Good Morning, News: Six Quanice Hayes Protest Arrests, Oregon DEQ Firings, and a "Sanctuary City" Lawsuit

Good morning, Portland. These links should be clicked.

Protesting the death of Quanice Hayes
Protesting the death of Quanice Hayes Doug Brown

Six people were arrested yesterday afternoon while protesting the Portland police killing of 17-year-old Quanice Hayes. Protesters were blocked from entering the Portland Building, where City Council was being held, so they blocked the door for a while, and then protested in the street. Details here.


Thacher Schmid's piece, out in print as of yesterday, on the Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee Fund: "For the last several years, the guarantee fund has helped Section 8 succeed, supporters say. But now, it’s running low—it has $115,000 remaining as of January after paying out $611,439 in claims—and House Speaker Tina Kotek says it’s been the target of 'abuses' by landlords."

Also out in print yesterday, is our story on the politics of shopping: "Vote with your dollar to make small businesses and Portland great."

"A former Oregon Department of Justice investigator filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the state and its attorney general claiming he was fired in retaliation after reporting what he thought were anti-police postings on the personal Twitter account of the state's top civil rights attorney," the Oregonian writes. "James R. Williams said in a lawsuit, which also names the deputy attorney general, that he was following the advice of his supervisors and the state DOJ's Human Resources Department when he filed a report in October 2015 on social media postings from Erious Johnson Jr., the state DOJ's civil rights director."

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown fired three of the five members on the commission overseeing the state Department of Environmental Quality yesterday: "The commission oversees an agency that has struggled to regain public trust since last year's Portland air scare revealed just how little it had done to protect city residents from toxic air pollution."

"A U.S. Air Force Airman from Umatilla died Tuesday in a non-combat incident in northern Syria, the Department of Defense announced late Wednesday," the O writes. "Staff Sgt. Austin Bieren, 25 was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, whose goal is to eliminate the Islamic State, according to the Department of Defense."

Not good:


"Homelessness in Southwest Washington is on the rise. On Wednesday, Clark County released its annual tally of people sleeping on the streets or in their cars," OPB reports. "The number of people experiencing homelessness jumped 18 percent since last year. That’s according to the annual point-in-time count, which identified 269 homeless individuals and families in Clark County on one night in January."

Relevant to Portland: "Seattle is suing President Donald Trump over his executive order cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities” for how they handle people living in the United States illegally," the Seattle Times writes. "The city is doing nothing wrong by limiting its own involvement in immigration enforcement, while Trump is overreaching by trying to make cities do the work of the federal government, Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes said Wednesday."



Photos & Video: Six Arrested Downtown Wednesday While Protesting Portland Police

Protesters, just before the cops swooped in
Protesters, just before the cops swooped in Doug Brown

A group of activists, led by Don't Shoot Portland, upset by the grand jury non-indictment of the Portland police officer who killed 17-year-old Quanice Hayes last month protested downtown this afternoon outside of the Justice Center and outside of the Portland Building.

The protesters were denied entry into the Portland Building by private security just before 2 p.m., when Portland City Council was scheduled to begin. They wanted to testify about the Quanice Hayes shooting. Protesters, including a few members of the Black Riders Liberation Party (see our July 2016 interview with Jeelani Shareef of the BRLP) then blocked the door—if they wouldn't be allowed in, nobody else would—for a while.

Some in the group went back into the street. That's when the Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team (I call them riot cops because of the full body armor they wear) swooped in and made arrests. They entered the Portland Building from side doors, and all ran out of the front door to arrest people in the street.

Three people were arrested (update: three more were arrested later in the day) for disorderly conduct, and one's facing an additional reckless burning charge for lighting a flare.

After the arrests, protesters stayed on the sidewalk as the cops stayed in the street. The police soon left, and protesters marched back to the Justice Center to wait for the release of those arrested.

Here are my pictures and video:

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Quanice Hayes Supporters and Cops Clash at the Portland Building

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Doug Brown

The burial of Quanice Hayes occurred earlier today. Combined with new, secretive plans by Mayor Ted Wheeler to be more strict on meeting disruptions, it's made for a tense atmosphere at the Portland Building this afternoon.

Demonstrators who'd walked over from the Multnomah County Justice Center earlier in the day—chanting for justice for 17-year-old Hayes, who was killed by a Portland police officer last month—quickly found their path into the Portland Building blocked. Teressa Raiford, of Don't Shoot Portland, said the group had planned to testify before the 2 pm City Council meeting, as Hayes' family members have in the past. (The meeting was delayed until 3 pm.)

Meanwhile, those who got to the Portland Building early enough, or who'd signed up to speak at the meeting, were allowed into the building's auditorium under newly strict circumstances. Contract security guards are insisting on checking attendees' bags, and presenting people with numbered, dated tickets of unclear utility.

