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Good Morning, Portland! Today's weather report is cloudy and rainy, just like you like it. Now, for some actual NEWS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• OPB's Jonathan Levinson reports that ShotSpotter—a company bidding to install microphones throughout Portland, which would in theory allow them to track gunshots in real time—is under investigation by Portland's City Auditor's office. The exact reason why is not yet known at this time, but it appears ShotSpotter may have violated the city's lobbying laws. ShotSpotter did arrange for a trip to Florida for police bureau representatives. Seems uncool: Police Captain James Crooker advised Terri Greene, ShotSpotter’s western region director, to communicate directly in order to avoid public records laws. Also worth noting: Mayor Wheeler did not respond to OPB's emails asking if he had concerns with the city awarding a contract to a company being investigated for violating city code.
• The latest development in the strangely polarizing OLCC booze 4 my friends scandal:
Gov Tina Kotek requested the resignation of OLCC chair Paul Rosenbaum today, after a fiery speech he made in the agency (and his own defense) yesterday. He has complied. #orpol pic.twitter.com/rkhEK4T2Wd— Dirk VanderHart (@dirquez) February 17, 2023
• ICYMI: Please don't sleep on Multnomah County's annual Domicile Unknown report. For the Mercury, Abe Asher reports the report says at least 193 people who died in Multnomah County in 2021 were homeless at the time of their death. That's breaks the county's record—of 126 in 2020 and 113 in 2019. Asher spoke with Tri-county Health Officer Jennifer Vines, trying to get a better understanding of what the number indicate.
• Portland playwright Mikki Gillette’s new work, My Perfectly Valid Objections, depicts the minefield trans women navigate, specifically while dating cis men. Seriously, it's like these men haven't even seen Sense8. For the Mercury, Andrew Jankowski reviews this fascinating play—wherein four actors collectively play 14 different characters.
• The Botch is back. The Mercury's sister paper The Stranger is fucking amped about Tacoma's most influential metal band Botch reforming to play their first shows since "a sold-out sweat-drenched blowout finale" in 2002. If you don't have tickets for the shows tonight or next weekend in Seattle, tickets for Botch's fall tour go on sale TODAY.
• Hey also. It's fucking FRIDAY so a bunch of tickets are going on sale this morning. Our Everout team has your calendar fucking HANDLED, with this rundown of show you will want to scoop right up:
New wave legends Duran Duran will cover material from throughout their four-decade-long career on their Future Past tour, which boasts openers Nile Rodgers and Bastille. Plus, the summer schedule will include outdoor concerts with Charlie Puth and Garbage. https://t.co/ah7Krtw8Ok— EverOut Portland (@EverOutPortland) February 16, 2023
IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• We are approaching the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Do you remember predictions that the county would fall within weeks? Today Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, compared the invasion of his country to the biblical allegory of David and Goliath—a fairly apt comparison—as he once more urged Western allies to hasten their support. “There is no alternative to speed, because it’s speed that life depends on,” Zelenskyy told the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
• This morning, the Associated Press reports, the five former Memphis police officers charged with the violent arrest and death of Tyre Nichols pleaded not guilty.
• The New York Times' response to Wednesday's letter from their contributors, which asked the paper to rethink its coverage of transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people, is... not great.
Memo from Joe Kahn to NYT staff responding to yesterday's letter re: trans coverage.— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) February 16, 2023
Times leadership says the paper "will not tolerate, participation by Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums." pic.twitter.com/bjLruJVPnf
• One of the ways the NYT seems to be intentionally obfuscating Wednesday's letter and its arguments is by claiming the whole situation was orchestrated by GLAAD. While the queer media advocacy organization also sent a letter on that day, in solidarity, the OG letter from nearly 200 NYT contributors was organized by the signatories, representatives told Neiman Lab. Hot on the heels of the Wednesday's letter, the NYT opinion section put out a piece called "In Defense of J.K. Rowling" wherein opinion writer Pamela Paul relates a very odd account from E.J. Rosetta. Rosetta says she was commissioned to write an article called “20 Transphobic J.K. Rowling Quotes We’re Done With.” Rosetta says that after twelve weeks of research she couldn't find a truly transphobic message by Rowling, WHICH IS JUST SO WEIRD, because Claire Lampen at The Cut seemed to put that shit together just fine.
• A.A. Milne’s 1926 book Winnie-the-Pooh entered the public domain on the first of 2022. So now we have a Winnie-the-Pooh slasher film—Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey—hitting movie theaters this weekend.
• Speaking of the algorithm gone wild: "That is so cap, Joe. You know I was having a real good day today."