Check Out the Mercury's 2020 Gift Guide!

Activists Announce Recall Campaign for Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Ryan

City Commissioner Dan Ryan, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
City Commissioner Dan Ryan, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler City of Portland

Progressive activists have created a Political Action Committee (PAC) to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Ryan.

The "Total Recall PAC" hopes to unseat both recently elected politicians because of their perceived resistance to police reform efforts within City Hall. In a Tuesday press release, the PAC accused Ryan of misleading voters who supported him in the August special election for pledging to support police accountability—but then voting against a proposal to shrink the Portland Police Bureau's $230 million budget by $18 million.

The PAC was founded on November 5 by two Portland transparency advocates: Lawyer Alan Kessler, known for challenging the city on public records requests, and Seth Woolley, a former city council candidate and campaign finance reform proponent.

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Good Morning, News: Congress on Vacation, County Commissioner in Hawaii, But Please Don't Travel for Thanksgiving!

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How many people do you think Mitch McConnell will breathe on during his Thanksgiving vacation?
How many people do you think Mitch McConnell will breathe on during his Thanksgiving vacation? Alex Wong /getty images

Good morning, Portland! Happy Weird Thanksgiving Week to you!

Here are the headlines.

• Still planning to travel or meet with a big group for Thanksgiving, and trying to do so responsibly? You might think getting a COVID-19 test before you leave will do the trick—but this handy story from OPB shows that you can't test your way into a safe holiday gathering.

• Oops:

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COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways—it can feel hard to cope. We all need support in tough times and if you or your partner feels alone, your community is here for you. You can join a peer or support group and get help finding the many resources available that could be right for you. For all the ways you can find support in your community, visit www.safestrongoregon.org.


Good Afternoon, News: Stop Getting Thanksgiving COVID Tests, Trump Loses Michigan (For Real), and the Biden Transition Begins!

BIDEN WINS (the right to begin his presidential transition)!!
BIDEN WINS (the right to begin his presidential transition)!! David McNew / Stringer /Getty

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'!)

• Hello. Are you thinking about getting a COVID test so you can spend Thanksgiving with the fam? DO NOT DO THIS. Everybody else has this same, terrible idea, and it's straining our already taxed system and making people who actually do have symptoms wait for hours. THANKSGIVING IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT. STOP BEING SELFISH AND SNAP OUT OF IT.

• Very much related: Oregon is now averaging a record-breaking 1,241 COVID-19 cases PER DAY, and active hospitalizations are on the rise as well, with 456 people currently in the hospital.

• It took eight months, but the state announced today that it will finally begin paying $176 million in "waiting week" benefits to 246,000 Oregonians starting in the next three days—but another 170,000 may be waiting until January to get their money.

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The Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Portland Events for November 23-29, 2020

The Portland Experimental Theatre Ensembles newest series of solo performances, Weather Room, will be available to view online starting Thursday.
The Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble's newest series of solo performances, Weather Room, will be available to view online starting Thursday. Peter Ksander

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!

If you need a break from prepping your Thanksgiving feast, tearfully longing for your grandma's corn pudding, and/or aimlessly pacing around your house while the freeze period remains in effect, turn to our picks for online activities this week. We've included options of all genres, from the Whoopi Goldberg-helmed Nurse Heroes Live to a Black Friday Indigenous Market, and from the solo performance series Weather Room to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. Plus, check out our guide to Thanksgiving dinner in Portland.

MONDAY

FILM
Collide-O-Scope: Anything Goes!
There are no rules in this edition of the freaky and fanciful cornucopia of found footage also known as Collide-O-Scope, which will provide enough escapist treasures to make you forget that you're spending Thanksgiving alone in your studio apartment.

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Tacoma Police Boot Homeless and Housing Activists from Vacant School

Gault Middle School closed in 2009 and has sat vacant ever since. Tacoma Police used the building for training between 2015 and 2017, according to a police spokesperson, but they stopped due to mold.
Gault Middle School closed in 2009 and has sat vacant ever since. Tacoma Police used the building for training between 2015 and 2017, according to a police spokesperson, but they stopped due to mold. Courtesy of Tacoma Housing Now

[The following report was originally published by our sister publication, The Stranger.—eds]

After occupying a vacant middle school for a few hours on Friday, roughly ten residents of an unsheltered community who sleep under the 509 bridge in Tacoma, Washington's tideflats feel "hopeful and optimistic" about a change in the city's approach to housing and homelessness, according to Rebecca Parson, an organizer with Tacoma Housing Now.

