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Good morning, Portland! It's gonna cool down a bit this next week, but don't get used to it. With the combined powers of the upcoming El Niño weather pattern and (more importantly) the insane levels of greenhouse gas emissions humans have been emitting for the past century or so, we're in for hot times ahead. So...on that depressing note, let's get into the news.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• In case you missed it yesterday, the Mercury is out in print! Yay! Find a copy of "Say Nice Things About Portland," our print guide to the city, at one of these locations—mapped helpfully for you here.
• Since yesterday's news roundup, Julia Brim-Edwards officially won the County Commissioner race. Read our election coverage to find out more about what Multnomah County voters decided on Tuesday.
• Last week, the Portland Police Bureau announced they'd be bringing back their Traffic Division. But transportation advocates don't want the city to forget about automated traffic enforcement measures, like red light cameras. Get the scoop on how and if traffic cops and red light cameras can work in harmony to reduce crashes on Portland's streets in our latest story.
It’s very disappointing that the City of Portland and State of Oregon have made such small progress on automated enforcement. https://t.co/TGETAUZ55L— Iain (@maccoinnich) May 9, 2023
• Oregon seems to have a lot of money all of a sudden. Our state might have enough of a budget surplus to send a record $5.5 billion back in "kicker" tax rebates to taxpayers next year, plus Oregon's quarterly economic forecast says lawmakers have an extra $2 billion to spend in the next two years than they previously thought. What will they spend it on? Well, since Senate Republicans are still abandoning their seats in Salem, it's going to be tough for them to figure it out.
• Speaking of budgets, yesterday the City of Portland tentatively approved a $7.1 billion one for next year. (Commissioners will vote on the final budget in June.) The mood at City Hall today was tense, though, as Council was divided on Mayor Ted Wheeler's proposal to freeze planned increases to city utility fees, like a 40 cent parking meter fee that's necessary for funding the transportation bureau.
Since I have the mic, let me just ask anyone worried about parking meter fee increases: do you really know how to parallel park? Like, without causing a huge scene and embarrassing yourself in front of everyone? Yeah, that's what I thought. Don't worry, there are seriously so many other ways to get to downtown Portland that don't involve parallel parking or paying the meter. It's gonna be okay, I promise.
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• TikTok is now banned in Montana. Even though I kinda believe that app is rotting all of our brains, this is obviously not great for free speech.
A number of seniors at Texas A&M University–Commerce who already walked the stage at graduation have been temporarily denied their diplomas after a professor ineptly used AI software to assess their final assignments. https://t.co/tUEu4XCcic— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 17, 2023
• Texas is poised to ban transgender medical care for children, including hormone and puberty blocking treatments. It wouldn't be the first state to do so, but it would be the biggest, preventing thousands of trans kids from accessing life-saving care. (Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed a similar bill into law as well.) Of course, this is all done under the guise of "caring for the children"—but let me be the millionth person to say it: These people do not care about kids. Their agenda is unequivocally harmful and we all need to stand up against it whenever we can.
Ukrainian activists, scientists and architects are pushing for a postwar recovery unlike any in history, with a focus on climate resilience and clean energy https://t.co/dVaTkBFYZK— Bloomberg CityLab (@CityLab) May 15, 2023
That's all from me for this morning! Have a great Thursday. If you need to relax, please gaze at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Moon Jelly Cam":
The Moon Jelly Cam is out of this world https://t.co/cnBTbcSoh5— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) May 16, 2023