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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! If you’ve been following the news, you know it’s only Tuesday and already, it’s been A WEEK! It’s 12/12, which just seems like a fun thing to point out. Numerology enthusiasts (I am not one of them) say the number 12 signifies something coming to an end, or a new beginning.

In Local News:

  • Speaking of endings, on Monday, Portland Public Schools announced its superintendent, Guadalupe Guerrero, will leave his job in February. The district didn’t say whether the superintendent, who’s had the gig since 2017, is taking a job at another district or agency, or whether he’s just plain sick of leading the state’s largest school district after a wild few years. Guerrero oversaw PPS during the historic COVID-19 pandemic, the passage of the Student Success Act, and most recently, the historic teachers strike.
  • Gov. Tina Kotek’s Central City task force released its recommendations Monday, and here they are in a nutshell:
  • Make public drug use illegal at the state level (re-criminalize drugs, essentially) and declare a fentanyl emergency
  • Add more cops and park rangers around the city
  • Increase money and staff to help people in need of addiction treatment (wait, didn't you just advocate putting addicts in jail?)
  • Open more shelters and daytime services for the city’s unhoused population (since the city is trying to ban resting in public during daytime hours.)

That last one really sticks out, because the task force was co-chaired by Dan McMillan, CEO of The Standard insurance company, who served on the task force along with a bunch of other business executives and business groups, so of course they want to stop taxing themselves.

  • Portland leaders are slated to vote this week on funding the Thompson Elk statue’s return to downtown Portland. Remember how a bunch of public statues were toppled or damaged in 2020, including the elk fountain sculpture? The city hauled it away for repairs after protesters set fire to the fountain’s base. The city is now taking bids to return the antlered art piece to downtown, at a total cost of about $2.2 million. Honestly, if we’re not getting a whole new statue for that price, why bother?
  • The FBI investigated a slew of fake bomb threats made to Portland-area gathering places like school districts and synagogues. None of the threats turned out to be credible, but some schools still had to evacuate kids.

In National/World News:

  • After initially getting special permission from a Texas judge for an emergency abortion, a higher court stepped in and made life a dangerous, living hell for a pregnant woman in Texas whose fetus has a fatal condition. The complications could result in her delivering a stillborn, and jeopardize her ability to give birth in the future. While the state courts cited the state’s abortion ban and played roulette with her health, the woman’s attorney said she fled to a state where she could safely receive an abortion.
  • Hey, while we're on the topic of arcane laws with dire health consequences, Arizona's Supreme Court is slated to decide whether its ancient total abortion ban should be reinstated. The state's current law bans the procedure after 15 weeks. 
  • Speaking of the courts, Donald Trump's legal saga (one of them) could go all the way to the US Supreme Court. As CNN reports, special counsel Jack Smith is asking SCOTUS "to decide whether Donald Trump has any immunity from criminal prosecution for alleged crimes he committed while in office." It's the first the high court has been asked to decide whether the former president can or should be prosecuted. 
  • As you contemplate the future on this ill-fated planet, here's an enlightening look at why the world's fossil fuel usage is going up, not down, and how profits stand in the way of a critical transition to clean energy.
    @klipz.v Alliagtors are IMMORTAL!☠️  #viral #trending #explore #tik_tok #duet #stitch ♬ Water sound - Destiny