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Good Morning, Portland! For long centuries, the furious, needle-toothed mer-folk who lurk among the rotting ruins in the depths of the Willamette River coveted our fair city, their icy eyes glinting with greed. What am I talking about? The long lost legend of the brave skippers of the Christmas Ships, and how they saved the city, of course! It was in our 2019 issue about "Portland's Most Underrated Holiday Events," and I generally bring it up this time of year. Now how about some news?

• This morning's histrionic infographic comes from the National Weather Service. It's fog!

• Then again, as Portland Bureau of Transportation reports the city's traffic deaths sit just below where they were in 2021 (63) and 2022 (63), the area could always reminder to drive safely. In 2021, PBOT Vision Zero pointed out that this number of deaths is "the highest number of traffic deaths in any year since 1990." That's not a rebound from 2020, because deaths rose that year too, in comparison to 2019.

• Yesterday afternoon, a jury in Tacoma, Washington, acquitted three police officers of all criminal charges regarding the death of Manuel Ellis, who was also called Manny Ellis. Take care this morning, as Ellis' death will remind many of the 2020 murder of George Floyd. Both were Black men who died pleading with police that they couldn't breathe. The trial was notable for being the first under a Washington state law designed to make it easier to prosecute police accused of wrongful deadly force. Witness testimony around Ellis' death contradicts the claims of the officers involved, as does video of the incident. Actions and memorials followed announcement of the aquittal, one of which was covered by Ashley Nerbovig, a reporter with our sister publication The Stranger

Mercury Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey broke the internet yesterday with his hilarious—and relevant—rebuttal to Portland Police Association's ultra-cringe, biased "poll" results from last week. Read what a whopping 3,491 Portlanders think of the city and its police force.

• This Oregon Health Authority blog about coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder is TOO FUCKING LATE.

• OHA should really be pulling a CDC and warning people about the anticipated COVID surge that's going to smack us in our adorable lungs / respiratory systems, due to holiday travel, and some of my baby dopes out there not getting boosted. Listen, getting that boost wasn't easy to fit in to my young professional lifestyle, but you gotta DO IT. It's not too late to a meetcute with a pharmacist in your picturesque, provincial hometown.

• MultCo District Attorney Mike Schmidt's office announced yesterday that cases presented by a task force called Organized Retail Theft Task Force resulted in "the indictments of four high-profile suspects." The task force is jointly funded by both Multnomah County and the City of Portland. In 2024, SB 340 a new law from Oregon Legislature goes into effect and will increase penalties and make it easier to prosecute retail crime across the state.

• Looking for something to do this weekend? Our weekly music column has your last shot at a chill live show before Christmas chaos:

• Generally we have a round-up of shows going on sale Friday morning, but it's the holidays, so everything's higgly piggly. Still wanna score seats at some sweet shows? I gotta few suggestions: Tickets to the 2024 HUMP! dirty movie festival are currently on sale. And we recently announced the line-up of the Mercury's UNDISPUTABLE GENIUSES OF COMEDY which is always a laugh-riot.

• An investigation by the New York Times reports that Israel has routinely used "one of its biggest and most destructive bombs in areas it designated safe for civilians." Yesterday, the Daily explored why Israel's Defense Force keeps fucking up so badly. One theory: They're a bunch of reservists with absolutely no chill. [This is perhaps too light of language for the tremendous loss of life involved.]

• Bood Borning to Bhis Big Biden weed pardon:

• In "old stone to new building, old timber to new fires" news, both Bloomberg and the NYT are like: the hawt new trend in offices is offices. Shocking. Can't wait for the think pieces on Zoomers adjusting to closed floor plans. Get in, losers, we're getting quiet and privacy.

• Tattoo LOTR DMCA on my knuckles because now that I know this this unauthorized Lord of the Rings sequel is out there I am intrigueda California judge has order it DESTROYED? Now I'm even more interested.

• Wow, it's so hard to understand the relationship between homelessness and skyrocketing housing prices! Could you explain it to me in millennial?

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