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! Here's your reminder to "snap up" those tickets to the HUMP! Film Festival (starts this Friday), and "drink up" those delish, creative, $8 cocktails that are available until Sunday with the Mercury's HIGHBALL week! And now let's "read up"... on some NEWS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Portland's unhoused population are thankful for the emergency warming shelters that were opened during last week's surprise snowstorm—especially since hypothermia is suspected to be the cause of death for two Portlanders. But their question is fair: Why are these shelters not opening earlier and staying open longer?
• From this same story, we shouldn't ignore this critical paragraph:
For some [houseless people], tents were harder to come by amid the snow, wind and unseasonably cold temperatures. The week before the storm, Portland Commissioner Rene Gonzalez barred Portland Fire and Portland Street Response employees from handing out tents or tarps to stop tent fires.
Questions about the Portland police’s upcoming body camera program were front and center during a hearing before a federal judge Tuesday, as the city and the Portland Police Bureau continue to struggle over a policy agreement. https://t.co/DgSDEY3QL9— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) March 1, 2023
• VERY MUCH RELATED: Mayor Wheeler pitched a hissy fit and abruptly halted yesterday's City Council meeting when—during a discussion of the Police Accountability Commission—four people used their testimony time to roast Commissioner Rene Gonzalez' terrible (and completely illogical) ban on bureau employees handing out tents to houseless people to protect them from freezing to death. (Kind of sounds like Gonzalez is already more trouble than he's worth.)
• Lawyers representing victims of the 2020 Labor Day fires presented text messages and other evidence in court showing that electric company PacifiCorp knew very early on it had played a part in starting the wildfires.
The payments would go to qualifying low-income or homeless Oregonians. Enrollment would be capped once an initial $25 million in funding runs out. https://t.co/CnlLPAKyGj— Portland Business Journal (@PDXBIZJournal) March 2, 2023
• According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, more than 600 cars were abandoned on local roadways during last week's snowstorm, and almost 350 of them were towed away. Fair enough... but some of those people fear they're victims of a predatory towing company after receiving a bill for... (gulp) $700?
• This week in Jenni Moore's HEAR IN PORTLAND: Wu-Tang Clan and Nas at the Moda, Pickathon 2023 tickets are now on sale (and they say they fixed the parking!), and Eyelids' album release show and upcoming US tour!
Just when winter seems like it will never end, March swoops in with its cherry blossoms and cold-but-sunny days. Make up for all the time you've spent huddled indoors with events from SZA to Michelle Zauner to the Irish Festival. https://t.co/6WAZ3gJUTl— EverOut Portland (@EverOutPortland) March 2, 2023
IN NATIONAL/ WORLD NEWS:
• For the first time since Putin's war against Ukraine began, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had an unscheduled meeting at the G-20 summit, in which Blinkin advised Lavrov to tell his leader to reverse his decision to suspend the nuclear arms control treaty, New START.
If the three liberal justices persuade two conservatives to side with them on a technical hitch, the 26m student borrowers hoping for relief may yet see some of their debt absorbed by the federal government https://t.co/oUhH25kovB— The Economist (@TheEconomist) March 2, 2023
• Prosecutors are making their closing arguments in the trial of Alex Murdaugh, who's accused of murdering his wife and son, saying the former lawyer killed his family members to hide his financial crimes.
• Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee's plan to ban drag performances from public property or anywhere children might see them was thrown a curveball when a photo was revealed showing... wait for it... Governor Lee dressed in drag. (Life comes at ya fast!)
• Sounds reasonable...
A Florida state House member has offered a new bill that would 'cancel' the Democratic Party from the state.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 2, 2023
The bill would require Florida officials to notify all registered voters who belong to canceled parties that their parties no longer exist.
• Looks like Democrats are finally ready to push back against the constant deluge of lies streaming from Fox News, and are planning a response to Tucker Carlson's upcoming attempts to whitewash the domestic terrorist attack of January 6 with footage given to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
• And finally... us, when Commissioner Rene Gonzalez thinks we aren't watching:
Ain’t no way this real 😳 pic.twitter.com/FoLSLfeche— Viral Uncensored Tv (@uncensoredpromo) March 1, 2023