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Which Mall Is More Haunted: Mall 205 or Lloyd Center?

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Campy Draper

[Happy pre-Halloween! All week long the Mercury will be publishing classic tales of local Halloween horror from our archives, as well as brand spankin' new (and spooky) pieces... such as this one!—eds]

Looking down on the empty ice rink, an irrational fear grips me. Tears I can’t explain run down my cheeks. Below, surrounded by the darkened maws of a dozen deserted storefronts, a single ice-skater glides, graceful and lonely. The tinny, haunting melodies of top 40 hits from another decade echo through the empty canyons of post-capitalist collapse. I’m no expert on the paranormal, but I know damn well when I’m surrounded by the spirits of the damned.

If Lloyd Center is haunted, Mall 205 is unquestionably haunted as well. Both taken by evil in their own unsettling ways. But which place is more haunted? Before we can quantify their undeath, we must first understand how they died.

The collapse of the American mall has been both faster and more cataclysmic than you probably expect. Remember buying cargo shorts at the Gap? Would it surprise you to learn that there are no Gap stores anywhere within Portland city limits? The Gap we used to “fall into” has become an empty chasm, a massive echoing tomb—and it’s far from alone. It’s been estimated that one-in-four malls that existed in 2017 will be gone by the end of next year. Nine thousand retail stores closed in 2019. Remember 2019? That was BEFORE the pandemic—if you believe such a time even existed. I personally have my doubts.

So-called “experts” claim dead malls (also known as “ghost malls” and “zombie malls”) are caused by more than just the rise of online shopping. Sure, the skeleton-with-skin that is Jeffrey Bezos has an icy grip around the throat of America’s consumer economy, but things like big box stores and rental services such as Rent the Runway, Netflix, and Spotify have carved out their share of the spoils. And looming behind it all is the true mother of all dark curses: the dramatic rise in income inequality. But I know better than some know-it-all economist. I know that something deeper and more sinister than the mere economic forces of the mundane world is at play—these malls are super fucking haunted.

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Good Morning, News: West Coast Hit by "Bomb Cyclone," Charlottesville Trial Begins, and Kids to be Vaxxed by 2022

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

A person walks through flooding caused by the bomb cyclone in San Rafael, CA.
A person walks through flooding caused by the "bomb cyclone" in San Rafael, CA. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! We've got another wet and blustery day ahead of us, with a high of 55 degrees. Before you pull on your galoshes, get up to speed on this weekend's news:

-A powerful storm, dubbed a “bomb cyclone” by weather experts, whipped across the drought-ridden West Coast yesterday, triggering numerous landslides and flooding across areas of Northern California.

-Portland wasn’t immune from the cyclone: Yesterday’s windy rainstorm knocked out power for more than 15,000 people in the metro region.

-Owens-Brockway, a glass recycling plant in northeast Portland has agreed to either shut down or install pollution control technology, according to an agreement it made with the state Friday. The facility has been accused of emitting dangerous levels of harmful pollutants over the surrounding neighborhoods.

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31 Cheap & Easy Events in Portland This Weekend: October 22–24

Tickets to The French Dispatch wont run you more than $11 at either Cinema 21 or the Hollywood Theatre.
Tickets to The French Dispatch won't run you more than $11 at either Cinema 21 or the Hollywood Theatre.

Heavy rain and wind is in our immediate future, but Portlanders are well used to working our way around inclement weather. If you’re looking to make weekend plans but want to stick to something that’s low commitment, we’ve rounded up a selection of events that fit the bill, many of which are also appropriate for spooky season, like Blow Pony's Annual Homoween or Imago Theatre's The Lonely Vampire. If all you're up for is sitting in a movie theater, we've got you covered there too: Dune and The French Dispatch are both out this weekend, and the horror film-filled GuignolFest returns for its 13th year. For more ideas, check out our guide to Halloween treats or our pumpkin patch guide.

FRIDAY
COMEDY

Kickstand Comedy Presents: Jake Noll & Friends
After teaching online comedy classes for the last year, LA-based stand-up comic Jake Noll is coming to Portland for their first time ever to perform live. Their impressive resume also includes being named Chicago's Best Comic 2019 and opening for comedians including Cameron Esposito, so you should be in for a good time.
(Honey Latte Cafe, Buckman, $10 online, $12 at the door)

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Good Afternoon, News: Vaccines For Kids on the Way, All Boosters Approved for Oregonians, and Wheeler Recall Effort on the Rocks

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

A person gives a thumbs up. Thy are wearign a mask and have a bandaid on their arm from where they just got the vaccine.
VACCINES FOR ALL! Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County

In local news:

• Booster shots for Oregonians who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were approved Friday. According to the Oregon Health Authority, eligible Oregonians should schedule a booster shot with their healthcare provider or a local pharmacy. More details on who is eligible for the boosters can be found here.

