ANTIFA MAKES PLAYBOY: A half-dozen Portland antifascists were featured in Playboy on Dec. 17. The story, "Antifa in Focus," examines how the group has handled its public image—"how it works, how it's perceived and the gaping blind spot between the two." The article defines "antifascist" broadly: Most of the figures it spotlights do not wear masks or participate in street brawls. Instead, the story features activist couple Kathryn Stevens and Gregory McKelvey, who manages the mayoral campaign of Sarah Iannarone. Playboy also spoke to the candidate. "I feel a responsibility to change the public discourse around antifascism, absolutely," Iannarone tells Playboy. "Because this problem exists within the system, it's important we use radical tactics—though I definitely think electoral politics matter, and that's why I'm running."
EXPECT DELAYS ON I-5: At an emotional meeting of the Oregon Transportation Commission in Lebanon on Dec. 17, climate activists beseeched commissioners to reconsider the proposed $500 million expansion of Interstate 5 at the Rose Quarter, while organized labor and black construction contractors urged the commission to move full speed ahead. Rarely have the environment and jobs been so clearly pitted against each other. The OTC had expected to vote whether to proceed with the project or embark on a lengthy further study, but Gov. Kate Brown effectively ordered the commission to split the baby, and chairman Bob Van Brocklin proposed postponing a decision three months as the state completes additional preliminary work. Scott Bailey, a member of the Portland School Board, which objects to the project because of its proximity to Harriet Tubman Middle School, told commissioners the only way the board would drop its opposition: relocate Tubman. "If you want to extend us an offer of $100 million," Bailey said, "then we have something to talk about."
SOBERING CENTER SET TO SHUT DOWN: The city's detox station is on the verge of closing. Last week, a policy adviser for Mayor Ted Wheeler emailed medical groups and city agencies to convene an "emergency meeting" about the impending closure of the sobering center and mobile van run by Central City Concern. Seraphie Allen wrote CCC had "signaled" to the city it would "cease operations of the van and center imminently." She called it an "all-hands-on-deck kind of situation." Last month, Oregon Public Broadcasting first reported that CCC might close the center at 444 NE Couch St., formerly Hooper Detox, next summer. The center offers intoxicated Portlanders a place to sober up. CCC runs the center for the Portland Police Bureau through a contract. A representative tells WW the center "isn't set up to provide the level of safety and standard of medical care that agitated folks who come in today deserve."
REVISITING ALCOVES FOR THE HOMELESS: The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission reaffirmed Dec. 17 a decision it made in early November: New private buildings should include space for Portlanders experiencing houselessness to "rest and be welcome." The leading proponent, planning commissioner Oriana Magnera, explained that in view of the housing crisis, buildings should accommodate the need to pitch a tent and sleep. The controversial proposal won the support of a majority of commissioners in November. Opponents sought reconsideration, however, and this week, the commission affirmed its earlier decision.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE: WW's Give!Guide campaign is live and accepting donations, hoping to raise $4.2 million and from 3,500 young donors. Give!Guide has raised $2 million from 7,334 donors. You can donate at giveguide.org—and, if you give $10 or more Thursday, Dec. 19, you could win a Trek FX 1 commuter bike from Bike Gallery.