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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! We got us some standard, whiplash April weather going on here today, with an endless rotation of sun, showers, maybe snow flurries, and hail with temps careening from 37 this morning to 50 or so this afternoon. Now let's careen into a big pile of NEWS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• There's some good news and not-exactly-great news in regards to Portland's worrying homicide rate: first, homicides are on the decline (that's the good news). The not-exactly-great news is that the coming summer months typically see more gun deaths, and the numbers we're clocking now remain above what they were before the pandemic.
This is disgusting and disrespectful. pic.twitter.com/BRwu6IwP8D— Moon ♋🌙🐢 (@Keez360) April 3, 2023
• In a related story, state lawmakers are turning their eyes toward making it a felony to threaten a mass shooting or bombing (either real or fake) at a "school, place of worship, health care facility, place of business,” which is a source of trauma for everyone involved as well as wasting police time and resources.
• ICYMI, the Office of Community & Civic Life is planning to cut a whopping $500,000 in funding that was meant to go to organizations that support communities of color, and distribute that dough between a lot of NIMBY, primarily white and privileged neighborhood groups. Reminder: Commissioner Dan Ryan was recently handed the Civic Life office, and his fellow PBA minion, Commish Mingus Mapps, is apparently all for this patently terrible idea.
The facility will be closed as it trains staff and makes security improvements. https://t.co/5W3axwqceK— Portland Business Journal (@PDXBIZJournal) April 3, 2023
• Tiny Ontario, Oregon, has a booming weed business thanks to bustling Boise, Idaho (where cannabis is criminalized) which is just under an hour's drive away. This is yet another excuse for a few Idaho Republicans to consider pushing the idea of a "Greater Idaho" which would annex a sizable portion of our state, snatch up rural Oregonians who hate progressive politics, and kill any border weed businesses.
• It's peak cherry blossom season here in Portland, but it's not just our downtown Waterfront Park that's strutting its gorgeous stuff. Here's a list of other places you can get your blossom on.
• For those who simply salivate over Pacific Northwest barrel-aged beers, there's a lot of great new products to sample right now, such as Alan Sprints' retirement collaborations, new blends from Breakside and Baerlic, and delightful brews from Fort George and Ferment Brewing Company. Brian Yaeger has the inside track.
How smart *are* you anyway? 🤔 Let's find out with this week's super fun POP QUIZ PDX, featuring sassy Portland trivia, local celeb gossip, and... lots and lots of WOLVERINES! 👹https://t.co/R8kezDGvc8— Wm. Steven Humphrey (@WmSteveHumphrey) March 31, 2023
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Trump is reportedly packing his bags today to travel to New York where he will face booking and arraignment on 30 (!) charges that he paid former play pal Stormy Daniels hush money in 2016 to keep her quiet about their affair, and (surprise!) he's already cranking up his standard court delay tactics. While pro-Trump demonstrators are also gathering in NYC, a January 6-style domestic terrorist uprising is not expected—maybe because even his die-hard supporters know that the former president most likely won't be subjected to any jail time. Meanwhile, other probes into Trump's criminal behavior are picking up steam, and the Washington Post is reporting that the Justice Department has new evidence that he tried to obstruct the investigation into his treasure trove of classified documents tucked away at Mar-a-Lago.
• Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has filed an appeal against the Russian government who arrested the journalist and is charging him with espionage—which, if he's convicted, could put him behind bars for up to 20 years.
• For you wrasslin'/fight fans: The WWE and UFC are joining forces to create a new company run by Ari Emanuel and Vince McMahon—who's been looking for a buyer for his wrestling empire for months.
The White House will not be paying for Twitter verification under the new system, according to an email obtained by NBC News. @MSNBC— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 3, 2023
• A whopping 89 percent of Parisians voted to ban e-scooters from their streets, many of whom complain they are an eyesore and caused hundreds of accidents per year.
• And finally... it's MONDAY. Who's ready to unleash a little hell?
"At my signal, unleash hell" pic.twitter.com/8tMk8GkVTO— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) April 1, 2023