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Good morning, Portland—and happy first day of fall! I've decided to celebrate by catching my first cold in three years, which I wouldn't recommend. I would recommend celebrating with a warm beverage and curling up with some NEWS.

In local news:

• A tenant in Portland’s affordable housing was paying $833 for a two-bedroom for years until this year, when the new property owner increased her rent 50 percent to $1,236 per month. The increase is completely legal due to loopholes in the city’s affordable housing protections that ties the definition of “affordable housing” to the value of Portland’s real estate market. 

• City Council hopeful Rene Gonzalez is getting fined $77,140 for receiving a 96 percent discount on his campaign’s downtown office space, which election officials determined is essentially campaign contribution from building owner Jordan Schnitzer and, thus, in violation of election laws. Gonzalez’s argument is that downtown Portland is so shitty that paying $250 in rent (for an office listed for $6,900) is accurate to the office’s market value.

• While Measure 110 has gotten $300 million out the door for addiction treatment funding, two addiction experts are warning that it’s going to take more than money to tackle Oregon’s high rate of drug use. During testimony to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation, experts said that Oregon’s current situation of widely available drugs with little pressure to stop using them will continue to foster extensive addiction with minimal treatment seeking. The experts advised state leaders to do more to push people towards treatments and reduce drugs available of the street—but they did not advise repealing Measure 110 itself.

• Oregon’s assessment test scores dropped by 9 percent this year—the first year standardized tests have been administered following the pandemic. “We clearly know why overall our proficiency rates went down,” director of the Oregon Department of Education Colt Gill told OPB, attributing the decline to school disruptions and stress. 

In national and international news:

• Nationwide protests continue in Iran following the death of an Iranian women in police custody after she was arrested by morality police—police tasked with enforcing the country’s laws against immodesty. Video shows Mahsa Amini collapsing at a “re-education center” following her arrest for “guidance” on her attire. Police say Amini had a heart attack and fell into a coma, but her family says she had no preexisting heart conditions and that doctors refused to let them see her body, leading to widespread skepticism of police accounts of her death. 

• The House committee leading the probe into the January 6 insurrection is holding its final public hearing next week, Sept 28, at 1 pm (raise your hand if you forgot those were still happening). Committee members say the hearing will include new evidence relating to former VP Mike Pence that has not been shared publicly.

• Nearly 200 beached whales in Tasmania died Thursday after harsh surf challenged rescue efforts. While wildlife officials aren’t certain why so many whales were beached in the same area, the area where the whales died is notoriously shallow. In September 2020, over 400 whales were stuck on sandbars at the same beach, indicating an environmental pattern.

• For every human on Earth, there are an estimated 2.5 million ants, or about 20 quadrillion in total. That’s according to a study from the University of Hong Kong and University of Würzburg, which calls the number a conservative estimate.

• Listen…. Sometimes you gotta scream it out. If you live in a place where your neighbors would be concerned if they heard you screaming, feel free to shove your face into a pillow before you join in. The gator will start us off: