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GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! Here's some honest news: I intend to rush through writing this so I can stand outside and get blasted with all the Vitamin D my body has been denied over the past several months, and I know it's only like 58 degrees out there, but I'm probably going to wear shorts and you can't stop me! For more news, please read on.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Good news for the city center: KATU reports that downtown businesses have seen increased foot traffic in recent months, and they're crediting the return of arts programming. While the number of window shoppers still hasn't returned to pre-pandemic levels, it is up 25 percent from last year. Nice! I know I for one am pumped about the summer concert series at Pioneer Square and I can't wait to see downtown look all lively and fun again.
• From the Willamette Week: Data Shows Fires at Homeless Camps Remained a Large Portion of Portland Blazes Last Year. You can click through to find a table breaking down the instances by month, but the gist is that many more fires happen during winter months, because it's cold, and fire is warm. Honestly, what do they expect people to do?
• The Oregon Legislature is considering a ban on TikTok on state-issued phones, which is how I learned that state employees were putting TikTok on their state-issued phones. President Biden has even threatened to pull this whole car over and ban TikTok from all of the USA if China doesn't stop using the app for spying, and China's like "We don't! By the way, your outfit is 🔥."
• The Portland Trailblazers have a new mascot that looks like it parties, but does it party like Dillon the Pickle?
should we ask your mom about this pic.twitter.com/qTekPn26WK— Portland Pickles (@picklesbaseball) March 16, 2023
IN NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• Another bank got another bailout. It's so moving how swiftly people can take action and pull together a quick $30 billion when something really important is on the line—like protecting shareholders' assets. In the words of The West Wing's Josh Lyman: "Can't believe no one ever wrote a folk song about that."
• When I saw the headline Biden Climate Legacy Tested by Backlash Over Willow Project, you know I clicked through. Alas, this was not about a Presidential response to the cancellation of the rebooted Willow series on Disney+, but rather the large-scale oil drilling in Alaska that Biden just greenlit despite having campaigned on protecting the environment and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. I dunno, he's pretty old, any chance somebody asked him if they should move forward with the Willow project and he thought it was the show, and not the oil drilling and that's why he said yes? Somebody with a line to Biden, please doublecheck.
• Speaking of presidents, that last one sure was bad news, wasn't he? A grand jury in Georgia just got to listen to another call he placed trying to get... I don't know, the election fairy?... to change the vote count to have him win the state. What a rascal.
U.S. issues Mexico travel safety alert, especially for these popular spring break spots https://t.co/wbdfhsgFeH— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) March 16, 2023
• Look, if I had to read this, then so do you: Ron DeSantis Eats Chocolate Pudding Using Three Fingers, No Utensils. I'll hold your hair while you barf if you hold mine next.
• Some goats recently ran loose through the streets of San Francisco. NPR investigated how the goats may have felt as they explored the city by the bay, and an animal behavior specialist opined that they were probably "freaked out." Makes sense. While I'm not a goat psychologist, I also bet they were like, "Why are there so many goddamn steep hills in this city???" Because that's what I'm always like when I go to San Francisco.
• French President Emmanuel Macron continues to say "oui" to the country's plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The French people, as they do, are saying "non," and we are probably going to be seeing a lot more badass protest photos.
• The people of Turkey, who are still digging out from a devastating earthquake, are now dealing with flash floods. If the universe could ease the fuck up on Turkey, now's a good time to do so!
• A Maine man lost his appeal to have his vanity license plated reinstated because officials felt that his message, "LUVTOFU" was vulgar. The man insisted that he's just a vegan who loves tofu. Mmmhmmm. This is a good time to remind you to check out the vanity plates rejected in Oregon in 2022. LUVTOFU isn't on there but bless the Oregonians who tried P00PY and MILF AF.
• Wanna feel pervy about Billy Crystal, a 75-year-old man? Here ya go:
Thank you all.. pic.twitter.com/EySEYTBJMc— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) March 14, 2023
Now that you're informed, please go drink a margarita in the sunshine.