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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's June 1, which means it's summer (I don't make the rules.) If you're looking for a way to celebrate, maybe check out the Pedalpalooza kickoff ride tonight? Or head to EverOut for more ideas about what to do this weekend.
Here's today's news roundup.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Portland City Council accepted a settlement yesterday in the lawsuit that alleged the city is violating ADA by allowing sidewalk camping. This settlement compels the city of Portland to remove encampments obstructing sidewalks more swiftly and more often. City Council also heard hours of testimony yesterday about a proposed ordinance to ban daytime camping on city property, much of which was critical of the proposal. The Mercury's Courtney Vaughn was on the scene at City Hall all day yesterday, so be sure to check out her coverage.
At Portland City Hall, a rally preceded this afternoon's vote on a proposed ordinance to ban daytime camping. Earlier, council approved a settlement over blocked sidewalks and ADA compliance. pic.twitter.com/RSUfGJXeC7— Courtney Vaughn (@C__Vaughn) May 31, 2023
• New reporting from Willamette Week digs into the problems that have plagued Portland Fire & Rescue and the Portland Street Response program, which was formed to serve as an alternative to traditional policing and is now at risk of having its budget slashed. Apparently, “the relationship between [Portland Street Response] and PF&R has been fraught due to the differences in culture between the programs."
• Too many elk? Oregon coastal communities are seeing a rise in elk population and it's causing some major problems. These 1,000 pound animals are "trampling pets to death, ramming cars and even attacking people." Oregon, pack it up. Maybe we should just let the elk take over.
• There's still no progress on ending the Oregon Senate Republican walkout, putting the entire 2023 state legislative session in jeopardy. Governor Kotek says this walkout is the longest one in state history. This is a very unfortunate situation, and it's not helping Oregon beat the "unserious" allegations in the slightest.
'Bike Bus Bill' passes another committee, heads to House floor— BikePortland (@BikePortland) May 31, 2023
- Despite dysfunction at #orleg, this bill — which has gone through key changes — has bipartisan support & is very likely to pass as soon as #orpol get back to work. https://t.co/7Qs7Kavpfk
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• The U.S. House voted to approve the debt ceiling bill—now it heads to the Senate, where it'll need 60 votes to pass. Some Democratic senators, including Oregon's Jeff Merkley and my favorite New Englander Bernie Sanders, say they won't vote for the debt ceiling bill because it will cut some social security benefits and give the green light to environmentally-devastating pipeline projects. Will it get the votes anyway? We shall see...but I've gotta say, this whole situation sucks.
• Former Veep Mike Pence is preparing to enter the 2024 U.S. presidential race. It'll be interesting to see what nickname Trump will come up with to use against Pence during debates—how much meaner can you get after you've thrown your Vice President to the wolves while an angry mob of insurrectionists threaten to kill him? Maybe Trump could reference how Pence allegedly calls his wife "mother"—or how about that weird thing he tweeted about horses a few years ago?
• A beluga whale named Hvaldimir has appeared in Sweden. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that this whale happens to be an alleged Russian spy (??). The Swedish government and whale conservationists are working to protect him. In other intelligent whale news, orcas have recently taken to sinking ships off the coast of Spain and Portugal. A Washington Post article suggests two theories as to why: either the orcas are playing around, or the orcas want vengeance. Either way, I think I'm on their side, but be careful if you're planning a boating trip off the Iberian Coast.
The mustache is enjoying one of its periodic renaissances.— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 1, 2023
“It’s very masculine, but it’s also very flamboyant and quietly sort of queer-coded,” one man from Brooklyn said. “The entire gender spectrum is obsessed with my mustache, as am I.”https://t.co/NR6ATmD3Ps
• After all this politics talk, I'm with this rhino:
Spa day pic.twitter.com/pxlEvuRXmZ— Oregon Zoo (@OregonZoo) May 30, 2023