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Good Afternoon, News: City Strike Ends, Central Library to Close for Renovation, and Earthquake Devastates Turkey and Syria
By Abe Asher 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.  IN LOCAL 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.  Over 600 City of Portland maintenance and operations workers ended their strike Sunday after reaching a tentative contract agreement with the city, securing higher cost of living increases. — Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 6, 2023 • 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. • Fred Carlo, the Portland butcher behind Salumeria di Carlo, died at the end of January at the age of 72. Carlo, who in his later years sold his sausages at the Portland Farmers Market, was one of the most notable figures in the city's specialty meat movement.  Hear ye! Hear ye! Get the latest garbage-y gossip with THE TRASH REPORT. This week: boring balloons, Portland sucks (allegedly), and... why does that cat look like Matt Damon? 😼 — Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 6, 2023 • Damian Lillard has been on absolute tear of late, and was named Western Conference Player of the Week for a second straight week on Monday. Lillard averaged nearly 40 points-per-game last week, which is somehow considerably more than the 24 points I scored in our sixth grade season finale in what was the crowning achievement of my Portland Parks & Rec basketball career.  IN NATIONAL NEWS:  • A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has devastated parts of Turkey and Syria, killing more than 3,400 people and leaving thousands more injured in an area already dealing with the trauma and displacement caused by the Syrian civil war. Recovery efforts are ongoing.  ‘There is nothing left’: earthquake adds to suffering in war-torn Syria — The Guardian (@guardian) February 6, 2023 • Residents on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border near East Palestine, Ohio are being asked to evacuate by the governors of both states because of a rail car that's at risk of exploding after a derailment on Friday night. People within a one-mile radius of the rail car who do not voluntarily leave may be arrested.  • From Atlanta to Liberia, forest defenders are putting their lives on the line to protect the sacred. This NPR piece provides a look at the work people throughout West Africa are doing to shield biodiversity hotspots like forests and lagoons from development and exploitation, complete with a number of beautiful photos. As early as this week, the single worst judge in the federal judiciary—Matthew Kacsmaryk, a far-right Trump nominee—could outlaw the abortion pill in all 50 states, instantly upending abortion access even in places where it remains legal.How we got here: — Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) February 6, 2023 • If you have the time for a longer read this afternoon, I highly recommend this piece. Phoenix is the fastest-growing city in the country for Black Americans outside of Texas, but many of the people who move there leave after less than a year. This article takes a look at why.  • President Joe Biden will take to the Capitol tomorrow night to deliver the State of the Union address, and you'll never guess who embattled-serial-liar Rep. George Santos is bringing as his guest.  • Finally... a very nice moment from Buenos Aires.  AMAZING MOMENT AT LA BOMBONERA After his 100th appearance for Boca Juniors, midfielder Pol Fernández meets with a special-needs fan and presents him with his jersey. Fan's emotional response to the interaction is everything that's good about football. 💙💛 — Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) February 6, 2023

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. by Suzette Smith 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. Despite the trickiness of moving furniture and staff—plus installing technology—in a short-term space, MCL views the pop-up as an important offset to a lack of digital access the prolonged library closure will cause. "The focus is really around providing technology, as a fundamental service for people who rely on it at Central," Cunningham explained. "For a lot of people, that access is a necessity." Central Library closed for three months in 2022, closing August 1 and reopening promptly on November 1. When that closure was announced, there were plans for a mobile RV to "provide wifi, technology loans, books, 1:1 assistance, and other resources" to library users for the duration. That never materialized, but the project is still in the works. MCL has the RV and will likely send it to neighborhood libraries when it's up and outfitted. The 2022 closure addressed primarily outside renovations: two outdoor public terraces, new ramp access, first floor restroom remodeling, and set-up for the longer work. Both updates are part of a 2020 voter-approved Library building bond, aimed at updating technology throughout the library system and helping it "change and grow along with the community." Central's renovation is the largest "refresh" project in the plan and will involve removing all the books and shelving in public areas to make way for the following renovations, described in an MCL press release: • Replace carpeting for all three public floors• Provide fresh paint in large public spaces• Improve shelf height and orientation to create more space for people and better sight lines• Add many more USB and electrical outlets throughout public spaces for personal and library devices• Renovate the second and third floor restrooms with new fixtures, counters, flooring and tile• Expand and renovate the existing first floor family restroom and add a second family restroom adjacent to the existing one• Create a designated teen space with comfortable seating and a future gaming room• Add new comfortable and flexible seating• Add a new, large flexible space for programs and public meetings• Improve existing meeting spaces• Reorganize collections, including moving some material to the Operations Center where it can be more quickly processed• Install automated material handling to the increase efficiency of checking in and sorting books, freeing up staff time for other work• Introduce scannable bar-coded crates and ergonomic carts and bins for books and materials• Repair aging electrical components on movable high density shelving• Move the Friends of the Library store into the first floor lobby The Library bond is also building new libraries: A brand new Holgate Library (at the former Holgate location), a new library in East Portland that is similar in size to Central, and a Northwest Portland library, at NW 20th Ave. and NW Pettygrove St., twice the size of the current one on NW Thurman St. Renovations are also in the works for Midland, Albina, Belmont, St. Johns, and North Portland library branches. You can vote on North Portland's redesign until February 13.

