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Good morning, Portland! Last week's warm sunshine is officially behind us as temperatures plummet to the 40s, a promise below freezing in the evening. Keep your eyes peeled for snowflakes in the foothills of the Coast Range and Mt Hood, and help your unhoused neighbors locate a cold weather shelter.:
- This past Saturday night saw two controversial shootings. The first took place at a residence in Southwest Portland, where Portland police responded to a call regarding a “disturbance” and officers shot and killed a person before leaving the scene. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has shared very little information about what actually took place during this incident, but the Mercury’s Isabella Garcia compiled what little we do know.
- The second shooting took place at Northeast Portland’s Normandale Park, as people were meeting to hold a march against police killings. According to several witnesses, the shooter was not part of the demonstration and fired at four women who were volunteering to block traffic while the march began. One woman was killed at the scene, and five others were sent to the hospital with injuries. PPB has declined to comment on whether or not the shooter, who was also injured in the incident, has been arrested.
- Here’s my hot take, which nobody asked for:
It doesn't feel like standard practice for a mass shooting to take place and police to refuse to confirm/deny whether the shooter has been arrested more than 24 hours later.
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) February 21, 2022
- On Thursday, Portland lawmakers endorsed an activist-backed plan on how to spend an influx of one-time federal funding to the state’s transportation department. The plan prioritizes alternatives to car travel in hopes of meeting the state’s ambitious climate goals.
- A grand jury has indicted Lester Smith, the former director of the Portland Marathon for allegedly embezzling more than $1 million from the nonprofit. The indictment claims Smith spent much of his stolen money on luxury items and home remodeling projects. Live and learn, Lester.
Here’s a story I wrote about Spokane, Washington. It was supposed to be the next affordable city, but it’s already too expensive (for locals anyway). https://t.co/zUd2i7f0ga
— Conor Dougherty (@ConorDougherty) February 20, 2022
- New York City officials released a plan Friday aimed at removing homeless people from the city’s subway system. The policy includes “prohibitions against lying down, creating an unsanitary environment and smoking or openly using drugs.” I’ll leave you with this yikes from Mayor Eric Adams on the policy: “This is not about arresting people, this is about arresting a problem.”
- In not completely depressing news: Average daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have continued to drop across the US, a sign that we may be nearing the “endemic” stage of this crisis. *Knocks on wood*
- The Queen of England has tested positive for COVID-19. Buckingham Palace reports that she only has mild symptoms and is continuing to work remotely—which is truly the most relatable statement ever made about her. Queens, they’re just like us!
- I leave you with several endearing attempts by the Winter Olympics’ mascot Bing Dwen Dwen to land a quadruple axel: