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Good Morning, News: Oregon Okays Vaccines for 12-15 Year Olds, McDonald's Forced to Raise Wages, and a New Oregon Trail

Absolutely cursed image.
Absolutely cursed image. Eugene Gologursky / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! The weather's great—here are some patios where you can enjoy the sunshine this weekend.

Here are the headlines.

• The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup—which includes both Oregon and Washington—officially approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15 year-olds yesterday, shortly after the CDC recommended the shots for that age group. That means that if you're a parent of a 12-15 year-old, you can get your kid vaccinated against COVID now.

• Meanwhile, Oregon hit another big vaccine milestone yesterday: Over two million state residents 16 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose. Daily case counts have been declining after the fourth wave surge hit its peak last month.

• In Israel and Palestine, reprehensible violence continues:

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20 Patios in Portland to Visit This Spring

Admire the view from Revolution Halls spacious rooftop deck.
Admire the view from Revolution Hall's spacious rooftop deck. Revolution Hall

As the weather warms up and restaurants continue to offer socially distanced outdoor seating, there's never been a better time to dine al fresco. We've rounded up 20 patios in Portland where you can soak up the sun, from the party vibes at Tropicale to rooftop margaritas and tacos at Tope. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

ROOFTOP PATIOS


Botanist
The celebrated craft cocktail bar's capacious rooftop deck has plenty of room to spread out while sipping excellent gimlets and Negronis.
Northwest
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

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Good Afternoon, News: Relief for Oregon Renters, CDC Recommends 12-15 Year Olds Get Vaxed, and the Used Car Price Surge

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Cavan Images / Getty images

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

In local news:

• The Oregon Legislature has advanced a bill that would lessen the expected impact of the looming June 30 termination of the statewide COVID-19 eviction moratorium. Once this bill is signed into law, renters who missed payments because of the pandemic will have until February 28, 2022 to pay that rent back to their landlords before risking eviction. But renter advocates say the bill is "just scratching the surface" of the help tenants will need coming out of the pandemic.

• In case you missed it yesterday: Once 70 percent of Oregonians 16 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose, Gov. Kate Brown plans to ease most the statewide pandemic restrictions. And Multnomah County is on track to move into "low risk" mode by as early as May 21. There are now plenty of walk-in vaccine clinics open in the Portland area, so if this news doesn't motivate you to get your shot, I don't know what will!

• More than a hundred businesses on SE Hawthorne are asking the Portland Bureau of Transportation to include protected bike lanes in revamp plans for the street, per BikePortland.

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Oregon Legislature Extends Missed Rent Repayment Period to February

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RETROROCKET / GETTY IMAGES

The Oregon Legislature has advanced a bill that would lessen the expected impact of the looming June 30 termination of the statewide COVID-19 eviction moratorium.

Currently, Oregonians who've been unable to pay rent due to the pandemic's financial toll are required to pay back any missed rent payments on July 1, the day after the moratorium lifts. Senate Bill 282, introduced by Portland Senator Kayse Jama, expands the grace period to repay skipped rent until February 28, 2022.

Eugene Representative Julie Fahey introduced the bill on the House floor Tuesday, where she described the legislation as a "compromise bill," acknowledging that it had the support of both landlord and tenant groups. While she underscored the fact that the bill does not extend the current eviction moratorium, Fahey said that this delay would allow more time for expected federal aid to reach Oregon renters.

"By passing this bill, we can ensure that Oregon tenants and landlords can get the full benefit of rental assistance coming to our state and help prevent the fallout from the pandemic following the most vulnerable Oregonians for years to come," Fahey said.

Oregon is in line to receive $222.5 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act for emergency rental assistance, but it's not yet clear when the state and other jurisdictions will see the funds.

The bill includes a few other protections for Oregon tenants impacted by the pandemic. Specifically, SB 282 bars landlords from rejecting rental applications due to a prospective tenant not paying rent or being evicted during the COVID pandemic. It also prevents a tenant's credit score from being impacted by non-payment of rent during the pandemic and prevents landlords from evicting tenants for allowing guests to stay in their home due to COVID or wildfire-related hardships.

