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Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.
In local news:
• As Portland seeks to "rebuild" downtown after the pandemic shuttered businesses, there's little mention of what that means for the many unhoused Portlanders who reside on downtown blocks. On Tuesday, several dozen members of the public spoke out on the issue during a city meeting on the pending renewal of Portland's contract with Downtown Clean & Safe, an organization that charges property owners located within its 213-block boundary to fund additional, or “enhanced,” services not already provided by the city. Unhoused Portlanders say Clean & Safe's security crews are known to threaten houseless campers from legally resting in public spaces, putting them in a constant state of unease.
• Just a few days ago, the City of Portland announced that it wouldn't require COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing for city employees. Today, Mayor Ted Wheeler reversed course on the new policy, saying he will push for requirements. Wheeler's move comes one day after state officials advised Oregonians to start wearing masks in public, indoor spaces again.
• Portland's white fragility is showing:
The statue of York — an enslaved Black member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition — has been toppled in Portland
"The numerous racist responses to the memorial of a Black man forced to participate in the Corps of Discovery Expedition have not been a surprise," the park director says pic.twitter.com/HJgdgbwSZ7
— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) July 28, 2021
• Did you know that Jordan Chiles—the Team USA gymnast who stepped up and won silver this week when her friend and teammate, Simone Biles, withdrew from the team competition—grew up in Vancouver, Washington? Here's more on the Pacific Northwest sports hero.
In national news:
• President Joe Biden announced today that he's finally ready to send a $1 trillion infrastructure package to the Senate, after a bipartisan group of moderate senators
helped shape watered down Biden's agenda. It's certainly no Green New Deal, and a lot of money goes toward fossil fuel infrastructure like highways. But there are some things in the package worth cheering about, including $50 billion to strengthen infrastructure against climate change.
• Employees at Activision Blizzard—the video game company known for such titles as World of Warcraft and Crash Bandicoot—walked off the job en masse today, The workers were protesting a culture of rampant workplace sexual harassment, which was recently brought to light by a state of California lawsuit against the company.
• "Masks: They're back!" exhibit F:
• Gawker, every shitposting millennial journalist's favorite website, is officially back from the dead today! Take that, Peter Thiel! In honor of Gawker's resurrection, here's one of the relaunch's first glorious headlines: "THE BALLAD OF MATT GAETZ TAKING TWO DATES TO A GOP FUNDRAISER IN 2018."
And just for fun:
• North Portland-raised rapper Mic Capes established himself years ago as one of the city’s most promising hip-hop artists. His new album In Spite Of... lives up to the hype.
• And finally, here's a cool thing honoring one of the coolest writers to ever live in Portland:
The Ursula K. Le Guin stamp is officially issued. Many thanks to the @USPS for the distinction, and for today’s lovely dedication ceremony. pic.twitter.com/J53WcJyY1W
— Ursula K. Le Guin (@ursulakleguin) July 27, 2021