Yo, Portland! It's Thursday and a holiday themed Thursday at that. I hope you're filled with the holiday spirit, cause that's what Portland needs right now. Let me tell you about today.
First, today's weather:
It's rainy all day with a high of 45, but we're not going to let that dampen our spirits.
Here are the top stories today in Portland:
A deputy sheriff in Multnomah County is losing his job and will serve 6 months probation after being convicted of official misconduct. Robert James Haney had been charged with stealing two blank COVID-19 vaccination cards from the jail where he had been assigned. He is also being forced to give up his training certification and must a pay a $500 fine. (Portland Patch)
Intel has told workers that unvaccinated employees who don’t get an exemption for religious or medical reasons will be on unpaid leave beginning in April. The California-based semiconductor company told employees last month they had a Jan. 4 deadline to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or seek an exemption, citing a government mandate for federal contractors. (KOIN)
Portlanders can expect the city to release an outside contractor’s review of possible political and racial bias at the Portland Police Bureau by the end of next month, according to the City Attorney’s Office. In April, a few weeks after police leaked an incorrect allegation that Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty was involved in a hit-and-run crash on March 3, the city signed a $150,000 contract with the California-based OIR Group to conduct an outside review of the community’s perception of racial and political bias and resistance to change within the bureau. (Willamette Week)
Live performances in cities across the country — Los Angeles, Denver, New York, Miami — have been canceled or postponed due to COVID breakthrough cases among crew members or performers. Add Portland to that list. “Today we had our first cancellation of a show,” said Robyn Williams, the executive director for Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Her team will have to notify 800 people their tickets for a sold-out show at the Newmark Theatre with acclaimed drag queens Jinx and Dela will be refunded. And it's not just performances which are being cancelled. The NBA has postponed Brooklyn's game scheduled for tonight at Portland because the coronavirus-ravaged Nets do not have the league-minimum eight players available for the contest. (KOIN)
Last-minute at-home COVID-19 tests are in high demand and many stores in the Portland area are sold out. At two o'clock on Tuesday, the Walgreens website listed only three stores in the Portland area that had the BinaxNOW at-home COVID-19 test kits in store, including the Beaverton location on Southwest Farmington. By 4 p.m., the Farmington Walgreens had a sign on its door saying, "WE ARE OUT OF COVID TESTING KITS AT THIS LOCATION." (KATU)
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Today in Portland:
If you're looking for laughs tonight, you may wish to head out to the Funhouse Lounge in SE Portland for Guest Spot, a weekly stand-up comedy show, hosted by Bjorn RG and Nick Scalzone. Every Thursday night, you’ll see 10 comedians, including local favorites, up-and-comers, and the occasional drop in from out of town, each performing a 5-minute “guest spot.” The yuks start at 10:00 PM.
Wow, it seems to be a night for comedy, because if you're not into the Funhouse Lounge, then there's more comedy going on at the Schilling Cider House, also in SE Portland. It is hosting the Local Legends Comedy Showcase, a highlight of local live stand-up comedy hosted by Chase Brockett! No charge, happy hour food specials, and $4 Local Legend pints! Get there early to get a seat! The fun starts at 8:00 PM.
If you're looking for, well, other than normal music for your entertainment tonight, you may wish to check out No Fun in SE Portland for Nyxora. Performing Ambient Doom, Dark Psyche and experimental noise, it's sure to be a night that you won't remember. Take a chance on something ... different, for the holidays. This is a cash-only show. The weird starts at 7:00 PM.
For a true Festivus celebration, come on down to Hey Love in SE Portland. Celebrate the Seinfeldian holiday "for the rest of us" with Hey Love, which will include all the requisite traditions, including the airing of grievances, feats of strength, and a Festivus pole. The restaurant will serve cheeky themed specials such as "I was in the pool! There was shrinkage!" (a Nathan's famous all-beef kosher wiener, wrapped in an egg roll and fried, with sauerkraut and hot mustard accompaniments) and the "Not That There's Anything Wrong With That" (pastrami fried rice with peas and carrots, served with soy-glazed baby bok choy and a sunny-side-up egg), plus cocktails like the "The Human Fund" (a Peppermint Patty shot). Starts at 4:00 PM.
Just up for dancing tonight? Check out the Ponderosa Lounge and Grill in North Portland for Line Dancin' Ladies Night. Join DJ Pauly PDX and dance the night away to your favorite country tunes. Lauren will be teaching a country line dance at 7 PM.
From my notebook:
Portland Trail Blazers: "Need three points? Here’s a tip!" (Instagram)
Portland Audubon: "Happy Winter Solstice! ❄️ A haiku for you:This day may be dark; But now we begin the march;Brighter days ahead;What do you most look forward to as the days begin to get longer again? 📷 Anne Kramer[Image Description: A Downy Woodpe..." (Instagram)
Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts: "Happy Winter Solstice from all of us at COLT! ❄️ Here's to longer days and a peaceful, joyous, and bright start to winter. 📷 Tara Lemezis" (Facebook)
Portland Art Museum: "Thanks to Portland Monthly for featuring our AUX/MUTE Gallery. And to everyone at The Numberz and the Museum for working to make this vision a reality. We hope you'll come to visit soon and check out the Numz Bodega while you are here. R..." (Facebook)
Oregon lawmakers adopted a range of reforms, policy changes and civil rights protections during this year’s five-month legislative session, including new laws designed to promote affordable housing, improve police oversight and make it explicitly illegal to intimidate others by displaying a noose. Those new laws, and many others, take effect Jan. 1. While some were contentious, many passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support. (The Oregonian)
I'm a sucker for local politics and follow them like the most ardent Blazers fan follows the current season. That's why I was interested in this article by Portland Monthly about next year's elections. It notes that the state's electorate has been changing. What will that mean for future elections? Read on and see what local wonks have to say. (Portland Monthly)
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That's your Thursday, folks. I hope you have festivities planned for the days ahead. But this is Portland, where everyday is sort of a festivity. Have fun and check back in with me tomorrow and I'll tell you more news of 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.