Good Morning, News: Portland Cops Kill a Man, City Battles Judge on Police Reform, and Injustice in South Carolina

Officer involved shooting in East Portland early this morning. Details are sketchy, but cops say they've killed a man in his 50s who emerged from a home toting a rifle, following a stand-off. Police had responded to a report of gunfire near E Burnside and 148th, they say. No one else was injured. The Portland Police Bureau says it's going to provide more details later today.

Colleen Hunt, one of two people implicated in the death of Gresham teen Larnell Bruce, asked a judge to give her bail yesterday. That didn't go so well, after surveillance video shown in court depicted Hunt and her boyfriend, white supremacist gang member Russell Courtier, purposefully running down Bruce with their SUV.

More woe for Kyron Horman's stepmother. Terri Moulton is now accused to pilfering a gun from her roommate in California.

As the city risks violating a federal settlement agreement over needed police reforms, Mayor Charlie Hales is once again doing battle with the judge overseeing the case. He'd like to authorize city attorneys to fight Judge Michael Simon's order that the city answer for its inability to engage the public. As of now, Hales' proposal isn't even slated to elicit discussion at this week's city council meeting. It might just be passed on the "consent agenda," a list of items commissioners pass en masse.

Also up this week: Inclusionary Zoning! Will the city enact a new policy that requires some affordable housing in projects with more than 20 units, or will it bend to developers who don't like that idea?

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Not surprising, but for the record
: That enormous natural gas explosion back in October was officially an accident.

The would-be Portland Christmas Tree Bomber is still guilty. A federal appeals panel just upheld the conviction of Mohamed Mohamud, finding there's no indication he was entrapped by over-eager agents.

This is uncool: Gresham cops found a Sam Barlow High School student posted up on the school's roof Saturday night, during a formal dance. He had two guns, and said he was up there in a security capacity?

So the US is officially a place where a cop can be videotaped shooting an unarmed, fleeing black man in the back and not be convicted by a jury of his peers. One juror in the trial North Charleston, SC police officer Michael Slager has refused to convict the man of murdering Walter Scott, resulting in a mistrial.

Oh great: Amazon is going to have a bigger role in your life soon.

The O continues to unspool its series about how National Guard armories all over the country contain possibly harmful amounts of lead dust. Read up if you haven't.

Ugh: Reuters reports a 27-member coalition appointed by Donald Trump to advise about American Indian affairs wants to privatize reservations to more easily secure fossil fuels. Things aren't getting better, you guys.

At least the Republican congress is showing signs it'll buck Trump on some things—most notably his recent proposals on trade. Who knows how long that lasts though? Politico says the Republican party is already "gradually being commandeered" by Trump loyalists.

Yep, it's still cold. Doesn't look like you Northwest Germantown commuters will get snow stranded today, though. (Thursday probably.)

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The Eagles Lodge on Hawthorne May Soon Be Sold, Members Say (Updated)

The East Portland Eagles Lodge at 4904 SE Hawthorne
The East Portland Eagles Lodge at 4904 SE Hawthorne Google Maps

***Update***

Dawn Panttaja sent us a letter that East Portland Eagles Lodge members received, dated November 29, from Fraternal Order of Eagles Field Service Manager Tim Hoyt:

November 29, 2016

Dear Aerie 3256 Members,

Following Section 110.4 in the 2015 Edition of the Constitution and Statutes book, please consider this notice of a special meeting to be held 6pm on Monday, December 12, 2016 in the Aerie meeting room at East Portland FOE Lodge, 4205 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

"Due to the deteriorating condition of our current building and large maintenance bills we keep facing to remain here, we need to discuss selling, and moving to a new location. With dwindling membership this year, going from 144 down to 88, and the fact that we have been approached to sell this location for millions of dollars, we should discuss the benefits of selling, moving and either building new or remodeling in a new location, and then putting $1,000,000 or more in the bank. A vote to sell our current location will be held at this meeting.

Currently, I am looking at property in the East Portland area and I am confident a new location can be found."

Fraternally,

Tim Hoyt
Grand Aerie
Field Service Manager

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***Original story, 11:35 am***

After 51 years in the middle of the Hawthorne District, the East Portland Eagles Lodge may soon be sold by the national Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), members claim.

"Our East Portland Eagles Lodge is in danger of being sold," writes Dawn Panttaja, who identified herself as a former president and current member of the lodge, to lodge members in an email this morning. "The Grand Aerie wants to sell off our building as we have dwindling membership and rising repair costs... and the building location is worth millions of dollars. They say they will use the money to buy another building in East Portland."

