The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Good afternoon, Portland! Hope you're enjoying the start of the week and thanks very much for joining us for some NEWS


• A group of some 600 workers with Laborers' Local 483 has tentatively agreed to a contract with the City of Portland, concluding the first city strike in more than two decades. The workers are in line to receive pay raises and cost-of-living adjustments if they and Portland City Council vote to approve the deal. “After the strike [started], they were more willing to talk about things,” Local 483 bargaining unit member Ben Nelson said. Isabella Garcia has the story. 

• The Multnomah County Central Library will close once again March 11 for the second phase of its "refresh." While the library is closed, the county plans to open a "technology pop-up" at 501 SW Washington. Our Suzette Smith has more. 

• Linfield University has reached a $1 million settlement with a former professor who was fired after he publicly brought forward allegations of sexual misconduct and antisemitism against university officials in 2021. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, now quite a bit wealthier, is currently working as a visiting professor at Portland State and is a scholar-in-resident at the Portland Shakespeare Project.

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Culture Today 2:32 PM

Portland Central Library to Open "Technology Pop-Up" for Longer Closure in March

The second phase of the downtown library "refresh" may last until December 2023 or longer.

Portland’s Central Library will close March 11 for the second time in less than a year as Multnomah County begins the second phase of the library’s two-part “refresh.”

Multnomah County Library (MCL) spokesperson Shawn Cunningham told the Mercury the building will remain closed for a projected eight to nine months, "reopening probably in December of 2023." But any number of renovation variables could prolong the timeline.

During the closure, MCL plans to open a "technology pop-up" at 501 SW Washington St.—a space that was formerly a Chase Bank, and which sits directly on the downtown transit mall, across from the 5th Avenue food cart pod. But there isn't a hard open date set for that space just yet.

"The hope would be toward the end of March," Cunningham estimated.

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EverOut Today 2:14 PM

The Top 59 Events in Portland This Week: Feb 6-12, 2023

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, The Second City, and More Top Picks

There are a number of great events on deck this week to keep you busy and entertained, and we've rounded them up here, from Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations to The Second City Swipes Right: An Incomplete Guide to The Ultimate Date Night and from SINTH: Dark Elektro-Synth Music Festival to Unwound.



Eraserhead in 35mm
In heaven, everything is fine. David Lynch's debut feature cemented the director as an unmatched force in enigmatic, haunting cinema, inspiring endless contemplation over the last 45 years. This 35mm screening will only enhance the gloomy beauty of Eraserhead's black-and-white photography.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

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labor Today 10:12 AM

City of Portland Worker Strike Ends with Contract Compromise

While workers won higher cost of living increases, fear of rising costs in Portland remains.

Over 600 City of Portland maintenance and operations workers ended their three-day strike Sunday after reaching a tentative contract agreement with the city. Despite the city giving a final offer early last week, members of the worker’s bargaining team said they were able to secure higher cost of living increases and other contract benefits after critical workers started picketing.

City workers and other public sector union members held a rally Sunday evening to celebrate the tentative agreement and conclusion of the strike.

“It’s almost as if strikes work,” Hannah Winchester, a member of Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, said to a round of cheers. “Isn’t that the damndest thing?”

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The Trash Report Today 10:00 AM

Balloons Are Boring, Portland Sucks (Or Does It?), and a Cat that Looks Like Matt Damon

Hear ye! Hear ye! Get the latest gossipy garbage with THE TRASH REPORT.

What's happening, Trash Pandas? I'm Elinor Jones, and I've rounded up some of the best, silliest, stankiest garbage from around the webs and listed them here for you in this column, which is called...THE TRASH REPORT! Please don your cutest protective gear and dive in with me, okay?

Balloons, Schmalloons

At the time of this writing the top news story of the day is the alleged Chinese spy balloon that is calmly booping along over the United States. The Pentagon has advised against shooting the balloon down, which to me sounds like a direct challenge for the millions of gun-obsessed Americans who think they could be the one to shoot it down, so good luck to this balloon. Honestly though, having been online on Balloon Boy Day back in 2009, I carry a lot of balloon skepticism. It's just like... a balloon? Okay, let me know if there's a big ol' house attached to it with a crotchety old man inside, and then I might care. (If between my deadline and the publication of this column a war has broken out between China and the United States, I'm sorry for being flippant.) (Edit: Biden has since ordered the balloon shot down, and it was blasted to hell. Why else would we spend $1.9 trillion annually on our military?! Think about this next time you're at Oaks Park and you pop a balloon with a dart for a dollar.)

Famed hornball Dr. Ruth had a similarly breezy response:

Speaking of horny, I love this news: "U.S. reports blowout job growth; unemployment rate lowest since 1969." All together now: nice

And remember the guy who was suspected of stealing two monkeys from a zoo? Well they just caught him, and he was arrested at an aquarium! I'm glad all the aquatic animals are safe, but I am dying to know what he was planning on stealing! A stingray? Otter? A freaking S H A R K??? If I were in the business of animal security, I'd at least let people attempt the theft before stopping it, just for the story if nothing else. 

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The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! In this week's weather you can expect "business in the front" (cloudy with showers, Mon-Wed), and a "party in the back" (partly to mostly sunny skies Thurs-Sat). Now let's party down to the business of NEWS.


• Good news: The workers of Laborers’ union Local 483 and the City of Portland came to a tentative agreement yesterday on a contract they've been negotiating for a year, which means for now... the STRIKE IS OFF. More than 600 critical city workers—who did such unenviable tasks as clearing ice of roads, fixing sewage leaks, and removing hazardous material from parks—were on strike since Thursday, until the city finally agreed to offer a 12% wage increase for all union members by July to get them up to a livable, competitive wage. While it's not perfect deal for the workers, it sets the stage for their next contract negotiation.

• The Oregonian profiled a large homeless camp in California—one run by the group Mayor Wheeler has chosen to manage Portland's proposed camps—and while this particular one doesn't have a lot of complaints, there are two major differences: It's half the size of the Mayor's internment camps, and the residents aren't criminalized if they choose not to be forced into one.

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GOOD MORNING, SUNDAY! It's the perfect time to catch up on some of the great reporting and stories the Mercury churned out this week! (PRO TIP: If you despise being "the last to know," then be one of the first to know by signing up for Mercury newsletters! All the latest stories shipped directly to your email's in-box... and then... YOUR HEAD.)

Portland Police Bureau Reinstates Officer Who Leaked False Information About Former Commissioner Hardesty

Portland cop Brian Hunzeker—who was fired for leaking false information linking then-Commissioner Hardesty to a hit-and-run—is back on the force. A labor arbitrator says the city failed to prove Hunzeker retaliated against Hardesty.

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland


Let's go, brainy pants! This week's sassy-ass trivia Qs include: lotsa entitled white guys, Hollywood (in Portland), and... whoopee! You're marrying a robot! 🤖🥰


Hundreds of Critical Portland Operations Workers on Strike After Mediation Fails

More than 600 city maintenance and operations workers are on strike Thursday after Portland officials declined to accept the workers’ request for higher wages competitive with the private sector.

Isabella Garcia
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The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! Shall we check the weather? Let's check the weather! And the weather says, "I'll be showering much of the weekend, but the good news is that I'll also be warmer with my highs hitting 54 degrees!" Now allow me to shower you... with some NEWS.


• Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson announced the latest plan to combat homelessness today, and it's a tall order: The county wants to eliminate unsheltered homelessness in Portland’s central city over the next four months by incentivizing landlords to rent vacant apartments to unhoused residents—although they don't have any landlords onboard yet. Unlike the city's plan, however, the county won't throw them in jail if they refuse to go. Our Isabella Garcia has all the details.

