The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Expect more on-and-off showers this week until at least Friday with highs in the mid-50s (AKA welcome to SPRING). And welcome as well to this stormy roundup of morning NEWS!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• There's been a lot of brouhaha about the new fancy-pantsy Soho House, which is an exclusive club for young influencers, and how it's supposedly a necessary "third place" (besides home and work) for people to hang out and socialize. HOWEVER! While that's great for those in a certain income bracket (hi there, rich folk!), what about the rest of us? Our Taylor Griggs explores this trend in her latest smart and entertaining edition of STREET VIEW, and has some very pointed thoughts about the "third places" we already have and which should be championed. 

• Hey Portland rich people! Here's what happens when you push us too far:

 • Governor Tina Kotek has hired an out-of-state advisor to study the possibility of creating an "Office of the First Spouse" for Aimee Kotek Wilson, the governor's wife. This happens at the same time three top advisers to Govenor Kotek have departed, allegedly after head-butting with Kotek Wilson. While the governor's spokesperson contends that many other states have official offices for the spouse of the governor, and while Kotek Wilson has not done anything wrong, the situation is reminiscent of the Cylvia Hayes scandal in which former Gov. Kitzhaber was forced to resign after his wife used the power of his office to forward her own financial interests. So you better believe all the statehouse reporters are like... 👀.

• Here's one for the wealthy Portland politicos and mayoral candidates who cruelly think helping the homeless is a form of "enablement": The University of Oregon is currently studying the effects of homelessness on a person's health, where the question is not if it affects their health, but how. They are currently administering health tests, physicals, and questionnaires to houseless folk to determine the effects of housing insecurity on long-term health, and the early results are... not good. The hope of the study is to influence politicians to make changes in the way they are approaching homelessness. In the words of UO Associate Prof Jo Weaver, "One of the biggest challenges of this work is that many people that are in a position to do something about it — would rather not look at the frank brutality that people are dealing with,"

• Congrats and a WOOO-HOOO to Portland's own (and former Mercury columnist) Mx. Dahlia Belle who is featured in comedian Hannah Gadsby's new Netflix special titled Gender Agenda which spotlights a group of genderqueer stand-ups! This special is in direct contrast to other Netflix comedy specials which platform anti-trans comedians such as the hugely disappointing Dave Chappelle. Don't miss this interview with Belle who, I can personally attest, is a goddamn peach of a person and hilariously funny.

• If you are an art lover, our Mercury Spring Arts Preview has a fantastic lineup of the best gallery shows of the season, featuring such interesting curations as Jeremy Okai Davis presenting work by his contemporaries at Nationale, Morgan Ritter pairing up painstaking hand-punctured cotton abstracts by Ash Wyatt with Jean Isamu Nagai's textured landscapes at ARTspace, and so much more! Check it out, babies!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• The UN Security Council has passed a resolution that calls for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza during the month of Ramadan. However, the US abstained from the vote which was approved by Russia and China, claiming that the resolution could endanger current cease-fire negotiations which include the release of hostages. Meanwhile, Israel is reportedly plotting an invasion of invading of Rafah, Gaza's southernmost city, as the war's death toll has surpassed 32,200.

• The CEO of Boeing, David Calhoun, announced he is stepping down from his position after recent and multiple plane part mishaps, including at least two which happened in Oregon. His position worsened significantly after the FBI notified passengers last week that they may have been victims of a thus-far unidentified crime that's still under investigation. 

• Trump is expected to show up today in his home-away-from-home, criminal court, in his latest attempt to delay his hush-money trial. Meanwhile, unless someone miraculously steps up to cover his $454 million bond in the civil fraud case involving his fraudulent business practices, the district attorney's office will soon be able to start seizing his assets and properties HEE-HEE-HEEEEEE! 🤣 UPDATE! Just as I was about to hit publish on this, it's been reported that a judge has agreed to throw Trump a lifeline and pause his $454 million bond if he can come up with $175 million in 10 days. (I wonder if the courts would be that nice to someone like YOU?)

• In case you missed it, at least 133 people were killed in a terrorist attack on a Russian concert hall on Friday. (The US has reportedly warned Russian officials of the possibility of such an attack over a month ago.) Though ISIS has claimed responsibility for the massacre, President Vladimir Putin is trying to pin the blame on Ukraine for reasons which should be stupidly obvious.

Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and other on-air talent had harsh words for their NBC bosses yesterday who made the bizarre misstep of hiring former RNC chair (and election denier!) Ronna McDaniel as a political analyst raised serious "credibility issues." (Can I get a big "NO SHIT, SHERLOCK" for that?)

• And finally... this makes me want to hit the club. The chicken club. (Sound up!)