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! It’s set to be a gloomy yet dry day in P-town and I know you may be feeling a little groggy, BUT SUNSET IS AT 7:15 PM NOW! Let’s jump into the news.

In local news:

• Portland police routinely failed to perform breath tests or draw blood in alleged DUI cases last year, leading to one in five alleged impaired driving cases referred to the DA’s office to fall apart. According to an internal memo from the MultCo District Attorney’s office, a high number of driving while impaired cases could not be prosecuted at all because of a lack of evidence collected by the police.

• Speaking of DUIs, Portland saw another record year of traffic fatalities in 2022. Sixty-three Portlanders died in traffic crashes last year, the same number as in 2021 and another 30-year high. Transportation official point to speeding, dark conditions, and persistent exposure to traffic as key factors in a majority of the deaths. Impaired driving is also cited as a concern in the report.

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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 everyone on this, the Mondayest Monday of the year. Solidarity with everyone out there living with children/animals who don't understand the abrupt change in their schedules. On to the news!


• The national discourse over which books school libraries should have on their shelves is gaining traction in Oregon—specifically, in the West Linn-Wilsonville school district. KGW reports that a group of busybodies has been demanding schools remove some books with LGBTQ and/or racial content, and bless those souls at KGW for taking the space to point out that neither woman leading the movement even has children attending a West Linn-Wilsonville school. LOL.

• Also from KGW: The man responsible for the way most people jump over a high jump is from Oregon! I didn't know that. His name was Dick Fosbury and the move is known as the Flosbury Flop; before him, people used to fling their bodies over the bar sideways or scissor-kick over it. Fosbury passed away last week at the age of 76 but his legacy will live on forever, or at least as long as the high jump is in the Olympics.

• The University of Oregon has announced that its new president will be John Karl Scholz. As a University of Oregon alum myself, my reaction is: colleges have presidents??

• It's getting harder for Portland to keep up with our emergency shelter system during extreme weather events when climate change is making it so extreme weather events are happening all the time. Our Abe Asher has a much smarter and thorough breakdown of the concurrent crises, but be warned that it might make you want to punch a wall.

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EverOut Mar 13 2:00 PM

Where to Celebrate Pi(e) Day 2023 in Portland

Lauretta Jean's, Bakeshop, and More

March 14 is Pi Day, the endearingly nerdy holiday where we honor everyone's favorite mathematical constant (π) with plenty of flaky, golden pies. We've rounded up a list of places offering specials for the occasion, from Bakeshop to Lauretta Jean's. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Kim Boyce's whole-grain bakery is getting ready for the holiday with three different pies, available for pickup this weekend: rhubarb raspberry lattice pie, chocolate cream pie,  and key lime pie with a homemade graham cracker crust. 
Rose City Park
Pickup, delivery

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News Mar 13 1:00 PM

Climate Change and the Housing Crisis are Burdening Portland’s Emergency Shelter System

Emergency officials say the only true solution is housing.

During the many extreme weather events the Portland area has faced over the last several years, from heat domes to snowstorms, Multnomah County’s emergency weather shelters have been a lifeline for the area’s housing insecure population. 

In late February, when the region was blanketed in snow, the county and the City of Portland opened and operated seven shelters over the course of five days—providing hundreds of people with warmth, shelter, and sustenance. 

“The goal is to save people’s lives, and I think because of the numbers that we’re seeing and the cold temperatures we’re seeing, we’ve been successful in that sense,” Rachel Pearl, deputy director of the Department of County Human Services, said. 

But with climate change making severe weather events more common and the area’s housing crisis increasing the number of people who need support, the operation of the shelters is taking an increasing toll on county and city officials and budgets, as well as the community volunteers whose labor the region relies on to run the shelters.  

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Music Mar 13 12:00 PM

Oregon Symphony 2023-24 Season: Cancellations, Crowd-Pleasers, and Comebacks

Budget cuts nixed the 2023 free Waterfront Concert, but the rest of the calendar is built to bring audiences back.

