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Good Afternoon, News: A Predicted Explosion of Oregon COVID Cases, and Trump Threatens Schools That Try to Re-Open

An explosion of COVID cases across the nation—and Oregon could be next.
An explosion of COVID cases across the nation—and Oregon could be next. Spencer Platt / Getty News

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

• NOT GREAT NEWS ON THE COVID FRONT: According to the Oregon Health Authority, if things continue as they're going, the state can expect an "exponential" growth of infections, to the tune of 1,100 to 7,300 new cases per day by the end of July. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY READ THAT LAST SENTENCE AGAIN. Also not great: Hospitalizations could ramp up to 76 people per day by month's end, which could strain our medical facilities to the breaking point. Our Alex Zielinski has more on the story, but in short, it ain't no joke: WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASK. (Over your mouth and nose. And stay away from people, for Chrissakes.)

• The OHA reported 275 new positive COVID cases today with two new deaths.

• Very much related: State regulators are fielding hundreds of complaints from customers and employees that many businesses are not complying with Gov. Brown's mandate to wear face masks in indoor public stores and spaces.

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Oregon Health Authority Predicts "Exponential" Growth in COVID-19 Cases

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d3sign / Getty Images

Facing an expected "exponential" surge in COVID-19 cases, Oregon's top health experts are recommending—but not mandating—measures to curb transmission.

In a Friday media call, Oregon Health Authority OHA) Director Patrick Allen said he's asking Oregonians to voluntarily avoid indoor social gatherings where more than ten people are in attendance. Until today, all Oregon counties have been given permission to gather in groups of 25 at most.

"It's critically important for Oregonians to understand that gradually lifting the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order does not mean the same as going back to normal," said Allen. "If we don't see dramatic changes in our infection rates, our trends will push Oregon into a very worrying situation."

OHA estimates that only 20 percent of COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed, meaning that the state's reported 275 new cases for Friday is closer to 1,375.

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The Week in Food News: Openings, Closings, and Music at Mississippi Pizza

Mississippi Pizza takes over Psychics outdoor seating to present live music. CELEBRATE!
Mississippi Pizza takes over Psychic's outdoor seating to present live music. CELEBRATE! Courtesy Mississippi Pizza

Here's a good chunk of all the food news you may have missed in the past week, and COVID or not, there's a lot of it! Let's get started.

CLOSINGS

• Full disclosure: I've written several glowing reviews about Shift Drinks over the years, so this loss strikes me as particularly sad. EaterPDX reports that the beloved downtown cocktail bar where the bartenders go to drink is packing up shop and taking their "magnanimous all-day approach to happy hour" with them. I yearn for that $5 mom’s grilled cheese with caramelized onions like I yearn to see my friends and family again. Alas.

• Another classy spot, NW Portland's Bluehour has been a staple of NW Portland drinking and dining for almost 20 years, and now is no more. Via an interview with EaterPDX, Portland restaurant owner Bruce Carey said he and his partner Joe Rogers plan on reopening their other ventures soon. They're looking to reopen Clarklewis within the next few weeks, 23Hoyt in August, and then Saucebox afterward. “We are taking one step at a time, one restaurant at a time,” he said.

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The Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: July 10-12

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Another weekend is upon us as we rapidly approach the midpoint of July (how does 2020 seem to simultaneously move slower than dirt yet faster than the Millennium Falcon, anyway?) and once again, we've got plenty of Things to Do in Portland, from live music, movies, livestreams, and more. And as our Editor-In-Chief likes to say: If you're going to go out, Wash Ya Damn Hands, Wear Ya Damn Mask, hit the links below, and plan your week accordingly!


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

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Good Morning, News: Oregon's Record-Breaking COVID Cases, Good News for Renters, and TikTok Teens to the Rescue!

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.

TikTok teens troll Trump once again.
TikTok teens troll Trump once again. Anatoliy Sizov / iStock / Getty

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Do you know I made him leave? Do you know he begged to stay with me? He wasn't man enough for me. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• Yesterday marked a new record for Oregon coronavirus cases, with a whopping 389 new cases statewide and an additional six deaths. Health officials say that the outbreak is largely due to community gatherings and through the workplace.