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Savage Love: Dramatis Personae

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Joe Newton

I'm someone who does gay porn for a living. How do people who do gay porn meet someone who doesn’t just sexualize or fetishize them? I can’t eat, sleep, and breathe my work constantly but the guys I meet want me to live out the “porn persona” version of myself all the time. How does someone who does porn know who you can be yourself with?

Aiden Ward

@aidenxxxward

"Living with two identities is definitely a balancing act," said Devin Franco, an award-winning gay porn performer. "Being in porn means juggling the 'real world' person I actually am—a person who has to navigate rent, healthcare, bills, and a social life—and a porn star alter ego. And these days our porn alter egos don't just have to perform. We also have to do a lot of our own shooting and our own PR while maintaining our images. It's a lot. And reality always comes knocking no matter how much fun you're having. The bills always come due."

Franco's first bit of advice is to remember that you are not your alter ego.

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Good Morning, News: Good COVID News for Oregon, Gas Panic-Buying, and GOP Ousts Cheney for Refusing to Kiss Trump's Rump

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

House Republicans cancel Liz Cheney for refusing to lie about Trump.
House Republicans cancel Liz Cheney for refusing to lie about Trump. Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Senses telling me you're looking, I can feel it on my skin. Boy, I wonder what would happen if I trip and let you in. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Yesterday Gov. Kate Brown announced some heartening news: As soon as 70 percent of Oregonians 16 and over receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the statewide safety restrictions will be lifted. What's more, starting May 21 counties will be moved into the "Lower Risk" tier—meaning that most food and entertainment establishments can operate at 50 percent capacity—after 65 percent of the county's residents have received at least one dose. Our Isabella Garcia has the details.

• Many people of color cannot afford to either rent or buy homes in just about any neighborhood in Portland, according to a new housing report, since the price of having a place to live has outpaced actual income growth.

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Good Afternoon, News: Restrictions Will Lift When Oregon is 70% Vaxxed, NRA Thwarted, and Trump's Failed Blog

NRAs attempt to declare bankruptcy shot down by judge. (Get it?)
NRA's attempt to declare bankruptcy shot down by judge. (Get it?) Scott Olson / Getty News

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Statewide COVID-19 safety restrictions will be lifted once 70 percent of Oregonians have received their first dose of the vaccine, which will probably be in mid- to late-June. Plus, Multnomah County is projected to move to "Lower Risk" level as soon as May 21.

Employers offering minimum wage jobs in Oregon are struggling to find workers willing to fill them. Maybe it has something to do with minimum wage not being a livable wage... but what do I know?

• OMG, have you heard the news? Everywhere you look, the City of Roses has become "the city of trash and filth," according to KOIN News’ most recent story on Portland’s reputation. Well, maybe this means trying to buy a house in Portland will become less like The Hunger Games.

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COVID-19 Restrictions Will Lift When 70 Percent of Oregonians Receive First Dose

A Multnomah county healthcare worker prepares a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Statewide COVID-19 safety restrictions will relax when 70 percent of Oregonians receive at least one dose of the vaccine, Governor Kate Brown announced Tuesday. Multnomah County

Most COVID-19 safety restrictions will be lifted statewide when 70 percent of Oregonians 16 and older receive their first dose of the vaccine, Governor Kate Brown announced in a press conference Tuesday.

Current vaccination rates indicate 70 percent of Oregonians will receive at least their first dose by the end of June. Because vaccine supply and distribution capacity are no longer an issue, Brown is shifting the state’s efforts towards reducing the racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine distribution. Starting May 21, counties will be eligible to move to “Lower Risk” status when 65 percent of the county’s residents 16 and older receive their first vaccine dose and the county has submitted a plan to close vaccine equity gaps to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). “Lower Risk” status means that most food and entertainment establishments, including indoor dining and gyms, can operate at 50 percent capacity.

Multnomah County is currently under "High Risk" restrictions. Based on current projections, Multnomah County should be ready to move to the “Lower Risk” tier by May 21 unless the county opts out, or fails to submit an equity plan to OHA by May 14. As of Tuesday, about 60 percent of adult Multnomah County residents and 49 percent of adults statewide have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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Takeout Club: Shalom Y'all Southeast Wants You to Sit Down and Be Served

Fried cauliflower and hummus from Shalom Yall
Fried cauliflower and hummus from Shalom Y'all Suzette Smith
The southeast location of Israeli restaurant Shalom Y'all is in one of my favorite areas of Portland: Central Eastside. The district is composed of tightly-built warehouse spaces, which lend dramatic shadows at dusk. It's also bisected by an uncompromising train thoroughfare.

