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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's set to be a pretty normal February day in Portland today, with temperatures a little lower than 50 degrees and maybe some drizzle. Let's get to the news now, huh? 


• 💋💋 Hello, my lovely lovebirds, I have great news for you. The Mercury’s VALENTINE ISSUE is out online now, and will shortly be available in PRINT at many a coffee shop (and other such locations) near you. Read all about love, heartbreak, how Paul McCartney might help you overcome said heartbreak, best local restaurants in which to conduct breakups, and MORE. Plus, take the Mercury’s annual, anonymous sex survey, open until February 23. 💋 💋💘

• TERRIBLE NEWS! The wonderful vegan bar Sweet Hereafter is set to close at the end of February. As Suzette Smith's article points out, the Southeast Belmont spot was very popular for first dates. (I happen to have lived experience with this, and I concur. The vibes are casual enough to relax the jitters, but it's still an impressive place to suggest.) This is very sad and their departure will leave a major gap in Portland's vegan bar scene/reliable Tinder meetup sites. But remember, it's a leap year, so you can hit up the Sweet Hereafter until February 29. After that, your best bet may be to travel north to the bar's sister joint, the Bye and Bye on NE Alberta. 

• Yesterday, Commissioner Carmen Rubio offered the Portland Street Response— which is facing a budget deficit because city leaders don’t value popular, good policy and instead want cops to have super nice SUVs— a life raft in the form of $3 million from the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF). This has not gone over well with those who believe PCEF should stick to its original goal of advancing local carbon reduction projects instead of funding any city program that needs help. It is unlikely to fly with PCEF committee members, either, who have already raised concerns about the fund filling gaps that need to be dealt with in more sustainable ways. Portland Street Response needs to be saved, but I fear this decision threatens to take PCEF down a very slippery slope. Not everything can be everything!


Portland Audubon has changed its name to the Bird Alliance of Oregon, opting to break ties with their initial namesake, the historic birder John James Audubon who was extremely racist and bad. 

Executive Director Stuart Wells called the move “one of many steps in our years-long equity journey to create a more welcoming place.” Cue comments from bad faith right wingers, local and otherwise, about the “woke mob.” Whatever they want to say, this was a good decision. 


• It's been a big week on top of a big year for Taylor Swift, who just broke the record for most "Album of the Year" Grammys and is celebrating by pursuing legal action against the college student who has been publicly tracking her absolutely insane private jet usage, calculating how much carbon she emits each time she takes a wildly unnecessary flight. Swift's team says the cease and desist is because the tracker, Jack Sweeney, is violating her privacy by posting about her whereabouts. That could be a valid argument if it weren't for the fact that she deserves to be called out for getting in a private jet to fly 28 miles (??), a trip that absolutely could be done in a car. ANYWAY, I am afraid of getting doxxed by Swifties, so I suppose I should stop there. But I could go on.

• Republican voters in Nevada voted "none of the above" in the party's primary yesterday in a big blow to Nikki Haley (Donald Trump wasn't on the ballot). Haley is the first candidate to be overlooked for the "none of these candidates" option on Nevada's ballots since the option was given to state voters in 1975. The race was technically meaningless, but a pretty embarrassing situation for Haley nonetheless. 

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a report yesterday about the January 5 Boeing/Alaska Airlines catastrophe, in which a panel blew off a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane flying out of Portland. According to the report, bolts needed to secure the panel to the plane were missing at the time of takeoff, which is not a good look for Boeing's quality control system. But I'm not trying to fear monger and make a case for Taylor Swift's private jet usage here! Commercial airline flights are usually very safe, and all the heat on Boeing will hopefully mean improved processes going forward. 

• Finally, here's a baby rhino (the Oregon Zoo's newest!) to look at. TTYL, xoxo, and remember to fill out the sex survey.

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