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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's set to be a cloudy one today, but if you need cheering up... you can still get tickets for this year's HUMP! film festival in Portland, which runs through March 15. That's pretty much all I have to say right off the bat. Let's get to the news.


Portland City Council will consider an ordinance today to prohibit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. This is joyous news to anyone who has ever been dragged out of a blissful Saturday morning rest by the horrible sound of their neighbor blowing leaves on their lawn this way and that. If you must use a leaf blower, electric ones are quieter, and they don't emit exhaust toxic to both people and the planet. Or what about the old, trusty rake? I'll tell you, I raked some wet leaves last fall and I grew as a person because of the experience. (I acknowledge not everyone can use rakes.) Anyway, the ban likely wouldn't take place until 2026, and it would only be a partial ban (January-September) until 2028. So fear not, you have time to develop new leaf collecting methods.  

• The iconic Portland drag star Poison Waters got roasted for a fundraiser to raise money for Camp Kids Connected, which helps kids affected by HIV. Our Andrew Jankowski has all the details about the cutting remarks thrown her way at the event, which raised over $3000 and appeared to be a rollicking good time for all...even Poison Waters, who probably can take a joke. 

• Speed past a stopped school bus? You might be on camera. Oregon lawmakers agreed to a new policy allowing school districts to attach cameras to school bus stop sign arms, so they can share the footage with police and have more evidence to cite reckless drivers. In my opinion, the fact that you could seriously injure or kill a kid as they're getting off the school bus should be enough to deter crazy driving behavior, and yet, here we are. Ban cars, starting in school zones (OMG did I just say that?!), but I guess this is okay.  

• State estimates suggest that House Bill 4002— which Oregon lawmakers passed last week to replace the Measure 110 drug decriminalization law— will increase the number of criminal convictions statewide, essentially bringing us back to a pre-Measure 110 criminal justice landscape. If you're thinking, "That's the point of overturning a drug decriminalization law," keep in mind that proponents of HB 4002 have repeatedly said the new bill will prioritize treatment over criminalization. But given Oregon's under-resourced addiction treatment and mental healthcare systems, it's all but guaranteed jails will serve as de facto (and not very effective) rehab facilities. 


Despite attempts to deliver food convoys to Gaza, people in the region have largely been unable to access food assistance and are starving to death. Northern Gaza is approaching famine conditions and attempted aid deliveries have been blocked by the Israeli army. The U.S. also dropped more aid shipments into Gaza yesterday, but the food deliveries are nowhere near sufficient for the scale of the crisis.

Meanwhile, the latest round of cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas have ended at an impasse, and it's unclear what future negotiations may look like. Israel's war in Gaza has been going on for five months now, and more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed during that period. 

• Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema, best known for wearing crazy outfits and sabotaging working class priorities, announced yesterday she won't seek re-election this fall. This means the hotly contested race for the Arizona Senate seat will likely be between Democrat Ruben Gallego, who I'm annoyed with for sending me fundraising emails for months, and Republican Kari Lake, a Trump-devotee who is genuinely evil. This race in Arizona is one of the most competitive in the country, and the winner could make the difference between which political party carries the Senate for the next two years, so...I guess I understand Gallego's hardcore fundraising strategy. 

• In other U.S. Senate news (it was Super Tuesday yesterday, after all) Adam Schiff clinched the Democratic primary in the California Senate race and will advance to the general election against Republican Steve Garvey, some random guy who doesn't really stand a chance. Schiff beat out two very qualified, experienced women— California Representatives Katie Porter and Barbara Lee— for the position, which kinda sucks, especially because that means both of them will vacate their House seats at the end of the term. 

• In AGHHHHHHH news:

• Ok, I'll bid you adieu with this. Happy Wednesday, y'all!