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Think Out Loud

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

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

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


Portland, OR


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






Sandy Students Start Petition To Ban Confederate Flag In Schools

A group of Sandy High School students is calling on their district school board to ban the Confederate flag in schools. They say that they see the flag displayed on students’ clothing or vehicles nearly every day, and that it’s part of the culture of racism in Sandy’s schools. Sandy High School seniors Molly Izer and Josiah Rothwell are two of the students who wrote the petition to the school board.


Multnomah County Commissioner Urges Strong Measures To Curb COVID-19

“It’s time to call it -- schools shouldn’t reopen in the fall!” That was the stark language in a tweet that Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran sent out over the weekend. Meieran is also an emergency room doctor at Kaiser Permanente hospitals, and she wants to see her fellow politicians take the pandemic more seriously. We hear from Meieran about what steps she thinks the county and the state should take and why she thinks it’s so hard for politicians to be guided by science.


Portland’s Ban on Facial Recognition Technology Proposes Strict Restrictions

In a few weeks, Portland City Council Commissioners will vote for what may be the strictest bans on facial recognition technology in the country. The proposed ordinances could bar city governments, law enforcement and private businesses from using facial recognition technology. Kate Kaye is a technology journalist for Red Tail Media. She fills us in on the technology and the proposed ordinances.


Archivist Preserves Black History and Culture

As the Black Lives Matter uprising unfolds, archivists are working on ways to document history as it happens. Tracy Drake, archivist for Reed College, is a member of The Blackivists, a national group of Black archivists who prioritize Black cultural heritage preservation and memory work. The Blackivists assist groups and individuals in preserving their own archives, and help institutions build historical collections that include Black heritage. We hear from Drake.


Portland Auditor On Police Oversight Role

Currently, much of Portland’s complicated police oversight system currently rests within the independently elected auditor’s office. Portland auditor Mary Hull Caballero says calls for changes in the oversight process should take into account the lessons her office has learned.


WA Attorney General Calls For Police Force Database

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is calling for the legislature to create a public database that tracks fatal police use of force for the entire state. Earlier this month, the hate crimes working group he convened issued a report that recommended a number of police reforms including training for officers and support for survivors of such crimes. Ferguson joins us to talk about these and other changes he wants to see in state and local law enforcement.


Taking Trauma Into Account

What does a trauma-informed virtual meeting look like? How can organizations that serve children and families take pandemic-related trauma into account as they consider reopening? These are the kinds of questions that Trauma Informed Oregon and the Native Wellness Institute have been thinking through since March. Both organizations are well-versed in trauma and healing and they’ve had to adapt their skills to continue to serve people in the “new normal.” We hear from Native Wellness...


Gov. Brown Issues New Oregon Mask Requirements, Limits Gatherings

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued new public health mask requirements Monday similar to those in Washington state. Most people must now wear masks outside in public places where social distancing is difficult in addition to indoor public spaces. Indoor social gatherings are also limited to 10 people statewide. We talk with Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen.


Black Business Leader Reflects On Barriers In Portland

Stephen Green has done a lot of thinking about the barriers that Black business owners face in Portland -- access to capital, a wealth gap, and economic inequity writ large. Green is the founder of PitchBlack, an event to uplift and invest in Black entrepreneurs. He says he sees the uprising against police violence and anti-Black racism as a possible turning point, if white business leaders can show their commitment with more than just statements about equity. He recently created a website...


Portland Strippers Organize for Racial Justice

For the past month, Portland strippers have been organizing against racial discrimination in Portland clubs. They are calling on clubs to implement cultural sensitivity training, and provide equal opportunities for Black, indigenous, and other strippers of color. Strippers involved with the strike are refusing to work at clubs that have not met their demands. Cat Hollis, an organizer of the movement, tells us about her experience as Black stripper in Portland, and how her new nonprofit...


News Roundtable July 10, 2020

We get opinions and analysis on some of the biggest local news stories of the week with Rachael McDonald, Erious Johnson and Eric Fruits.


New Climate Emergency Resolution Centers Vulnerable Communities

Last week the city of Portland introduced a new climate resolution with a goal to have net-zero emissions by 2050. The resolution focuses on Black communities, Indigenous communities, and other communities of color that are most directly impacted by the effects of climate change. Director of planning and sustainability, Andrea Durbin says the resolution works toward a community that provides more opportunities to the most vulnerable.


Oregon Universities Oppose New Federal Restrictions for International Students

The University of Oregon is among the colleges who object the Trump Administration’s edict this week mandating that international students must take at least one in person class in the fall or lose their student visas. Dennis Galvan, the dean and vice president for global engagement at UO joins us to talk about what he’s hearing from students and the approach the university is taking to push back on the policy.


Jo Ann Hardesty On Changes To Policing

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has been leading the charge to change policing in Portland for decades. Now, during the global uprising against police violence and anti-Black racism, Hardesty is at the forefront of many police reform conversations in Portland and the state of Oregon. Last week, she wrote an open letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell requesting changes to the way police handle protests. And yesterday, Hardesty was appointed to...


Incarcerated Young Men Make Films

On Thursday evening, Open Signal will broadcast short films created by a group of young men incarcerated at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn. They started working on their projects before Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued her “stay at home” order in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The films include personal narrative, documentary, a breakdance film, sketch comedy and a cooking show. Morpheus Youth Project co-founder and executive director Carlos Chavez...


Young Scientist From Beaverton Proposal Gut Bacteria To Diagnose Early Cancer.

Ekansh Mittal is an incoming freshman at West View High School in Beaverton. While he was in middle school, he came up with the idea that gut bacteria could be used to diagnose early stage cancer. He’s one of 10 finalists in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Mittal joins us to tell us more about his project and the promise the idea holds.


Student Creates Smartphone Keyboard To Save Endangered Language

There are only a few dozen living speakers of the indigenous language Ichishkiin. Keegan Livermore wants to change that. Livermore is a masters student in Language Teaching Studies at the University of Oregon and a descendant of the Yakama Nation. He created a smartphone keyboard in Ichishkiin to help others learn the language. He joins us.


Malheur County Enacts Emergency Food Distribution Plan

Nearly 13% of the population in Eastern Oregon is living without reliable access to enough food. In Malheur County, a recent emergency food drive saw over 150 families wait in line for hours in their cars to get boxes of food. Lindsay Grosvenor [GOVE-eh-nor] is a nutritionist for Valley Family Health Care in Ontario. She helped to organize the emergency food drive.


Newport Confronts Growing Coronavirus And Holiday Crowds

Over 3% of Newport’s population tested positive for coronavirus, according to a random sample study from Oregon State University last week. Despite those numbers, thousands of people flocked to the beach over the holiday weekend. Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer tells us the challenges Newport is facing.


I-5 Expansion Project Loses Key Support

The controversial plan to expand Interstate 5 in Portland’s Rose Quarter has lost the support of the Albina Vision Trust. The Black-led community group sent an email to Oregon Department of Transportation officials June 30 saying that after engaging with the project for over two years, “we do not see our engagement resulting in meaningful changes to the project or its anticipated outcomes.” The group had hoped to see the scope of the project expand to include revitalization of the...