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GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! Here's your early bird reminder that we're kicking off the free Mercury READER VALENTINES next Tuesday! (So think of something romantic to write to your sweetie-pie... unless you like sleeping in the gutter?) Now let's sleep in a gutter of NEWS.


• After being publicly called out on his bullshit, Mayor Wheeler is doing an about-face and has announced the City will accept applications from potential vendors for gunshot detection technology to fight the plague of Portland shootings. Our Isabella Garcia details what caused Wheeler to change his mind, and how the public will finally get a chance to voice their opinion this time around. 

• A Black woman from Portland has been RIGHTLY awarded $1 million by a jury, after she was refused service at a Beaverton gas station by an employee who told her “I don’t serve Black people.” OH HELL NO.

• Charter reform! It's happening, y'all! But "will it happen on time" is the question. The good news is that headway is being made on the commission that will decide how to split up the city into four voting districts. Our Isabella Garcia explains that city council has appointed the members of this commission, as well as describing what's involved in making this map—which will surely draw criticism from the usual gang of wealthy criticizers who never wanted it in the first place. (Hi to Commish Mingus Mapps! 👋)

 • Today in "Things that make you say HMMMMM...": City Council also voted today to approve a specialized protection team of three armed guards to protect officials and workers at City Hall. No problem there, but the budget for security will now be costing the city more than $600,000 (!) and once again, the City is being cagey about what this new team is actually being hired to do. Again... HMMMMMM. 🤔


• After two years of relative bliss, get ready for another potential social media shitstorm as "Meta"—the stupid new name for old, gross Facebook—and Instagram are allowing Donald Trump back on their platforms. However, the company added they are adding new "guardrails" to stop repeat offenders. Sounds like a lot of extra work just to keep one asshole from ruining your dinner party.

• Related LOL headline of the day: "Marjorie Taylor Greene aims to be Trump's VP pick in 2024."

• Meanwhile a group of Florida high schoolers are threatening to sue Gov. Ron DeSantis for allowing his education department to ban African American studies from school curriculums after racistly deciding it was "woke indoctrination masquerading as education." (Correction: make that "super racistly.")

• "Cool" Pope Francis said in an AP interview that criminalizing homosexuality is unjust... though he still thinks it's a sin? (Hope he stretched out before doing those mental gymnastics.)

• And finally... "Previously on THE BEAR."