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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND, and happy Thanksgiving eve. Today is a wonderful day to get a LOT of work done. Just because tomorrow's a holiday doesn't mean it's okay to slack off today. I urge you to put your nose to the grindstone and get productive...as soon as you finish reading the NEWS ROUNDUP below. ;) 

IN LOCAL NEWS:

•  With four new Portland City Council districts taking hold next fall, each of which will have three councilors repping their district in City Hall, lots of candidates have already come out of the woodwork vying for a spot— and the election is still almost a year away. Who are all of these candidates, you ask? Well! The Mercury has just the resource you're looking for. Check out our newly-published candidate pages for each council district and the mayoral seat (the latter of which only has two contenders so far). Courtney Vaughn and I will be updating these for the next year or so, and WE WANT YOU TO READ THEM. 

• A judge in Harney County issued a ruling yesterday to permanently block Oregon from enforcing gun control Measure 114. Harney County is located out in the boondocks in southeastern Oregon, and from the looks of it, there's about nothing to do there other than chug beers and target practice in the middle of a field. Measure 114 wouldn't take away that God-given freedom from the good people of Harney County— it would only require people to take a safety course, pass a background check, and receive a permit before making the purchase of a lethal firearm.

But according to Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio, that's a violation of the constitutionally protected right to bear arms. Raschio claimed mass shooting events are "sensationalized by the media" and "rank very low in frequency," and that the "number of people killed and injured is statistically insignificant compared to the number of lawful gun owners." EXCUSE ME WHILE I FUME. I want him to look all the victims of senseless gun violence in the eyes— those who have lost their babies to mass shootings or children who have hunkered down in schools for hours while a gunman roams the halls, unable to make a peep— and say those words. Except, of course, I wouldn't want to inflict that on them. 

The state will likely appeal the ruling, and the case may end up before Oregon's Supreme Court, where I hope there are some sensible and humane judges. 

• Governor Tina Kotek has some words about the Portland Public Schools teachers' strike 😳:

• Following Senator Jeff Merkley's call for a cease-fire in Gaza earlier this week, Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici has issued somewhat of a nothingburger statement: 

Meanwhile, protesters are still trying to get other Oregon politicians, notably Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, to join the calls for a cease-fire. 

• Rachel Aidan and Tom Eckert, two well-known figures in the world of Oregon magic mushrooms, are opening a psychedelic mushroom center in Portland. Eckert was one of the primary creators of Measure 109, which voters approved in 2020 to legalize psilocybin therapy in Oregon. The center, called “InnerTrek Services,” will serve clients who want to explore the power of psychedelics to treat mental health issues. (Though you'll have a tough time getting in right away, as the wait list is over 1,000 people long.) It's set to open to the public in January in that colorful (trippy?) building off of the east side of the Burnside Bridge, which is apparently called The Fair-Haired Dumbbell building and maybe I'm the last Portlander to know that.

• HMMM...? I love Portland's flyer culture. What does this mean?!?! I'm dying to know.

• The latest from TriMet's lost and found (boy, that would make a great column, wouldn't it?): 

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• The Israeli government approved a truce deal in Gaza that will result in the exchange of about 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for 140 Palestinian prisoners, as well as a temporary cease-fire. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said the agreement does not mean the end of the war, but it will offer an opportunity for people in Gaza to access humanitarian aid. More than 14,000 Gazans have been killed by Israeli forces since October 7.

Here in the United States, people who speak up against the Israeli bombardment on Gaza are often punished and silenced, and people in Hollywood aren't exempt from this treatment. Variety did a deep-dive on the inter-Hollywood conflict over Israel and Palestine that has persisted for a long time, and it's worth the read. One surprising revelation from this story: Spooky Scientologist Tom Cruise can sometimes be on the right side of history, like when he stood up for his agent after she faced backlash for calling attention to the atrocities in Gaza. 

• The annual United Nations climate conference is coming up, so leaders from around the globe can fly to Dubai in their private jets and make absolutely no meaningful action to solve the climate crisis. This year, one of the world leaders joining the conference will be none other than the Pope himself, who has been quite a strong advocate for climate action over the years.  Holy Father, please instill some good ol' fashioned Catholic guilt into Joe Biden and the rest of the do-nothings leading our globe into climate catastrophe. They could use it.

• Remember the good old days of Black Friday, when people would abandon their families immediately after  Thanksgiving in order to camp out in front of a Best Buy and access the best Black Friday deals? Back when people were literally getting trampled to death in by a crazed stampede in Walmart? That kind of thing mostly doesn't happen anymore (thank God) because nowadays, the internet conquers all. But if you do want to indulge in the great American pastime of excess consumerism after shoving so much pumpkin pie in your face you can barely walk...you have some options. The ever-helpful National Public Radio has a guide for your Black Friday shopping

• Finally...let this smiling stingray guide you into a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. (I know a stingray doesn't really fit the Thanksgiving theme, but it's what I could find, ok??) LOVE YA, MEAN IT. 🦃

 
 
 
 
 
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