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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Guys... you love someone or something, right? Then hurry up and submit a FREE Mercury Valentine that we'll publish in our upcoming February 7 Valentine's issue! It's gonna be in 500 spots all around the city, so EVERYONE will see it. But do not dilly or dally, because the deadline for the print issue is this Friday, January 26! And now allow me to dilly your dally with some NEWS.


• Portland City Council unanimously agreed yesterday to send a gas tax renewal proposal to voters in May, which—if approved—will continue to fund such critical transportation fixes such as new traffic signals, sidewalk construction, Safe Routes to School programs, and yes... FILLING POTHOLES. And Portland's Bureau of Transpo is really hoping it will pass, since they're currently butt-deep in a $32 million budget shortfall. Our Taylor Griggs has more.

• However, this same City Council meeting was not without interruptions—activists at yesterday's get together showed up to tell council members in no uncertain terms that they should be calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, which brought the proceedings to a screeching, temporary halt. Other major US cities—such as Atlanta, Detroit, and Providence—have already made resolutions calling for Israel to stop their incessant murdering.

• And wait—this can't be right... [checks notes]... BUT IT IS: The City of Portland is suing local public radio OPB and one of their reporters for having the audacity to make a public records request for the list of businesses that paid into Portland’s Clean Energy Fund in 2022, as well as how much they owed. The city tried to deny the request but was rebuffed by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, who ruled in favor of OPB and the reporter. However, the city (after being pressured by the powerful local business lobby) didn't like that ruling and are actually SUING in order to stop OPB's reporting. A reminder that three of the council members that voted in favor of the lawsuit—Gonzalez, Mapps, and Rubio—are running for mayor.

• In 2023, Portland saw a drop in homicides, shootings, and general crime rates signifying hopeful news for a city that needs it. HOWEVER, in a press conference yesterday on the topic, Mike Myers, the director of Portland’s Community Safety Division, attributed the drop in crime to the City Council's direct investment in the police bureau—ummmmmm... really? Because crime and murder stats have also similarly dropped across the nation—but we all see what he's trying to do here. Nice try.

• Portland once again proves we have some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world, as a healthy number have been nominated for prestigious James Beard awards. These include, but are not limited to, Sarah Minnick of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty (who got a nom for "Outstanding Chef"), Langbaan (Outstanding Restaurant), Jinju Patisserie (Outstanding Bakery), Han Oak (Outstanding Hospitality), and lots more! Brava and Bravo! 👏


• Good economic news (which is always bad news for Republicans, unless they hold the presidency): The economy improved by 3.3 percent in the last quarter of 2023, stabilizing after the crazy financial swings that have marked post-pandemic times, and marking six straight quarters of GDP growth of 2 percent or more.

• The state of Alabama continues to stretch their creativity when it comes to killing people, and will attempt to put an inmate to death tonight using nitrogen gas. The method has never been attempted, and while state officials claim it's a humane way of murdering someone, critics rightly say it's cruel to experiment on human beings.

• After being temporarily delayed due to a juror catching Covid, Trump is back in the courtroom today (his home away from home) to possibly testify in his defense in the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial.

• Meanwhile, Trump's supposed "big wins" in Iowa and New Hampshire's Republican primaries don't seem to be scaring the "Never Trumpers," who say that the former president may be retaining his base of idiots, but has not moved the needle with moderate members of the GOP or independents, which he desperately needs to win.

• Personally, I think this should go straight to Cinemax where it will play 17 times per day:

• Taylor Swift's serial stalker, David Crowe (who hails from the Pacific Northwest 😬), has been arrested for the THIRD time this week outside the pop singer's residence in New York. Authorities say he's been spotted around 30 times over the past three months 😳.

• And finally, I'm not a smoker... but maybe I'll start?