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! There is a 10 percent chance that we may see some snow today, with chances of snowfall slightly increasing throughout the week. If you love this weather, why not celebrate it by grabbing a drink at one of the 24 bars participating in the Mercury’s Holiday Drink Week? If you detest this weather, why not cheer up by grabbing a festive $7 drink during the Mercury’s Holiday Drink Week? Now, onto the news!

In local news:

• An Oregon Senate panel rescinded security measures against Senator Brian Boquist (Republican turned Independent representing Polk and Yamhill counties) Monday. Since July 2019, Boquist has had to give 12 hours notice before going to the state capital so that police could increase their presence due to threatening statements he made against fellow lawmakers and state police. That security protocol was removed Monday in response to Boquist’s ongoing lawsuit against the state, which claims that the security measure is a violation of his free speech.

• Over half of the New Seasons locations in the Portland area have moved to unionize this year. Check out which locations and the status of their efforts with this comprehensive breakdown from Alex Zielinski.

• Fir trees in Oregon and Washington are dying at record numbers this year, creating a “Firmageddon” according to researchers. Swaths of dead firs were observed on more than 1.23 million acres in both states—the largest die-offs ever recorded. Researchers believe that the event may be due to a combination of drought, last year’s heat dome, insects, and fungal diseases.

• It’s going to get pretty dang cold overnight this week. If you or someone you know needs a warm place to stay, you can call 211 or check the website to find available overnight shelters. The county may also open additional warming shelters, depending of the severity of the weather as the week progresses.

In national news:

• Online Black Friday sales hit a record $9.12 billon this year, quelling fears that inflation would severely dampen end-of-year spending. According to Adobe Analytics, sales were 2.3 percent higher than last year thanks to greater electronics, toys, and exercise equipment purchases. Americans are taking on more debt and using "Buy Now, Pay Later" programs to afford the purchases, according to CNN.

• Over 10,000 sippy cups and bottles made by Green Sprouts are being voluntarily recalled after the discovery of lead used in soldering material on the cups. Thousands of cups purchased between January 2020 and September 2022 can break, exposing a solder dot containing lead. No injuries have been reported in connection to the cups.

• The white gunman who killed 10 Black shoppers and workers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, pled guilty Monday to murder and hate-motivated terrorism. During the hearing, the 19-year-old gunman confirmed that he murdered the shoppers because of their race. The charges carry a lifetime sentence.

• The San Francisco Police Department is looking to get clearance to employ robots to use deadly force (yes, this is real life, not the synopsis of a dystopian movie). When editing a draft of the defined authorized uses for all military-grade equipment used by the SFPD, a San Francisco official added a line prohibiting the department’s 12 robots from using deadly force against people in any circumstance. SFPD crossed out the line, writing "robots will only be used as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers are imminent and outweigh any other force option available to the SFPD.” The debate over robot usage continues in city meetings this week.

• I, like any self-respecting Portlander, have a soft spot for Big Pink. You go, Big Pink!