Don't miss the Mercury's 2020 Election Endorsements!

Commissioner Hardesty Endorses Sarah Iannarone for Mayor

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Sarah Iannarone campaign / NATALIE BEHRING

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty endorsed Sarah Iannarone for mayor of Portland Thursday afternoon, just five days before the citywide election. The move comes a month after Hardesty rescinded her endorsement of Mayor Ted Wheeler's re-election campaign, citing Wheeler's handling of policing at racial justice protests as her primary reason.

Hardesty has until now refrained from endorsing Iannarone, or popular write-in candidate Teressa Raiford, in the mayor's race. That changed Thursday afternoon, when Hardesty threw her support behind Iannarone just five days before the election.

"This is a moment in history that requires strong and inclusive leadership, not more of the same status quo," Hardesty wrote in a lengthy statement posted to her campaign's public Facebook page. "If we are going to actually rethink community safety based on a public health model, we must be bold and visionary. Sarah Iannarone has a vision and a plan to do this that was developed and rooted in the community."

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Split on $18 Million in Police Cuts, Portland City Council Delays Budget Vote

Racial justice protesters stand in front of the Justice Center in June 2020.
Racial justice protesters stand in front of the Justice Center in June 2020. Steve Humphrey

In a typical year, Portland City Council's fall budget monitoring process is a low-stakes opportunity for commissioners to make minor adjustments to the city's annual budget, which is approved in late June. But 2020 is no typical year.

Nearly 500 members of the public tuned in Wednesday to listen to this year's proposed fall budget tweaks during the afternoon City Council session. The six hour meeting—which included public testimony from nearly 180 Portlanders—centered on a contentious call to shave an additional $18 million off the current Portland Police Bureau (PPB) budget.

The proposal comes just four months after City Council voted unanimously to cut $15 million from PPB's requested annual budget, a decision informed by the city's racial justice protests against police brutality. At the time, commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly acknowledged that the reduction didn't go far enough, especially since racial justice groups were demanding at least $50 million in PPB cuts.

"We did not meet [protester's] demands in June," said Eudaly at the Wednesday meeting. "It's our job to listen and work with the community."

Both commissioners regard the fall budget process as a second act to June's initial police bureau cuts. The budget amendment introduced Wednesday, which would further reduce PPB's annual budget by $18 million, came directly from Hardesty's office, with the added support from Eudaly and her staff. The proposal suggests rerouting the police dollars into city programs that address the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the community and offer alternatives to police.

"Economic anxiety is a big predictor of violence," Hardesty said Wednesday. "If we combine our current economic recession with a global pandemic and a movement forcing us to confront centuries of racial injustice... we have unrest in real time. As government leaders, our role is to provide stability in those moments of crisis."

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Savage Love: Jealous Typologies

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Joe Newton

I’ve been in a relationship with a wonderful guy for the past year. The only problem is that he works with a girl he used to fuck. It wasn’t just sex—they would go on dates and even went on vacation together. He kept this little “detail” to himself for six full months before giving himself away by mistake. He then apologized, said he hadn’t told me so that I wouldn’t worry for no reason, and that he no longer has any feelings for her whatsoever. Disclaimer: I’m an extremely jealous person with huge trust issues, so knowing he kept all this from me is devastating. I no longer trust him. Just thinking that he’s seeing—on a daily basis—a woman he used to sleep with is driving me nuts! I repeatedly asked him to let me meet her in person, at the very least, but it didn’t happen. So one night, after giving him a heads-up, I showed up at their workplace. He had said it would be ok for me to stop by sometime but once I got there he freaked out. He accused me of not trusting him! My question: Am I being crazy and overreacting—I’ll admit I’ve been agonizing non-stop about this—or is he acting like an asshole with something to hide? I’ve been struggling to curb my anxiety about this, and I’ve even had a few panic attacks he’s not aware of. Him changing jobs is out of the question.


I’m Terrified About Losing It And Nuking Everything

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Good Morning, News: Portlanders Want a Police Budget Cut, Federally Deputized Cops Curtailed, and Swing State Speculation

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.

A typical American voter waits for the USPS to pick up their mail-in ballot in Arizona.
A typical American voter waits for the USPS to pick up their mail-in ballot in Arizona. John Moore / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! We're just two days away from Halloween—and while the Oregon Health Authority is warning against most in-person celebrations, you can still get spooked out with the Mercury. You can stream our new amateur horror film fest, SLAY, or attend a drive-in screening at Oaks Park.

Here are the headlines.

