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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! You go behind my back and call my friend? Boy, you must've fallen and bumped your head. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• The Hollywood Fred Meyer threw away a LOT of perishable food in outdoor dumpsters yesterday after losing power in the ice storm, but wouldn't allow people (including activists intending to help the homeless) retrieve any of the items, and even called on the Portland Police to guard the dumpsters. YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK.
When I arrived on at the Hollywood @Fred_Meyer in Portland this evening, I was greeted by 12 @PortlandPolice officers who were apparently guarding two dumpsters full of food that mutual aid orgs were trying to distribute and hungry folks were trying to eat
— Dr. Juniper L Simonis; The Professor (@JuniperLSimonis) February 17, 2021
• And the after-effects of the ice storm rages on: Around 100,000 homes and businesses in the Portland metro area are still without electricity. PGE has 3,000 employees on the case, but with almost 8,500 wires down, they still have their work cut out for them.
• A recent audit conducted by the city's Independent Police Review found that Portland Police lack a clear, consistent, and legally-sound system for communicating with Portlanders who don't speak English—which is a pretty big problem since many non-English speaking folk live in East Portland where the majority of 911 calls originate. Our Alex Zielinski has more!
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• More icy news: The devastating winter storm that knocked out power for millions in Texas could have been avoided if the operators had taken the multiple warnings of climate change into account. And surprise, surprise, historically underserved minority groups in Texas were hit first and hardest by power outages. In additional sour news, not only is there no end in sight for the massive outages, another big snow/ice storm is scheduled to hit Texas and large parts of the South.
• After being badmouthed (but not voted against) by his former minion, Senate Minority Turtle Mitch McConnell, Trump is now pledging to support any candidate who wants to take down McConnell in the future. Wait... wait... wait... Trump is turning against those who supported him during his entire tenure? WHO ON EARTH COULD'VE SEEN THIS COMING??
• Some rare positive news: According to the World Health Organization, coronavirus cases around the world are in decline—though hold your horses! The virus variants are picking up steam and could bring on a dreaded fourth wave of COVID infections. (I've decided I'm terrible at delivering "good" news.)
• While Busy Bee Biden is willing to cancel $10,000 in individual student loan debt, in order to forgive the $50,000 that many Dems are asking for, he says that will take an act of Congress.
• Celeb and GOOP head honcho Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed that she had COVID-19 early on in the pandemic along with lingering effects, though she's keeping herself healthy thanks to spending lots of time in her infrared sauna. FORGET THE COVID RELIEF PLAN! Give Americans the infrared saunas we deserve!
• This Thursday, do not miss the second installment of the Mercury Music Series with a special performance filmed live at Polaris Hall by Yawa (AKA Amenta Abioto)! Get your sliding scale tickets here!
• Let the bells ring and the confetti fall! The HUMP! 2021 Film Festival is NOW STREAMING ONLINE, featuring an array of hot 'n' horny amateur dirty flicks submitted by hot people like YOU. Get your tickets pronto!
• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: A dry but mostly cloudy day today with a high around 45.
• And finally, Malachai... MALACHAI! You get in this house right n... okay, I can take "no" for an answer.