Beast Is a Vortex of Desire and Denial

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Like vines slowly overtaking an old house, Beast—the feature debut of writer/director Michael Pearce—mines horror from the feeling of wildness encroaching on civilization. It’s set on the island of Jersey, a land of lush pastures surrounded by an aquamarine sea, and where authorities are searching for the culprit behind the brutal murders of several young girls. (True-crime buffs might recall that in the 1960s, the British isle was plagued by a serial rapist nicknamed the Beast of Jersey.)

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Suspect Identified in PSU Hit-and-Run

Greg Phillip Porter
Greg Phillip Porter Multnomah County

Portland police have identified the suspect in this morning's hit-and-run near Portland State University as 61-year-old Greg Phillip Porter.

Porter was booked into the Multnomah County Jail this afternoon after he drove onto the sidewalk near SW 6th and SW Montgomery and seriously injured three women—before driving off. He's been charged with three counts each (so, 12 total) of attempted murder, assault in the first degree, reckless driving, and failure to perform the duties of a driver injury.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, a motive has yet to be determined.


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Portland Police Release New Videos and Witness Interviews from Elifritz Shooting

John Elifritz inside the Cityteam shelter, shortly before being fatally shot by police. Still from video caught on the shelters surveillance camera.
John Elifritz inside the Cityteam shelter, shortly before being fatally shot by police. Still from video caught on the shelter's surveillance camera. Portland Police Bureau

Newly released evidence from the Portland Police Bureau has shed more light on the fatal police shooting of John Elifritz the evening of April 7.

This evening, PPB released nearly 700 pages of investigative material related to the Elifritz shooting—including interviews with witnesses, interviews with officers at the scene, autopsy notes, and evidence descriptions—including a photo of the bloody knife Elifritz used on his own neck.

A quick refresher on what the public already knew before this evening's data dump: On a rainy Saturday evening, Elifritz, 48, was shot at the Cityteam Ministries homeless shelter by a number of Portland police officers and one Multnomah County deputy. He had entered the SE Grand Ave. shelter shortly after crashing a stolen car on SE Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., interrupting an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting being held inside.

Elifritz first entered the shelter around 7:30 pm, shirtless. A staff member offered him a jacket and he left. At around 7:55 pm, Elifritz returned, appearing suicidal. By 8 pm, Elifritz had been fatally shot by police officers inside the shelter.

A month after this shooting, a Multnomah County grand jury ruled that all law enforcement officials involved in the shooting—one county deputy and seven Portland police officers—were justified in their deadly use of force. The transcript of that grand jury has yet to be made public. This Wednesday, Elifritz's ex-wife filed a civil rights federal lawsuit against the PPB for his death.

Until this evening, the public has only seen clips from one shaky cellphone video that captured the chaos and heard varied witness testimony of the incident, leaving dozens of unanswered questions. Videos released through public records requests today, captured by Cityteam Ministries' surveillance cameras and police car dashcams, help fill in some of the missing gaps.

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Patriot Prayer Returns to Portland for June Rally

Joey Gibson Leading a Patriot Prayer Rally in 2017
Joey Gibson Leading a Patriot Prayer Rally in 2017 Doug Brown

Patriot Prayer, that far-right Vancouver, WA group that often attracts white supremacists, is holding another of its infamously awful rallies at Terry Schrunk Plaza on June 3 at 5 pm. It's almost exactly a year after Patriot Prayer held a "Trump Free Speech Rally" at the same location. According to the event's Facebook page, this year's protest will be their version of a goodbye party for a Patriot Prayer member named Tusitala Toese, or "Tiny." He's moving to American Samoa.

Toese was detained earlier this week for carrying a firearm on the University of Washington campus. He also was arrested twice at different Portland protests in 2017, on charges of disorderly conduct, harassment, assault.

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Oregon Members of Congress Demand Investigation into Attack of Gay PSU Student

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Amtrak

Aaron Salazar, a Portland State University student who was traveling back from Colorado to Portland, was found brutally beaten in an Amtrak station on May 15. The family suspect the attack was a hate crime, while Amtrak says it may have been a suicide attempt. Salazar sustained damage to his brain stem during the attack and has been in a coma since the incident.

Now several Oregon members of Congress have penned open letter to Richard Andersen, the CEO of Amtrak, expressing dismay about the attack and calling for an in-depth investigation. Signed by Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici and Peter DeFazio, as well as Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, the letter says "this incident have have been a hate crime against [Salazar]."

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From Maxville to Vanport Centers on Two of the State’s First Black Communities

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Vanished Twin

The racist legacy of Oregon is not one of the most glorious chapters in its history. Lawmakers initially denied non-white people the right to work and own property, writing such rules into the constitution when the state was admitted into the Union in 1859. And through the 1930s, the Ku Klux Klan was a regular presence, directing public policy and even helping install Walter M. Pierce as governor in 1922.

In spite of the ugliness within our borders, African Americans still found their way here, looking for work and refuge from the even worse treatment they were receiving in the Jim Crow South. Some formed the backbone of the logging industry in Eastern Oregon and others were key to the war effort, living near Portland and helping build ships for the British Navy in the ’40s. Even in the face of segregation and fears from the white citizens, they persisted.

This troubled and troubling period of Oregon’s past forms the core of From Maxville to Vanport, a new album and multimedia performance led by the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble. Composed by pianist Ezra Weiss and featuring lyrics written by author S. Renee Mitchell, the work explores the history of two settlements for Black families in Oregon.

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Elon Musk's Plan to Fix the Media May Be His Worst Idea Yet

Elon Musk and girlfriend Grimes, the oddest romantic pairing since Serena Williams and the Reddit guy.
Elon Musk and girlfriend Grimes, the oddest romantic pairing since Serena Williams and the Reddit guy. Theo Wargo/Getty

Elon Musk may be an expert at many things (technology, innovation, shooting cars up into space), but journalism, clearly, is not one of them.

This week, Musk used his immense brain power to engage in a Twitter tiff after Reveal (a public radio show, podcast, and website) published a report on worker injuries at a Tesla plant, which, reporters found, the company has gone to great lengths to hide. And some of these injuries, which include workers getting "debilitating headaches from the fumes of a toxic glue," are both serious and avoidable. "Concerned about bone-crunching collisions and the lack of clearly marked pedestrian lanes at the Fremont, California, plant," the report reads, "the general assembly line’s then-lead safety professional went to her boss, who she said told her, 'Elon does not like the color yellow.'”

Elon also does not like Reveal. On Monday, Reveal published another report, this one about a contractor who is suing Tesla after he was severely burned in an electrical explosion that, he alleges, could have been prevented if the company hadn't refused to cut the electricity to the equipment he was working on because they didn't want to momentarily halt production. Soon after, Elon took to Twitter to whine about the media, much like one Donald "FAKE NEWS!!!" Trump.

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UPDATE: Pedestrians Struck by SUV Near PSU

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Kelly Kenoyer

Update 12:51 pm

A male suspect appears to be in custody. According to Portland police, officers apprehended the suspect in a blue Mazda Tribute near NE 16 Ave. and Glisan St.

Bartley Tuthill caught the arrest on camera:

Update 11:53 am :

PSU has put out a statement on this morning's hit-and-run:

On Friday morning, a vehicle struck pedestrians walking on the sidewalk near SW 6th Ave. and SW Montgomery St. on the PSU campus. Three pedestrians who were injured are hospitalized with serious injuries. The names of the victims have not been released. Portland police are investigating the incident. PSU's campus remains open, except for areas closed by police for the investigation.

PSU's Dean of Student Life's office and Center for Student Health and Counseling will provide assistance and support to any members of the PSU community who may have been impacted by this incident.

ORIGINAL POST:

The driver of a blue SUV or sedan reportedly drove onto a sidewalk near SW 6th and SW Montgomery St around 10 am, hitting at least three women before driving off.

According to witnesses in the area, it appears that the driver "intentionally" ran over the victims, but Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Chris Burley has said he cannot confirm this. At a 11:15 press conference, Burley said officers have yet to track down the car and/or the subject. The three women have been sent to the hospital, and two of them have "serious, life-threatening injuries."

Witness Christopher Bond says he says driver was going about 35-40 mph when they hit the victims, and that the vehicle is bluish-purple with tinted windows. He didn't catch a glimpse of the driver.







We'll update this blog as more information comes out.


VOA Employees Respond to CEO's Anti-Union Message

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Ross Grami

A day after Volunteers of America (VOA) Oregon employees—joined by other local labor rights organizations—held a union protest outside of the nonprofit's administrative building, staff found an email from VOA Oregon CEO Kay Toran in their work inbox.

"In my 19 years as President/CEO of VOA Oregon and my entire professional career, I have never witnessed such disrespectful and unprofessional conduct," wrote Toran. "It is extremely disappointing to know that the union... would view this activity as productive and positive means to achieve their objectives."

Toran's referring to the members of Oregon AFSCME, AFL-CIO, and Portland's Jobs with Justice who participated in a brief sit-in inside the administration building during the May 14 protest—which led to their arrest. AFSCME has represented the VOA union in its inaugural contract negotiations—negotiations that began after 85 percent of VOA employees voted to unionize in 2016.

This union specifically represents workers at VOA's Portland residential treatment centers for individuals on probation or parole. With demands for better wages (and, at the least, a clear pay scale), employees say Toran has refused to budge on any substantive contract demands, forcing them to organize rallies and protests.

According to Ross Grami, a AFSCME spokesperson, members of AFSCME (including the Executive Director Stacy Chamberlain) volunteered to be arrested on May 14 in place of actual VOA workers.

