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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! We’re getting sunshine and a high of 53 today. Drink it in! 

Let’s dive into the news.

In LOCAL NEWS:

  • The world is a scary place for Portland City Commissioner and mayoral wannabe Rene Gonzalez. After his recent HoRriFfick AtTaCK on a MAX train, TriMet released a statement to media outlets, offering nothing short of a pedantic pat on the back to the frightened Gonzalez, and we are LIVING FOR IT.

Context: Recently, Gonzalez said he was taking a break from using public transit after what he described as “targeted attacks” against him and his family. The local politician, who recently had a car torched in front of his home, or as he described it “firebombed,” was again victimized recently while riding a MAX train, when another passenger dared to brush his shoulder and leg, and tried to engage with him in conversation about city policies. Gonzalez described it as "deliberate, unwanted physical contact." Video released yesterday of the train ride shows a rather mundane interaction between a woman and Gonzalez, leading the internet to rightfully roast him. (Please…no one tell him what happens on cramped airplanes!) Best take of the day:

  • Speaking of candidates for mayor, Portland now has five people in the race. Keith Wilson, president and CEO of Titan Freight Systems, is the latest candidate to file for the position. Wilson is still getting his campaign off the ground. He hasn’t reported any campaign donations yet, and his website is still sparse, but the Mercury expects to receive more info on the candidate later this week. Some early insight: Wilson has run for Portland City Council before. Recently, he railed against the city and county in a LinkedIn post, after the winter warming shelters closed while the region still had ice on the ground and near-freezing temps.
  • If you've been sitting at a red light recently and looked around to see a boatload of expired tags on license plates and thought to yourself, "Damn, did everyone just give up?!" you're not crazy. Apparently, about half of all Portland drivers have tags that are expired or eligible to be renewed. PBOT, the city's transportation and roads department, wants to crack down on you slackers to help fill their coffers. 
  • I'm sad to tell you that another giant mammal of the sea has washed ashore in Oregon. Even sadder: the flurry of comments suggesting that we should blow it up, like we did last time.

In NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

  • Last weekend, during Superbowl Sunday, Joe Biden's official X (formerly Twitter) account posted what was supposed to be a comedic image, poking fun at right-wing conspiracy theorists and the "Dark Brandon" crowd who claim Biden had some secret hand in the Chiefs' win, and that Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's relationship is just a psy-op for the left. The post was made from Biden's personal account, not the POTUS account, but it didn't land well. The meme was shared as Israeli military forces bombed the Rafah evacuation zone in Gaza, further isolating and enraging many voters who are already pissed at the guy for continuing to support Benjamin Netanyahu amid genocide in Gaza. The attempt to be cheeky also didn't win over any critics who still worry Biden is too old to have a second term.
  • A person from Oregon contracted the bubonic plague. Deschutes County health officials suspect the resident contracted it from a pet cat. It's the first case of the plague reported in eight years. The Bend Bulletin noted health officials say the risk to the community is low, noting the cat likely contracted it from a rodent. The disease can also be contracted via flea bites.
  • Yesterday we told you about a shooting at a megachurch run by Joel Osteen. By Monday night, there was another public shooting that left one person dead and five injured. Monday night's gunfire erupted at a New York City subway terminal, after an argument between two teen groups broke out. The shooting left a 34-year-old man dead, while a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and three other adults were wounded, the Associated Press reports.
  • Early this morning, the Senate finally voted to pass a $95 billion defense spending bill that includes $60 billion in aid for Ukraine as it continues to fight off a Russian invasion. Recently, international intelligence services warned that Russia was gaining an advantage, after bolstering its military operations thanks to aid from Iran.
     
     
     
     
     
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