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! It's going to be sunny for the rest of the workweek, but as soon as the weekend hits, BAM—we're in for clouds and rain. But chin up, because the rain is good for gardens and will hopefully help ward off wildfire season a bit. 

Alright, time for the news. 


• Recently, after calling for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire in Israel’s war against Palestine," the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) lost support from several local Jewish organizations. Leaders at the food bank say the financial hit hasn't been substantial, but they "experience grief when donors determine they can no longer support [their] mission." While some Jewish groups, like the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, say OFB's statement was antisemitic and unfairly targeted Israel, people from other local Jewish organizations disagree, reflecting fractures taking place across the world as the war in Gaza carries on. Read more about OFB's statements, and what members of Portland's Jewish community have to say about it, in a new story by our Kevin Foster. 

• New Portland mayoral candidate just dropped! This is very exciting, as our current candidates leave something to be desired (in my personal opinion). Nobody's perfect, but it's good to have a variety of people to choose from. The new candidate is Marshall Runkel, who worked in Portland politics for about a decade in the late 1990s-early 2000s before starting a career in green energy. Most recently, Runkel did a stint as Chloe Eudaly's campaign manager for her city commissioner campaign, before serving as her chief of staff for her four-year term in City Hall. For the last year, he's been working as a political consultant and apparently thinking about running for Portland mayor (Willamette Week previously ran a story about his possible campaign last summer). Not sure why he didn't announce sooner, but he's here now. 

A Portland man was arrested earlier this week for causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage by shooting traffic cameras. According to the police report, the man was recklessly driving in outer Southeast Portland, swerving into oncoming lanes, when he was stopped and arrested. There seems to have been a scuffle during the arrest, as the police report says the man and a Portland Police Bureau officer were both injured. 

I don't know what this guy's intentions were, but I have seen a few people portraying him as some kind of anti-cop, revolutionary hero, and I've gotta say that I strongly disagree with that take. As the suspect now knows, coming into direct contact with cops can be unpleasant and result in needless injuries (or worse!). Guess what? Avoiding personal contact with the police is one of the main draws of traffic cameras, which are designed solely to incentivize safer driving behavior without all the bias and baggage of cops. ACAB doesn't include traffic cameras. 

• Do I even wanna know? 

• Our foodie city represented at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday night, with two local winners. Langbaan, the Slabtown prix fixe restaurant that critic Andrea Damewood called "absolutely essential Portland eating" in the Mercury just two weeks ago, took home the high honor of Outstanding Restaurant. The James Beard Foundation also recognized Gregory Gourdet—the chef behind the deeply-difficult-to-get-reservations-at dining hotspot Kann—as Best Chef in the Northwest & Pacific.  Mercury culture editor Suzette Smith gets into the local winners here


• Hunter Biden, our president's Fleet Foxes-listening failson, was convicted yesterday of three felony charges for lying about his drug use when buying a gun in 2018. But apparently this conviction isn't good enough for Donald Trump and his supporters, who have called this trial a "distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family." They believe Hunter Biden is an international criminal racking in millions from business dealings in China, Russia, and Ukraine. These accusations have been pretty much baseless and really seem like a distraction from Trump's well-known crimes, like inciting an insurrection and trying to overthrow the 2020 election. Oh yeah, and paying off Stormy Daniels in order to win the 2016 election, which he was just convicted of 34 felonies for. 

• Yesterday, a federal court in Florida ruled against a state law that restricts gender-affirming care for adults and bans it for children. The court found the law, which passed last year, is unconstitutional and violates the equal protection rights of transgender people, as well as parents of transgender minors. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle stated "transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs...but they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender." The ruling also expresses some optimism about the future, saying "discrimination against transgender individuals will diminish" like racism and misogyny. I mean, I sure hope so, but racism and misogyny still very much exist, and LGBTQ+ people are currently experiencing terrible discrimination (especially in places like Florida). Nitpicks aside, it's very good the court made this decision. 

• In news that is currently shaking the hot dog eating contest world to its very core, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut will not participate in this year's annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog scarfing contest. Chestnut has won the competition almost every year since 2007, but after signing a contract with another sausage brand (potentially a veggie one! Scandalous!), he's been banned from the competition. I'm gonna be honest with you, I didn't realize this news would be worthy of an AP story, but it's taken me down a rabbit hole about the world of competitive eating. Here's Chestnut's own words on the subject. I'm sure we'll hear from him again soon.

• Ok, happy Wednesday. But before you go, check out these otters.