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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Get ready for more sunny skies and temps in the mid-to-upper 80s through the end of the week, and by July 1? We'll be greeting the 90s... which is perfect timing for the Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHIES to arrive! Frosty, boozy cocktails made by Portland's finest barkeeps, and for only $8 each? BRING ON THE HEAT, BABY! And while you're at it? Bring on the NEWS.


• Mayor Wheeler is suddenly slamming the brakes his proposal to prohibit consumption of controlled substances in public, saying the need is no longer there thanks to a new state law that stiffens penalties for fentanyl possession. (Do we need to mention this most recent example of showboating was most likely going to face several legal challenges, as well as being almost totally unenforceable? But yes, by all means, Mr. Mayor... cover your tracks.) Our Courtney Vaughn has the story!

• Apropos of nothing, did you know that the Portland City Council's current boss, the Portland Business Alliance, have changed their name? Now they're calling themselves the "Portland Metro Council"—but don't worry! They'll still be exerting an incredible amount of influence over every single decision made by the current council, while lining the pockets of their most wealthy members with lotsa moolah! (But you have to admit the new name sounds less like an evil special interest group, doesn't it? Which is exactly the point.)

• Also apropos of nothing (do you sense a trend here?), despite the overwhelming success of Portland Street Response (PSR)—the groundbreaking program designed to help the homeless and those in mental distress (while taking a lot of pressure off the cops)—is in trouble thanks to political forces who are obviously trying to sink it. Much of this is due to shenanigans from conservative Council member Rene Gonzalez, whose tent ban and insistence that PSR participate in homeless camp sweeps—along with sowing division between program members and the fire bureau—is making daily life for those in the program unbearable. The good news is that PSR just has to hang on until Gonzalez and his fellow minions of (ahem) the "Portland Metro Council" are soundly voted out office in 2025.

• And "apropos of nothing" day continues with this well-reported and infuriating story of a Woodstock woman who's been doing her best to assist houseless folk with her street-side fence full of food and necessities, but keeps getting narc'd on to the city by one or more of her awful neighbors. Our Courtney Vaughn has the details, but awful neighbors (and your political enablers)? BE CAREFUL, WE SEE YOU.

• In case you have a short memory, I really do LOVE TELEVISION™, and for our 2023 Queer Guide, I was delighted to see that Mercury Culture Editor Suzette Smith reviewed Hi Honey, I'm Homo, calling it an engrossing history of queerness on TV that won't depress you during Pride. I have two words for you: Paul Lynde.

• Oh, and speaking of funny stuff, here's something you're not gonna wanna miss:


• Another wave of wildfire smoke from Canada is moving from the Midwest to the East Coast, and residents are being warned to stay indoors, as Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis currently have the worst air quality in the world. (If that sentence is at all triggering, I get it.)

• More military unrest in Russia as members of Yevgeny Prigozhin's militia are reportedly pissed that their boss scuttled the plan to march on the Kremlin and then make a deal with Putin. Meanwhile, Putin isn't wasting any time continuing his murder of civilians and children after his forces bombed a pizza parlor in eastern Ukraine, killing ten and injuring more than 50.

• Apparently Trump doesn't feel like he's spending enough time in court, because now he's suing E. Jean Carroll for defamation following her credible accusations that she was raped by the former president and current candidate.

• In case you didn't realize that the next presidential election is of critical importance, gossip around the hill says that far right wing Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito may be retiring, leaving the door open for new judges that are either monumentally better or worse.

• And finally... FUCK YEAH! IT'S WEDNESDAY!!