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GOOD MORNING to everything except the time change, which is wreaking havoc on our sleep schedules and internal clocks. Daylight Saving time aside, we’re just over a week away from the start of spring, which means cherry blossom season is right around the corner.


  • Speaking of spring, prepare for more pollen. KOIN reports local pollen counts are expected to increase, kicking off allergy season in true bad bitch form, right after flu season.
  • Yesterday, city and county officials rolled out a revised plan to reduce the number of unhoused people in Multnomah County by half. County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler say parts of the current strategy aren't working, so they're adding more layers of bureaucracy...err...retooling the action plan to focus on data and accountability, while adding another 1,000 shelter beds over the next two years and adding more behavioral health services.
  • We recently told you about the city’s plan to raise water and sewer rates, but Portland General Electric is also eyeing another 7 percent cost increase, even after rates just went up nearly18 percent. While the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services are public utility providers operated by the city, PGE is a private, publicly-traded company, meaning they need to keep shareholders happy and must find a way to make profits go up, not just meet expenses. They increase profits not by churning out a better product, but largely by gouging customers. OPB’s Think Out Loud featured a PGE rep attempting to explain why more money is needed, in the same old jargon you hear from nearly every utility company.


  • Last week during his State of the Union address, President Biden signaled clear intent to raise the tax rate for the nation's wealthiest residents and companies. He claimed billionaires often pay a lower tax than middle-class Americans, and while that's not exactly true, he followed up those remarks Monday with a fiscal plan that would make sure billionaires pay at least a 25 percent tax rate, which his team says will chip away at the federal deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • In bummer media news, sports blogging site Deadspin has been sold again (it was last sold in 2019) and this time, all current staff were let go. G/O Media was sold to Euro-based firm Lineup Publishing, a digital media company. As Axios reports, a memo to staff notes the new owners will "instead build a new team more in line with their editorial vision for the brand." Back in 2019, nearly all of Deadspin's staff quite en masse. The Mercury wrote an insightful piece about it at the time.
  • Air BnB has finally vowed to ban hosts from installing security cameras inside their homes. The site that has increasingly come under fire for transforming once affordable cities and towns into seas of inflated-value investment properties, and routinely allows hosts to require a laundry list of chores from guests while charging fees equivalent to the cost of a luxury hotel suite now agrees a host shouldn't be able to surveil you while you pay exorbitant amounts to wash dishes and haul their heavy trash bins. Cool.

  • Climate change could be destroying fruit as we know it. While farmers have traditionally had methods to deal with unpredictable weather, The Atlantic notes that recent deep winter freezes have led to large-scale crop loss that even the most resilient fruit trees can't handle. The result is yielding bad-tasting fruit, or sometimes none at all.
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