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! If it's been too hot for ya lately, today should chill you out a bit with partly cloudy skies and a niiiice high of 69—but wait! The sun will make its full return with highs hitting 80 by Wednesday, and bright skies through the rest of the week. And now, let's chill out with the NEWS. (Although news is rarely "chill," is it?)

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• According to a new Portland State University study, tiny home villages are better than mass shelters at getting people off the streets and into permanent housing, with 52% of folks moving on from the communities of small huts (that come with privacy, locking doors, and electricity) and into stable living situations. (A reminder that these tiny villages are NOT the 1,000 person mass tent encampments with armed guards that was originally proposed by MultCo Commish candidate Sam Adams, which unleashed furious backlash. Mayor Wheeler reduced the number of folks in each village to 150, but it was Gov. Kotek who forced the city to provide houseless folks with tiny, lockable homes instead of shitty tents on top of wooden pallets.) Anyway, see what can happen when you treat homeless folk like human beings instead of garbage? I'm not asking you, I'm asking Sam Adams, Commish Rene Gonzalez, DA candidate Nathan Vasquez, and the Portland Business Alliance, just to name a few.

• Oh, and apropos of nothing... the May primary election is just over a week away (Tuesday, May 21)! Be sure to check out the Mercury endorsements (or our handy Voter Cheat Sheet™if you're a busy bee) when filling out your ballots. I could not be happier with them, because our endorsements are driving local (and out-of-state) conservatives absolutely bat-shit BONKERS. Like my pop always said, "If you're making terrible people mad, you must be doing something right!"

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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 Approves New Public Camping Ordinance, After Facing Legal Pressure

Portland's new public camping laws are now final. Unhoused residents no longer face restricted hours for camping, but they could be fined or jailed for refusing available shelter. A homeless advocate says fines will likely be paid with tax dollars.

Courtney Vaughn

POP QUIZ PDX!

This week's sassy-ass trivia questions include: Zebras! Protests! Elections! And gum! See how well YOU score, smarty pants! 🤓

DEAGREEZ / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Dark Money Casts a Shadow on Maxine Dexter’s Campaign

In one of Oregon’s most progressive Congressional districts, anonymous super PAC money and tensions over Israel’s war in Gaza have taken the spotlight. (You've seen the mailers.)

DARREN415/GETTY IMAGES/STOCK PHOTO
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Singleton is among five candidates running to serve the rest of Susheela Jayapal’s unexpired term on the Board of Commissioners, which is up in 2026. That means voters will have to elect someone to this seat again in two years. 

Singleton, whose background is rooted in social work (she has a masters degree in this area) briefly led the Joint Office of Homeless Services on an interim basis before her departure in 2022. She cites “housing, behavioral health care, and public safety” as her top priorities. Singleton has worked in the governor's office, and also brings institutional knowledge about Multnomah County’s roles and functions. More importantly, she doesn’t have to guess about which policies and programs actually work to reduce and prevent homelessness. 

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Theater & Performance May 10 2:30 PM

Theater Review: Hand2Mouth's Spring Show Speaks With the Living, the Dead, and Death

Memento Mori unfolds as a series of sketches, and when the actors speak, they kill.

Spoiler alert: Everybody dies at the end of Hand2Mouth's Memento Mori. But they also die at the beginning and middle, onstage and offstage, in anticipation and in memory. And that’s the point of this play.

The theatre ensemble's final production of the 2023-2024 season is a series of sketches with only a wisp of chronology. It was worked up by a five-person cast, written by the actors themselves, and based largely on their own experience and memory. 

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EverOut May 10 2:00 PM

Where to Celebrate Mother's Day 2024 in Portland

Bomboloni, Brunch Buffets, and More for May 12 and Beyond

Your mother figure deserves only the best, so we've hand-picked the finest ways to honor her. Whether you want to bestow baked goods from Leahshene Sweets or Sebastiano's upon your mom or take her to Family Fun Sundays, you're sure to find a festive option here. 

FOOD & DRINK

Abba Coffee Roasters and Leahshene Sweets
I'm willing to bet any mom with a sweet tooth (or a pulse) would enjoy some treats from the local "micro-ptisserie" Leahshene Sweets, which will host a special Mother's Day pop-up at Abba Coffee Roasters on Sunday. Abba will offer lavender lattes to pair with Leahshene's lemon lavender strawberry tarts and black sesame yuzu cheesecakes, so you can strike up a discussion about whether or not lavender actually is the new pumpkin spice, as the New York Times recently declared. (I'm sipping an iced honey lavender oat milk latte as I write this, so I'm going to go with yes.)
Pearl District

Read on EverOut »
News May 10 1:35 PM

Portland Japanese Garden Employees Announce Union

After employees revealed glaring pay disparity and racially insensitive behavior, they hope union representation will alleviate workplace concerns.

Portland Japanese Garden employees say they love the work they do, but they need to see change in the workplace in order to continue serving the community at one of Portland's most beloved destinations. 

