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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! The sun is (supposed to be) shining, tax season is over, and, oh yeah, PIZZA WEEK is here. If you need some ideas for where to go, here are a few pies that look delectable to me personally: The "Chicken Shawarma!" at Baby Doll, the "So What, No F*ckin' Ziti Now?!" (yes, I'm a fan of pasta on pizza. Sue me, Italy) at Scottie's, the "Butcher's Bolognese" at Assembly Brewing, and many more. But before you go grab some delicious slices, read these important headlines. (The restaurants probably aren't open yet, anyway.)


• Real Mercuryheads will know that our Say Nice Things About Portland issue is out now, online and, yes, in PRINT at a coffee shop (or similar establishment) near you. There's an article in there written by a bike freak about why biking in Portland is dope and awesome. You might wanna check it out. (Can you tell I feel awkward about self-promo?) But for real, I'm so glad we could bring this issue to you again for the second year in a row. We love good vibes over here. 

• Brentwood-Darlington and surrounding neighborhoods in lower Southeast Portland are getting a new plan, and you can weigh in on it now before it goes to City Council at the end of the month. If adopted, the plan will shake up the current zoning code and transportation routes in the neighborhood, hopefully giving people more opportunities to bike/walk/ride the bus. HOWEVER...will the plan ruin the neighborhood? Probably not, but some people fear otherwise. Read the Mercury's story for more

• Just four games into this year's season, the Portland Thorns are experiencing a staff shakeup, with head coach Mike Norris being moved to a new role (he'll serve as the club's technical director) and an interim head coach taking over the role while club leaders search for a long-term replacement. Our Abe Asher has all the context about this development

• The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries announced yesterday that minimum wage in Portland will rise to $15.95 an hour starting July 1. This announcement had to be made because, unlike the tiered wage system Oregon used before, the minimum wage is now tied to the rate of inflation (apparently 3.5 percent over the past year). Still, according to MIT's living wage calculator, Oregonians without kids need to be making $24.30 to live comfortably. (With kids, the minimum living wage jumps up a lot higher.) 

A map of Oregon minimum wage come July 1. oregonian



• After the phenomenon that was women's college basketball this past season, all eyes are now on the WNBA draft to see where the absolute ballers will end up (And, to be honest, most of the eyes are particularly focused on No. 1 pick Caitlin Clark). After Clark scored a contract with the Indiana Fever, people started to talk about WNBA salaries and how they compare to NBA pay. Clark's contract sets her up to earn $338,056 over four years, and if you're thinking that's nothing to scoff at, okay—but last year's No. 1 pick in the NBA draft secured a $55 MILLION four-year contract as a rookie with the same experience as Clark. So, yeah. Even President Biden took to social media to talk about this:

The main counterargument here is that the WNBA has traditionally brought in much smaller viewership than the NBA, limiting the league's income from commercials and sponsorships. I guess we all have some personal responsibility here—TBH, I'd never heard of the Indiana Fever before. (To be fair, I also couldn't name the Indiana men's team off the top of my head.) But this kind of pay gap is seriously insane. Caitlin Clark and many of her contemporaries have an immense amount of talent and are incredibly entertaining to watch. Maybe if there wasn't such a self-fulfilling prophecy about the viability of women's sports, they'd be more successful. Okay, stepping off my soapbox now. 

• In today's "no shit, Sherlock" news, a new study says overworking yourself until you're burnt out is bad for you. Specifically, the study says intense work schedules as a young adult can catch up to you later in life, making it more likely you'll be depressed and sick by the time you're 50. Thanks for the info I guess, but what is the average person supposed to do about this? The only shocker here is that the study claims you can stave off depression until middle age—have you seen the state of our younger generations? We are notorious sad sacks. 

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• The United Arab Emirates is experiencing the heaviest rain ever recorded in the country, flooding out highways and grounding flights at the Dubai airport. This weather event wasn't entirely natural, though (I mean, if you can count any weather event as "natural" these days, considering how askew our climate is). The storm's severity can be partially attributed to the country's practice of "cloud seeding"—a technique that involves putting chemicals in the atmosphere to take advantage of rain clouds when they appear. (I know that was a terrible explanation. I didn't claim to be an expert in meteorology.) 

"Cloud seeding" has been helpful for addressing the desert nation's water security issues, which are worsening due to global warming, but the region doesn't have proper drainage to combat flooding. The long-term environmental impacts of this practice are also unclear. 

• In news that is good for human health but devastating for hot English musicians, Britain is taking steps to adopt one of the world's toughest anti-smoking policies. The smoking ban would make it illegal to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to anyone born after 2009—even once they're old enough to buy cigarettes under previous policy. After that, the legal age to buy tobacco in England will raise by one year annually until nobody is legally allowed to purchase it. On a tangential note, I'm amused imagining what the French would do if President Macron tried to implement a similar policy across the English Channel. Guillotines might make a return, that's all I'll say. 

• Finally...apparently, a cat named Tempeh and a pig named Beatrice are best friends. ENOUGH SAID. Happy Wednesday!