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Good morning, Portland! Summer is not over—today is forecast to bring sunny skies with a high of 84 degrees. How lovely!
In local news:
• Portland lawyer John DiLorenzo says he is trying to “nudge” city officials to remove homeless camps citywide and build emergency shelters by launching various legal challenges, first by claiming the city is violating ADA laws by not sweeping tents on the sidewalk and now by threatening to sue the city over tree health along an encampment by Laurelhurst park. A letter to the city attorney’s office indicates that a group of unidentified Laurelhurst neighbors, represented by DiLorenzo, is concerned that the trees—owned by the city—may drop a branch on the campers below, making the city liable for any injury sustained from the event.
• Portland’s first “living building”—a building that supplies its own electricity and water—opened last fall with little fanfare. The average-looking brick building on SW 1st Avenue and SW Pine Street is equipped with 400 solar panels on the roof, rainwater storage for up to 72,000 gallons of water with an onsite treatment system, and 20 compost bins to convert waste into fertilizer. The commercial building was financed by a lender and private investors.
Oregon tuition-free preschool delayed by weeks or months, families frustrated by lack of answers https://t.co/zrdfGuVBz6— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) September 20, 2022
• Electric cars are the future, but how accessible is that future for low-income, rural, and non-white Oregonians? Public charging infrastructure is not evenly distributed throughout the state and according to state and national data, 83 percent of applicants for state EV rebate programs were white. Black and Latino Oregonians made up less than 10 percent of applicants combined.
• Shaking the Tree's Fucking A—a riff on Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, with abortion substituted for adultery—is shaping up to be one of the most exciting theatrical productions of the year.
An upper level low is slowly pushing back to the north into Oregon this morning. Look for increasing cloud cover into Salem and possible showers later today in Eugene. Clouds and scattered shower chances make it to Portland Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/QKg6Nj5gyC— Rod Hill (@KGWRodHill) September 20, 2022
In national and international news:
• Millions of Puerto Rico residents remain without power and more than one million people in the Dominican Republic are without running water after Hurricane Fiona hit the island this weekend. National Guard troops rescued hundreds of stranded residents Monday, but the island is still being pummeled by rain and it may be several days before power can be restored. The flooding is at “historic levels,” according to local officials, and has already been connected to five deaths.
• STDs are on the rise in the US, including a 26 percent increase in new syphilis infections reported in 2021. With HIV and gonorrhea cases also increasing, national health officials are calling for a reinvigoration and expansion of STD prevention in the US. So far, leaders are floating ideas to develop at-home STD testing kits and a good old-fashioned campaign to encourage condom usage.
• Excellent news:
.@MariahCarey talked about the grunge-rock album she recorded in 1995 on @RollingStone 's podcast and her plans to release it in the future. https://t.co/LSF2ou1yEO #MariahCarey pic.twitter.com/YRzhQubrSK— Melissa Ruggieri (@MRuggieri) September 19, 2022
• California became the fifth state to legalize human composting, a death service that offers an alternative to cremation, this week. Human composting allows the body to be naturally broke down into soil, as opposed to the cremation process which emits significant CO2 into the air. Oregon legalized the process earlier this year.
• Twitter is rolling out a new opt-in feature that reminds users to add alt text—image descriptions that can be read by screen readers—to photos they are uploading to the platform. You can turn on the reminder by going to your Twitter settings, selecting “Accessibility,” and then tapping “receive image description reminder.”
• This is how I found out a spider crawled across the Queen’s coffin.
the spider on the queen’s coffin: pic.twitter.com/2QbEsnX3SI— Vinny Thomas (@vinn_ayy) September 19, 2022