Author: Wm. Steven Humphrey

Good Morning, News: Arrest Made in Sean Kealiher Murder Case, Unaccountable Cops Get a Pass, and Good News for Battered Dems

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! Get ready for another jump in temperatures with a high of 82 today and leaping up to 99 by Sunday… which sounds like the perfect weather for one those $6 boozy, frozen cocktails your fave bars are serving up during the current Mercury SUMMER OF SLUSHIES! Now let’s serve up some NEWS!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• After years of long (sometimes contentious) investigation, yesterday police arrested a man, Christopher Knipe, for the 2019 murder of Sean Kealiher—a prominent Portland anti-fascist who was killed a short walk away from the now closed Cider Riot. Our Alex Zielinski has the story.

• There are two organizations in town doing their damnedest to make sure cops are being held accountable for their actions, while the third organization—well, they seem to think they’re doing a great job, even though they appear to be fully in the cops’ pocket. Find out more about the “citizen-led police accountability group” FIT COG and the measures being taken to make them more accountable in Alex Zielinski’s newest HALL MONITOR.

• The Oregon Department of Forestry has retracted their state-wide wildfire risk map and has pledged to redraw it after pushback from property owners who called it inaccurate and claimed it would jack up their insurance rates.

• Hey brainy pants! 🤓 It’s time for Portland’s funnest trivia quiz, POP QUIZ PDX! This week: local “shadow” mayors, remembering Portland’s filthiest fun bar, and which radioactive creature would YOU like to be bitten by? 🤔 (Plus win free pizza!)

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• A promising July hiring surge is having economic nay-sayers rethinking their doom ‘n’ gloom attitudes about the country going into a recession.

• After previously holding the Democrats’ climate and tax bill hostage, deeply annoying Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have now BOTH agreed to sign on, clearing it to pass the Senate within days, and giving a much needed WIN for the Dems.

• Four officers in Louisville, Kentucky, are now facing federal charges (for several crimes) involving the botched nighttime raid that ended with them killing an innocent Breonna Taylor. 

• Serial liar and hate monger Alex Jones is being forced to pay $4.1 million to Sandy Hook parents after repeatedly claiming to his dimwit audience that the massacre never happened. Hefty punitive damages could be next.

• After sentencing her to a Russian penal colony for 9 years, the country has signaled it is ready to play ball with the US and set up a possible prisoner exchange for WNBA star Brittney Griner.

• Not great: “Kari Lake, Trump-backed election denier, wins GOP primary in Arizona governor’s race.”

• But this is better:

• And finally… me going into the weekend like…

Good Afternoon, News: Govenor Declares Wildfire Emergency, “Big Red Wave” Falls Flat, and Alex Jones’ Epic Fail

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! I don’t know… if you ask me, a sunny 84 degrees (and 76 tomorrow) sounds like the perfect temperature for those $6 boozy, frozen cocktails your fave bars are serving up during the current Mercury SUMMER OF SLUSHIES! If you ask me, that is. Did you also ask for some NEWS? Because here’s some.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• As I mentioned in this space the other day, WILDFIRE SEASON is now in session. And today Gov. Kate Brown issued her first such emergency declaration of the season, invoking the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to Wasco County’s Miller Road fire, which as of today has already burned around 2,000 acres. 

• It was primary election night yesterday in Washington state, and the “Big Red Wave” that was predicted… turned into a little red drip? Our sister-wives at The Stranger has the results on what was a big night for the Dems and an embarrassment for the GOP.

• In Idaho, the state’s Supreme Court are hearing arguments as to whether or not they should block multiple abortion bans that are set to go into effect this month—and so far, they don’t appear to think it’s their job. OPB looks into the many facets of the case.

• Heyyyy, if you like comedy, one of the funniest lineups of comedians in ages is going down tonight (Aug 3, 7:30 pm) a the Siren Theater! It’s the “Kate Murphy and Friends” show and it features a murderer’s row of the best comedians to ever come out of Portland. (No one will actually be murdered, I don’t think.) Suzette Smith has the deets!

