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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Hey, laff lovers! You are not gonna wanna miss the comedy event of the year, the Mercury's UNDISPUTABLE GENIUSES OF COMEDY 2024! Not only do we have the best stand-up and sketch comedians all on one stage, but we've also got the heeee-larious KYLE KINANE as our special guest. It's this coming Friday, February 2 at Revolution Hall, so get your tickets NOW. Oh, and you might wanna bring some sutures, in case your sides split from laughing! (That's actually kind of a grisly thought. Let's read some NEWS.) 


• Good news on the food front: The beloved Portland Mercado—which experienced a brutal fire a few weeks back—is now back in partial operation. While the market hall and the accompanying beer-and-wine shop Barrio, which suffered significant damage, will remain closed for now, be sure to show your love and support for the carts which have returned to slinging delicious food. Our Suzette Smith has more! 

• In other good food news, many were wondering where the also beloved Kim Jong Grillin food cart would be moving to after its recent departure from SE Division, and now we have the answer: It's joining the increasingly popular Cart Blocks Pod, downtown at 770 W Burnside, which sports a beer garden, bathrooms, great food, and is within spitting distance of Mary's Club (though don't you dare spit, it's gross). Our Suzette Smith has more on that, too!

• A federal injunction that put limits on the way Portland Police used violence to maintain crowd control during the 2020 racial justice protests has expired, leaving those in the activist community wondering if the cops will return to their old abusive ways when the next demonstration comes around. While the bureau maintains that they've significantly altered their methods for dealing with people practicing their constitutional rights to protest—including advanced training, adding body worn cameras, and ceasing the use of rubber ball projectiles—I wouldn't expect our current conservative-leaning city council to stand in the cops' way.

• Speaking of cops, after roughly two weeks of saying nothing, the Portland Police Bureau has finally released the name of the cop who shot and killed a person in a downtown apartment building suspected of firing an AR-15. The officer is Joshua Howery, a member of the SERT team who has shot Portlanders twice before in recent years—once in August 2021 when he and another officer shot and killed a man suspected of threatening DEA agents, and in November 2022 when he was one of three officers who shot and injured a person suspected of vehicle arson.

• The rate of overdose deaths in Oregon (thanks primarily to fentanyl) has nearly tripled since 2019, a year when the state had 280 such deaths—by 2022 it rose to 956, and is sadly expected to hit around 1,250 deaths this year.


• Israel is accusing 12 members of a United Nation's agency of working in tandem with Hamas during their attack on the country, which kicked off their war against the people of Gaza. In reaction to the news, many countries—including the US and Britain—has paused their funding for the agency which has been providing help to desperate Palestinians.

• Meanwhile, President Biden is offering a harsh "we will respond" warning to the Iran-backed militias who he says are responsible for the deaths of three US service members after a drone attack on an American base in Jordan.

• For those who care about Taylor Swift 🙋‍♂️, the Kansas City Chiefs will be going to the Super Bowl to play against the San Francisco 49ers, who does not have Taylor Swift as a fan—which puts them at a pretty big disadvantage if you ask me.

• In other Swiftie news, Twitter—who would like me to refer to them as "X" but ha-ha-ha, as if—has blocked certain searches for the name "Taylor Swift" after pornographic deep-fake images produced by asshole baby-men began to appear online.  

• This headline made me sad, because I deeply wish it were true: "Martin Short shuts down speculation he and Meryl Streep are dating."

• And finally... I feel the same way about celery.