Get $5 Boozy Slushies During The Entire Month Of July!

UPDATED: Multnomah County, State Recommend Everyone Wears Masks Indoors, Regardless of Vaccinations

A yellow sign on a door reading face masks required
Multnomah County recommends people 5 and older wear masks indoors. Hollie Adams / Getty Images

Multnomah County is recommending that all people 5 and older wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccine status.

The county, which previously recommended that only unvaccinated people wear masks indoors, announced the new recommendations in a press release Monday in response to a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. While the county highly encourages people and businesses to follow the new recommendations, the guidelines will not be enforced in any way and individual businesses are still able to dictate their own masking policies.

Oregon has more than doubled its number of new daily COVID cases during July. The Oregon Health Authority reported almost 1,000 new COVID cases over the weekend, compared to 219 cases reported during the last weekend in June.

The press release cites an increase in social activities and the spread of the highly-transmissible Delta variant for the rise in cases. According to the county, universal masking reduces the risk of infection by at least 70 percent.

“We have an opportunity to make a difference in our county’s case rates right now,” said Multnomah County Health Director Jessica Guernsey. “But if we don’t act, we can expect an exponential rise in cases, especially in pockets with low vaccinations.”

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Good Afternoon, News: Nearman Banned from Capitol, Activists Plan a Month of Action, and Sushi is for Dinner!

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!

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Protestors in front of Zenith energy Tuesday morning. Isabella Garcia

In local news:

• Former state Rep. Mike Nearman pled guilty to official misconduct during the Oregon Capitol insurrection. Nearman allowed armed demonstrators to enter the state capitol in December of last year. Nearman is banned from the Capitol grounds for 18-months, must serve 80 hours of community service, and pay $2,900 in fines.

• I haven’t been able to stop thinking about eating sushi ever since I read Janey Wong’s review of Mitate this morning. You’ve been warned:

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Help Wanted: Marketing & Production Coordinator for Dan Savage, HUMP!, and More!

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[Cool job alert! The Mercury's sister company, Index Media, is looking for a Marketing and Production Coordinator for advice guru Dan Savage's projects and our cool film fests (HUMP!, SPLIFF, SLAY, SCOOP). IS THAT PERSON YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW? Check out the deets below!—eds]

INDEX MEDIA SEEKS A MARKETING & PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

Who We Are:
Index Media creates boundary-pushing, community-powered, seriously fun, short film and podcast experiences. Index Media houses Savage Love, Dan Savage’s groundbreaking and wildly popular sex advice column, podcast, and live tours. Index Media also houses four indie short film festivals that stream online and tour in theaters around the country. Our most popular film festival is Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival—a dirty, short film showcase changing how people think about porn. We also offer SPLIFF— a film festival made by stoners for stoners, celebrating cannabis in all its forms. SLAY is our horror festival for filmmakers to explore their deepest fears. And this November 2021, Index is launching SCOOP, a documentary short film festival for filmmakers to serve us their singular truths. Index Media content is brave and gritty, with left-of-center, sex-positive values, and a big-hearted attitude.

Who We Are Looking For:
Index Media is seeking a cross-functional marketing and production coordinator for Dan Savage and our film festivals. You’re up to speed and obsessed with politics, activism, theatre/arts, and sex-positive culture (at this W, NSFW looks different!) You’re an empathetic and patient project manager who’s flexible enough to rep for one of the world’s sharpest word-snipers, but hard enough to handle the frontline of fire. You’ve got a strong knowledge of social media (IG, FB, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok) and Mailchimp. You can think big and stay on top of deadlines. You’re a strong communicator (online and in person) with excellent writing and copywriting skills. And it goes without saying that you're organized and detail-oriented.

What You’ll Be Doing:

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Environmental Activists Protest Zenith Expansion, Promise Continuous Protests if City Approves Permit

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A protestor outside of the Zenith facility in northwest Portland Tuesday morning. Isabella Garcia

Environmental activists took to water and land Tuesday morning to protest the possible expansion of the Zenith Energy facility, an oil transport facility located in northwest Portland’s industrial hub.

