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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Have you had an $8 holiday drink yet, courtesy of the Portland Mercury's Holiday Drink Week? Here's where you can get one. These holiday beverages are perfect for warming up your cold bones in these frigid temps we've been experiencing lately. ANDDDD...onto the news.


Portland teachers and the Portland Public Schools board both voted (overwhelmingly and unanimously, respectively) to approve the tentative contract agreement between the teachers' union and district, officially ending the historic teachers' strike that went on for most of this month. BUT...they might switch around some make-up school dates, because people aren't happy with losing a week of winter break. But they also might not, because the district already notified people of the plan to do that. Anyway, stay tuned for more on this topic from us over here at the Mercury, coming soon.

• Speaking of the Portland teachers' strike, Governor Tina Kotek is using this post-strike moment to announce she plans to lead statewide conversations about Oregon's public education funding system and how to reform it. Okay, Kotek, NOW you want in on the action, huh? Regardless, even if it may seem like these conversations are long overdue, it's better late than never, because Oregon's education funding system is slightly whack in ways too complicated to get into in this brief news blurb. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this on a broader level.

• The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has done it again (made me sigh deeply out of exhaustion). The bureau, facing a roughly $32 million budget shortfall that will likely result in dozens of layoffs, is unfortunately addicted to making terrible financial paying almost $300,000 for a transportation app only to decide it's not fit for use, swallowing the cost. Obviously, $300 grand is only a small fraction when compared to the budget crisis PBOT is in, but these things add up, you guys! And throwing money in the trash like this isn't exactly the way to win over the public's trust. I could go on, but I won't. 


• It's Savage Love day! Get yer weekly dose of life/love/sex/everything advice from Dan Savage in his latest column, featuring an "out-and-proud goddess" who can't get over her ex. 

A woman slipped and fell several hundred feet down Mount Hood last Saturday morning, and was rescued by some heroic Portland Mountain Rescue volunteers, along with their friends at Hood River Crag Rats. (I did not know either of these organizations existed, and I still don't know what a "Crag Rat" is, but I've decided I'm a big fan of this mountain rescue subculture.) The rescuers seemed to use a combination of skis and ropes to get the woman down. It's not clear how the woman is doing now, but I hope she is okay— falling several hundred feet is quite an intense experience. To all the rest of you: consider limiting your daredevil behavior, hmm? Sometimes the path MORE traveled is the one you should choose. (Disclaimer: My recommendation is not at all meant to victim-blame the woman in question here. Just be careful, y'all!)


Mediators in Qatar want to extend the temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas for at least another couple of days to allow for both sides to release more captives and more aid to reach people in Gaza. Yesterday, Israel released 30 more Palestinian prisoners as part of the hostage exchange, many of whom were minors who hadn't been charged with crimes and were held by the Israeli government for days or weeks. Others around the world continue to call for a permanent cease-fire, with one Vermont senator joining the list of people in U.S. Congress asking for peace. Unfortunately, it wasn't the Vermont senator many of us were hoping for. (Cough, cough, Bernie, where are you!?) 

• Its Spotify Wrapped Day:

• Michigan may have brought us Motor City, but now, the state is bringing big clean energy.  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a major clean energy package into law Tuesday.  Among other things, the Clean Energy and Jobs Act mandates state utilities shift entirely to clean energy sources by 2040.

• Michigan may be going green, but Kansas is trying hard not to go yellow. Apparently, so many Kansans loathe the state's new license plate design, the governor said she would halt production of the plates. Kansas residents will get to vote on a new design to replace a bold, golden yellow design.

• Remember how the Pope was supposed to attend the U.N. Climate Conference, which will begin in Dubai on Thursday? (If you didn't know this, it means you don't keep up with my Good Morning News posts, and I'm very hurt.) Well, he's not going anymore, thanks to a bout of the flu. Like I said last week, the annual U.N. Climate Conferences are kinda B.S., but I was hoping the Pope would be able to drill the fear of God into our world leaders so they would be more inclined to act on the existential threat of climate change instead of sitting around and twiddling their thumbs. Damn! Sorry, Holy Father, and get well soon so you can be at the next one. 

• Finally, happy hump day. I hope you get the chance to relax like this here horse at some point soon:

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A post shared by ONLY HORSES 🐎 (@horseehome)