Kamiak High coach, substitute teacher fired after sexual misconduct accusations

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:00

An assistant football coach and substitute teacher was fired from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo after police opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a student.
Categories: Local News

Jaylon Johnson tells ESPN radio he expects to attend Chicago Bears OTAs next week — and why he missed the 1st 2 weeks

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:57

Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson plans to attend organized team activities at Halas Hall next week, he told ESPN radio Thursday.

Johnson missed the first two weeks of OTAs, which are voluntary, but he has been participating in meetings via video conference call. Coach Matt Eberflus said after practice Wednesday he hoped to have Johnson in the fold at least by mandatory minicamp June 13-15 and potentially next week.

Johnson said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill and Max show he didn’t attend the first two weeks because he was spending time with his daughter in their hometown of Fresno, Calif.

“I don’t get too much time during the season to get with her,” he said. “For me, the offseason is a lot of time for her, to make that up for family. I’m a big family guy for sure, being a young dad, just trying to be present in my daughter’s life. So I take a lot of pride in that.”

Johnson said he was also tending to business, including preparing for a golf event Saturday for his charity, Kevvy’s Vision Project, which he created in 2021 to honor his friend who was shot and killed. Johnson runs a Christmas carnival through the charity and hopes to offer scholarships too. He said quarterback Justin Fields planned to attend the golf event.

Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, is entering his fourth season with the Bears, and his OTAs absence brought up questions about a potential quest for a contract extension.

He has started 39 games over three seasons with one interception, 31 passes defended, two forced fumbles and 125 tackles. General manager Ryan Poles said after the draft he hopes Johnson is “a guy we get to keep here for a while too.”

When asked Thursday about his contract on ESPN, Johnson turned the focus to how he can help the Bears win.

“For me, it used to be a lot of pressure. Going into my third year, I felt like that was the year for me to put myself out there to have a new contract, to be able to re-up,” Johnson said. “It’s just about going out and being who I am. I know I can be a dominant corner. I am a dominant corner in this league, following the No. 1 wide receivers. And just finding ways to do my job at a higher rate, continue to be a better teammate, continue to find ways to win. At the end of the day, that’s all I want to do. I haven’t had a winning season since I’ve been on the Chicago Bears yet.

“With winning comes paychecks. At the end of the day, I need to focus on winning, and that’s what I’m worried about going into Year 4.”

Johnson is one of just a few starters who haven’t participated in OTAs so far. Wide receiver Darnell Mooney and safety Eddie Jackson are recovering from injuries. New veteran guard Nate Davis also has been absent, but Eberflus indicated it’s not injury related.

Bears coaches have walked the line between saying there is value to being at OTAs while also acknowledging the league makes the sessions voluntary. New Bears cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke said Johnson can get a better feel for how Hoke teaches at practice.

“Just the subtle changes of how I teach and the way it was taught before from a technical standpoint as much as anything else,” Hoke said. “The package is the package, the scheme’s the scheme, but there are nuances about how you teach certain things, so that’s the big part of it.”


Categories: Local News

China Crosses Milestone With C919 Flight but Has Long Way to Go

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:57
The C919 jet, made by a state-owned manufacturer, completed its first commercial flight. But Western rivals still supply most of China’s planes.
Categories: Local News

Miami Mayor Suarez Eyes Presidential Run Amid City Hall Turmoil

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:56
Miami’s strong economy has its mayor weighing a presidential run. But a trial against a city commissioner has exposed some of the city’s less attractive inner workings.
Categories: Local News

Bobby McFerrin’s Circlesongs project has everyone singing for joy

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:45

Just about every Monday afternoon at Freight & Salvage, Bobby McFerrin reenacts the creation of the universe.

No stars or planets coalesce in the venerable Berkeley venue, but sitting on stage flanked by the four vocalists in his ensemble Motion, the NEA Jazz Master taps into a protean force conjured by spontaneously generated melodies and rhythms.

Since November 2021, the vocal sorcerer has convened Circlesongs at the Freight, encounters that are both Motion performances and open mic sessions in which audience members can join McFerrin, Tammi Brown, Bryan Dyer, David Worm and Destani Wolf to start new rounds of improvisation. You never know who might drop by. Grammy Award-winning jazz violinist Mads Tolling has joined the fray and a few weeks ago Phish bassist Mike Gordon checked out the scene.

