By Emily Scarvie
(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, Nov. 23 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
1. Oregon surpasses 5,000 COVID-related deaths since pandemic began
State health officials reported 103 new COVID-related deaths on Monday, pushing the state’s total death toll to over 5,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Oregon’s COVID-19 death toll now sits at 5,017.
“Today Oregon marks more than 5,000 lives lost to COVID-19. As we head into the second Thanksgiving holiday since the start of the pandemic, too many Oregon families will see empty chairs around their holiday dinner tables, making this latest tragic milestone all the more heartbreaking,” Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said in a statement. “As we gather for the coming holidays, look around your table. Consider the family and friends in your life. Let’s make sure the loved ones you care about and count on are there to share next Thanksgiving with you.”
OHA also reported 1,753 new confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, pushing the state’s total case count to 385,790 since the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, there are 395 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those patients, 86 are in intensive care units.
As of Monday, 2,917,617 Oregonians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,645,458 have completed a vaccine series.
2. Commissioner Dan Ryan announces third Safe Rest Village site
On Monday, Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan named the former SFC Jerome F. Sears Army Reserve Center on Southwest Multnomah Boulevard as a future Safe Rest Village site. In June, the city council adopted a plan to establish six of these sites by the end of the year. The Safe Rest Villages will provide outdoor shelters, basic hygiene facilities and access to case management and behavioral health services.
The site announced on Monday has previously served as an emergency shelter and can accommodate up to 60 individual shelter pods. It’s also ideally located near a Safeway and TriMet #12 bus line.
Two other Safe Rest Village sites have already been selected and are located at the Menlo Park “Park & Ride” in east Portland and the 2300 block of Southwest Naito Parkway.
3. Portland businesses feeling impacts of supply chain issues during holiday season
Many Portland restaurants and local businesses are feeling the impact of rising costs and supply chain issues this holiday season. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost of an average Thanksgiving dinner is up 14%, with a 16-pound turkey costing around 24% more, frozen pie crusts costing 20% more and the cost of fresh cranberries up 11%.
“Demand is exceeding supply, so the prices are going up,” Lisa Sedlar, the founder and CEO of Green Zebra Grocery in Portland, told KGW. “The products we’re seeing go up in price can be summed up in one word: everything.”
Huber’s Café, which typically makes around 600 Thanksgiving dinners every year, also reported rising costs amid a significant increase in takeout dining. According to economists, diners and shoppers will need to just wait for supply and demand to even out, and people can save money this holiday season by making things from scratch instead of buying pre-made items.
4. Bird statue appears at Mount Tabor, only lasts a few hours
On Sunday, a crow with a middle finger raised was placed on a pedestal at Mount Tabor that previously held the bust of York, which was removed earlier this year. The crow, labeled “Philip D. Bird,” has already been removed.
On the pedestal, a placard calls for the re-installation of the York statue, which was originally put up without city permission and replaced the Harvey Scott statue after it was toppled.
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