The Mercury's Fall Arts Guide!

Good Morning, News: Oregon Redistricting Drama, PPB Chastised in Court, and First Abortion Lawsuit in Texas

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!

Theres drama this week at the Oregon State Capitol.
There's drama this week at the Oregon State Capitol. aimintang / getty images


Good morning, Portland!
And happy Last Day of Summer, whatever that means these days.

Here are the headlines!

• In case you missed this enraging news yesterday: A Newberg School District staffer went to school in blackface last week (?), claiming to be dressing as Rosa Parks (??) to protest the district's vaccine mandate for school staffers (???). Everything's going great at the Newberg School District!

Here you can hear from the local reporter who's been breaking all the Newberg news lately:

• Yesterday, a Multnomah County judge ruled that the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) acted illegally when live-streaming protests last summer, because of a law prohibiting cops from surveilling people who are not suspected of a specific crime. "Standing up to injustice is important to me; having my own government deliberately put me at risk for broadcasting my location and political stance — known as ‘doxxing’ — is unbelievable," one protester suing PPB said in a press release.

• Texas' new six-week abortion ban relies on vigilante citizens to sue abortion doctors for its enforcement—and we now have our first lawsuit of this nature. Texas doctor Alan Braid publicly admitted to violating the ban, and is now being sued by an Arkansas lawyer with a history of tax evasion. In a Washington Post op-ed, Braid said the move was part of a legal strategy, writing that "I fully understood that there could be legal consequences—but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn't get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested."

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The Best Things To Do in Portland This Week: Sept 20-26, 2021

The popular Sunday market Portland Flea is celebrating 10 years this week.
The popular Sunday market Portland Flea is celebrating 10 years this week.
The weekend is over, though that doesn't mean the week doesn't have plenty of fun to offer. Whether you're looking to have a laugh with the legendary comic Marc Maron, celebrate Stephen King's birthday with a horror double feature, or catch a show from the ironic queen herself Alanis Morissette, there are plenty of exceptional events to get you through the work week. 

MONDAY


MUSIC

Marc Rebillet
Known as the “Loop Daddy,” Marc Rebillet is a chaotic force of music and sexual allure all wrapped into one. With shows that heavily focus on Rebillet laying it all out by improvising most of his set, every show of his is a unique experience that won't soon be forgotten.
Crystal Ballroom, West End

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Good Afternoon, News: Racist Blackface Incident at Newberg School, Pfizer Says Vaccine Safe for 5-11 Year Olds, and You Can Eat Oreos Again

The Nabisco workers strike (born in Portland) is over, so I guess its okay for you to try these now.
The Nabisco workers strike (born in Portland) is over, so I guess it's okay for you to try these now. Nabisco

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:

• After a fraught (and occasionally violent) few weeks, Portland's Nabisco workers' strike has come to an end after the national union and the company agreed on a new contract—one that local workers aren't 100 percent pleased with. Abe Asher has the details and the report.

• Warning: Get ready to lose your goddamn mind. I'm just going to leave the opening graph for this story by the Newberg Graphic right here: "A staff member at Mabel Rush Elementary School in Newberg showed up to work in Blackface on Friday, calling herself Rosa Parks and doing so in protest of a vaccine mandate for all school district staff." Newberg has also been in the news because of their heavily conservative school board who banned Pride and Black Lives Matter symbols in their district. Coincidence? I seriously doubt that.

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This Week's Comics: Mystery-Solving Dogs, A Sci-Fi Coverup, and Ms. Marvel's Mental Health

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If you weren't around for the X-Files paranoia of the '90s, it's hard to describe just how pleasurable it was to indulge in the fantasy of a vast government conspiracy. These days, that sort of paranoia feels like a Trumpian red flag; but back then, it was less about actually believing in aliens and magic bees and more about the fantasy that at least someone has their hand on the wheel ... even if that someone has sinister intent. As with The Matrix, stories involving huge, organized conspiracies were oddly comforting because they validated the vague feeling that things are bad because they were designed to be bad, and that you're right to feel distrust of institutions.

That no longer feels like fun to me, in part because it's never been more clear that government institutions are often untrustworthy not because of conspiracy but incompetence. What's more, conspiracy theorists have made the jump from casually speculating about a TV show to spreading misinformation that adherents accept as fact.

But! I felt a twinge of that old familiar intrigue while reading some of this week's new comics — Stray Dogs involves a small social group awakening to sinister secrets, and Primordial is a spellbinding speculation about how the people in charge have been hiding more than you can possibly imagine.