On April 22, employees from the Japanese Garden's cafe and gift shop announced their intent to unionize with Laborers' International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 483. 

In a statement to the Mercury, unionizing employees wrote that over the past six months, "we have come to the realization that our own needs must be met in order for us to be able to provide a space of peace and harmony for our guests." 

"We believe the [workplace] issues to be mainly systemic rather than personal," the statement reads. "But the uncomfortable behavior many of us have been subjected to by individuals who have taken it personally since we started advocating for ourselves has only reinforced our need for greater protections and outside support."

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EverOut May 10 11:09 AM

This Week In Portland Food News

Roast Duck, A Floating Restaurant, and Spring Carbonara Pizza

The temperature is heating up this week and so is the local food scene. Read on for your weekly roundup of culinary updates, from the new Chinese restaurant Duck Delights to Fried Egg I'm In Love workers' organizing efforts. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

The Deck
Bridgetown Bites reports that this seasonal floating restaurant reopened its doors on Wednesday, just in time for al fresco dining season. Not only that, but they've also added a new dessert menu and Sunday brunch to their offerings.
Sunderland

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EverOut May 10 10:01 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: May 10–12, 2024

St. Johns Bizarre, Shannon & The Clams, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

The weather's heating up this weekend, and we've got a hot and fresh batch of events to bask in, from The 15th Annual St. Johns Bizarre to a Shannon & The Clams Dance Party and from Unique Markets Portland to the Animayhem OVA Festival. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week and our Mother's Day guide.

FRIDAY

COMMUNITY

Old Town Lantern Lighting
It's going to be hot this weekend, so if you’re looking for evening activities to head to when the temperature is more comfortable, I suggest joining the Old Town Community Association and Portland Chinatown Museum in celebrating the installation of 80 Chinese and Japanese lanterns over NW Third Avenue. This symbol of Old Town-Chinatown’s hope and resilience will be toasted with a performance from the Lee Association Lion Dancers and complimentary drinks from A-Z Wineworks and Lionheart Kombucha. The lantern project is a pilot for creating a new permit that allows neighborhoods to string lights overhead, so the more people who show up to appreciate the lanterns, the more likely the permit gets approved and we see gorgeous lighting brightening our streets. SHANNON LUBETICH
(Portland Chinatown Museum, Old Town-Chinatown, free)

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! Inside me there are two judgy people wrapped in bathrobes: 1) A high-80s weekend this early in May is a sign of climate catastrophe and 2) Get out your jorts, we're going to the river but not swimming because Oregon's mountain-fed streams are shockingly cold this time of year. Have a nice weekend! Here's some news to take with you!

IN LOCAL NEWS!
• When I was a wee Mercury contributor, I watched then Oregon governor John Kitzhaber walk onstage at an election party, soundtracked to the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." The people acted like he was Bruce Springsteen; grown men skipped after shaking his hand. It was not even a year later that he resigned office, amidst allegations that his partner had committed ethics violations—using Kitzhaber's prominence to bolster her consulting business. Now, nine years later Kitzhaber agreed to an interview with KOIN where he did not comment on current Gov. Tina Kotek and her attempts at creating an office for her wife, First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson. WHAT DID HE SAY? Terse things, fly-fishing, and our nation's healthcare system failures are "absolutely a ticking time bomb."

• As reported by the Mercury on Wednesday,

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EverOut May 9 4:12 PM

Ticket Alert: Yeat, Sofi Tukker, and More Portland Events Going On Sale This Week

Plus, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and More Event Updates for May 9

Trap prodigy Yeat will launch you into the future on his Live From 2093 tour this summer. Genre-defying electronic duo Sofi Tukker has announced the Bread tour, supporting their upcoming album of the same name. Plus, nu-disco phenom Sophie Ellis-Bextor will embark on her first-ever headlining North American tour following the resurgence of her early-aughts bop “Murder on the Dancefloor.” Read on for details on those and other newly announced events, plus some news you can use.

ON SALE FRIDAY, MAY 10

MUSIC

$NOT: Get Busy Or Die 2024
Roseland Theater (Thurs Aug 22)

Aaron Frazer
Wonder Ballroom (Tues Sept 10)

Choir!Choir!Choir! - "Hallelujah": An EPIC Sing-Along
Aladdin Theater (Mon Oct 14)

Read on EverOut »
Music May 9 2:28 PM

Spend the Night Celebrates Nine Years of Electronic Dance Music Parties

Todd Edwards and Conducta headline the anniversary at Holocene, which also features STN resident DJs tag-teaming the warm up set.

Fans of electronic music seem to live on a constant hunt for what’s next—the subgenre or reimagining of a familiar sound that they can add to their playlists or DJ crates. It’s an endless pursuit that Ben Fuller knows all too well. Since arriving in Portland in 2009, the DJ (he spins as Ben Tactic) and show promoter has spent much of his free time attending dance nights and spinning online mixes in search of inspiration. Now 43, it's somewhat ironic that the creator of regular dance party Spend the Night often wishes he could be in bed by 10 pm.