In a departure from the Monday meetings, McFerrin is bringing Circlesongs to the weekend with evening Motion performances at the Freight June 1 and 2. The idea is to make the practice as accessible as possible, while offering a taste of the immersive experience available at the CirclesongSchool retreat taking place at Grace Cathedral July 24-29.

For McFerrin, everything’s going according to his planless plan. He started the Freight sessions looking for a situation to heal his voice and spirit after a few rough years. Calling Worm, a longtime compadre, he said, “We’re going to improvise, not continuously but throughout,” McFerrin recalled in a January interview shortly before he received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. “I want nothing more than to sing with other people.”

McFerrin brings a singular body of experience to presiding over the Circlesong sessions. He’s conducted the world’s greatest orchestras, scored a chart-topping pop hit with 1988’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and has performed and recorded with a succession of fellow musical adventurers, including Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock.

Watching him lead Circlesongs brings to mind recent essays by Ted Gioia, the dauntingly original music writer who lived in Palo Alto for many years. He’s been publishing a new book, “Music to Raise the Dead,” chapter by chapter, on Substack, and he argues that music’s essential role in human evolution is largely uncredited in contemporary musicology.

“In ancient myths, we hear of the world literally being sung into being out of chaos,” Gioia writes, “and that’s true whether we’re discussing the quasi-magical Songlines of Aboriginal culture in Australia or Shiva creating the universe, in Hindu iconography, with a damaru, an hourglass-shaped drum of tremendous antiquity, or a host of other mythic traditions.”

In his ability to absorb and channel any new sound that enters the Circlesong orbit, McFerrin seems to embody music’s generative power, creating harmony and groove out of disorder. The process is as much a spiritual calling as a creative practice, though McFerrin might argue that’s there’s really no distinction.

In many ways finding a community to sing with lifted McFerrin out of a debilitating bout of depression. He and his wife Deb had moved back to San Francisco in 2019 after two decades in the Philadelphia area, and he was dealing with the onset of Parkinson’s.

“I went through a period of depression because I wasn’t singing anymore, and the voice I did have was flawed,” he said. “I couldn’t get any sound. I didn’t have much control over it. And it took me about a year and a half to get through it.”

It was her upbringing in the Black church, rather than her formal musical training, that provided a path into Motion for Santa Cruz singer Tammi Brown. At the initial gatherings McFerrin convened for the Motion singers to get to know each other, “I felt a lot of trepidation,” she said.

It’s not that she was unfamiliar with improvisation. An accomplished jazz singer who earned national attention for her work on the award-winning album “Lost American JazzBook,” she was used to “a very organized way of presenting music,” she said, like her June 24 concert at Kuumbwa “Tammi Brown Sings Ella.”

In getting accustomed to responding to open mic contributions by people who might not be trained musicians, she found herself drawing on her church background. “There’s a moaning type of effect to invoke the spirit, a loose thing but with tonality and in key,” she said. “Bobby really helped me to get to a place of comfort with it. It’s like having an empty canvas. Someone throws some paint, you add your piece and it grows from there.”

The group has taken on a life of its own apart from McFerrin, performing as the a cappella quartet Attúne. In Motion, McFerrin is the “center and foundation,” Brown said. “When he’s not there the focal point turns into four people. It’s the same process, but has a different point of beginning.”

Contact Andrew Gilbert at jazzscribe@aol.com.


When: 8 p.m. June 1-2

Where: Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley

Tickets: $35-$39, 510-644-2020, www.thefreight.org

Categories: Local News

‘Transformers’ Statues Cause a Big Fight in Georgetown

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:45
A professor decorated a sidewalk in Georgetown with 10-foot sculptures of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. The well-heeled locals were not pleased.
Categories: Local News

Pac-12 football: Welcome to June, a vital month on the recruiting trail

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:37

The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a weekly dive into the recruiting process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting editor for 247Sports.

The following report was provided to the Hotline on May 31 …

June gloom has been taken over by June boon — the boon to the recruiting calendar.

Sure, December and February will always matter in college football recruiting with the early signing period and National Signing Day, respectively. But there isn’t a more crucial month than June.

With the traditional recruiting camps on college campuses, the rising of so-called mega camps, plus official visits and the sped-up calendar for verbal commitments, June is now the most crucial month in recruiting.

Mind you, it comes fresh off the six-week NCAA Spring Evaluation Period, which runs from the middle of April through the end of May. But with the added element of head coaches now able to watch recruits at the mega camps, which have sprung up everywhere, June is that much more important.