• The city of Portland doesn’t believe the campaign to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler should be granted an extension to collect more signatures, saying the group’s last minute lawsuit against the city’s recall laws “undermines our democracy.” The campaign launched a federal lawsuit against the city in early October, claiming the pandemic interfered with its ability to collect enough signatures to place the recall effort on the ballot within the given 90-day period. Alex Zielinski has more details on the city’s response.

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Booster Shots Approved for Oregonians Who Received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines

A person in a yellow sweater looks away as a healthcare worker gives them the vaccine.
Eligible Oregonians can now receive any of the three vaccine types as a booster shot, thanks to the approved "mix-and-match" strategy. Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County

Oregon’s regional immunization advisory group recommended COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines Friday, paving the way for the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to announce a booster rollout plan. Pfizer booster shots were authorized by OHA at the end of September.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, a group of experts who guide the West Coast states on immunization decisions, recommended booster shots for Moderna vaccine recipients who got their second shot at least six months ago and are 65 and older, living in long term care facilities, or are 18 to 64 years old and more susceptible to COVID due to underlying medical conditions or workplace exposure. The group also recommended a booster dose for everyone 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago. Those are the same recommendations the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made earlier this week.

The workgroup also approved a “mix-and-match” booster strategy, meaning anyone eligible for a booster shot can receive any of the three vaccine types as a booster. There is no official guidance on how people should mix-and-match the vaccines, but a recent federally-funded study found that recipients of the Johnson & Johnson single shot who received the Moderna booster shot saw their antibody levels rise significantly higher than those who received two Johnson & Johnson doses.

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Catch Up on the Stories You Missed This Week with the Mercury Weekend Reading List!

What has two thumbs and LOVES all the Mercurys stories this week? THIS KID!
"What has two thumbs and LOVES all the Mercury's stories this week? THIS KID!" Prostock-Studio /iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Whooo! You're a BUSY BEE. Look, it's completely understandable that since you've been SO busy, you may have missed some of the great reporting and stories the Mercury churned out this week! So while you're lounging about this weekend, catch up on the knowledge you need by reading some of these A+++ Mercury articles! (PRO TIP: If you despise being "the last to know," then be one of the first to know by signing up for Mercury newsletters! All the latest stories shipped directly to your email's in-box... and then... YOUR HEAD.)


Mayor Wheeler's Office Considers Banning Homeless Camping Downtown
Mayor Ted Wheeler's office has been discussing a strategy to ban homeless camping from areas of downtown Portland—and to move those campers into a "high-population outdoor camping zone." Umm... THAT'S NOT GOOD.

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Doug Brown

Faced With Heat, Smoke, and Ice, Portland’s Urban Farmers Are Resilient to Climate Change
From hot temps that frizzled crops to heavy smoke that kept staff from working outdoors, the effects of climate change have fundamentally restructured the work of an urban farmer in Portland, a city known for its sustainable agriculture and food scene.

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SHAWN LINEHAN

Dispatch from an Indoor Concert During a Pandemic
Hesitant about attending a live show indoors at this stage in the pandemic? Here's a cautiously hopeful look at what the experience can be like.

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Alex Zielinski
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This Week In Portland Food News: Nacheaux Opens Its New Food Hall, Two New Pizzerias Are Coming, and Ruby Jewel Closes

You can now get freshly baked cookies and other treats at Karnival Korner, part of Nacheauxs new Unicorn Creationz Food Hall.
You can now get freshly baked cookies and other treats at Karnival Korner, part of Nacheaux's new Unicorn Creationz Food Hall. Unicorn Creationz Food Hall

In this week's edition of food news, Nacheaux opens its Unicorn Creationz Food Hall (complete with a New Orleans-style speakeasy and a dessert shop). Plus, two exciting new pizza places are on the way, and Ruby Jewel has closed its scoop shops. Read on for all of that and more updates, plus events going on this weekend, like Ecliptic Brewing's 8th Orbit Anniversary Celebration. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS


Kua Thai
This cart opened within the Cully Central pod earlier this month, serving a wide variety of classic Thai dishes.
Cully
Pickup

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City Attorneys Challenge Legal Request to Extend Wheeler Recall Campaign

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Total Recall campaign

The city of Portland doesn't believe the campaign to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler deserves more time to gather signatures to prompt a recall election. In a Friday legal filing, the city essentially characterized the recall campaign team as sore losers for blaming the city's election system for their inability to collect the required voter signatures on time.