Zenith is seeking approval from the City of Portland to add two more tank unloading platforms to its operation, an expansion that would allow the company to increase its daily oil processing by up to 480,000 gallons. In 2020, Zenith transported more than 200 million gallons of oil.

A group of 16 kayakers launched from the Swan Island boat ramp in north Portland Tuesday morning and paddled over to Zenith’s facility in a show of opposition to the expansion.

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Kayakers preparing protest banners to hold on the industrial waterfront. Isabella Garcia

“We know they’re not going to [see a bunch of kayaks in water] and see it as a threat, but today’s message is that we can mobilize quickly and we care,” said Nick Haas, an environmental organizer.

The city blocked the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Portland in 2016, but Zenith’s permit is still being considered because the facility applied for the expansion permit before the new city policy was in place. Because of the timing, the City of Portland is required to consider Zenith’s permit under the less restrictive conditions.

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A Gay History of The Muppets

Richard and Scooter
Richard and Scooter Screengrab from the documentary Of Muppets and Men

Oh sure, you’re familiar with Jim Henson, the man behind Kermit and Rowlf and Ernie. And you might be familiar with Frank Oz, who performed Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle, Fozzie Bear, and Bert.

But there’s another Muppet performer who you might not know — even though he created tons of iconic characters, like Beaker and Statler and Scooter and Sweetums. That performer is Richard Hunt, who at The Muppet Show’s height was watched by over 200 million people every week. In the 1970s, he was one of the most famous gay men in the world … whose face nobody recognized.

I just posted a video about Richard, and although I thought I knew everything about The Muppets already, it was inspiring to discover more about his life and his work. Richard came to The Muppets through an incredible stroke of luck, combined with his own confidence, when he was only 18 years old. A natural performer, he was already a fan when he caught them on TV right after graduating from high school and realized that they shot Sesame Street a few miles away from his home. He drove into New York, found a payphone, and called to ask for a job. He was hired — but neither he nor Jim Henson had any idea how much that one plucky teenager would help shape the Muppets we know and love today.

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The Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHIES Ends Sunday—Get Those $5 Boozy Frozen Drinks Quick!

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ALERT! This week is your FINAL CHANCE to enjoy the coolest, most delicious event of the summer!

The Portland Mercury and Jim Beam proudly present the Summer of Slushies! Get boozy, frozen, custom-made slushies at your favorite bars during the month of July—and for only $5 each!

Check out all of these delicious concoctions RIGHT HERE! Want to find a delicious, cooling slushie near you? Check out our SLUSHIE MAP!

BUT HURRY, HURRY! The Summer of Slushies ends THIS SUNDAY, JULY 31!

Want to receive the latest updates on Summer of Slushies and other exciting Mercury Food and Drink promotions? Don't miss out on any of the fun—sign up for our newsletter!


Review: Mitate Food Cart Raises the Bar for Vegan Sushi

Fellow omnivores, you won’t miss the fish in Mitate’s stellar vegan rolls.
Fellow omnivores, you won’t miss the fish in Mitate’s stellar vegan rolls. Janey Wong

Prior to starting the Mitate pop-up, Nino Ortiz had been contemplating getting out of the sushi game altogether. Boy, should we be glad he didn’t. Nino and his partner/co-owner Summer previously worked with some of the best sushi chefs in town at respected spots Bamboo and Yoshi’s, but it took mitate, a shift in perception, to find a new purpose.

About a month and a half ago, the Ortizes parlayed the success of their vegan and gluten-free sushi pop-up into a food cart, and are plotting a transition into a full-blown restaurant next year. “We always wanted to have a restaurant that would be our legacy. We want to be part of the landscape in Portland, and contribute in that way,” said Nino Ortiz.

For now, the cart has found themselves among good company at the CORE food pod along SE 82nd—seriously, between the other carts I’ve tried there and what I’ve heard, there doesn’t appear to be a dud among the bunch.