"It's definitely up for discussion, I can confirm that," another member tells the Mercury about a potential sale of Lodge No. 3256.

A special meeting for lodge members is scheduled for next Monday evening. Phone messages at the Fraternal Order of Eagles headquarters in Ohio and the East Portland Eagles Lodge (which is not yet open for today) have not yet been returned.

The lodge has been there for since 1965 as a gathering point for its dues-paying members to eat, drink, and have a good time. But with the increasingly valuable real estate that the building and large parking lot are on—on Hawthorne near SE 50th—and decreasing membership, the FOE says now may be the time to sell, Panttaja's email says.

"The Lodge is in the heart of the Hawthorne District," she writes. "It is a large, accessible building with a parking lot and a full bar and kitchen. It is an ideal place for all ages activities in which money is not the bottom line (unlike most bars and rental spaces). On the down side, it does not belong to the people who have paid for it or run it over the years. As a fraternal lodge it is under the jurisdiction of the overseeing organization in, I believe, Ohio. They see our membership dropping (from 144 to 88) and know how much or location is worth in terms of real estate."

We will update this story as more information comes in.


Recount Update: Jill Stein's Quixotic Battle For Democracy Continues Apace and Yeah, She Still Wants Your Money

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COURTESY JILL STEIN FOR PRESIDENT

Jill Stein's #Recount2016 appears to be going full steam, despite the best efforts of Trump's lawyers and Republicans in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to block the Green Party's bids for recounts in those states.

Stein held a press conference and rally outside Trump Tower in Manhattan this morning to announce that she was planning to "escalate" her bid for a recount in Pennsylvania, as well as address questions about where the cash donated to her ever-ballooning recount fund was being directed.

Here's a handy guide to what the hell is happening on all fronts of this complicated and confusing escapade.

What's happening in Michigan?

The recount in Michigan is underway after a federal judge ordered an immediate start to the hand counting of ballots, saying that a state law requiring a two-day delay after filing showed a "likelihood of irreparable harm." The recount, which may cost $5 million, needs to be complete by December 13, before the Electoral College votes in the president and vice-president on December 19.

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The “Liberal Bubble” Is a Ridiculous Myth

SNL extrapolated the idea of the liberal bubble in a recent sketch.
SNL extrapolated the idea of the liberal bubble in a recent sketch. NBC

Now that the white working class has enabled a Manhattan billionaire to dick-swing his way into the White House, it’s time to realize the idea of a “liberal elite bubble” is a false one. The notion of such a bubble presumes that US cities, with diverse populations in close proximity to each other, are not representative of the actual American citizenry, but rather are an aberration.

Let’s extend that thesis through a few broad generalizations (and, heads up, I’ll be making generalizations throughout, because that is the only way to deal with big ideas such as one of a profoundly changing nation: in general terms). There’s a persistent idea that the real America cannot be found on our coasts or in our cities, but can only be located in the heartland, a geographically vague but enormous swath of country that can basically be diagrammed by locating the red states that won Trump the presidency. These states, as we’ve been told, are filled with working-class families (many of them white, but let’s put that to the side for one second) who emphasize family and religion and the value of a hard day’s work.

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Amazon Plans to *Disrupt* the Bodega Industry with "Amazon Go"

Just a guy feelin great about purchasing his individual food unit.
Just a guy feelin' great about purchasing his individual food unit. LADO / Shutterstock.com

Thank GOD. I was just about to write a 20,000-word thinkin' piece about how dangerously close human beings have been getting to their food sources lately. But luckily, Seattle's own Amazon dot com has stepped in and saved me from my task. Today, the mega-retailer announced the launch of Amazon Go, a convenience store designed to end the thousand inconveniences of convenience stores. Behold:

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Incoming Attorney General Jeff "I Thought the KKK Was OK Until I Heard They Smoke Pot" Sessions Will Have to Pry My Zoots Out of My Cold, Dead Hands

Politico takes a look at Jeff Sessions' "coming war on legal marijuana."

Without any protection from Congress, every marijuana grower and dispensary owner who came out of the shadows to become a taxpaying member of the legal recreational cannabis industry in Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Alaska has exposed himself to potential criminal prosecution by a DOJ run by Sessions. A list of potential defendants would number in the hundreds (The National Cannabis Industry Association, a trade group, boasts more than 1,000 dues-paying members). The higher the profile of these cannabis businesspeople, the more at risk to federal prosecution... But beyond going after those engaged in legal recreational weed, what could Attorney General Sessions actually do to reverse the progress of legalizing marijuana?

