News Yesterday 2:45 PM

Police Drone Pilot Program to Lift Off Next Week

Portland Police say the drones will aid in crash and crime scene investigations—but won't be used to surveil citizens.

Portland Police will begin using aerial drones next week to help conduct certain investigations.

The bureau expects to kick off a year-long pilot project using the aerial cameras, starting June 13. Back in April, Portland City Council approved spending up to $80,000 from the bureau’s existing budget on the pilot project. 

Bureau leaders estimate about half of that has been spent so far on equipment, including eight drones.

What to expect

Portland Police say during the pilot project, they mainly expect to use drones to collect images from crash and crime scenes, noting footage can be “stitched together” to reconstruct scenes, which helps speed along investigations.

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EverOut Yesterday 12:00 PM

This Week In Portland Food News

A New Cafe Arrives, Carlo Lamagna's New Lechonería Opens, and Portlanders Triumph at the James Beard Awards

Good news abounds in Beaverton this week, as Magna Kusina chef Carlo Lamagna debuts his new lechonería Magna Kubo and Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai plans a location next door. Portland proper isn't doing too shabby either, as the local food scene celebrates receiving more James Beard Awards than any other city in this year's competition. Read on for all of that and more tasty updates, from ilani BBQ Fest to a Filipino take on the McRib. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Denizens Cafe
The crew behind Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters soft opened this cafe in Ben & Esther's recently closed Roseway location on June 1. The new spot features breakfast sandwiches, rice bowls, mac and cheese, gooey fondue, and coffee made with Rocky Butte Coffee Roasters beans.
Roseway

Read on EverOut »
Food News Yesterday 11:24 AM

Uh-Oh! The Mercury's SANDWICH WEEK Ends This Sunday! Hurry Up and EAT!

Get your creative, one-of-a-kind sandwich creations— they're only $8 each!

IT'S A FACT: The pinnacle of human ingenuity is undoubtedly THE SANDWICH. And at long last, it's time to celebrate humankind's greatest feat with the Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week! (Brought to you by our pals at Jim Beam and EverOut!) And if you love sandwiches, you are gonna lose your damn mind, because happening RIGHT NOW—and only until this Sunday June 11—Portlanders will be feasting on delectable, original sandwiches built by the city's most creative sandwich makers... and if that's not enough, each of those sammies can be had for a mere $8! Are you dreaming? NO, YOU ARE NOT! 

The Mercury's Sandwich Week is not only a perfect excuse to shove a delicious sandy (or 10... or 20) into your mouth, but it's also a great way to support and introduce yourselves to local restaurants who might not be on your radar. AND it also helps the Mercury continue the top-notch investigative reporting and arts/entertainment coverage you rely on every day. SO THANK YOU FOR THAT!

Check in at portlandsandwichweek.com to see pics and descriptions of all of this year's one-of-a-kind sandwich creations, and plot your Sandwich Week course with our handy-dandy map—but before you start planning the most delicious week of your life, please keep a few things in mind:

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EverOut Yesterday 10:01 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: June 9–11, 2023

Grand Floral Parade, Dragon Boat Races, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

There's no better way to end the week than to start thinking about all the fun things you'll get up to during the weekend. Here are the best, budget-friendly events Portland has to offer, from the Grand Floral Parade to the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race and from a Cultural Festival Street Party to the Second Annual LDEI Culinary Rummage Sale & Bake Sale.

FRIDAY

FILM

Violet Hex Presents: But I’m A Cheerleader!
Hosted by "trans femme drag enigma" Violet Hex, this screening of the campy '99 flick But I'm a Cheerleader (which Movie Guide: Movie Reviews for Christians deems "vulgar," oop!) will include glittery pre-screening drag performances. Expect spunky cheerleading eleganza: The film follows an all-American teen who's sent to a wackjob conversion therapy camp to "cure her lesbianism." There, she meets someone special and learns more about herself than she anticipated—Natasha Lyonne and Clea Duvalle deliver the sapphic goods. Happy Pride! LINDSAY COSTELLO
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $15)

Read on EverOut »

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! Have you ever loved some sandwich so much it made you cry? Have you ever loved an $8 sandwich so much you can't sleep at night? Have you ever? Have you ever? (It's the Mercury's Sandwich Week through Sunday—you bread-noshing freaks.)

