🌱New Environmental Rules For Oregon + Omicron Breakthrough Cases

·6 min read

Happy Saturday, neighbors! It's Christmas in about a week, so be careful out there; last minute shopping is going to make Portland a madhouse. Remember to manifest the chill. Here's what's going on today.

First, today's weather:

Cloudy in the morning, with rain developing later in the afternoon. The high temp might get up to 50 today, so it'll be kind of warm.

Here are the top stories in Portland today:

  1. The strike at Fred Meyers and QFC has begun. More than 7,000 workers at Fred Meyer and QFC stores around Portland and the rest of the state walked off the job Friday morning. It's a week long strike against the two Kroger-owned stores. The two sides have been negotiating since July 2021 on a new contract – even meeting over three days this week – but without success. (Portland Patch)

  2. After years of trying and failing to launch a cap and trade program to reduce carbon emissions economy-wide, Oregon has a new plan to cut some of its biggest sources of climate pollution. Under orders from Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality developed a new set of rules that would cap greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduce them over time. Under the new rules, companies distributing more than a set amount of fossil fuels would have to reduce their emissions to meet a declining cap. To meet the target, they would be allowed to bank and trade emission credits that could come from switching to renewable fuels or electricity. (OPB)

  3. There have been many discussions about how to update and replace the Burnside Bridge. One of those discussions involves how to make the bridge accessible to pedestrians and those with disabilities. When the Metro transportation measure (26-218) was rejected by 58% of voters last fall, it took with it substantial funding for projects big and small across the region. The Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project had to make significant design changes to save on costs. A design has not yet been finalized. (KGW)

  4. While the omicron variant has not yet gained a real foothold in Oregon – only 3 cases have been reported out of almost 3,000 cases overall this week – new cases in people who have already been vaccinated continue to rise. The Oregon Health Authority reported Thursday that the percentage of new cases occurring in vaccinated people hit 30 percent of all new cases last week. Of the 4,983 cases reported last week, 1,507 were breakthrough cases. (Portland Patch)

  5. Portland police are ramping up efforts to get more officers on the streets. It's all part of a larger effort to hire 200 armed officers over the next three years. The past 18 months have marked a mass exodus from the Portland Police Bureau. Over that time, more than 140 officers have retired or quit. Only a small fraction of that number has been hired, and that includes the six people who were hired just last week. The bureau is close to hiring more people who will do background checks and process the applications. Sergeant Trevor Tyler says getting ads on social media and in other places will draw even more applicants. (KATU)

Today in Portland:

  • If you're looking for high energy classic rock, look no further than the Eastside Bar and Grill in NE Portland. Featuring One More Passion, Dirty Secret and The Classic Combo. 3 Great Rock Bands, $10 cover, Masks Required, 21& over. Overflow parking at the lumberyard. Music starts at 7:45 PM.

  • Looking for a calm and relaxing weekend activity? Visit the Pacific Bonsai Museum for a quiet stroll in the woods to explore bonsai illuminated by soft lights (and your flashlights). The Museum opens at night only once a year! This is a low-key, family-friendly tradition that warmly embraces the generous spirit of the holidays and community. 4:00 - 7:00 PM.

  • If you can't get enough of holiday-themed activities, go to The Fixin' To in North Portland for Carols for a Cause. Join Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective as they usher in the winter season with an afternoon of winter songs! Hosts Cristina Marino & Lisa Peterson lead attendees in a variety of seasonal favorites. Proceeds will go toward our end-of-year giving campaign, Arts for All Ages: Deepening Intergenerational Roots. Every dollar you donate will support our all-ages programming at local retirement, assisted living, and intergenerational communities. 2:00 - 4:00 PM.

  • Stop by the Portland Mercado in NE Portland today for a community celebration of "Las Posadas.” There will be live music, vendors, free champurrado, food and drinks, and a vaccination clinic with the 1st dose, 2nd dose, booster shots, and vaccines for kids 5 years and older! 4:00 - 8:00 PM.

  • If you're looking for laughs, then check out Leikam Brewing on East Burnside for a Latino comedy show. Feliz Navidad is hosted by Julia Corral and will feature Portland’s funniest Latino Performers. And best of all? It's free! 7:30 - 9:30 PM.

From my notebook:

  • Portland Trail Blazers: "21.0 PPG47.8% from the field 42.9% from 3 @normanpowell4 is our @carmax Player of the Week ⚡️" (Instagram)

  • Travel Portland: "You can almost smell the fresh air when looking at this beautiful shot, don't you agree? #ThisIsPortland📷: @jones.pnw #PDX #PDXNOW #TravelPortland #TravelOregon #PortlandOregon #HereForPortland" (Instagram)

  • Portland Audubon: "Just how fast can the fastest creature on earth go? Peregrine Falcons arguably hold that distinction, as they’ve been clocked at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour when dropping from heights in pursuit of their prey. You know when yo..." (Instagram)

  • Portland Farmers Market: "Are you seeking a gift for the cook/baker/foodie/locavore/someone you love in your circles? Look no further than our one and only specially-curated cookbook! This cookbook is a collection of recipes created by both farmers and chefs in t..." (Facebook)

  • Portland Parks & Recreation: "With winter approaching, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Urban Forestry division staff say that now is an important time to care for trees on your property (and adjacent right-of-way). You can help avoid tree and property damage - a..." (Facebook)

  • While it's not Portland-centric, if the Apple+ show Ted Lasso doesn't give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, then I don't know what will. For a dose of holiday cuteness on steroids, check out its Christmas special. I hope it makes your day like it made mine. (YouTube)

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Hey, have a great weekend everyone! May the holiday spirit give you a glow up and may you spread that light to all you love. Me? I'm just going to thank the powers that be that my holiday shopping is done. I'll see you next week to continue my endless talk about Portland.

Dominic Anaya

About me: Doctor, educator and now a writer/artist, I'm just chillin' in Portland, OR with my wife, our ferrets, our chickens and our goats.

This article originally appeared on the Portland Patch