Pictured: New Blazers coach Chauncey Billups not being helped in the least by management.
Pictured: New Blazers coach Chauncey Billups not being helped in the least by management. Courtesy Blazers

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IN LOCAL NEWS:

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• Due to the extreme heat and dryness of the area, Portland has finally joined cities all around the region in banning fireworks until further notice. Will this fuck up your July 4 plans? I dunno... will causing untold fire damage and death while possibly filling the skies with black smoke for weeks put a damper on your lifestyle? Guess you'll have to decide that for yourself.

• While Portland's heatwave may have calmed down to a balmy 92 degrees today, excessive heat still plagues much of Oregon, with temps staying in the triple-digits in some places through Saturday.

• With all this heat, let's not forget that Oregon is lifting the majority of its COVID-19 restrictions... TOMORROW.

• Need a feel-good story about shit getting done? Our Isabella Garcia attended the celebration of the transfer of the historically dangerous 82nd Avenue from the state to the City of Portland, who has a lot of cool plans to make it much safer for pedestrians and businesses. Check it out!

• Last Thursday, Portland Police shot and killed a person, Michael Ray Townsend, in mental distress—the second time they'd done so this year. This also followed the decision of Mayor Wheeler and Commissioners Ryan and Mapps to vote against expanding the Portland Street Response team—mental health professionals who answer crisis calls instead of cops. In this heartbreaking report from OPB, we now learn that Townsend had called 9-1-1 himself to say he was having suicidal thoughts. It was also revealed that he was deathly afraid of being incarcerated again... so who better to send into this situation than armed cops? Answer: Practically anybody.

• Blazer management held their first press conference featuring new coach Chauncey Billups today, which gave them all an ample opportunity to address his 1997 sexual assault accusation... and they completely bricked it. General manager Neil Olshey refused to offer any transparency into management's "investigation" of the alleged assault, and then waved questions away. If Billups didn't have an uphill battle already in winning fans over—he sure as hell does now.

• In other shitty sports news, organizers of the Portland Classic—a major women's golf tournament—said they wouldn't hold their event in North Portland unless a nearby homeless camp and its residents were swept away. And so the houseless residents were removed and dispersed all over the city, and SURPRISE! The Portland Classic moved their tournament to West Linn anyway.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• Months before the condo high-rise in Florida collapsed—killing 11 people thus far, with 150 still missing—the president of the condo association warned its members that structural problems reported in 2018 had become worse and that owners should step up to pay for them. Apparently they didn't.

• The Supreme Court has shot down a lawsuit from a group of landlords who wanted to invalidate the CDC's nationwide moratorium on evictions during the pandemic. Surprise, the most conservative judges (including two of Trump's picks) were fine with lifting the moratorium and making people homeless.

• Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona are being forced to replace their voting machines fearing that the GOP's continual and ridiculous recounts have compromised security after they were sent to a private (and Trump supporting) contractor.

• Tennis great Serena Williams has taken herself out of Wimbledon during the first round of play, after slipping on the grass and injuring her knee.

• It's a pretty tough news day, but here's a damn nice headline: "Nevada pageant winner to become 1st transgender Miss USA contestant."

• Today in "shaking the fabric of spacetime":

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• Like sex, weed, and scares? Get a sweet taste of ALL our fun film fests (HUMP, SPLIFF, and SLAY) with the Mercury's SUMMER MOVIE MASHUP! Get those tickets now!

• Too hot for ya? Get ready for a cool July when the Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHIES kicks off on July 1! $5 delicious, boozy frozen concoctions from your fave bars all damn month long!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: The weather continues to cool in Portland with temps dropping tomorrow to a (relatively) frosty 87 degrees.

• And finally, for those who think there's nothing worse than an officemate who microwaves fish... I'm here to pop that bubble!