IN LOCAL NEWS:
• It is drizzlin'! Despite weather models that showed low to no precipitation through mid-June Portland skies binged some tearjerkers yesterday and she rained... measurably. Conditions might be slick this morning because there's too much oil everywhere—just everywhere. The Oregonian reports that the weekend looks dry but so did today so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

• Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson—his organization being informally known as the baby Proud Boys or your local homegrown hate-mongers—is suing "Portland, Multnomah County, Mayor Ted Wheeler and District Attorney Mike Schmidt, as well as Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, former Chiefs Jami Resch and Danielle Outlaw, two prosecutors and the detective who handled the case" for "unspecified damages," the Oregonian reports. His lawyer alleges that all the people / places in that extremely wide net "orchestrated the charges to suppress Gibson’s rallies, which frequently spiraled into left-versus-right street fights." Not like y'all went out there weekly to start fights—cool mannish accountability for your actions, Joey. 

• Ever since the city of Portland granted a land use permit to oil transport company Zenith Energy last fall, climate activists have called on the city to reverse course once again. This weekend they're back in their kayaks. Catch up on the situation with Mercury News Reporter Taylor Griggs.

• Gov. Tina Kotek dropped a request to add a 50 cent additional surcharge to the sale of bottles of alcohol in Oregon on Wednesday, saying that due to recent revenue forecasts the added tax was no longer needed. She had originally requested it to add funds to addiction services.

• Are YOU or do YOU KNOW two men in Wyoming who got too close to a calf? Rat these motherfuckers out to the Rangers at Grand Teton National Park. My desire for schadenfreude is through the roof. NOBODY gets to close to baby (calf)!

• Your local movie houses may or may not have actually agreed to be on the list of theaters currently accepting MoviePass 2.0, but—much like the original launch—they're along for the ride anyway. Read Robert Ham's breakdown of the benefits and bummers of MoviePass' return.

• IF YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT THE CHART BELOW, check out Wm. Steven Humprehy's weekly Pop Quix PDX for completely subjective questions and answers about both topical and bizarre recent headlines!

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Environment Yesterday 8:50 AM

Climate Activists To Protest Zenith Oil Along the Willamette River

The demonstration is the latest effort to get the oil transport company's permits reversed at the local and state level.

Ever since the city of Portland granted a land use permit to oil transport company Zenith Energy last fall, backpedaling on its August 2021 decision to deny the permit on the grounds that Zenith's operations were in conflict with the city's climate goals, climate activists have called on the city to reverse course once again. 

Activists failed to rouse Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan, who previously oversaw the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), which granted Zenith's Portland permit. They were again disappointed after failing to gain ground with current BDS Commissioner, Carmen Rubio. Rubio previously said climate issues top her political priorities list, but the commissioner didn't move to reverse the Zenith agreement.  

Zenith opponents aren't backing down. This Sunday, June 11, a group of activists led by anti-oil and gas direct action group Mosquito Fleet will gather at Cathedral Park to call on Portland City Council to rescind the permit. Activists plan to form a fleet of kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, and motor boats on the Willamette River under the St. Johns Bridge—about two miles north across the river from the Zenith Energy Terminal on Northwest Front Street—to demonstrate against the crude oil transport company. 

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EverOut Thu 3:14 PM

Ticket Alert: Janelle Monáe, Nikki Glaser, and More Portland Events Going On Sale This Week

Plus, Queens of the Stone Age and More Event Updates for June 8

Let multi-hyphenate superstar and electric lady Janelle Monáe transport you to the Age of Pleasure this September. Also this fall, the sound of guitar solos will fill our city as Queens of the Stone Age and Tool have both announced local tour dates. Plus, get ready for good girl Nikki Glaser

ON SALE FRIDAY, JUNE 9

MUSIC

Agalloch
Crystal Ballroom (Sat Sept 23)

Ben Howard
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Wed Nov 8)

Boris & Melvins
Roseland Theater (Thurs Aug 31)

Read on EverOut »
Movies & TV Thu 1:41 PM

What Does MoviePass 2.0 Mean for Local Theaters?

Local cinemas may not have agreed to be part of this reincarnated movie subscription service—but they're going along for the ride anyway.

In 2011, an upstart start-up arrived on the scene with the intent of disrupting the traditional methods of moviegoing—before flaming out spectacularly eight years later. 

While active, the folks behind MoviePass—a service that at one point allowed subscribers to watch a movie per day for a ridiculously low monthly fee—burned through millions of dollars and the patience of its users. Its subscription fees and terms of service kept changing in response to demand, technical glitches, and the fury of the major studios and theater chains. Surprising few, the company shuttered in 2019. 

Knowing all that, how in the hell is MoviePass back in the world of the living and what does this mean for our local theaters? And why on earth am I so excited about its return?

