GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Are we all still daydreaming about last week’s weather? Repeat after me: Showers bring flowers. ☔🌸 Let that run through your head today, tomorrow and the day after because we’re in for a wet week. The weather apps say we’re in for sunshine this weekend, so just be patient.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Grandma Droniak (@grandma_droniak)

In LOCAL NEWS:

  • Speaking of wet things and water, a local family gasped when they got a $17,000 water bill from the Portland Water Bureau. KOIN reports a multi-generational household was billed for more than 1,600 centum cubic feet of water over the course of the 90-day billing cycle. (Note: the city said recently that most single-family households use about five ccf per month.) The family says it’s nearly impossible they could’ve used that much water. A plumbing company found no leaks at the property, but a quick inspection of the meter revealed the problem. That little needle was spinning like a whirling dervish. Let’s see if the city does the right thing.
  • A major fire took out Pacific Market in Northeast Portland overnight. The Asian market is part of a large strip mall near Northeast Broadway and 67th that also contained a former Vietnamese restaurant that has been closed for quite a while. No injuries were reported, but Portland Fire & Rescue says the building is a total loss. Residents from eight nearby homes were advised to evacuate, but later returned home.
  • New US Census Bureau data show Multnomah County’s population continues to shrink, as people leave in search of affordable housing. Shocking. As Axios Portland notes, the county “lost nearly 27,000 residents from 2020 to 2023.” That’s a 3.3 percent decline in population, after the Portland Metro area saw a steady increase up until 2020. Remember when Portland was a working-class-friendly city? How do we get back to that?
  • CONTENT WARNING: This story involves alleged animal cruelty and might ruin your day. The Oregon Humane Society is investigating after 19 dead puppies were found stored in a freezer in Columbia County. According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the owner was likely using the puppies as food for their eight pet snakes. The Humane Society is performing a necropsy on the animals, the results of which could lead to criminal charges for the puppy killer..err…snake owner.
  • In lighter news, the Everout team has rounded up a bevy of local events to check out this week, including the return of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival 🌷(woohoo!) Bounce from a wooden shoe to an exhibit of innovative and “futuristic footwear” on display at the Portland Art Museum and grab yourself a delicious Easter treat.

In NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS: 

  • A cargo ship took out the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early this morning, after the ship reportedly lost power and issued a mayday warning. As of Tuesday morning, six construction workers who were doing maintenance on the bridge are missing and believed to be in the water near the wreck.
  • A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Elon Musk and X (which everyone still calls “Twitter”) against a hate speech watchdog group. In what CNN called an “excoriating rebuke,” District Judge Charles Breyer concluded Musk’s motives were clearly aimed at punishing the group and chilling their free speech. Musk tried to claim the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) breached the social media platform’s terms of service by calling out the rise in hate speech on the site since Musk bought it in 2022. Judge Breyer essentially said the litigation was a blatant Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, otherwise known as a SLAPP. As CNN and others have noted, Musk claims to be a “free speech absolutist.” Huh.
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was granted permission to appeal his pending extradition to the US, where he faces espionage charges. Years ago, Assange used WikiLeaks to publish "thousands of classified and diplomatic documents" that Assange and his lawyers say reveal torture, war crimes and extrajudicial killings (murder) on behalf of US government operatives, The Guardian reports. Assange is currently in a London prison, where he's been held since 2019.
  • The US Supreme Court is slated to hear a case that could significantly restrict access to abortion drug mifepristone. An anti-abortion group initially argued the FDA shouldn’t have approved mifepristone. Now, they’re arguing the federal agency shouldn’t have made it as widely available as it is now. If SCOTUS rules like it did in Roe v. Wade, we’re screwed, even in blue states that have fought to protect access, NPR notes. A coalition of 22 Democratic governors, including Gov. Tina Kotek, filed an amicus brief with the court to back the FDA. Last year, Kotek directed state leaders to secure a three-year supply of mifepristone.