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Gooood morning, Portland! Alright, that’s enough dilly dallying—onto the headlines!
In local news:
• It’s increasingly difficult to buy a home in Portland, and part of the reason is real estate investors snapping up houses at a higher rate each year. Investors bought 12.6 percent of homes sold in Portland during the fourth quarter of 2021—that’s a 46.3 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2020. First-time home buyers often can’t compete with the financial resources of investors, who usually either flip or rent the house for profit.
• Deja vu alert! Last week, People for Portland proposed a ballot measure that would redirect tax-payer dollars from building permanent housing to building temporary shelters via a voter-approved Metro bond, but it was struck down for being unconstitutional. This week, People for Portland submitted—get this—a practically identical proposal. Confused? Tbh, me too, but Alex Zielinski breaks it all down here.
• A union representing Multnomah County library workers is demanding a change to the libraries’ security system amid contract bargaining. As homelessness and behavioral health issues have been exasperated over the past few years, library employees say they are facing more violent attacks from patrons who have sought refuge at the library. “I have to wake up every day and figure out, is this the day that someone gets stabbed, or someone gets shot?” one librarian told WW.
• Recorded in a garden due to COVID safety precautions, Portland-based Canary Room’s latest project is full of sparsely arranged acoustic guitar dotted with chirping birds and the sounds of gentle breeze rustling the trees. Check out Ben Salmon’s review and interview with artist Maddy Heide.
BREAKING: The South Eugene Starbucks is officially the first in Oregon to approve the formation of a union. Organizers and workers watched the live-streamed vote and celebrated the results. More later on KLCC. pic.twitter.com/OQHQxKV6PQ
— KLCC (@KLCCOregon) April 13, 2022
In national and international news:
• The Grand Rapids Police released video footage Wednesday of the police shooting of Patrick Lyoya in Michigan earlier this month, citing a need for transparency. Lyoya, a Black man, was shot in the back of the head by a white police officer following a traffic stop. The video shows Lyoya and the officer physically struggling on the ground while the officer yells at Lyoya to “let go” of his Taser. The officer’s body camera was turned off during the struggle prior to the shooting, which the police chief attributed to an accidental push of the camera recording button due to body pressure.
• Ukrainian officials say they struck a Russian military ship with missiles overnight, sinking the warship. Russian officials say that the ship was badly damaged, but is still afloat. The ship carries 16 missiles and would be a significant loss to Russia’s firepower if it’s taken out of battle.
How much energy does it take to have a good and healthy life?
A new Stanford University study has found that Americans use nearly 4 times the energy needed to live a happy life. https://t.co/33SWn1F3Us
— NPR (@NPR) April 14, 2022
• Amazon is adding a 5 percent “fuel and inflation surcharge” to the fees that it charges third-party sellers on the platform starting April 28. Some business experts expect the third-party sellers to pass along the surcharge to consumers.
• Hundreds of small earthquakes were recorded this week near an Alaskan volcano that’s been dormant for 800 years. Scientists say there is no current cause for concern because volcanoes do have “swarms of earthquakes” that don’t lead to eruption, however they are tracking the underwater volcano's activity closely.
• AHOY THERE, STONERS! The SPLIFF Film Festival—featuring short, hilarious, trippy, and thoughtful mini-movies about cannabis and made by stoners just like YOU—is coming to Revolution Hall for one night only on Saturday, April 16! GET THOSE TICKETS NOW! (And speaking of the munchies, your favorite week of the year is almost here: It’s the Mercury’s PIZZA WEEK featuring $3 specialty slices at 28 locations across the Portland area, starting Monday, April 18-24. Eat ’em up!)
• And finally, a very cute PSA.