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A band preforming on a stage
A vigil was held for Nikki Kuhnhausen in Vancouver on Thursday evening. Blair Stenvick

In local news:

• Two years after her death, Nikki Kuhnhausen’s killer was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week, granting a form of closure for Kuhnhausen’s family, friends, and supporters. Kuhnhausen’s loved ones reflected on her impact during a vigil Thursday evening. “While this moment is about justice for Nikki and her family, it’s also about the moms, dads, friends, siblings, neighbors, of all of the trans people lost to violence who have never had someone charged or convicted in those crimes,” said one supporter.

• The Oregon Health Authority reports Multnomah County’s Pacific Islander community has vaccinated 100 percent of its population—a figure community health workers know to be false. The inflated vaccinate rate is due to flawed population data that has misrepresented the reality of COVID in Oregon's Pacific Islander community.

• Commissioners on Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) governing body voted to tentatively approve a design for the Rose Quarter Interstate 5 project freeway cover Thursday, withholding their full approval until ODOT provides a detailed funding plan for the cover. The commissioners specifically called on the City of Portland, Metro, Multnomah County, and TriMet to contribute to funding the cover.

In national news:

• President Biden’s latest mandate requiring companies with over 100 employees to require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing spurred immediate threats of legal action from people who want the pandemic to last forever Republicans. According to legal experts, the vaccine mandate has strong legal standing because of the threat unvaccinated people pose to themselves and others.

• Speaking of vaccines, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than vaccinated people. Those results really shouldn’t be surprising to anyone at this point, but I offer them as another arrow in the quiver for those of you still working on convincing your unvaccinated loved ones to get the jab—godspeed.

• There were over 8,300 hate crimes in the US last year—the most hate crimes in a tear since 2001 and the third-highest number since the FBI started tracking hate crime data three decades ago. The increase in hate crimes was largely driven by attacks on Asian and Black Americans.

A couple fun things for your Friday:

• Hey Savage Love fans! Get your tix now to see Dan Savage live and in-person on October 2 for a reading of his newest book, Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays! (Plus, paid attendees get their own copy of the book!)

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• Alert! We’ve combined three of our world-famous film festivals into one, big, sexy, stoney, scary, movie showcase called the Mercury Movie Mashup! It’s the best of the best from SPLIFF (our stoner film fest), SLAY (our horror film fest), and HUMP! (the little porn festival that started it all!), featuring all the blood, sex, and weed you can handle in a ONE NIGHT ONLY show at the Clinton Street Theater—go get those tix now!

• And finally, there was a lot of news this week! Did you keep up with it all? Take our weekly pop quiz to find out!