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Get Your Tickets Now for the Savage Love from A to Z Book Event!

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If you can't get enough of Dan Savage's Savage Love column... you're in LUCK! Here's your opportunity to see Dan Savage LIVE and get a complimentary copy of his new illustrated, adults-only book, Savage Love from A to Z!

Dan Savage has been talking frankly about sex and relationships since 1991. Through his column and podcast, Savage Lovecast, he's built an international following by sharing his explicit, pragmatic, and humorous advice. Now comes Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays that distill Savage's accumulated wisdom down to 26 key concepts: B Is for Boredom, G Is for GGG, M Is for Monogamish, amongst many others.

Savage Love from A to Z is for anyone who's had sex, is currently having sex, or hopes to have sex. And even better? You can join Dan Savage for a live reading, discussion, and book signing at Mississippi Studios at 1 pm on Saturday, October 2!

The ticket price to this event includes a copy of Savage Love from A to Z, SO DO NOT DELAY! Join all the sexy, funny fun and GET YOUR TICKETS NOW for your chance to see hilarious smarty-pants DAN SAVAGE LIVE, and snag a copy of his newest book!


Good Morning, News: Nabisco Strike Ends, a Clunky Return to In-Person School, and Biden Boots Haitian Migrants

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!

Supporters of the Nabisco workers strike in Northeast Portland attempt to block truck traffic last week.
Supporters of the Nabisco workers strike in Northeast Portland attempt to block truck traffic last week. Jordan Brokaw

Good morning, Portland! Let's hope you got your rain fix over the weekend because, summer's back! Expect sunny days in the mid-70s to 80s throughout the week. Some good news: The weekend downpour did help Oregon fire crews slow the spread of still-burning wildfires. Now, the headlines:


- Nabisco workers reached a tentative agreement Saturday on a new union contract with their parent company Mondelez International, ending a strike that began in Portland more than five weeks ago. The agreement was passed despite Portland workers’ strong opposition.

- Two weeks into in-person school, how are Portland Public Schools students and staff doing? Mercury reporter Isabella Garcia brings us up to speed.

- Today in a new segment: "What's the Happs With Mingus Mapps"

- A federal advisory group has recommended Pfizer booster shots for people 65 or older, or those who run a high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Yet Oregon health officials still need to meet with other federal and state committees before green-lighting the rollout of booster shots in the state. OPB's got the rundown.

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Union Vote Ends Nabisco Strike, Despite Portland Workers' Protest

Scenes from the Nabisco picket line in Portland, where supporters clashed with company security guards.
Scenes from the Nabisco picket line in Portland, where supporters clashed with company security guards. Jordan Brokaw

Nabisco workers have ratified a tentative agreement on a new contract with their parent company Mondelez International, ending a strike that began in Portland more than five weeks ago and spread across the country.

Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTGM) voted to approve the contract proposal Thursday and Friday, despite workers in Portland urging members in other locations to vote against the deal—arguing that it still demanded too many concessions.

But when the votes were counted Saturday at the union’s headquarters in Kensington, Maryland, that vocal segment of Portland members was defeated. The contract passed overwhelmingly, with roughly 75 percent approval.

“It’s disappointing, to be honest,” BCTGM Local 364 Vice President Michael Burlingham said. “I’m not surprised, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.”

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Good Afternoon, News: COVID Threatens In-Person Learning, Student Athletes Protest Newberg BLM Ban, and Three Cheers for Rain!

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 soccer team on a field kneeling
The Southridge High School girls soccer team kneeling in protest of the Newberg School Board's ban on Black Lives Matter flags. Southridge Athletics

TGIF, Portland! Here are some headlines to take you into the weekend.

In local news:

• Two weeks after returning to in-person learning, Portland Public School students and teachers are reporting cramped hallways, inconsistent masking, and delays in COVID exposure notifications. So far, PPS is reporting 175 COVID cases and nearly 700 students and staff have had to quarantine.

• As the Newberg School Board continues to pursue a ban Black Lives Matter and Pride imagery, the Southridge High School girls soccer team silently protested the ban by kneeling during the national anthem before their game against Newberg Wednesday. Despite eyewitness reports and photos of the protest, Newberg High School’s athletic director claimed it didn’t happen.

