GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! No one needs to remind you it’s hot outside, but as the city and county are in a state of emergency over this week’s high temperatures (today’s high is 102) I feel a civic duty to remind you, beloved reader, to STAY HYDRATED and go somewhere cool, if possible. It will be hotter today in Portland than some parts of the Mojave Desert. 🌞🌵

This is a good segue into Local News:

  • Multnomah County has opened temporary cooling centers to offer respite from dangerous heat. Yesterday saw two centers in Gresham and one in downtown Portland’s Old Town neighborhood. They’re expected to reopen today, but check this website to be sure. The county’s cooling centers are open 1-8 p.m., but you know what place opens even earlier, has air conditioning, AND plenty of space? Everyone’s favorite “dead mall” the Lloyd Center! Take in the smell of Cinnabon wafting through the air and stroll through the mall while sipping on Orange Julius. If that's not your jam, you can always hang out in a public library. In addition to the aforementioned places, 14 Portland parks are offering 24/7 misting stations, and many have fountains or splash pads

  • Speaking of dangerous things, it’s no secret Oregon doesn’t have enough public defenders to keep up with the number of people charged with crimes who can’t afford an attorney. The shortage of court-appointed public defenders largely stems from the Offices of Public Defense Services-which, at some point during COVID-19, drastically lowered the cap on what gets paid out to attorneys and other experts needed for many criminal trials. Abe Asher explains the problem in his latest piece on the criminal justice system.
  • On top of the current sweltering heat wave, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Monday, due to smog, AKA pollution. “Hey Google, play New Pollution by Beck." Here’s how you can help by not dirtying the air any further: Avoid driving, if possible, but if you do, try to avoid unnecessary engine idling (in other words, don’t sit in your car while the engine is running so you can look at your phone for 12 minutes. We know who you are.) Don’t use gas-powered appliances for yard work (who’s doing yard work in this heat?!) If you need to get gas, I guess do it when it cools off in the evening?

  • In police accountability news, the U.S. Justice Department has again given a wag of the finger to Portland Police, who fired 15 times at the driver of a stolen truck who was fleeing. A new report outlines how police ignored proper protocol and were reckless in their use of a deadly weapon. 

In National/World News:

  • Donald Trump has been indicted (again!) this time in Georgia, where a district attorney is charging him and 18 other defendants for their alleged role in trying to overturn the 2020 election. The indictment alleges racketeering, in what's more commonly referred to as RICO violations. The criminal indictment also faults Trump’s team for trying to meddle in Georgia’s election and submitting fake slates of electors to summon more votes for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. 

  • In what could be a game-changing climate case, young people in Montana won their lawsuit against the state for failing to uphold environmental protections with its fossil fuel-based energy grid. The suit cited scientific evidence that greenhouse gas emissions and a warming climate will have direct adverse impacts on young people who inherit the mess.
  • In Afghanistan, which fell to the Taliban two years ago, new reporting outlines just how bad it is for women. Afghanistan now has the harshest restrictions for women in the world. Inklings of what lies ahead were clear in 2021, when the region started barring girls from attending school. 

Hang in there! The world is hot and the news is spicy, but we have to keep going. 

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