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Good morning, Portland! We're set for a cooler and wetter end of the week, just in time for spring break to wind down. Also just in time to read this NEWS.
In local news:
• Majority of Portland Street Response workers have condemned Commissioner Rene Gonzalez’s ban against distributing tents and tarps to unhoused Portlanders. Multiple PSR workers told the Mercury the ban has endangered homeless residents, further restricted PSR’s agency, and is unlikely to actually make a difference in the number of fires at homeless camps—which Gonzalez cited as reason for the ban.
• A man was arrested in downtown Portland Tuesday after allegedly driving a stolen forklift erratically while yelling “I literally stole this” at passersby. And y’all have the audacity to claim downtown is dead, puh-lease.
“I followed you for a few blocks as you carelessly smoked cigarettes while smashing the forklift into the ground, honking incessantly, and running red lights through traffic. It was beautiful.” pic.twitter.com/gxUCrw7e0C— Shane Dixon Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) March 30, 2023
• A bill requiring a minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratio may actually have a chance at passing the legislature now that the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems announced it is dropping its opposition to the bill. In return, the Oregon Nurses Association—the union pushing for the staffing ratio bill—will throw support behind several bills the hospital group is championing, including a bill that would exempt hospitals from limiting increases in healthcare costs to 3 percent per year.
• Warning: This next story may give you whiplash. After approving the removal of nearly 250 structurally questionable light poles from parks across Portland and actually removing 116 of them from four parks on the east side, the city has suddenly stopped the project and will now wait until it has replacement light poles ready before continuing. The reversal comes after public backlash to the lighting removal, particularly as city leaders scramble to address public safety concerns and crime—to which public lighting is a known deterrent.
Most gig workers in Seattle will be permanently entitled to paid sick leave and safe time under a first-in-the-nation law signed by Seattle’s mayor. The measure expands pandemic-era protections and strengthens labor rights for app-based workers. https://t.co/wtTOSsQM6h— The Associated Press (@AP) March 30, 2023
In national and international news:
• More bad press for TikTok: The social media app has failed to consistently label accounts operated by Russian state propaganda agencies as disinformation, per its own policy. An analysis of the policy shows that it has not been applied to accounts with millions of followers and, even when the label is applied, it has minimal impact on Russia’s ability to exploit TikTok algorithms to shape public opinion about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Major League Baseball will introduce a slew of brand-new regulations in the hopes of speeding up the pace of play, encouraging more game action, and making the sport more compelling to fans. https://t.co/ah8GRtrVr0 pic.twitter.com/XB65mGv82w— CNN (@CNN) March 30, 2023
• Two Army helicopters crashed into each other during a training exercise in Kentucky Wednesday, killing nine people. The helicopters crashed in a wooded area and there are no reports of additional residential damage.
• The Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter sale of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan Wednesday, paving the way to expand access to the life-saving medication. At least one Narcan producer said they aim to have the nasal spray on store shelves by late summer. It’s unclear how much it will cost.
• Spice up your morning by letting all the blood rush to your head! It’s fun!
This is Mila. She wanted to remind everyone that sometimes all you need in life is a new perspective. 12/10 pic.twitter.com/nF8na7FoOB— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) March 28, 2023