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! Today is another beautiful, cloudy, cold-as-shit day in the PNW, so grab a hot bevvy before you tuck into this news.

In local news:

• Despite ending its school resource officer program in 2020, Portland Public Schools now has a contract with the Portland Police Bureau to provide security at school sporting events. Cops at school events returned this school year following a series of shootings nearby multiple high schools. So far, PPS has spent $18,837 on police support.

• When Mayor Wheeler reshuffled which commissioners were responsible for which city bureaus earlier this year, climate activists were hopeful when Commissioner Carmen Rubio took over the Bureau of Development Services—the bureau overseeing Zenith Energy's oil operations in Portland. However, despite Rubio's focus on "climate, climate, climate," she has all but announced that she will not reconsider Portland's deal with Zenith to transition its crude oil operations to renewable fuels in five years.

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Good afternoon, Portland! Hope you're enjoying the sun, since it appears to be the last we'll be seeing of it for another week or so. Now: THE NEWS

IN LOCAL NEWS:

EverOut Yesterday 2:00 PM

Where to Eat for Valentine's Day 2023 in Portland

Pix Patisserie, Jacqueline, and More

Whether you're going out this Valentine's Day or planning an intimate dinner at home, we've gathered a selection of swoon-worthy options around town, from Jacqueline's tasting menu to Pix Patisserie's vending machine treats. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


DB Dessert Company
The bakery is offering plenty of special sweets for the holiday, including chocolate-covered strawberries, conversation heart cupcakes, cheesecake cupcakes, strawberry drip cakes, and cheeky sugar cookies emblazoned with the message "I like your package."
Concordia
Pickup

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News Yesterday 1:00 PM

Despite New Leadership, Portland Officials Decline to Reconsider Zenith Energy Deal

Climate activists will now turn their attention to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

When Mayor Ted Wheeler reassigned the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) to Commissioner Carmen Rubio at the beginning of the month, climate activists in Portland had cause for hope. 

The city commissioner in charge of BDS is responsible for the city’s decision about whether to grant a land use permit to the oil transport company Zenith Energy to continue operating its oil transportation facility in Northwest Portland. Each year, Zenith transports hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil by pipe and train from Canada through several Portland neighborhoods to its facility in the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub along the Willamette River before shipping it out. 

A coalition of climate advocates in Portland has long opposed Zenith’s operations in the city out of concerns about air pollution and studies showing that an oil train derailment or an earthquake could lead to a devastating oil spill in the heart of the city. 

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That's right: the Mercury is hiring a news reporter! Could this person be you (or someone you know)? Read the job listing below, and if you know a good candidate, please help spread the word! (But hurry, hurry! The application deadline is this Tuesday, January 31!)

Now Hiring: News Reporter

The Portland Mercury is looking to add a full-time news reporter to our small, dynamic team—known locally for smart, deep, and accessible journalism and culture writing. This position will be primarily focused on short-form reporting, breaking news, and news roundups, but would also provide opportunities for more in-depth reporting as well as culture writing.

The Mercury is seeking applicants who can keep up with the quick pace of digital reporting. We want to hire someone with a natural curiosity that drives their reporting on virtually any subject—including but not limited to environmental justice, protests, racial inequity, labor, and local angles on national news stories.

We also want someone who strives to cover how different issues affect all Portlanders, and who can bring their own lived experiences to their reporting.

Ideally, we’d like applicants to possess the following:

Continue reading »

Emergency warming shelters will not reopen Monday, despite freezing overnight temperatures. According to Multnomah County officials, the wind chill has decreased and temperatures have risen enough that severe weather shelters are no longer necessary. Nearly 350 people stayed at emergency shelters Sunday night.

While the severity of Portland's winter weather has lessened, it is still bitterly cold—temperatures are expected to drop to the mid-20s early Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. According to Multnomah County's guidelines, temperatures must be below 25 degrees for more than four hours overnight or 32 degrees with more than one inch of rain in order for severe weather shelters to be opened.

The Joint Office of Homeless Services, run by both the county and city of Portland, will continue to conduct outreach to unsheltered residents, distributing socks, blankets, hats, sleeping bags, and other cold weather gear. The outreach team will also offer rides to homeless residents who are interested in going to one of the region's limited number of year-round shelter beds.

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EverOut Yesterday 11:00 AM

The Top 57 Events in Portland This Week: Jan 30-Feb 5, 2023

Portland Winter Light Festival, Stuff You Should Know, and More Top Picks

As we round the corner from January into February, there are plenty of events to check out this week, from the Portland Winter Light Festival to Oregon 2023 Lunar New Year Celebration and from Nina Totenberg to Stuff You Should Know.

MONDAY

FILM

Edward II
New Queer Cinema legend Derek Jarman's dreamlike Edward II adapts Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan play to tell the tale of a scandalous gay Plantagenet king, his lover, and a scorned French queen (played by Jarman's muse, Tilda Swinton). His postmodern take on the spicy drama includes a rare film appearance by pop-rocker Annie Lennox.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

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The Trash Report Yesterday 10:00 AM

Rick Astley and Yung Gravy Battle for Ear Worm Rights, Plus Buzz Aldrin, Fireball, and Taylor Swift (i.e. My Kind of Party!)