As of this writing, protesters outside had taken to blocking traffic, and attracted riot cops who are making arrests.


Some tweets from the run-up to this clash:

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Mommy Cobra: This Week Ali Wong Makes Her Portland Debut

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Jason Kempin/Getty Images for One Kid One World

Women comics talking crudely about their bodies is nothing new, but a pregnant comedian was pretty unheard of until Ali Wong’s Netflix special Baby Cobra. In her opening bit, Wong states, “Female comics don’t get pregnant,” because it’s thought to be a career-ender. HA! Not in Wong’s case. For her, it became a game-changer. In fact, since Baby Cobra, her celebrity status has blown up, and the demand for her comedy continues to increase.

“Last week a cop pulled me over for not having my headlights on and let me go when he realized I was ‘that filthy pregnant comedian,’” Wong tells me. “When my husband and I go on a date, we purposely sit in a corner at the restaurant, and have me face a wall to minimize being recognized and interrupted during dinner.”

In that now-famed hour-long special, the Vietnamese- and Chinese-American comic took the stage at 7 months pregnant and spoke on a number of topics: increasingly dry vaginas; dating within and outside of your race; appropriating your own culture via interior décor; intentionally trapping your Ivy League boyfriend into a marriage so you don’t have to work anymore; and the hairiest details of having to take that dreaded workplace shit.

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RECAP: Treefort Music Fest 2017, March 22-26 in Boise, Idaho

Band Dialogue
BAND DIALOGUE Chipp Terwilliger

Last week marked Boise, Idaho's sixth annual Treefort Music Fest, the Northwest's preeminent five-day, multi-venue music festival. Though it's evolved to include art, tech, and culture in recent years, I’m happy to report that Treefort's music-first mindset remains fully intact.

This year saw the addition of the Boise All-Ages Movement Project, a pop-up venue run by local teens and operated out of Pollo Rey Mexican restaurant. Not only did it offer the under-21 crowd the chance to see sets from touring acts like Happyness, Alex Cameron, and Elvis Depresedly, along with local favorites Western Daughter and Clarke and the Himselfs, you could devour a tasty burrito and treat yourself to the salsa bar while enjoying the show.

Treefort veterans Built to Spill were absent from the 2017 lineup, but you didn’t need to scroll too far through the list of 400+ performers to see that frontman Doug Martsch had a Thursday afternoon set at the Boise Contemporary Theater. The 40-minute performance featured a handful of solo tracks from his excellent, old-timey folk- and delta blues-inspired solo album, Now You Know, along with stripped-down renditions of Built to Spill classics, including a moving version of the Keep It Like a Secret track “Kicked in the Sun.” Martsch's captivating set gave Treefort fans their annual Built to Spill fix, and likely left most in attendance longing for more solo recordings from the hometown indie-rock hero.

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Paul Ryan’s Failed Healthcare Bill Consolation Playlist

What does Paul Ryan listen to while pumping iron?
What does Paul Ryan listen to while pumping iron?

It was a tweet linking to a New York Times article with a kicker that seemed almost too good to be true—Paul Ryan, after the defeat of his health care bill, driving away in his S.U.V and blasting “Last Resort” by nu-metal band Papa Roach. Of course, it wasn’t true, after all—the fake kicker was added by writer Justin Halpern—but that didn’t stop the band from snapping back on Twitter: “When we feel defeated, we listen to Paul Ryan.”

The Speaker of the House’s music taste tends to lean towards metal and hard rock—he once claimed Rage Against the Machine was his favorite band—though he later said he “hates the lyrics.” Last Spring, Ryan released a Spotify playlist that included Metallica, Cake, The Verve, and Miranda Lambert—the sole female vocalist of the mix (ironically, the song he included by her was “White Liar”).

Here's is a playlist of songs that Ryan might enjoy rocking out to as he pumps iron or starts growing a faux-hipster beard or whatever he does to try and get over this recent staggering defeat.

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Trump Administration Attacks LGBT Community On Three Fronts Over Last 24 Hours

There are, unbelievably, some "Gays for Trump" out there. I would ask one of them to comment on what the Trump administration has been up to over the last 24 hours... but homosexuals for homophobes didn't have anything coherent to say the day before yesterday and I can't imagine they have anything coherent to say this morning. Anyway, in the last 24 hours...

Expectations that the 2020 census might start including LGBTQ subjects were raised and then quickly dashed on Tuesday after the U.S. Census admitted that it had "inadvertently" included "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," in a long-awaited report outlining new categories for the survey. In response, GLAAD's CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, branded the move as a "systematic effort on behalf of the Trump administration to erase LGBT people." Last year, various federal agencies urged the Census Bureau to include sexual orientation and gender in their data as it was crucial to their role in enforcing the law. The survey, which has been conducted every ten years since 1790, includes a wide range of questions designed to gather data on everything from languages spoken to household plumbing facilities.