"I try to as much as I can, but it’s hard,” Fuller told the Mercury. “It’s important to get out and support, especially with some of the newer people in town. Like, ‘Who are you guys? I’m really interested to see what you do.’” 

This Saturday will be another late one for Fuller, as he and his collaborators celebrate Spend the Night's ninth anniversary at Holocene, where resident DJs Nathan Detroit, Leeonn, Sunrise Energy Club, and Tactic will open for headliners Todd Edwards and Conducta going back-to-back playing their unique spins on UK garage.

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Who's ready to have some fun? Well, the Mercury is here to help with FREE TICKETS to see some of Portland's best concerts and events—our way of saying thanks to our great readers and spread the word about some fantastic upcoming performances! (Psst... if you want to say thanks to the Mercury, please consider making a small monthly contribution to keep us alive and kickin'!) And oh boy, do we have some fun events coming at ya this week! CHECK IT OUT!


• Enter to WIN FREE TICKETS to see ALOK on May 19 (late show) at Revolution Hall! 

ALOK visits Revolution Hall on May 19th! Transfeminine performance artist ALOK delivers a distinctive blend of poetry, comedy and lecture to Rev Hall. Note: The early show is SOLD OUT so get your tickets for the late show now or enter to win a free pair!

Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, Sun May 19, 9:30 pm, $35-$65, 18+



• Enter to WIN FREE TICKETS to see Cedric Burnside on May 21 at Mississippi Studios!

Cedric Burnside plays Mississippi Studios on May 21st! GRAMMY-winning blues songwriter Cedric Burnside returns to Portland, sharing upfront storytelling and move-your-feet grooves from his new record, ‘Hill Country Love.’ Get your tickets now or enter to win a free pair!

Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, Tues May 21, 8 pm, $20, 21+

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Pop Quiz PDX May 9 9:50 AM

POP QUIZ PDX: Sassy Ass Trivia About ZEBRAS! PROTESTS! ELECTIONS! And GUM!

See how well YOU score on this week's local trivia quiz!

LET'S GO, BRAINIACS! 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, your brain will be tested on how much you know about zebras, local protests, sketchy election shenanigans, and... *checks notes*... GUM. (Not sure if you realize this, but I seem to write very odd quizzes. 🤔)

But first, how did you do on the previous quiz? Pretty ding-dang good! AND for the first time ever, I am in COMPLETE AGREEMENT with what the majority of you said you would buy if you won the Powerball lottery! (Can you please just buy it for me anyway? 🥺)

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! Get ready for a gloriously sunny stretch of days starting today with the high reaching 83 degrees, and then scootin' up to 90 tomorrow! And then? 532 degrees by Sunday!! (Okay, that's not true... but one day it will be. 💀) And on that dark note, let's read some NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Before we start, I just wanna say "HELLO!" to a bunch of new Mercury readers who have decided to jump into our Twitter feed after learning that we've endorsed Mike Schmidt in the upcoming Multnomah County District Attorney election instead of his (former Republican) competitor Nathan Vasquez, who's also supported by the city's millionaires and conservative class. But here's what most of Vasquez's supporters wanted us to know:

Welcome to the Mercury, you guys! Reminder that election day is May 21.

• After passing a draconian anti-homeless ordinance that criminalized poverty, but could've gotten the city in legal trouble, Portland's city council unanimously passed Mayor Wheeler's new scaled down version. This proposal would still prohibit using propane heaters, making a fire, blocking pathways to businesses and private property, among other things, but will allow public camping if the city cannot provide them shelter (which they often can't). Violators would be fined $100 and could spend a week in jail. Still not great, but of course the increasingly cruel Commissioner Rene Gonzalez threw a hissy-fit about it, accusing homeless people of being a group of being criminals who commit "relentless violence," and create "unsanitary conditions." But he voted for the revised proposal anyway, probably thinking that a somewhat evil plan is better than no evil plan at all. (This is why he was chosen as the Mercury's top Villain of 2023, and it appears as if he's gunning for 2024 as well!) In any case, our Courtney Vaughn has all the details. 

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News May 9 8:49 AM

Portland Approves New Public Camping Ordinance, After Facing Legal Pressure

The new rules no longer restrict camping hours, but still include fines and jail for non-compliance if a person refuses available shelter.

A revised ordinance regulating camping in Portland city limits was given final approval Wednesday, after a previous version was challenged in court.

With a unanimous Portland City Council vote, officers will soon have authority to issue warnings or penalize people living outside if they refuse shelter.

The new ordinance, which will be added to city codes, clarifies the definition of camping (setting up or occupying tents, tarps, sleeping bags, shacks, or similar temporary supplies) and spells out which activities are prohibited on public property and rights-of-way like sidewalks and streets.

The new city codes are a major departure from what was adopted last year. Previous code language required unhoused people to pack up and clear their belongings from public spaces each day from 8 am to 8 pm. Those rules were eliminated this time around, after a lawsuit against the city filed last fall argued those requirements were unreasonable and nearly impossible to comply with.  

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