The foundation of Mitate was born when the chefs made some vegan sushi for Summer’s family, many of whom are vegan. Through some continued experimentation, they realized they had something special. Much like a band refining a demo into a polished single, some of their early creations turned into the hits that are on the menu today.

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Good Morning, News: Masks Recommended in MultCo, Olympics Drama, and Portland Cops Don't Live in Portland

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!

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DOUG BROWN

Good morning, Portland! Hot, juicy tip: The Mercury's burger week is back this year, and starts in just a couple weeks!

With that important news out of the way, here are the headlines.

• Hmmm... soooo... I guess I shouldn't have burned all my masks last month?

• And in case you think this is just a Portland thing: President Joe Biden's team is weighing whether they should recommend the re-introduction of mask mandates in some heavily hit parts of the country.

• Meanwhile, new data shows that only 18 percent of Portland Police Bureau officers actually live within city limits. A lot of them live in Washington, supporting my theory that commuting over the I-5 bridge every day turns people into violent, vindictive assholes.

• The headline pretty much says it all here: "Industrial Hub in Northwest Portland Will Cause Catastrophic Oil Spill During Earthquake, Report Finds."

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The Best Things To Do in Portland This Week: July 26-Aug 1, 2021

The Hollywood Theatres Drive-In Spectacular kicks off this week with screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Repo Man, and The Wizard of Oz at the Portland Expo Center.
The Hollywood Theatre's Drive-In Spectacular kicks off this week with screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Repo Man, and The Wizard of Oz at the Portland Expo Center. Alamy

Those with a yen for outdoor movies are in for quite a treat this week with the Hollywood Theatre's Drive-In Spectacular at the Portland Expo Center, not to mention the continuing Cinema Unbound Summer Movie Series and Feast Flicks at Zidell Yards. Read about those and more of our picks through Sunday (like the final days of the Portland Mercury's Summer of Slushies and the opening of Sharita Towne's Black Art Ecology of Portland at the Portland Art Museum).

THURSDAY

PERFORMANCE
Orfeo in Underland: An Immersive Opera
Renegade Opera's latest production follows the journey of Orfeo, a young musician whose partner, Euridice, has passed away. Presented at twilight in the First Presbyterian Church's outdoor plaza, the work features English dialogue, a chamber orchestra, and fantastical puppetry. 
First Presbyterian Church (Downtown)

Read on EverOut »

Good Afternoon, News: Masks Are Back, Portland's Suburban Cops, and the Philippines' First Olympic Gold

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!

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ADA YOKOTA / GETTY IMAGES

Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.

In local news:

• Multnomah County is now recommending that all people 5 and older wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccine status. The county, which previously recommended that only unvaccinated people wear masks indoors, announced the new recommendations today in response to a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases across the state.

• New data obtained by the Mercury shows that as of July 2021, only 18 percent of all sworn officers employed by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) live inside Portland's city limits. That's 155 of Portland's 828 total officers.

• 🥴:

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City Will Sweep Laurelhurst Homeless Camp This Week

A row of tents on SE Oak, on a block adjacent to Laurelhurst Park.
A row of tents on SE Oak, on a block adjacent to Laurelhurst Park. Alex Zielinski

After months of simmering tension regarding the growing houseless encampment at Southeast Portland's Laurelhurst Park, Portland City Council has approved a plan to evict campers by the end of the week.

Early Monday morning, staff with the city's Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (HUCIRP) posted notices at the camp—which occupies the sidewalks along SE Oak between SE 37th Ave and SE Cesar Chavez—warning campers of a pending eviction.

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NewsCops

New Data Shows Most Portland Police Officers Still Live Outside Portland

A gaggle of Portland police responding to the scene of a fatal officer shooting in June.
A gaggle of Portland police responding to the scene of a fatal officer shooting in June. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND

As of July 2021, 18 percent of all sworn officers employed by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) live inside Portland's city limits. That's 155 of Portland's 828 total officers.

This percentage point, obtained through a Mercury public records request and some number crunching, is unchanged from the last time we requested this data, in 2018. In September 2018, 158 of the bureau’s 864 sworn officers—or 18 percent—lived at an address with a ZIP code that falls within Portland limits.

