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Good morning, Portland! Get ready for another cool, drizzly, perfect Portland fall day.
Here are the headlines.
• The number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon has dropped for the fifth week in a row, and cases are down 36 percent from the peak of summer. But the decline is a slow one.
• If you've been trying to buy a house in Portland over the last year or so, you know how competitive the market is—and you may have been encouraged to write a letter to home sellers, telling them how much you want their home and what you would use it for. Now, a state law is taking effect that will prohibit people from writing those letters, on the grounds that they violate federal fair housing laws. Oregon is the first state to ban these real estate "love letters."
• Get ready for more Portland Street Response discourse at Portland City Council meetings:
'The community is demanding it': Months after limited launch, city council poised to expand Portland Street Response citywide https://t.co/FE0Vxk6WWT— KGW News (@KGWNews) October 5, 2021
• Yesterday, Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann announced she will run for Multnomah County Chair in the May 2022 primary race. Stegmann is the fourth person to join that race—and the third member of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners to do so.
• Things may be shitty right now, but they could be even shittier without the vaccine:
Vaccinations prevented at least a quarter of a million Covid-19 infections among US seniors and tens of thousands of deaths just between January and May of this year, according to a new report https://t.co/gNoJxIY5t9— CNN (@CNN) October 5, 2021
• This morning, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will tell a Senate subcommittee that the social media giant's offerings "harm children, stoke division, weaken our democracy and much more." "When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms [they] caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seat belts, the government took action," reads Haugen's prepared testimony. "I implore you to do the same here." Go off, queen!
• Speaking of Facebook: How about that outage yesterday, huh? The company apologized for the outage this morning, and said it was caused by "configuration changes on the backbone routers," whatever the hell that means. Anyway, here's some food for thought:
And no, I am not suggesting it was some widespread conspiracy to distract from the bombshell. It could have simply been an engineer who was upset about what was said in the 60 Minutes interview, and they decided to sabotage the network.— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) October 5, 2021
• If you thought that the damages of Qanon were limited to the United States, think again: In France, an actual child kidnapping plot has been traced back to an online conspiracy theory about the French government running a child trafficking ring—sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?
• In Southern California, a "catastrophic" oil spill on the coast is creating an ecological disaster, killing fish and destroying wetlands. The 126,000 gallon spill covers 13 square miles, and the culprit—Amplify Energy Corporation—isn't returning phone calls to the media.
• And finally: Prepare to cry on October 15!