• In the poetic and profound new documentary, Sam Now, a Portland director teams up with his half-brother to track down his mother who left the family when they were young. Chase Hutchinson has an interview with the folks, and it sounds incredible.

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• The good news (and not-so-good news) from last night’s primary elections across the nation: Kansas voters handed the forced birth crowd their asses when they overwhelmingly voted to protect abortion rights in the state. Unfortunately, in swing states such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada, Republican election deniers won their primaries and could be the ones overseeing how future elections in their states are run corrupted.

• In other positive abortion news, President Biden signed an executive order allowing Medicaid funds to be used by people who are forced to travel to another state to get an abortion. 

• In a hilarious turn of events, InfoWars’ serial liar Alex Jones was forced to admit in court that the massacre at Sandy Hook was “100 percent real” after his lawyers accidentally handed over all his previous text messages on the subject to the attorneys representing the Sandy Hook families. Whoopsy-doodle!

• THIS IS GLORIOUS.

• The Senate has overwhelmingly voted in favor of allowing Sweden and Finland to join NATO (noted Republican asshole Sen. Josh Hawley was the only “no” vote).

• An important note before you accidentally say something stupid:

• In what many film smarty-pants are calling an “unprecedented” move, Warner Bros. has announced they will NOT release the $90 million Batgirl movie in theaters or on HBO Max because it apparently doesn’t reflect their new strategy to make only big theatrical releases… and apparently a $90 million movie isn’t that?

• And finally, it’s time for everybody to work a little harder on their “pool poses”! (BTW, there’s no “sensitive content” in this at all. I don’t know what they’re talking about.)

Good Afternoon, News: Patriot Prayer Brawler Sentenced, Wildfire Season Arrives, and Somebody Actually Hired Nick Kristof

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! Looks like we’re finally getting the respite we’ve prayed for from last week’s oppressive heat, and you can expect much more reasonable summer highs of 86 degrees tomorrow and dropping down to 78 by Thursday. THAT. IS. MORE. LIKE. IT. Now allow me to dazzle you with some NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Mackenzie Lewis—a member of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer—has been sentenced to three days in jail after being found guilty of rioting during the May 2019 fracas at Cider Riot. Why didn’t he get more time behind bars? Our Alex Zielinski explains it all for you.

• Last week’s heatwave broke a former Portland record set in 1981 for the most consecutive days (7) with temperatures at or above 95 degrees. The last record was six consecutive days.

• And since it’s August 1, right on cue, here come the first significant wildfires of the season: Lightning strikes set several fires between Bend and Crater Lake in Central Oregon, and part of the Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed due to blazes.

• After failing to get on the Oregon gubernatorial ballot, annoying pundit Nick Kristof announced he will be going back to his old job writing occasionally ill-researched columns for the New York Times. The most interesting thing from the WW article: Apparently he’s been fielding a lot of job offers, including an “inquiry” from the Portland mayor’s office? “Some folks from Portland reached out, but it wasn’t clear exactly how I could be useful,” he told the WW. Welp, that’s one thing Kristof and I agree on!

• Congratulations to Portland’s own comic book shop Books with Pictures, which has been voted the best comic shop IN THE WORLD. (I believe it!)

• Trash lovers, let’s go! It’s time for another edition of Elinor Jones’ THE TRASH REPORT. This week: Quitting your job and loving it, Taylor Swift’s biiiig carbon footprint, and (yum) royal butt stuff! 👑😊

• If you’ve been holed up because of the heat all week, I’d wager you’re just about ready to venture out and enjoy some of the DEEEE-LICIOUS frosty, booze-filled cocktails (all for only $6 each) during the Mercury‘s SUMMER OF SLUSHIES! But hurry-hurry, the refreshing fun ends in two weeks!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—the man who replaced Osama bin Laden, and helped orchestrate the 9/11 attacks—has been killed by a US drone strike, according to officials who also added there were no civilian casualties.

• The first domestic terrorist to face trial for his actions during the January 6 attack on the nation’s capitol has been sentenced to more than seven years in the slammer—the longest sentence given thus far. 

• In sports/deep systemic misogyny news: Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended without pay for six games after 24 (!!) women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. While it’s being called “the most significant punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for allegations of non-violent sexual conduct,” I’m like… that doesn’t sound like much of a punishment? But that’s the NFL for ya.