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A Surplus of Cannabis in Oregon Means Screaming Deals

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Grön chocolate from the Panacea dispensary.
Grön chocolate from the Panacea dispensary.
It’s no secret that Oregon is experiencing a serious over-abundance of cannabis—right now, there are hundreds of thousands more pounds being produced than there are being consumed. There is a multitude of reasons for this, and the softness of the market means hard times for growers and producers across the state.

So we need to step it up, people—it’s time to double down on those doobies.

Fortunately for consumers, the surplus has resulted in a drop in prices for flower and products like concentrates and vape-pen cartridges. Well, mostly. The costs associated with growing, testing, and marketing these products have not dropped, and some brands are holding fast and not reducing their prices. But if you’re looking to stretch your weed dollar, there are lots of deals to be found, with some prices hitting subterranean levels.

I decided to see if the fire sales at local dispensaries resulted in any truly fire products.

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Run the Jewels Rejected the NFL's Request to Use "Legend Has It" During the Super Bowl

Killer Mike and El-P at NYCs Meadows Music and Arts Festival in 2017
Killer Mike and El-P at NYC's Meadows Music and Arts Festival in 2017 Nicholas Hunt/Getty

In strong terms, MC/producer El-P of the popular hiphop duo Run the Jewels rejected the NFL's request to air their ominous, rugged track "Legend Has It" during the Super Bowl. (The song appears on the soundtrack to Black Panther.) Disgusted by the football league's decision yesterday to fine players who kneel during the national anthem, El-P aired his grievances about the matter on Twitter.



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Your Weekly Food and Drink News Round-Up: Taprooms, Wine Bars, and Where to Get Day Drunk in the Sun

Portland barkeep/author Jeffrey Morgenthaler on Late Night with Seth Meyers
Portland barkeep/author Jeffrey Morgenthaler on Late Night with Seth Meyers YouTube

Hey everybody, lots to unpack this week, so let’s have at it!

First off, this fall the Mercury will switch to a bigger and beefier every-other-week format which means more food news, events, and reviews for you. Our big sister paper up in Seattle did it, and it's going swimmingly. What else is up our sleeves? We just put out our summer issue, which rounds up the best patios to get day drunk at. We also rounded up three local breweries that are opening new second locations. We reviewed and gave the thumbs up to Arden Wine Bar & Kitchen. And we reported that Corzetti, chef Johnny Nunn’s new Italian restaurant, is opening tonight up in the Sabin neighborhood.

What else? Well, late last week, the Oregonian took a sneak peek at Little Beast, the new taproom (with a tres cool patio) in the old Lompoc Hedge House space on SE Division, and it noted that Amanecer, which it calls one of the best taco trucks in the area, is back from its winter slumber and is doling out the good stuff at 193rd at East Burnside.

Portland Monthly broke the news that somm superstar Dana Frank is opening a new wine shop called Bar Norman on Clinton in July, which will skip bottle service and serve between 20 to 25 natural wines by the glass.

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Stormbreaker Brewing Comes to St. Johns

The new covered patio at Stormbreaker St. Johns will be a great place to sit outside, rain or shine.
The new covered patio at Stormbreaker St. Johns will be a great place to sit outside, rain or shine. Jason Desomer

Stormbreaker Brewing opened a second location last week in St. Johns, in an impressively large space that formerly housed Plew’s Brews and an adjoining dentist’s office. The new Stormbreaker is poised to become a focal point of the neighborhood, with a spacious, covered patio directly facing the street, further sidewalk seating, a large and handsome wooden bar, and a cavernous empty space in the rear that will house a new brewing facility at some point in the future. For now, the beers are still being brewed at Stormbreaker’s original location on North Mississippi, and there is room for as many as 20 different beers on tap at the new spot.

During a soft opening last week, there was more than enough good Stormbreaker beer to be had, and an Extra Special Bitter brewed in collaboration with Laurelwood was especially tasty. Beer flights come in trays that are small wooden replicas of the St. Johns Bridge, iconography that indicates Stormbreaker hopes to fully connect with a neighborhood that’s seen so much change in recent years.

To Stormbreaker’s credit, their new joint doesn’t feel as though a buffed, polished, merch-flogging brewpub has been dumped fully formed into St. Johns like so many stacks of condos.

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Timbers v. Colorado Match Preview

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Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

Winners of five straight games, the Portland Timbers are up to third place in the Western Conference back on the road this weekend for a first meeting of the season with the moribund, bottom-of-the-league Colorado Rapids in Commerce City, CO (6:00 p.m., TV on KPDX)

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On Chesil Beach Review: Imagine Waiting to Get Married to Have Sex?!

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As a scholar of the romcom genre, there’s nothing I love more than a whimsical courtship. But as a cynical human, I always wish every movie would give us an epilogue: “Sadly, it didn’t work out. He’s kind of a dick, she’s kind of passive-aggressive, and they’re both way too young.” While not a romcom, On Chesil Beach consists almost entirely of that epilogue.

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