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! It is gently dusting snow at this very moment. Is it gently dusting snow where you are? How about some news?
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• SNOWING? WILL IT SNOW? IS IT SNOW? IS SCHOOL CLOSED? There seems to be a light dusting of frozen precipitation sticking at higher elevations in the Portland metro, and you know that means Portlanders are about to lose their dang minds.
• Mercury News Editor Isabella Garcia reported yesterday that Portland City Council will soon vote (today?) on whether Portlanders should be allowed to vote (this is confusing!) on the creation of a new city watchdog position. A Transparency Advocate would work to ensure the city follows public records laws, like following best practices for government transparency. Portland's city auditor supports this idea, but the Oregonian's Shane Kavanaugh reports the council is likely to vote against giving Portlanders the choice:
News: Portland's newly elected auditor, Simone Rede, wants the City Council to refer a ballot measure in May to create a new transparency advocate /watchdog —a proposal championed by civic & good government groups.— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) February 22, 2023
Council is likely to torpedo it tomorrow.https://t.co/DpqtctAa5O
• Portland-area postal workers held a rally at the East Portland Post Office, on Monday, calling for raised wages and increased benefits. USPS worker unions are not allowed to go on strike, but an organizer with Communities and Postal Workers United told OPB's Alex Hasenstab that letter carriers are sometimes working 12 hours or more several days a week.
• About that ECONorthwest study on Portland's doomed economy (financed by the Portland Business Alliance):
Once you get past business leaders describing life-saving pandemic restrictions as having "costs and benefits," there is a lot interesting in this story.— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) February 22, 2023
• There's a story I got from a Frank O'Hara book where the poet would order a high ball on his lunch break—his recipe was: half something, half something else, and make it fast—but I can't remember what book it was in, or if it was just Lunch Poems. Bartenders will tell you a high ball is actually just a tall, narrow type of glass. The Mercury's Highball Week—THIS WEEK—offers craft cocktails with recipes way more inventive than something and something else, in a tall glass. More than 30 bars and restaurants are serving up delicious, considered drinks for just $8 apiece. Check this list for a bev near you.
IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• Jimmy Carter entered hospice care on on Saturday—and bless all the news sources publishing explainers on hospice care. It's probably a real need, considering the US healthcare system. The world is in the process of revealing its soft spot for Carter via a series of memorial pieces, which frankly seem in bad taste as he has not yet died. An opinion piece from The Hill, posits that even by embracing hospice, Carter sets a good example for the nation. Wire photographers are already uploading photos of peanuts—just give the man time to die. If you've read the Carter bio, A Full Life, you might remember he grew peanuts as a young teen. He parlayed those peanut sales into purchasing some simple rentals nearby. Imagine having a teenage boy as your landlord—how demoralizing.
• Fresh update from the National Labor Relations Board: Employers can no longer demand their laid-off employees refrain from dissing the company as part of their severance packages.
The National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that employers can no longer demand laid-off employees avoid publicly disparaging the company as part of their severance agreements. https://t.co/zEFKEP0MSk— maxwell (@maxwellstrachan) February 21, 2023
•If we lived in New York we would all be obsessed with Flaco—a Eurasian eagle-owl who escaped from the Central Park Zoo two weeks ago. Zoo officials are worried about the owl, who has lived his whole live in captivity, but have decided to let him shoot his shot at freedom—for now!
She’s right and she’s right to say it— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) February 22, 2023