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'!)
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Two big COVID-related stories: Governor Kate Brown—in anticipation of President Biden asking states to accelerate vaccine distribution—announced that ALL Oregonians age 16 and over will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine by April 19 (that's two weeks earlier than previously scheduled). And as it turns out, there's a pretty good reason for punching the gas on this situation: Positive COVID cases are going UP, UP, UP in Oregon, and a few counties (including Multnomah and Clackamas) are moving from moderate risk level back up to high risk. In short, congrats on getting your vaccine and WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASKS, AND KEEP YA DAMN DISTANCE.
• According to attorneys with the US Department of Justice, Portland's current police oversight board is relying on flawed—if not unconstitutional—logic to clear Portland cops of alleged misconduct. This is especially true in cases where officers used force against a member of the public during 2020's racial justice protests. Don't miss this must-read story from our Alex Zielinski!
In short: The feds believe Portland officers have been wrongly cleared in cases where they used inappropriate force against a member of the public. https://t.co/8jmebxHuo4— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) April 6, 2021
• Speaking of cops, the Portland Police Union's cheerleader of choice, the Oregonian, published a third article in as many days ignoring the cries of Portlanders to hold the city's police accountable for their repeatedly deceptive, incompetent, and deadly actions. The dishonestly titled article "Longtime Portland park ranger: ‘We are not the police of the parks, period, and we’re not going to be, period’" is yet another fear-based screed that tries to falsely imply that a new plan by three commissioners to reduce gun violence depends on park rangers doing the work of cops (the plan says nothing like that, though the cops would love you to think it does). However the O does eventually allow those who penned the plan to correct this false assumption... 15 paragraphs into the story. Hello, that's bullshit.
• If you're a Top Chef fan (and love Portland food), don't miss our Janey Wong's fascinating profile of rising star Chef Gregory Gourdet who's not only a Top Chef judge, but a newly published author, AND has some great things to say about equity and sustainability. CHECK. IT. OUT.
With a brand new cookbook coming out and a guest judge seat on "Top Chef," beloved Portland chef Gregory Gourdet (@GG30000) is having a very good year—but there's so much more! Check out this fascinating profile from our Janey Wong (@janey_san).https://t.co/ifzNnrtZyV— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) April 6, 2021
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• As mentioned earlier, President Biden is calling for an acceleration of vaccine eligibility for all Americans over the age of 16 to be able to sign up for vaccines by April 19—and he's doing so for a pretty damn good reason. Due to multiple states (and their lackadaisical inhabitants) relaxing their masking and safety mandates, the country's progress in battling back the virus and its variants have stalled, and cases are spiking across the nation.
• IF hospitalizations from COVID remain low and stable, and IF there are enough vaccines for all residents 16 and over, California is planning on lifting all its current restrictions on restaurants, theaters, concerts, and more.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has announced a new unit within Bureau of Indian Affairs that plans to tackle the decades-long crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans https://t.co/NFaOtbfzhD— CNN (@CNN) April 6, 2021
• Today in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, a law enforcement expert testified that Chauvin used "excessive force" on George Floyd as he pinned the Black man beneath his knee and slowly allowed him to suffocate to death.
• Proving once again that Republicans are immoral creeps who cater to the lowest common denominator, the Arkansas legislature has overridden GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson's veto of a bill that would deny gender-affirming medical treatment to transgender teens. The ACLU is currently mounting a vigorous and morally just appeal.
Breaking: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is taking action against the Georgia voting restrictions.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 6, 2021
Bottoms is directing the City's Chief Equity Officer to implement a series of actions to diminish the effects of Senate Bill 202. https://t.co/wGwLtKLiQd
• Thanks to an official parliamentarian’s opinion this week, Senate Democrats have some new tools to stymie obstructionist Republicans and push through Biden's infrastructure plan—at the same time giving hope to the president's future proposals, such as immigration and Medicare.
• The two NYC doormen who stood by and did NOTHING while an Asian woman was being viciously beaten during a hate crime have been fired (and will probably end up in hell too, if there is such a thing).
• Despite being currently under investigation for allegedly sex trafficking a female teen, slimy chud Rep. Matt Gaetz is scheduled to speak at... wait for it... a Women for America First rally. Ew!
• Here's your "ineffectual turtle headline of the day": "McConnell warns corporate America to 'stay out of politics' — but says donations are OK."
• Live comedy is BACK, and the Rose City Rollers and the Mercury are presenting a live OUTDOOR comedy event with an awesome lineup of hilarious local and nationally recognized comedians! It's coming at ya April 22, 23, and 24, so get your tickets pronto!
• HELLO, STONERS! You will be pleased to know that SPLIFF—the short flick film festival about cannabis and all things "stoned"—is kicking off April 16-24 and you can get your tickets NOW. (So hurry up before you forget... because you know you will.)
• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: Partly sunny tomorrow with a slight chance of showers and a high of 56!
• And finally, if this "vaccine" is offered to you... don't take it.
Basketball is BACK pic.twitter.com/CMJMSJupZc— Tommy McNamara (@TommyMcNam) April 6, 2021