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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Rain returns to the area today with a chilly high of 42. And, hello... that sounds like the perfect time to partake in the Mercury's Holiday Drink Week, which runs now through December 3, and offers 26 specially-crafted, festive cocktails from Portland's best bartenders... and they're only $8 each! That should warm your cockles! And now let's warm them a bit more with some NEWS.


• While teachers and PPS have ratified the newest contract for educators, lingering questions and concerns are still hanging about... for example, will winter break be cut short for the kids in order to make up for missed time? Our Taylor Griggs dig into these thorny issues. Meanwhile, other employees of the school system—such as cafeteria workers, secretaries, and paraeducators—are rightly annoyed they weren't consulted about the newly agreed upon make-up days.

• Portland City Council has voted in favor of forking over $2.6 million to Axon Enterprise, Inc. to outfit Portland Police with 800 body cameras and expand the program city-wide following a two-month pilot program. As usual, Commissioner Rene Gonzalez brought unnecessary drama and grandstanding to the meeting when he scolded a police activist for daring to ask for more transparency in regards to the results of the pilot program, saying, “(I) continue to be concerned about a small segment of the city that lets the perfect be the opposite of good.” WOW, that's a coincidence, because I continue to be concerned about a small segment of the city—namely wealthy business owners and their conservative puppets—that thinks transparency and rules don't apply to them.

• Speaking of non-transparency, Gov. Kotek's mysterious, secret task force, made up of mostly business people with a sprinkling of normies, has continued to mysteriously meet in secret while making plans to... well, god knows what... because they don't allow the media to report on their activity, and are seemingly not even taking notes. However, at least one member of the task force thinks that the group is focusing on making the city's garbage and trash problem go away without getting to the true root of the problem—which includes applying pressure to city bureaus and railway system to take care of the areas they control.

• For those who continue to be interested in football (I am not one of those people), former OSU defensive coordinator Trent Bray has been selected to replace departing head coach Jonathan Smith who's leaving the team for Michigan State. How should you feel about that? Ask someone who's interested in football.

• Jenni Moore's HEAR IN PORTLAND column once again brings you the week's most interesting music news and event notifications, such as how Portlanders are reeling from the 1905 closure, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs headlining a (yee-haw!) NYE cowboy prom, and a new EP from Covi. and Drae Slapz which is really fun!


• Let's kick off this section with some DEATH. (Happy holidays? 😬) Former—and wildly controversial—secretary of state Harry Kissinger, who was the engineer (among other atrocities) of the 1969 bombing of Cambodia, has died at age of 100. Meanwhile, the troubled but immensely talented former Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan, beloved for his growling, punk, Irish stylings (and one of the best Christmas songs of all time), has also passed away at the age of 65.

• This is NOT GOOD: Russia's Supreme Court has for all intents and purposes outlawed LGBTQ+ activism in their country, calling it an "extremist" movement, and without presenting any evidence ruled that gay folk incite "social and religious discord.” Unsurprisingly, no one from the LGBTQ+ community was allowed to testify to the contrary before the ruling was delivered.

• Due to Elon Musk's abysmal running of Twitter (not ever gonna call it "X") and his antisemitic leanings, advertisers are jumping off the platform in droves. When asked about it at this year's DealBook Summit in New York yesterday, Musk defensively replied, “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go fuck yourself. Go. Fuck. Yourself." Take it from somebody who works in media, advertisers LOVE this kind of talk! 

• For those who enjoy train wrecks, don't forget that California Gavin Newsom will be debating Florida shit-head Ron DeSantis on Fox News tonight at 6 pm PST. The clear winner will undoubtedly be Newsom, who swears he is not running for Biden's job in 2024—but is probably setting the stage for 2028. DeSantis, on the other hand, who is desperately trailing Trump in every conceivable poll, just wants people to like him and appreciate his creepy, unrealistic smile.

• And finally... it's okay not to share EVERYTHING.