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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Today's Juneteenth, the day commemorating the official end of slavery in the U.S. It's been a federal holiday since 2021, when President Biden signed it into law. If you have the day off, check out some of the Juneteenth events happening around town today, like the Word is Bond walking tour of the historically Black King neighborhood or the Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at MESO Makers Market. You can check out more events on EverOut RIGHT HERE

Also, we are gearing up for some hot weather today through the weekend. But I guess we're (almost) officially in summer now, so that's to be expected. Sigh. Will I ever be able to enjoy the present instead of always looking forward to the next season? Send breathing exercises my way. 

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• MacKenzie Scott, who divorced the superrich Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019, now wants to give away her billions— and some Oregon nonprofits are receiving some of the wealth. In March, Scott donated $5 million to three nonprofits in Oregon: Raphael House, Familias En Acción (both in Portland), and Jackson Street Youth Services in Corvallis. Ellen Clarke talked to people from some of the organizations that benefitted and wrote about it for the Mercury. You can read all about it here

• Have you checked out the Mercury's PRIDE ISSUE yet? We have lotsa good stories coming your way to help you celebrate this endless queer summer, and you can read them online HERE or IN PRINT (!) at a coffee shop/bar/other location near you

Both sides of I-5 were shut down in North Portland yesterday after a semitrailer truck carrying a propane trailer caught fire. The semi tractor (apparently the place where the driver sits) was not on the scene when officials arrived, but luckily, there were no injuries reported. However, it did leave quite a mess. Honestly, I'm not sure what else to say about this. Let me know if you have any hot takes, I guess. 

More than 3,000 Providence nurses from six hospitals across Oregon went on strike yesterday, after months of contract negotiations between the hospital management and the Oregon Nurses Association union. The nurses are striking over wages— union leaders say Providence nurses make much less than their industry peers— and the implementation of state hospital staffing law. The Oregon Nurses Association sent a cease-and-desist letter to Providence a few days ago, stating it wasn't following the law that requires a certain patient-to-nurse ratio. Nurses are short-staffed with too many patients to take care of, which is bad for both the nurses and patient outcomes. Currently, all Providence hospitals are open and serving patients, and the union and hospital both encourage patients to seek treatment at one of the six locations in an emergency situation. 

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• Oh, look, another thing to be terrified about! North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his full support for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia's war in Ukraine. This alliance is concerning for several obvious reasons. According to Russian news agencies, Kim vowed his country's “full support and solidarity to the Russian government, army and people in carrying out the special military operation in Ukraine to protect sovereignty, security interests and territorial integrity.” GREAT!

Southern New Mexico has been hit with an intense wildfire that has forced thousands of residents to flee from the mountainous village of Ruidoso. At least one person has been reported dead as a result of the wildfire, and the danger isn't over. Wildfires are also burning near Los Angeles and in northern California, showing that wildfires remain a danger even if California gets a lot of rain, which it did this winter. While rain in California is great, all the moisture has encouraged brush growth, which means more kindling for fire during the hot season. 

• It's going to get hotter in Oregon this week, but we're actually keeping things quite cool compared to other parts of the country and around the world.  Millions of Americans are dealing with an intense heat wave, including on the east coast, where humidity makes temperatures feel even hotter. Heat waves are plaguing the European Mediterranean and Middle East, too. Tragically, at least 500 pilgrims died during hajj (the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) as temperatures in Saudi Arabia exceed 125 degrees. This harrowing news is a reminder that people around the world are going to be climate refugees in the near future, and those of us who live in (relatively) mild areas better be able to welcome them.

And...it's only June, which  may fill you with dread for what's to come the rest of the summer, and the rest of our lives. Luckily, our government is doing just about nothing to stop it. So that's great.

• Okay, I know the news I've shared has been pretty doom and gloom. But as it gets hotter in Oregon this week, take a look at what harbor seals do to keep cool. BYE!