The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support! 

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Whew, it's been wet out there, huh? The (super) rainy weather is set to continue today, and tomorrow, and the next day...but if you need something to look forward to, you can buy your early bird tickets for the 2024! HUMP film festival, on sale for $20 now

Now, early birds, here's your news.


• Remember that off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot who, high on mushrooms, tried to sabotage a flight headed to San Francisco somewhere between Astoria and Portland? Well, a Multnomah County grand jury has decided to lower his charges— he won't face 83 counts of attempted murder (for each passenger on the plane) due to his mental health state at the time. I think this is good: From the looks of it, the pilot is not a threat to society (although I wouldn't be inclined to get on a plane if he was operating it), but you gotta wonder how his status as a white guy played into the grand jury's decision. 

• New SAVAGE LOVE just dropped:

• As mentioned earlier (and should be clear by looking out your window), the weather's been crazy. The Pineapple Express system has brought lots of rain, but weirdly balmy temperatures for December. So balmy that we've broken a few December high temp records: 

Plus, thanks to all the rain, highways across the Oregon Coast are flooding and landslides have forced the cancellation of Amtrak trains between Seattle and Portland. And, very sadly, two people have been found dead flooded Portland-area waterways. Be careful out there, folks!

State Rep. Maxine Dexter has entered the race to succeed Rep. Earl Blumenauer in Oregon's 3rd District, joining Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal and Gresham City Councilor Eddy Morales in the field of folks vying for the seat. Dexter said she is "progressive to her core," but she thinks she has a leg-up on the other candidates in her ability to shore up moderate votes, too. 

• Jozi, a rhinoceros at the Oregon Zoo, gave birth to a rhino baby last night. According to the zoo's birth announcement, the newborn rhino is healthy, weighing in about 100 pounds, and the two are chillin' out of the public eye in the maternity den. This is important information because 1) rhinos are a critically endangered species, so new ones are always welcome into the world and 2) looking at the photos of Jozi and her new baby, I was able to understand for the first time that rhinoceroses are just modern dinosaurs. They look kinda weird, but I'm into it. Anyway, congrats Jozi.  


After reaching a tentative agreement last month, 78 percent of unionized Hollywood actors have voted to ratify the contract with film studios, officially ending the nearly-four-month strike. The "aye" vote margins were pretty high, but clearly not unanimous, with some actors voicing concerns that the contract gives too much leeway to studios with regard to artificial intelligence. But with the contract being ratified, plus the end of the screenwriters', United Auto Workers, and Portland teachers' work walkouts, we're coming to an end of a hot labor year with most of the loose ends tied up...for now, at least. 

•  November is the sixth month in a row that Earth set a monthly heat record, which will probably tally up to make this year the hottest on record. Meanwhile, world leaders are doing just about nothing at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, with heavy emitting countries trying to sabotage a strong pact to phase out fossil fuels

On the bright side, English trip hop group Massive Attack (best known for the absolute banger "House M.D." theme song) have planned a one-day music festival entirely powered by renewable energy. The musicians say the goal is to improve sustainability in the music industry and show other artists a pathway to polluting less. (Maybe you'll want to listen up, Taylor "Private Jet" Swift.) 

• Hugh Grant's really out here promoting the new "Wonka" movie with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm:

• Republicans vying for the 2024 presidential nomination will take the stage again tonight for their fourth primary debate, this time with a smaller pool of candidates duking it out (still no Donald Trump, though). Participants will be Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy, the latter of whom has horrible opinions and no political experience, so is therefore, obviously, rising to the top of the candidate pool. Don't get me wrong, though: the rest of them are not good alternatives. What ridiculousness will happen on stage tonight? I, for one, won't be watching. But godspeed to you if you enjoy torturing yourself on a Wednesday night.

• And with that...happy Wednesday!