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On todays episode of Dr. Fauci Explains It All...
On today's episode of Dr. Fauci Explains It All... Pool photo / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! Hope you enjoyed the weekend's sunny skies—we're headed into a week of dense fog and generally "stagnant air." Turn on your headlights and keep your head on a swivel, Portlanders. Now, for the news:

- The majority of Portland city employees represented by the District Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) have voted to authorize a strike amid a standstill over contract negotiations with the city. This means that the 1,200 city employees represented by DCTU could go on strike if—or, when—the union’s bargaining team believes it’s necessary to move negotiations forward.

- A person died after being hit by a car Saturday night, marking Portland’s eighth traffic fatality of 2022. The hit-and-run took place on SE Powell and 160th Ave just after 7 pm Saturday. SE Powell, which is owned by the state, is a known high-crash corridor in Portland, and in the process of being transferred to the city for better safety oversight.

- A report published Friday by the American Bar Association found that Oregon’s public defense system has less than one-third of the public defenders required to meet current caseloads. Not great! Given that public defense in criminal cases is required under the US Constitution, it seems like only a matter of time until Oregon is slapped with a federal lawsuit.

- Bloomberg News discovered Portland’s youth climate activists!

- City officials hosted a virtual community forum Sunday night on the future of body cameras for Portland cops, where members of public raised critical questions about the pending program. Get caught up on the conversation here.

- Fauci update: Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s "as confident as you can be" that most states will have reached a peak of omicron COVID-19 cases by mid-February. Mid-February is soon! Will the end of omicron open the door to another variant? Probably not. But disease experts say that growing vaccination rates could tamp down the impact a future variant could have on society as a whole.

- A ship bound for Miami changed course for the Bahamas Saturday after a US judge issued an arrest warrant for the ship due to nearly $5 million in unpaid fuel bills. (It’s not clear how they have enough fuel to hightail it to the Bahamas). One passenger summarized the vibe: "We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!"

- Civil rights has been canceled, I guess:

- Citing a threat of a looming Russian military invasion, the US State Department ordered personnel at the US embassy in Ukraine to leave the country—and suggested all other US nationals living in Ukraine scram. (Perhaps they’ve learned from their tardy embassy evacuation in Afghanistan?)

- The only thinkpiece you need to read this week: “Let the Green M&M Be a Nasty Little Slut