• After a surprisingly riveting six-hour Portland City Council meeting that saw public comment from hundreds of Portlanders, the council decided to wait on a vote on some fall budget amendments—including, most notably, a potential $18 million cut from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). That amendment was introduced by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and supported by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz will likely vote against it, making new Commissioner Dan Ryan the mysterious swing vote. If you missed that meeting, you can get some of the highlights from our own Alex Zielinski's marathon thread, if that's your kind of thing. It starts here:

• One vote Portland City Council did hold yesterday: A resolution that will restrict the 56 PPB officers who were federally deputized last month. The resolution requires those officers to only enforce local and state laws, and to not take direction from federal agents when policing protests.

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Halloween is Saved with the SLAY Drive-in! Tonight Through Oct 31!

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Don't let COVID scare away your Halloween fun! Join us for a TERRIFYINGLY good time at the SLAY Drive-In movie event on October 28 through October 31st!

The Mercury is proudly partnering with our pals, the Rose City Rollers, to bring you our homegrown horror movie festival SLAY on the BIG SCREEN for four nights outside at Oaks Park.

For those just joining us, the SLAY film fest features the scariest, most horrifying short DIY movies submitted by readers just like you! In fact, we received so many great submissions we split SLAY into two volumes... and you can watch one or both if you like in the comfort of your own home, or—if you want to have even more fun—grab your quarantine pod and watch VOLUMES ONE AND TWO on the big 15-foot screen at Oaks Park, where the Rose City Rollers will be serving drinks and you can grab some great eats at our food cart concession stand!

You can get tickets for either the early show (7:30 pm) or the late show (9:30 pm) for $40 each, or get a double-header ticket for $60. BUT HURRY UP, GUYS & GHOULS! We're limiting capacity to 55 cars, and shows are already selling out!

Can't make the drive-in? SLAY is still being livestreamed on October 24th and the 31st, so get those tickets HERE.

WANT A TASTE OF THE SPINE-CHILLING FUN YOU'LL HAVE AT SLAY? Check out the trailer below, and then grab those tickets to the SLAY Drive-In or the livestream, because SLAY has arrived to save Halloween!


Refresh Playlist: New Music for the Week

Aretha Franklin Somewhere - Alternate Version
Aretha Franklin "Somewhere - Alternate Version"

With a raging pandemic, an election just a week away, and acts of violence that continue to plague American cities, there's no shame in taking a break from refreshing that news feed. Refresh your mind instead, by diving into these new music releases that match the current mood.



“Somewhere (Alternate Version),” Aretha Franklin


The Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, was delayed seven months, and will now come out in August 2021. And that's fine with me—whatever it takes to portray the Queen of Soul's life and career accurately. In the mean time, there's a new career-spanning box set album coming out. The 81-tracks on Aretha include 19 previously unreleased demos, rarities and live performances from Aretha Franklin, and the four-CD box set is due out November 20. (Now if only the posthumous Aretha also came in vinyl, too....) The piano-driven song "Somewhere (Alternate Version)" is a lovely taste of the posthumous release, just another example of why we'll be listening to Franklin's voice for decades to come.



“Positions,” Ariana Grande


Yes folks, Ariana Grande is gearing up to drop a new album, and the title track/lead single just arrived on October 23. As expected, it's catchy, R&B-infused pop that is easily enjoyable even if Grande isn't great at enunciating and I have no idea what she's singing about. From what I gather, "Positions" is about Grande's ability to wear lots of different hats; she's a career woman and a woman with needs. The new music video for "Positions" is the most presidential thing you'll see all year, featuring Ari's version of a modern White House administration with the singer at the helm. Ari's cabinet is a slew of women, POC, and LGBTQ+ folks, and of course, fierce fashion choices in the vein of Jackie Kennedy and Olivia Pope abound. SIGH. Although it's probably well into the future, I look forward to the day we have a sexy president again, and/or our first non-male president.

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Your Guide to Halloween 2020 Food & Drink Specials in Portland

The French dessert haven Pix Patisserie is filling their magical Pix-O-Matic vending machine with seasonal delights, like adorable chocolate-covered pecan candy ghosts under marzipan sheets, bearing their own mini marshmallow pumpkins.
The French dessert haven Pix Patisserie is filling their magical Pix-O-Matic vending machine with seasonal delights, like adorable chocolate-covered pecan candy ghosts under marzipan "sheets," bearing their own mini marshmallow pumpkins. Pix Patisserie

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's almost Halloween! Though trick-or-treating as usual may be verboten, there are still plenty of ways to safely scoop up delicious Halloween treats, from Salt & Straw's "Spooktacular" ice cream flavor series to Pix Patisserie's magical Pix-O-Matic vending machine. Read on for details on the spookiest food and drink specials so you can plot a delicious weekend full of thrills and chills. Plus, check out our food and drink guide and our guide to virtual Halloween events.

