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! Sayyyyy... who's interested in a plate of delicious, creative NACHOS? ( I thought so.) Well lucky you, the Mercury's annual NACHO WEEK is happening right now! The best restaurants in town are putting their creative spin on nachos, and you can get 'em for only $8 each for the rest of the week! Now, what do you say we chow down on some NEWS?

IN LOCAL NEWS:

"Going back and forth in front of the voters makes us look like a clown car." That quote from Mike Alfoni, co-founder of Ranked Choice Voting Oregon, to Commissioner Rene Gonzalez at yesterday's meeting about charter reform at City Hall, hit the nail exactly on the head. After being caught red-handed making backroom deals to hijack charter reform, Commissioners Rene Gonzalez and Dan Ryan threw together a hasty, and ultimately chaotic "work session" to pitch their ridiculous, thoughtless objections to the system which voters approved by a very wide margin. Our Taylor Griggs was there and filed this terrific report, but to make a long story short, the commissioners made it very clear that they know very little about the charter reform process even though they've been invited along with the rest of the public to learn about it and offer their ideas for the past year. Dan Ryan was duplicitous and condescending (as usual); Carmen Rubio mostly just sat there, refusing to offer any full-throated opposition to this attack on democracy; Mingus Mapps was an energy vampire vomiting empty platitudes and meaningless word salads, Rene Gonzalez (with help his typo-ridden, malfunctioning slide show) embarrassed himself with the laughable, insulting assertion that Portland can't produce "12 quality candidates" to sit on council; and most shockingly of all, Mayor Ted Wheeler was the only sane voice on council who actually said out loud that this venture was a terrible waste of time, and that council should be working to get charter reform implemented—JUST AS VOTERS TOLD THEM TO IN THE FIRST PLACE. "Clown car," indeed.

• If you smell smoke outside this morning, you ain't wrong: A big fire at the Weyerhaeuser Paper Company in Longview as well as one at an abandoned Kmart in North Portland is causing smoke to seep into the area, and while it may cool things off a bit, it will also diminish air quality—so be careful and aware.

• Good news/bad news for mock turtleneck-wearing, right-wing blowhard Oregon Sen. Brian Boquist: The good news is that a judge ruled that Boquist's 2019 threat—in which he told police to "send bachelors and come heavily armed" if they tried to retrieve him after running away during the 2019 Republican Senator boycott—fell under the banner of free speech and that no reasonable person would take him seriously. The bad news (for Boquist): He's a mock turtleneck-wearing joke who no one takes seriously. (Saaaaad trommmmboooone.)

• If the smoke doesn't calm things down, expect the temperature to hit a sunny 94 degrees today, the hottest day of the week.

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• A 23-year-old US Army private is in custody in North Korea after he suddenly bolted across the border and into the country's territory. He'd previously committed various crimes in South Korea and was being transported back to the US to possibly face charges when he made his escape. So far North Korea is being silent about what will happen to the man.

• A federal judge has ruled "OH HELL NO" to Trump's request to get a new trial after a grand jury found him guilty of sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll. The former president was trying to squirm out of paying the $2 million jury award, as this squirmer often does.

• Country singer Jason Aldean’s music video for “Try That in a Small Town” has been pulled off the air on CMT after viewers pointed out that the song was "pro-lynching" and contained numerous "racial dogwhistles"—claims that Aldean is unsuccessfully trying to deny.

• IRS "whistleblower" Gary Shapley will be testifying before Congress today to make the dubious claim that the Justice Department went easy on Hunter Biden during their investigation, and... do the Republicans actually think anyone still gives a shit about this? Baffling!

• And finally... I swear to god, at first I was convinced this was from the Barbie movie!