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Good afternoon, Portland! Happy Valentines Day to all you cuties out there. My sweetheart today—and every day—is THE NEWS. Let's dive in.
In local news:
• Good news for “high earners:” Multnomah County and Metro announced Tuesday that they will not charge penalties or late fees to households who forgot to pay newly-created taxes that fund homeless services and universal preschool. One third of households making over six-figures in the region failed to pay Metro’s tax to fund homeless services, and county officials say some taxpayers also failed to pay a 2021 tax for universal preschool. However, because many eligible households were not notified that they had to pay the tax, the county and Metro are not punishing them for late payment.
• The latest on the booze scandal of the century: Governor Tina Kotek has picked Craig Prins, the inspector general for the Oregon Department of Corrections, to serve as interim director of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Kotek’s selection follows the disgraced resignation of the former OLCC head Steve Marks, who used his position to set aside very expensive bottles of bourbon for him and his friends. Prins must be confirmed by the OLCC’s board Wednesday.
• SEX. DEBAUCHERY. SOME SILLY FUCK, MARRY, KILL QUESTIONS. All that and more in the Mercury’s revived sex survey!
Calling all horny folks! 👀 The Mercury's scientifically hot Portland SEX SURVEY has returned! 😍 Take our anonymous survey and let's find out HOW you do it, WHO you're doing it with, and WHAT you're using to do it! 🍆https://t.co/L0IttI8nAK— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 14, 2023
• The Oregon Department of Transportation is doing away with timed permits to drive the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway this summer after the program was deemed too costly and complicated to continue. According to ODOT, the program—piloted last summer in an effort to reduce crowds—cost $1 million to implement for 15 weeks. The agency is still looking to address congestion around Multnomah Falls this summer.
• From the inbox: Portland City Council and the Portland Police Association (the union representing rank and file Portland police officers) have declared an impasse during their negotiations over body camera policy. That means that the city and police union will now enter arbitration—AKA a third party comes and helps them negotiate. While negotiations have been behind closed doors, the sticking point is most likely whether or not the police should be allowed to review the body camera footage before writing a report. The city and union will release their specific policy requests Friday.
Piercers and front-of-house workers at Black Hole Body Piercing and Tattoo in Portland are unionizing with UFCW Local 555, according to an NLRB petition filed on Feb. 10. The union petition doesn't cover tattoo artists. pic.twitter.com/aWiGrMvimT— Colin Staub (@colininportland) February 14, 2023
In national and international news:
• The gunman who killed three students and wounded several others at Michigan State University Monday had no apparent connection to the campus, according to police. Law enforcement officials are currently trying to determine 43-year-old Anthony McRae’s motive for the shooting. McRae killed himself while being confronted by the police.
• Republicans in Georgia are trying to erect a statue of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in Atlanta so “future generations of Georgians can learn valuable lessons from his legacy.” Ah yes, his legacy of voting to remove abortion rights and encouraging the Supreme Court to “reconsider” past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex marriage, and same-sex relationships. What a guy.
Like the calculator, spellcheck and Google before it, the new artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT is making educators worry about the potential for cheating.— The Associated Press (@AP) February 14, 2023
But some are embracing it as a teaching tool. https://t.co/5P2tBXYSot pic.twitter.com/QmDqh26gAw
• According to a new report from Yale University, the Russian government has “evacuated” thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia without parental consent during the war. Researchers say that Russia is operating at least 40 child custody centers throughout the country and the country’s actions are potentially a war crime. Russian officials claim that the Ukrainian children are abandoned orphans that have been traumatized by the war, not missing Ukrainian children.
• Okay, that’s all for today. Love you, bye.
I chews you pic.twitter.com/usoxwUwN3z— Oregon Zoo (@OregonZoo) February 14, 2023