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 by EverOut Staff 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. MONDAY FILM Eraserhead in 35mmIn 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)

City of Portland Worker Strike Ends with Contract Compromise
While workers won higher cost of living increases, fear of rising costs in Portland remains. by Isabella Garcia 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?” Portland City Laborers (PCL), a subset of Laborers International Union of North America Local 483, initiated a strike Thursday, February 2, after trying to negotiate a new contract with the city of Portland for over 10 months. Workers wanted higher guaranteed wage increases and no cap on yearly cost of living adjustments. The city, which said that it didn’t have enough money to meet PCL’s contract requests, countered with a five percent cost of living increase this year and a one percent guaranteed pay increase. The tentative agreement reached by PCL and the city allows for a five percent retroactive pay increase in July 2022, a five percent increase in July 2023, and cost of living increases based on the Consumer Price Index in 2024 and 2025. All workers will also receive a three percent pay increase and specific workers will receive additional pay adjustments to make their wages competitive with the private sector. The agreement must be ratified with a vote from PCL members as well as approval by Portland City Council to go into effect. According to Local 483 bargaining member Ben Nelson, the city had given negotiators a final offer the day before the strike, but was willing to make more concessions once over 600 workers walked off the job last week. “After the strike [started], they were more willing to talk about things,” Nelson told the Mercury. “We were able to meet the next day. It took 12 hours, but we were able to get some movement.” While union members said they were relieved that a tentative contract had been reached, speakers at the rally Sunday touched on their concerns with the lack of working class representation on City Council and the rising cost of living in Portland. “We need leaders who are going to value bargaining in good faith,” Janette, a city transportation worker and member of Democratic Socialists of America, said. “Until we get some working class folks on the city council, I’m really worried we’re not going to have that.” PCL member Will Tucker thanked union members for taking the risk of going on strike, noting that it was an investment in themselves as well as future workers. “This is a fight so that we can have people live in the city where we work,” Tucker said. “This is a fight so that the jobs will be here for the next generation.”

