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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's Thursday, the air quality in the Portland area is better than it was yesterday (knock on wood), and my kitten only woke me up once in the middle of the night to scratch me (upgrade from several times the night before). So I'm sensing it's going to be a pretty good day. 😎
Alright, you NEWS fiends. Here's what's up.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Commissioner Rene Gonzalez, still pushing to overhaul the charter reform measure, now has his sights on other voter-approved Portland initiatives. According to Willamette Week, Gonzalez has his sights on "tweaking" the Portland Clean Energy Fund and the Police Accountability Commission, both of which passed resolutely long before the commissioner entered office. We can only hope that the tepid reception to Gonzalez and Commissioner Dan Ryan's amended charter reform proposal reflects how Portland voters and city staff will respond if he tries to usurp these other policies.
• Oh, and THIS JUST IN:
City Commissioner Dan Ryan pulls support for both of Cmr. Gonzalez's attempted charter reform alterations (shrinking council size; using different form of ranked-choice voting). Ryan says he will try to place mayoral veto on May 2024 ballot instead. https://t.co/pwrAN4aCE4— Sophie Peel (@sophiegreenleaf) July 20, 2023
• Speaking of Rene Gonzalez's questionable ideas, the Portland Street Response may be entering its comeback era after local politicians (including/especially Gonzalez) tried to gut it. Close to 7,000 people have signed a petition asking for the program to become permanent, and Gonzalez responded by saying he would lift the hiring freeze and committing to expanding to program ASAP. Keep the pressure on!
Because of YOU, City leaders previously hostile to Portland Street Response are singing a different tune 🎶— Friends of Portland Street Response (@FriendsofPSR) July 20, 2023
City leaders now tell @KOINNews they are lifting the hiring freeze on Portland Street Response! 🙌
Keep up the pressure: https://t.co/LlskGzYQ79https://t.co/nYIyibEHln
• The fight over Oregon's voter-approved Measure 114, which bans guns that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and requires would-be gun-owners to take a safety class/get a permit before making the purchase, is likely to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Can't wait to hear Justice Clarence Thomas pronounce it "Ore-Gone" (as if that's the main thing to be concerned about here).
There's a new question for music critics to argue about: What's hotter—the cover of Wynne's new EP or her jaw-dropping tracks? This week we ponder such unknowables while looking into a bevy of new content from artists Hear in Portland.https://t.co/3NDqbtI7N3— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) July 19, 2023
• Part of the reason Portland was all smoky yesterday was because of a fire at the old Kmart site on NE Sandy Blvd and 122nd Ave. This is also the site where the city plans to build a new freight warehouse, which neighbors are not keen on because the area already has some of the worst air quality in the city, and the fire has just made those concerns more severe.
• If you're gonna participate in the pop culture event of the century this weekend (BARBENHEIMER), do it at one of Portland's awesome indie theaters! The Laurelhurst, Cinema 21, Living Room and Studio One theaters are all doing the double feature, but you could also get some fresh air in between movies and spread your support to multiple independent movie theaters. Godspeed.
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Canada has seen its worst-ever wildfire season this summer, with an area the size of Virginia burning JUST THIS WEEK. (It's only mid-July, if you're keeping track, and this is very bad.) Once again, I ask: will this prompt world leaders to do anything about the climate crisis?
• A winning ticket has been sold for the third-largest Powerball jackpot ($1.08 billion) to a lucky person in California. The odds of winning this jackpot were 1 in 292.2 million—look, that's how easy it is to become a billionaire! Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, folks, and don't despair: I bet it'll be you who becomes a member of the 1% next.
Urban Alchemy wants to take its model of confronting the homelessness crisis nationwide. But the nonprofit has faced dozens of allegations and at least six lawsuits alleging civil rights violations, physical and sexual harassment, and wage theft.https://t.co/WjcHVuEvQ0— The Nation (@thenation) July 19, 2023
• Delivery drivers have been woefully unprotected from this summer's terrible heat waves. UPS and the Teamsters union are fighting for heat protections in their new labor contract—will management listen or will workers go on one of the nation's largest-ever strikes at the end of the month?
PACKED HOUSE at UPS “practice” strike this morning in Los Angeles:— People's City Council - Los Angeles (@PplsCityCouncil) July 19, 2023
340,000 UPS workers are preparing to walk off the job when their union contract officially expires July 31. This will be one of the largest labor actions in U.S. history. pic.twitter.com/ioG251i4ui
• Ok, look at this bundle of puppies. Happy Thursday!