Mercury Music Series presents Blossom!

Man Faces 14 Charges for Deadly Hit-and-Run Rampage Through Southeast Portland

A memorial in Southeast Portland for Jean Gerich, the pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run Monday.
A memorial in Southeast Portland for Jean Gerich, the pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run Monday. Alex Zielinski

The Multnomah County District Attorney's office has charged an Oregon City man with murder, among other crimes, for driving his car into pedestrians and bicyclists in a rampage across Southeast Portland Monday.

Paul Rivas, 64, faces a total of 14 charges for killing one woman and injuring six others with his Honda Element in an area spanning SE Stark and SE Belmont, between Laurelhurst Park and SE 17th. Along with second-degree murder, Rivas is charged with seven counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver and six counts of assault in the second degree.

Rivas was arrested Monday afternoon, after crashing his car and attempting to leave the scene on foot—only to be stopped and detained by a group of neighbors. In the court's arrest affidavit, witnesses describe Rivas hitting each victim without decelerating and then speeding away, never attempting to stop and render aid. That includes 77-year-old Jean Gerich, who Rivas ran over twice, dragging her under the vehicle as he sped off. Gerich died from her injuries Monday.

Rivas pled not guilty to all charges Monday afternoon.

In a "lengthy interview" with Portland Police Bureau (PPB) detectives Tuesday, which is cited in the affidavit, Rivas said that his car was "having brake problems" and that he had been "searching the area for an open auto repair shop" at the time.

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Good Afternoon, News: Oregon GOP Walks Back From Wackadoodle Statement, Stocks Are Wild, and RIP Cloris Leachman

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Spencer Platt / Getty images

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

In local news:

• The person behind the brutal intentional hit-and-run spree that left one dead and many more injured this week has been identified as 65-year-old Paul Rivas of Oregon City. Meanwhile, neighbors have created a memorial to the victim in Southeast Portland:

• Last week, the official Republican party of Oregon put out a statement advancing the false conspiracy theory that the attack on the US Capitol was actually a "false flag" attack, and condemning the ten GOP congresspeople who voted in favor of impeaching Trump. Now, actual elected Oregon Republicans are trying to distance themselves from the extremism. Oregon House Republicans put out their own statement today, saying “there is no credible evidence to support false flag claims.”

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New Savage Lovecast: Dr. Jen Gunter on Recurrent UTIs

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Welcome to the sisterhood! A trans woman got aggressively propositioned by one of the men in her macho friend group. Another one slut-shamed her after she posted a bikini pic on Insta. Wait. Men are pigs???

You may recall, a couple weeks ago we heard from a woman with recurrent UTIs. We got flooded with responses from women who have also suffered, with a wide variety of recommendations. Some sounded a little...iffy. So we brought on Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible to address this. Listen in to hear what the current medical science has to offer.

On the Magnum, a woman would like to date someone who isn't a broke-ass man, for once. But she isn't a gold-digger either. She and Dan chat about how to thread this needle.

And, a married woman doesn't understand how you can live with someone, see them act like a slob, smell their farts, and still be attracted to them. Does she need to live in a separate house?

Listen here:


Refresh Playlist: New Music from Ben Harper, Billie Eilish, Sir Sly, More!

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Now that the PNW winter and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is in full effect, taking time away from consuming/analyzing the news on social media is even more important. By now, Portlanders know that staying healthy and refreshing your soul is vital to the resistance. You can’t pour from an empty cup! So as folks begin to skip off gleefully into the new year (without Trump), please remember to take care of thy mental, physical, and emotional health on a daily basis. And on a weekly basis, please use this Refresh column as a designated break for you to get a class of water, stretch, take some deep breaths (in through your nose and out your mouth), and then dive in to a few new music releases that could help refresh your mind.


Winter Soulstice 2020, Various


Released on January 15, this 20-track winter-themed project features a slew of instrumentalists from Portland’s jazz scene collaborating on a thorough offering of eclectic lofi jazz. The project is the follow-up to July’s Lofijazzsoul Summer Soulstice 2020 project. Featured artists for this one include pianist Charlie 3rown, trumpeter Farnell Newton, percussionist Corydrums, composer/saxophonist BrandonLee Cierley, Hunter Gillam (also sax), drummer Tyrone Hendrix, Domo Branch, producer Luvjones, and more. If you’re looking for something chill and jazzy to put on while you work, read or do chores this season, this album is sure to satisfy.