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LET'S GO, BRAINY BOTTOM! It's time once again to put your brainy-brain to the test with this week's edition of POP QUIZ PDX—our weekly, local, sassy-ass trivia quiz. And this week, we've got lotsa Qs about Oregon booby trap makers, local wild animals on a pet-trampling rampage, and... guess what? It's the MERCURY'S 23rd BIRTHDAY! (What did you get us?? 😃)

But before we continue... HOW DID YOU DO ON THE PREVIOUS QUIZ? Ooh-la-la, verrrrry good! And I especially liked your idea for a new Rose Festival event! (Hear that, organizers? So it is written, SO IT SHALL BE DONE! 🐶🌭)

OKAY, TIME FOR A NEW QUIZ! Take this week's quiz below, take our previous pop quizzes here, and come back next week for a brand spankin' new quiz! (Having a tough time answering this quiz? It's probably because you aren't getting Mercury newsletters! HINT! HINT!) Now crank up that cerebellum, because it's time to get BRAINY!

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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! The Mercury's SANDWICH WEEK is still going on—but only until Sunday, so make sure to grab an 8 dollar sandwich from top-notch spots around the city before it's too late. You can find all the details here

The only thing better than sandwiches? News roundups. So let's get into it.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Portland City Council did as everyone expected and voted "aye" to ban daytime camping from city-owned property (you know, the plan that's going to be "impossible to comply with.") The only "no" vote came from Commissioner Carmen Rubio. But Commissioner Mingus Mapps didn't vote either, even though he supposedly supports the policy, because he's in Washington, D.C. on his transportation grindset. Seems a little convenient, if you ask me. Either way, the ordinance—which will be needlessly cruel AS WELL AS ineffective—passed. Our Courtney Vaughn has more

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News Wed 8:21 PM

City Council Approves Daytime Camping Ban; Legal Challenges Could Arise

Portland leaders are facing questions about the city's ability to police unsanctioned homeless sites.

An ordinance that heavily restricts where and when unhoused residents can rest in the city was approved by the Portland City Council 3-1 on Wednesday, June 7. Commissioner Carmen Rubio was the lone “no” vote. Commissioner Mingus Mapps was absent.

The ordinance was brought forward by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office the week prior, drawing five hours of public testimony and written comments from almost 500 people.

Wheeler’s office says maps of acceptable areas to set up tents and sleep will be released by the city, for the thousands of people impacted by the new ordinance.

The new ordinance, which takes effect July 1, updates city code to prohibit camping from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in many public spaces throughout the city, including parks, and within 250 feet of schools, child care centers, construction sites, environmental overlay zones, and established safe rest sites. Violators could be fined up to $100 and/or sentenced up to 30 days in jail.

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Hear In Portland Wed 1:00 PM

Hear in Portland: The Prids Shoegaze the Stage at Lollipop Shoppe

Plus, Mississippi Records releases Be Present Art Group's debut EP, and Janelle Monae's Age of Pleasure is upon us!

We’re almost to summer, music nerds! Whether you’re into rock, jazz, or pop, there’s a little something for everyone this week, thanks to an increasing amount of genre-fluidity running rampant these days. Here are two shows and one new release to dig into this month and beyond... right Hear in Portland!


MUST SEE:

Upcoming local show(s) featuring local artist(s).

The Prids 

One of Portland’s most enduringly epic rock groups, the Prids, will soon bring their atmospheric indie shoegaze to Lollipop Shoppe's intimate stage. While they haven't released a proper album since 2018’s Do I Look Like I’m In Love, there were a number of worthwhile reissues in 2020 (a fine thing to do in 2020), and last spring the group put out a two-pack of singles, including “Small Amounts,” and “Liar of My Dreams.” The former track features hushed vocals and an eerie energy, to compliment lyrics about emotional unavailability: “We go through with it/ Half way out the door/ You want apologies/ You’ve given your last tour.” In keeping with this show’s dark-ish vibes, support comes in the form of gothic post-punk from fellow Portland bands Vueltas, as well as experimental/industrial trio Ism. (Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Fri June 9, 8:30 pm, $18, tickets here, 21+) 

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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! Do I need to remind you how much you love SANDWICHES? Well, then do I need to remind you that the Mercury's SANDWICH WEEK—featuring one-of-a-kind creations made by the city's top sammy makers for only 8 bucks each—is ending this Sunday? Don't panic, but it would BEHOOVE YOU to get all the info you need right HERE. It may also behoove you to check out this NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Portland city employees—the ones who do all the heavy lifting work on budgets, data analysis, developing policy, and lots more—have had it up to HERE (gesturing just about a foot over my head) with the shit pay they've been receiving and have formed a union to start getting what they're due. Check out this great explainer article from our Courtney Vaughn about this exciting new chapter for city employees.

