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Hello, Portland! This morning, my new, days-old work email was finally christened with some spam: Someone called Angellyxo5v selling super sexy (?) rapid tests. If you're looking for a real COVID test, don't sleep on this handy explainer from our Isabella Garcia.
Now, let's hit the LOCAL NEWS:
• Yesterday, the state's Land Use Board of Appeals upheld Portland’s decision to deny Zenith Energy a permit to operate in the city, as long as the city can prove the Zenith’s oil storage and shipping facility conflicts with Portland's environmental goals. While there's no announced deadline for the city to submit that proof, as the legal battle rages on, Zenith can continue to operate.
• Also yesterday, Oregon Health & Science University released a forecast, contradicting earlier predictions about the current COVID-19 omicron variant surge. It now appears that hospitalization numbers WON'T surpass the numbers we saw last September, when the delta variant peaked.
• As Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler prepares to issue a state of emergency order so the city can move campsites it deems too close to roadways, the Oregonian's Shane Kavanaugh has a good point about why those campsites might be there in the first place:
As @shanedkavanaugh writes, Mayor Wheeler says this is about the safety of unhoused Portlanders. The ppI spoke with who camped near Terrence said they had been moved there after the city swept their previous camp, which was far away from the busy road. https://t.co/hRYfP6eHjS
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) February 4, 2022
• When it comes to WEATHER, we're looking at some rain tonight in the early evening, hopefully done by 9 pm so we can get out on the town in our most water-permeable wear. On Saturday and Sunday look for cautious sunshine and mid-50 degreee temperatures during the day (still near freezing at night!) as we move into this area's traditional early February balm. The good weather will be gone by Valentine's Day so kiss your sweetheart or your state (February 14th is also Oregon's birthday!) while you're dry.
IN NATIONAL / WORLD NEWS:
• Today is the first day of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. And due to TIMEZONES it's already over! If you're watching for ICE SKATING COSTUMES, the U.S. started strong in the ICE SKATING COSTUME DIVISION, as Nathan Chen earned the second highest score in recorded history for his
ICE SKATING COSTUME short program skate.
• If you're turning into the Winter Olympics for international political grandstanding, it may positively set your mustache a'bristlin to hear that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping used the Olympics' opening day to hold a summit, calling for NATO to get out their front yards (actually other countries' front yards).
WAIT, BACK TO LOCAL NEWS FOR A MINUTE:
• There are four Oregonians competing at the Winter Olympics this year and the Oregonian's Jon Freeman penned a longform profile on one of them: 21-year-old snowboarder, Sean FitzSimons.
• It’s back for 2022! America’s sexiest, funnest dirty movie fest, HUMP! Coming at ya starting February 24 at Revolution Hall—GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
• In closing, it may not feel like a Friday, but is certainly is—and over at the Olympics it's actually Saturday—so get ready to rest and unwind. Take a little advice from voice actor Paul Rugg: