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Happy Thursday, and Porcvvvvvvvvvvvvvvcccccccccccczzzzzz from my cat, Sprinkles, who just stepped on my keyboard.
IN LOCAL NEWS
• Roads in Northeast Portland are back open after the Streetcar derailed early this morning at Grand and Weidler. Portland Bureau of Transportation reported that a truck ran a red light, smashing into the train, which popped off the tracks. There were no injuries and everything was cleaned up within a few hours! I sure would feel bad if I was the person who ran the red light and then messed up a bunch of people's mornings which is why I DON'T RUN RED LIGHTS.
ALERT: NE Weidler CLOSED at NE Grand for Portland Streetcar derailment after a vehicle crashed into streetcar. Avoid the area. One lane open on NE Grand. A and B Loop streetcar service CLOSED. Expect traffic delays thru midday. #pdxtraffic pic.twitter.com/Fo9KtCNAUX
— Portland Bureau of Transportation (@PBOTinfo) January 20, 2022
• Do you want more news about traffic in the Northeastern quadrant of Portland? Then I've got news for you, and it's this: The Feds are sending ODOT back to the drawing board on the proposed I-5 expansion through the Rose Quarter because changes in the project mean that now they've got to draw up a new Environmental Assessment. Organizers hope this will put the brakes (haha) on the project completely, although ODOT maintains they'll get the green light (!) to start construction later next year.
• A Multnomah County judge dismissed the case against a protester arrested during the 2020 George Floyd protests because Mayor Ted Wheeler's city-wide curfew "was not sufficiently narrowly tailored to the government interest of preventing property damage and crime. As such, it was facially unconstitutional under the first amendment to the United States Constitution." Yes, the first amendment. He wouldn't have even had to read the Constitution very far to get to that part!
• The Oregonian just reported that dark money advocacy group People for Portland has already spent more than a million dollars since its inception last year. And at least some of that money was spent running some sketchy polling that misrepresented the mission of the Portland Street Response. You'd think that with all that money they'd be able to hire some copy editors! Or was it...on purpose?
A recent poll from The People for Portland campaign misrepresented Portland Street Response's intent, suggesting it could be used in an enforcement role. An important reminder that PSR exists to assist those in need, not police them, @mkaiasand writes. https://t.co/w1NrBWix6t
— Street Roots (@StreetRoots) January 20, 2022
• If you've been blaming the weather for being a lazy bag of bones, your luck has run out: it's looking like we're in for several days of mild temperatures and no rain.
Dogs, children, and outdoorsy types: rejoice! Cats and cat people: carry on.
IN NATIONAL NEWS
• Today is the 2-year anniversary of the first reported case of COVID in the United States. Since that day, there have been 69 million cases reported in the US and over 860,000 deaths. President Biden yesterday held a press conference where he admitted they should have ramped up testing sooner but testing was getting better! Relatedly, today I got an email from my health insurance provider about how to get home tests and I opened it, thinking testing was getting better, and my health insurance provider was just like "want healthcare? LOL, not from us! Talk to the Post Office, byeeeeee."
• The 45th President's adult daughter has been asked by the January 6 Commission to voluntary cooperate in their investigation of just what the former President was up to that day. The AP reports that: "The committee says it wants to discuss what Ivanka Trump knew about her father’s efforts." Ivanka's spokesperson responded with "Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally," which is not a real response. This is like somebody saying, "Elinor, we would like to discuss what you know about there not being any more peach rings in your house despite there having recently been a large purchase of peach rings" and my spokesperson says "Elinor did not speak at the January 6 rally." It's just different information. (But no, I do not have any comment on the peach rings.)
• Speaking of candy: Mars, the company that makes M&Ms, has announced an update to the candy characters that reflect a "more dynamic, progressive world." This is a great way to make a lot of internet dorks mad, who will then write about it and generate a bunch of free publicity for a billion-dollar corporation. (Hi! Sorry, it's just funny to think about candy having sex, LOL.)
For the record, Twix are bi.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) January 20, 2022