At least the sunrise was nice.
At least the sunrise was nice. Dirk VanderHart

UGH. Welcome, Portland, to the dread day when the leaden winter sky loses any hint of holiday levity and becomes instead a constant weight on your chest. Welcome to the day when all the cares you'd put off in the name of yuletide cheer rise up to meet you with a lusty wink, when your resolutions take on an air of menace, and you realize that changing a number on the year doesn't change anything else. If you cannot tell, I have not worked in more than a week, and on my first day back I say UGH.

And as it turns out, I'm wrong. New laws that went into effect with the new year mean you'll be paying more for gasoline, and will now pay a deposit on coffee drinks bought at the grocery store. Oregon also now has a first-of-its-kind bike tax, and you need to be 21 to purchase tobacco, among other things.

Also: As of yesterday we can welcome California to the list of states with legal recreational pot.

BUT! Bolstering my contention that nothing much has really changed is the fact that Pakistan held an emergency meeting because of a Donald Trump tweet.

We might finally get clarity on whether County Commissioner Loretta Smith should have resigned her post under county policy, after a finding by state officials that she was technically a candidate for Portland City Council last year. County law says commissioners who aren't in their last year of office must resign if they "file" for another office. Smith hadn't filed, which the state says was wrong. County Commissioner Lori Stegmann tells OPB she'll press for a hearing on what the county's law actually means.

HEY! Looks like Joey Gibson, the founder of a local "alt-right" group that organizes fist fights masquerading as protests, isn't the Oregonian's "Newsmaker of the Year," after all. That title went to the three men who were killed or injured in a knife attack on a MAX green line train last year.

The Tribune has a summation of Ted Wheeler's first year in office, if you're into reading up on that.

A PDX airport employee ordered the baggage claim area to be evacuated on Friday, after a police officer began scuffling with a man there. The Port of Portland says that was the wrong move, and that it's looking into it.

There's still not much clarity on what led a 16-year-old New Jersey boy to kill much of his family on New Year's Eve.

Aaaaand locally, a teen died while apparently playing Russian roulette in Sherwood.

North Korea's Kim Jong-un is now making overtures at South Korea, saying he wants to engage in direct peace talks. The NYT says that might be a move aimed at alienating South Korea from the US.

It will be chilly today. People in parts of the Midwest would love Portland's version of chilly right about now.

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