Good morning, Portland! If, like me, you live in Southeast Portland near 82nd, then you might have heard some police sirens and a helicopter late last night—or perhaps, also like me, you were almost ran over by a police car when walking from your bus stop to your house—and you didn't sleep super well. Turns out all that hubbub was due to a man who broke into a home, hid in a basement, and threatened police with a gun—but he's in custody now.
Here are the rest of the headlines.
Two Certainties: Trump Lies and Taxes: It's tax season, but many IRS employees have been furloughed due to the federal government shutdown. But never mind, as Donald Trump has promised that tax refunds will still arrive on time. Well, I know that certainly puts my mind at ease!
Speaking of Trump Lies: All major news networks will give Trump airtime tonight so that he can lie about the situation at the US-Mexico border being a "crisis." Declaring a state of emergency will give Trump authority to do even more awful shit to immigrants, and he's getting a nice big, legitimate platform on which to spew his hateful lies.
Measureless Damage: A new report from the Oregon Justice Resource Center finds that Measure 11, the Oregon law that requires mandatory minimum sentences for certain violent crimes, has a terrible impact on women and minors.
In the World of Housing, You're Either Infill or You're Out-fill: The Portland City Council is considering a plan to relax zoning laws to allow additional housing units to be built on big single-family lots. It's an ambitious plan that could greatly ease Portland's housing crisis, but the Multnomah Neighborhood Association is challenging it in the Oregon Court of Appeals because it allegedly violates land use law.
Everybody Loves Ramen: In the wake of some truly irresponsible and racist national coverage of incarcerated people having the audacity to enjoy food, the Oregonian has painted a more realistic portrait of what inmates eat and purchase at their commissaries. The incarcerated population in Oregon reportedly enjoys buying ramen, coffee, and microwave popcorn. Honestly, same!
In the Weeds: Apparently, 2019 is the year that allegedly progressive outlets like the New York Times and the New Yorker decide that actually, legalized cannabis might be bad. In all fairness, there isn't enough reliable scientific data out there on how cannabis affects people—but that's because it's still illegal under US federal law.
I'd Watch That Behind the Music Episode: