One Day at a Time: Hippity Hoppity

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CHIP SOMODEVILLA /GETTY

MONDAY, APRIL 17

Happy Easter, everybody—that lovely time when Christians celebrate their favorite bedtime story about their favorite friendly zombie! (Say what you will about the Bible, dears—at least it’s more entertaining than the last few seasons of The Walking Dead. SNORE.) So... let’s check in on America’s Easter tradition—the White House Easter Egg Roll! “Last year’s White House Easter Egg Roll featured a surprise visit from Beyoncé; athletes from the NBA and Washington Redskins; and a performance by actress and singer Idina Menzel,” writes Politico’s Nancy Cook. “This year, the big act for the Trump administration is the Martin Family Circus, a six-person family band from Nashville that’s driving up to DC for the annual event in an RV.” Despite that phenomenal booking, attendance this year plummeted—with inept press secretary Sean Spicer (who, #neverforget, used to be the sweaty dipshit inside the Easter Bunny suit at these things) admitting that the White House expected only 21,000 attendees... just a touch short of last year’s 37,000. MEANWHILE... Oh, you thought we were done talking about the White House’s stupid egg party? Not even, as AOL News reports that during the festivities the White House accidentally Snapchatted a “We miss Obama” sign—one that was “presumably written by a child.” Out of the mouths of babes, dears. Out of the mouths of babes.

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Pouring (Unique) Oregon Wine

With Oregon Wine Month almost upon us there’s a host of wine events coming up. On Sunday it’s Pour Oregon, a one-day festival featuring some of the regions more interesting winemakers. Created by Cellar 503, a wine club that promotes Oregon’s small-batch wineries, it brings together 40-plus winemakers from across the state. It’s an excellent opportunity to explore producers that turn out less than 10,000 cases a year, many of who focus on atypical (and often more interesting) varietals. As well as grade-A local winemakers such as Jackalope, Jasper Sisco and Teutonic, there are great wines from further afield from the likes of Quady North, Brandborg and Kriselle. If you’re into discovering Oregon wine beyond the usual Pinot suspects, this is highly recommended. Proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Oregon.

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April 30, 2-7 pm, Castaway Portland, 1900 NW 18th, $60

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How Two Local Artists Are Capturing Portland's Creative Spirit

Reconstructing East Burnside Beth Kerschen

Beth Kerschen and Micah Krock are two Portland-based artists on a mission to capture the city’s unique cityscape—and the creative personality it hides.

When you first take a look at one of Beth Kerschen’s stunning photomontages it’s easy to guess what her biggest source of inspiration is.

The dazzling black-and-white prints contain dozens of images of buildings, signs, and bridges that come together to capture a living, breathing being: Portland.

“I believe that our culture is reflected in our built environment,” Kerschen says. “What I try to do with my work is document how that built environment is at a specific moment in time.”

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Join the Resistance... with Cannabis

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CHRISPECORARO / GETTY

Since November, I’ve had some issues turning in this column every week. It’s not writer’s block, nor is it because there isn’t anything happening in the world of cannabis. In fact, most weeks I get more daily press releases and updates about new cannabis products, events, legislative activity, and research than I can keep track of.

No, it’s based more on feelings that many of you may share—that things in this country are on a very bad path for many of our neighbors and friends, and it makes writing about cannabis feel somewhat... futile. Example? Reading about heartbreaking ICE raids and subsequent deportation of DREAMers, and then trying to muster excitement over reviewing a new strain.

This has led me to think about the role cannabis has historically played in the resistance, and what it may be able to do as we move forward.

(First: Let’s agree that while consuming cannabis has been an anti-establishment action for years, it needs to be paired with action. So doing dab hits while pontificating “how things need to change, man, like, seriously” while not taking any action other than prepping your next dab is about as radical and revolutionary as stuffing your face with Arby’s. And no, taking action does not include posting “sign this petition!” on Facebook, or commenting with a :( on something upsetting you read. The revolution will not be televised, nor will it be live-streamed. To quote the Godfather of Soul, “Get up, get into it, get involved.”)

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Whitney Ballen's New EP Is All About Leaving

WHITNEY BALLEN Songs of loss.
WHITNEY BALLEN Songs of loss. Courtesy of the artist

The title of Whitney Ballen’s new EP Being Here Is Hard was inspired by a simple thought that struck the Seattle musician one day on her way to work: Sometimes just being “here”—whether that’s this moment, headspace, city, country, or planet—can be exhausting.