“Black Beauty,” Ben Harper


After dropping his 2020 instrumental project Winter Is For Lovers, Ben Harper’s self-affirming pro-Black anthem “Black Beauty” is a new original he made for a new documentary called Black Boys, which “illuminates the full spectrum of Black male humanity in America through an intimate, intergenerational conversation at the intersection of sports, education and criminal justice.” The song itself repeats “Beautiful, so beautiful,” and names a plethora of things that Black kids can grow up to be. “I am an astronaut/I am a president/I am a revolutionary/I'm your neighbor,” Harper sings. “We are black/We are beautiful/So beautiful.” On the production side of things, everything is very fleshed out with a celebratory feel in the vein of Stevie Wonder’s arrangements on Songs In the Key of Life. Watch the beautiful melanin-packed music video below.

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Bundle Up and Unwind With CBD-Infused Local Teas This Winter

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[The following article is from our "High-Brr-Nation Cannabis Guide" which is packed with fun, interesting stories about surviving the winter with weed. Check 'em out here!—eds.]

Last year, I got into CBD products in a big way.

I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect or the actual cannabidiol—a cannabinoid found in cannabis that’s thought to relieve pain and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC—that helped me stay (somewhat) relaxed but still functional during 2020. Frankly, I don’t really want to know. The best CBD products help me mellow out, ease the tension in my neck and shoulders, and also have a pleasantly dank, grassy taste, not dissimilar to smoking a nug of some top-shelf pot.

So naturally, as the weather grew colder, I decided to sample some Oregon-grown CBD teas (and one hot chocolate, for good measure). On the whole, I’d say you’d need to already have an affinity for the way cannabis tastes and smells to get really into these hot beverages—but if that’s up your alley, then I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a cozy yet in-control winter evening.

Tranquility Tea Company

Tranquility’s website boasts that it uses “quali-TEA” ingredients, and I can’t fight them on that point. This Cornelius-based business names each of their hemp-derived CBD teas after an Oregon natural landmark; I tried the Manzanita Mint, Wallowa White, and Columbia Chai, and threw in a CBD honey stick for good measure. All teas have 60 milligrams of CBD per bag, while the honey stick had 30 milligrams. (For reference, the CBD gummies I usually eat are 25 mg each, so they aren’t skimping on the hemp here.)

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Win FREE TICKETS to Thursday's Mercury Music Series Featuring Blossom!

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If you've been missing the live concert-going experience, then you're going to LOVE the new Mercury Music Series, featuring livestream performances from Portland's fave musical artists recorded live onstage at Polaris Hall!

And the debut installation of the Mercury Music Series kicks off TOMORROW NIGHT (Thurs Jan 28) with an amazing performance by local soul singer/songwriter/chanteuse, BLOSSOM! Check out the following teaser for peek at what you can expect:

Very cool, yes? If you like what you see, be sure to snap up those "pay what you can" tickets to see Blossom for one night only, tomorrow night (Thurs Jan 28).

Or if you're feeling lucky, ENTER TO WIN TWO FREE TICKETS HERE to see tomorrow's very special Mercury Music Series presentation. But hurry hurry! Deadline to enter is noon tomorrow!


Biden's Signin': Here's What the Executive Ordered During His First Full Week in Office

President Biden is signing a lot of things that are $2,000 checks for every American.
President Biden is signing a lot of things that are not $2,000 checks for every American. Getty Pool

Last week, President Joe Biden signed over two dozen executive actions and proclamations, largely undoing many of Trump's most destructive policies. He primarily focused on bolstering the federal government's coronavirus response, reversing Trump's ass-backward environmental rollbacks, halting paranoid immigration policies, and attempting to provide a wee bit of economic relief.

This week, Biden has not slowed his roll in the slightest, so far adding seven more executive actions to the pile (not counting the ones scheduled for today). Those orders have reversed the transgender military ban, reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions, addressed racial equity in the U.S., and more. These executive actions can be pretty dry, so I'm hoping to make this a little fun for you.

Gulp down your coffee and join me on this bureaucratic ride:

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Tell Us Something Good, Blossom

We talked to Portland singer/songwriter Blossom ahead of her appearance at the inaugural Mercury Music Series event on January 28!
We talked to Portland singer/songwriter Blossom ahead of her appearance at the inaugural Mercury Music Series event on January 28! Keisha Chiddick

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

As we reach nearly a full year of quarantine, you'd be forgiven if you're running out of ideas for keeping boredom at bay. That's why we're starting this new column we're calling "Tell Us Something Good": We're asking some of our favorite local celebrities for their recommendations for takeout, movies, places to shop, and everything in between.

