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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Do you feel that? It's the blissful sensation of temperatures lower than 100 degrees. I hope you all have been able to stay cool and somewhat sane this week. Either way, you can look forward to indulging in an $8 burger next week during the Mercury's annual BURGER WEEK, which begins on Monday. 

Alright, let's get to the news. 


Once's been hot this week. (Did you guys know this?) The heat sucks even for people lucky enough to have air conditioning, but Multnomah County residents don't have that luxury, and the health impacts of hot weather are no joke. In order to protect people who needed a cool space to hang out, the county opened three official cooling sites and directed people to air-conditioned libraries and the Lloyd Center. But was this enough?  Sadly, two people have been identified so far as having died due to heat-related impacts this week. Not much is known about the people who died yet, but it's clear not all county residents were able to access some of the resources available. And considering Multnomah County doesn't have any designated emergency shelter space, and climate change just keeps getting worse every year...more and more people could become the victims of similar extreme weather events in the future. Read our story to learn more about the county's response to the crisis. 

Oregon Health & Science University is set to merge with Legacy Health, reshaping the Portland health care market. The move seems to be due to Legacy's financial woes, as the hospital chain (the largest in Portland) lost 40% of its working capital in FY 2023.  

Central Oregon is all smoky now thanks to the Bedrock Fire in Lane County and two smaller fires near Bend. Hopefully lower temperatures will make it easier to put out these fires, and all our friends to the south get some reprieve soon. Fingers crossed that Oregon might even get some rain from the Tropical Storm Hilary (now deemed a hurricane) set to hit the west coast this weekend. For people in Southern California, though, the effects of the storm could be dire. 


• I was lucky enough to go to the Knot Springs spa a couple weeks ago for their Summer Concert Series, and I wrote a review of the experience. I'll leave it at that for now, because I already wrote about 1500 words about the spa and don't need to inundate you with more. However, I will say that I'm open to doing more spa hit my line. 


UGH. In the latest example of the attack on trans people in the U.S., especially trans kids, the North Carolina General Assembly (run by Republicans) just overrode the governor's vetoes of legislation cutting off access to gender-affirming medical treatments for youth. Youth in the state are now barred from accessing hormone therapy, puberty-blockers, and more life-saving treatments. 

Ok, get this: a pig's kidney was transplanted into a human body and has been working normally for over a month, bringing a sci-fi fantasy to reality. I'm not sure if people will be jumping at the chance to have animal organs in their bodies—the man who got the pig kidney was, sadly, already functionally brain-dead—but given the waitlist for kidney and other organ transplants, this could be a groundbreaking revelation. Has science gone too far, or is this a life-altering development? Maybe both. Either way, I'm sure this is going to become the next rightwing culture war issue. Can't wait to hear Ben Shapiro talk about it. (Actually, I can.)

• More terrible wildfire news, now from Spain, where an out-of-control fire on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife is burning thousands of acres, impacting thousands of people. Nowhere in the world is safe from wildfires, it seems. 

More TikTok bans taking place: 


• FINALLY...the worst of the heat wave may be over, but it's still going to be in the 90s today. Watch this video of animals jumping into water to live vicariously through them. (Since, y'know, the Willamette River is completely covered in toxic algae and stuff.)

HAVE A GREAT THURSDAY! Drink water! More than you think you need!