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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's good to hear your voice, you know it's been so long. If I don't get your calls, then everything goes wrong. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• A compromise was reached last night between the new members of City Council and Mayor Ted Wheeler who had previously disagreed on whether to bring back the Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) or take a more community-based approach to dealing with the uptick of Portland shootings. While a team of GVRT-style uniformed officers will return to take a preventative role against gun violence, they will be forced to operate with more civilian oversight, and without the $2 million recommended by Mayor Wheeler. Instead City Council will provide millions to community anti-violence work, and bring back two dozen park rangers. A vote on the plan will be held today, but with limited public input. Stay tuned for more from our own Alex Zielinski!
FINAL: Portland's plan to battle shooting surge?— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) April 7, 2021
*Proactive police team returns to streets (but no new $$$ for cops)
*$4.1 million to community groups for gun violence prevention.
*And, yes, park rangers.
Council votes tomorrow. Public input limited.https://t.co/UYI8IDDAOt
• Governor Kate Brown announced yesterday 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. For you foodies out there, that means that restaurants will be downgrading from 50 percent capacity to 25 percent once again.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• In Brazil, COVID-related deaths have reached a horrifying all-time high with 4,000 people dying from the virus in a single day, while hospitals are reaching their breaking point.
The United Kingdom's drug regulator says the AstraZeneca vaccine has huge benefits but people under 30 will be offered another product due to a rare blood clot risk. https://t.co/iRVSuJ14hw— The Associated Press (@AP) April 7, 2021
• Headline: "Five states account for 43% of the country's new Covid-19 cases in the past week." (In case you're curious, those five states are New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.)
• Proving once again that Republicans are immoral ghouls 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.
• Creepy creep Rep. Matt Gaetz—who you'll remember has been under investigation for alleged sex trafficking—tried to get a blanket pre-emptive pardon during the final days of Trump for any crimes he may have committed. That totally sounds like something an innocent non-sex trafficker would do!
• Completely and OH-SO-TOTALLY unrelated: Here's a fun fact... accused sex trafficker Rep. Matt Gaetz was one of two lawmakers who voted against a revenge porn bill, saying that ex-lovers can use photos as they see fit. That is definitely NOT something a sex trafficker would say!
• Speaking of Trump-supporting losers, high level members of the Trump administration—such as former transportation secretary Elaine Chao—are having a devil of a time getting new jobs because they are (CORRECTLY!) seen as "toxic." Play on, world's tiniest violin, play on.
• According to a parade of police officers giving testimony in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, Chauvin was clearly going against his training and "improvising" when he knelt on George Floyd's neck for nearly nine-and-a-half minutes, slowly suffocating him to death.
An LAPD sergeant has returned to the stand in Derek Chauvin's trial today as the state's expert witness on police training and use of force.— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 7, 2021
His testimony yesterday was blunt: "My opinion was that the force was excessive.”
Watch live: https://t.co/uDkBOEKW5C
• Congrats to St. Louis, who have elected their first Black woman mayor!
• Sorry, Lisa Frank fans! According to NASA scientists, that spectacular photo of a rainbow on Mars was most likely a lens flare and not an actual rainbow. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE ANYTHING NICE?!?
• Dig out all those little packets out of that drawer in the kitchen—there's a ketchup shortage in America's restaurants!
• 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 today with a slight chance of showers and a high of 56!
• And finally... me, trying to get the last bag of Twizzlers off the top shelf.
Ich wenn im Supermarkt einer ohne Maske auftaucht pic.twitter.com/cVY2RioqXe— Torben Kassler (@torben_kassler) April 7, 2021