The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Screen_Shot_2021-07-14_at_4.15.12_PM.png
portland winterhawks

Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.

In local news:

Mayor Transportation Secretary Pete was in Eugene today to test-ride one of Lane Transit District's electric buses. Do we think the reason Pete didn't come to Portland is because he didn't want to face No More Freeways protesters, or because he couldn't figure out how to work a Hop Card?

• In case you missed this excellent investigative piece OPB dropped yesterday about how the Trail Blazers management dropped the ball when it came to investigating rape allegations against new coach Chauncey Billups, be sure to make some time for it today.

• Speaking of local sports: Here is your new, unproblematic hockey mascot, Portland! This is a long-overdue change from the Winterhawks' previous mascot, which was a Native American caricature.

• Researchers with the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement have some awkward advice for Gov. Kate Brown: If she wants more Oregonians to get vaccinated, she needs to stop associating herself with the shots. “Gov. Brown is a polarizing figure for unvaccinated individuals,” wrote the researchers, adding that Brown should "defer being the primary messenger to unvaccinated Oregonians.”

• This is what billionaires see when they go up to space:

In national news:

• Teen pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo visited the White House today, aiming to encourage young people to get vaccinated against COVID. I'd ask Olivia to come to Oregon, but I don't think the anti-vaxxers here are actually children—some of them just act like it!

• New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 2020 was the deadliest year for recorded drug overdoses in United States history—and that overdose deaths rose 30 percent since 2019. Officials pointed to the pandemic, which created barriers for drug users seeking help, as well as the increasing prevalence of lethal fentanyl in opioids, as reasons for the spike.

• The US Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General released an investigation today into the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar case, in which a US gymnastics doctor was able to sexually abuse girls and young women for years before facing consequences. The investigation notes that after receiving reports of possible misconduct back in 2015, the FBI failed to act with "urgency that the allegations required," meaning Nassar was able to abuse more people before getting caught.

And just for fun:

• In the new film Pig, Nicolas Cage plays a reclusive truffle hunter who must return to his mysterious past in Portland after his beloved pig is kidnapped. A deep look at loss and love, the journey gives the veteran actor a role unlike anything he has done before. Read our full review here.

Support The Portland Mercury

• And finally: