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GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! If you liked today's rainy weather, you're gonna LOVE tomorrow's... and the day after that... and the day after that! But cheer up—by Friday there's only an 88 percent chance of rain. :( Okay... LET'S DO SOME HEADLINES.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• First it was "no later than March 31," then it was "March 19 for sure," and now the state's indoor mask mandate will go away on March 12 according to the OHA and governor's office. Find out what was behind the incredible shrinking decision (and what the schools are gonna do) with this report from our Isabella Garcia!
• What a pandemic its been for our local arts organizations—but the good news is that they are coming roaring back, and in the Mercury's Spring Art Guide (edited by our own arts maven Suzette Smith), we have a lot of fascinating articles about Portland's unkillable arts scene and all the cool stuff they have planned for this spring! DO NOT MISS IT.
• Also do not miss this great, deep dive from OPB about the local shit-stirring, anti-tourism (in my mind) organization People for Portland—you know, the ones with the terrible billboards. The article does a good job in assessing what, exactly, this dark money group has actually accomplished (nudging Mayor Wheeler in the more conservative direction he was going anyway) and how they've failed (one of their prominent members has lost complete faith in their questionable mission... too bad, so sad).
• Three Democrat Oregon lawmakers announced that they will not be seeking re-election due to the paltry pay they receive ($33,000 a year) and the overtime they're being forced to work. (This is why the legislature is predominately staffed by older, retired people with time on their hands and axes to grind.)
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs approved has spending $4.58 million from the federal government to reopen portions of Kah-Nee-Ta, a once-popular resort on the reservation. https://t.co/ghxryBXV8K
— OPB (@OPB) February 28, 2022
• Today in UGH: If you smell something tomorrow that reminds you of BULLSHIT, it may be the "American Freedom Convoy" of dingbat anti-vax truckers who are wasting tons of gas money and further polluting the planet with their idiotic journey to Washington, DC. They're scheduled to kick off in Troutdale tomorrow, stay overnight in Pendleton, and continue across the country where, hopefully, their futile, asinine efforts will be mercilessly laughed at, or even better, ignored.
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Europe is opening their doors as more than half a million people have fled Ukraine, while Russian rockets batter the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv. Negotiations are apparently underway between Ukrainian and Moscow officials (which reportedly aren't going so well). Meanwhile, as Ukrainians continue to put up a fight that Putin didn't expect, the harsh economic sanctions leveled at Russia from America and the EU seem to be having an effect, and the imminent financial crisis has citizens questioning the wisdom of their great leader.
There have been no devastating Russian cyberattacks in the early days of the war — surprising some watchers — while Ukraine has marshaled volunteer hackers to make the Kremlin pay. https://t.co/RMkpm1MLpS
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 28, 2022
• President Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address Tuesday at 6 pm PST, and is expected to address the tsunami of problems America is currently facing, which includes (but is not limited to) the pandemic, inflation, Russia, and ding-dong obstructionist Republicans. (He'll also mention his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is only a problem to the aforementioned obstructionist ding-dongs.)
• Meanwhile in the ongoing climate crisis (that doesn't stop for wars or pandemics), a new UN report paints a disturbing portrait of our environmental future, lambasting ineffective politicians, pointing out the inability of humans and animals to adapt to the quickening change, and our future destabilized food supply chain. NOT GREAT.
The Senate blocked consideration of a bill to protect the right to abortion nationwide, an election-year measure pushed by Democrats as the Supreme Court decides the fate of the landmark decision guaranteeing access to abortion. https://t.co/nIvv8zGfBP
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 1, 2022
• According to new data, the Pfizer vaccine is far less effective in kids 5 to 11 years old than it is with older teens and adults. While its reportedly still great for preventing hospitalizations, it's much less effective at preventing infections—possibly due to the smaller doses little kids are receiving.
• It's the FINAL WEEK! America’s sexiest, funnest dirty movie fest, HUMP! is back and playing RIGHT NOW at Revolution Hall... and the hilarious Dan Savage is hosting, live and in the flesh—SO HURRY UP AND GET THEM TICKETS!
• And finally... LET'S DO THIS.