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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! While not as toasty as this weekend, we're in for another hottie of a week with highs hitting 91 today and staying in that range through at least Thursday! So in the words of New Edition, let's all "cool it now." And let's start by cooling it with some NEWS!
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• As you may have heard, the Right to Rest Bill—which would grant houseless people the right to be in public spaces without harassment—was dead in the water before Oregon lawmakers called for an informational public hearing... and yet dark-money conservative group People for Portland decided to whip up their right-wing flying monkeys anyway to bombard lawmakers with 2,000 screaming invectives against it, because... that's how much they really hate houseless people? Our Taylor Griggs did a deep dive into what happened (the publication of which inspired even more misogynists and rando Oklahomans to weigh in. You know... I just wish for once white guys would have an opinion!)
A Portland parent says a school bus driver was recorded asking students to "scream Hallelujah" and sing along to hymns, in violation of federal laws prohibiting religious activities in public schools. The state warns the district could lose funding.https://t.co/ZNEzYEvANP— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) May 14, 2023
• Speaking of dark-money conservatives... dark-money conservatives are pumping LOTS of money into school board races nationwide, and yep, that includes here in Oregon. Lucky for us, LGBTQ+ advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon is leaping to the defense of kids by getting out the vote across the state and canvassing to get people who have pro-inclusive platforms onto school boards.
• Speaking of elections... there's an election TOMORROW, EEEEEEK! Have you voted yet? Need I remind you there are sinister forces at work (see previous two stories) that are desperately trying to turn Oregon red? Even if you've been too busy to do the research, the Mercury has your back with our absolutely reliable ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS and VOTER CHEAT SHEET. (But if you don't have time to read those either, at least DO NOT vote for Derrick Peterson for the Portland School Board race, who has pulled out of his campaign twice, after being caught cavorting with creepy right-wing causes. See? This is what I'm talkin' 'bout!)
Don't forget to VOTE! Voted ballots must be received at any county elections office in Oregon or Official Ballot Drop Site location by 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, or mailed and postmarked by May 16, 2023, and received within seven days to be counted: https://t.co/OgQqJrYJck pic.twitter.com/PAiL8jaS5M— Multnomah County, OR (@multco) May 15, 2023
• And speaking of right-wing sinister forces, and the damage they cause... the Oregonian obtained a list of all the state's hate crimes for the past ten years—all 550 of them—and found that only 45 percent of them were prosecuted. How come? Mostly due to police and prosecution incompetence or disinterest. NOT GOOD.
Dear brainy pants: Think you're some kind of freaking "Portland expert"? Let's find out in this week's special POP QUIZ PDX, which is chock full of funny trivia Qs all about Portland. See how well YOU score! 🤔https://t.co/X3WtQJlX9G— Wm. Steven Humphrey (@WmSteveHumphrey) May 12, 2023
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• A tale of two headlines: See if you can spot what connects these two stories. Headline one: "A Texas woman was fatally shot by her boyfriend after she got an abortion." And headline two: "GOP state lawmakers try to restrict ballot initiatives, partly to thwart abortion protections." The "right-wing sinister forces" are really working overtime—and with deadly results.
• Be this guy.
from the ashes, a hero rises pic.twitter.com/EK9FdOXiHO— abby (@abby4thepeople) May 14, 2023
• Meanwhile, in Supreme Court news: The Supremes have rejected Alabama officials' request to use lethal injection to execute death row inmate Kenneth Smith who wanted to use less-painful lethal gas instead. The court will also be looking at a Republican gerrymandering case in South Carolina, as their GOP stands accused of redrawing a district to dilute the voting power of Black voters. (Right on brand!)
• And the authoritarianism just keeps on coming—this time overseas! President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey is in a tight election runoff with challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who wants to push the current authoritarian government in a more democratic direction.
• Today in "No shit, Sherlock": "GOP fears Trump’s problems with suburban women will only get worse."
If you are tempted to be annoyed with someone celebrating their relationship with their pets on Mother’s Day, you should know that there is a large “Mommalorian” community of people who parent Baby Yoda dolls, so I guess just keep the pet people in perspective. pic.twitter.com/geKr1jQ2Xi— Eliza Skinner #wgastrong (@elizaskinner) May 15, 2023
• In some good news: pop star hero Taylor Swift apparently rescued a fan from overbearing security guards during her Philadelphia stop of the Eras Tour on Saturday, by yelling at the guards to leave the exuberant fan alone. (No, it wasn't me. BUT IT EASILY COULD'VE BEEN.)
• And finally... it's "Meet Your Neighbors Monday!"
The animal handlers at the Oregon Zoo took Elephant around to meet some other animals. The sea lions were her favorite. pic.twitter.com/xXn9Q2JrC6— B&S (@_B___S) May 14, 2023