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Good afternoon, Portland! Let's hope Ted Wheeler doesn't shut down this rundown! Here's the news.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• A Multnomah County judge found Tusitala "Tiny" Toese guilty on ten counts of inciting and participating in a brawl in East Portland in 2021 following the conclusion of a three-day bench trial. Toese is now facing more than five years in state prison.
Proud Boy Tusitala “Tiny” Toese guilty on 10 counts in Portland street clash https://t.co/0KE7gmSQqA— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) March 2, 2023
• Mayor Wheeler doesn't win a lot of accolades, but you can't say he doesn't stand for decorum! That's why he shut down a city council meeting yesterday when several people used their public testimony time to condemn Commissioner Rene Gonzalez for his inhumane ban on the distribution of tents and tarps for the homeless. "As a result of your behavior, nobody really cares what you think," Wheeler reportedly (and incorrectly!) told the commenters.
• Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, is stepping down at the end of the month. Moore, who has led the OLCV since 2012, was lauded for raising the organization's profile in Salem and expanding its political muscle during his time in charge.
• In other personnel news, the head of the city office that handles neighborhood issues is taking a temporary leave of absence. Michael Montoya, who runs the Office of Community & Civic Life, is stepping away to "attend to some personal matters." There is no timeline for his return.
It's time for another fun POP QUIZ PDX, in which YOU answer sassy trivia Qs about our terrible city council, Damian Lillard's latest big win, and... a somewhat dubious claim that the author is "close personal friends" with Sam Elliott? 🤔https://t.co/AFc4lODB2W— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) March 2, 2023
• The University of Oregon has offered a football scholarship to an eighth grader, and guess what—he hasn't even accepted it! That might be because he's also weighing offers from... Arizona State, Arkansas, Hawaii, Marshall, Maryland, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, Troy, and Northern Colorado. Good luck to the Ducks.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Tennessee has become the first state in the country to severely limit where drag performances can take place, banning them from public property and non-age restricted venues. It's yet another infuriating attack on transgender and genderqueer people and freedom of expression, and one that other Republican-run states are very likely to follow in the coming months.
Amazing defiant speech from Bella Duball in Tennessee against the anti drag bill there.— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) February 21, 2023
“If they try to take drag away, this year we will remind them we will fight for our liberation. We will raise our bricks high.” pic.twitter.com/Tnst4GuOaZ
• Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee also signed a bill banning gender-affirming care in the state today. According to Human Rights Watch, there are over 340 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures right now and more than 150 of them target the transgender community specifically.
• The residents of East Palestine, Ohio are expected to finally tonight have the chance to confront officials from rail operator Norfolk Southern over the derailment that has upended life in their town. Norfolk Southern pulled out of a community meeting several weeks ago over concerns for the "safety" of their employees—a seemingly newfound concern given that employees themselves say the company doesn't care about their safety at all.
I didn't envision this getting the attention it has and I don't think the story has been fairly told either.— Meghan Mangrum (@memangrum) March 2, 2023
Yes, I was fired for a tweet. But the broader context shows this is about more than my tweet. This is all I have to say ⬇️https://t.co/1PfW72ep69
• Today in housing crisis news: Teachers can't afford to live in major cities—a major point of contention in ongoing contract negotiations in places like Los Angeles.
• Joe Biden told Democratic senators he's not going to veto a Republican-led effort to block a new Washington, DC crime law—while insisting he supports DC statehood *and* home rule! I don't buy it! Not for a second! The revision to the criminal code would have reduced maximum criminal penalties for certain crimes and was voted on by the duly elected city council, but never mind all that, what's more important than democracy is that Joe doesn't appear *gasp* soft on crime almost two full years before the next election.
• Finally... here's to Dave Grohl.
So, without telling anyone, Dave Grohl brought his giant smoker and cooked/fed barbecue and sides for 500 folks at Hope Mission in L.A. during the storms. Paid for it all. Worked 16 hours. So, when the aliens get here and ask “who’s in charge?”, I think we take them to Dave… https://t.co/CFIH4GOsfb pic.twitter.com/6BrUqjsgA6— Liz Allman Seccuro (@LizSeccuro) February 28, 2023