Last Wednesday, the Oregon Symphony announced the calendar of concerts that will comprise their 2023-24 season. The information came at a curious time. Just days before, the Portland Business Journal published a story outlining the post-pandemic struggles the symphony faces. Rent hikes and additional performance fees have cut into their budget, forcing December layoffs of 10 percent of their administrative staff and the cancellation of both their live streaming programs and their free Waterfront Concert, which drew over 7,000 people last summer. 

“Right now, we’re muscling through,” Oregon Symphony’s President and CEO Scott Showalter told the Mercury. “But we’re going to need to continue to have the help from state and federal funds as we recover. It’s going to be a multi-year recovery process. We’re still planning for a bright future. We’ve just got to get people back down to the concert hall.” 

The good news is: The program of concerts that the orchestra has planned for the end of this year and the beginning of 2024 certainly looks enticing enough to make that happen.

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EverOut Mar 13 11:00 AM

The Top 66 Events in Portland This Week: Mar 13-19, 2023

SZA, Everybody Reads 2023, and More Top Picks

Now that we're freshly sprung forward, it's time to make the most of that "extra hour" of sunlight. Get out of your house and into the world with worthy events from Carrie Underwood to SZA and from Everybody Reads 2023: Ruth Ozeki to the Worst Day of the Year Ride.


Kimbra with Tei Shi
You surely know of the New Zealand singer-songwriter from her feature on Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know," which took the world by storm in 2011, but Kimbra is an accomplished artist in her own right. With a career spanning more than two decades, she will support her latest effort, A Reckoning, which infuses polished pop jams with R&B, hip-hop, electronic, and rock elements. NYC-based indie pop gem Tei Shi will open.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

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The Trash Report Mar 13 10:04 AM

Smoking is Officially Not Cool Anymore, Hugh Grant Isn't Cool Either, Thirst Traps are Still Cool, and Bird News You Can Bird Use

Let's go, Trash Pandas! It's time for the week's hottest goss from THE TRASH REPORT.

Hello, and welcome to the Trash Report! I'm your best friend, Elinor Jones, also known as "Portland's Best Kept Secret." (Trying this out—it worked for Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire, maybe it will also help me to land an enhanced NFL contract?) I hope you're having a great day so far, and I hope to make it a little bit better, starting... now:

The Academy Awards Were Last Night

And it was fine. I followed along ravenously, ready to find a moment of chaos to turn into a silly little joke for all of you, but the ceremony went off without a hitch. While I don't think we could have handled another earth-shattering meltdown like "the slap" again this year, we needed something. If not a best actor nominee slapping the host, maybe it could have been, like, a best lighting nominee gently poking an usher. Barely upsetting, but still noteworthy, you know? We deserve that much. When you think about it, it's honestly a little weird that an auditorium full of egos and artists isn't constantly a slapfest. We used to be a country!

For realsies though, it's a good night when cool people win, and I was delighted for Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan to both finally be recognized for their contributions to cinema as prophesized by 1992's Encino Man:

Cool or Not Cool?

Hollywood's Coolest Girl Natasha Lyonne shared on instagram that she has quit smoking, to which other celebrities like Melissa Etheridge and Lily Tomlin responded with encouragement. If Melissa Etheridge and Lily Tomlin were ever in my corner, I'd be pretty sure I was on the right path, so keep up the good work, Natasha! Meanwhile, Hollywood's youngest baby cousin Cole Sprouse recently appeared on the Call Her Daddy podcast while smoking a cigarette like he was on the freaking Tonight Show in 1968. And the way he smokes is just so very... not cool looking, at all, thereby putting a nail in cigarettes' coffin. You've heard it here first, folks: smoking is officially no longer cool, which means some of you are going to have to find another way to let everybody else know that you party. I'm thinking leather jacket? Face tattoo? I don't know, I haven't been cool for years (since I quit smoking, back when it was still cool).