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Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This Weekend: Sept 17-19, 2021

This weekend, celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival at a lantern-bedecked Lan Su Chinese Garden.
This weekend, celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival at a lantern-bedecked Lan Su Chinese Garden.
If the weather report is to be trusted, much needed showers are falling upon the Rose City Saturday and Sunday, although hardy Portlanders won’t let that stop them from taking in the best (and cheapest!) events the weekend has to offer. Rejoice in the return of the comedy showcase Minority Retort or let the comedy show Wild Wild Christian take you on a wild ride. Plus, don’t miss the Mid-Autumn Festival at Lan Su Chinese Garden, which will give you the chance to make festive lanterns and try some mooncakes.

FRIDAY


COMEDY

Minority Retort presents Dino Archie
Minority Retort is the NW's premier stand-up comedy showcase featuring Black and brown comedians. This week, they'll be showcasing Dino Archie, winner of the 2015 Seattle International Comedy Competition, along with comedians AC O’Neal, Rissa Riss, Richie Aflleje and Ken Hamlett. The Mercury’s editor-in-chief caught up with producer (and occasional co-host) Jason Lamb about the future of the show.
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown ($15)

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

A lot of new, interesting Mercury stories is just the thing I need to take my mind off this unnatural growth on my back.
"A lot of new, interesting Mercury stories is just the thing I need to take my mind off this unnatural growth on my back." filadendron / Getty Images

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.)

Hall Monitor: Portland Police—and Politicians—Have Given Protesters Little Reason to Feel Safe

It’s the Mercury’s 2021 Fall Arts Guide: Art Is Political!

Police Identify Officers Involved in Sunday Shooting

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This Week In Portland Food News: Gado Gado Reopens Today, Café Reina Says Goodbye, and Nacheaux Plans A Food Hall

Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Dufflys celebrated restaurant Gado Gado reopens with a new rice table tasting menu option today.
Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly's celebrated restaurant Gado Gado reopens with a new rice table tasting menu option today. Gado Gado

In this week's batch of food news, Gado Gado reopens with a new rice table tasting menu, former Oregon Ducks football player Randall Willhite opens Poboyz Cajun Creole Kitchen, and the team behind Nacheaux plots a food hall with a speakeasy and a dessert shop. Plus, Brass Tacks Sandwiches and Café Reina say goodbye. Read on for that and more culinary updates, plus events for this weekend, like the Tater Tot Festival. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS


Gado Gado
Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly's acclaimed restaurant reopens today. The Indonesian favorite will also reprise its rice table service, which was originally on the menu when Gado Gado opened, but eventually disappeared after it became less sustainable. Inspired by the Indo-Dutch tradition of the "rijsttafel" ("rice table" in Dutch), an elaborate feast of many Indonesian small plates accompanied by rice, Gado Gado's rice table tasting will have vegan, pescatarian, and omnivorous options and will include a course of assorted snacks and bites, a main course of larger dishes with rice, and a dessert course with sweets like tapioca or sticky rice.
Hollywood District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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Portland Schools Struggle to Maintain In-Person COVID Safety Policies

A group of young children wearing masks in a school hallway, looking up at a teacher
Students at Rigler Elementary on the first day of school. Portland Public Schools

In theory, Portland Public Schools’ (PPS) many precautions against COVID-19 should provide several layers of protection against virus transmission. But in practice, students and staff returning to school after a year away say that mask wearing is inconsistent, hallways are crowded, and testing requirements are lagging behind.

“I’m here to tell you that our hallways and classrooms are packed in like sardines,” said Grant High School student Danny Cage during a PPS school board meeting Tuesday. “PPS is not currently following its guidelines.”

A COVID safety agreement between the district and teacher’s union mandates mask wearing, social distancing, regular testing for symptomatic students and staff, and quarantine protocols for students and staff who come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID. Despite these measures, 175 PPS students and staff have tested positive for COVID since the school year began on September 1, and nearly 700—or about one percent of the district’s population—have been quarantined due to exposure.

The district’s guidelines are in line with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, which call for three feet between students when possible.

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It’s a Life or Death Mission in Wild Samurai Zombie Western Mashup Prisoners of the Ghostland

Sofia Boutella in the action/adventure film, PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND.
Sofia Boutella in the action/adventure film, PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films

A film defined by a prevailing wisdom of “sure, why not do that,” Prisoners of the Ghostland is a chaotic caper with Nicolas Cage as a bank robbing criminal who is given a simple choice: rescue Sofia Boutella’s Bernice post-haste or get blown up by a series of explosives that are strapped to your body.

To get an idea of what type of film this is, Cage is simply known as “Hero,” and the specific locations of the bombs include ones right next to testicles. How did he find himself in this situation? It all started after a brightly colored heist ended in tragedy, caused by Hero’s partner Psycho who goes...well...psycho. The fallout leaves Hero confined in the treacherous Samurai Town. What is good for us is that the actor isn’t similarly confined for long, and will soon get to go all-out as only Cage can do. The overbearing leader of the town, a white clad man with red gloves known only as The Governor (Bill Moseley), will send Hero on this mission under the threat of death if he doesn’t complete it perfectly.

This development ensures the film leans into Cage’s larger-than-life persona that’s perfectly suited for this type of story.

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You Can Help the Mercury Keep Clear, Critical Eyes on City Hall and Beyond

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Mercury Staff

Times are particularly fraught right now in Portland. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have clear eyes on City Hall as well as the movers and shakers who influence them. And here at the Portland Mercury, we make that our number one priority. History shows us again and again that when citizens are troubled, politicians and the wealthy will try to exploit that unease to advance their own priorities—often to the detriment of those with much less power and influence.

Our reporting puts those people and organizations in the spotlight, digging deep, and exposing the real reasons why they are pushing a particular agenda. Here are just a few of the important stories the Mercury has been reporting on that protect those who really need it.

City Funding for Community-Led Gun Violence Programs Off to a Slow Start

In Response to Texas Abortion Ban, Portland Directs $200,000 to Support Reproductive Health Providers

Far-Right, Antifascist Protesters Fight in NE Portland; Police Refuse to Intervene

How Flawed Population Data Conceals the Reality of COVID for Oregon Pacific Islanders

City Officials Say They’re Eager to Resolve Police’s Non-Compliance with DOJ Settlement; Community Groups Skeptical

“Nikki, thank you”: Sentencing and Vigil Bring Closure for Loved Ones of Murdered Trans Teen

This is just a sample of the reporting the Mercury produces every day. It’s journalism that centers the people who are directly affected by the city’s decisions. That’s why it’s so important for the marginalized to have a voice that speaks for them. That’s the Mercury—but we simply can’t do that without you. Advertising alone may have been enough to break even in the good old days of newspapers, but we live in a different world now. If you believe excellent journalism that puts the marginalized first and exposes those who exploit fear for their own gain is important, then please consider making a monthly contribution to the Portland Mercury. Your money goes directly to pay for stories like the ones listed above, and nowhere else.

So if you want to continue seeing clear-eyed journalism that holds Portland’s most powerful accountable, please contribute to the Portland Mercury. We’re working hard every day for you and those who need it most. And we truly appreciate you.


Ten, Tiny, Talks Is Expanding Black & Indigenous LGBTQ+ Art In Portland

Performer Link in Lost in a Place Called America, a Ten, Tiny, Talks play written by Marla Darling and directed by James Dixon.
Performer Link in Lost in a Place Called America, a Ten, Tiny, Talks play written by Marla Darling and directed by James Dixon. Andrew Jankowski

Before you delve into what Ten, Tiny, Talks means for sociopolitical representation and visibility, founder Zeloszelos Marchandt would remind you that the new hybrid artist residency and multi-disciplinary festival—with its roster of more than a dozen local and national Black and Indigenous artists who are transgender, nonbinary, or queer—is about honoring artists’ labors with beneficial exposure and respectful compensation.

“Yes, we’re disrupting things, but at the end of the day, we’re human, we deserve to make money from our arts, and to be seen and heard. It’s to everyone’s benefit,” Marchandt told the Mercury.

Ten, Tiny, Talks (TTT) began in May, and concludes in early November. TTT’s programming has already featured a drag show from D&D Productions, a visual art show and artist talk with the painter a.c. ramírez de arellaño, an outdoor Black Trans Pride party, the circus show, Change, by aerialist Belinda Rose, and the virtual play, I Turned It Over, by comedian and Mercury contributor Mx. Dahlia Belle.

Despite having “tiny” in its name, TTT is expansive, using the number ten as a goal rather than a cutoff. Marchandt didn’t place any limitations on which mediums artists use, prompting artists to tell whatever stories they wanted, however they wanted.

“I want it to be storytelling-centered because that is one thing that is pretty unified across countless diasporas in the Black and Indigenous world, but I want to leave the door open for all those experiences,” Marchandt said. “If we’re really going to allow an artist to make art, we’re going to let them speak clearly and feely, without much hindering beyond just positive critique, and support when it comes to getting their work off the ground or installed.”

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