• There was a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Lents yesterday to show support for a Black man who said he was attacked by two white men with a baseball bat on July 3. The suspects were reportedly hurling racist slurs at the victim.

• Good news for renters: The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled to uphold Portland's renter relocation ordinance, which says Portland landlords must cover tenants' housing relocation fees if they've raised rent by at least 10 percent or issued a no-cause eviction. Our Alex Zielinski has more!

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Portland's Renter Relocation Policy Upheld by Oregon Appeals Court

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly speaking at a 2017 rally for tenant protections.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly speaking at a 2017 rally for tenant protections. Dirk Vanderhart

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled to uphold Portland's renter relocation ordinance Wednesday, affirming that the 2017 policy does not violate state rent control laws.

The decision follows three years of legal debate over the ordinance, which requires Portland landlords cover tenants' housing relocation fees if they've raised rent by at least 10 percent or issued a no-cause eviction. The rule, championed by City Commissioner Chloes Eudaly, requires landlords pay between $2,900 to $4,500 in relocation fees, depending on the size of the leased home.

In a lawsuit filed days after Portland City Council approved the policy, two landlords argue that the rule violates Oregon's state laws that ban local rent controls and permit no-cause evictions.

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Good Afternoon, News: Oregon Breaks COVID Record, Supremes v. Donald Trump, and Police "Forced" to Use Tear Gas

Portland Police say gassing an entire crowd for the actions of a few is unavoidable.
Portland Police say gassing an entire crowd for the actions of a few is "unavoidable." Alex Zielinski

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 (OHA) reported that the state gained a whopping 389 new cases since yesterday (another sad new record), with six additional deaths. In a further disturbing revelation, OHA released data that shows Oregon's Pacific Islanders have contracted the virus three times as much as other communities.

• Finally, some positive COVID news: The survival rates for Oregonians who have been hospitalized by the virus have significantly improved since March.

• In a press conference yesterday, Portland police said that, according to their own rules, they really don't have a choice about whether or not to fire tear gas indiscriminately into crowds of protesters. Our Alex Zielinski has the details on this clearly screwed-up situation.

• Meanwhile, the head of the Portland police union is upset that city leaders aren't doing enough to stop protests, even while cops refuse to make systemic changes that could stop these very same protests.

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Savage Love: Cucking Dykes

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Joe Newton

I’m a lesbian in a long-term relationship. After much conversation with my partner we’ve decided to explore cuckolding role-play together. I’m not comfortable bringing another person into the relationship—especially right now—but I am willing to explore this as a fantasy. The thing is, I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do it. There’s not a lot of info out there on how to engage in cuck role-play, especially between two women. Could you point me in the right direction here so we can have some fun while remaining monogamous?


Couldn’t Undergo Cuckolding Kink’s Glories In Real Life

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Good Morning, News: Police Union Cries Foul, Victory for Nonbinary Folks, and Supremes Okay a Peek at Trump's Tax Returns

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.

The Supreme Court allows New York prosecutor to see Trumps (almost certainly shady) tax returns.
The Supreme Court allows New York prosecutor to see Trump's (almost certainly shady) tax returns. Matt Anderson / iStock / Getty Images Plus

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! This is the rhythm of my life...the night, oh yeah. The rhythm of the night. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• In what must be a stunning defeat for our utterly corrupt president, the Supreme Court voted in a 7-2 decision that New York prosecutors can now look at Trump's tax returns for their continuing investigation into his wildly shady financial dealings. The not-so-good news: The Supremes also ruled that Congress and the public cannot see his returns until after the election.


• During last night's mostly peaceful protests in Portland, Federal officers rushed into Terry Schrunk Plaza to tackle and arrest a demonstrator that was reportedly pointing a laser.