The residents and activists entered the school to set up a shelter following the recent deaths of two community members. Parson said a man "in his 60s" named Tommy Hutchison died of exposure this month, and another person died in a car more recently.

Tacoma Housing Now listed six demands in a press release, and chief among them was the creation of a Community Land Trust that included the school and "as many vacant, city-owned properties as are necessary to house Tacoma’s entire houseless population."

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Good Morning, News: A Vaccine By Mid-December, a Potentially Police-Free TriMet, and a Mask-Free Shopping Spree in Vancouver

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

GettyImages-1254511513.jpg
Getty Images / Tang Ming Tung

Good morning, Portland. Over the weekend, COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 12 million. As we enter the beginning of the holiday season, please heed the corny-but-true words of former CDC Director Tom Frieden: "Better a Zoom Thanksgiving than an ICU Christmas." Here's some other very light and merry headlines to start your week:

- President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Antony Blinken to serve as his secretary of state. Blinken served as deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama, and was a close foreign policy advisor to Biden during his Senate years. Per the New York Times, Blinken's "extensive foreign policy credentials are expected to help calm American diplomats and global leaders alike after four years of the Trump administration’s ricocheting strategies and nationalist swaggering."

- This year's virtual international G20 summit wasn't much to write home about, especially because the Trump administration has pulled out of nearly every international partnership discussed. Leaders did leave the meeting in agreement that the TBD coronavirus vaccine will be dispersed equitably across the world. So, that's nice.

- Speaking of COVID-19 vaccines, a chief adviser for the United States' vaccine development program says that some Americans could receive an effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as December 12. On that timeframe, that means the US could achieve herd immunity by the end of May 2021.

- The New York Times created its own AI system to prove how easy it is to conjure up real looking photos of fake people. It is equally fascinating and horrifying.

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Good Afternoon, News: Oregon Reaches "Dire Point," Biden Officially Wins Georgia, and (Oh-Oh!) Don Jr. Has the 'Rona

Public Service Announcement: Assholes get coronavirus, too.
Public Service Announcement: Assholes get coronavirus, too. Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

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'!)

• The Oregon Health Authority reported another record breaking day of 1,306 new positive COVID cases in the state. They also say that Oregon has reached a "dire point" in the pandemic, adding this chilling warning: “If we don’t get COVID-19 under control, the virus will swamp our hospitals with severely ill patients putting more lives at risk.”

• A number of local activists and journalists have been included on an anonymous "kill list" sent by far right chuds to apparently scare them into silence. (Won't work, Bozos!) (Oh, and special thanks to the Portland Police and mayor's office for spreading a false narrative that inspired these drip-dicks.)

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Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Portland: Native American History Month Reads, a Drag Drive-Thru, and More

This weekend, local drag queens like Lulu Luscious (pictured) and Bolivia Charmichaels will put on a show while you wait in your car for to-go food and cocktails from Shine Distillery. Fridays show runs from 4-8 pm, but keep an eye on Shines social media for details on the schedule for the rest of the weekend.
This weekend, local drag queens like Lulu Luscious (pictured) and Bolivia Charmichaels will put on a show while you wait in your car for to-go food and cocktails from Shine Distillery. Friday's show runs from 4-8 pm, but keep an eye on Shine's social media for details on the schedule for the rest of the weekend. Courtesy of Lulu Luscious

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!
It may not be fun to stay cooped up indoors, but staying away from humans outside your quar pod is paramount right now. If you're fresh out of ideas for ways to stay entertained, rely on our weekend guide for socially distanced options across the board—from movie and takeout recs for a French-inspired night at home to Powell's Native American History Month picks, and from the Oregon Zoo's ZooLights drive-through to Shine Distillery's drag drive-through. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week, the best movies to watch this week, and the best things to do all month long.