It's THE TRASH REPORT: All the latest hot gossip—plus an incredible number of Rick Astley references.

Hiyeeeee. It's me, Elinor Jones, hoping you've all had a great week. If you're reading this, it means you survived, which is high praise in this gun-ridden shithole of a country. If your heart's been aching and you're too shy to say it, I hear you, I love you, and I've prepared for you this beautiful TRASH REPORT. 

She's No Stranger to Love

Pamela Anderson is about to release a pair of projects about her life—a memoir, and a Netflix documentary—where she'll get real about her life, marriages, family, and how pissed she was about the Hulu show Pam & Tommy that came out last year. I would like to take this moment to share the review that I wrote of the series which acknowledges how icky and invasive the series felt... you know, in case Pamela is reading this and would like to be friends. She seems like a very nice person! Also, I'd like to hear more about the time she almost hooked up with Julian Assange while goofed up on mezcal. I have questions.

You Know the Rules, and So Do I

The "you" I refer to above is Oregon Senate Republicans, and despite knowing the rules, they seem to be strategizing ways around them. This past November, Oregon voters passed a law that our elected reps can't miss more than 10 days of work or they can't run again, which aimed to prevent the repeated walkouts Republicans organized to prevent votes. But, because the main thing they do at work is avoid work (been there!), they've drawn up new plans on how to lollygag and prevent the body from doing any of the things that they were elected to do. I'll give them this: They know the game, and they're gonna play it. 

A Full Commitment's What I'm Thinking Of

Congratulations are in order for spaceman Buzz Aldrin, who last week made his full commitment to his human girlfriend, Dr. Anca Faur. The wedding ceremony was held the same day as his birthday and the day he was honored for his contributions to aviation, and I really respect that this 93-year-old man simply combined three fancy events so he wouldn't have to keep dressing up and schlepping around. #oldmangoals

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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! Brrrrrrr... it's another sunny and cold day ahead with a freezing morning and highs only reaching 41 degrees—so wrap up yer juicy bits! And now... for a juicy bit of NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• The brutal murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police inspired emotional protest marches in Portland this past weekend, as well as pleas for peace from the usual enablers who support the continued systemic racism and violence of police everywhere. For example, this is from a press release from the Portland Police Association (the union for rank and file cops): "The violent, vicious, and cowardly attack Mr. Nichols endured is a stain on the very fabric of our collective society. The actions of these suspects violate the trust that allows Police Officers to do their jobs." NOTE: Police unions are as much to blame for the death of Nichols as the five officers who murdered him. They've actively fought against transparency and any measure of reform for years, particularly here in Portland (here's a chilling recent example), and have protected bad apple cops at every turn. They just weren't able to protect them this time. Once more for those in the back: POLICE UNIONS ARE NOT A WORKERS' UNION. They have one mission: Protect their own power—nothing more.

• As previously mentioned... COLD! And five severe weather shelters opened in the Portland area over the weekend. We'll be standing by to alert you if the county chooses to do so again tonight!

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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 Moves a Step Closer to Overhauling Government with a New Voting District Commission

Portland City Council appointed the first of three key government transition committees (pledged with dividing the city into four voting districts), bringing the city one step closer to implementing a new form of government by 2025.

LUÍS HENRIQUE BOUCAULT / GETTY IMAGES

POP QUIZ PDX!

Let's go, brainiacs! It's time to play another super fun edition of our local trivia quiz! This week: local kangaroo bans, your choice for what disgusting term to put on your license plate, and LEAVE OUR DOGS ALONE, THIEVES!!   

Getty Images

Eating Alone on Lunar New Year

Rose Wong on celebrating Lunar New Year by eating alone. "Since moving to the United States, in 2009, I’ve lived in cities that became home and found friends who love me almost like family... but on days like Lunar New Year, I feel very far away from home...."

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

GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! Our first story is a rough one, so let's ease into it with some WEATHER. Expect rain tonight, showers tomorrow, and thanks to a cold blast sweeping through the region, possible snow (!) on Saturday night and sunny skies Sunday. And now, grit your teeth for some NEWS.

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

• Police in Memphis, as well as the family of the victim, have been repeatedly pleading for peace (i.e. no riots, please) ahead of this afternoon's release of video that shows the absolutely brutal beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of cops. (WARNING, EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO LINKED AHEAD.) And it's just as horrifying and gut churning as we were told. Despite their pleas, protests across the nation are already planned... yes, including right here in Portland. Mayor Wheeler (along with Chief Lovell, members of City Council, and others) held a press conference at the very moment the video was released to denounce police violence and try to quell any potential public outbursts. Good luck with that. 

