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'!)
• With 98 percent of the vote counted following last night's special election, City Council Position 2 candidate Dan Ryan has defeated opponent Loretta Smith. Ryan will be joining Portland City Council next month, and our Alex Zielinski has more.
• Apparently DA Schmidt's announcement yesterday—that his office would not prosecute the majority of charges leveled against demonstrators by police—had a cooling effect on both cops and protesters, as the 76th night of demonstrations against police brutality remained peaceful throughout the evening with no arrests or violence. We'll see what happens tonight!
• As you know, police have been quick to arrest non-violent protesters exerting their first amendment rights—but they seem to have taken little action when it comes to those committing violent acts toward protesters, such as the gun-waving truck driver who dragged a motorcycle while driving dangerously through a crowd of demonstrators, or the person who threw a pipe bomb near protesters and the press at Laurelhurst Park. Weird, huh?
• After years of back and forth, Portland City Council has voted in favor of the Residential Infill Project (RIP) which will allow the building of "middle housing"—duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes—in the vast majority of the city’s neighborhoods, thereby supplying a lot more affordable housing. But it's not without its detractors! Our Alex Zielinski has more.
In addition to being one of the most incisive voices covering police brutality & BLM protests in Portland, @alex_zee's housing policy coverage is spot on.
Check out her piece on today's historic pro-housing victory. https://t.co/dS5dPtUeji
— Henry Kraemer 🌹🌇🚎 (@HenryKraemer) August 12, 2020
• The Oregon Department of Education has created new benchmarks that will make it easier for schools in less populated areas of the state to reopen—however understanding and implementing the benchmarks are easier said than done.
• The US Forest Service is preparing to reopen the touristy Multnomah Falls, with new COVID-themed rules: Folks will be allowed to visit on a first-come-first-served basis with a cap of 300 people per day.
• In bubble sports, the Blazers' Dame Lillard scored a whopping 61 points to help make short work of the Dallas Mavericks last night.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• New super team Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appeared for the first time as a presidential ticket today with lots of kind words of admiration for each other, and stern words of warning for Donald Trump.
Well, my dog was so energized by Kamala's speech that he ate a tampon
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) August 12, 2020
• And while Trump may be trying to disparage Biden's running mate by referring to her in such original misogynist terms as "nasty," and "phony," the president's reelection team are quietly crapping their pants.
• Speaking of phonies, the phony son-in-law-in-chief Jared Kushner has been having almost daily conversations with phony presidential candidate Kanye West (who is doing terribly in the polls... so maybe their convos are a waste of time?).
• In other "waste of time" news, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wasted everyone's time again by approaching Democrats to make a deal on virus relief but then "refused to budge."
An investigation into possible insider trading has put on hold a Trump administration deal to give $765 million of taxpayer money to Eastman Kodak to manufacture ingredients used in pharmaceuticals. https://t.co/EF7GOHgkOB
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) August 12, 2020
• In Georgia's Cherokee County, the school district opened its doors to students on August 4 and (SURPRISE!) less than one week later, over 1,200 students and faculty members
tested positive have been quarantined for COVID-19.
• And yet? Trump IS STILL pressuring America's schools to reopen, and threatening to pull funding from institutions that refuse.
• Related: A Florida Sheriff has ordered his deputies to stop wearing masks in their office, and won't allow visitors to wear them either. (Do we need to remind you how many COVID cases Florida has right now?)
• Oh! Speaking of super spreaders: Do you like to wear those neck gaiters instead of a cloth mask? Then you may be unhappy to learn that, according to a new study, wearing a gaiter may be worse than wearing nothing at all.
• The Tribune Publishing Company is shutting down five of their newsrooms, including the New York Daily News.
• Turns out married bisexuals have a LOT of problems. Luckily for them, Dan Savage has a LOT of advice! Check out the newest SAVAGE LOVE column here!
• Want to support the Mercury AND look like a million bucks? Buy our newest "RESIST" T-shirt created by local artist Sloane Leong that comes in black, white, yellow, and teal and is perfect for anyone who wants to protest in style!
• THE WEATHER REPORT: Somewhat cloudier and cooler tomorrow with a high of 79 and even hotter temps this weekend!
• And finally, Ezra was right to be suspicious.