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Good morning, Portland! We're officially in FOG SEASON. Visibility is a bit rough this morning, so keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists and stay safe out there. Now on to the news!
In local news:
• A 16-year-old student was shot outside Cleveland High School Monday and went to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The school is not holding instructional classes today to give staff time to plan how to best support students after the incident, but students can go to Cleveland after 11 am to get lunch, talk with a guidance counselor, and sit in a safe space with others.
• Pedestrians crossing SE Powell Blvd. at SE 21st, 26th, and 28th Ave. will now get a six-second head start when walking across the street. The Oregon Department of Transportation updated the crossings with “leading pedestrian intervals” in part due to safety upgrades in response to the fatal crash that killed cyclist Sarah Pliner at SE Powell Blvd. and SE 26th Ave. in October.
In a statement, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says Oregon’s cities and counties still need to approve the payout, but the state could receive more than $130 million to help provide addiction treatment and recovery services. https://t.co/rHG9j8tVLj— OPB (@OPB) December 12, 2022
• Some businesses in the Central Eastside are no longer accepting returnable cans and bottles at collection points, despite being required to by Oregon law. According to the businesses, including grocers like Market of Choice on SE Belmont St., staff have been attacked by homeless people who are returning cans for the cash deposit return, so they are opting to be fined by the state over continuing the service. For some unhoused Portlanders, collecting and returning cans is the only way they can pay for hotel rooms, food, and gas.
• Staffing shortages have hampered Oregon’s state-funded tuition-free preschool program, leading to much lower enrollment levels than projected despite interest. Three months into the school year, less than two-thirds of the 6,400 available spots have been filled due to limited staff in the program’s business office and schools’ challenges in securing enough teachers.
Oregon opens investigation into Portland nonprofit Brown Hope https://t.co/7vbkwu6azk— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) December 13, 2022
In national news:
• SCIENCE NEWS: Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California produced more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignited it for the first time ever, the US Energy Department announced Tuesday. The energy net gain is exciting because it is expected to advance “national defense and the future of clean power.” Officials called the experiment “an engineering marvel beyond belief.″
• An investigation by the New York Times found that thousands of high school students nationwide have been automatically enrolled in JROTC classes—a program subsidized by the US military that exposes students to the possibility of a military career. While the Pentagon says the class should always be voluntary, the Times found several instances in which schools made it mandatory for freshman. “[My student] has no interest in a military career,” one parent told the Times. “She has no interest in doing any of that stuff. The only word I can think of is ‘indoctrination.’”
BREAKING: Elon Musk has disbanded Twitter's Trust and Safety Council of outside groups, which advises the company on content issues, sources tell AP. https://t.co/6nYlQzVqE9— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2022
• Drug maker Emergent BioSolutions is asking the Food and Drug Administration to sell Narcan—an overdose-reversing drug—over the counter. Many drug policy experts believe the FDA approval could make Narcan more widely available and help reduce drug deaths, depending on the price of the medication. Emergent BioSolutions has yet to set a price for their non-prescription form of Narcan.
• The fusion reaction advancing “national defense and the future of clean power” reminded me of some of the tech in Marvel's 'Iron Man' movies, which then reminded me of a great video essay titled “Marvel’s Defenders of the Status Quo.” In the video, media critic Jonathan McIntosh dissects how Marvel superheroes only react when the status quo is threatened and don’t use their powers to advance society. If you have watched a few Marvel films and enjoy media critiques, I recommend giving it a watch!