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!

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP) is seeking new applicants!
We create recommendations to improve police practices. Seeking Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and those living with mental illness and/or houselessness.
Thousands of John Deere workers are on strike across the country.
Thousands of John Deere workers are on strike across the country. john deere

Good morning, Portland! Happy day-between-Hump-Day-and-the-weekend.

Here are the headlines.

• Most Oregon public employees were supposed to be vaccinated agains COVID-19 by October 18 or risk losing their jobs. But now, Gov. Kate Brown has reached a deal with two of the state's biggest unions, which will give most workers more time to get fully vaccinated. The new deadline is November 30.

• Last month, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt hired a longtime defense lawyer to assist with reviewing sentencing and convictions. The move was supposed to be a big step for criminal justice reform—a prosecutor asking for input from a defense attorney. But the lawyer, Ernest Warren, just resigned from the job, following what sounds like some weird interpersonal tension. But there's a good chance that Schmidt will hire another defense lawyer soon.

• Have you been disappointed by Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan's reign so far? Here, read this:

• Portland Fire & Rescue says they respond to thousands of low-level medical assistance calls each year, ranging from headaches to itchy toes. Now, the city bureau plans to launch a new team specifically dedicated to those calls, called the Community Health, Assess and Treat Program. That team should make it easier for the rest of the bureau to prioritize high-level calls.

• This week, Oregon is getting the New Yorker treatment, with a deep-dive into those devastating few days in June when we had record temperatures and 96 people died of hyperthermia. You maybe don't need to read the whole thing if you actually lived through it, but I'm glad it continues to be documented.

• Yesterday I wrote an opinion column about why opinion columnists (particularly Nick Kristof) don't need to run for governor. Read it to see how I work the "Sir, this is an Arby's" meme into my analysis!


• A new NPR poll has found that one in five American families have been forced to delay important medical care—such as surgery or cancer treatments—because hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID patients.

• A man killed five people in a small Norwegian town yesterday using a bow and arrow. Mass killings are a rarity in Norway—and officials there are calling it an act of terror.

• The United States is slowly starting to open the door to the therapeutic use of psychedelic substances like ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin, with Oregon leading the way as the first state to legalize therapeutic psilocybin. Of course, this means it's time for capitalism to come knocking. Vox has a great piece on the startups that are betting big on psychedelics.

• An update on the state of our democracy, from Vice: "A right-wing rally featuring former President Donald Trump and headlined by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon used an American flag from Trump’s infamous January 6 rally for the pledge of allegiance."

Support The Portland Mercury

• And finally: Remember your first cell phone? This is it now, reincarnated as part of a nostalgic effort to regain that moment when technology first felt limitless and we hadn't yet used it to ruin our society. Feel old yet?