• WOW! Wealthy crybaby Portlanders are being especially vocal this week! First there was a feature story published by a local "alternative weekly" which painted a pearl-clutching, sympathetic portrait of Portland's most downtrodden citizens: rich people who skedaddled out of town because of "crime and homelessness" (AKA their taxes were too high, and couldn't afford a third garage for their Lamborghini). Meanwhile our local daily newspaper once again happily repeated the talking points of the Portland Business Alliance, who have been exaggerating the city's problems for years in order to scare the public into voting for their candidates—and today produced yet another poll to prove that.. shock! Their lies have been working! (C'mon, PBA! You already own city council and the majority of media in town... you don't have to rub it in.)

Continue reading »
Housing Fri 2:04 PM

Multnomah County Announces Plan to House at Least 300 Homeless Residents in Vacant Apartments

The county has not identified any landlord partners or available rentals at this time.

Multnomah County and the City of Portland will aim to eliminate unsheltered homelessness in Portland’s central city over the next four months by incentivizing landlords to rent to unhoused residents, county chair Jessica Vega Pederson announced Friday. While no rentals or landlords are currently signed onto the effort, the county aims to house 300 people in 12 months through the project, titled Housing Multnomah Now. 

“The goal of this model is to connect people directly to housing and stop the shuffle of moving people from one location to another as they’re living outside,” Vega Pederson said in a press conference Friday.

The model acts as an extension of Move-In Multnomah—a county program that guaranteed landlords 12 months of rent paid by the county and compensation for any damages if they accepted homeless tenants. The program was deemed a success, moving 214 people into homes in four months for $4 million, but the future of the program was unclear due to a lack of dedicated funding.

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EverOut Fri 1:16 PM

This Week In Portland Food News

New Jersey Tavern-Style Pizza, "Thiccflurries," and Sushi

This week's batch of food news includes a new sports bar serving tavern-style pizza, a donburi bowl destination, and two new sushi spots. Plus, read about some exciting upcoming openings and Ice Queen's vegan "thiccflurries." For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


Donburi Factory
This fast-casual spot specializing in donburi bowls debuted in Tigard in late January, with options like spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, and chicken teriyaki.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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Music Fri 11:45 AM

Ten Pacific Northwest Picks for Bandcamp Friday: February 2023

New releases, reissues, dance tracks, and wordless scores from Portland and Seattle.

The Bandcamp Fridays of 2023 are looking selective; there are only nine of them: Feb 3rd, March 3, April 7, May 5, Aug 4, Sept 1, Oct 6, Nov 3, and Dec 1. And while Bandcamp HQ is always pretty quick to point out that the celebrated day—where the audio platform waives its revenue share so more money goes to the musicians—only adds a little more scrill to your favorite artists' bank statements, Bandcamp Friday is still an occasion.

In that spirit, the Mercury and The Stranger teamed up to recommend some picks today. Maybe they released something recently; maybe they're playing Portland or Seattle soon. In the grand tradition of Portland and Seattle pretending we're the only cities in the Pacific Northwest, we give you TEN picks for Bandcamp Friday:

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It's time once again for the most romance-y season of all, and the Mercury is continuing its annual tradition of publishing YOUR valentines to your shmoopy-woopy... FOR FREE. (And look... you don't want to be the butthole who forgets Valentine's Day, right?)

 And it's SO EASY (and thoughtful!) to send your sweet-pea a love note for the entire world to see:

• First go to the Mercury's Valentine submission page here!

• Compose a 150-character love note designed to moisten and/or engorge the nethers of the one (or ones!) you love. (No mean stuff, spam, or gibberish, please!)

• If you like, we'll also send your beloved an email to let them know they've received an online valentine! Just enter their email in the appropriate box. (And while you're expressing your love, if you don't mind, you can help support the Mercury by making a $5 contribution to help keep us going during the pandemic. No pressure, of course. But you DO love us, right?)

• Hit "SUBMIT" and your valentine will pop up in our easily searchable database that's also on this page! (And wow! Our Valentines page is already filling up with lots of interesting, mushy-gushy mash notes. CHECK 'EM OUT FOR YOURSELF!)