Being Here Is Hard (released earlier this month on Portland’s Good Cheer Records) is all about leaving. People moving away, relationships ending, friends dying. Its five acoustic songs drift in the wake of those who didn’t stay.

“It was all around the same time that I had experienced a lot of loss through some friends passing away, specifically through suicide,” Ballen says. “Also, just a lot of things going on with life, our political surroundings—just the idea of waking up every day and existing. Things are just hard.”

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Remember: Trump's Tax Plan Would Kill Affordable Housing

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Leo Zarosinski

When the Mercury wrote in February about how Donald Trump's pledge to slash corporate taxes could decimate funding for affordable housing, most people we spoke with were still a touch optimistic. Sure, Trump had campaigned on a pledge to chop the tax rate significantly, but analysts figured that might have been bold talk.

Well, Trump's still talking.

Today, his administration revealed a bare bones tax plan that involves chopping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

The proposal's being pilloried as a give-away to the rich, likely to further exacerbate the growing wealth inequality plaguing the country, and balloon the federal deficit to unacceptable levels. Trump's folks are claiming the lost revenue will be made up for by economic growth. There's still no indication that any of this will ultimately pass congress.


But as everyone loses their minds over this, we want to point out again how real the consequences could be for the affordable housing projects Portland is counting on.

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BooksTV

The Handmaid's Tale Starts Today on Hulu. You Should Watch It.

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Margaret Atwood once said she based everything in The Handmaid’s Tale on something that really happened, and this claim of verisimilitude seems to be the guiding principle behind Hulu’s new adaptation of her sacred text.

It should be. Because while sentient rape joke Donald Trump—who lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes—tries his hand at presidenting, he’s a temporary gremlin. Misogyny and public policy frequently intersect, and in this sense, Atwood’s story—about the handmaid Offred, whose fertility is used by the state to control her—is depressingly timeless. When Atwood says her story is rooted in a long-extant reality, I believe her.

This Handmaid’s Tale stays spiritually true to Atwood’s vision, with conceptually appropriate personnel choices (the first three episodes were directed by Reed Morano, a cinematographer known for her work on Beyoncé’s Lemonade) and well-chosen deviations from the text (the book leaves out people of color completely; thank goodness someone vetoed this in the adaptation).

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This Weekend on Mt. Hood, the Overlook Film Fest Offers Horror, Games, and Cannibals

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The Overlook Film Festival is four days of contemporary horror cinema contained entirely in the frosty confines of Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge. “Oh, ‘Overlook!’” you say. “Like the hotel in The Shining, right?” Please don’t interrupt, but yes. “And Timberline is where they shot The Shining, right?” Well actually, only the exteriors. The interiors were built on a British sound stage! And the part with the car driving up the hill was shot in Montana. “So....” So don’t expect a creepy haunted mansion when you get up there, dummy. It’s a very nice ski lodge that probably isn’t even haunted.

As for Overlook’s films, the schedule is a well-curated, impressively diverse selection from a wide range of horror sub-genres. I talked to festival co-directors Landon Zakheim and Michael Lerman, who told me they were looking for a “well rounded” program, which they’ve achieved.

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Portland Timbers Unveil Providence Park Expansion Plan

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Brooklyn Digital Foundry/Portland Timbers

One of the great soccer stadiums in North America is about to get a significant upgrade.

The Portland Timbers unveiled on Wednesday their plan to add 4,000 seats to Providence Park with a massive, four-teared expansion of the stadium's east side. The $50 million privately-financed project could, pending City approval, be finished by the start of the 2019 MLS season.

“Providence Park is one of the most special stadiums in sports,” said Mike Golub, Timbers and Thorns president of business in a club release. “With our proposed expansion, we will enhance the incomparable fan experience and intimacy and provide the opportunity for some of the more than 13,000 members of the waiting list to become season ticket holders.”

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Tonight Los Angeles Rapper/Singer KYLE Brings His Summer-Vibed Songs to Portland

KYLE Wed 4/26 Crystal Ballroom
KYLE Wed 4/26 Crystal Ballroom Courtesy of the artist

KYLE, a 23-year-old rapper/singer from Los Angeles, doesn’t like being compared to Drake (see “Keep It Real”), but it’s hard not to see the vague similarities in their voices, personas, and appearances. And that’s a compliment! His catalog is filled with summer-vibed songs, silly-but-fun music videos, and collabs with the likes of Kehlani, Lil Yachty, G-Eazy, and Chance the Rapper.

