A Winter Storm's on the Way. Here Are Available Warming Shelters

Screen_Shot_2016-12-06_at_5.09.50_PM.png

The National Weather Service is warning that it'll be freezing tonight—and will only grow more inhospitable in coming days.

"An unusually strong winter storm will bring mixed precipitation across much of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon that will have significant impacts over the area late Wednesday night and Thursday," reads an alert from the NWS. "This is the strongest storm of this type in quite a while."

The onslaught that has sent Portland outreach workers hurrying to warn the many Portlanders without homes.

"It's just such a challenge to make sure we get to folks who maybe don’t want to go into shelter," says Shannon Singleton, executive director of the housing outreach organization JOIN.

For those who do want shelter, there are options. Hit the jump for a list of local warming shelters, courtesy of 211.info.

Continue reading »

How Trump Turned Christmas Films into Horror Films

Its a Wonderful Life if you’re rich and white, that is.
It's a Wonderful Life if you’re rich and white, that is.

My family was never into Christmas. We were just too African to really feel it. Christmas is a feeling. The gifts, the trees, the little lights, the stockings, the carols were all a big bother without this feeling. For my family, Christmas was a time to go to a loud bar, drink heavily, wake up late the next morning with a hangover, and have a big brunch with the hair of the dog. When I relocated to the United States, married, and had kids, my African Christmas came to an end. I was now an American with an American family and American relatives who, like all Americans, were super into the day that celebrated the birth of a man who claimed to be the son of the man who created the whole universe.

I learned to become accustomed to the whole business, which requires waking up at 7 a.m. and watching desperately excited kids opening present after present. During the panic of unwrapping, I sit in a comfortable chair, drink coffee, do a few bills in my head, and wait for the moment when it's appropriate to drink something strong in front of everyone (about 10 a.m.). By around 11 a.m., there are no boxes left under the tree and the kids have about their faces the nimbus of a junkie finally hit with a fix.

Continue reading »

TV

Dear Amy Sherman-Palladino: Get it Together. Gilmore Girls is Not a Gritty Cable Drama.

Rory Gilmore deserved better than this.
Rory Gilmore deserved better than this. Netflix

Eds. Note: Spoilers for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life are coming so don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyone else feeling personally victimized by Amy Sherman-Palladino after watching the Gilmore Girls revival? Me too. A hate crime-enabling cheeseball covered in sliced almonds is our president-elect. The world is a stressful, overheated place. The Pantsuit Nation's flag flies at half-mast. After this particular election, I really wanted to see good things happen to my favorite smart women on TV. I wanted to see Rory Gilmore, one of TV's beloved smart girls, living up to her promise.

Instead, the smart, disciplined aspiring journalist we last saw hitting the campaign trail at the end of season seven is depicted attempting a freelance career with ZERO HUSTLE, wasting her time on awful Logan, and hanging out with the washed-up manchildren of the Life and Death Brigade. I'm all for charming, handsome-in-the-"I have a boat"-way, morally ambiguous young professionals, but we have another Matt Czuchry role for that, The Good Wife's Cary Agos.

But Logan?

LOGAN. IS. GARBAGE.

And the emotionally stunted men of the Life and Death Brigade just remind me of the snobby New England a capella bros (probably from Yale, now that I think about it) who would show up to my women's college on weekends and creepily fill and fill your drink. SERIOUSLY, FUCK THE LIFE AND DEATH BRIGADE. IT WAS NOT COOL OR FUN WHEN THEY WERE IN COLLEGE AND IT'S JUST EMBARRASSING NOW THAT THEY ARE MEN IN THEIR THIRTIES.

Rory Gilmore deserved better than this.

Continue reading »

May Fiona Apple's "Trump's Nuts" Become the Holiday Classic It Deserves to Be

As much as I don't want to picture Trump's nuts in any context at all, including and especially dangling over an open flame, I hope this incisive, funny (and only slightly juvenile) version of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" is sung 'cross the nation for at least the next four years.

We await the impotent Twitter response from the president-elect.


Fatalities In The War On Cars Are Never In Cars

If a pedestrian jumped off a sidewalk, ran into the street, pulled a driver out of her car, and inflicted injuries so severe that the driver died moments later in the arms of a passing stranger.... that pedestrian would probably face more severe consequences than the driver who killed Erica Stark:

The driver who killed Erica Stark as she stood on a Toronto sidewalk broke down in court on Monday as she heard how her actions had shattered a family. The husband unable to work for months. Three young children devastated, one of them talking about suicide. The mother who laments that outliving her daughter “offends the natural order of life.” Monday’s conviction of Elizabeth Taylor for careless driving came as Canada’s largest city experiences one of its worst years for pedestrian fatalities since early last decade. Ms. Taylor was fined $1,000 and given six months of probation and six months of varying driving restrictions. The sentence left some fuming about the value put on a life lost in a vehicle collision.