To kick things off, we talked to Blossom (AKA Keisha Chiddick), illustrious Portland singer/songwriter from Trinidad and Tobago, ahead of her appearance in the first edition of the Mercury's Music Series on January 28! As our colleague Jenni Moore wrote, "In addition to being one of Portland’s favorite singers within the soul/jazz/R&B arena, Chiddick is also a farmer, photographer, creative director, visual producer, and activist. Known for her chill, soulful delivery, gregarious personality, and malleable career path, Blossom has put out a couple of super solid albums in recent years: her excellent 2017 debut LP Tease, and its 2019 follow-up Maybe."

Get to know more about Blossom and how she's been staying entertained lately below—and make sure to get your tickets for her Mercury Music Series event here!

Read on EverOut »


Good Morning, News: Biden Battles Climate Change, Police ID Hit & Run Suspect, and Proud Boy Leader is a Snitch?

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Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio: Hey guys, gonna go leak some info to the FBI... BRB!
Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio: "Hey guys, gonna go leak some info to the FBI... BRB!" Stephanie Keith / Getty News

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! The jam is live in effect, and I don't waste time on the mic with a dope rhyme. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• It's gonna be another busy day for Busy Bee Biden who's got a slate of executive orders to sign today focusing on climate change and the racial and economic disparities it produces—but while many larger industries (like auto companies) are coming to accept efforts to fight global warming, the roadblocks are coming from within the Republican Senate and one Democratic senator in particular.

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Good Afternoon, News: GOP Senate Shields Criminal Trump, Biden Pressures Putin, and Timber Heir Pepper Sprays Dairy Heir

Welp, the story of the mayor pepper spraying someone just got... much... weirder.
Welp, the story of the mayor pepper spraying someone just got... much... weirder. Nathan Howard / Getty News

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• To the surprise of no one (except those foreign to the concept of corruption), most GOP senators voted against holding an impeachment trial to convict the seditious, riot inciting Donald Trump. This is not good news, as it indicates that Republicans are willing to let the former president get away with his crimes, because they are still deathly afraid of the political power he holds over them (like the craven cowards they are).

• But here's some positive Senate news: Newly crowned Senate MINORITY Turtle Mitch McConnell has caved to the demands of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and is no longer demanding protection of the filibuster. This puts control of the Senate firmly in the grasp of Democrats, making the road to passing Biden's plans (such as raising the minimum wage and passing a sweeping COVID relief plan) much easier. STAY IN YOUR SHELL, McCONNELL!

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UPDATED: Mayor Wheeler Pepper Sprays a Member of the Public During a Confrontation

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Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Update, Jan. 26: The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has identified the target of Mayor Ted Wheeler's pepper spray as Cary Cadonau, a local real estate lawyer and heir to the Alpenrose Dairy company. In a police report made public this afternoon, and first reported on by the Oregonian, PPB officer Matt Miller said he called Cadonau Monday afternoon.

"Mr. Cadonau told me he was an 'attorney' and was hesitant to discuss the matter with me," writes Miller. "He did say that he believed the Mayor should be held 'accountable' and that he'd captured the entire incident on video. When asked about what the mayor should be held accountable for Mr. Cadonau declined to expound further."

Miller also asked Cadonau why he allegedly tried to obtain the receipt from Wheeler's McMenamin's meal.

"Mr. Cadonau said he wanted the receipt because it would show how much alcohol the mayor consumed that evening," Miller wrote. Cadonau refused to hand the video he took of the encounter over to PPB.

Cadonau works as an attorney for the law firm Brownstein Rask. His bio on the firm's website reads: "Cary enjoys working to achieve creative resolutions to disputes while providing exceptional services."

Original Story, Jan. 24:

Mayor Ted Wheeler used pepper spray on a member of the public who confronted him while out to dinner Sunday evening.

According to a police report, Wheeler was leaving the Hillsdale McMenamins with former mayor Sam Adams—the latest hire to Wheeler's team—when he was allegedly confronted by a middle-aged white man.

In the report given to a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officer, Wheeler described being stopped by the unfamiliar man after leaving the restaurant around 8 pm. Wheeler said the man was filming him and accused him of violating COVID-19 restrictions by taking his mask off while seated at an outdoor tented restaurant table.

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Oregon Legislature Eyes More Police Reform Bills This Session

Portland police during a 2020 protest in downtown Portland.
Portland police during a 2020 protest in downtown Portland. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND

Oregon state lawmakers will hear public testimony on two law enforcement bills Wednesday, picking up its police reform work where last years' special sessions left off.