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This Week's Letters to the Editor: "VAGINA! It's Okay to Say!"

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ALLISON KEREK
RE: This Week in Vaginas [March 22], Courtenay Hameister’s column, in which Hameister wrote about being asked, “Are you aware that the title of this column is incredibly trans-exclusionary?” “Well, fuck. NO. I wasn’t. Until now. Because you told me,” replied Hameister. “I mean, now that you’ve told me, I totally see it. Like that optical illusion thing where you think it’s a picture of a young woman and then suddenly it’s an old lady and you can never not see it again.” Hameister then asked readers to vote on what to rename her column, with options including This Week In Lady Business, What’s She Mad About Now?, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

How is the title of Courtenay Hameister’s column, This Week in Vaginas, transphobic? It’s not as if it were titled Only People Born With Physical Vaginas May Identify or Appreciate this Column in Any Way.

Please don’t change the name of your column. I may not be cis gendered, but being born with a vagina makes me sensitive when people try to vagina shame. VAGINA! It’s okay to say. It’s not transphobic. It’s a body part. Like an elbow, but better.

Local Vagina Haver

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Braveyoung's Misery & Pride Is Consistently Somber

BRAVEYOUNG Monolithic, moving instrumentals.
BRAVEYOUNG Monolithic, moving instrumentals. DAMIEN RIEHL

Eluvium—AKA Matthew Cooper—has quietly built one of Portland’s most compelling catalogs in experimental music, encompassing gentle noise, melodic drones, minimalist piano pieces, and modern classical compositions. Eluvium’s music has always seemed to exist on its own island, but Portland-based trio Braveyoung’s new album, Misery & Pride, suggests there may be other local artists worthy of working in Cooper’s considerable shadow.

Like Cooper, Braveyoung’s principals—twin brothers Isaac and Zac Jones and their longtime collaborator Michael Rich—are transplants, having moved to Portland a few years ago from North Carolina. Back east, the band dabbled in several styles, including heavy sludge, post-rock, and grand symphonies of noise.

Misery & Pride is an entirely different beast, trading in aggression for graceful dread. The album alternates between cinematic orchestral pieces and quiet passages for piano and strings, the common thread among them being a deep emotional resonance. This stuff is about as consistently somber as instrumental music can be.

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Donald Cried and the Comedy of Humiliation

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Donald Cried traffics in the comedy of humiliation, and full disclosure: I can barely make it through an episode of the American The Office. So a movie like this, where grown men socially eviscerate themselves in very grounded scenarios... to me, it’s like eating handfuls of bullion cubes. But if you’re a fan of the genre, I imagine it’s a nice hot shot of schadenfreude espresso!

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Iranian Woman with Valid Visa Detained at PDX, May Be Turned Away, ACLU Says

People protesting President Trumps first unconstitutional Muslim travel ban at PDX in January
People protesting President Trump's first unconstitutional Muslim travel ban at PDX in January Doug Brown

An Iranian woman with a valid visa was detained at the Portland International Airport yesterday evening, spent the night in custody at a jail in The Dalles, and is scheduled to be sent back home early this afternoon, the ACLU of Oregon says.

"I'm in shock, how can they treat us like that?" said Laila Ahranjani to KATU last night after her sister, Alia Ghandi, was detained after getting off her flight at PDX. Her sister was just going to visit for a few weeks, she said. She reached out to the ACLU of Oregon. "Imagine you want to go visit a country, you get off the plane, you're excited to see your nieces after five, six years and they take her."

Mat dos Santos, ACLU of Oregon Legal Director, tells the Mercury that they've been given little to no information from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) about why Ghandi has been denied entry into the country.

"It's unclear why they're holding her, she should have been released,' he said. "She's here on a valid tourist's visa. We have gotten very little in terms of clarity from CBP, I don't know what grounds they're holding her. It's been very challenging to advocate on her behalf."

The civil rights group says that Ghandi spent last night at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles (PDX doesn't have the ability to keep people overnight, they said), and that she's currently on her way back to the airport, forced to go on a 1 p.m. flight to Amsterdam.

President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from six predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, is currently on hold as it's challenged in the courts.

Portland's Resistance is calling for people to show up at the airport. Some are there right now.


Good Morning, News: Wheeler's New Plan, Spicer Flips Out, and Stand with Planned Parenthood!

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! I might as well have gone to the club, as much as you accused me of clubbin'. I might as well have threw away my love, as much as you accused me. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has a new plan for dealing with activist outbursts during city council meetings, but it's all very hush-hush.

A new, expanded equal pay bill has sailed through the Oregon house (and even had one Republican supporter).

The Blazers handily took down the Nuggets, 122-113. Read our exclamation mark-laden recap here!!!

Britain announces they will be leaving the EU by 2019 (initiating Brexit), and so the negotiations begin.

