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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! We're on for sunny skies and warm weather again today, so get outside and enjoy! Or sit inside and sulk, see if I care. Whether you're outside having fun or inside crying, please read the following news headlines. THANK YOU! 

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Five Portland environmental and transportation groups—including local freeway fighting juggernaut, the appropriately-named No More Freeways—are suing the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for its plan to expand I-5 at the Rose Quarter. The lawsuit says the I-5 project—which will cost about $2 billion, by the way—goes against city and regional climate goals, and the financially-beleaguered ODOT should spend its money on more pressing transportation needs. And you can read more about this in the Mercury's article, LINKED HERE

Looking to fill out your May ballot but don’t know who to vote for?? Fear not! We have some pretty good recommendations for you, if we say so ourselves, and you can find out all about them here.

• The U.S. Department of Justice ruled that a federal officer used "reasonable and privileged" force when he shot a protester in the head during the Portland racial justice protests in 2020. The protester, Donavan LaBella, survived the shot (the officer used "less-than-lethal" ammunition), but suffered a frontal lobe fracture. LaBella had to deal with nearly a million dollars in medical bills and will require continued medical care, as well as a financial conservator and a medical guardian. But the federal lawyers say the officer was wearing a gas mask that made it difficult for him to...aim the shot away from LaBella's head? I mean, he could've refrained from shooting him at all! 

• A Multnomah County judge ruled that a ballot measure introduced by Portland's police union is unconstitutional and won't be on the November ballot. The measure, as proposed by the union, would have made the city hire more police officers, expand street support services, and create a drug and alcohol detox treatment center. Those last two aren't so bad, but the first part is questionable—and that's where the judge ruled against the measure proposal, citing Oregon's constitutional language that states ballot measures can't change city administrative policies. 

So, an L for the PPB union, I guess! However, the Portland Police Association has proposed an even worse ballot measure to restrict the city's police oversight office, and a judge hasn't ruled on that one yet. 

• Dan Savage coming in with some advice for this frankly terrible situation: 

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• President Joe Biden is apparently making the horrible decision to transfer $1 billion of arms and ammunition to Israel—the first proposed arms shipment to Israel since the Biden administration recently paused a transfer of 3,500 bombs due to concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. (Gee thanks.) The arms sale can be blocked by members of Congress, so it may or may not go through. But, at the very least, it’s terrible optics on Biden’s part to suggest giving more aid to Israel (a billion dollars worth!) as the country’s government continues to indiscriminately kill thousands of civilians in Gaza. Biden is falling woefully behind in polls right now, and young people are giving up on him in large part because of his completely deranged loyalty to Israel, so this is really not the move. 

• Meanwhile, the alternative to Biden is threatening to deport student protesters if he is reelected. At a rally, Donald Trump said he will “not allow our colleges to be taken over by violent radicals” and will “immediately deport” immigrants “trying to bring jihadism or anti-Americanism or anti-Semitism to our campuses.” This, compared to the measured take from the Ben & Jerry's board: “Lunch counter sit-ins, student-led protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid South Africa, and now the campus protests in solidarity with Gaza, all are part of our rich history of free speech and non-violent protest that makes change and is essential to a strong democracy,” the independent board said in a statement. 

• Thoughts on this King Charles portrait?? I think it's kinda artsy (in a cool way). Maybe undeservedly cool for the guy who did all those horrible things to Princess Diana. 

• Alice Munro, the revered Canadian short story author, died yesterday at age 92. 😞 If you aren't familiar with Munro's work, I urge you to get familiar. She is the Flannery O'Connor to literary girls whose George Saunders is Lorrie Moore. Every time I'm on a train, I think of her story "Chance," helpfully linked for you here. Rest in peace, Alice Munro!! You were one of the greatest to ever do it. 

• Biden has proposed two debates against Trump for June and November, and Trump—who refused to participate in the recent primary debates—has apparently agreed. And I, for one, will not be watching. It’s crazy to think that even in 2020, that horrible year of years, we could get some laughs out of political debates. (Remember Mike Pence’s fly?) It honestly doesn’t seem enjoyment or laughter is a remote possibility this time around. 

• Finally, check out this video: Porcupine Takes a Walk. Happy Wednesday.