraits, which were transformed into weatherproof banners, each contain a quote from the interviews. The downtown businesses displaying the banners are Columbia Community Bank, Hillsboro Bike Company, Supermercados Mexico, Walgreens, and the Hillsboro Police Department. To see all of the portraits, visit hillsboroarts.org.
A homicide victim found in Portland’s Washington Park on June 26 was positively identified on Oct. 25 as 15-year-old Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodríguez of San Diego County, Calif. According to Portland Police, homicide detectives learned that Cruz was visiting relatives in Vancouver when she was reported as a runaway on June 15, and she had been previously reported as a runaway in San Diego County. Homicide Detectives are seeking any additional information the public may have regarding Mayra Cruz Rodríguez and/or Mark Beebout, the defendant in this homicide, as well as the homicide of Nikayla Powell. Beebout has been indicted on multiple charges of aggravated murder. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detectives Molly Daul at 503-823-0991 or Rico Beniga at 503-823-0457.
Election Day is Nov. 6. Washington ballots must be postmarked by Election Day or dropped off designated ballot drop box or returned in person to your county elections department by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count in Oregon and ballots must be received by Nov. 6; drop them off at any county elections office or designated dropsite by 8 p.m. on Election Day. For more information, visit oregonvotes.org or sos.wa.gov/elections/.
The Portland-based creators of the documentary film “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth” have released a book by the same name featuring 30 stories by undocumented youth ages 10 to 32 and color drawings by undocumented artist Julio Salgado. For more information or to order the book ($14.95 plus $3 shipping), visit www.papersthemovie.com/.
The 2012 Governor’s Summit on Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System will take place Nov. 1-2 at the Spirit Mountain Conference Center in Grand Ronde, Ore. According to the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA), approximately 42 percent of youth in the care and custody of the OYA are minorities. Visit oregon.gov/oya/dmcsummit/2012/summit.htm for more information. In related news, a run/walk was held in Salem on Oct. 27 to commemorate National Youth Justice Awareness Month. According the event’s organizer, Partnership for Safety and Justice, volunteers and organizations in 20 states organized events throughout the month of October to raise awareness of the issue of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating youth in the adult criminal justice system.
Local activist group Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC) is claiming a “major victory” in its campaign to pressure Wells Fargo to get out of the private prison industry. According to PCASC, last month Wells Fargo divested nearly 75 percent of its aggregate holdings in GEO Group, the nation’s second-largest private prison corporation. “This victory demonstrates that Wells Fargo is not immune to public pressure,” PCASC’s Craig Hennecke said in a press release. “Their involvement in private prisons goes beyond holding shares in GEO and we are committed to continuing our campaign until we see a complete severing of ties with the industry.”
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