The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!
Good morning, Portland! The fourth of July is just one week away. Where are you going to watch the sky booms? Our Everout team has a few suggestions for events. If you’re scouting a location for fireworks viewing, check out this perennial Travel Portland guide.
In Local News:
- The Oregon Department of Transportation announced Monday that two major projects will be shelved for now, after Gov. Tina Kotek ordered a halt on the agency’s plans to add tolls to I-205 and I-5. ODOT was counting on revenue from tolling to help pay for the controversial Rose Quarter Improvement Project, which would add auxiliary lanes to I-5 in parts of Northeast Portland, but would also push the freeway so close to a local school, it would have to be relocated. ODOT also needed the dough to pay for the second phase of the I-205 “Improvement (widening) Project” in Clackamas County. Environmental advocates and ODOT critics are relieved. The state agency? Not so much.
ODOT is stretching to find ways to pay for expansions on Portland-area freeways without tolling revenue—and it's prompting the agency to reevaluate plans to widen I-205 and I-5. https://t.co/xGTK81gIWJ— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) June 27, 2023
- Speaking of ODOT, earlier this month, the agency delayed reporting a massive hack of the Oregon DMV that left the personal data of 3.5 million Oregon residents compromised. The attack was part of a global MOVEit data breach affecting banks, government agencies and several large companies. ODOT responded by advising people to utilize free annual credit checks (which absolutely won’t cut it if you’re serious about preventing fraud and identity theft) but the agency later followed up with advice on how to freeze your credit.
- Before it adjourned for the session, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that will dedicate nearly $700 million toward high-speed internet in the state. The funds will bolster broadband access in remote areas as part of a nationwide equity program.
- As the last days of June are upon us, be prepared to see more LGBTQ+ pride events around Portland. That’s because Portland celebrates Pride month in July. The Mercury’s Queer Guide is here to bring you salient history, highlights, spotlights on queer culture, and an explainer on when and why The City That Werks is celebrating next month. You can read about an upcoming night of drag artists acting out moments in queer history—as described by drunk storytellers. In this Q&A, Drunk Herstory host Shandi Evans said the drag comedy night’s first sober storyteller told “hands down the most insane story we've ever done.”
When is Portland Pride this year? Trick question! PRIDE IS FOREVER.https://t.co/IMc1tkBH8z— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) June 26, 2023
- In what is possibly the most Portland thing you’ll read this week, this lady brings her two house cats on hikes. The owner says it allows them to experience life outside the confines of a house. The cats stay perched in a cat backpack, where they undoubtedly freak the fuck out internally. Hakuna Matata!
In National/World News:
- The shooter who opened fire at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub last year, killing five people, will serve life in prison. Anderson Lee Aldrich pleaded guilty to five counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder, while also pleading no contest to two hate crimes. A prosecutor in the case suggested Aldrich tried to falsely claim a nonbinary identity, as an attempt to stave off hate crime charges.
- Despite recent revelations that have watered down, if not eradicated any shred of trust in the U.S. Supreme Court, this week the court managed to issue a ruling rejecting an attempt to give state’s unfettered power over federal election rules. The case stemmed from a lawsuit in North Carolina, after lawmakers there tried to redraw the state’s Congressional map in what was determined to be a politically-charged gerrymandering effort.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court's incoming liberal majority watching SCOTUS affirm state courts' authority to strike down congressional gerrymanders pic.twitter.com/DfsJNeLnBc— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) June 27, 2023
- Texas continues to swelter amid triple digit temperatures set to continue this week. The state is expected to break its record of consecutive days of triple digit temperatures, with weather agencies issuing advisories and public warnings about the potential for heat-related illness.
- In world news, a new UN report details Russia’s execution of 77 civilians detained by Russian forces during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The report laid out 864 illegal detentions by Russian forces. Russia denies the human rights violations.
Words of encouragement from an 8 year old 😂♬ The Luck You Got - The High Strung