• RIP Nichelle Nichols, AKA Lt. Uhura from the original Star Trek, who has died at the age of 89.

• And finally… I like what TriMet is doing with their new MAX line.

Good Afternoon, News: Cops Withhold Public Info Again, Dangerous Heat Continues, and a Big Move for Floating World

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! As mayor of the Portland Mercury, I’m making an emergency declaration that you need to beat this oppressive heat with a delicious $6 boozy frozen cocktail, served up during the Mercury‘s SUMMER OF SLUSHIES! So shall it be written, so shall it be law! And now I declare… the NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• HEADS UP, HOT FRIENDS: Portland has been placed under an excessive heat warning through Sunday evening, and as such, the county will be keeping four cooling shelters open to the public at least through Sunday morning. Our Isabella Garcia has the latest details.

• Well that took long enough: Nine months after receiving the largest environmental fine in Oregon history, Malarkey Roofing has reached an agreement with state officials to reduce and monitor emissions at its North Portland facility in the Kenton neighborhood, after it had been spewing 10 tons of formaldehyde per year into the area for nearly a decade. SHEESH! Our Isabella Garcia has more.

• Welp, Portland Police have come up with a new method of withholding public information from the public. The bureau has announced that because of “doxxing concerns” and “possible threats” they will not be releasing the name of the officer who shot and killed an armed man in Southeast Portland on Wednesday. (Since I’ve been dealing with “doxxing” and “actual threats” for years, should I stop putting my name on my articles? And poor me, I don’t even own a gun. Saaaaad trommmmboooooone.)

• RELATED: A grand jury has once again exonerated two Portland police officers for the February killing of Joel Arevalo in Southwest Portland. The officers had responded to multiple calls of gunfire in the area, though it’s still unclear why they fired on Arevalo. Here’s the take home sentence from OPB: “Few additional details have been provided about why officers perceived Arevalo as a threat or why they took aim at him.” 

• For those who live for the drama behind closed doors at city hall (me! me! me!), here’s your must read of the day from Portland Monthly: “Is Sam Adams Portland’s Shadow Mayor?”

• If you’re a fan of one of the greatest comic shops in town, Floating World in Old Town, our Suzette Smith has some exciting news: Floating World is moving out of its long time home, and into… the mall? No really, it’s good news.

• More good news: There’s a butt-load of great shows coming up soon, including a sneak peek at the upcoming Lose Yr Mind fest, a showcase of AAPI artists at Kelly’s, plus great new music from Milc and Zyah Belle! Jenni Moore has the scoop for what’s HEAR IN PORTLAND.

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• The New York Times is putting a spotlight on Pacific Northwest restaurants and how the heat wave is ridiculously baaaaad for business. Portland and Oregon faves Erica’s Soul Food, Nostrana, and Double Mountain Brewery are prominently featured.

• A new, updated booster vaccine that is expected to perform better against the now-dominant COVID subvariant BA.5 is set to arrive in September, and the feds are pushing for those under 50 to wait until then before getting their dose to fend off an expected new wave predicted for the fall/winter.

• The US and Russia are reportedly in talks to bring home WNBA star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan in exchange for a convicted Russian arms dealer—because I guess Russia feels like they don’t have enough of those?

• Still waiting for that Chris Rock “Sorry I was a misogynist shit-head” apology: “Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock and his mother for Oscars slap in emotional video.”

• And finally, be like this groundhog and live your best life this weekend.

Good Morning, News: Heatwave Crushes the Poorest, First Gubernatorial Debate Today, and Beyoncé’s New Album Dropped SQUEEEEEEEEE!  🐝 🍋 💖

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!  You’re in for another HOT ONE today, my friends, with highs expected to top out at 98 degrees, and perhaps 99 tomorrow! Have you been taking my sage advice on “How to Keep Your Insufferably Hot House Cool?” Well… maybe NOW you’ll listen to me! And maybe listen to this NEWS as well!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• As previously mentioned, the National Weather Service is predicting excessive heat in Portland until Saturday evening (and perhaps into Sunday), and as such, cooling shelters will remain open through at least Saturday. Our Isabella Garcia has the latest.