This new data cements some of the assumptions Portlanders already had about their police force.

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Data: Portland Police Bureau
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Burger Week Returns August 16—Check Out the Participating Burger Joints!

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After the crappy year we've had, get ready to rejoice—because the ONLY Portland event that matters is BACK: The Portland Mercury's BURGER WEEK! (Oh thank god, FINALLY!)

From Monday, August 16 through Sunday, August 22, and at 38 of Portland's finest restaurants, you'll find one-of-a-kind burgers that exist only for Burger Week, brought to you by the Mercury and New Seasons Market! And even better? Each of these wondrous creations will cost a mere $6!

Special thanks to Jim Beam, Rainier Seltzer, Tetra Cannabis, and Free2Move for supporting Burger Week. (And join the Burger Week event page or subscribe to Mercury emails for the latest Burger Week updates.)

We'll be announcing this year's Burger Week burgers (and sharing delicious-looking pics) soon... but would you like to know who's participating? YES, YOU WOULD!

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Good Morning, News: Report Confirms Earthquake's Environmental Threat, Downtown Portland Isn't Dead, and Team USA Starts Olympics Strong

Tanks holding fuel along the Willamette River could become a huge environmental disaster when the Cascadia earthquake hits, according to a new report.
Tanks holding fuel along the Willamette River could become a huge environmental disaster when the Cascadia earthquake hits, according to a new report. AARON LEE

Good morning, Portland! We're entering the last week of July (!!!) on a predictably hot and dry note: Expect highs in the high 80s to low 90s for the rest of the week, and no raindrops in sight. One way to stay cool this week: Take yourself on a date to one of Portland's indie cinemas, and check out their post-COVID updates! Now, the news:


- Portland officials celebrated the city’s “reopening” in downtown Portland this weekend with a free Pink Martini show in Pioneer Courthouse Square and the grand opening of a new food cart pod. It was even enough for some businesses to cautiously remove the boards from their windows. I can’t help but wonder… is Portland still over?

- It’s no surprise that Portland is expecting one of the worst environmental catastrophes in the world when the major Cascadia earthquake hits. But a new report has confirmed this threat, emphasizing on the damage that could be caused by the fuel-holding tanks that sit on the banks of the Willamette River.

- Wildfires continue to rage across the West, including areas of Northern California, Idaho, Washington, Montana, and—of course—Southern Oregon. While officials say that the spread of Oregon’s sprawling Bootleg Fire has slowed, the blazes remain less than half contained.

- After a public callout, Portland beer bar and bottle shop N.W.I.P.A. will be changing its name to North West IPA. For years, the white-owned bar has used a typeface clearly modeled after the all-black 90s hip-hop group N.W.A. After a Black Portlander made a viral TikTok video accusing the bar of appropriating Black culture, it’s getting a makeover.

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Industrial Hub in Northwest Portland Will Cause Catastrophic Oil Spill During Earthquake, Report Finds

The CEI Hub visible under the St. Johns bridge
Fuel tanks along the Willamette River in Northwest Portland would be vulnerable to breaking or spilling during an earthquake. KATHLEEN MARIE / MERCURY STAFF

It’s no surprise that Portland is expecting one of the worst environmental catastrophes in the world when the major Cascadia earthquake hits. But a new report released Monday confirmed this looming threat.

The report, commissioned by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, takes inventory of the Critical Energy Infrastructure (CEI) Hub—a group of fuel storage and transfer tanks located along the Willamette River in Northwest Portland—and predicts what would happen to the hub when the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, or “the big one,” hits.

The report found that this quake could trigger one of the largest oil spills in history that would destroy the Willamette River’s ecology and nearby residential areas.

“We've known for a long time that the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub and all the tank farms there pose a really grave threat to the city, the county, the region, the whole state, and environment in an earthquake,” said Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Interim Director Jonna Papaefthimiou. “There’s a desire to take measures to reduce the risk, but it seemed like the first step in any rational action plan was to get more information.”

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