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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Happy Groundhog Day! And for those who believe in such things, an evil wizard who has been turned into a beaver or something and is being forced to spend the rest of his days as a weather forecaster has predicted we're in for six more weeks of winter. (Wasn't it supposed to be winter anyway? 🤷♂️) Anyway, I'm predicting roughly 738 words of NEWS!
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• As we warned last week, more than 600 Portland city workers (like those who deal with sewage, biohazards, icy roads, and more) were threatening to walk off the job today if they didn't get higher wages and better safety protocols—and THEY DID IT. After a year of negotiating, hundreds of members of the Laborers Local 483 went on strike today, and while Mayor Wheeler has assigned contract workers (i.e. scabs) to fill in for them, this is a situation that may disintegrate quickly.
Light up picket signs on display pic.twitter.com/njnyVu0KVs— Colin Staub (@colininportland) February 2, 2023
• In a completely un-shocking turn of events, tobacco and vape retailers in the region are attempting to sue the pants off Multnomah County following their ban of flavored tobacco products, which kicks into effect in 2024. But will the Oregon Legislature squash their plans by passing a statewide flavored tobacco ban? Abe Asher has the flavorful details.
• Crackpot Rep. Judy Boyle (R-Crackpot) from Idaho is doing some heavy flirting with Oregon crackpots who want to secede from the state to form a Hunger Games-like district called "Greater Idaho." 🙄 “Eastern Oregon has been quite unhappy with their state,” Boyle told Idaho's House State Affairs Committee. “Portland seems to be able to run everything there.” HAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Have they met Ted Wheeler??
Terminally ill Oregonians are languishing in the state’s prisons. A bill, reintroduced in the 2023 legislative session, aims to lower barriers for incarcerated people to secure compassionate release in the state. From @boltsmag: https://t.co/wcJ271ft5p— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 1, 2023
• Forget Groundhog Day... all hail the much more festive celebration of TATER TOT DAY! Former Mercury contributor Heather Arndt Anderson has a banger of a history piece recounting the fun origins of god's favorite potato byproduct that was born right here in Oregon on this day!
• Let's go, music lovers! In this week's edition of Jenni Moore's HEAR IN PORTLAND, you'll thrill to the news of a double-venue Downtown Bloc Party, an all-acoustic MAITA reboot, and a chic new home for producer-focused showcase A Beat Happening.
Hey love birds! It's time to get romantic with the Mercury's FREE Reader Valentines. Submit yours now and prove your eternal love! 😍https://t.co/C0Cv3rrNO7— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) January 31, 2023
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Try to contain your shock but, thanks to bumbling, theater-kid Republicans and their enablers, Congress is off to a faltering, stumbling start and members fear this will be the least productive legislative session in decades. What? WHY?? Simply because of headlines like this? "Bipartisan duo Manchin and Cruz pitch bill to defend gas stoves."
The MAGA Republicans in Congress have replaced their American flag lapel pins with AR-15 pins. pic.twitter.com/CMm0TVufYF— Ben Meiselas (@meiselasb) February 2, 2023
• In their never-ending quest to find new and undiscovered classified documents, the FBI just finished a search of yet ANOTHER residence of Prez Joe Biden—this time at his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—and they found... NOTHING. (I am both weirdly surprised, relieved, and disappointed?)
• Ukrainians are warning of an imminent mass offensive from Russia, as Putin's armies are reportedly gathering on the border for a major attack to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the war.
• And the hits (of crazy) just keep on coming for Republican serial liar Rep. George Santos: Now it appears that his lawyer was... *blinks twice, checks notes, blinks twice again*... was convicted and jailed for being part of a gangland execution?!?
• Of particular importance to KOIN viewers:
• Today in "NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO": "Licking things at sushi train restaurants, the latest viral Japanese trend."
• And finally... I thought it would be fun to party with Drake. 🙁
nahh this edit is WILD. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/NqHi7EWXhH— Complex (@Complex) February 2, 2023