"Unwillingness to accept election laws and processes when they do not produce a person’s desired outcome undermines our democracy," wrote city attorneys, responding to an October 4 lawsuit filed by the Recall Ted Wheeler campaign.

The federal lawsuit accuses City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero, who oversees the city's elections office, and City Elections Officer Louise Hansen of violating the campaign's constitutional rights by not allowing the group a deadline extension on signature gathering. In Oregon, recall petitions are granted 90 days to gather all signatures needed to qualify for a citywide election. The Wheeler recall campaign, which kicked off in early July, was given an October 6 deadline to gather 47,788 signatures (a number that represents 15 percent of Portland voters who cast a ballot in the last gubernatorial election). According to the campaign's records, organizers had only gathered 20,000 signatures by this date.

Knowing it wouldn't meet its deadline, the campaign reached out to the city's elections office in late September, requesting an extension, explaining that COVID-19 regulations and summer heatwaves unfairly impacted their organizers' ability to collect signatures. When the city refused this request, the recall campaign sued, demanding a judge approve a temporary restraining order to immediately allow the campaign an extension.

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Kicking Off TONIGHT: Stream the Horrifyingly Fun SLAY Film Fest!

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Get ready for a screaming good time... the terrifying fun of SLAY—our scary short film fest made by horror lovers like YOU—returns STARTING TONIGHT (Friday, October 22) and through October 31, streaming online AND next weekend at the Clinton Street Theater!

Earlier this year, we asked filmmakers to send in their homemade short horror films (eight minutes or less) capturing whatever it is that scares them most—from classic ghost stories and slasher films to dystopian cults and political nightmares. AND BOY, DID YOU DELIVER! For the 2021 version of SLAY we have 18 frightening, freaky, and fun films that are guaranteed to scare the poop directly into your pants!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE for the LIVE and in-person screenings at Clinton Street Theater on Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30, and if you'd rather stay home and watch it online, we have FIVE opportunities to do just that on October 22-31, and you can GET LIVESTREAM TICKETS HERE!

Want a sneaky peek at what you can expect from SLAY 2021? Then grab a spare pair of undies (just in case!) and read the descriptions and watch the new SLAY trailer below!


SLAY 2021 Trailer - PDX from Index Media on Vimeo.

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Southeast Portland’s Fermenter Returns With Funky, Briny, Vibrant Vegan Brunch

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ANDREW JANKOWSKI

Uninitiated Portland diners should take heed of Fermenter’s return. The vegan restaurant and kombucherie reintroduced themselves in October 2020 at Southeast 14th and Belmont, shifting into the space once held by their still-on-hiatus sister restaurant, Farm Spirit. Fermenter’s heated patio was installed in November, and in-person brunch followed this past summer. Mushrooms, smoked tempeh, and pickled veggies star alongside Fermenter’s crisp, locally sourced produce, animal-free pastries, and imaginative vinaigrettes and sauces. With their moist stacked sandwiches and restorative breakfast entrees, Fermenter’s offerings are far fresher than the restaurant’s preservative-packed name suggests on first impression, and could keep Portlanders enjoying this year’s harvest through next spring.

Fermenter owner and chef, Aaron Adams, specializes in non-dairy lactic acid and koji fermentation, as well as arranging vegan charcuterie. Chef August Winningham combines Adams’ cured veggies with non-cured, locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, while manager Maya Carlile oversees fermented drinks, such as kombucha, ginger beer, and kefir, a cultured milk drink originating from Russia’s North Caucus region that’s aged with kefir grains.

Fermenter’s vegan kefir comes out closer to a carbonated fruit juice than yogurt water. I tried raspberry hop kefir and Jupiter grape ginger beer, both house labels. Both drinks were tart, yet refreshingly bright. The Jupiter grape opened fruity, but exposed the signature spicy aftertaste of ginger beer. The kefir’s fizz activated its profile, opening even as it washes down.

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The Pacific Northwest and the Origin of Dune

Our world has a lot in common with Arrakis.
Our world has a lot in common with Arrakis. Dune

In the opening moments of the newest adaptation of Dune, the first visuals on screen are of the sun falling behind the iconic dunes that dominate the desolate planet of Arrakis. The voice of Zendaya's Chani monologues about how her people, the Fremen, live on this planet, which outside forces continually target for its resources.

