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The author celebrating Pride in his own distinct manner during Portlands Pride parade, circa 2019. Good times... good times.
The author celebrating Pride in his own distinct manner during Portland's Pride parade, circa 2019. Good times... good times. Portland Mercury

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! The more that I see you, the more I know that love belongs. With you in my mind, boy, I wouldn't know what's right from wrong. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

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IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Saturday marks the new federal holiday Juneteenth—which commemorates the day slavery (not the modern kind, but the old timey kind) ended. Here's a bunch of great ways you can celebrate this holiday in Portland!

• A bill that could temporarily avoid an Oregon housing crisis on July 1 passed the House yesterday, and could be voted on by the Senate as early as Monday. SB 278 would give more than 10,000 renters a 60 day reprieve from being evicted as long as they let their landlords know they've applied for rental assistance which has been delayed.

• The entire Portland Police Rapid Response Team—responsible for most of the violence inflicted on local protesters last summer—have resigned from the team en masse following criminal assault charges brought against one of their own, who brutally beat down a photojournalist last year. Waitasecond... if they resign, who's going to beat, gas, and fire munitions at people practicing their First Amendment rights? Our Alex Zielinski has more.

• Three hundred new COVID cases were reported by the Oregon Health Authority yesterday, with one death caused by the virus. Almost all were people who have not yet been vaccinated, and yet Oregon is still on track to fully reopen by June 27—so if you haven't gotten your shot yet, YOU SHOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER IT.

• Zenith Energy, a crude oil company, wants to expand their operation in Portland—which we obviously do not want! However, city officials say they may be legally bound to okay Zenith’s expansion. Our Isabella Garcia has the details.

• Motorcycle daredevil Alex Harvill died in Washington state yesterday during a practice for his attempt to break a world record breaking 351-foot jump.

• Happy pride weekend one and all! Here's a great list of pride events, and DO NOT MISS our terrific Pride series "Queer Beginnings," featuring some super smart essays from local members of the LGBTQ+ community!

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• The heatwave in the western part of the US—particularly in Arizona, Nevada, and California—continues to blister residents with temps soaring as high as 120 degrees. Warnings are being issued not to walk on asphalt with bare feet or touch car door handles (!!) for fear of third-degree burns.

• While Biden signing a law that recognizes Juneteenth as a federal holiday is definitely a step in the right direction, Black advocates note that Congress still needs to step up to address voting rights, the criminal justice system, racist policing, and other indicators of systemic racism that infects the country.

• There's only one state in the country that still refuses to recognize Juneteenth in any form... can you guess who it is? (It rhymes with "Mouth Pasoda.")

• Well, well, well, how about that? After Democrats bent over backward to get on board with Sen. Joe Manchin's revised "bipartisan" voting rights act, those "bipartisan" Republicans immediately shot it down, BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY DID.

• Right on brand: "Florida Republican allegedly boasted Russian-Ukrainian ‘hit squad’ could ‘disappear’ his rival."

Support The Portland Mercury

• From the makers of HUMP! and SPLIFF comes a new film fest that features short documentaries made by YOU! It's called SCOOP! and you can find out more about it here.

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: Another mostly sunny day with a high of 81!

• And finally, here's hoping your Friday is an OUNCE as amazing as this guy.