• Officer Daryl Turner, the head of the Portland Police union, announced a vote of "no confidence" in Portland's City Council, saying they have not done enough to stop the nightly protests.

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NewsCops

For Portland Police, Indiscriminate Use of Tear Gas During Protests Is Unavoidable

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Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Night after night, Portlanders participating in demonstrations against law enforcement have been met with stinging clouds of tear gas. This lingering gas forces people to run blindly down city streets, pulling off their face mask to wipe tears and snot from their face, bending the rules of the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve pain. More often than not, these people have not committed any crime.

According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), this is the safest way to stop criminal acts being committed by a few individuals in the crowd.

PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis explained officers’ reliance on tear gas, also known as CS gas, at a Wednesday press conference where he detailed PPB’s response to violence taking place during that past 40 days of protests.

"We don't want to use CS gas at all. I don't like it," said Davis. But, he explained, if members of a crowd are lighting fires near government buildings or throwing objects that put others' lives at risk—and peaceful protesters refuse to leave the area—officers don't see another option.

"It's a matter of us cooperating with each other," said Davis. "It's to be able to have people go out and express first amendment rights without coming to the point of risk of... an officer or a community member getting seriously injured, or killed. If it's the choice between using CS gas and a fatality....Well, I'd prefer that we weren't put in the position to make that choice."

But is it a necessary choice?

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New Appeals Court Ruling Sets Precedent for Nonbinary Oregonians’ Legal Designations

The Oregon Appeals Court affirmed that Jones David Hollister, center, should be allowed to change their legal gender designation to nonbinary on Wednesday.
The Oregon Appeals Court affirmed that Jones David Hollister, center, should be allowed to change their legal gender designation to nonbinary on Wednesday. Doug Brown / ACLU OF OREGON

A new ruling from the Oregon Appeals Court ensures that nonbinary people across Oregon will be able to secure the correct legal gender designation from their local circuit court.

The decision, announced Wednesday morning, reverses a 2019 ruling from Lane County Circuit Court Judge Charles D. Carlson. Carlson had denied a petition from Jones David Hollister, a nonbinary Lane County resident, to change their legal designation to match their gender identity—and thus make them seen as a nonbinary person in the eyes of the law. The Oregon Appeals Court’s decision overturns that denial, and sets a precedent so that other nonbinary Oregonians won’t face the same hurdle when changing their legal gender designations.

“I am so thrilled,” Hollister said in a press release from the ACLU of Oregon and Basic Rights Oregon, which filed a legal brief in support of their case. “I'm thrilled for not just myself but for all nonbinary Oregonians. When I saw that the Court of Appeals had reversed the decision to refuse me a nonbinary marker, I honestly cried.”

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Good Morning, News: An Update On Titi Gulley's Case, Supreme Court Restricts Birth Control Access, and Some COVID-19 Updates

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.

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Tat'âna Maramygina / EyeEm / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! Here, I brought some breakfast purritos:

Okay, here are the headlines.

• One year after the body of Titi Gulley—a Black, homeless trans woman—was found hanging from a tree in Portland, her family is still haunted by uncertainty about the cause of her death. And the death of George Floyd is bringing renewed attention to Titi's case. I recently spoke with Gulley's mother, and received the police report through a public records request.

• The Portland metro area has now all been in Phase 1 of Gov. Kate Brown's reopening plan for a couple weeks—but don't expect us to move into Phase 2 anytime soon. Public health officials want to at least wait and see what kind of affect the Fourth of July had on case counts before moving forward.

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One Year After Titi Gulley’s Death, Her Family Is Left With the Same Questions

Titi Gulley, left, with her mother, Kenya Robinson.
Titi Gulley, left, with her mother, Kenya Robinson. Photo courtesy of Kenya Robinson.

Editor’s note: This article references suicide and alleged anti-trans violence, and may be unsettling for some readers.

When Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd in May, video footage of the murder set off a global wave of protests against police brutality and racism—protests that are still continuing in many cities, including Portland. In addition to demanding justice for Floyd, the protests have also brought renewed attention to other instances in which police officers have appeared to not value Black lives.