Toronto police couldn't prove Taylor was using her cellphone while she was driving and, despite testimony from two eyewitnesses who said Taylor was speeding, police concluded "no reliable evidence of speeding" existed. So, yeah. No one knows why Ms. Taylor's car ran onto that sidewalk or what she and her car were doing there—besides running over and killing Erica Stark. Taylor refused to take the stand, leaving Stark's family with "no explanation for how [her] vehicle could have left the road." And so long as we don't know why a driver killed a pedestrian with a car, killing someone with a car in Canada won't cost you more than $1,000.

And if the cops had been able to prove that Taylor was driving recklessly? The dead body under her car on that sidewalk not being proof of reckless driving all by itself? If the police had been able to prove Taylor was on her cell phone? Or speeding? The maximum fine then would be...

Continue reading »

2017 Grammy Nominations Announced: Beyoncé Gets Nine. Eight Each for Drake, Rihanna, and Kanye

Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year... It looks like another good year to be Beyonce.
Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year... It looks like another good year to be Beyoncé.

The 2017 Grammy Award nominations were announced this morning. Leading the pack with nine was Beyoncé, whose triumphal album/long-form video Lemonade brought her the most nominations overall. Coming in closely behind her with eight apiece were Drake, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Adele came in with five. The late David Bowie also received a couple of nods, including Best Alternative Album for Blackstar. The awards will be held February 12th. A complete list of nominations is below:

Continue reading »

Things to Do Tonight!

Ear Candy: Ice Queens, The Wild Body
The holidays are upon us, so consider Ear Candy—the Mercury’s free monthly music showcase in partnership with Mississippi Studios—our first gift to you. On deck this evening? Rough-and-tumble guitar rockers Ice Queens, whose riffage will ease the early winter bleakness as we slump-shuffle toward 2017. DIRK VANDERHART
9 pm, Mississippi Studios, free

Continue reading »

Photos from the Thesis' Two-Year Anniversary at Kelly's Olympian, Thurs Dec 1

The Last Artful, Dodgr
The Last Artful, Dodgr Christopher Garcia Valle

The_Last_Artful_Dodgr-1.jpg
Christopher Garcia Valle

The_Last_Artful_Dodgr-2.jpg
Christopher Garcia Valle

Last Thursday monthly hip-hop showcase the Thesis celebrated its second anniversary at Kelly's Olympian with performances from the Last Artful, Dodgr, Blossom, Drae Steves, and more. Check out more photos by Christopher Garcia Valle after the jump!

Continue reading »

"Thrifty" Trump Cancels Air Force One Order; Twitter Hilariously Responds

Today in stupid things that President-Elect Donald Trump said:


Oh, Trump! You are so honest and thrifty! (Too bad you aren't president yet, because at present, you can't do shit.) Anyway, here's how Twitter responded to the news.







Continue reading »

No Faith in the Faithless: These “Heroic” Half-Measures are Doomed to Fail

iStock-175399737.jpg
iStock/Bill Oxford

The Electoral College as designed by Alexander Hamilton is meant to be the last defense against a demagogue's ascension to our country's most powerful position. This scenario has never truly come into play before this year and as such its utility as a viable option has been almost unanimously derided as unrealistic, dangerous, stupid, unconstitutional, etc.

As an increasingly desperate populace of educated citizens runs out of straws to grasp at in preventing the sociopolitical and economic disaster that will be a Trump/Pence administration, the guttering hope that enough of the 538 electors will perform their constitutional duty to prevent an unfit candidate from taking the White House stays softly flickering.

Monday, December 5th saw Christopher Suprun of Texas declare in the New York Times that he would not be casting his vote for Donald Trump. Many have called him heroic for this. He joins the voices of other would-be heroes calling themselves the Hamilton Electors, a group of Democrats trying to lobby at least 37 GOP members (and even some fellow Ds) to cast their vote for a yet-to-be-named moderate Republican, at which point the House of Representatives would choose from the three highest electoral vote recipients (Trump, Clinton, unnamed moderate) and—hopefully—choose the moderate.

This will not fucking work.

Continue reading »

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?

Screen_Shot_2016-12-05_at_4.49.21_PM.png


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.)

Screen_Shot_2016-12-06_at_6.56.11_AM.png


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 the Fraternal Order of Eagles headquarters:

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,

1480986645-eagles_lodge_letter.jpg

Eagles_Lodge_letter.jpg

***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

1471555472-jill_stein.jpg
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.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

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:

Continue reading »