The video for “iSpy” is your typical half-nekkid-hunnies-on-the-beach situation, but Lil Yachty and KYLE tromp around with comically enlarged heads and tiny bodies. On the catchy “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” (which samples Jane Child’s 1990 synth-pop song of the same name), KYLE raps verses explaining why he’d be a bad boyfriend, because he’s easily hurt and doesn’t want to be tied down. The video finds him on a beach date that leads to a boxing match with a baddie who hands him an ass-whooping—but not before he and Brick break out some super-slick dance moves in the ring.

My favorite KYLE song is his collaboration with Kehlani called “Just a Picture,” which is about phone and social media addiction. It’s got his signature Cali vibe, a valid message, and a hint of nostalgia. I promise it’ll make you want to dance in unison in the sunshine. That being said, his show is likely to be uplifting AF.


Good Morning, News: Trump's Greedy Tax Plan, 82nd Ave Parade Scrapped, and Yay! More Trouble for Fox News!

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! Heaven's holding a half moon, shining just for us. Let's slip off to a sand dune, real soon, and kick up a little dust. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

The annual 82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade has been canceled after right wingers promised to march while those on the left promised to protest and then others on the right promised to stop those on the left. You can probably see why this all went down.

An active duty Marine has been charged with committing a hate crime after verbally and allegedly physically assaulting staff at Portland Iraqi restaurant, DarSalam.

A judge has blocked President Trump's order to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities like Portland and Seattle. HA-HA-HA-STUFFED!

Meanwhile Trump throws a hissy-fit over the ruling, saying that the decision was "ridiculous" and vowing to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court! Yeah, good luck with that, Frances.

Trump's losing streak continues as his own party refuses to supply funds to build his racist border wall.

Speaking of money, Trump has proposed a tax plan that would cut taxes for businesses, while decreasing dollars for the federal government. Umm, wouldn't this endanger important programs such as Trump's weekly visits to Mar-a-Lago?


The White House and Freedom Caucus Republicans are reportedly getting close to a new plan to repeal Obamacare, but it's likely to face strong opposition from moderate GOP members.

Former President Obama made his first public remarks today following his extended vacation, talking about the importance of community organizing, how we need more young leaders, and not a single word about Trump.

Ivanka Trump got a somewhat different reaction when she spoke to the W20 conference in Berlin, being heartily BOOOOOOOOed when she told the crowd that her father is a "champion for women."


More trouble for Fox News as 11 current and former employees have filed a class action racial discrimination suit against the network. This does not shock you.

Now let's examine the WEATH... oh fuck it. It's RAIN.

And finally, you love JUSTICE, right? I think you'll like this.



82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade Cancelled after Threats of Political Protests, Violence

Protests at a pro-Trump rally in Vancouver earlier this month
Protests at a pro-Trump rally in Vancouver earlier this month Doug Brown

***Update***

A statement from Direct Action Alliance, which had been planning a protest of the right wing marchers:

We are disappointed that the Avenue of Roses Parade has been cancelled. As members of this community, we prize our neighborhood events and support events that promote community.

Known members of neo-nazi and anti immigrant hate groups planned to attend the group that was being hosted by the Multnomah County Republicans at the parade. We intended to stand between them and those who they wanted to intimidate. We intended to block out their hate and shut down their violence.

They want to march in a family parade and normalize a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women; they want to march in our diverse community and normalize a man who wants to ban Muslims and build a wall between us and our neighbor, Mexico. They want to march as the Republican Party, but in their ranks are groups like the "Bible Believers", who have already come to this neighborhood to intimidate a local Latinex church and who were filmed assaulting an injured activist on the ground in Berkeley last week and were also filmed attacking a woman at PDX in January.

No Portland child will see a march in support of this fascist regime go unopposed.

We will always stand with our neighbors, we will always defend our community.


***Original post, 3:52 pm***

The 82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade scheduled for Saturday has been called off "following threats of violence during the parade by multiple groups planning to demonstrate at the event," the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association announced this afternoon.

"We can no longer guarantee the safety of our community," the group said. "We are deeply disappointed that the agendas of these outside groups have so regrettably impacted our community."

The conflict appears to surround the Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP), which planned to march in the parade, the local "antifa" planning to disrupt them, and right wingers planning to thwart the the lefty protesters.

