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Portland City Council taps the brakes on expansion of the Portland Street Response team, who answers mental health calls instead of the cops.
Portland City Council taps the brakes on expansion of the Portland Street Response team, who answers mental health calls instead of the cops. City of Portland

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Look at your watch now, you're still a super hot female. You got your million dollar contract, and they're all waiting for your hot track. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Following an advisory from the CDC, Gov. Kate Brown has relaxed mask mandates for the state, saying that fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks—either indoor or outdoor—in public spaces. BUT! BUT! BUT! She also said that the state will be offering guidance to businesses within the next few days about the option of lifting mask and distancing requirements after verifying customers’ vaccination status. (So don't go whipping your mask off in the middle of Fred Meyer just yet!) Our Isabella Garcia breaks it all down for you.

• In last night's Portland city budget meeting (that went well past normal working hours) commissioners haggled over allocations for the coming year, with a lot of focus on the Portland Street Response program, which sends non-police emergency response to 911 calls related to mental health crises or regarding unhoused people. Much to the chagrin of its biggest booster, Commish Jo Ann Hardesty, the council voted against providing funds that would allow the program to expand city-wide. Our Alex Zielinski watched these hearings like a hawk, and files this very informative report!

• KOIN News recently wrote another super tiresome and wrong-headed "Portland is Dying" story that is somehow worse than the ones that've come before. Our Wm. Steven Humphrey (hey, that's me!) takes it apart in his usual surgical, smart-assy style.

• Gee, I wonder where all this "deep pessimism about downtown" originated?

• Bad news, homophobes: Oregon lawmakers have voted to ban the bullshit "LGBTQ+ panic defense" (AKA the gay panic defense) from being used in Oregon courts, and it will now head to the governor's desk. Our Blair Stenvick explains it all for you.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• While the CDC's recommendation that fully vaccinated Americans can remove their masks indoors and out in public spaces is welcome news—it came as quite a surprise to many epidemiologists and state officials. In other words, we can all expect some very awkward bumps ahead. For example, how are we supposed to know that some people aren't lying about their vaccination status? This opinion piece dings the CDC for not establishing a way to provide solid proof of vaccination.

• TO THAT VERY POINT: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House members would continue to wear their masks until all members (*cough* Republicans *cough*) are fully vaccinated. (As of last month, 25 percent hadn't got their shot.)

• As expected, loyal Trump minion Elise Stefanik has replaced the ousted Rep. Liz Cheney in the number 3 Republican seat in the House, because her values are a better fit for the current GOP—which is to say she's a corrupt, lying liar.

• Washington lawmakers have agreed to put together a 9/11-style commission to fully investigate the domestic terrorist attack on the nation's capitol on January 6. Unfortunately, half of the panel will consist of Trump loving Republicans... so I wonder how all that will work out?

• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who stands accused of at least a half-dozen sexual harassment charges, defended himself yesterday by saying, “Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable." Except... that's exactly what it is. Remove foot, insert in mouth!

• Potential BIG trouble for creepy-creep Rep. Matt Gaetz: His deeply corrupt pal, Joel Greenberg, is expected to plead guilty to several charges, including sex trafficking of a minor, and could possibly pull Gaetz down with him.

• Colonial Pipeline, which provides 45 percent of fuel on the East Coast and was shut down in a cyberattack, has paid the hackers a cool $5 million in ransom. Following gas hikes, long lines, and panic buying, the company says the pipeline started flowing again today. (I knew I should've listened to my mom who told me "the future is in cyberattacks.")

• Related (and you hate to see it): "Florida Driver Panic-Buys Four Cans of Gasoline, Then Hummer Bursts Into Flames."

• In "SCIENCE!": NASA is about to get some company on Mars as China is expected to drop their own rover onto the red planet between Saturday and Wednesday. (And if the two rovers don't drag race at least once, I'd call that the biggest missed opportunity of the century.)

• You want to look GOOD, true or false? If "true," you'll want to purchase a new, wicked awesome Mercury T-shirt... just in time for tee season!

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• HUMP! HUMP! HUMP! If you enjoy sexy stuff (and I know you do), get your tickets NOW for HUMP's Greatest Hits, Volume 3—THIS WEEKEND—featuring some of the best short sex flicks from 15 years of HUMP! HUMP! HUMP!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: It's another mostly sunny, gorgeous day with a high of 79!

• And finally, going into the weekend like....