Trump's plan to revitalize the coal industry won't bring back many jobs, and will probably be steamrolled by new clean energy technology. SAD!

Meanwhile the House has swept away all the internet protections that Obama put in place, allowing companies access to your personal information.

The House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump's ties to Russia has effectively stalled out, thanks to Chair Devin Nunes and his squirrelly, possibly illegal behavior.

Remember those anti-abortion dickwads who used hidden cameras to record Planned Parenthood officials? They've been charged with 15 felonies HA HA HA!


A woman allegedly tried to ram a police car on Capitol grounds in DC, and according to reports shots were fired.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lost his shit with a Black woman reporter yesterday for daring to ask him a question about Russia.

Now let's look up at the sky's WEATHER: Rainy rainy rainy high of 55.

And finally, I'll admit I'm not a big fan of basketball—but I AM a big fan of the game "Basketball or Cake?" from James Corden.


Blazer Recap: The Blazers Bury The Nuggets, 122-113!!!

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After last night’s matchup against the Denver Nuggets, the Trail Blazers have only eight regular season games left. Considering the playoff crunch they're in, it’s paramount that the Blazers win them all. But last night’s game against the Nuggets was the biggest, most important win they needed. The Blazers' tug of war with the Nuggets for the eighth seed in the western conference is far from being decided. Pitting them head-to-head was a chance to prove which of the two is truly worthy of a playoff appearance. Going into last night’s game, the Blazers were sitting in the eighth seed—but since the Nuggets record was identical to theirs, there was zero reason to relax because their throne was certainly not comfortable.

Looking at the stat lines, the Nuggets’ numbers are spread much more evenly than the Blazers. Denver has seven players that have an average of 10 or more points per game. The Blazers only have three. Their starting big man, Nikola Jokic, is just shy of averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. Denver has a solid foundation; pushing them over was gonna be a chore.

Thankfully, the Blazers have pretty much steamrolled their last three opponents. They’ve acquired leads early, pumped them up to 20+ points, and held them for the duration. For a team that typically deals in nail-biters, it’s been refreshing seeing them step on the gas in the second half of games rather than barely pinching off a win. Since they’ve developed a taste for authoritarian victories, it would’ve been tasty to see the Blazers vanquish the one team that’s really standing in their way of a post season for them.

After a viciously contentious contest, the Blazers held their playoff slot with a 122-113 win, and Denver slid a little more down the chain.

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(Photos swiped from trailblazers.com.)

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The Mayor's Got a Hush-Hush New Plan for Dealing With Meeting Outbursts

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Mayor Ted Wheeler's office has a new game plan for handling disruptive meeting attendees—it's just not saying what it is.

"Those who attempt to disrupt city council meetings will be asked to leave," Wheeler's chief spokesperson, Michael Cox, said earlier today. "Those who refuse to leave will be subject to arrest."

That's boilerplate language at council meetings, though. Wheeler's said those very sentences—or, anyway, something very close—repeatedly as City Council hearings have spiraled out of control over the last few months. But Wheeler's office, not wanting to appear as if it is issuing a challenge to demonstrators, wouldn't offer specifics.

Whatever the plan is, it's got a believer in Commissioner Nick Fish.

Fish, the Mercury first reported, made the decision last week to instruct all his employees and bureaus not to attend city council meetings, after a hearing last Wednesday became particularly testy.

But having sat down with Wheeler and Wheeler's deputy chief of staff earlier today, Fish says he's rescinding the order.

"They went into great detail about the plans they have for maintaining decorum and order at council meetings, starting tomorrow," Fish tells the Mercury. "I’m now satisfied that we will in fact be restoring order in our council meetings. I will be allowing people to come and testify tomorrow."

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Ron Funches is Coming Back to Portland!

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Mindy Tucker

Not forever, greedy goblins! But he IS performing at Revolution Hall on Friday, July 7 in something he's calling Funch-A-Mania, which sounds like Legomania*, but with Ron Funches? '90s children know what I'm talking about. Enough nonsense, here's the important news: Presale tickets will be available starting tomorrow, and they're available to the general public starting Friday.

If you know anything about Portland comedy, it shouldn't need to be said: Funches is funny. You should go see him.

Here's what our own Robert Ham wrote about Funches last year.

You'd have to be a monster not to root for Ron Funches. Everything about the 33-year-old stand-up and actor—his toothy smile, his laconic voice, and a soft body that practically begs you to give it a squeeze—exudes the kind of warmth and affability that would make for a great sitcom dad or your favorite friend to get high and watch cartoons with.

Cosign 100 percent. More info on Funches' upcoming show here.

*It's been brought to my attention that this is probably actually a riff on WrestleMania, which I only found out about through Netflix's Making a Murderer. In my defense, it's fucking WrestleMania.