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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It’s Tuesday, November 28, which is now Giving Tuesday, for those of you tracking the new(ish) traditions we've adopted to support small businesses (Small Business Saturday) and be kind and philanthropic (Giving Tuesday) amid the deluge of capitalism that surrounds the holidays. If the onset of the holiday season has you stressed, or you just need a good excuse to meet with friends and sip on somethin’ fun, more than two dozen restaurants and cocktail bars are offering festive, sexy drinks for Holiday Drink Week.

Let’s get into the headlines!

In Local News:

  • The Portland City Council will meet virtually this week. On the agenda is a $2.6 million contract with Axon for body cameras for Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Earlier this year, PPB wrapped up a pilot program to test out the body cameras. Now, it’s time to implement the use of the cameras across the bureau, full-time, as part of the requirements of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice.
  • Speaking of police, Portland Police Bureau announced Monday that it will take over the homicide investigation into the death of 32-year-old Joanna Speaks, whose body was found in April in Clark County, Washington. Police say an ongoing investigation done by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Ridgefield Police indicates Speaks was likely killed in Portland. Speaks is one of several women found dead in the Portland area within the same timeframe, but investigators previously said that despite finding a person of interest who may be linked to the death of four other women, they don’t believe Speaks’ death is connected to the others. Unfortunately, the case ticks up Portland's homicide rate to 68 so far this year. 
  • Yesterday marked the first day back at school for Portland Public Schools students since October 31, after a nearly month-long teachers strike. It’s wild that kids went to school on Halloween and didn’t come back until after Thanksgiving, with no learning during that time, but it’s also pretty wild that a school teacher trying to support their own children on their salary might have a hard time affording to live in the city they teach in. Tonight, the Portland School Board is slated to meet and approve a three-year contract with the teachers union that includes a nearly 14 percent cost-of-living adjustment spread out over the next three years. To make up for the lost school days during the strike, PPS winter break will be a week shorter than initially planned, and the school year would be extended by three days. Taylor Griggs has covered the strike saga since before it started. Find out what the board is slated to vote on in her coverage.
  • In a spot of nice news, MusicOregon is giving away $57,000 in grants to Portland-area musicians via its Echo Fund. The grants help recording artists get albums recorded and distributed. It's an attempt to keep the city's vibrant and eclectic music scene alive, while giving budding musicians a fighting chance. Read more about the endeavor and recipients in our coverage, courtesy of Ben Salmon.  
  • If you’re trying to be civically engaged and track the candidates running for Portland City Council in 2024, our district-by-district guide provides background on who’s running. More than three dozen candidates so far, and we're just getting started. Consider this scratching the surface while we’re still a year out from the November 2024 election, but rest assured, more in-depth, policy-based Q&As are forthcoming.    

Me, when a new candidate files for the 2024 City Council race:

“Dead, dead, gonna die.”

@myaandmax13 i can not wait to die #wormfood ♬ original sound - m&m

In National/World News:

  • In what would be a Christmas miracle if it unfolds, the U.S. House of Representatives could vote on whether to expel Rep. George Santos from office. Santos has survived two other expulsion votes, but in the wake of a House Ethics Committee investigation that found he improperly used campaign funds for things like botox, OnlyFans and Sephora purchases, he’s losing supporters. 

  • An upcoming US Supreme Court case will decide the constitutionality of a tax on offshore earnings that was part of Donald Trump’s 2017 tax package. The case has government officials and tax code wonks freaked out because if the justices strike it down, it could upend a lot of the country’s current tax code and prevent the prospect of a future wealth tax. The one-time tax on offshore earnings has generated billions since it went into effect. That’s not all. The Washington couple at the center of the case, who are fighting a $15,000 tax bill on what they say was an investment in a friend’s company years ago that never generated any profit for them, likely fibbed and left out major details in court filings. Apparently, one of the plaintiffs was on the board of the company for years, and received a $29,000 interest payment on a $245,000 loan he gave the company recently. I feel like if you have $245K to loan out, you probably aren’t going hungry over a $15,000 tax bill.
  • Another court case coming before SCOTUS challenges the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and could have implications on other agencies and regulations meant to prevent fraud and exploitation. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy stems from the SEC fining investment adviser George Jarkesy $300,000 and ordering him to pay about $700,000 over securities fraud. Jarkesy argues the SEC may not have the authority to impose monetary penalties and questions whether the SEC’s administrative law judges can be protected from removal. It’s a complicated case that progressed after an extreme ruling in a lower court. The Atlantic says it could topple the government.
  • After being an antisemitic prick on the social media site he bought and tanked, Elon Musk tried to absolve himself of criticism by traveling to Israel recently. Alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk toured a kibbutz that was attacked by Hamas in October and got a wag of the finger from Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, who told Musk X he should do better at reigning in the rising antisemitic content on X, formerly Twitter. Musk agreed, spitting out something akin to the observations of a 14-year-old boy, despite recently endorsing a post accusing Jews of hating white people.