And there’s another reason the month has become so busy: The majority of a team’s incoming freshman class has arrived on campus, so coaches pack June with official visits from recruits.

It’s an odd twist considering the coaches didn’t like the introduction of official visits in the spring when the rule was implemented back in 2018. But with so many players now making their college choice before the fall and the desire for recruits to enroll early, more schools have shifted to hosting official visits in the spring.

That in itself keeps coaches busy. But then add the on-campus recruiting camps that most schools host in June and the mega camps held by a handful of schools — Sacramento State has the crown jewel of mega camps on the West Coast — and, well, it shows why June is so busy.

Sacramento State’s Rising Stars Mega Camp became the pre-eminent recruiting event in the West under the watch of former head coach Troy Taylor and his director of football operations, Garrett Wolfe.

Taylor and Wolfe are now at Stanford, but new Sacramento State head coach Andy Thompson and director of football operations Jeff Goldsmith know the value of the event, not just to the reigning Big Sky champions but to all of college football.

For example, every Pac-12 school sent a representative to the Rising Stars Mega Camp last spring, including six head coaches. Same with the Mountain West programs and a slew of other schools across multiple NCAA divisions.

(Fun fact: The only Pac-12 coaching staff that didn’t send multiple staff members last year was Stanford, which had only head coach David Shaw in attendance — and he was there to watch his son, Carter, participate. No assistants attended. Shaw resigned after the season and was replaced by Taylor.)

The other prominent mega camps that are sure to draw a slew of Pac-12 coaches include the Northwest Showcase at Western Oregon, the Redlands Camps, the PLU Showcase at Pacific Lutheran, the NAU Camps at Northern Arizona, the AveryStrong Showcase at the University of Puget Sound and the Gem State Showcase in Boise.

But don’t forget the traditional recruiting camps hosted by Pac-12 schools — those remain prevalent, although not to the degree they used to be.

Related Articles

The mega camps provide access to far more players and require far less work for Pac-12 coaches, who are already busy enough.

With schools hosting official visitors on the weekends, running the on-campus camps is that much more difficult.

And even with the recruiting calendar sped up — most of the prospects in the high school class of 2024 have already been offered scholarships — the on-campus and mega camps provide a better opportunity to evaluate recruits in the 2025 and 2026 classes.

For example, the top quarterback prospects at Sacramento State’s mega camp the past two years were rising juniors: Jaden Rashada in 2021 and Austin Mack in 2022.

Of course, there was still a chance for rising seniors to receive offers. Luke Duncan landed his UCLA scholarship after throwing at Sacramento State last year, even after he had thrown at the Bruins’ on-campus event earlier in the month.

But the mega camps now allow coaches to shift their focus to underclassmen, more so than the seniors-to-be. In that regard, they have become crucial.

With the ever-changing calendar, rules and regulations, June, once so quiet, has become a battleground month in recruiting.

June matters. Oh, does it matter.

*** Send suggestions, comments and tips (confidentiality guaranteed) to pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com or call 408-920-5716

*** Follow Huffman on Twitter via @BrandonHuffman and support @AveryStrongDIPG

*** Follow Wilner on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

*** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.

Categories: Local News

Bay Area mother accused of causing her toddler’s fentanyl overdose

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:35

A Santa Rosa woman was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of causing a drug overdose in her one-year-old toddler, the police department said on Wednesday.

At 5:17 a.m. on Tuesday, Santa Rosa Police officers were sent to a residence on Boyd Street for a toddler who was experiencing a medical emergency.

When an officer arrived, he found a one-year-old lying on the ground, unconscious and not breathing, police said. The officer saw an individual attempting CPR on the child and took over the CPR himself, police said. After about 15-20 seconds, the toddler began to breathe on her own. By then, emergency medical services arrived and transported the child to a local hospital.

According to police, based on interviews and evidence obtained during the investigation, detectives believe that the toddler overdosed from exposure to fentanyl. The child is expected to recover.

Related Articles

The toddler’s mother, a 39-year-old Santa Rosa resident, was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse with serious injury.
The Santa Rosa Police Department said this is the third fentanyl-related overdose of a child that the department has seen in 12 months.

“Illegal use of fentanyl is dangerous for adults to consume and lethal for children,” said a spokesperson from the department. “Two milligrams are considered a lethal dose of fentanyl for an adult.”

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area.