That includes the story of Portlander Titi Gulley. Gulley (whose name has also been spelled “TeTe”) was a homeless Black trangender woman whose body was found hanging from a tree in Rocky Butte Park on May 27, 2019. After examining Gulley’s body and interviewing two people from the homeless camp where Gulley was living, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) quickly determined Gulley’s death was a suicide.

But Gulley’s family disagreed with PPB’s conclusion. They heard from Gulley’s friends and acquaintances that there were rumors of foul play swirling in the Portland homeless community, and that possible video evidence existed of Gulley’s death. Many of the rumors centered on the theory that Gulley was killed by a man she’d had a sexual relationship with, who killed her because he wanted to keep his relationship with a trans woman secret. (Gay men and trans women are often killed by their romantic partners for this reason, a practice that is called “gay panic” or “trans panic.”) This man is named in the police report as the person who found Gulley’s body.

Gulley’s mother and two siblings told the Mercury last year that they felt Gulley’s identity as a trans, Black, homeless person prompted PPB to not apply a high level of scrutiny to its investigation.

“You know they treat a lot of homeless people like they don’t mean nothing to this earth, right?” said Richard Bryant, Gulley’s brother, in an interview with the Mercury last year. “So in the homeless community, other people are willing to do hurt to more people, because they know their voices won’t be heard. They’re just homeless.”

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Good Morning, News: ICE Boots Foreign Students, Breonna Taylor's Family Sues, and Oregon Prison Sees COVID-19 Outbreak

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 donating to the Mercury.

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Brandon Bell / Stringer

Good morning, Portland! Here are a few news bites to chomp on before starting your day.


Closed Borders Down Under: Australia is taking the drastic step to close the borders of Victoria, one of the country's most populous states, to prevent the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak in the state capital, Melbourne. Military officers and police with "line the border," to enforce the rule.

Xenophobia for All: The cruel leaders of US immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have ordered all international students attending university in the US to return home if their school will be online-only the next semester. If these people who have committed no crime don't leave the US, ICE warns, the students will be deported.

Victory for Standing Rock (For Now): A federal judge has ordered that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be drained while the Army Corps of Engineers produces an environmental review. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which lives downstream from the pipeline, sued the Corps in 2016 for an incomplete and illegal review of the massive project. "It took four long years, but today justice has been served at Standing Rock," said the lawyer who represents the tribe, in a statement.


Welp:


"She Suffered": The family of Breonna Taylor—the Black woman killed in a Louisville police raid in March—has sued the City of Louisville, claiming that police officers declined to offer medical aid to Taylor as she lay dying in her apartment. “In the six minutes that elapsed from the time Breonna was shot, to the time she died, we have no evidence suggesting that any officer made entry in an attempt to check and assist her,” said the family’s lawyer in an interview with the New York Times. “She suffered."

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NewsCops

Portland Police Union President Calls on Officials to "Defend Portland"

A PPB officer facing a crowd the evening of July 4, 2020.
A PPB officer facing a crowd the evening of July 4, 2020. Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

The president of the Portland Police Association (PPA), Portland's union representing rank-and-file officers, is condemning local officials for defending the rights of protesters who participate in Portland's nightly demonstrations.

"These rioters come out nightly armed with weapons and a plan to cause as much destruction as possible," wrote PPA President Daryl Turner in an email sent to media Monday. "...It is clear they have drawn attention away from an important message about social and racial equity that needs to be heard... Their destructive and chaotic behavior defines the meaning of white privilege; their total disregard for people, property, and the law embodies entitlement."

Tuner is referring to the members of the public who've continued to meet in downtown Portland (occasionally elsewhere) to protest police brutality since the May 29 death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. While the size of the original protests has shrunk from thousands to hundreds, these nightly events are still centered on a movement against racist and abusive policing.

The demonstrations, usually led by Black Portlanders, have attracted a heavy-handed response from officers with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and other law enforcement agencies.

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