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Good Morning, Portland! Once a year, the Mercury essentially brings back I Saw U, but it's for you and your lover(s) via our FREE Mercury Reader Valentines. Let that hot piece of consummate (or fatuous, you do you) love know you see what they're up to and appreciate their excellent form. Also totally fine to use it for I Saw U purposes, or leave birthday messages to Oregon—which became a state on February 14, 1859 😘

IN LOCAL NEWS:
• When a news story leads with some cringe Commissioner Rene Gonzalez platitude, you know where that story is headed. For instance, check out this YIMBYs Think Twice piece about "a dangerous and out-of-control homeless encampment" located in an abandoned bar across from a homeless shelter. The idea is that these bleeding heart libs of Arbor Lodge are totally cucked for allowing an abandoned Rite Aid to operate as a shelter in their neighborhood. Because a different abandoned building, a shuttered bar across the street, became worse. Okay, but then it links to a piece from the same issue, by the same reporter, which explains the building has been abandoned since 2019. Furthermore, the Arbor Lodge homeless shelter has been closed for renovations since October 2022—which might explain why people are living in the old bar?! 

• ATTN wimmin and other persons whose inboxes have been inundated with warnings about a kidnapping and torture guy, in Oregon, using dating apps to find new victims. Police said the suspect in the case died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, following an hours-long standoff in Grants Pass.

Portland Public Schools will cease its online education program at the end of the school year. OPB's Elizabeth Miller reports that while PPS' Online Learning Academy originally had so much interest students needed to be waitlisted, enrollment has dropped steeply since, as students returned to in-person learning. 

• RIP Bill Schonely:

• Formerly an advice column, formerly a book, formerly a stage play, the latest incarnation of Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things is a TV series that will hit Hulu in April.

• In this week's Savage Love "Quickies," Dan explains the ways "we’re living in the golden age of foot-fetishist representation."

• Speaking of romance:

IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• IT'S COMET TIME. Green-hued C/2022 E3 will swing closest to Earth—that it's been in 50,000 years—on February 2, and the New York Times has some ideas for the best times / ways to see it in the Northern Hemisphere. They also quote a fairly poetic astronomer: "Because each comet is its own living being, you don’t know how it’s going to react until it passes the sun."

• The College Board has released an official curriculum for its new AP African American Studies course, and the NYT notes it appears to be "stripped of much of the subject matter" that angered conservative politicians. A number of expected Black writers are absent, Black Lives Matter is not in the formal curriculum, and "Black conservatism” is offered as an idea for a research project.

• Also after 50,000 years, Tom Brady will finally pull free from the NFL. For real? I know almost nothing about Tom Brady other than people are always mad about him, and he wants to be a Senator.

• The Navy has dolphins and has had dolphins for more than 50 years. They train them to find find underwater mines and "intercept rogue swimmers." This NYT piece is about how a 20-year-old dolphin is teaching humans about aging, but honestly I'm just shocked that the Navy has dolphins.

• While I do not think February is the worst month of the year (suck it, August!), I am vibin' off this guy's resigned truth-teller energy.