In other "not cool" celebrity news: Gossip site Pajiba posted a pretty thorough breakdown of Hugh Grant being a total dick and it was very disappointing! As a lifelong Grant fan (Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love, Actually are, like, 60 percent of my personality), I don't know how I didn't know this! Up until about 10 minutes ago all I knew about him was 1) blowjob from a sex worker, and 2) those *dazzling* blue eyes. Hollywood's moral compass Jon Stewart apparently called Grant the worst guest to have ever been on the Daily Show and forbade him from returning, and even Drew Barrymore hates him, and she loves everyone. You can click through to read the whole thing, but I must warn you that the picture at the top of the article makes Hugh Grant look extremely handsome and charming, and you might immediately forget everything crappy you will subsequently learn about him! Let me just check that link and... ahhh, damnit! Charmed again!!!!! 

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Transportation Mar 13 9:05 AM

Traffic Deaths in Portland Remain Record-High For a Second Year

Speeding, dark conditions, and persistent traffic exposure played a role in the 63 fatalities in 2022.

Sixty-three Portlanders were killed in traffic crashes in 2022, the second year in a row Portland has seen a 30-year high in traffic deaths. According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) 2022 fatal crash report released Monday, excessive speed, dark conditions, and traffic exposure continue to play a significant role in fatal traffic crashes in the city.

“No one should be killed just by traveling on the streets of Portland, no matter how they travel," Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who oversees PBOT, said in a press release. "I urge everyone to think of this report as a call for us to drive carefully, to never drive while impaired, and to always follow the speed limits and other rules of the road.”

Portland set a goal in 2015 to reach zero fatal traffic crashes by 2025. Despite the city’s “Vision Zero” efforts, traffic fatalities have increased almost every year since 2010. Notably, US Census Bureau data indicates that Portland has seen an influx of nearly 50,000 new drivers since 2010, and the pandemic triggered significant changes in road behavior—including an increase in reckless driving—in the city and through the US.

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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! Expect another soaking start to the week, with lots of showers today through Tuesday and highs around 50. Now allow me to shower you... with NEWS.


• For years historic O'Bryant Square in downtown Portland was an award-winning plaza for the public to gather, and where free meals were distributed to the homeless... until it was closed for structural repairs five years ago. Now the Portland Parks Foundation in association with other groups are rethinking how the Square will be rebuilt—but will it be yet another playground for the rich or a place all Portlanders can enjoy? Our Abe Asher has this fascinating report.

• U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum are putting pressure on the feds to protect folks from the latest Republican attempt to ban abortions nationwide, by suing the FDA to revoke their approval of the abortion drug mifepristone. The decision is currently in the hands of one judge who could reverse the approval, unless President Biden instructs the FDA to ignore the ruling.

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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’s First Sanctioned Mass Homeless Camp Expected to Open This Summer in Central Eastside

According to the mayor, Portland’s first city-run, sanctioned mass camp for homeless residents is expected to be up and running by this summer. California-based (and controversial) nonprofit Urban Alchemy will run the 150 person camp.



Strap on your brain, trivia lovers! Let's see how you score on this week's super fun POP QUIZ PDX. This week: fancy new cop cars, Republican dickwhistles, and SLAP FIGHT! SLAP FIGHT! SLAP FIGHT! 👋


Accused Normandale Gunman Pleads Guilty on All Charges

Benjamin Smith pleaded guilty this week to fatally shooting one person and injuring four others during a mass shooting at a protest near Normandale Park last year.

Mathieu Lewis-Rolland
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parks Mar 10 12:45 PM

Luxury Business vs. Public Use: The Battle for Portland’s Historic O’Bryant Square

Can the public plaza find common ground between social services and business interests?

Of all the places that epitomize aspects of the challenges downtown Portland has faced in recent years, one of the most emblematic is O’Bryant Square—a formerly award-winning public plaza located at the corner of SW Park Ave. and SW Harvey Milk St. that has been closed for the last five years due to structural issues.