• Note: Portland City Council is scheduled to vote on the mayor's cruel plan to criminalize the homeless today at 3:30 pm. Stand by for our wrap-up, and get the background here.

• As you may have heard, six women have been murdered recently and their bodies found in both Oregon and Washington. Portland Police were quick to issue a statement saying the murders were not connected, and... what's this? A source close to the investigation told the O that actually three of the six had been "known to frequent Southeast 82nd Avenue and an area near the Clackamas Town Center," and it's far too early in the investigation for the police to come out with such a careless statement—but isn't that kind of par for the course?

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News Tue 4:08 PM

Portland City Employees Form New Workers Union

More than 700 professional workers are now eligible to join an independent union for Portland employees.

Employees at the city of Portland just formed Oregon’s second-largest independent labor union in the state. 

Professional employees of the city voted Tuesday, June 6, to unionize as the City of Portland Professional Workers (CPPW). 

A recent election saw 306 of 385 eligible employees vote in favor of the effort, representing 54% of all eligible employees. Organizers say efforts have been in the making for the past four or five years, spurred in part by salaries that haven’t kept pace with inflation.

“Effectively, our staff for the last three years have been working as hard, if not harder, than anyone else in the city because of inflation,” Connor Anderson, an outreach coordinator with the new union, told the Mercury on Tuesday. “One of the chief motivating factors for many folks is simple pay equity.”

Anderson said the group hopes to begin bargaining in August or September.

The new union represents professional positions, including coordinators, data analysts, policy developers, administrators, financial analysts, multimedia specialists, technology business representatives, and hearings officers. 

The group doesn’t include city commissioners’ direct staffers.

Kari Koch, CPPW organizing committee president, said the new union comprises employees whose expertise helps keep the city functioning. 

“City workers came out strong to say that we want a voice at the table,” Koch stated in an announcement of the new union. “CPPW members hold critical jobs in the city. We keep programs running, turn raw data into meaningful policy options, balance the books, and are helping guide Portland through the charter reform transitions. Our members work hard for the City and now are organizing for the respect we deserve.”

The Professional Workers are among the last city employees to join a union. Other employees are part of larger, national labor groups, Anderson noted. There are more than 700 employees who are now eligible to join the CPPW. 

Robert Pineda, who also serves on the organizing committee, said the city’s other unionized employees were often given more autonomy than professional workers.

“It’s been our members who’ve felt the sting of budget cuts, furloughs, and layoffs first,” Pineda said in Tuesday’s announcement. “While our unionized coworkers got the regular salary increases they deserved, and their rightful seat at the table to negotiate how best to deal with budget cuts, our members were lucky if they got two percent annual performance raises and are often the first ones on the chopping block. No more.”

The city of Portland employees are the latest in a wave of unionization efforts at businesses, restaurants, and nonprofits, small and large. 

In 2021, Burgerville employees signed their first union contract. Eight New Seasons Market locations are now unionized. Workers at Portland and Eugene locations of sporting goods and outdoor wear company, REI, have attempted to unionize, alongside Starbucks employees at a handful of Portland cafes, with mixed success.

News Tue 12:25 PM

Mercury Writers Take Home a Box Full of Journalism Awards!

Check out the stories which won a slew of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Let's pause for a moment to recognize and celebrate the eye-popping talent of our Mercury writers... many of whom snagged awards this year for excellence in journalism and culture writing from the Oregon chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for stories published in the Mercury and elsewhere! Let's check 'em out:

Hard News category (second place): Former Mercury news reporter Isabella Garcia for her February 2022 feature, "Pumping the Brakes: How Can Portland Slow Its Rising Traffic Fatality Rate?" Isabella dug deep into the numbers, reporting on a startling rise (30 percent) in traffic-related deaths, and what the city is doing to slow down speeding drivers.

Review category (first place): Mercury Arts & Culture editor Suzette Smith for her March 2022 food review "Astral PDX's Han Oak Pop-up Is a "Fucked-up Good" Exploration of Mexican Cuisine." Suzette's smart and drool-worthy description of Astral PDX's five course prix fixe meal was a delight for all the senses.

Education reporting category (second place): Mercury News Editor Courtney Vaughn's (during her tenure with Pamplin Media) article "Teachers Say Special Education Is in Crisis." Special education teachers are understaffed and underpaid to the point where a crisis is imminent, and Courtney's deep dive into the situation was illuminating.

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