FOOD & DRINK
Have a French night at home. If your wanderlust has reached an all-time high and you're daydreaming of absconding to France, try recreating some of the Gallic magic at home. The New York Times recently published a guide on how to pretend you're in Paris tonight, complete with suggestions for baking, performances, virtual museum tours, reading, and more, as well as a list of list of ten movies that can transport you there. We suggest renting a couple of their picks, like the French New Wave classic Breathless or the Agnes Varda gem Cleo from 5 to 7, from Movie Madness or streaming them online. If you're looking for an immersive experience, channel a Parisian bistro in your kitchen with meal kits for dishes like boeuf bourguignon from Petite Provence, or grab pastries from St. Honoré Bakery or Pix Patisserie.

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TriMet Plans Mental Health Crisis Response Team Pilot, Other Transit Safety Reforms

LAURENT_HRYBYK.jpg
LAURENT HRYBYK

TriMet plans to create a pilot program for a mobile crisis response team, a proposed alternative to sending police or security personnel to respond to transit users experiencing a mental health crisis.

TriMet staff unveiled the crisis response program plan to the TriMet Board of Directors Thursday, during the board's annual retreat, introduced as one of 25 different steps the agency can take to increase public transit safety in the Portland metro region while relying less on armed transit officers. The plans ranged from simple structural improvements, such as improving lighting at transit stops, to more complicated investments, like increasing TriMet's customer service presence and creating new emergency reporting systems.

These steps are the result of a “reimagining public safety” planning process TriMet began this summer, inspired by racial justice protests sparked when Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. TriMet board member Kathy Wai said Thursday that the list of recommendations was “huge” for TriMet, adding that the commitment to exploring alternatives to policing was a chance to “learn—and unlearn—a lot of things society has taught us.”

“In the last five decades [that] TriMet has been around, we haven’t been able to push ourselves into having these really difficult conversations,” Wai said Thursday.

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This Week In Portland Food News: Cheeto-Stuffed Burritos Arrive, Reel M Inn Closes Indefinitely, and A "Drag-Thru" Opens

The new takeout and delivery pop-up Man Vs. Fries brings fry-and-Cheeto-stuffed burritos and Krusteaz-battered Oreos to Portland.
The new takeout and delivery pop-up Man Vs. Fries brings fry-and-Cheeto-stuffed burritos and Krusteaz-battered Oreos to Portland. Man Vs. Fries

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 Portland enters a freeze that includes a ban on all onsite dining this week, it might seem like the restaurant scene is at a standstill. Happily, that's not the case: some prime new takeout options have come to town, including a solid sandwich shop, a pop-up with burritos stuffed with Cheetos and fries, and a Seattle sushi favorite. Plus, Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet announces a pop-up "yurt village" to preview his highly anticipated upcoming restaurant, Reel M Inn says farewell for now, and Shine Distillery launches a new drive-thru with drag performances. Read on for that and more food-world updates. For more ideas, check out our full food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
Break Bread Sandwich Shop
This sandwich spot, which opened its first location in the Pearl District last year, quietly soft-opened its second location near the waterfront last week and had planned a grand opening before the dining-out freeze, but has currently postponed that in favor of a "medium opening" until restrictions are lifted. They're currently open for pickup and delivery. Portland Mercury contributor Suzette Smith recently sang the shop's praises in her column Takeout Club, writing, "For the vegetarians I recommend the Credible Hunk which puts roasted bell pepper, tomato, pickled shallots, avocado, and vegan sriracha mayo together and stabilizes it all with copious mixed greens. If meat is your thing, I'm a big fan of the CAR (chicken, avocado, ranch dressing, and delightful crispy onions). Pro tip: If crunchy baguette-style bread makes your life complete, dish out the fifty cents for the Dutch Crunch."
Downtown
Pickup and delivery

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Tonight (Nov 20)! Stay In and Get Sexy with "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2!"

1080x1080_HUMP_GH2.jpg

As you know, HUMP! is America's sweetest li'l dirty movie festival, featuring five-minute amateur porn flicks submitted by horny enthusiasts from all over the Pacific Northwest (and the world)! And after 15 YEARS (!!) of HUMP!, you better believe we have a huge backlog of great, sexy short films... and wouldn't you like to revisit some? YES, YOU WOULD!


TONIGHT (Nov 20) and through Thursday, December 10, we're streaming a brand new volume of our festival, called "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2." This volume contains even more audience favorites—some you may remember, some you've never seen before—that are hot 'n' sexy, creative 'n' kinky, and heartfelt 'n' hilarious. As always, HUMP! features a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity. It's a celebration of creative sexual expression, and a terrific (and hot!) way to be reminded that our humanity lies in our differences.


SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Put some excitement into your month by streaming "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2" in the comfort of your own home (or bedroom). GET YOUR TICKETS NOW AND HERE!


Want a sexy taste of what you'll see? Watch the trailer for "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2"!


Good Morning, News: Oregon COVID-19 Surge Continues, CDC Warns Against Thanksgiving Travel, and White House Plans Superspreader Holiday Parties

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Michael_Loccisano_.jpg
Michael Loccisano / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! And here's your good news for the day: Just two more months until January 20th. If we can get through these next two months, we can do anything.

Here are the headlines.

• Oregon hit yet another unsavory record yesterday: 1,225 new COVID-19 cases were reported, the most in any single day since the pandemic started. We also saw the most reported coronavirus-related deaths in a single day yesterday.

• And across the country, over 250,000 people have died from COVID-19 so far—more than in any other country, even ones much more populous than here. These maps from the Washington Post can help you visualize just how many people that is.

• Meanwhile, in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a curfew on all businesses in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Good Afternoon, News: Another Cruel Homeless Sweep, Oregon's Record Breaking COVID Deaths, and Rudy's Drippy Press Conference

During a lie-filled press conference, Rudy Giuliani was revealed to be a malfunctioning android.
During a lie-filled press conference, Rudy Giuliani was revealed to be a malfunctioning android. Drew Angerer / 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'!)

• The long planned homeless sweeps in publicly-owned Laurelhurst Park (brought about by complaining wealthy NIMBYs) took place this morning... during the winter... in the middle of a pandemic... and with the end result of merely pushing these houseless residents to another part of the city. Our Alex Zielinski has more.

• Oregon's COVID updates continue to be alarming: Today marked the largest number of COVID infections (1,225) and deaths (20) since the beginning of the pandemic in the state. Hospitalizations from the virus have risen 137 percent since November 1, and state lawmakers are considering labeling the situation "catastrophic" in order to convene a special remote session, and make quick changes without the red tape.

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City Begins Clearing Laurelhurst Park Homeless Camp

Rapid Response staff remove trash and belongings from the SE Oak encampment.
Rapid Response staff remove trash and belongings from the SE Oak encampment. Alex Zielinski

On Thursday morning, homeless Portlanders camping alongside Laurelhurst Park awoke to news they'd been long dreading: They had to leave. At around 9 am, a cleanup crew with Rapid Response Bio-Clean, a hazardous waste removal business that contracts with the City of Portland to clear campsites, arrived to tell the estimated 30 campers they had an hour to relocate.

By 9:30, some campers had begun taking down their tents and other structures—many of them soaked after a night of heavy rain. Several people were crying as they stuffed their belongings into garbage bags provided by Rapid Response workers.

"I can't believe it's happening," said one woman, who asked not to be identified. She said she was living at the encampment after escaping an abusive relationship, and called the group her "family."

"I don't know where I'm going to go," she said.

The encampment currently stretches along the sidewalk of SE Oak between Cesar Chavez Blvd. and SE 35th, a street that cuts through the Southeast corner of Laurelhurst Park. Homeless Portlanders have occupied the short strip of publicly-owned land for the past six months, many of them relying on the camp as stable place to remain during the COVID-19 pandemic. The occupied property sits in the middle of one of Portland's wealthiest neighborhoods.

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The Best Movies to Stream in Portland This Weekend

Tune in on Saturday for a Hollywood Theatre screening of Jim Jarmuschs Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai with live commentary from RZA.
Tune in on Saturday for a Hollywood Theatre screening of Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai with live commentary from RZA.

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!
Need some fresh viewing material for your freeze? Look no further. We've rounded up this week's streaming options below, available through both local theaters and nationwide platforms, from a Hollywood Theatre screening of Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog with live commentary from RZA to Hong Khaou's Monsoon to the first installment of the new Steve McQueen anthology Small Axe. Plus, if you haven't heard, the Mercury's amateur porn film festival HUMP! is accepting submissions through January 8, as is the stoner short film fest SPLIFF, through March 5!

NEW & NOTEWORTHY: LOCAL
Coded Bias
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify certain mugs (those with dark skin and feminine features, specifically), she delves intoan investigation of widespread bias in algorithms.
Northwest Film Center
Friday only

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