Atlas Pizza
Planning a Halloween movie night? We've got the perfect pairing for you. SLAYThe Mercury's horror-themed short film festival (which will be livestreamed through October 31) has teamed up with Atlas Pizza to offer special SLAY-themed pizzas on each night of the show! The special SLAYER pizza comes slathered with red sauce, mozzarella, a three-cheese blend, house-made Grampy Bigg’s peppers, bacon, roasted garlic, basil, and of course, a spooky SRIRACHA PENTAGRAM DRIZZLE! A vegan version is available with a $2 upcharge, and includes vegan bacon plus Follow Your Heart mozzarella. Make yours vegetarian by removing the bacon! The limited-time pie will be available for $26.66 (get it?), which comes with garlic knots and a salad. It'll be available for takeout and in-house delivery on October 31 only at all three Atlas locations (DivisionKillingsworth, and Foster).
Various locations
Pickup or delivery

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Good Morning, News: Oregon to Help Vet COVID Vaccine, Breonna Taylor Jury Speaks Out, and Biden Holds Lead Over Trump

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.

Joe Biden is holding his lead over Trump in two critical battleground states.
Joe Biden is holding his lead over Trump in two critical battleground states. Scott Eisen / Getty News

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! I got a river for a soul, and baby, you're a boat. Baby, you're my only reason. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• A large group of protesters gathered in front of the downtown Justice Center last night to hold a vigil in memory of Walter Wallace Jr., a Black man who was killed by Philadelphia police on Monday. Wallace was reportedly in a state of mental duress and after refusing to drop a knife, he was shot more than a dozen times by police. (For those asking "when will these protests end?", that's a question that can be answered by the police.)

• Due to the spike in Oregon's COVID cases, Gov. Kate Brown has extended the state of emergency for another 60 days until January 2, 2021.

• Thanks to Trump, public trust in any potential COVID-19 vaccine is very low, which is why Oregon is teaming up with California, Washington, and Nevada to form a panel of experts to independently vet any coronavirus vaccine before it's distributed to the public.

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Where to Celebrate Día de los Muertos 2020 in Portland

The Tacoma Art Museums virtual Día de los Muertos celebration (which kicks off on Halloween and lasts through November 15) is one of many opportunities in the Northwest to share your own commemorative altar this year.
Tacoma Art Museum

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!


The first day of November marks the beginning of Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday when people honor loved ones who have died by bringing them to life with colorful ofrendas (altars) adorned with memorabilia and calaveras (sugar skulls), and taking part in many other traditions. Though many events have moved online, there are still lots of opportunities to learn more about the holiday through performances, food, music, and more—from a Milagro Theater fundraiser to the Mercado Pop-Up in Portland. Find all the ways to celebrate in the Pacific Northwest below and on our Portland Día de los Muertos calendar.

Events are online unless otherwise noted.

Alberta Street Gallery
Join Eugene artists Melissa Sikes and Aunia Kahn for a presentation of Día de Muertos-inspired clay skulls.
(October 28 & November 5, in-person)

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Good Afternoon, News: COVID Assistance Quickly Dries Up, Voting Pro Tips, and Trump Fleeces Americans Out of Millions

Obama on the campaign trail for Biden, and absolutely ROASTING Trump.
Obama on the campaign trail for Biden, and absolutely ROASTING Trump. Octavio Jones / 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'!)

• Due to the spike in Oregon's COVID cases, Gov. Kate Brown has extended the state of emergency for another 60 days until January 2, 2021.

• The good news: The city opened up the application process for getting cash assistance in the form of $500 debit cards to Portlanders hit hardest by the COVID pandemic. The bad news: The application portal was only open for 5 minutes, because the city had already collected more than 1,400 applications and had to close submissions. Our Alex Zielinski has the story and interviews with desperate applicants.

• VOTING PRO TIP: Today is the last day to mail in your ballots in Oregon, so from now until November 3, drop yours in the local ballot box. Our Blair Stenvick has lots more voting advice you need to know!

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It’s One Week Until Election Day—Here’s What You Need to Know

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Multnomah county

For many Portlanders, it seems like we’ve been waiting for November 3, 2020 for about four years now. That’s apparent in early ballot return numbers for Multnomah County: Over half of all registered voters have already returned their ballots. At this point in 2016, only 30 percent of Multnomah County ballots had been collected.

