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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Guys... summer is almost over! That's why it's imperative that you spend it in a "sexy" manner by purchasing and wearing a Mercury "Say Nice Things About Portland" T-shirt! If you've seen them around town, you know how hot they look... and how hot YOU'LL look wearing one! Now let's see how hot you look wearing this NEWS.


• Remember that report that ranked Portland as #61 out of 62 cities whose downtowns are struggling to recover since the pandemic? Well, according to a new study—one that actually includes the entirety of downtown—foot traffic has been WAY up, and actually we're ranked more like in the middle of cities with similar struggles. Turns out the original study only included the downtown area between Burnside and the Hawthorne Bridge, and Broadway to the west—and didn't include PSU, Powell's, Portland Art Museum, Old Town, the area around Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and more! Will this new information inspire the town's wealthy and their dark money anti-Portland marketing arm to shut the eff up? NOPE! Their main objective is to coerce tax cuts from the city and state, so good news for us is actually BAAAAD NEWS for them.

• Speaking of downtown, a Portland developer wants to build a 30-story affordable housing skyscraper close to the west side of the Burnside Bridge, which would violate the city's 75-foot rule for buildings along the waterfront (that allows for views and a sense of openness on the riverfront). The city says such a move would require changing zoning laws, which could ultimately lead to river views being blocked by a spate of tall buildings. However, officials say they are happy to help the developer find another place to build, because this particular site has "infrastructure issues" that could lead to serious problems. (They didn't specify the nature of these "issues," but my money is on that the building could collapse under the quicksand-like conditions experts say will happen near the waterfront when the "Big One" hits. Have a great Monday! 😀 😭)

• For those sending kids back to school this week (again 😭), OPB has a good report on what we can expect from this potentially historic school year. Good news: The state has funneled a whopping $10.2 billion into the State School Fund, and the governor is putting emphasis on literacy for young kids. The not-so-good news: This influx of money still probably won't be enough, and districts will be forced to make cuts while also being challenged by staffing shortages, mental health issues, poor grades, and lack of enrollment thanks to COVID. 

• Portland's drinking water, which is in some danger thanks to a fire burning near the Bull Run Dam (where our water comes from), is still safe to drink according to authorities thanks to the efforts of firefighters and the U.S. Forest Service prioritizing the protection of that area.

• Lots to chat over and drool about in this week's edition of Food News: Tanaka begins slinging shokupan in Tigard, the Philly-inspired Steakadelphia expands to Beaverton, and Banderyky brings Ukrainian food to the Vancouver Mall. (Plus lots of yummy stuff in town as well!)


• A racist, white supremacist gunned down three Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida before committing suicide on Saturday. The murdering asshole left behind a suicide note along with hateful, racist ramblings against Black people. Afterward, Gov. Ron DeSantis was rightfully booed when he attempted to speak to a crowd of mourners (the gunman purchased his weapons legally in that permissive, Republican-run state), while Florida State Rep. Angie Nixon correctly summed up the situation: “We must be clear, it was not just racially motivated, it was racist violence that has been perpetuated by rhetoric and policies designed to attack Black people, period.”

• Tens of thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, this weekend to remember the 60th anniversary of the famous civil rights march on Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Speakers reminded the crowd that thanks to rampant Republican racism that's seeped into the Supreme Court and state laws, hate crimes (like the one mentioned above) as well as police violence, poverty, and the loss of voting and reproductive rights continue to stymie America's attempts at true equality.

• Trump and his 18 co-defendants will be arraigned on September 6 for their attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia. Meanwhile, in the federal case against Trump, a judge is expected to set a trial date today for the former president, as lawyers for both sides will argue over whether the trial should take place before or after the upcoming 2024 election. (Can you guess which I would prefer?)

• Oh, and this just in... Trump doesn't know how to spell "rumor." But the "roomer" is that Republicans will vote for him anyway. 

• You saw it coming... and here it is:

• In case you missed all the terrible Price Is Right jokes on Twitter over the weekend, game show host (and lifelong animal rights activist) Bob Barker passed away at the ripe old age of 99.

• And finally... hope you go through this week like this. (Which is to say, SUPER HIGH!)