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Good Afternoon, News: Governor Brown’s Reopening Plan, Tips for a Fire-Resistant Garden, and Lifeguards Wanted!

by Isabella Garcia

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A lifeguard looks over the pool. They have a whistle in their mouth and are holding a flotation device.

Portland Parks and Recreation is hiring lifeguards and swim instructors for the summer. Portland Parks & Recreation

Psssst: You only have until this Sunday to tell us how you really feel about the Mercury!

In local news:

• Almost all mask, physical distancing, and capacity limit requirements will be lifted once 70 percent of Oregon’s adults receive their first dose of the vaccine, Governor Kate Brown announced today. State health officials predict Oregon will reach that benchmark by June 21.

• Michelle Zauner, AKA musical artist Japanese Breakfast, released her debut memoir Crying In H Mart in April, to much critical acclaim. The Mercury’s Blair Stenvick has a review of the grief-heavy and powerful memoir.

• Oregon is set to face another brutal fire season, which means it’s a good idea to start preparing now by reviewing your go-bags, buying air filters (not hoarding), and, for you gardeners out there, planting fire-wise landscape. Local landscapers recommend planting high moisture vegetation like native huckleberry, Sumac, and Russian Sage.

• Spice up your playlist with the latest recommendations from Jenni Moore! This edition of Refresh Playlist features new releases from three LGBTQ+ artists.

• Portland public pools will be open for swim lessons this summer! But, like many other employers, the Parks and Recreation Department is short on lifeguard and instructor staff. The department is looking to hire a slew of seasonal workers 16 and older, starting at $15 per hour.

In national and international news:

• Raman Pratasevich—the Belarusian dissident journalist who was arrested from a plane grounded by Belarusian flight controllers—stated his support for Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in a video broadcast on a state-controlled channel Thursday night. Pratasevich then started weeping and covered his face with his hands, revealing bruises and wounds on his wrists from handcuffs. Supporters of the journalist are saying he was coerced into making the statement and is being held hostage.

• A new study indicates sharks almost went extinct millions of years ago. A review of small, scaly fossils called denticles show the diversity in the shark population went from 88 different types to just nine approximately 19 million years ago—an extinction event more cataclysmic to the shark population than the asteroid-induced “big bang.”

• A brief review of history: On this day in 1919, Congress approved the 19th amendment which gave white women the right to vote when it was ratified the following year. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that many Black women were able to vote and some Latinx, Asian, and Native American women didn’t receive the right to vote until 1975. One more time for the people in the back: ALL WOMEN OF COLOR DID NOT RECEIVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL 1975!

• Trump’s Facebook account will be banned for two years after the social media company determined that the former president stoked violence ahead of the Capitol insurrection on January 6. At the end of the two years, Facebook will determine whether Trump’s “risk to public safety” has subsided.

• Y’all like finding new ways to prove you’re the smartest person in your friend group? I have an idea for you: Send the group chat the Mercury’s latest “POP QUIZ PDX” and whoever scores the lowest has to buy the next time y’all get drinks. Fun, right?!

• A wholesome thread of seal pups (and dog pups) for your Friday afternoon:

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