• Three people in Multnomah County alone are suspected to have died because of heat-related illnesses, and an investigation by the county medical examiner is underway.

• Those hardest hit by this blistering heatwave is—no surprise—the community’s homeless and poorest. Here’s a peek of what they’re forced to endure.

• The three major candidates for Oregon governor—Democrat Tina Kotek, Republican Christine Drazan, and Shadow Republican Betsy Johnson—are scheduled for their first public debate today at 2 pm, and you can watch it here.

• In case ya missed it: Portland police fatally shot another member of the public on Wednesday night, making it their second fatal encounter and third public shooting of the week. The suspect was reportedly armed and firing his own gun in the air. Our Alex Zielinski explains what we know as of this point.

 

• IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• A new, updated booster vaccine that is expected to perform better against the now-dominant COVID subvariant BA.5 is set to arrive in September, and the feds are pushing for those under 50 to wait until then before getting their dose to fend off an expected new wave predicted for the fall/winter.

• More missing texts: After the strange disappearance of Secret Service texts from January 5 and 6th, it’s now been discovered that texts from and to President Donald Trump’s acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli have ALSO mysteriously vanished into the ether. A SIMPLE COINCIDENCE, I’M SURE.

• Wishy-washy Democratic traitor Joe Manchin has reportedly agreed to sign back on to the climate/tax package he had previously pooh-poohed after extended talks with Sen. Chuck Schumer—but only after the Dems agreed to lose billions in tax increases against the rich. But don’t get your hopes up yet! We still have “Democratic backstabber #2” to deal with… Kyrsten Sinema.

• Devastating, record-breaking floods in eastern Kentucky have so far killed at least 15 people as rescue operations continue.

• Sounds about right…

QUEEN BEE ALERT! Beyoncé has released her seventh studio album, Renaissance, and you may now commence losing YOUR GOT-DAMNED MIND.

• And finally…. me, going into the weekend like….

Good Afternoon, News: Heatwave Death Count Grows, Pickathon Gets a Reboot, and Manchin Decides Not to Backstab Us for Once

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!  And the heat just keeps on comin’! Expect temps to pop up to 102 tomorrow (!!) and 100 (!) on Saturday before tamping itself down to an only moderately sweltering 94 on Sunday. Take care of each other and yourself… say, with a delicious $6 boozy frozen cocktail during the Mercury‘s SUMMER OF SLUSHIES? Just a thought! And now… the NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• That’s not déjà vu you’re experiencing, Portland police fatally shot another member of the public last night, making it their second fatal encounter and third public shooting of the week. Our Alex Zielinski explains what happened. (Oh, and don’t miss her excellent tweet thread on why you haters need to button it when it comes to our honest reporting on the cops.)

• As previously mentioned, the National Weather Service is predicting excessive heat in Portland until Saturday evening (and perhaps into Sunday), and as such, cooling shelters will remain open through at least Saturday. Our Isabella Garcia has the latest.

• Related: Two deaths have already been attributed to Oregon’s current heatwave. UPDATE: Make that four.

• If you love the Pickathon music fest, you’re gonna lose your goddamn mind this year—because organizers took their pandemic down-time to rework the already great location into something even greater. Our Jenni Moore has your sneaky-peek!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• Wishy-washy Democratic traitor Joe Manchin has reportedly agreed to sign back on to the climate/energy/tax package he had previously pooh-poohed after extended talks with Sen. Chuck Schumer—but only after the Dems agreed to lose billions in tax increases against the rich. But don’t get your hopes up yet! We still have “Democratic traitor #2” to deal with… Kyrsten Sinema.

• Self-described “moderate” Republicans and Democrats (including Andrew Yang) are teaming up to form a new political party that they say will appeal to Americans with “common sense.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA… nope.

• Eight are dead and many more are expected after massive floods wiped out hundreds of homes in eastern Kentucky.

• Today in “good luck with that, shit-head”: “Trump presses his claim of legal immunity from Jan. 6 lawsuits.”

• And finally… wait… WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME??