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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's gonna be a sunny, cool day with a high of 49—which I would say is PERFECT weather to kick off the Mercury's Holiday Drink Week, which runs now through December 3, and offers 26 specially-crafted, holly-jolly cocktails from Portland's best bartenders... and they're only $8 each! Do not miss a single one! And now let's kick off with some at least partially holly-jolly NEWS.


TOP STORY: PPS and the teachers' union have reached a tentative agreement, and kids are going back to school starting TODAY. Of course, the finalization of the deal depends on both sides voting in favor of the agreement on Tuesday, and if they do, it will bring the nearly month-long strike to an end. Our Taylor Griggs has the story with all the details, but there are still some VERY BIG QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED. For example:

1) The district had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table, and avoided giving teachers some very basic humanitarian needs for 11 months, sooooo... why did they think this would end well for them or anyone?

2) We would've never reached this sorry point if state legislators had been doing their job and properly funding education. Query: Why do state Democrats vote and spend money like Republicans when it comes to supplying the basic educational needs of kids?

3) Speaking of kids, the Oregonian Editorial Board published no less than five screeching, anti-union rants masked in that tired old conservative refrain, "But... WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?" Do they really think that publicly shitting on the labor movement is going to work out fine-and-dandy for them when (god forbid, of course) their own employees start asking for what they deserve? Oh, well... I guess they'll fuck around and find out!

• Coming in 2027... the Burnside Bridge is going to close for FIVE FREAKING YEARS so it can be fitted with a seismic upgrade in order for it to withstand the overdue earthquake that could cause the ground beneath the bridge to liquefy. Yes, liquify! While this will undoubtedly be a pain for some, rest assured this potential earthquake is no joke. Read more about what experts say could happen when the big one hits, and... pleasant dreams!

• In sporty-sports news, Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith has landed a new job with Michigan State. Meanwhile, the Blazers lost 102-108 against the Milwaukie Bucks in their first game playing agains former teammate (and still dreamboat!) Damian Lillard.

• The FBI is using billboards to convince Oregonians to start reporting hate crimes, citing that victims are often fearful of doing so. (Ummm... because law enforcement has a history of committing hate crimes? Just spit-balling here.)

• Hey art lovers! The Lloyd Center Mall is promoting the local arts scene again with the Secret Room Workshop—a temporary gallery that writer Ben Coleman calls "an arty clubhouse" which will present readings, workshops, and their super cool risograph printer, which is perf for indie artists looking to make anything from prints to zines, and for cheap. Read all about it!


• It's looking like the unsteady temporary truce between Israel and Hamas will be extended, as a third group of hostages has been released in exchange for 19 minors being held prisoner in Israel. And then there's this reminder from NBC News: "More than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza, where health officials say the death toll has surpassed 14,500 after weeks of Israeli attacks."

• Related: A suspect has been arrested in the shooting of three students of Palestinian descent in Burlington, Vermont. The victims (two US citizens, one legal resident) were wearing kuffiyehs and speaking Arabic when the man approached them and, without saying a word, opened fire. The families and victims' rights organizations are calling on authorities to declare the shooting a hate crime.

• Whoopsy-doodle, money is getting tight for Republicans, whose campaign coffers are the lowest they've been since 2015 (before Trump came along to galvanize the party). Big donors are reportedly being scared away by Trump, while small donors seem to be fed up with the feckless GOP goofs in Congress. (Meanwhile Dems have reportedly pulled in twice as much as Republicans, ha-ha-ha.)

• I'm with Dolly Parton's sister on this one:

• You hate to hear it: Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, was stabbed in prison, and while severely injured remains in stable condition. No word yet on why Chauvin was stabbed... but I guess my question is why it didn't happen earlier?

• And finally... me, 10 minutes after finishing Good Morning, News.