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. by Elinor Jones 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: Some say I have a one track mind but are we absolutely sure that the Chinese balloon isn't a just a giant condom? — Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) February 3, 2023 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.  Updates for February It's February now, and as the highly-evolved people that we are, we've turned to a giant rodent to predict our weather future. According to Punxsatawney Phil, we're in for six more weeks of winter. And hey, did you know that other places have a special groundhog that they turn to for meteorological advice? It's true! But sadly for the town of Val-d'Espoir, Quebec, when they went to rouse their groundhog, Fred, from his den, he was dead, and the town went forward with their event using a stuffed animal—which is about the bleakest shit I've ever heard. So I looked it up and it turns out that groundhogs usually only live for about three years, and Fred was freaking NINE, so it seems like somebody should have checked on him at some point before they got everybody all psyched up on seeing him! It'd be like gathering the townspeople to celebrate a human being turning 200 years old and then they were dead. Like, what did they expect? Another thing that happens in February is that it's Black History Month, which I always love because a lot of smart people share smart things and beautiful art. Then there's how the Miami Police Department attempted to celebrate Black History, which was neither smart nor beautiful: They unveiled a new police car. According to the Miami Herald, "the red, yellow, green, blue and pink vehicle includes Black fists raised in protest and an outline of Africa." Hello, 9-1-1? I'd like to report a crime, and that is how criminally misguided a painted cop car as a tribute to Black Americans is! Twitter used @gummipies summed up the fuckedupedness better than I ever could: Imagine getting racially profiled by a cop in a Kente cruiser — neurodelicious, Black 🌟🌈🍯 (@GummiPies) February 2, 2023 Stiff Upper Lip < Bloated Lower Lip Conservative man who will not stop talking, Ben Shapiro, seems to have a thing for public humiliation and now it's thanks to some unfortunate lip filler he obtained. No shade on fixing up a rusty face (I personally love the glossy flat expanse that is my botoxed forehead), but either be honest about it, or be more subtle so there isn't an entire instagram account devoted to tracking the movement of your bottom lip.  @arden_rose #stitch with @real.benshapiro ♬ original sound - Arden Rose Keep Telling Them Portland Sucks The Willamette Week recently ran a cover story about how six people they talked to are leaving Portland due to high taxes and perceived lawlessness. Meanwhile, Fox 12 let it slip that Portland is nowhere near being the most dangerous city in the United States. But hey, best of luck to "the Willy Week Six," and feel free to keep telling everyone that Portland sucks even though it doesn't. We need more negative attention. Keeps away the nerds. Unfortch, it seems that we are keeping away one person who is decidedly not a nerd: Beyoncé released the schedule for her upcoming world tour and Portland did not make the cut. She'll go to Seattle, which is close enough, although that does make it a lot more expensive for us to attend. Beyoncé in 2022: Quit your job! Me: Okay! Beyoncé in 2023: Have a bunch of disposable income! Me: Aw, crap. Get This Cat! Whenever I'm up against any sort of tiny deadline, I must first review all of the available pets at the Oregon Humane Society, and I was delighted by this darling boy, Tucker: Tucker is 1 year old and weighs 11 lbs, but most importantly, he looks exactly like Matt Damon. Remember a few years ago when every movie poster was just a bunch of words on Matt Damon's face? Because look: For only $100 you can adopt Tucker and get years of snuggles and purrs, plus that amazing poster I just made in Canva for free. Wow! On that note, I gotta scram, I totally just beefed this deadline while making that dumb poster and I gotta lie low for a while.  In secret,

Good Morning, News: City Worker Strike Is Over, a Terrifying Double Earthquake in Turkey & Syria, and Beyoncé  Breaks Alllll the Records
By Wm. Steven Humphrey 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. IN LOCAL 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. 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. — Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 3, 2023 • 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. In its Portland bid, Urban Alchemy said it would cost $5.1 million a year to operate a 150-person site. That's $34,000 per person. A studio apt would cost $15k to rent and supportive services @$15k per year would still be cheaper and folks would be housed. — Andy Miller (@pdxAndy) February 5, 2023 • Remember the guy who was rescued by the Oregon Coast Guard last week when the yacht he was on capsized in rough seas at the mouth of the Columbia River? Turns out... he stole that yacht. And also it turns out... he left a dead fish on the front porch of the Goonies house in Astoria? (Why do I feel these crimes are just the tip of this particular guy's iceberg?) • If you're looking for some hot new music coming out of the PNW, then don't miss our team-up of Suzette Smith and Megan Seling as they introduce ten certifiable BANGERS in the debut edition of Ten Picks for Bandcamp Friday. • Stern reminder: Don't be a "Valentine's Butthole"! Send your sweetie a FREE Mercury Reader Valentine for the whole world to see! (Did we mention it's free? It's FREE!)   Put on your smarty pants, it's time to see how YOU score on this week's tricky POP QUIZ PDX! This week: Entitled Portland white guys, who's playing Nike's Phil Knight in the movies, and... guess what... you're marrying a robot! 😯🤖 — Wm. Steven Humphrey (@WmSteveHumphrey) February 3, 2023 IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS: • A massive double earthquake in Turkey and Syria has so far killed more than 2,300 people. The first was a 7.8-magnitude quake that was soon followed by another at 7.5-magnitude that leveled buildings, and left hundreds buried in the rubble. Rescue operations are underway in what already is being called a humanitarian crisis. Earlier at 13:24p Turkey time, there was *another* M 7.5 earthquake. Under normal circumstances, this alone would be catastrophic. But was after the earlier M 7.8 one and countless aftershocks.Many more buildings collapsed. Reports of rescuers trapped. — zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) February 6, 2023 • China is acting all mad because we shot down what they are still calling "a weather balloon." Meanwhile I personally can't understand why we're still talking about this at all.  • Congratulations on record breaking wins by Beyoncé at last night's Grammys, where she took home a whopping 32 (!) awards. Another record breaker: Singer Kim Petras (of that Sam Smith banger "Unholy") who is the first transgender woman to bring home a Grammy. 50-year anniversary of hip-hop performance at the #GRAMMYs by some of the greats including RunDMC, LL Cool J, Salt N Peppa, Ice T, Queen Latifah, Wu-Tang, Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Nelly, Too Short, GloRilla, The Roots, and more... — Leon Carrington (@LeonCarrington) February 6, 2023 • Bad news for Trump, the Koch organization (the megalomaniacal villains who are the biggest funders of Republican bullshit across the country) say they will once again be throwing their money in the upcoming election behind a single GOP candidate—but it ain't gonna be Trump. • And finally... here's your Monday dose of TRUTH. Millennials and Gen Z have no idea that the most bonkers social network is actually Nextdoor. — Philip Bump (@pbump) February 5, 2023