Categories: Local News

Allina Health System in Minnesota Cuts Off Patients With Medical Debt

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:31
Doctors at the Allina Health System, a wealthy nonprofit in the Midwest, aren’t allowed to see poor patients or children with too many unpaid medical bills.
Categories: Local News

Supreme Court revives claims that SuperValu, Safeway overcharged governments for generic drugs

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:08

The Supreme Court has unanimously revived whistleblower lawsuits claiming that supermarket and pharmacy chains SuperValu and Safeway overcharged government health-care programs for prescription drugs by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Categories: Local News

Woman disappears from Sierra swimming hole God’s Bath

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:07

A woman went missing on Memorial Day from the Sierra Nevada swimming hole God’s Bath, Tuolumne County sheriff’s officials said.

Related Articles

She is at least the ninth person known to have drowned or been swept away in a California river since April.

The disappearance was reported at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The 22-year-old woman had walked to the Clavey River with a male companion and had last been seen in the water at or near God’s Bath.

The search continued Tuesday with ground volunteers and a California Highway Patrol helicopter. Because the river is high and cold, it was deemed too dangerous for rescue swimmers and divers.

In the past two years, three Bay Area men died after being swept from the swimming hole in the Stanislaus National Forest: two in May 2021 and one last year.

About a 40-minute drive east of the town of Tuolumne, God’s Bath is on a remote stretch of the Clavey River in a narrow granite canyon. It’s reached by a half-mile walk along the rocky banks, with fixed ropes aiding the descent to the river.

Tuolumne County rescue officials were also called Monday to another swimming hole, Cleo’s Bath, where a 28-year-old man with a broken leg was lifted out by a helicopter crew.

Cleo’s Bath is on the South Fork Stanislaus River about a 1½-mile hike east of Pinecrest Lake.

Related Articles
Categories: Local News

No One Knows How Many L.G.B.T.Q. Americans Die by Suicide

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:01
Death investigators in Utah are among a handful of groups trying to learn how many gay and transgender people die by suicide in the United States.
Categories: Local News

Larry Magid: AI makes mistakes but could it destroy us?

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:00

Before I get to the potentially deadly serious part of today’s column, I’d like to start on the lighter side. Lighter, that is, unless you happen to be attorney Steven A. Schwartz.

Related Articles

In representing a man named Roberto Mata who said he was injured aboard an Avianca flight, Schwartz reportedly filed a 10-page legal document, citing previous cases, including Martinez v. Delta Air Lines, Zicherman v. Korean Air Lines and Varghese v. China Southern Airlines.  Just to be sure, the lawyer asked ChatGPT to verify that the cases were real. It said that they were.

Not surprisingly, Avianca’s lawyers, along with the judge, did their own research but couldn’t find references to the cases cited by Schwartz.  As it turned out, Schwartz , a veteran attorney, used ChatGPT for his legal research, which resulted in citations to cases that never existed. Schwartz later told the court that it was the first time he used ChatGPT and “therefore was unaware of the possibility that its content could be false.”

Fortunately, opposing council and the judge found the errors before anything irreversible occurred. I don’t know the ultimate outcome of Mata vs. Avianca, but I trust the verdict will be based on fact rather than fiction.

AI chat makes mistakes

Schwartz learned what I and millions of other users of generative AI already know. These chatbots can be very useful, but they can also make up information that seems to be true but isn’t.  I occasionally use ChatGPT to find information, but I always verify it before quoting it or relying on it. In my experience, almost everything it creates appears to be true, because it reaches logical conclusions based on the information it has access to. But just because it appears to be logical doesn’t mean it’s true.  As someone who has written for several of America’s leading newspapers, it is “logical” that I may have written for the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, as ChatGPT sometimes says. But I haven’t.

I don’t know if OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has issued an advisory for lawyers, but it has published Educator Considerations for ChatGPT, which in part says that “it may fabricate source names, direct quotations, citations, and other details.”

Existential risk

And now for the more serious news story about generative AI.  You might have heard about the statement organized by the Center for AI Safety and signed by a large cohort of AI scientists and other leading figures in the field, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and Lila Ibrahim, COO of Google DeepMind.

These experts, many with a vested interest in developing and promulgating generative AI, agree that the risk is real and that governments need to consider ways to regulate and rein in the very industry they are part of.  The statement is only 22 words, but still quite chilling. “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

The Center for AI Safety pulls no punches. In its risk statement, it acknowledges that “AI has many beneficial applications,” yet “it can also be used to perpetuate bias, power autonomous weapons, promote misinformation, and conduct cyberattacks. Even as AI systems are used with human involvement, AI agents are increasingly able to act autonomously to cause harm.”  Looking to the future, these experts warn that “when AI becomes more advanced, it could eventually pose catastrophic or existential risks.”

