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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! If you're anything like me, you're in a DEAD PANIC over buying holiday gifts! Luckily, I just remembered that tickets to the Mercury's upcoming UNDISPUTABLE GENIUSES OF COMEDY show—featuring the cream of the crop of Portland stand-ups—are the gift giver's pot of gold! Trust me, the show will be freaking hilarious, and your pals will love ya for it. Now on to more important things to panic about... today's NEWS! (JK, it's not that bad.)
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Multnomah County has unanimously voted to go right ahead and ban the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine—despite a similar ban that's currently being challenged in court in Washington County. County commissioners aren't worried though, as more than 300 cities, counties, and jurisdictions have passed similar bans nationwide. Our Isabella Garcia has all the details!
• Speaking of Multnomah County, they also said "HELL NO" to financially bailing out Mayor Wheeler's cruel and inhumane homelessness criminalization plan that would force people into mass internment camps. The city tried to force the county to put $21 million of excess funds into their controversial plan that most Portlanders hate, but instead the county commissioners voted to spend all their $28 million on keeping people from becoming homeless (such as rental and other financial assistance) as well as putting the currently homeless into permanent housing instead of a dead-end shelter. (Maybe Wheeler could ask his wealthy business pals for the money? You know... since it was their idea?)
• Right on brand:
A Portland police sergeant, Darke Hull, was arrested and charged today with third-degree sex abuse and harassment after allegedly grabbing a woman’s groin and pulling her hair at a Washington County sports bar in October.— Cata Gaitán (@catalinagaitan_) December 16, 2022
He was cited and released today:https://t.co/ZJX7nbvRIO
• Woo-wheeee, lotsa voting yesterday! TriMet board members voted Wednesday to expand rider penalties for people who commit criminal offenses on the transit system or repeatedly violate TriMet code. That change allows the transit system to avoid the criminal justice system and ban or suspend riders who refuse to play by the rules. Learn more from our Isabella Garcia!
Ho-Ho-Hello! It's time for the jolliest trivia quiz of the year, the holiday edition of POP QUIZ PDX! This week: Mayor McGrinch, the classic toy you want under your tree, and GODDAMN... what are we gonna do with all these SANTAS?? 🎅 🤔https://t.co/DRorHS6WOx— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) December 15, 2022
• A new study from Portland State that has been closely following the progress of the still-new Portland Street Response program—which answers certain 911 calls dealing with mental health crises instead of the cops—gives PSR props for all the great work they're doing... BUT! They also noted that their workload has increased 700 percent (!!), they need more staff members to help them out, as well as more cooperation from the police and firefighters they are helping. (WARNING: There is a jaw-dropping quote from a firefighter in this story that will make you seriously reconsider your respect for the fire bureau.) Our Alex Zielinski has the details.
• Oregon Republican Senator Dallas Heard has resigned from office following an embarrassing term in which he missed most legislative sessions, was removed from the Senate floor for refusing to wear a mask, and stepped down (booted off?) as president of the Oregon GOP. Haaaaaa-ha-haaaaaa... but WAIT! It gets better! In a farewell statement, he also dropped this gem of a sentence: “The country as a whole has seen an ever-growing movement of evil rising that is determined to take our children’s hearts and minds away from their parents." Okay, drama! Don't let the door hit your boo-hoo butt on your way out.
SOS! SZA has announced her first tour in over five years, and she'll stop by Portland next spring. Fellow R&B-pop royalty Janet Jackson is also looking forward to getting Together Again. Plus, Filipino funnyman Jo Koy is hitting the road for a world tour. https://t.co/NqErFG6WqR— EverOut Portland (@EverOutPortland) December 15, 2022
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Before I forget, the Biden administration is sending out more FREE COVID TESTS to all Americans who request 'em, so get yours here!
When reports of a novel coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, U.S. intelligence agencies failed to immediately train their spies on collecting information about the threat, a new report by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee said. https://t.co/KEzQz42hGX— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 16, 2022
• Putin's military is once again bombarding Ukraine with missiles, causing major power outages in large cities across the country. Meanwhile the US has continued to pledge even more help, sending missiles and $53 million in energy-related equipment to assist their crumbling infrastructure.
• So much for "free speech" on Twitter, as world's worst boss Elon Musk has started suspending journalists from the platform who have been investigating him and calling him on his bullshit. It's almost like he's a... oh, what's the phrase... big fucking crybaby hypocrite?
In 24 hours, Elon Musk banned accounts he said he never would, made up new rules to justify it, threatened legal action against a 20-year-old, pontificated on how doxing is banned on the platform, and then immediately doxed a man.https://t.co/8PVSe25z3Y— VICE News (@VICENews) December 15, 2022
• Might want to make coffee at home this morning (or better yet, patronize a local shop), because workers at roughly 100 Starbucks locations across the nation are walking off the job for three days as part of their unionization campaign.
• After a hilariously mocked announcement for his digital bubble gum cards yesterday, Trump is back on his embarrassing shit today, loudly crowing that Ron De Santis' lead in opinion polls for the presidential race is FAKE NEWS and he's the one actually leading in REAL POLLS! (Omigod, his stumbling descent is so delicious.)
• And finally... the new teaser trailer for Greta Gerwig's Barbie has dropped, and OH HELL YEAH!
The teaser trailer for Greta Gerwig’s ‘BARBIE’ starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling has been released. pic.twitter.com/p5VFYZmcn4— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) December 16, 2022