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Good morning, Portland, and welcome to another edition of Which Disaster(s) Are Happening in Oregon Today?!
Here are the headlines.
• In case you haven't heard: The heatwave caused at least 45 people to die in Multnomah County. According to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner Program, the people ranged in age from 44 to 97, and many were found alone without air conditioning or a fan. The preliminary cause of death for all 45 people is hyperthermia, or an abnormally high body temperature. Comparatively, from 2017 to 2019, Oregon recorded 12 total deaths from hyperthermia.
• After dragging his feet for a day or two, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a ban on firework sales in Portland last night, in an attempt to avoid more devastating wildfires in Oregon's hot, dry conditions. Gov. Kate Brown also declared a state of emergency due to wildfire risk yesterday morning. Cue the "clever" conservative rumblings about the government taking away freedoms on Independence Day.
• Oh, also, this happened yesterday! Last night I went and got a beer and the bartender wasn't wearing a mask! And it was fine! 🤯
“As we enter a new chapter today, our work is not finished,” Governor Brown said while reflecting on the pandemic with Oregon health officials and community members during Oregon’s reopening event this morning. https://t.co/FHN3kOVpoa— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) June 30, 2021
• Allen Weisselberg, CFO of the Trump Organization, turned himself in to law enforcement this morning on charges related to the company's shady business dealings. I'd say this could be a harbinger of Donald Trump finally facing some form of accountability—but if that man is good at anything, it's screwing over others while managing to keep himself out of the deep shit.
• We may be reopened in Oregon and in much of the United States, but for unvaccinated folks here and abroad, the threat of the Delta COVID-19 variant is very real. The variant currently causes 20 percent of new cases in the US. Some health experts are even advising vaccinated people to continue masking up in indoor group settings.
• Read this and feel furious:
FEMA denied 70% of Oregonians who applied for FEMA help after last year's wildfires. NPR's @shmcminn & I spent the last several months digging into the data and talking to disaster survivors.— April Ehrlich (@AprilEhrlich) July 1, 2021
Here's what we found. https://t.co/i4seekqpt8
• The Oregon Legislature recently wrapped up its session for the year—and a lot of stuff happened during that session! If you feel like you missed it, here's a handy little recap with Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and OPB.
• The US Supreme Court ruled this morning to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona that are designed to make voting more difficult. In the 6-3 decision, the Court essentially neutered the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. Trump's legacy in action.
• I love watching the Olympics, but news like this makes me wonder if they're worth it:
'Sad, lonely feeling': Tokyo man evicted twice, 50 years apart, for Olympic construction https://t.co/aK52tvkCI7— Elaine Lies (@emlies16) July 1, 2021
• And finally: We recently published this delightful excerpt from Funeral for Flaca, a new book of personal essays from local writer and friend of the Mercury Emilly Prado. The book is finally out today, so read the excerpt and then pick up a copy at Powell's!