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! The sun decided it likes us enough to stick around til Wednesday afternoon. Today’s high is 75 degrees. Go outside and touch some grass.

But before you do, let’s get you caught up on current events. 


  • Lots of Portlanders celebrated 4/20 over the weekend, but we also observed Earth Day. This gorgeous photo essay from Justin Yau reminds us why we love Portland (Earth Day got its own parade!) and why we need effective climate policies, like, yesterday. Check it out.
  • If you’re wondering what’s going to become of policies regulating homelessness in Portland and around the US, so are we! Honestly, after we thought we had it all figured out Friday, another mayoral candidate (Mingus Mapps) slipped in his own amendment to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s proposed policy, which was unveiled earlier this month. Wheeler’s revamped ordinance was supposed to fix issues called out in a lawsuit against the city last year, after Portland adopted rules regulating homeless camping that prohibited unhoused folks from sleeping or setting up a tent in public from 8 am to 8 pm. Now, Commissioners (and mayoral candidates) Carmen Rubio, Rene Gonzalez AND Mingus Mapps all have suggested tweaks to Wheeler’s policy, though Gonzalez’s change was essentially a rewrite of the whole damn ordinance. City Council is expected to review them all this Wednesday afternoon.
  • Local women’s sports bar The Sports Bra will get a hefty infusion of cash from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (who’s also married to tennis legend Serena Williams.) With investment from Ohanian and the 776 Foundation, The Sports Bra plans to expand and franchise its sports bar model to other cities, reportedly reinvesting profits back into girls' and women’s sports.
  • Our lovely city is brimming with things to do and eat. The Everout team painstakingly compiles a handy calendar of it all for you, each week. This week, catch a TED talk in Portland, celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, and let the Mercury regale you with laughter during the return of our sinister, “Two Evils” comedy game show.
    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by The Ghost Story Guys Podcast (@theghoststoryguys)


  • The Associated Press reports the US will likely block aid to one of Israel’s military units over “gross human rights abuses” that took place in Gaza before the Israel-Hamas war erupted. Huh. No issues with the behavior since then? Anyway, the decision is justified under the Leahy Law, passed 27 years ago, which allows the US to block foreign military aid to units guilty of human rights abuses like extrajudicial killings, rape, and torture. While that law may be invoked for one particular instance, the US is still expected to send $26 billion in aid  to Israel for its military and for humanitarian relief in Gaza.
  • Columbia University has moved to hybrid classes for the rest of the semester, after sustained student protests in solidarity with Palestine led to arrests. The move by Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik, to allow New York Police Department officers to sweep student encampments has led to calls for Shafik to resign, while university professors are moving to censure her. On Monday evening, more than 150 protesters, including faculty members, were arrested at New York University, where a similar Gaza Solidarity Encampment was established, but dispersed by NYPD.
  • And in bizarre, sad news, an ostrich named Karen at a zoo in Kansas died after swallowing a zoo employee’s keys. Apparently, Karen reached beyond her cage and snatched the keys. Zoo officials said neither surgical nor non-surgical efforts to remove the keys were successful, and the huge bird had to be euthanized.