The Oregon Legislature shifted its focus to law enforcement reform in 2020 after a Black man named George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police in late May, an incident that sparked protest and drew attention to inequitable policing practices across Oregon. In what would be the first of three special legislative sessions, lawmakers convened on June 24 to fast-track bills related to police reform and COVID-19 relief.

Those bills, championed by the Legislature's BIPOC Caucus (BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous and people of color), include limitations to when police can use tear gas, a ban on police chokeholds, and a new public database for disciplinary actions taken against police officers in Oregon. Lawmakers also passed a bill that created a new subcommittee tasked with researching and vetting police reform policies to propose during 2021's legislative session, which kicked off last week.

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In the Cannabis Kitchen with Laurie Wolf

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Courtesy Ashley Anderson

[The following article is from our "High-Brr-Nation Cannabis Guide" which is packed with fun, interesting stories about surviving the winter with weed. Check 'em out here!—eds.]

When the pandemic lockdowns began, people started buying a lot of things. For some folks, it was sourdough bread starters. For others (mostly sadists), it was exercise bikes. And for people in Oregon, it was–to put it bluntly–a metric shit-ton of weed. Oregonians broke their own record, buying more than a billion dollars’ worth of recreational cannabis in 2020, with Multnomah County stoners leading the way, according to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

“For the first month, business was crazy. It was like people didn’t know how long it would last,” said Laurie Wolf, founder of cannabis edible company Laurie + MaryJane.

Through the long slog of 2020, Wolf watched as her canisters of cannabis-infused fudgy brownies, savory cheese crisps, and almond cakes flew off Oregon’s dispensary shelves. With the November 2020 release of her fifth cannabis cookbook, The Cannabis Apothecary, Wolf had a proposition for these snack-frenzied customers: try making them yourself.

“It is a process, and it takes several hours, but I like the process,” Wolf said. “It’s therapeutic.”

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Takeout Club: It's Gumbo Season!

Acadias Seafood Gumbo
Acadia's Seafood Gumbo Suzette Smith

Boy oh boy, is today a cold one. Portland usually gets warmer for a few weeks in February—BEFORE IT SNOWS IN FREAKING APRIL—but until we get to that bizarre thaw, we're all in the business of keeping warm. You know what time it is: It's gumbo season.

Gumbo can be many things and involve many ingredients because the much beloved dish comes from the interplay of African, Indigenous, Haitian, Spanish, and French cuisine in Louisiana during the US colonial era. But most of what I know about gumbo comes from older people in the neighborhood I grew up in, and that knowledge can be summed up as "no corn in the gumbo."

Ordering gumbo-for-one can be a strange situation since the dish is traditionally a stone soup endeavor—made with whatever's on hand or in season, in a big pot, to feed a large gathering. But we're all still quarantining and it's cold as biscuits. So bless up these New Orleans and Southern spots that serve up a hot bowl to go!

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Rejoice! America's Sexiest Film Fest HUMP! Starts This Saturday!

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You are in desperate need of sexy fun... and help is on the way! The brand new 2021 edition of HUMP!—America's sweetest li'l porn fest—debuts THIS SATURDAY, Jan 30!

As you undoubtedly know, HUMP! is the annual film festival where sexy amateur filmmakers share their lustiest five-minute dirty movies with the world. This delightfully sex-positive fest features all sorts of horny fun, including hardcore, softcore, live action, stop action, animated, musical, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, and genderqueer flicks that are guaranteed to have you squirming in glee!

This year's festival will start online (though could move to theaters later, pandemic willing) and will run from this Saturday, January 30 to March 6 with screenings suitable for all time zones (including Australia and Europe/West Africa)!

OH, BUT IT GETS BETTER! Because along with regular screenings, you can also choose a viewing party with lots of extra entertainment value, such as...

Watch opening night with Dan Savage!
Watch live with other HUMP fans!
Watch with drag dolls Betty Wetter & Cookie Couture!
Watch with HUMP filmmakers and performers!
• and an... ALL NUDE VIEWING PARTY(!!)(??)(!!) Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

WANT A TASTE OF WHAT YOU'LL SEE AT THIS YEAR'S HUMP? Check out the sexy, NSFW trailer!

2021 HUMP! Trailer from Index Media on Vimeo.

Yum. SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get your tickets for HUMP! 2021 now and here starting this Saturday, January 30! (After the 2020 we've had? You need this!)