Make Up Your Mind, Portland
By Anonymous I spent the past twenty years listening to people complain that there are too many people moving here, that everything is getting too expensive, that this city was cooler back in the 90's when it was grungy and dirty and cheap. And then, like magic, fewer people are moving here and the city is getting grungier and dirtier and cheaper. So are people finally happy? No! Now everyone is complaining that too many people are moving out, and property values are dropping, and the city was better back in the teens when everything was trendy and hipster. Make up your mind Portland! Decide what kind of city you want to be and be it. Stop complaining about how much better everything used to be. Be here now.

Which Color is Worst?
By Anonymous Dark Blue, Red, Orange, Magenta, Purple, Lime Green, dark green? Correct Answer: Dark Blue. Dark blue obstructs, impairs visibilty. Next worse color is orange, ore-ange. What color jumpsuit criminals wear? In the rear seats seated, dark windows, passing through town lights.

YOUR SUNDAY READING LIST: Cop Hunzeker Let Off the Hook, City Workers Go on Strike, and Street Disco Dazzles... Your Mouth
By Wm. Steven Humphrey 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 • POP QUIZ PDX 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! 🤖🥰 IANMCDONNELL / GETTY IMAGES • 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 • THE TRASH REPORT What's up, trash pandas? 🦝 It's time to dig through this week's gossipy garbage with THE TRASH REPORT. This week: A Pamela Anderson/Julian Assange hook-up, runaway Republicans, and soooo many delicious Rick Astley references! 😍 MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES / GETTY IMAGES • City of Portland Office Workers Move to Form an Independent Union City of Portland office workers have launched an independent union drive, hoping to represent the remainder of the city's non-unionized staff. “When push comes to shove at budget time, we always take the hit first,” the organizing team said. DOLGACHOV / GETTY IMAGES • Street Disco Went from a Pop-Up to a Brick-and-Mortar Success There’s something about Foster-Powell restaurant Street Disco that makes our food critic want to shout, “I”m back, baby! I’m back!” The popular pop-up's brick-and-mortar success is a good sign for Portland's indie restaurants. Suzette Smith • Tobacco Retailers Sue Multnomah County Over Ban on Flavored Products Unsurprisingly, tobacco and vape retailers have sued Multnomah County over a ban aiming to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in 2024. However, the lawsuit could soon be moot if the Oregon Legislature passes a statewide flavored tobacco ban. MOTOYA NAKAMURA / MULTNOMAH COUNTY • HEAR IN PORTLAND In this week's hot new music column: MAITA's All-Acoustic Album, Portland's brand new Downtown Bloc Party, and A Beat Happening's chic hotel spot!  ANNA LARINA • Mercury Reader Valentines! Hey love birds! It's time to get romantic with the Mercury's FREE Reader Valentines. Submit yours now and prove your eternal love! 😍 • Despite New Leadership, Portland Officials Decline to Reconsider Zenith Energy Deal City officials are holding steady in their decision to green light Zenith Energy’s liquid fuel operations along Portland’s waterfront. Isabella Garcia • SAVAGE LOVE Need sex advice in a hurry? Then this week's edition of SAVAGE LOVE "quickies" may be able to help! (Particularly if you're into "feet.") 🦶 Joe Newton WOW, THAT IS A LOT OF GOOD READIN'. I hope you didn't have any other plans this weekend! Dig in, and remember: Producing all this hard work costs moolah—so please consider contributing to the Mercury to keep it all coming! Thanks!

