The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!
Good morning, Portland! It's going to continue to be blustery this week, with a hazardous wind advisory in effect until 7 am tomorrow. Sounds like a good time to hunker down and get into this NEWS.
In local news:
• The Portland Bureau of Transportation is planning a pilot program to strategically replace some street parking spots with trees as a way to bolster the city’s declining tree canopy. While the plan is still in the early stages with trees not expected to be planted until 2024, the aim is to target areas of the city where narrow sidewalks have prevented the city from planting trees in the parking strip.
• Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read announced plans Wednesday to decarbonize(ish) the Oregon Public Employee Pension Fund investment portfolio by 2050. The pension fund totals about $90 billion in assets and funds—you guessed it—pensions for government employees. Read plans to make the fund net zero by 2050 by balancing investments in carbon-producing companies with investments in companies that remove carbon from the atmosphere.
• There are a bevy of parties and shows on music columnist Jenni Moore's radar for this week's Hear in Portland: A fetish queer dance night w/ Maarquii, a co-headline bill of Hollis and Chong the Nomad, and cats, real ones, destroying a city to shoegaze.
• Cleveland High School students took to an Onion-esque instagram to make fun of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s handling of SE Powell Blvd—a state-owned highway that runs through busy city neighborhoods. The agency was put in the public spotlight in October when a bicyclist was fatally hit next to Cleveland High School at the intersection of SE Powell Blvd and SE 26th Ave.
View this post on Instagram
In national and international news:
• North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea on its eastern coast Thursday, according to the South Korean military. North Korea has been testing its missiles (aka flexing their arsenal) for the past couple months, but this missile launch came just hours after the country threatened to launch “fiercer” military action in response to the US strengthening its security commitment to South Korea and Japan. A shout into the void: can we chill the fuck out with all of the missiles being launched recently?
• Darrell Brooks Jr., the man who killed 6 people and injured many others when he drove a car through a 2021 Christmas parade in a Milwaukee suburb, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday. Brooks drove his SUV through the parade for several blocks, killing multiple members of the Dancing Grannies and an 8-year-old who was marching with his baseball team. Brooks was sentenced to 762 years in prison with no chance of release.
Within hours, the school board had voted to fire the district’s first Black superintendent, terminate the district’s lawyer, ban critical race theory and set up a new committee to decide whether certain books and materials should be banned from schools. https://t.co/D07mcyisv9— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 17, 2022
• I have so many questions for the person who paid $220,000 for a pair of well-used Birkenstocks worn by Steve Jobs. Questions like: What are you going to do with the sandals? Do they smell like stinky feet? What other kinds of oddities have you purchased at auctions (because dropping $220k for worn shoes isn’t a beginner’s move)?
• The US Food and Drug Administration has approved lab-grown chicken for human consumption—a major milestone for the burgeoning food technology. Lab-grown meat is made with live animal cells placed in a bioreactor (a big steel tank) and fed with nutrients to grow for harvest. Several start-ups have been trying to master the creation of the meat, arguing that it is the answer to reducing carbon emissions from the agriculture sector.
• All this talk of lab-grown meat and the future of food has me thinking about soylent green...