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What’s up Portland?! This week is bringing us real summer weather because this week also marks the start of…summer! Thursday, June 20 brings us summer solstice. 

While we bask in today’s sublime, mid-70s temps, let’s take a minute to get caught up on the news.


  • In case you didn’t know, here at the Mercury, we take pride month (season?) seriously. We even print a whole Queer Guide to give you the deets on events, places, newsy things and other happenings. Our latest Queer Guide is on the streets now at over 500 locations around the city.
  • Speaking of pride and all things queer: It’s sometimes important to reflect on how we got to this point, and the work that lies ahead to achieve true justice and equality for all. Oregon is regarded as an LGBTQ-friendly state, but we’re not perfect, and with the current state of political and ahem…judicial affairs at the high court, there’s good reason to question what’s at stake. We caught up with a few local civil rights organizations to find out what Oregon’s accomplished, and what still needs shored up.
  • Tomorrow is Juneteenth, which commemorates the real end of slavery in the United States that took place two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. To recognize the day, many government offices and private companies are closed. If you’re looking for a way to honor the significance of the occasion, check out an event the following day, Thursday, at the Portland Art Museum, in partnership with Word is Bond. A trifecta of Sneaker Week, Word is Bond's walking tours, and the Portland Art Museum, the event is "an evening of shared storytelling" inspired by the walking tours throughout Portland's historically Black neighborhoods.
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  • If you need a reminder about what vaccines have done for society, look no further than Clackamas County, where two reported measles cases were recorded after an unvaccinated adult spread it to an unvaccinated child. This isn’t the first instance of measles cropping up. In 2019, Oregon recorded more measles cases than any year on record since 1991, as vaccination rates for the preventable illness fell.


  • Conspiracy theorist and disinformation jockey Alex Jones is under court order to start selling off his assets to pay a $1.5 billion debt he owes to the families and survivors of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. Jones was sued by the families for defamation after he repeatedly suggested the elementary school mass shooting was a hoax. He filed bankruptcy, but his media company, Infowars, cannot file bankruptcy, leaving the future of the quack-science site in question. Through Infowars, Jones has marketed and sold everything from toothpaste to supplements.
  • The Boston Celtics won the 2024 NBA Championship last night, beating out the Dallas Mavericks with an 18-point lead at the Celtics’ home arena. Monday night's game was the fifth in the match-up between Dallas and Boston. Hard to feel bad for the Mavericks, whose leadership is filled with toxic a-holes, like Mark Cuban, who owns roughly a quarter of the team and still controls its operations. Cuban is best known as the billionaire former Shark Tank personality, but within the NBA, he's the guy who racked up numerous fines for terrible, verbally abusive behavior toward referees and players (and even a player's mom), was accused (but later acquitted) of insider trading, and who was once briefly investigated for allegedly groping a woman at a Portland bar in 2011. And then there's Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, whose ex-wife noted in divorce documents that Kidd, a former NBA player, once slammed her head into a car console and left her with impaired hearing. Her statements were made in response to Kidd's claims on his own divorce filing papers. The team's roster also includes flat-earther and anti-vaxxer Kyrie Irving. Sigh. Do you think Irving has Infowars toothpaste laying around his bathroom?
  • In a phrase that should irk every member of Congress: unpaid school loan debt is robbing some seniors of their Social Security benefits. Yes, even retirees are carrying around student loan debt, which should be the biggest red flag but somehow gets conveniently missed. Those with unpaid loans could have part of their Social Security benefits garnished.
  • Where to watch two old men fight: CNN will host the first 2024 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on June 27. The network says there will be no audience in the studio, and each candidate’s mics will be muted unless it's their turn to speak. The candidates aren't allowed to bring props or pre-prepared material. They'll have to rely on paper and pen for note taking.