In 2022, the city decided to demolish the structurally unsound parking structure underneath O’Bryant Square and fill it with dirt—clearing the way for a reimagining of the square just in time for the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel to open nearby in 2024. When complete, the Ritz-Carlton will be located close to the Multnomah County’s Behavioral Health Resource Center, a day center for unhoused Portlanders experiencing addiction or mental health challenges, and other social service organizations in the area. 

“The stakes are pretty high in terms of creating a space that is welcoming to everybody, as a park should be—one that can serve and care for folks at one end of the economic spectrum but can also be a lively place for tourists and workers and people who want to come downtown and have fun,” Portland Parks Foundation (PPF) executive director Randy Gragg said. 

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EverOut Mar 10 12:07 PM

This Week In Portland Food News

Boba, Bingsu, and A Year of Free Ice Cream

This week, MILK+T debuts a pint-sized new store, Snowy Village brings bingsu and French taiyaki to North Vancouver Avenue, and Rally Pizza is set to return as a pop-up on Pi Day. Read about that and more updates, from Green Zebra’s closure to a chance to win a free year of Nico's Ice Cream, below. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


Ava Gene's and Cicoria
The lauded Submarine Hospitality restaurants Ava Gene's and Cicoria are set to reopen their doors next Friday, March 17. Industry vet Brookes Decker is taking over as Submarine director of operations, while Ross Effinger and Amelia Kirk will serve as co-executive chefs.

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EverOut Mar 10 11:00 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Mar 10-12, 2023

Snack Fest, Irish Festival, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

Go ahead and weigh your weekend options with our roundup of cheap and easy events, from Snack Fest to the Irish Festival 2023 and from Oscar Night at The 4th Wall to Polar Plunge 2023. For more ideas, check out our guide to this week's top events. And don't forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday!



Beaverton Symphony Orchestra: From The New World
For their spring concert, the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra—with a solo from flutist—Adam Eccleston, will pay musical tribute to the blooming blossoms and gradually rising temperatures with inspiring works from seminal composers Wagner, Dvorák, and Francois Borne.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, $10-$15)

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The 18th annual HUMP! Film Festival is here... but lookout! It ends this WEEKEND! 😱

That's right, a brand new lineup of sexy, dirty, funny, kinky, hot, and weird short films are showing at Revolution Hall this weekend, but as we write this, there are only a few tickets left for tonight's (Friday, March 10) double screening! EEEEEK! SO GET THOSE TICKETS NOW AND HERE!

And if you want a horny taste of what you'll see, check out the official 2023 HUMP! Film Festival trailer below!

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! Looking for fun this weekend? Well, may I suggest the HUMP! Film Festival, which is chock-a-block full of funny, sexy, and super horny amateur porn flicks? I thought you might like that idea! But ya gotta hurry... these shows are selling out quick! And now, may I also suggest the idea of some NEWS?


• Yesterday Mayor Wheeler announced the location of the city's first sanctioned mass homeless camp, which will be placed in Southeast Portland near the Clinton/SE 12th MAX stop, and is expected to somehow safely service 150 folks... with security patrolling the perimeter? SOUNDS SUPER ENTICING! In addition, the mayor also announced that California-based (and controversial) non-profit Urban Alchemy will be running the camp. While the city is backpedaling on their terrible idea of actually criminalizing homelessness, instead they hope to entice houseless folks to live in the camp by wiping away old warrants or fines... which kind of insinuates that homeless people are already criminals. 😑 As you can see, there's a LOT that hasn't been thought out about this plan. Our Isabella Garcia has all the details!

• Related: Firefighters were surprised to find a blaze had broken out inside a walled off section of the eastbound onramp to the Steel Bridge, and a person who had been living inside was seriously injured. Questions remain as to how the person got in, but there's no question as to why: The mayor's homeless sweeps (in addition to Commissioner Rene Gonzalez' new asinine and cruel tent ban) is forcing the houseless to become more creative in ways to stay alive, and as we can see, the city's efforts to push them out of the view of the public is putting lives at risk.

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