So the first tip of eating at Shalom Y'all SE is to know what side of the train you want to be on, otherwise you may find yourself within eyesight of your dinner's desire with only the bells of crossing signs to fill your belly. It happens every time, and I never ever think about it in advance. Don't be me.

But once the train cleared, Shalom Y'all's romantic, streetside patio rolled into view. Despite their proximity to all that bonging, the guests seemed largely inoculated by large glasses of wine and good conversation.

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Live Music & Films Slated for South Waterfront this Summer

A rendering of the Lot at Zidell Yards
A rendering of the Lot at Zidell Yards courtesy of Zidell yards

The Lot at Zidell Yards—a new outdoor event space that neighbors OHSU's buildings on the South waterfront—announced a full lineup of summer concerts and film screenings this morning. Planned musical acts include Ural Thomas & The Pain, Y La Bamba, and Federale, and tickets for some shows are already on sale.

The new slate of acts is welcome news for those who hope to achieve some level of post-vaccination revelry this summer, as it's still unclear when indoor concert venues will be willing and able to reopen in Oregon. While some movie theaters have reopened, attendance capacity is still limited. Zidell Yards bills itself as "our city's premier socially-distanced, outdoor performance venue," meaning attendees won't have to worry about being thrown back into a big crowd after a year of avoiding contact with most other humans.

The venue's summer movie lineup is mostly done in partnership with the Hollywood Theatre, and features beloved classics rather than new releases. Some films are paired with an opening musical act, meaning you can listen to the Portland Cello Project before watching E.T. on May 28; local country-rock group Roselit Bone before Thelma and Louise on June 15; and hip-hop duo Cool Nutz and DJ Fatboy before Coming to America on June 26.

Additionally, Zidell Yards will host Pride Pics: An Outdoor Film Experience, curated by the QDoc Film Festival, during Pride week in June—one of the few in-person Pride events folks will be able to attend this year.

Check out the full lineup, courtesy of a Zidell Yards press release, below. Tickets are now for sale unless otherwise indicated; you can buy them here. Tickets appear to be selling fast, so you'll want to act sooner rather than later.

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The Weather's Getting Hotter and So Are You... So Grab a New Mercury T-Shirt!

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James Douglas Mitchell

The sun is out, the weather's warming, and it's time for you to start flashing that hot bod. And now you can make that bod even more attractive—while supporting local journalism—by snapping up the new Mercury T-shirts! CHECK 'EM OUT!

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This shirt is perfect for your post-pandemic jaunts around town—especially if you like doing it on two wheels. This fun design was illustrated by the great James Douglas Mitchellcheck out his other endeavors here on Insta. By the way, this shirt is designed for lots of bodies, with sizes from XS up to 3XL, and they're only 25 bucks, so... GET YOURS NOW AND HERE!

And due to popular demand, we're also bringing back the now famous Mercury TP Tee!

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Originally offered during the early days of the pandemic, this shirt has been popular with both friends and enemies alike. (Doesn't matter why you like it, as long as you're supporting the Mercury!) Same deal with sizes: XS up to 3XL, and they're only $25. GET YOURS NOW AND HERE!

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By buying and proudly wearing your Mercury tee, you're saying to the world, "HEY WORLD! I support local progressive journalism that helps the marginalized and sticks it to the man!" Terrific investigative reporting is not free, and in order for us to keep bringing you the high quality work you depend on, we depend on your help—whether it's buying our tees, watching our streaming shows, or (best case scenario) making a small monthly contribution. So please help out however you can!

If you want one of these wicked hot tees, ya gotta move fast—these shirts will only be available until May 23! So order your Mercury tees now! As always, thanks and WE APPRECIATE YOU!