Now, Election Day is just one week away, and we all have a responsibility to ensure our votes are counted. If you’re a voter in the Portland area, here’s what you need to know in the week leading up to Election Day.

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Cash Assistance for 1,400 Low-Income Portlanders Runs Out in 5 Minutes

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Getty Images / Malte Mueller

At 9 am Tuesday, the city began accepting applications for its latest round of financial assistance—1,400 debit cards carrying $500 for low-income Portlanders who've been financially impacted by COVID-19.

The application portal was only open for 5 minutes: By 9:06, the city had already collected more than 1,400 applications and had to close submissions.

Nicole Levine said she had gotten up early to apply for the funds, and began refreshing the application webpage at 8:58 am.

"As soon as the application was live, I filled it out really quick and hit 'submit'," Levine told the Mercury. "It told me the form had been deactivated, that applications were closed. This was at 9:02. I don't know how you could fill that out in a minute."

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Takeout Club: Bar Bar and the Black Seed Burger Cult of Mississippi Avenue

Outdoor seating at Bar Bar.
Outdoor seating at Bar Bar. Suzette Smith

On a recent Sunday, Mississippi Avenue was alive with foot traffic. Friends sat in groups of three or four inside the wind-blocking outdoor patios of Mississippi Pizza and Por Que No. Couples window shopped. The scene felt ordinary and unremarkable—hardly 2020—except that everyone within sight was wearing a mask or had one nearby, sitting on the table by their phone.

It's impressive how Mississippi businesses rose to the challenge of social distancing. Restaurants like Miss Delta, Uchu, and Radar now spill out into on-street dining patios that you’d probably want to sit at, even if there weren’t a pandemic on. For the purposes of this Takeout Club I checked on two burger spots that are almost across the way from one another, yet offer fairly different burger perks.

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TONIGHT! Don't Miss "Eyes On The Ground: A Conversation with Protest Journalists"!

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Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

What’s it like for the reporters, photographers, and livestreamers who cover Portland's protests on a nightly basis?

For nearly five months, protesters demonstrating against police brutality and systemic racism have marched in Portland and the city's reporters, documentarians, and photographers were with them every step of the way, facing many of the same dangers. Now you can find out what it's like to be a person recording history on the front lines of the nation's Black Lives Matter movement with TONIGHT'S Tuesday, October 27 livestream event, "Eyes on the Ground: A Conversation With Portland's Protest Journalists and Documentarians."

Join news editor and host Alex Zielinski of the Portland Mercury for a livestream conversation with the people who've been reporting on the protests for the last five months. You’ll hear honest reactions on topics such as their motivations, confrontations and arrests by police, journalistic ethics, personal safety, and how they keep their message centered on the Black Lives Matter movement. This is the type of behind-the-scenes, candid conversation you won't be hearing anywhere else.

This is a "Pay What You Can" event with proceeds going toward supporting the Portland Mercury as well as the attending participants. If you wish to make an additional contribution to support the Mercury, please do so here.

Our panel of journalists and documentarians include: Tuck Woodstock, Donovan Smith, Andrew Jankowski, Mariah Harris, Catalina Gaitán, and Annie Schutz.

If you want to know what really happens on the ground at Portland’s nightly protests, don't miss this thought-provoking and fun evening of conversation from the reporters, photographers, and livestreamers who are committed to bringing you the truth!

Don't miss "Eyes on the Ground: A Conversation With Portland's Protest Journalists and Documentarians," TONIGHT, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 7 PM. GET YOUR "PAY WHAT YOU CAN" TICKETS HERE!


Good Morning, News: Coney Barrett Confirmed, Portland Cops Prep for Election Day, and Early Voter Turnout is Huge

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.

Two BFFs plotting the decimation of abortion rights.
Two BFFs plotting the decimation of abortion rights. Tasos Katopodis / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! You probably know by now that Amy Coney Barrett, a woman who would very much like to speak to the manager, has been confirmed and sworn-in to the Supreme Court. In an attempt to stay ahead of the curve of where our country is inevitably headed, I'm excited to announce that the Mercury is now an authoritarian Christian blog! We've endorsed write-in candidate Jesus Christ in the Portland mayoral race, and after today, all "Good Morning, News" posts will be about the real Good News: The fact that God is here to save all you Portland homosexuals and wayward women from your own free will!

Okay, here are the headlines.

• In all seriousness, Comey Barrett's confirmation creates a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court, and spells bad news for a lot of rights that both progressives and middle-of-the-road folks hold dear. That includes the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights, and LGBTQ+ rights, among others.

• 🚨⚠️🗳️

PSSST: If you still haven't voted yet, you might find our endorsements helpful!

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