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Good morning, Portland! Well, the sun was fun while it lasted, but it looks like we're back to rain and *checks notes* a chance of snow (?!?!?!) through the weekend. The good news is that it's perfect NEWS READIN' weather.
In local news:
• Portland’s planned mass outdoor camps may include rigid-sided sleeping pods—not tents, as originally planned. Mayor Wheeler made the announcement during a Tuesday Q&A on the first planned camp in SE Portland (a second Q&A on the camp is planned for tonight). According to Wheeler, Gov. Tina Kotek has expressed support for the idea, which would be potentially funded through Multnomah County funding—except MultCo leaders have yet to buy into Wheeler’s mass camp idea. Notably, if the camps use sleeping pods instead of tents, Portland may be able to snag some of the $200 million in state emergency funding for homelessness that passed the legislature this week.
Another wrinkle: Courts have said that tents don't count as "shelter" under Martin v Boise — the court ruling that prohibits homeless camping bans unless a city can offer adequate shelter. If Wheeler pivots to sleeping pods, Portland's homeless ban may be more legally sound. https://t.co/0tDImk7y8T— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) March 23, 2023
• Calling all sustainably minded Oregonians: You may be able to start bringing your own reusable containers to restaurants for to-go orders IF Senate Bill 545 passes the House this session. The bill aims to reduce single-use takeout containers that are inconsistent with Oregon’s goal of diverting 25 percent of plastic waste from the landfill.
• Last month, Clackamas County Commissioners approved the purchase of an old motel to serve as a transitional shelter for homeless residents. In an abrupt reversal, Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith convened an emergency board meeting Wednesday to change her vote, killing the project. Why? Well, funding certainly wasn’t the problem—the $15.2 million for the project came from the Oregon Community Foundation, not Clackamas County’s budget. According to Smith, community members said they needed more time to be “engaged” about the project. (*cough*NIMBYs*cough*)
• Headline of the week goes to The O for this banger: “$200k investigation paid for by Multnomah County DA finds no evidence of discrimination by Multnomah County DA”
"The ADL recorded 40 incidents of antisemitic hate in Oregon in its 2022 audit, the most ever, and 65 incidents in Washington, also a record. Reported incidents were up 36% nationally, according to the ADL."https://t.co/wdoCJLaJfO— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) March 23, 2023
In national news:
• A tornado touched down near Los Angeles Wednesday, injuring at least one person and damaging at least 17 buildings. Wind gusts reached up to 110 mph, making it the strongest tornado to hit the Los Angeles area since 1983.
• If you’re a bit lost on allll the criminal investigations surrounding former Prez and living nightmare Donald Trump, you’re not alone. NPR has this handy break down of all four ongoing investigations and criminal cases Trump is facing, including election interference, actions around January 6, and paying hush money to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
• Alexa, please play “What Goes Around… Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake:
Joseph Harding, the Florida Republican who sponsored the "Don't Say Gay" bill, has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining COVID relief funds.— NPR (@NPR) March 23, 2023
He faces up to 35 years in prison.https://t.co/lWrkLQi6yi
• Eight celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, Soulja Boy, and Akon, have been charged by federal regulators with illegally promoting cryptocurrencies and failing to disclose to that they were paid to do so. These celebs aren’t the first to be caught promoting crypto without divulging they were being compensated for it—the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Kim Kardashian of the same scheme in October.
• Feral summer vibes:
I will always post cat eating corn when I see it pic.twitter.com/GutmycBU01— Tweets of Cats (@TweetsOfCats) March 22, 2023