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Oh, good morning, Portland. I didn't see you standing there. You know, either this town really likes "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club, or there's one person who drives around blasting every morning. One day I'll meet them and everything will fall into place. It's like that time a guy tried to get me fired for two years and then, when he actually met me, we became best friends. Now, here's the news.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• There's not a ton of detail out there about Oregon Gov. Tin Kotek's Wednesday direction to Oregon State Police to help Portland police enforce the city's regulations against street racing. It might be that the help could merely extend to asking the state Legislature for enough funds to clear the training backlog, which might be a factor keeping PPB officer numbers low. However, the MOST INTERESTING thing street racing fans and foes may want to monitor: There's a bill making its way through the state Senate, which would increase penalties for people convicted of street racing. The bill amps potential jail time to 364 days and those found guilty of two offenses within five years could be looking at a felony.
• City Commissioners Mingus Mapps and Rene Gonzales continue to think that Portland voters won't understand ranked choice voting well enough to elect new city councilors by November 2024. Both have expressed confusion about the system, which could be a feint, or it could be that we elected people who are bad at math. Earlier this week, Mercury News Editor Courtney Vaughn wrote a longview of preparations being made for charter implementation. When you read how many people are working hard to support voters' decision to change our city government, you might feel kind of good about something. Please take care if you have not felt good about anything in a while, the experience can be jarring.
• Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) doesn't need to Tweet. How nice for them! The radio and broadcasting network decided to stand with their bud NPR—they aren't the same org, OPB predates NPR by a full 45 years—against Twitter's erratic owner Elon Musk. Last week, Musk had his company add a label of "“state-affiliated media” to NPR's profile and all their tweets. Twitter also added the new label to BBC, PBS, and Voice of America. When the organizations complained they were funded by taxpayers, but were independent of government control, Twitter capriciously changed the text to "government-funded media." NPR and PBS have ceased to tweet and yesterday OPB joined them. None of the orgs have deleted their accounts, and their reporters are still tweeting, but it's good to stand up to bullies. Good for them.
• Test your might with this quiz about local animals!
If you enjoy "animals," then you will LOVE this edition of POP QUIZ PDX! Lots of fun, sassy trivia Qs about local animals, shady human animals, and YOUR vote for the world's best (you guessed it) ANIMAL! 🐻🐮🦊https://t.co/ncGiXeZuAz— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) April 13, 2023
• IT IS FRIDAY—and concert venues are about to drop tickets for upcoming shows. Our calendar team wants you to know about Angel Olson at Revolution Hall, Chelsea Handler at the Schnitz, and HOLD UP, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein playing the score of Stranger Things at Rev Hall is essentially one half of SURVIVE on tour. What's your favorite Stranger Things song, and why is it "Eight Fifteen?"
IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• The FBI arrested a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard yesterday. He allegedly leaked classified documents to a Discord gaming group, called Thug Shaker Central.
The 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard faces two separate counts: The unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. https://t.co/FVK3844Dau pic.twitter.com/z3NKBUGgch— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 14, 2023
• Perhaps related to why BBC News is still on Twitter, the BBC interviewed Elon Musk on Tuesday. It did not go well for either the Twitter CEO (conciliatory, contradictory, and admitting that "For You" sucks) nor technology correspondent James Clayton (bumbling boy genius energy). One really great example of how little you can trust Twitter now: Search for the interview and see what comes up. It's a ton of blue check marks extrapolating anything from the stammering exchange that supports their own views, and none of them are journalists—most are conspiracy theory dudes who thank Musk in their profiles.
• As much as the next man, I would like to stop talking so much about Musk, but the dude has a huge platform. And while other people built that... and while Musk is working steadily to destroy it... and while he would LOVE to misdirect all attempts to hold him accountable and instead maintain the facade of a 51-year-old rosy-cheeked lad who just found a very big lollipop... the fact remains that he has a tremendous amount of influence. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins denounced his use of it yesterday, following the arrest of the main suspect in the killing of CashApp founder Bob Lee. Musk tweeted about "violent crime in SF," calling it "horrific" and demanding to know about stronger consequences for "repeat violent offenders."
SF city officials today declined to confirm many new details surrounding last week's killing of tech exec Bob Lee.— Mission Local (@MLNow) April 14, 2023
Instead, they criticized those pushing a narrative of unchecked, rampant crime following the 43-year-old’s stabbing death.
• However, at this time, it appears that the slain tech CEO knew his attacker, which is how a lot of violent crime rides.
With the exception of robberies, most violent crime victims know their attackers.— Carissa Byrne Hessick (@CBHessick) April 14, 2023
But American crime policy is enacted and assessed against the backdrop assumption that people are most at risk from strangers. https://t.co/2GQIXdUWRA
•Also seems worth pointing out that the SF's Mission Local broke news of the alleged killer's arrest and then the New York Times acted like they were the only newspaper in the whole world again. They do have a pretty good breakdown on the story so far—because they can afford to have three fucking reporters on it.
This was first reported by Mission Local, but goes uncredited here. We are a small, non-profit newsroom, and we work hard to break news.— Mission Local (@MLNow) April 13, 2023
This is bad form. https://t.co/sLtsvVD1bF
• And now your energy for the weekend, the calm conversation while those who would silence you are yelling but can't quite reach (RIP Trevor Moore):
@trashynoelle RIP Trever Moore #communism #capitalism #socialism #greatsatan ♬ original sound - trashynoelle