“At the very least, the incoming Attorney General should enforce the terms of the DOJ’s own memoranda,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, executive vice-president and director of government relations for SAM, referring to the Cole Memo and citing a GAO report that claimed “the DOJ was not even collecting the information necessary to follow-up on its own marijuana enforcement priorities, much less enforce federal law on marijuana... The DOJ could write a letter to governors in legalized states stating that any state issued licenses regulating marijuana sales is a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, and say they have 90 days to revoke licenses."

Stock up on weed, get ready to raise money for legal defense funds for "cannabis businesspeople," and savor the irony of throwing "state's rights" arguments back in the face of this shitty bigot.


Westworld and the Bloodless Robot Coup in the Season Finale

Dr. Ford and Bernard
Dr. Ford and Bernard HBO

We want the robot. We love the robot. We fear the robot.

I have two robots already in my house; I call their names, Alexa and Siri, and I ask them for simple things—to check the weather, to check the time. Sometimes, I want more from them, but not too much more. That would be creepy. The robots in HBO’s Westworld—a remake from the 1973 original—are more advanced, but what they offer is base. Sex and violence set in a theme park in the future where they host humans who come to play cowboy and discover their inner selves through rape and murder. It’s a patriarchal wonderland and the robots most abused are women. No worry, though, they are all reset and wiped clean as if nothing ever happened to them, a perfect sadistic toy for the closet criminal.

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TV

The Walking Dead Recap: Dear God, Carl is DUMB

Hey Walking Dead fans, this just in: CARL IS DUMB. You'll know what I mean if you watched last night's episode, so join me after the jump for a SPOILER-FILLED recap of how incredibly stupid Carl really is. I mean... dear god, he's dumb. DUMB! Let's start chitty-chatting.

Look, Im clearly the dumbest person on this show, and even I know that Carl is dumb as shit.
"Look, I'm clearly the dumbest person on this show, and even I know that Carl is dumb as shit." Courtesy AMC

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Good Morning, News: Trump Picks Unqualified Ben Carson, Michigan Recount Begins, and Finally... SOME GOOD NEWS!

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! And you have the audacity to even come and step to me, ask to hold some money from me until you get your check next week. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS IN 2016: Yesterday the Army Corp of Engineers (under orders from President Obama) announced they are denying permits to the builders of the Dakota Pipeline to drill under the Missouri River, which the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and many more have been protesting for months.

Today in "Trump is the stupidest person to ever be elected to the presidency": After throwing decades of Chinese diplomacy out the window by communicating with the leader of Taiwan, Trump continues to shit talk about China on Twitter. As you'd probably imagine, China isn't very happy about it.

More dumb dumminess from Trump: He's chosen former foe Ben Carson as his nominee for secretary of housing and urban development even though the president-elect once said he has a "pathological temper" that can't be cured. You know, like a child molester.


From Charles M. Blow's NYT opinion piece, "Trump's Agents of Idiocracy."

There is no Electoral College clause that blunts ferocious opposition to the demeaning of women and racial, ethnic and religious minorities in this country; there is no Election Day reset on the coddling of white supremacy.

Furthermore, the emergence of Donald Trump as a political figure has threatened to kill many of the ideals that we hold dear: decency and decorum, inclusion and empathy, truth and facts themselves.

Trump and his agents of idiocracy are now engaged in an all-out crusade to exaggerate the scope of his victory, rewrite racial history, justify their vendettas and hostilities and erase the very distinction between true and false.

Meanwhile Michigan will now be joining Wisconsin in recounting their ballots from the election, and Jill Stein will be holding a "recount rally" in front of Trump Tower this morning to update everyone on the results so far.

A gunman entered a Washington restaurant with an assault rifle after reading a fake news story about Hillary Clinton running a child abuse ring in the business.

The death toll of that horrible warehouse fire in Oakland has risen to 36, and it's been revealed that the building—which hosted art studios and "makeshift residences"—had received numerous safety complaints.

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has resigned and the country is in position to leave the EU.

Now let's look at the WEATHER outside: Brrrrrrr! Off and on showers, possibly containing snow and sleet today with a high of only 41.

And finally, here's what dum-dum Donald Trump said about the latest skewering he received from Saturday Night Live:


And here's the video that proves they were absolutely right. SAD!


Things to Do This Week!

