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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Let’s not ignore that feeling of impending doom that blew in with news of today’s forecasted ice storm. Ice Storm sounds like your old AOL screen name, or a video game character from the 1980s, or your favorite wrestler, but today, it’s our weather. Forecasters say freezing rain will hit this afternoon, topping the roads and unmelted snow with a fancy sheet of ice. In all seriousness, if you can avoid travel today, you should. Portland schools are closed due to the weather, and Multnomah County announced yesterday that all its offices are closed today, also due to unsafe weather conditions.

@wafflesthepugmix Really, I’m fine. #pug #pugsoftiktok ♬ original sound - WafflesthePugMix

In Local News:

  • In case you didn’t hear, a blizzard that rolled in Saturday morning, followed by an ice storm popping in for a very unwelcome visit, has wreaked havoc on the Portland Metro region. The storm left more than 160,000 people without power over the weekend and left Multnomah County scrambling to open emergency warming shelters. By Monday morning, PGE had whittled down its outage numbers to about 75,000 people, as the county reported 1,136 people sought shelter. To make matters worse, the weather shut down TriMet’s MAX trains, and heavily slowed down bus service, making it difficult for folks to get to shelters. So far, the county’s medical examiner reported two suspected hypothermia deaths from the sub-freezing snow storm.
  • ICYMI: Last week, a car belonging to Portland City Commissioner Rene Gonzalez’s family was lit on fire in front of his home. The blaze happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday, and luckily, the 2024 Honda Accord was empty and fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze before it could spread. Although no suspect has been identified, a fire investigator determined it was likely arson, leading folks like fellow City Commissioner Mingus Mapps, and even Multnomah County D.A. Mike Schmidt, to deem the incident “political vandalism.” While it’s easy to see why some might draw that conclusion, it’s baffling that elected leaders, especially our local D.A., would use that term, without knowing who the suspect is or what the motives were. Plenty of city commissioners have been disliked before. Anyway, it didn’t take long for Gonzalez to use the incident as fodder for his mayoral campaign fundraising, telling supporters his car was “firebombed.”
  • Days after Portland Police Bureau released the names of the officers who killed Tyrone Johnson II in the Mall 205 Target parking lot in December, police reported they shot and killed another person, this time after PPB’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) was activated while responding to calls of shots fired in a downtown Portland apartment building. A shelter in place emergency notification was sent to nearby residents and after hours of intermittent gunshots heard from within an apartment, officers fired from “an outer perimeter” and struck the man inside. He died at the scene. Police say there was no one in the apartment with him.

In National/World News:

  • Donald Trump, the man who instigated an insurrection in 2021, and last week, promised to enact mass deportations targeting Latinos if elected again, was the winner of the Iowa Republican caucus that took place yesterday. Right behind him was “Meatball Ron” DeSantis, trailed closely by Nikki Haley and lastly, Vivek Ramaswamy, who dropped out of the presidential race that same day, and is now endorsing Trump.
  • In news that is both unsurprising and vomit-inducing, the rich are getting richer. Oxfam, a confederation of charitable organizations, reported the top five richest men have doubled their wealth since just 2020. A handful of men that each look like an AI rendering of a creepy school principal, the likes of which include Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and Bernard Arnault, have a combined wealth of $869 billion. The news is leading to calls for caps on CEO pay and taxes on the kind of wealth you can only amass under late-stage capitalism in a system where we’ve deemed it acceptable to pay people a federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
  • The largest and second-largest grocery chains want to merge. Washington’s attorney general is suing to block the merger. In a lawsuit, the AG argues allowing Kroger and Albertsons to blend their companies, which include Safeway and Fred Meyer, will drive up prices by eliminating competition and creating a monopoly. The corporations argue they have to merge to stay competitive with Amazon, Walmart and Costco.
  • In delightful news, Jennifer Coolidge nabbed her second Emmy award Monday, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in White Lotus. Coolidge’s win is hardly the most notable of the evening, but while accepting her award, she thanked “all the evil gays” for her win, as she was apparently urged to wrap up her lengthy speech. The remark was a nod to a scene in the last season, in which Coolidge's character, Tanya, pleaded for help, insisting "these gays, they're trying to murder me!" Long live Coolidge and the evil gays!