The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!
GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! A mostly sunny Thursday with a high of 56 turns into evening showers, and... are those snow flurries I see on Valentine's Day? Better burn all those V-day cards you're going to get so you can stay warm! And with that piece of sage wisdom, we now turn to the NEWS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• This just in: The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling to block the voter-approved Measure 114—what would be the strictest gun control law in the nation—from going into effect. The law will remain blocked while the lower court's judge, Robert Raschio, sets up a more in-depth hearing on the measure.
BREAKING: The Oregon Supreme Court has denied a motion to allow the state's new gun laws to take effect. Ballot Measure 114 remains blocked. Story to come.— J Levinson (@_jlevinson) February 9, 2023
• A new study claims that while Portland may have some of the best pizza in the country, it also has the most expensive. (This will surely cause another wave of angry rich people to leave the city, as well as unnecessary newspaper articles about it.)
• Employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (along with top managers and the executive director) have been caught keeping some of the most sought-after bottles of liquor for themselves, which is a violation of state ethics law—and something most of us would never, EVER do! 😁
• A Portland charter school, KairosPDX, has offered to share their campus and make it the new home of Harriet Tubman Middle School which is being forced to move because of the planned expansion of I-5. The plan has both positives and negatives, and PPS is seeking community feedback on the project.
• In basketball-ing news: The NBA draft trade deadline is noon TODAY, and according to reports, the Blazers have made a last minute trade, sending guard Josh Hart to the New York Knicks in exchange for forward Cam Reddish, wing Svi Mykhailiuk, guard Ryan Arcidiacono, and a protected first-round draft pick. (The OLCC has agreed to also throw in a case of Pappy Van Winkle they've been hiding in their garage.)
• Our Jenni Moore has another banger of a HEAR IN PORTLAND column this week, including the news that Portland-based producer Sxlxmxn just released a new beat tape, and there's some serious star power headed our way.
Yikes almighty! Valentine's day is only a week away! 😬 Show the one you love some love by sending them a FREE Mercury Reader Valentine! 😍https://t.co/PM0V2iFuef— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 7, 2023
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• US officials are saying that the naughty Chinese balloon they shot down last weekend was capable of collecting intelligence communications, that the balloon makers had direct ties to Chinese military, and that there were multiple flights over American territory during the Trump administration.
The Trump admin and Republicans in Congress routinely asked Twitter to take down posts they objected to — the exact behavior that they're claiming makes Biden, the Democrats, and Twitter complicit in an anti-free speech conspiracy to muzzle conservatives. https://t.co/GBO5KHcKc4— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 9, 2023
• The death toll following this week's massive quakes in Syria and Turkey has passed 20,000 and is expected to keep climbing as rescue efforts continue.
• THIS IS A TOUGH ONE: RIP to—for my money—the greatest pop composer of the past century, Burt Bacharach, who has died at the age of 94. His most popular songs, co-written with lyricist Hal David and often sung by his muse Dionne Warwick, included such delightful, intricate bangers as "Say a Little Prayer," "This Guy's In Love With You," "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "Walk on By," "What the World Needs Now," "Close to You"... and the list doesn't stop! Farewell to a true genius of pop music. (In case you haven't guessed, I'm quite the fan!)
Burt Bacharach, the Oscar winner who wrote classics loved worldwide like “Walk on By,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” and dozens of other hits, has died at 94.— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) February 9, 2023
There are songwriters, and then there are SONGWRITERS. Burt was one of the greatest, and he will be missed. pic.twitter.com/EAGntslbk1
• In more basketball-ing news: The Brooklyn Nets have traded all-star powerhouse Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Cameron Johnson, four first-round draft picks from the Suns, four cases of Pappy Van Winkle (thanks again to the OLCC), a "dream date" with Scarlett Johansson, a Chinese weather balloon, the opportunity to kick Elon Musk in the nutz, three french hens, and the entire borough of Brooklyn.
• And finally... here's another Twitter update.
Elon Musk: I’m so smart, I can fire everyone & Twitter will STILL run smoothly!— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) February 9, 2023
Twitter running smoothly: pic.twitter.com/4ajJpXdAK2