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Good Morning, Portland! I appear before you thanks to no small feat of willpower—as yesterday was an EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE STAFF KARAOKE. Song choice mistakes were made. Pro tip: Never sing a song longer than for minutes unless it's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (because everyone will help you with that).
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Behind the scenes, nonprofit tenant advocacy group Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) has been struggling with a revenue crisis. As of July 1, it wants to lay off nearly all of its employees, with the idea of bringing them back in September. CAT Executive Director Kim McCarty told Mercury reporter Taylor Griggs that's normal for nonprofits. The employees say it's not.
• TIS THE SEASON FOR STINKY PLANT REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS. Yes, Washington State University is on full corpse flower bloom watch—with a live cam trained on the pot. The Columbian reports that "an overwatering accident years ago accidentally cloned the plant, creating four 'corms'.” So not only is the plant about to bloom, all four stages of the planet's life cycle are currently on display in the same pot!
• Never knew how much y'all loved the Cully neighborhood Albertsons until we almost lost her (we were not actually close to losing her). The roof of the fairly sad grocery store caught on fire briefly, yesterday around 5 pm. Fire crews said the damage appeared to be minimal, and dismissed a second-alarm crew that was called while everyone was het up, but was not needed. The fire itself was located in an area of recent construction work—the exact cause has yet to be determined.
• Citing financial reasons, the Clackamas Review—a weekly Pamplin publication that reports on areas in and around North Clackamas, like Milwaukie, Oak Grove, and Happy Valley—announced Wednesday that it will transition to a monthly paper starting August 1 and change its name to the Milwaukie Review.
• On Thursday, Willamette Week reported on a series of emails between a former Joann Hardesty staffer and the staff of a Detroit City Council member wherein the staffer advised Detroit officials who were planning a visit (to learn more about Portland's Street Response program) to reach out to Hardesty directly since "climate has definitely changed politically in Portland as well as what current electeds think Portland Street Response." When the email exchange "made its way to the chief of the fire bureau’s Community Health Division, Ryan Gillespie," he fired back that "Detroit folks" should hear different perspectives on the program. "There are several challenges within PSR that will also be communicated along with the benefits." Y'know what would be cool? For the dang TAXPAYERS to hear about "several challenges within PSR." Come on, Gillespie, lay it on us.
• According to this rather vague report by KATU, Fred Meyer is entering into a "public-private partnership" with "police and city leaders" to crack down on crime and theft in and around local Fred Meyer stores. Fred Meyer’s president Todd Kammeyer told KATU that customers could expect to see "more guards, different traffic flows, and receipt checks at doors." Sounds like a super fun place to shop, and perhaps a new contender for the coveted title of Sadder Than the Albertsons.
• WHOM SHALL JUDGE Cardiac Organ: A Goth Cabaret's GOTHNESS? Within the cosmic enigma that envelopes us, it is up to you.
• Hubbard, Oregon, I know you think this it's FUNNY to elect former US president Donald J. Trump to your fire district board, but what if you really had to deal with that as a reality? 😖
Former President Trump has been declared the winner of a fire district election in Hubbard, Oregon. https://t.co/MhW2cH4770— KOIN News (@KOINNews) June 29, 2023
• Have you taken this week's POP QUIZ PDX? The answer to this particular question is hidden in THIS VERY Good Morning, News blast:
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• It's Friday morning, and tickets for upcoming shows are about to go on sale. We're talkin' Shakey Graves at Crystal Ballroom. We're talkin' Slow Pulp at Aladdin Theater. Our Everout calendar team made a LIST of shows on sale for your perusal.
IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL/ HISTORY NEWS:
• Today the Supreme Court ruled that a Christian graphic artist in Colorado doesn't have to design wedding websites for same-sex couples. OKAY. So here's the thing. This is a backslide for rights and equality, BUT ALSO NO GAY PERSON HAD FUCKING ASKED this basic hack (whose logo seems to be trapped in a time warp of Microsoft Office '90s flair) to design their wedding website. Do you know what brought upon this case? 303 Creative owner Lorie Smith wanted to post a notice on her website to inform her imaginary gay customers that she won't make a wedding website for them. At the time she began this suit she did not even design wedding websites—she was just thinking about maybe doing it sometime. This nation's litigious monomania is out of control.
• Haze from forest fires is back in Washington DC. GOOD. Don't like the smoke? This is what you all did.
• Maybe you read that earlier Clackamas Review story and thought "eh, who cares?" Well, the decay of local print newspapers is bad for your local government, which becomes more corrupt and COSTLY for taxpayers without local journalists keeping an eye on it. AND it impacts larger papers like the New York Times, who rely on local printers to get their national newspapers to readers (eg your Sunday New York Times):
A memo to @nytimes staffers today demonstrates how the Times’ efforts to distribute print copies around the country have been hobbled by the hollowing-out of local news. It points out that printing plants in Los Angeles and Buffalo will be shutting down later this year. 1/— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) June 28, 2023
• Hot on the heels of yesterday's Supreme Court discussion to overturn affirmative action, Your Money columnist for New York Times Ron Lieber has a suggestion. Why don't colleges help us out by just telling students what they'll be paying upfront? It's not as simple as you think.
• On Wednesday the US Coast Guard brought ashore remains of the sub lost near the Titanic wreck last week, as well as presumed human remains, which will be studied by US medical professionals. If you saw a video where the machinery was covered by a tarp and thought "ah yes because it's too awful for people to see," you're a little bit incorrect about the human condition. This recent episode of Criminal explores the fascinating story of l’Inconnue de la Seine, a woman who, according to legend, drowned in the River Seine around the late 1880s—and whose face was the model for many CPR mannequins. The episode includes some interesting notes about the Paris morgue at that time, which was open to the public and drew more visitors than local museums. The government closed it to the public in 1907 on the grounds of public decency. So you see, it's not that people CAN'T see human remains—it's that they really really want to, but we've decided that's weird and no good for people. I both concur and find this revelation to vibe with what I know of humanity.
• Finally, here I am watching hack designer (with imaginary clients) Lorie Smith use non-complimentary sans-serif typefaces. You know she says "font" instead of typeface, too. What an embarrassment to the profession.