Good Morning, News: Disagreements Over Homeless Services Funds, Atrocities Against Palestinians, and the GOP Still Loves Trump

Relatives of Palestinian Ahmed Al-Shenbari, who was killed during an Israeli raid in Beit Hanoun city on the northern Gaza Strip, mourn during his funeral on May 11, 2021 in Gaza City, Gaza.
Relatives of Palestinian Ahmed Al-Shenbari, who was killed during an Israeli raid in Beit Hanoun city on the northern Gaza Strip, mourn during his funeral on May 11, 2021 in Gaza City, Gaza. Fatima Shbair /getty images

Good morning, Portland! Head's up: You have one week left to vote in the May 18 election.

Here are the headlines.

• Last year, voters in the Portland Metro region voted to fund a new homeless services measure, and now it's time for local elected officials to decide how to spend the millions of dollars it's generated so far. But not everyone in Multnomah County is in agreement on how it ought to be spent: While some want to fund as many alternative shelter beds as possible, others argue that the funds should be focused on sustainable long-term housing solutions.

• You've probably heard about the violence happening this week in Palestine and Israel by now. But are you still unclear on what prompted the recent killings? This piece is a helpful explainer of the what the latest flashpoint is, and why it isn't simply a real estate dispute—it's an attempted ethnic cleansing.

• It's sometimes easy to forget just how surreal the last 15 months have been. These extraordinary photos help document the very singular time we're living through:

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Good Afternoon, News: ODOT Taps Brakes on 82nd, Pfizer Approved for Kids 12-15, and the Return of "Bennifer"

Reset your clock, its 2004 all over again.
Reset your clock, it's 2004 all over again. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Just when transportation safety advocates were about to apply a lot of public pressure on Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to do something about pedestrian deaths on 82nd Ave, ODOT dropped the speed limit on the busy thoroughfare from 35 mph to 30 and plan on installing 10 digital speed reader signs. Our Isabella Garcia has more!

• Houseless advocates have raised concerns that a sheltering proposal put forth by Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran was too quickly thrown together and lacks input from the houseless people it wants to help. Our Alex Zielinski has the details.

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Advocates Raise Concerns About Homeless Shelter Expansion Proposal

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JOSHUARAINEYPHOTOGRAPHY / GETTY IMAGES

A meeting of a community board that helps guide regional solutions to homelessness underscored concerns last week around a shelter proposal pitched by Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran.

The virtual Wednesday meeting of the A Home For Everyone (AHFE) Coordinating Board—which oversees the collaborative work being done by governments in the Portland metro region to address homelessness—centered on Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury's proposed county budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. That budget suggests using $52 million in revenue from Metro's homeless services measure (passed by voters in May 2020) to create up to 450 new shelter beds and secure 1,300 housing units for people who are currently unhoused or at risk of losing their home.

This proposal doesn't sit well with Meieran, who has characterized the region's current state of unsanctioned homeless camps as a "humanitarian crisis."

"That is a small number of people," said Meieran, who sits on the AHFE Coordinating Board, during the meeting, referencing the 450 people who'd get a shelter bed. "We need something to address the emergency. We need to focus additional resources on that to address the scale of the need."

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Siren and the Sea’s Cristina Cano Talks New Album For Bathing, a Soundtrack for Self Care

For Bathing , Siren and the Sea
For Bathing, Siren and the Sea

Cristina Cano, the woman behind solo project Siren and the Sea, always has lots of oils, salts, scents and rituals going on during her beloved baths. But what’s a calming bath without some soothing melodies to self-care with? That’s the question that occurred to Cano before she began humming the tune and conceptualizing her latest full-length For Bathing, which she wrote while living in Portland in 2018-19.

“That year for whatever reason I was taking a little bit of a break from performing and I was like a little more introverted, and finding that space where I needed to retreat inside—self reflecting,” Cano explains. She eventually found meditation through bathing.

“I was taking one of my stoney-baloney baths and I was actually listening to ‘Honeycomb’ by Kadhja Bonet which is like one of my favorite songs. And I remember thinking, like, the flow of the song is so perfect for bathing,” Cano remembers, adding that she wanted to embody that same feeling in her own sound. “And sure enough, I really crafted the flow of the track listing for [the album] through sort of going through the bathing process.”

Cano’s May 2021 release continues a long Siren and the Sea tradition of making poetic music loaded with aquatic themes, or as Cano has dubbed her own sound, swimwave. Submerged in her own imaginary world, Cano embodies a sort of electro-pop-singing mermaid character.

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