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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Hey love birds! (And other species who enjoy "love.") V-Day is only two days away, but there's still time to submit your FREE Mercury Reader Valentine that will run online for the entire world to see! And if you need even more amorous inspo, pick up our sweet 'n' hilarious Mercury Valentine's Issue (in print available at more than 500 spots around the city) or online here. And now, let's show some love to the NEWS.


Video proof that Commissioner Rene Gonzalez is an exaggerating snowflake: As you recall, Gonzalez recently released a melodramatic video claiming he was "accosted" by a female fellow TriMet rider on January 27, who allegedly subjected him to “deliberate, unwanted physical contact” while also having the gall to criticize the public servant over his cruel policies. Unfortunately for him, TriMet video of the incident show he wildly exaggerated those claims, and AT MOST the woman may have brushed Gonzalez’s arm as she passed by. But even though Gonzalez has been caught in his lie, the damage he's inflicted (and continues to inflict) on Portland's reputation is done—which was kind of the point all along.

• A former WWE wrestler from Portland who went by the moniker Billy Jack Haynes throughout the 1980s has been arrested in connection to the shooting death of his wife Janette Becraft. Police were called to the residence following reports of a gunfire within the home, and found Haynes who, while initially uncooperative, was later apprehended. Check out more details from our Courtney Vaughn.

• Also, our Taylor Griggs looks into Commissioner Carmen Rubio's offer to use money from the Clean Energy Fund to rescue Portland Street Response (PSR) from the bumbling hands of Commissioner Rene Gonzalez and the Fire Bureau, who can't seem to run a budget to save their lives... or maybe it's just another ploy to sink PSR because it was a brilliant idea that the envious Gonzalez could never dream up in a million years? 🤷‍♂️ In any case, critics are mad at Rubio for perhaps floating the idea as a political maneuver in her bid to become mayor—which, yeah, would be really bad if it weren't once again for Gonzalez who seems to think that ALL of the Clean Energy Fund's extra money should go to the Fire Bureau's black hole of a budget. (If the Fire Bureau could be funded with pettiness and insecurity alone, they'd be the richest bureau in the world.)

• Portland-based environmental group No More Freeways is launching a legal challenge against Metro, accusing the regional organization of devising transportation plans that don't meet up to the strict climate goals that the state has mandated. Not only do the plans fail to meet emission reduction goals, No More Freeways contends, the organization isn't doing enough to decrease driving—which is kinda a big thing when it comes to climate control.

• Rest in peace to Bob Moore, the founder of Oregon's famous Bob's Red Mill, who has died at the age of 94. And if you need to know what type of person he was, this puts it very succinctly:

In 2010, for his 81st birthday, Moore turned over shares in the company — estimated in 2004 to have annual revenues of more than $24 million — to workers through an employee stock ownership plan.... Today, more than 700 employees own the company in non-trading retirement account shares.

Now that's a boss... and a decent person. Smooth sailing, friend.

• Expect a mix of clouds, showers, and sunbreaks this week with highs averaging around 50 degrees. (And a rainy Valentine's Day!)


• Congratulations to the following at last night's Super Bowl sports ball game: Taylor Swift who successfully slammed a beer (see below), rapper Ice Spice and singer Lana Del Ray who were sitting next to her and saw her do it, R 'n' B singer Usher (and his enviable command of roller skates), late-stage capitalism (and its advertising), Beyonce's AH-MAY-ZING hair, Biden's expert trolling of MAGA idiots, and... oh, who am I forgetting... ah! Taylor Swift's boyfriend who beat the San Francisco 49ers with a score of 25-22 in overtime. 

• In more important Super Bowl news, I was at the Los Angeles airport on Saturday at THE EXACT SAME TIME as Taylor Swift. (Now do you want to be my friend?)

• BACK TO REALITY: According to Gaza officials, Israeli forces killed at least 67 Palestinians in a raid that ended in the rescue of two hostages. The raid took place in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, which is currently home to one million displaced people. Israel's military has thus far killed more than 28,000 Palestinians since the conflict began, and have injured almost 70,000, with thousands more presumed missing or dead.

• A Texas woman opened fire during a service at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen's megachurch in Houston yesterday, injuring two (including a five-year-old) before being shot and killed by two off duty officers in attendance. So far, authorities are unsure of the motive.

• Putin continues his puppetry of former Prez Donald Trump, inspiring his marionette to say that Russia should do "whatever the hell they want" to any NATO member (and allies of the US) who cannot live up to spending guidelines. (Traitors are gonna traitor.)

• And finally... I'm sorry. But some of this does NOT look consensual!