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After several drizzly days, it's supposed to be mostly sunny today! Soak in that vitamin D while you can. In the meantime, you can soak in some news...
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Bob Day was sworn in as Portland's 51st police chief yesterday morning, inheriting the bureau after Chuck Lovell stepped down from the position unexpectedly last month. Day retired from PPB back in 2019 (he oversaw cop training when the bureau used an anti-protester, right-wing meme in training materials in 2018), but is now back on staff in an interim position. Obviously, the city of Portland and its police bureau (PPB) have been through tumultuous times recently, and many Portlanders are rightfully concerned about police accountability and skeptical of plans to double down on law enforcement in order to solve the city's problems. With that in mind, the new chief has his work cut out for him. Day's interim term will expire in 2025, and the new mayor will choose his successor.
• After narrowly losing the election for Oregon's 5th congressional seat in 2022, Jamie McLeod-Skinner will vie for the spot again in 2024. She's currently polling well against fellow primary candidates, including Metro President Lynn Peterson, and it seems very possible she could face a rematch with Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who currently occupies the seat. BUT...new reporting in the Oregon Capital Chronicle reveals several of McLeod-Skinner's former employees and a consultant have described her as a "nightmarish boss, who yelled at and berated her staff, corralled them into frequent hours-long meetings, texted them in the middle of the night and retaliated against those who stood up to her." YIKES! The behavior would be bad from anyone, but considering McLeod-Skinner has been a vocal advocate for labor and is widely respected by Oregon progressives, it's especially disheartening. The contest for this particular seat will have a lot of national eyes on it as Democrats try to flip the U.S. House away from the cuckoo Republicans currently running the show, so the candidate in the general election will need to bring their a-game. McLeod-Skinner offered a statement of apology to the Capital Chronicle...it's unclear, however, if she's apologized to her staffers or worked to improve. SMH.
• If you want to see rare Amur tiger Bernadette (a.k.a. "Bernie") at the Oregon Zoo, you better go this weekend—Bernie will be departing Portland for Minnesota next week, according to an email from the zoo. Apparently, our zoo lacks the space for zoos to raise cubs, so she's off to greener pastures to have some babies. Here's Bernie drinking some milk last week:
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• Cloudy skies will likely get in the way for people hoping to see the annular solar eclipse on Saturday morning as it passes through Oregon. Sad! Still, the fact that one is happening at all this weekend is inspiring me to do some light research into the field of astronomy, but I have to limit my intake of universe-related content so I don't fall into an existential crisis. Even though our little lives seem small when you zoom out and look at celestial phenomena, they're still important! (I know I sound like I just smoked weed for the first time...but I swear, I really didn't. The nature of the universe scares me even when I'm stone-cold sober.) ANYWAY, this is getting a little off the rails now. Conclusion: try to see the eclipse if you want, but you may end up cursing the clouds.
• Check out the latest Portland music news from our Hear in Portland columnist Jenni Moore:
• Brown Branch Big Band honor jazz legend Count Basie— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) October 11, 2023
• Portland-based Nigerian singer-songwriter Izzy Baba Melo drops "Something Huge"
• Get into these local music happenings, right Hear in Portland.https://t.co/IZFsi8snZM
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has established a wartime Cabinet to oversee his government's fight against Hamas, saying he will "crush and destroy" the group for their attacks on Israel over the past five days. Israeli fatalities surpassed 1,200 yesterday, and Hamas is holding another estimated 150 people hostage: a horrifying situation. However, Netanyahu's response—which has been supported by U.S. politicians—has already meant thousands of innocent Palestinian citizens have been killed, and millions of people in Gaza have nowhere to go as Israeli airstrikes turn their homes into rubble.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday, as the Israeli military said its troops were massed at the border with Gaza “making preparations for the next stage of the war.”— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 12, 2023
Follow our updates.https://t.co/yqNyXEsdFu
Yesterday, President Biden repeated Netanyahu's unverified claims that Hamas militants beheaded children in their attacks last weekend, even saying he saw photos of it himself. But later, the White House clarified Biden had read reports of the horrifying allegations, and had not in fact seen images. The distinction matters as misinformation is rampant and millions of lives are at risk. Other American politicians, like Senator Lindsey Graham, have made statements encouraging Israeli forces to "level [Gaza]." Among the very limited number of American politicians who have made opposing statements is Representative Rashida Tlaib, whose parents are from Palestine.
Reporters on the ground in Gaza are doing their best under terrifying circumstances to share details of what's going on there.
• Turning our attention to the U.S. Supreme Court, which apparently wants to help Republicans win by upholding racist gerrymandering:
The Supreme Court appears determined to make it easy to draw gerrymanders https://t.co/bJHFkDpP1P— Vox (@voxdotcom) October 11, 2023
• Annndddddd...the winner of the top "top clown" contest (AKA Speaker of the House) will likely be Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who Republicans voted as nominee for speaker in a "closed-door, secret-ballot election" yesterday morning. But chaos will very probably still reign in the House, where a few far-right loonies hold a lot of power (not that they're much better than the other slightly-less-loony Republicans, who are also bad people with extremist beliefs).
• Dorothy Hoffner likely broke the world record for oldest skydiver at 104 years old. SADLY, though, Dorothy died a little more than a week after she went skydiving (the death was unrelated to the activity and much more to do with the fact that she was 104 years old)...before Guinness World Records could confirm that she really was the oldest-ever skydiver! "It's like rain on your wedding day/It's like you were the oldest person to ever jump out of an airplane but you died before the dumb world records people could verify it/Isn't it ironic?" (My Alanis Morissette impression could use some work.) Well, screw Guinness, Dorothy is the oldest skydiver in MY book. And she went skydiving for the first time when she was 100 years old! Which is frankly inspirational. Rest in peace, Dorothy (or keep doing your crazy stunts, girl).
• Finally...I recommend looking at as many cute animals as you can. Here's a bunch of cats to start you off:
Meetup is going on pic.twitter.com/WWx6ts5IwJ— cats with threatening auras (@cursed_kittens) October 8, 2023