We live with other existential risks

Bert the Turtle taught children to “duck and cover.” 

As a society, we’ve become used to hearing about existential risks. I was in elementary school during the “duck and cover” drills of the 1950s and 1960s where we practiced ducking under school desks, as if that would actually protect us from a nuclear strike. If you need evidence, search for “Bert the Turtle” to view cartoons the government was using to convince children to “duck and cover.”

COVID panic is behind us, but it was an example of a very real threat contributing to the deaths of nearly 7 million people, according to the World Health Organization. Even if COVID remains under control though vaccinations, masking and drugs like Paxlovid, pandemics remain a serious risk. Although we are no longer ducking under our desks, we are hearing renewed warnings about the use of nuclear weapons.

And the folks from the Center for AI Safety didn’t even mention climate change, which is on the minds of many young people who worry whether Earth will continue to be inhabitable for people and other living things by the time they reach old age.

I worry about all of these things and hate that I’m now being told to add Generative AI to the list of things that might destroy us, but I also have confidence that these problems are all fixable or at least controllable in ways that can avoid catastrophic outcomes.

A note of optimism

We can’t eliminate risks completely, but if we come together on a global basis, we can minimize them or learn to live with them. That requires a combination of efforts including regulation, industry cooperation, technological solutions and buy-in from the general public. It also requires distinguishing between facts and conspiracy theories and focusing on real solutions.

Almost everyone in the AI community agrees with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman that governments have an important role to play in regulation. Speaking before a  U.S. Senate committee hearing last month, Altman said “I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong. And we want to be vocal about that. … We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening.”

In some ways, today’s AI is like the early days of the industrial revolution, which changed the nature of work and had an impact on our safety. An article in the Detroit News summarized the state of affairs during the period when automatable was first introduced to American streets, “In the first decade of the 20th century there were no stop signs, warning signs, traffic lights, traffic cops, driver’s education, lane lines, street lighting, brake lights, driver’s licenses or posted speed limits.”

When it comes to generative AI, we need warning signs, traffic lights, traffic cops, driver’s education and many other safeguards.

I’m glad to see leaders of the AI industry and many in government taking the risks seriously. Properly managed, AI can make the world a better and safer place. It can power incredible medical breakthroughs, can help vastly reduce traffic deaths and empower creative people to be even more creative. But like other technologies, including fire, cars, kitchen knives and pharmaceuticals, it can also do harm if it misused.

I’m both an optimist and a realist. The realist in me tells me that AI is here to stay and that there will be downsides to it. The optimist in me draws on decades of dealing with risks and the confidence that things will be OK, as long as we make the right decisions.

Related Articles

Larry Magid is a tech journalist and internet safety activist.

Categories: Local News

Federal Way man charged with murder had plans to flee the state

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:00

Prosecutors have charged a 25-year-old Federal Way man with second-degree murder, accusing him of killing a man and disposing of his body on a trail near Auburn.
Categories: Local News

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Seattle union in fight with concrete firm

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 07:50

The case has rattled labor groups, who fear that allowing companies to more easily sue after strikes would saddle unions with expensive legal bills and undermine a key piece of worker leverage in negotiations.
Categories: Local News

As the Student Loan Payment Pause Ends, Here’s What to Know

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 07:49
A deal to raise the debt ceiling would require borrowers of federal student loans to resume paying for the first time since early in the pandemic.
Categories: Local News

The New Terms of Abortion Politics

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 07:40
A 15-week federal minimum. Court reform. Abortion activists on both sides are already preparing their 2024 playbooks in an uncertain post-Dobbs landscape.
Categories: Local News

Why So Many Low-Income Tenants Face Eviction Cases in New York City

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 07:39
Some of the biggest providers of housing for mentally ill and formerly homeless New Yorkers have sued tenants for unpaid rent. While few have been evicted, critics call the process cruel and unnecessary.
Categories: Local News

Spy Deaths on Boat in Italy Ignite Conspiracy Theories

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 07:36
Four people died when a storm sank a boat in northern Italy. Then it emerged that 21 of those aboard had worked for Israeli or Italian intelligence, igniting a speculative frenzy.
Categories: Local News