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Good morning, Portland! Do you like festive holiday drinks? Check out the Mercury's Holiday Drink Week—$7 themed drinks from your fav bars now through Sunday! And onto the news we go.
In local news:
• The three city council bros (Mayor Wheeler, Commish Ryan, and Commish Mapps) voted Wednesday to approve a $27 million downpayment on Wheeler’s latest plan to build massive outdoor encampments for homeless Portlanders. In order to make that downpayment, the city opted to cut $8 million from the Joint Office of Homeless Service (which it funds alongside Multnomah County), which could lead to the closure of two existing homeless shelters next year. Robbing Peter to pay Paul—now that’s what I call bold leadership!
• Phase two of the charter review process is chugging along! The Charter Review Commission voted Tuesday to send seven charter amendments to voters on a 2024 ballot and five proposed amendments to City Council for final deliberation. The vote won’t be finalized until this Saturday, but it’s very unlikely that the results will change between now and then.
Thanks @OregonZoo! Always proud to represent all my constituents — two and four-legged. I’m committed to getting this across the finish line to secure much-needed protections for our wildlife. https://t.co/mcc22JHpOH— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) November 30, 2022
• In sounds-boring-but-will-actually-have-big-impact news, cities in Oregon can now apply to set their own speed limits. Previously, any transportation department in Oregon had to submit a request for speed limit changes to the state for approval. Historically, the state would take their sweet time to decide whether to approve the request—this led to requested speed reductions for Portland roads languishing for months while high-speed crashes continued to harm and kill community members. Now, thanks to a new state law, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is applying to have full control over speed limit setting in the city, which is expected to increase the city’s responsiveness to speed concerns.
• Oregon health officials are urging people to get mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) vaccines amid a new rise in cases. Officials believe the increase in viral spread is due to general complacency and a lack of knowledge about how to prevent the spread of mpox. The two-dose vaccine is currently available to all Oregon adults.
Oregon’s smallest lamprey, long thought to be extinct, returns to native lake https://t.co/e5yjPICH9F— KGW News (@KGWNews) December 1, 2022
In national news:
• Three Tribal communities in Alaska and Washington are getting $75 million from the federal government to help relocate to higher ground as the impacts of climate change threaten their safety. The tribes were already years into their relocation process when the federal funding was announced Wednesday. The full cost of moving the Quinault Indian Nation—one of the Tribal nations receiving the money—in the Olympic Peninsula a mile uphill is about $100 million.
• Bomb-sniffing dogs are in short supply in the US. The shortage, which has been building for years, was worsened by the pandemic—the US imports 80 to 90 percent of its working dogs from Europe and COVID restrictions slowed imports for years. To address the problem, the US Department of Homeland Security has started to invest in breeding programs for explosive-detecting dogs.
NPR CEO John Lansing imposed a near-total hiring freeze in anticipation of a $20 million shortfall in financial sponsorships this fiscal year — but said in a staff memo that he intended to avoid layoffs.https://t.co/D9SsgoRIno— NPR (@NPR) November 30, 2022
• Bill Clinton tested positive for COVID-19 this week and is experiencing mild symptoms. Former presidents—they’re just like us!
• We’ll end with some Blazers love.
The bench reaction: