Author: Isabella Garcia

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

by Isabella Garcia

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! 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:

Good Morning, News: Portland Bike Bus, TriMet’s Newest Service Plan, and Parkland Shooter Gets Life Sentence

by Isabella Garcia

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! We’re in for another cool-morning-to-hot-afternoon type of day, with highs in the mid 80s. Now onto the news.

In local news:

• If you ride TriMet, you may want to check out the transit agency’s latest draft service plan, “Forward Together.” The plan aims to increase ridership by adding more frequent service in low-income areas and new bus connections to Portland suburbs, while also cutting some service in high-income, low-ridership areas of the city. The agency is currently seeking public feedback on the plan through the end of the month.

• New research by RTI International shows that Measure 110, which decriminalized possession for personal consumption of some drugs, has had no impact on the volume or types of crime committed in Portland. The research team looked at 911 calls from before and after the measure was enacted—which showed no changes—and talked with over a dozen law enforcement officials, many who insisted that Measure 110 has increased crime. Researchers say it will take another year or so before there is enough data to determine the impact Measure 110 has on overdose deaths and treatment referrals.

• Portland’s bike bus—a weekly bike commute for Alameda Elementary School students—has gained national attention, with features in Washington Post and on NBC News. The biking group, lead by PE teacher Sam Balto, attracts about 200 students to all bike together to school, saving emissions and building a sense of community. If you want to know more, Bike Portland has the best local coverage of the bike bus.

• It’s the triumphant return of HUMP! 2022—America’s sweetest li’l porn festival—for one night only on Wednesday, October 26 at Revolution Hall! GET THOSE TIX NOW!

In national and international news:

• Russia launched another attack on Kyiv Thursday, striking “critical infrastructure” and civilian areas with drones and missiles. It is not immediately clear whether there are any casualties. The Russian military has launched several attacks on southern Ukraine this week as Ukrainian forces aim to recapture occupied areas.

• Over 90 percent of the $800 billion PPP loans distributed by the government during the pandemic were forgiven, an investigation by NPR revealed. The loans, which were created in an effort to keep workers employed, were deemed possibly forgivable when they were administered. However, University of Texas researchers say that 1.4 million of the PPP loans show signs of possible fraud.

• The panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is hosting a public hearing today at 10 am PST. Panel members are expected to discuss Trump’s state of mind and the role he played in the effort to overturn the election.

• Social Security benefits will see an 8.7 percent jump next year—the largest increase in over 40 years—due to a cost-of-living adjustment. The average recipient is expected to receive an additional $140 per month. While recipients say the increase is appreciated, many note that it will be quickly eaten by inflation.

• Today’s song of the day is inspired by the Amazon truck driver who was blasting “Hotel Room Service” by Pitbull while delivering packages on my street at 8 am. What a way to start the morning.