The forces coming to Arrakis seek to get the rare Melange, often referred to as "spice," at any cost since it's invaluable for interstellar travel. The Fremen hope to drive away these invaders to ensure their planet can become a vibrant and green ecosystem.

Although this vast and magical world feels distant and strange, it's closer to home than many realize. Born out of the mind and dreams of an author who started writing in Washington state, Frank Herbert created one of science fiction's most influential stories from our backyard.

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Good Morning, News: A New I-5 Bridge Design, 90% of Oregon Hospital Workers Vaxxed, and Biden Sets Sights on Filibuster

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

One of the designs currently being considered to replace the I-5 bridge.
One of the designs currently being considered to replace the I-5 bridge. INTERSTATE BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECT

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! And as hard as they would try, they'd hurt to make you cry. But you never cried to them, just to your soul. No, you never cried to them, just to your soul. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• After the original plan collapsed in 2014 over money issues, a new I-5 bridge design is being trotted out for review by Oregon and Washington transportation officials. Will this one make the cut? Our Isabella Garcia has more of what's in store for this potentially HUGE transportation issue.

• Though hundreds of Oregon hospital workers were either fired or put on leave for refusing to get the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, a very impressive 90 percent did get vaccinated, calming fears of a potentially devastating loss of health care workers during a precarious time.

• It turns out that more people than expected died from COVID-19 in Oregon this past summer than previously reported thanks to a computer error, the Oregon Health Authority says. We could be seeing up to 550 more deaths that occurred in May through August.

• Keep a wary eye on this: Militia extremist Ammon Bundy's anti-government People's Rights group has spread nationwide and even into Canada, thanks to assists from other far-right hate mongers such as the Tea Party and the Proud Boys.

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This Week in Portland Event News: Chelsea Handler, Tig Notaro, and More

We cant wait to hear about Chelsea Handlers new romance with fellow comedian and longtime friend Jo Koy during her Vaccinated and Horny Tour.
We can't wait to hear about Chelsea Handler's new romance with fellow comedian and longtime friend Jo Koy during her Vaccinated and Horny Tour.

In a mere four months, comedy powerhouses Chelsea Handler and Tig Notaro will roll through town a day apart (choose your fighter, or go to both). We’ve got you covered with the details on those and other newly announced events, including pro-vaccine singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, plus other big event news, like the cancellation of The Weeknd's 2022 arena tour.

Tickets go on sale at 10 am unless otherwise noted.

ON SALE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22
COMEDY

Andrew Schulz: The Infamous Tour
Newmark Theatre (Jan 7, 2022)

Chelsea Handler: Vaccinated and Horny Tour
Keller Auditorium (Feb 4, 2022)

Tig Notaro: Hello Again Tour
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Feb 3, 2022)

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Oregon and Washington Officials Consider Interstate 5 Bridge Designs

A photo of the I-5 bridge
The current Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River. Oregon Department of Transportation

City and transportation department officials from Portland and Vancouver got a first look at the possible designs for the proposed Interstate 5 bridge replacement Thursday morning.

The project is the region’s second attempt at replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Columbia River—a major thoroughfare for commuters and freight trucks. It comes on the heels of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project, which failed in 2014 after Washington and Oregon legislators were unable to agree on a funding plan.

In 2019, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee revived the bridge replacement project, citing the need to address the seismic instability of the bridge, as well as improve traffic flow. The project now has a new name: the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR).

Now, after almost a year of discussing the issues the project needs to address, like traffic congestion and “substandard bicycle and pedestrian facilities,” the project’s oversight committee—made up of Portland and Vancouver city officials, public transit representatives, and transportation department leaders—are moving onto developing solutions, starting with selecting the bridge design.

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Good Afternoon, News: Anonymous Cops Get Courtroom Slap Down, Oregon COVID Deaths Undercounted, and CDC Panel Gives Boosters A-OK

Judge scolds city, tells them to reveal names of anonymous violent protest cops.
Judge scolds city, tells them to reveal names of anonymous violent protest cops. PAULA BRONSTEIN / GETTY IMAGES

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Portland cops who refused to display name badges during the 2020 summer protests just got a scathing rebuttal from a judge who is ordering the city to reveal the names of those bad actors.

• While 98 percent of Portland Public School employees were vaccinated by the district's mandate deadline, 138 failed to do so and the district has begun their termination process.

• It turns out that more people than expected died from COVID-19 in Oregon this past summer than previously reported thanks to a computer error, the Oregon Health Authority says. We could be seeing up to 550 more deaths that occurred in May through August.

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