Good Afternoon, News: MultCo's New Plan to House Homeless, Today in Wealthy Portland Crybabies, and BALLOON! BALLOON! BALLOOOOOOOOON!!
By Wm. Steven Humphrey 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. IN LOCAL 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. OK. Hear me out. Some #PDX city workers are on strike. They should demand the same terms that PPB enjoys. All represented city staff should insist upon equal footing with police. Perhaps then the profound foolishness of police contracts will be seen for what they are— intolerable— Nkenge (@TrueNkenge) February 3, 2023 • 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.) • A Portland protester who was yanked off the street and thrown into a van by federal officers in 2020 has lost his case in federal appeals court, because... *checks notes*... Congress hasn't made a law about the feds kidnapping citizens off the street? It's Bandcamp Friday! The Stranger and the Mercury's culture editors, @mseling and @suzettesmith, teamed up to recommend new releases, reissues, and dance tracks from the Pacific Northwest:— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 3, 2023 • Oregon House Majority Leader Julie Fahey is set to piss off a lot of legislators this session, after she introduced a bill that would ban nepotism among lawmakers. While there are laws against hiring friends and family for most state public officials, the legislature has been exempt... but possibly not for long! (BUT WAIT! If they don't hire Republican Sen. Brian Boquist's nephew Seth to be a legislative assistant, he may be forced to work at a... gasp!... PLAID PANTRY!) Don't be a "Valentine's Butthole"! Send your sweetie a FREE Mercury Reader Valentine for the whole world to see! (Did we mention it's free? It's FREE!) 😍— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 3, 2023 IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS: • And now, the news you can't get enough of... WHAT IS UP WITH THAT CHINESE SPY/WEATHER BALLOON? According to the Pentagon, we can expect the balloon to keep on truckin' across the USA for a few more days and, despite pleas from gun-happy MAGA Republicans, it would cause too much collateral damage to shoot it down. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancelled his trip to Beijing... because he's also just really pissed off by this balloon! And even Democrats like Montana Senator Jon Tester is calling for an investigation into Joe Biden's response to the balloon, because... because... BALLOOOOOOON!! (Now they've even got me angry at that fucking balloon!) • Hey, AOC! Go off on the balloon next! Wow AOC doesn’t hold back here — Acyn (@Acyn) February 2, 2023 • Yet another Memphis cop (number six in a continuing series) has been fired in the beating death of Tyre Nichols after the department concluded the officer violated several bureau rules in the arrest of Nichols, including improper use of a taser. • A jury has exonerated "World's Best Boss" Elon Musk, deciding that he didn’t deceive investors with his 2018 tweets about taking Tesla private, a botched plan that could've potentially cost shareholders millions of dollars. Musk's lawyer was able to convince the jury that just because a stupid person writes a stupid tweet, that doesn't necessarily make it "fraud." Indeed, it should just be a reminder that the stupid person writing the stupid tweet is stupid. Republican lawmaker and notorious fabulist George Santos may have one-upped himself once again. According to Bloomberg, Santos claimed to have been a producer on the musical 'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,' during talks with potential donors.— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 3, 2023 • Good news! The predicted terrible winter COVID/flu wave is quickly subsiding, thanks in part to hitting a "wall of immunity" built by all those who got their shots and boosters and were previously infected. Now we just have to watch out for "zombie fungus." • And finally... going into the weekend with this energy.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 2, 2023