Christmas continues to pile up around us in a blizzard of tweaked takes on the season, including a holiday opera based on the life of a superstar stripper, a solo showcase from one of the city's most unique performers, and of course, a drunken ugly sweater party (the first of many, to be sure.) But the season is also about giving, and there are plenty of opportunities to do that as well, including a benefit concert for the protesters at Standing Rock, a Holladay Park sit-in to show solidarity with those protesters, and a benefit concert for the Victory Academy. And if you just wanna say fuck it and laugh because goddammit you need to laugh, Joe Mande and Gary Gulman will be in town, and our local scene is holding a League Night where you can see our best stand-ups try out their new stuff. There's a whole lot more to keep you entertained this week—hit the menu below and load your plate accordingly.


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday
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Celebration and Tears at Standing Rock as Obama Administration Halts Plans to Drill Under the Missouri River

Water protectors at Oceti Sakowin are celebrating a cautious victory.
Christinia Eala, 70, told me back in September that she took a stand against the pipeline for her grandchildren. Tentatively, it looks like Eala and her fellow water protectors may have won.

Today the US Army Corps of Engineers announced in a press release that it is denying a permit builders of the Dakota Access pipeline need in order go forward with their plans to drill under the Missouri River. In response to the decision, Standing Rock Sioux chairman Dave Archambault II has issued this statement:

"This is something that will go down in history and I know that it's a blessing," Archambault said.

Activists who have been camping out in the cold for months are ecstatic. Benalex Dupris, a film producer I met at camp and a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes from Washington State, described the scene to me like this:

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Things to Do Tonight!

Bitch'n, Sama Dams, Sea Charms, Like a Villain
This free matinee show is the capstone event of Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington’s Sound Engineering for Teens program—it’s their class-end final presentation, if you will—but we reap the benefits, as amazing Portland bands like Bitch’n, Sama Dams, Sea Charms, and Like a Villain will be playing electric sets mixed by local teenagers. NED LANNAMANN
1:30 pm, Mississippi Studios, free, all ages

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Blazer's Recap: Blazers Cool Down the Heat

The Miami Heat rolled into town a depleted squad with only 9 of their 15 players available. Still, they had their star guard Goran "The Dragon" Dragic, and kick-ass big man Hassan Whiteside, so our Blazers had their work cut out for them. The Blazers handled the job pretty well, all things considered, and came out with a feel-good win, 99-92.

CJ likes it
CJ likes it Courtesy Trail Blazers

The big knock on the Blazers this year has been weak defense. In particular, critics have noted that the Blazers can't seem to stop opposing teams from scoring close-in, in the paint. Miami's big man, Hassan Whiteside, looked to be a real problem on this night. He's just the kind of player the Blazers wish they had, an agile 7-footer with a sweet shooting touch and amazing shoot-blocking ability. In fact, the Blazers had pursued Whiteside hard this off-season. Shortly before the game started Whiteside told reporters that Portland had been his "second option" if contract negotiations with the Heat hadn't gone the way he wanted. Oh well.

Plumlee tries to get one over the Wall of Whiteside
Plumlee tries to get one over the Wall of Whiteside Courtesy Trail Blazers

Whiteside had himself a good game, with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and a game high 5 blocks, but his "second option" team was too much in the end. The Blazers actually played some respectable defense on this night. The Heat's 92 points was the lowest scoring total for a Blazer opponent all season.

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Things to Do Tonight!

The Exorcist with Linda Blair
The Exorcist stays pinned to the top of all-time genre best lists not just for the horror of its subject matter, but the horror of its making. Director William Friedkin basically tortured everyone on set, and that desperation comes through in the performances of all involved, including its young, pea soup-gargling star, Linda Blair, who will be in attendance and answering questions about what it was like to tell Max Von Sydow his mother sucks cocks in hell (among other things). BOBBY ROBERTS
6:30 pm, Hollywood Theatre

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The history of American men on screen is the history of repressed emotion. From Marlon Brando’s animalistic slow boil to Cary Grant’s Teflon-coated savoir-faire, movie icons have embodied the masculine inability to just say what they feel, for God’s sake. Recall, if you will, the Fonz, who was unable even to utter the words “wrong” or “sorry.”

It is this rarified company to which Casey Affleck seeks admittance with his emotionally constipated performance in Manchester by the Sea. I’m being a little snarky, because it’s an impressive performance, especially coming from Casey Affleck. Damn it, there I go again. I like Casey, and it has to be tough trying to escape big brother Ben’s shadow. But as a grieving (and grieving, and grieving) New England handyman who’s unexpectedly put in charge of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges), Affleck seems to be trying a bit too hard, straining towards a profundity that he can’t quite grasp.

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