Portland, OR

Tuesday in Portland: Benefit concert held to get gun control measures on November ballot and more

Emily Scarvie

(John Moore/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, April 5 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Benefit concert to get gun control measures on November ballot held Monday night

Monday night was the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death and amid an increase in gun violence across Portland, a benefit concert was held at the Augustana Luthern Church to raise money to get Initiative Petitions 17 and 18 on the ballot in November. IP 17 is the “Reduction of Gun Violence Act” and IP 18 is the “Reduction of Harm From Weapons Act.”

“We will remember a year ago we lost our son on the streets in Portland due to gun violence,” Reverend J. W. Matt Hennessee said. “That’s why IP 17 and IP 18 are so important. And so I’m begging tonight, I’m begging tonight, I don’t want one more person to lose their life. I don’t want one more person to be traumatized, I don’t want one more person to have to be injured. We need to remember that we want all of our brothers and sisters to survive.”

The event occurred on the same day a first-year Portland State University student allegedly shot and killed a woman near campus. Keenan Harpole, 20, was arrested in Bend after turning himself in. PSU released a statement following his arrest that said, in part, “We will work together as a campus community to heal, reminding each other that violence is never the answer to the problems that we encounter.”

2. Portland Parks Foundation announces next steps for returning elk statue to downtown

After Portland’s famous elk statue was removed from its location downtown and placed into storage after being damaged during protests in the summer of 2020, the Portland Parks Foundation has announced it will commission a design and feasibility study for returning the statue to its original location.

The study, made possible by an anonymous donor, will include hiring a team with experience in architectural restoration, stone carving and masonry and traffic engineering. It will include a detailed assessment of the remaining parts and if new parts can be used to restore the fountain. PPF said the results of the study will be presented to the Portland Design Commission this summer.

3. Leah, a 47-year-old chimpanzee at the Oregon Zoo, has died

Zoo officials announced Monday that Leah, a 47-year-old chimpanzee at the Oregon Zoo, has died. According to the zoo, wild chimpanzees typically live to be around 33 years, while chimps in zoos usually live to about 41 years old.

“This is a tough loss for the entire zoo, but especially for her care staff,” Dr. Carlos Sanchez, the zoo’s lead veterinarian, said in a news release. “I hope knowing that we did everything we could for Leah, and that she passed away peacefully in her sleep, is a comfort. Her remarkable age says a lot about the great care she’s received over the years.”

Leah, who zoo officials say was known for her sweet demeanor, was born at the Oregon Zoo on May 15, 1974. She’s survived by her older sister, Delilah, who turns 49 next month.

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