• Pssst. On a similar topic: Looking for something sexy and fun to do this Valentine's Day season? How about watching the insanely sexy HUMP! Film Fest coming at ya to Revolution Hall starting March 3? Get those tickets here, hot stuff!

So what are you waiting for? Submit your FREE Mercury Reader Valentines now through February 17—thereby securing the love of your loved-one... FOREVER!

EverOut Fri 10:11 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Feb 3-5, 2023

Downtown Block Party, Hollywood at PDX Showcase, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

There's nothing better to welcome the weekend with than cheap and cheerful events, and we've got plenty of suggestions, from Downtown Block Party to the Portland Winter Light Festival and from Hollywood at PDX Showcase to Black History Festival NW. For more ideas, check out our top picks of the week.



Hollywood at PDX Showcase
For those who prefer their movie-going sans TSA pat-downs, this special "airport open house" screening should do the trick. Typically, you'd have to head to the Hollywood Theatre's PDX microcinema to catch their rotating selection of local shorts, but this one-night-only screening of their current program will take place at the Movie Madness Miniplex. The spellbinding hour-long selection of Oregon-made films, which includes an experimental doc on Japanese internment in World War II and a heartwarming glimpse of a puppy training program at Coffee Creek Correctional facility, will run on loop, so arrive anytime between 6 and 10 pm.
(Movie Madness, Sunnyside, free)

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The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Good Morning, Portland! There's a persistent rumor that the founding fathers left an enchanted horn a US president could use to summon them in a time of dire need. All I'm saying is that James Madison's crystal flute looks pretty FUCKING FANCY. Since this hypothetically enchanted flute 1) is single use only 2) is too precious to play over measly pandemic / environmental decay / debt ceiling / fakey politicians being fakey problems 3) was already probably played in the McCarthy era over communism, and 4) was already played by Lizzo in the fall…has Biden tried honking the pipes. Just tried it?

• TODAY'S TOP STORY IS GROUNDHOG. How are we supposed to believe the weather predictions of Punxsutawney Phil when he snugly abides in a castle of lies? According to Punxsutawney lore, groundhog Phil has been predicting the length of winters since 1886. But the average lifespan of wild groundhogs is only 6 years! Lies! The beaver at the Oregon Zoo "Filbert"—WHO HAS AN ACTUAL BIRTHDATE, I MIGHT ADD—also predicted the length of this year's winter season. And he also says six more weeks of winter... but with a lot of fucking STYLE.

• ICYMI: Yesterday we learned that a labor arbitrator from the Oregon Employee Relations Board ordered the city to reinstate Brian Hunzeker to his position with the Portland Police Bureau. Hunzeker was originally fired in March 2022 for leaking CAD dispatch information that incorrectly identified former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as the perpetrator in a hit-and-run. The arbitrator also ordered that Hunzeker be paid for the year and a month of back pay he would have received if he hadn't been dismissed. How can be? News Editor Isabella Garcia takes us through the elaborate logic dance, which may or may not just boil down to it's okay to do unethical things if you're the president of the Portland Police Association because people are constantly horrible to one another—and spread misleading information about one another—in the name of politics.

Take the bus tomorrow! Trimet buses, MAX, WES and LIFT are all free of fare this Saturday, February 4, to honor Rosa Parks' birthday. Also, on many buses there are already signs "reserving" a front seat in memory of Parks.

• Reports of Portland's death are greatly exaggerated. But on the other hand, who is always giving those  exaggerations credence? 

Continue reading »

Soft rock royalty Bryan Adams will take you back to the summer of ‘69 with help from hard rock icon Joan Jett. Famed dark lords Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper have also announced a joint tour this coming fall. God-tier internet jokester Druski will break into stand-up on his Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda tour. Plus, Pickathon has dropped the first details for its 2023 festival. Read on for details on those and other newly announced events, plus some news you can use.



Banda MS
Moda Center (Sat Sept 23)

Barenaked Ladies
Edgefield (Sat June 17)

Blanco White
Wonder Ballroom (Wed Oct 18)

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