Author: Isabella Garcia

Good Morning, News: Oregon Voter Registration Deadline, DeSantis Challenges Democracy, and BTS on Military Break

by Isabella Garcia

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Good morning, Portland! This dense fog is expected to clear up around 10 am, but the smokey haze is expected to stick around all day—joy. On to the news!

In local news:

• First things first: Today is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the November 8 election. It’s also a good idea to make any updates to your voter registration by the end of the day today. 

• Friday marked the third time this year that the Portland Police Bureau chose not to disclose the name of an officer who shot a member of the public, despite the bureau’s own policy requiring it to do so within 24 hours of the shooting. At first, the bureau broke its own policy because of “doxxing concerns,” but Portland police did not give a reason for why they did not name the officer involved in Friday’s shooting—forgoing accountability for seemingly no reason at all. 

• A Multnomah County jury awarded $10.4 million last week to victims of a 2016 gas explosion in Northwest Portland. The explosion leveled a historic three-story building, ruined a nearby beauty shop, and caused more than $17 million in property damage. The jury determined Loy Clark Pipeline Company was at fault, determining that the explosion was caused by a gas line that was ruptured when workers were installing a utility box.

• A pedestrian was fatally hit by a driver Monday morning on SE Stark St. and 146th Ave., an area long-identified as a dangerous roadway. The city has a $20 million plan to make Stark St. safer that was first developed in 2019, but it has been continually delayed. According to BikePortland, the plan includes a safer pedestrian crossing at the same intersection where the pedestrian was killed Monday.

• If you want to spice up your week next week, why not check out the 2022 edition of HUMP! playing at Rev Hall for one night only on Wednesday, October 26? Nothing beats watching a bunch of 5-minute dirty movies with hundreds of masked, vaxxed, and sex positive audience members!

In national news:

• New videos of arrests conducted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s Office of Election Crimes and Security in August are raising concerns about voter suppression and the integrity of democracy in Florida. On August 18, police arrested voters who DeSantis accused of registering and voting illegally. Several of the voters said they believed—or were outright told—they could vote despite having a felony, due to 2018 state law that restored the right to vote for people with felonies. However, the law did not apply to people convicted of murder or felony sex offenses—a restriction that was not explained on any of the voter registration forms. Of the 19 people arrested, at least 13 were Black and 12 were registered Democrats.

• A trial on Arkansas’s ban on gender-confirming care for children started this week. The ban, which was blocked by a US federal judge last year, would prohibit doctors from providing hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or gender-confirming surgery to anyone under 18 years old. Families of transgender youth and doctors who provide gender-confirming care argue that the ban is unconstitutional because it discriminates against transgender youth and intrudes on parents’ right to make medical decisions for their children.

• All seven members of global k-pop sensation BTS will serve in the South Korean military, putting their music career on hiatus until 2025. South Korea requires all able-bodied men to serve at-least 18 months in the military by the time they are 28-years-old. Some of the older BTS members were already given a delay in the requirement due to the groups role in “enhancing Korea’s international image.” 

• Philanthropist (and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos) MacKenzie Scott donated $84.5 million to the Girl Scouts Tuesday, the largest donation the organization has ever received. The Girl Scouts said they plan to use the money to support staff and volunteers, make camp properties more resistant to climate change, improve science and technology programming for members, and develop a diversity and inclusion program.

• Cat cuddle to Halloween decor pipeline: