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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! There’s a heatwave coming to town, so prepare your A/C unit (if you’re lucky enough to have one). Will you embrace the May heat or draw the blinds, vampire-style? I’ll probably be in the latter camp. It’s too early in the year for this. ANYWAY…
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• A Portland Public Schools bus driver was allegedly instructing children to sing religious songs on the school bus, using the driver's seat as a pulpit to deliver the word of God to young ears. This is obviously a public school no-no, and made worse for the bus driver by the fact that one of the children on the bus happens to have a dad who founded a group called Rational Atheists United. Abe Asher has the story.
• Oregon Republicans continue their boycott, leaving the senators who do show up to work unable to do their jobs. Senate leaders are negotiating an end to the walkout and have suspended floor sessions through the weekend... saving some of the GOP senators who are very close to reaching the maximum level of absences allowed under a new state rule intended to prevent walkouts like this from occurring. We'll see what happens next week.
In 2017, former Mayor Sam Adams was accused of sexual harassment & other unseemly behavior by an ex-staffer.— Shane Dixon Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) May 11, 2023
After Adams returned to City Hall in 2021, an HR investigation was quietly conducted that found insufficient evidence / disproved the claims.https://t.co/1KSDeRXfn5
• The latest Multnomah County point-in-time homelessness counts have been released, and the results are slightly confusing. Some news outlets have chosen to focus on the fact that chronic homelessness looks to have decreased since last year, while others highlight an overall rise in homelessness (that can apparently be attributed to superior counting methods and increased shelter capacity making it easier to track people down). This may indicate that while people who have been homeless for years are finding housing (a good thing!), the cycle of eviction and homelessness is starting anew for too many.
• At yesterday's Oregon Transportation Commission meeting, commissioners were not optimistic about getting the Oregon Department of Transportation's 1-5 Rose Quarter expansion funded. This news ties into our recent story about ODOT's tolling troubles and paints a bleak outlook for the state transportation department... but potentially a positive one for anti-freeway climate activists.
today's another terrible horrible no good very bad for the rose quarter freeway expansion team and the oregon department of transportation!https://t.co/T4mjUTXeoA— nomorefreeways (@nomorefreeways) May 11, 2023
• If you're looking for something to do this weekend and are up for braving the heat: there's a baby goat tour in West Linn on Saturday. Seeking A/C? Go check out some Italian Renaissance art at the Portland Art Museum. All of these events and more are listed on EverOut.
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• GOP rising star/congressional con man Rep. George Santos pleaded not guilty to the 13 counts of fraud he was charged with earlier this week, calling the federal charges a "witch hunt." In fairness, his rich life story does include being reincarnated from one of the accused women in 17th century Salem, so I guess he's allowed to use that phrasing.
• The FDA has finally ruled that gay and bisexual men can legally donate blood, overturning a longstanding discriminatory rule that assumed straight people can't get sexually transmitted diseases, too. This is a very important change because there's a national blood shortage right now, and blood centers need as much as they can get. Go give blood! You'll get snacks.
• California Senator Dianne Feinstein has returned to D.C. after a few months of absence while recovering from a bout of shingles. But many are calling on the 89-year-old senator to resign, saying she's unfit to serve after she has expressed concerning signs of memory loss on multiple occasions. Also, one of her ex-staffers took magic mushrooms and smoked weed in her office last year in a protest against the Senate? Good for him, I guess.
• The Biden administration has proposed new rules for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. This very obviously good idea has generated backlash from the predictable figures (oil industry execs, Joe Manchin, etc). During this weekend's heat wave, I'll be hoping he's able to get something done.
• That's all I have today...enjoy your weekend and stay cool! (Maybe by finding some water like these elephants...but we recommend backyard hoses and sprinklers, not rivers—they're cold and fast!)
Sun's out trunks out pic.twitter.com/2FAOiliSRz— Oregon Zoo (@OregonZoo) April 28, 2023