IN OTHER NEWS:

• Following frantic cries from Salt & Straw businesses in Portland’s Central Eastside, Mayor Wheeler announced the city will be rushing to their rescue! (Because... you know, squeaky wheel businesses are much more important than people.) Anyway, the plan is to increase police presence in the area, clean up trash, and... oh, here it comes... remove homeless people—something even the mayor admits will only push them to some other neighborhood in the city... maybe yours! (Hope your neighbors are nicer than Salt & Straw.) Our Isabella Garcia has the story.

Continue reading »
EverOut Fri 1:16 PM

Your Guide to February 2023 Events in Portland

Portland Winter Light Festival, Bruce Springsteen, and More

It may be the shortest month of the year, but thankfully, February isn't short on superb things to do. There's still plenty going on in every category of events, plus big dates like Valentine's Day and the Super Bowl. Find all of February's highlights below, with events from Bruce Springsteen to the 2023 Biamp Portland Jazz Festival and from Portland Winter Light Festival to The Portland Mercury's Highball 2023.

COMEDY

Sam Morril: The Class Act Tour
Meteoric NYC funnyman Sam Morril will visit Portland on his Class Act tour, where he's sure to encounter some skinny jean-wearin’ disciplinarians.
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Feb 4-5)

David Nihill
Irish-born comic Dave Nihill draws from his vast international experiences—he's been to 70 countries, and lived in 12—to reflect on cultural norms, drinking sessions, and his life as a slightly confused US immigrant. Nihill's unconventional rise to comedy fame began when he crashed festivals and comedy clubs, pretending to be a successful comic named "Irish Dave." We hope to see more of Nihill's enterprising spirit, and hear that cool accent, in this performance.
Helium Comedy Club, Hosford-Abernethy (Wed Feb 8)

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EverOut Fri 10:59 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Jan 27-29, 2023

Lunar New Year Dragon Dance Parade, Portland Fine Print Fair, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

Get into this weekend's events for free or an otherwise small chunk of change, from the PDX Motorcycle Film Festival 2023 to Lunar New Year Dragon Dance Parade and Celebration and from Flowers for Black Elders to the Portland Fine Print Fair. For more ideas, check out our top picks of the week.

FRIDAY

COMEDY

Butter: The Comedy Show
The silliness continues! This edition of Butter, a recurring comedy show that brings open-minded laughs to Funhouse Lounge all year long, features gag lovers Nariko Ott, Devi Kirsch, Adam Tiller, Ryan Danley, Dylan Jones, and James Hartenfeld. Portland-grown comic Cam Strong will host, and Brett "Breadstick" Sisun will turn up for some groovy tunes, too.
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, $5)

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That's right: the Mercury is hiring a news reporter! Could this person be you (or someone you know)? Read the job listing below, and if you know a good candidate, please help spread the word! (But hurry, hurry! The application deadline is this Tuesday, January 31!)

Now Hiring: News Reporter

The Portland Mercury is looking to add a full-time news reporter to our small, dynamic team—known locally for smart, deep, and accessible journalism and culture writing. This position will be primarily focused on short-form reporting, breaking news, and news roundups, but would also provide opportunities for more in-depth reporting as well as culture writing.

The Mercury is seeking applicants who can keep up with the quick pace of digital reporting. We want to hire someone with a natural curiosity that drives their reporting on virtually any subject—including but not limited to environmental justice, protests, racial inequity, labor, and local angles on national news stories.

We also want someone who strives to cover how different issues affect all Portlanders, and who can bring their own lived experiences to their reporting.

Ideally, we’d like applicants to possess the following:

Continue reading »

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! I saw Infinity Pool last night and LET ME TELL YOU, portraying wealthy villains as murderous hedonists is just a smoke screen for the real shit people do like abusing nonprofit status to make money. Let's get furious. It's time for THE NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Yesterday Mercury News Editor Isabella Garcia broke down an announcement from Portland City Laborers, warning that the union workers—who run much of city’s wastewater treatment, sewer line repair, parks maintenance, and snow/ice transportation maintenance—may need to strike, starting Feb 2, if the City of Portland cannot come to a contract agreement. They have been trying to reach an agreement for 10 months. Late in the day, following the announcement, Mayor Wheeler issued an emergency declaration—which might make it easier for him to cover the services shortage in the event of such a strike. Take note: There's a PCL rally in front of City Hall this Saturday, January 28, at noon.

Wheeler acknowledged that sweeps aren't a solution to homelessness, but he's going to do this anyway:

• Today in CRAB NEWS: Around 200 miles of Oregon coast has been open for commercial crabbin' since Jan 15, and the rest will open for the season by Feb 4. You can recreationally crab pretty much year round, but don't fuck up and keep the egg-laying female crabs. Keep your eyes peeled for mounds / balls of dude crabs bro-ing down together. Definitely get pinched; it's tradition.

• Whimsical graphic artist Mike Bennet has a lot of Portland fans, so I will be interested in whether Portland police actually investigate his burglary complaint

Portland-based journalist Rose Wong wrote a smart, evocative essay about her experience(s), celebrating Lunar New Year alone. It opens with a grandmother, holding her one-year-old grandson on her hip—"giving the chunky boy a boost when he began to slide"—and asking Wong, "Why are you eating by yourself?"

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