The MCRP, in the Facebook event page, called for people to join them in the parade while chastising left-leaning protests here in the Trump era (emphasis ours):

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The Best Parts of Trump's Trainwreck AP Interview

Do you want a Coke or anything?
"Do you want a Coke or anything?" Justin Sullivan / Staff

I mean, "best" is a relative term, right? You can read the whole monstrosity here. You know, if you feel like torturing yourself. If you don't want to suffer, here are the, um, highlights. I'm posting them two days behind the interview because that's how long it took me to force myself to read this word salad. I've had more cogent conversations with mildly bright three-year-olds. Here are the silliest parts of a very silly interview:

"A great foundation for future things":

TRUMP: I have great relationships with Congress. I think we're doing very well and I think we have a great foundation for future things. We're going to be applying, I shouldn't tell you this, but we're going to be announcing, probably on Wednesday, tax reform. And it's — we've worked on it long and hard. And you've got to understand, I've only been here now 93 days, 92 days. President Obama took 17 months to do Obamacare. I've been here 92 days but I've only been working on the health care, you know I had to get like a little bit of grounding right? Health care started after 30 day(s), so I've been working on health care for 60 days. ...You know, we're very close. And it's a great plan, you know, we have to get it approved.

The part that's a third-grade report on what a political party is:

TRUMP: So the Republican Party has various groups, all great people. They're great people. But some are moderate, some are very conservative. The Democrats don't seem to have that nearly as much. You know the Democrats have, they don't have that. The Republicans do have that. And I think it's fine.

The part where he interrupted the interview to offer the AP a Coke:

TRUMP: But things change. There has to be flexibility. Let me give you an example. President Xi, we have a, like, a really great relationship. For me to call him a currency manipulator and then say, "By the way, I'd like you to solve the North Korean problem," doesn't work. So you have to have a certain flexibility, Number One. Number Two, from the time I took office till now, you know, it's a very exact thing. It's not like generalities. Do you want a Coke or anything?

The "bigness" of the government:

TRUMP. It's massive. And every agency is, like, bigger than any company. So you know, I really just see the bigness of it all, but also the responsibility. And the human responsibility. You know, the human life that's involved in some of the decisions.

The part where he's still obsessed with Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote by nearly three million votes:

TRUMP: So she had this massive advantage, she spent hundreds of millions of dollars more money than I spent. Hundreds of millions ... Yeah. Or more, actually because we were $375 she was at $2.2 billion. But whatever. She spent massive amounts of money more and she lost. Solidly lost, because you know it wasn't 270, it was 306. So there's anger. But there was massive anger before I got there, so it's not easy for a White House staff to realize that you are going into a situation where you are going to be at no, where are going to get no votes. I mean, here's a judge who is No. 1 at Columbia, No. 1 at Harvard and an Oxford scholar. And he got three votes.

This baffling exchange:

TRUMP: OK. The one thing I've learned to do that I never thought I had the ability to do. I don't watch CNN anymore.

AP: You just said you did.

TRUMP: No. No, I, if I'm passing it, what did I just say (inaudible)?

AP: You just said —

TRUMP: Where? Where?

AP: Two minutes ago.

I value my sanity, so I'm going to stop there. But I can't believe this person is president. Do you want a Coke or anything?


The St. Johns Bizarre Returns Saturday May 13 with Performances by the Thermals, Y La Bamba, and More

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Nick Stokes

The 11th annual St. Johns Bizarre returns to the North Portland neighborhood's main drag Saturday, May 13 for an all-day celebration. The late spring revelry will include a street fair and parade, lots of food and beer, crafts, over 100 vendors, and music from some great (mostly) local bands: indie-rock veterans the Thermals, the experimental folk of Y La Bamba, Little Star's tender goth-pop, St. John's rapper Illmac, Seattle punk trio Dude York, and more. Bonus: It's free and welcomes all ages.


I, Anonymous: Submit Your Rants and Raves Now!

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Send us your rants, your raves, your secrets and confessions longing to breathe free. Tell us about your obnoxious customers, your unfortunate encounters with rude people, your Trump-loving relatives, your loud neighbors, your irresponsible fellow drivers.

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Judge Halts Trump's Order Blocking Federal Funding for Sanctuary Cities

Demonstrators gathered outside of Portlands ICE headquarters on March 6 to protest recent immigration enforcement.
Demonstrators gathered outside of Portland's ICE headquarters on March 6 to protest recent immigration enforcement. DOUG BROWN

A judge has blocked an order from the Trump Administration cutting off funding to sanctuary cities like Portland and Seattle that limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials, the Associated Press reports.

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