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Good Morning, Portland! We're looking at a nice, rainy weekend out there, which is too bad for those of us hoping to watch Saturday's 9:13 am annular eclipse from the comfort of our own neighborhood. I mean, I'm sure the street lights will still click on and birds will chirp something fierce, but we'll probably miss out on the crescent moon leaf shadows, which is just a darn shame. This might be a good time to revisit the Mercury's EXCELLENT eclipse issue from 2017, wherein contributor Ben Coleman explained that the laws of god and man are momentarily suspended during an eclipse.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Teachers working for Portland Public Schools say they may strike at the end of the month. They don't want to. Portland’s teachers union says educators are being priced out of the city, and class sizes are too big. PPS says it runs at a deficit, but... like... do you want your children's school to make a profit... on educating your child? Of fucking course it runs at a deficit. Mercury report Taylor Griggs has the story.
• A shooting in downtown Portland that occurred on Wednesday, just before afternoon rush hour, appears to have been set off by road rage. The first victim, Ryan Martin, got out of his car to yell at another man, George Hammond, whose Mercedes Benz SUV was blocking traffic in front of the Moxy Hotel. In a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday, prosecutors alleged Hammond fired at Martin, later telling 911 operators he felt justified doing so because Martin appeared menacing. The second victim emerged from the hotel and began filming on his phone. Hammond shot him as well. That man was taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries. If you want to cry this morning, you'll want to watch KGW's video of a witness who says she held Martin's hand while he died.
• Okay, that story was harrowing so let's put this short documentary about a legendary Wild West crime that went horribly wrong, before we get to the fun and funny corn maze reviews—because that tonal shift is just too much for a Friday.
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• The Mercury's 2023 corn maze reviews are in. Which Portland-area farm has both a corn maze and a replica advice booth from Peanuts? You'll want to read this funny, informative report on five local mazes to find out. Listen, it's been a rough week and you deserve to read about corn.
• PBOT has updated construction plans for a half-mile section of Northeast 148th, which runs along Margaret Scott Elementary School. To discourage rampant speeding on the street, new striping will narrow the four-lane roads to two. Bike Portland reports this is due to data saying 86-93% of all drivers down the road have been clocked driving faster than the posted 35 mph.
• This t-shirt is neat, but what I really want to know is: Will these trains run on time?
We're so excited to see you at the Type 6 MAX Celebration on Sunday! 🎉 Here's the T-shirt we're giving away at the event while supplies last. (And posters, too!)— TriMet (@trimet) October 12, 2023
🗓️ This Sunday, Oct. 15
🕛 Noon–2 p.m.
📍SE Park Ave MAX Station pic.twitter.com/CbjxyejIfB
• FROM THE INBOX—TODAY IN LAMP NEWS: Portland Parks & Recreation announced a plan to replace light poles in 11 city parks over the next month (weather dependent). The new poles use more efficient LED bulbs and are designed to be Dark Sky-friendly—keeping that light on the ground where it belongs—which is good for both birds and Batman. Starting with Colonel Summers Park, the bureau tentatively plans to change out poles in the respective parks of Sellwood, Sellwood Riverfront, Irving, Montavilla, Mt. Scott, Wallace,Woodstock, Ladd Circle, Lair Hill, and Mt. Tabor. Some of the poles are "a century old, have faulty structural anchoring issues that make them unsafe for public use," the release read. Via a partnership with PGE, Parks & Rec hopes subsequently improve lighting in Lents Park, segments of the Springwater Corridor, Peninsula Crossing Trail, and Clinton Park as well—somehow reaching the elusive state of all lights changed by spring 2024.
Bwa-HA-HA-HAAAA! 👹 How much do YOU know about Portland's most eeeevil villains? (And our nicest strippers?) Find out by taking this week's super sassy POP QUIZ PDX! 🤓https://t.co/mWVtD2U2Pm— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) October 12, 2023
• It's Friday, and therefore it's time to energetically text your group chat and make plans to buy tuickets to Ms. Lauren Hill at Moda Center and Ian Karmel at Revolution Hall... !!! The Mercury's calendar team has your Friday morning list of shows dropping tickets on our poor, unprepared credit cards. Yolo.
IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• Axios reports that just before midnight yesterday the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the IDF told the United Nations to evacuate its staff in the next 24 hours. Such a message seems to indicate that the Israeli military could be about to commence ground operations in Gaza. In response, approximately one million people in Gaza are now trying to flee south.
• You can't deny that smart phones have changed the way information (true or not) gets to us, how aware we are of wars, conflicts, and injustices geographically far from us. I'm one of those journalism freaks that thinks more information is good—keep it coming. Why shouldn't people know? What's the problem with people knowing?
• The goodish news, Social Security benefits will increase by 3.2 percent to help with the rising cost of goods due to inflation.
• San Francisco's Stud Collective announced its plan to open a school for drag performance and drag history—in collaboration with one of SF's longstanding experimental and interdisciplinary dance and performance organizations, CounterPulse. It's been barely over a month since the stalwart Stud announced it had finally found a new space, only eightish blocks from the old location. One of SF's oldest LGBTQ+ clubs, the Stud hasn't had a physical building since 2020, and the team there is still working to open the new building's doors, but once they do we could begin to see some truly fascinating drag from such a wise, worker-owned institution.
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• Your energy for the weekend? You know it's walruses destroying pathetic human floatation devices. This is the ocean—have some humility!