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! While you can expect showers today (and a high of 53), the sun returns tomorrow and Wednesday as temps soar back up to 60 degrees. Now let's soar into some NEWS! ("Soar" is one of those words that looks weirder the more you type it.)
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• If you love neighborhood association DRAMA, you're gonna flip over this banger of a report from the Mercury's newest star reporter Courtney Vaughn. Even after having their funds yanked by the city for financial mismanagement, the overprivileged souls of Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. want Portland to resume giving them free money... without showing any sign of change. Come for the eye-bulging entitlement, stay for Commish Dan Ryan bending over backwards to help these rich crybabies.
• Speaking of chattering neighborhood groups, members of the Montavilla community gathered at a church to voice their unsurprising discontent over a proposed city-run safe parking site that would allow houseless people to stay and live in their vehicles. Their complaints stayed right on brand: expressing "empathy" without being empathetic, using right-wing dog-whistle, made-up terms like "homeless industrial complex," and automatically categorizing an entire group of people as drug addicted, violent criminals... you know, the YOUZH.
• But wait... who organized this meeting? OHHHHHHH... now this makes sense.
Angela Todd played a role in the PPA/Hunzeker attack on Commissioner Hardesty. At the time, Mayor Wheeler feigned concern but now he works directly with Todd, speaking at her forum on houselessness. https://t.co/CEdKeyQ6Ca— Public Record And Data Archives (@PRADAPDX) March 19, 2023
• HOWEVER! Across the city, folks in the Central Eastside also held a meeting with city leaders about the first mass homeless encampment being located in their neighborhood, and expertly called out the mayor's hypocrisy for incorrectly trying to sell it as a "housing first" model. They also castigated the mayor for ignoring the concerns of local houseless nonprofits, and putting California's Urban Alchemy in charge of running the camp—even though the organization has been the subject of multiple lawsuits. (Congrats to this Central Eastside group who have done their homework and actually seem to know what they're talking about! Ahem... Montavilla.) Watch the meeting here.
• RELATED AGAIN: Hilariously, Mayor Ted Wheeler (and fellow Portland Business Alliance employee, Commissioner Mingus Mapps) is claiming that his sweeps of houseless folk encampments near roadways has led to a dramatic decrease in the deaths of homeless people. AHEM. And now our own Isabella Garcia will handily disabuse them of that delusion:
Dickman said the change in the number of unhoused pedestrians killed in crashes (19 in 2021 and 10 in 2022) could be within a standard range of variation or other factors could have been at play—there just isn't enough data to identify a pattern, let alone a change in the pattern
— Isabella Garcia (@isabellaaliciaa) March 17, 2023
• A Portland Police Bureau employee is being charged with evidence tampering after she allegedly attempted to “destroy, mutilate, alter, conceal and remove physical evidence” in an investigation into her husband, who has been accused of manslaughter.
In this week's batch of food news, the Portland culinary scene welcomes some inventive flavor combos, from pho-braised brisket pizza to longanisa burgers. https://t.co/OmhVoh4kHA— EverOut Portland (@EverOutPortland) March 17, 2023
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• A criminal indictment for former President Trump could drop as soon as tomorrow, and while he called for his minions across the nation to protest and flip their kitchen tables, so far he's received a muted response. However, rest assured his Republican cronies in the House will take the opportunity to feign outrage and use the situation to their fundraising benefit.
Happy #Arrestmas Eve! pic.twitter.com/NMK0UP1X6d— Space Force Cadet (@SpaceForceCad) March 20, 2023
• A panel of UN climate scientists have issued a dire warning, that unless nations come together now to battle climate change, our already bleak situation could become irreversible by 2035.
• Chinese leader Xi Jinping is in Russia to shake hands with accused war criminal Vladimir Putin, and make a bid for the two countries to become a world superpower—a move that's sure to unnerve the US and her allies.
😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/ptN3vD0FRY— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 19, 2023
• Taylor Swift kicked off her wildly anticipated "Eras" tour in Arizona on Friday, performing a three hour concert (!) that included 44 songs (!!). Damn, Taylor! Save some for your Seattle gig!
• And finally... me, coming into the new work week like...
Looks like landing at St. Barts airport is pretty wild pic.twitter.com/xytsehcRrt— Wu Tang is for the Children (@WUTangKids) March 19, 2023