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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:
• Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Portland Democrat, has officially thrown her hat into the 2022 gubernatorial race. She's one of the first Democrats in the state to announce a run—but is expected to be far from the last, in what is gearing up to be a stacked, wide-open race.
• Happy first day of school, Portland families! Or, not-so-happy first day of school, depending on how you personally feel about in-person school and COVID-19! Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero told OPB he feels "confident about the measures we’ve taken to ensure health and safety" as school starts up amid a Delta-fueled surge.
• More bad news for Zenith Energy/good news for those of us who breathe air and drink water:
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is threatening to deny Zenith Energy’s air permit, which would force the NW Portland facility to shut down. The oil transport company has 60 days to challenge the decision. https://t.co/ghtzyM8a4j— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) September 1, 2021
• According to new data from the FBI, reported hate crimes rose by about 60 percent between 2019 and 2020. Black people were the most targeted, and about 70 percent of bias crimes were about race or ethnicity. The FBI says it's launching a statewide "awareness campaign" to help mitigate the problem. Because when it comes to combatting racism, the FBI is definitely the agency for the job.
In national news:
• As you may have heard, the Supreme Court basically disregarded Roe v. Wade by not blocking a draconian new Texas abortion restriction law from taking effect today. Here are some ways you can help Texans access safe abortion.
• Purdue Pharma—the pharmaceutical company that created OxyContin and helped create the opioid epidemic—plans to declare bankruptcy in order to shield itself from a spate of lawsuits from nearly every state in the country, including Oregon, for knowingly getting people hooked on their drug. The plan means that the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, will have to pay out $4.5 billion in settlement fees over the next decade.
• An update on the Caldor Fire:
Firefighters have reported progress in the battle to save communities on the south end of Lake Tahoe from the Caldor Fire. But the damage already done to the area is extensive. https://t.co/HTVfpsxUFo pic.twitter.com/WHm89iSHwh— The Associated Press (@AP) September 1, 2021
• A data analysis from NPR found that about one in five COVID patients' data in the United States aren't being fully reported, meaning we have an incomplete picture of what the pandemic looks like right now, and how the virus spreads. NPR adds that "On top of that, about two-thirds of the data present aren't usable, as health care providers marked fields as 'unknown' or simply left them blank... Over 3 million Texans have had COVID-19, but just 81,000 are in the data set."
And just for fun:
• Corn—you gotta love it! Seriously, if you love summer sweet corn as much as I do, then you should check out this roundup of where to eat corn in Portland right now.
• And finally: I'm glad to see we're not only emulating dicks with our aircraft these days:
The Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander 10, originally developed as the HAV 304, is a hybrid airship designed and built by British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles. pic.twitter.com/aiqiZT2C5E— STEM 🔬🤖⚙️🧮 (@stem_feed) August 30, 2021