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. by Isabella Garcia 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. Using $14 million in previously undedicated funding from the Metro Supportive Housing Services tax allocated to Joint Office of Homeless Services—the county and city’s jointly funded effort to address homelessness in the region—the county and city will replicate the Move-In Multnomah program, but tailor outreach to unhoused people neighborhood-by-neighborhood. Some of that funding will go into an additional landlord incentive fund that can be used to offer landlords additional money for tenants who they deem risky, like people with a poor rental history. Unhoused people will not have to meet any criteria in order to be housed through this program, unlike other shelter programs that typically don’t allow pets or require residents to be sober. According to Vega Pederson, the goal of Housing Multnomah Now is to get unhoused people into a stable living environment where they can then work with service providers to address their specific needs to transition into permanent housing, like accessing behavioral health services, getting a job, or obtaining an ID card. Vega Pederson said that outreach to landlords and other partners is underway and efforts to house people will begin in downtown, Old Town, and the central Eastside of Portland in the coming months.  “We need more landlords to step forward and provide those living on our streets with a safe place to sleep,” Vega Pederson said, stressing the monetary incentives of the program. Over 200 landlords participated in the Move-In Multnomah pilot program, and the region will need at least that many—though likely more—to meet the goal of hosting 300 people within 12 months. Vega Pederson noted that Housing Multnomah Now will work in tandem with the city of Portland’s Safe Rest Villages and planned sanctioned outdoor camps as a way to offer alternatives to people who are not ready to accept housing. The timeline of the city’s sanctioned outdoor camps is unclear—Portland officials are currently determining a provider to run the camps and have yet to announce any locations—and the camps likely won’t be available when Housing Multnomah Now efforts begin downtown. However, in contrast with the city’s plan to eliminate unsanctioned homeless encampments, Multnomah County will not cite, arrest, or otherwise criminalize unhoused Portlanders who decline to move into housing through this program. “We know that everyone is better off with a roof over their heads and the needed services available,” Vega Pederson said. “As long as there are vacancies in rental units in the metro area, we should be able to move people into those units and help them stay there.” Earlier this week, Vega Pederson also announced an effort to make data on the region’s progress in addressing homelessness more readily available to the public. The county will convene a task force to identify performance metrics for the Joint Office of Homeless Services, which will then be displayed on a public dashboard starting in April 2023.

This Week In Portland Food News
New Jersey Tavern-Style Pizza, "Thiccflurries," and Sushi by EverOut Staff 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. NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS Donburi FactoryThis fast-casual spot specializing in donburi bowls debuted in Tigard in late January, with options like spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, and chicken teriyaki.TigardPickup, delivery, dine-in

Ten Pacific Northwest Picks for Bandcamp Friday: February 2023
New releases, reissues, dance tracks, and wordless scores from Portland and Seattle. by Megan Seling 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: Karma Rivera, "You So Nasty" Gotta start the list with a banger. And February calls for some "I’m singing to the pussy, not rappin," rhythms. Portland-based emcee Karma Rivera fluidly describes her objects of desire to flexing beats that playfully smack in your ear. Perpetually prolific, the November 2022 "You So Nasty" isn't even Rivera's latest release. Earlier, this month, Mercury music columnist Jenni Moore noted the release of “To Rico”—Rivera's collaboration with another local, DJ Lapaushi. You can catch them both at Lollipop Shoppe on March 4. <a href="">You So Nasty by KARMA RIVERA</a> Say Hi, Elocution Prattle This isn’t the Say Hi you’ve heard before. On previous Say Hi records, songwriter Eric Elbogen has used his lyrics to paint vivid pictures of fascinating worlds and characters—he sorts through relatable emotions and life experiences with indie pop songs about vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. (And yes, sometimes just plain ol’ humans.) However, when writing his new album, Elocution Prattle (out February 3), the lyrics never came. In an interview with The Stranger he explained: “It kind of came from depression, to be honest with you. When I say depression, I don’t know how much of that is clinical depression and how much of that is just the collective depression that we all felt in the height of the pandemic, but the way that sadness often manifests with me is silence. I just don’t really want to speak.” So song lyrics never made it onto the album, but his keen knack for melodies did. The result is a double-LP, 20-track instrumental sonic experience. It’s wordless, but Elbogen manages to capture ~vibes~ that are as relatable as any song about a vampire. Here’s to shutting up. (Say Hi hosts an online Elocution Prattle listening party Fri, Feb 3 at 7 pm) <a href="">Elocution Prattle by Say Hi</a> Spencer Doran, Season: A Letter to the Future (original soundtrack) This vinyl drop won't actually deliver until May, but it's worth noting if: you're a fan of Spencer Doran's other music as one half of Portland ambient duo Visible Cloaks, you're intrigued by the concept of the "meditative exploration" video game Doran wrote this for, "in which the main character must save memories of a civilization on the verge of collapse," or you simply like video game scores 🙋. Montreal developers Scavengers Studio just released Season via Steam, on January 31, so it's also possible to listen to all or most of Doran's deft compositions through the medium for which it was intended: play-through. <a href="">SEASON: A letter to the future (Original Soundtrack) by Spencer Doran</a> Lori Goldston and Greg Kelley, All Points Leaning In Lori Goldston and Greg Kelley’s new album All Points Leaning In sits on the opposite end of the instrumental spectrum. The duo recorded the record live at Steve Fisk’s home studio, and it’s mostly improvised. There are no melodies, there are no beats. Goldston doesn’t simply “play” the cello, she draws with it, filling your mind with rough line sketches of deep woods, dark caverns, and thick fog dotted with shadows that move slowly, menacingly. Kelley’s trumpeting is just as abstract—it wails like a siren, churns like the ocean, howls like ghosts. At times it brings light to Goldston’s shadows—in the title track there is a moment when the noises Kelley makes are grounding and familiar—but it doesn’t last long. They hold your imagination captive and overrule any attempt to find comfort. I dare you to listen to it in the dark. <a href="">All Points Leaning In by Lori Goldston</a> Woolen Men, "Forgotten 45" There was a sizable stretch without any installments in "the Woolen Men singles club," which the basement rock trio (but it's a tidy basement) began releasing in May 2020. However, with the surf-flirting "Why Do Parties Have To End?" strolling in through the garage door, back in September 2022, it looks like we may hear from Portland's most-reliable indie rockers more often. "Forgotten 45" is a great little nostalgic track that moves forward with rhythm reminiscent of the New York New Wave—and the ways those bands synthesized feelings of emergency, and grounded them in sturdy, unshakable beats. <a href="">Forgotten 45 by Woolen Men</a> Taylar Elizza Beth, UNDERCOVER LOVERGIRL Taylar Elizza Beth released her fantastic and ass-shaking dance record UNDERCOVER LOVERGIRL on January 17. In an interview last month she told Jas Keimig the record is for anyone who has "gotten hurt and had really gotten hard against love in a lot of ways, but knows deep down that love exists and love is real because they’re full of it.” Dance it out, lovers! <a href="">UNDERCOVER LOVERGIRL by Taylar Elizza Beth, WD4D</a> Neil S. Kvern, Doctor Dancing Mask: Pianoisms On January 27 Freedom to Spend reissued an album, Doctor Dancing Mask: Pianoisms, by experimental Seattle musician Neil S. Kvern. The label’s co-owner Jed Bindeman (of Portland’s Eternal Tapestry) discovered Kvern’s work while digging through an old collection of cassettes in Portland. Dave Segal wrote more about it here. <a href="">Doctor Dancing Mask: Pianoisms by Neil S. Kvern</a> Tourist Activities, Wrong Side / Oh For One Impossible-to-Google Seattle band Tourist Activities released a stellar two-song single on Den Tapes on January 19. It’s bright, explosive pop with Sonic-Youthy fuzzed-out guitars that wrap around your brain like a weighted blanket. Just $2! <a href="">Wrong Side / Oh For One by Tourist Activities</a> Death Cab for Cutie, Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic) This week Death Cab for Cutie announced they’ll release an acoustic version of last year’s Asphalt Meadows in March. The first single, “Pepper” is out now. Even more notable is the release of their cover of “The Plan” by Low, in memory of Mimi Parker, who died of ovarian cancer in November. Just listening to it on loop, sobbing at my desk. It’s fine.  <a href="">Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic) by Death Cab for Cutie</a> Kimya Dawson, Remember That I Love You Finally, if you stayed up until midnight last night, you may have seen Kimya Dawson’s exciting announcement: She’s reissuing her coveted 2006 album Remember That I Love You on vinyl this year. The record has been remastered and this time around it’s being pressed on 180 gram red vinyl. Beautiful. The Bandcamp campaign was fully funded within in a couple of hours, but you still have 30 days left to order. Not into analog? The digital version is available for just $10. <a href="">Remember That I Love You by Kimya Dawson</a>

Don't Be a Valentine's Butthole! Send Your Sweetie a FREE Mercury Reader Valentine!
By Wm. Steven Humphrey CALLING ALL LOVE BIRDS! 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!

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 by EverOut Staff 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. FRIDAY FILM Hollywood at PDX ShowcaseFor 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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