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:
• The Oregon Legislature has advanced a bill that would lessen the expected impact of the looming June 30 termination of the statewide COVID-19 eviction moratorium. Once this bill is signed into law, renters who missed payments because of the pandemic will have until February 28, 2022 to pay that rent back to their landlords before risking eviction. But renter advocates say the bill is "just scratching the surface" of the help tenants will need coming out of the pandemic.
• In case you missed it yesterday: Once 70 percent of Oregonians 16 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose, Gov. Kate Brown plans to ease most the statewide pandemic restrictions. And Multnomah County is on track to move into "low risk" mode by as early as May 21. There are now plenty of walk-in vaccine clinics open in the Portland area, so if this news doesn't motivate you to get your shot, I don't know what will!
• More than a hundred businesses on SE Hawthorne are asking the Portland Bureau of Transportation to include protected bike lanes in revamp plans for the street, per BikePortland.
• A new city of Portland analysis shows that Black, Latinx, and Native American households in Portland were disproportionately more likely than white households to not be able to afford the average rent or home cost in any city neighborhood in 2020.
In national news:
• The CDC is recommending kids 12-15 starting getting the Pfizer COVID vaccine. That means they will likely be available for that age group in Oregon soon.
• Last week, Colonial Pipeline—the biggest oil pipeline network in the country—shut down after falling prey to an intense cyberattack. Now, Colonial says it will begin to get its supply chain back up and running in the next few days. However, the failure has prompted gas shortages in the Southeastern United States, particularly in North Carolina. It's almost like our reliance on oil is fragile and bad!
• President Joe Biden appears to be siding with Israel despite the violence the country's military is enacting on Palestinians. Biden said today that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and hopes the violence ends soon, but that "Israel has a right to defend itself."
• The COVID pandemic continues to affect the supply chain in weird and unpredictable ways. For example, as new cars are scarcer because of supply chain delays, the used car market is booming—in fact, used car prices have risen 21 percent in the last year.
And just for fun:
• In the latest Takeout Club: Shalom Y'all Southeast wants you to sit down and be served.
• And finally, here are some good cats: