Portland, OR

Thursday in Portland: Paddy's attempting to break world record on St. Patrick's Day

Emily Scarvie

Photo by(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, March 16 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Portland air quality saw unhealthy decline in 2022

An annual world air quality report by IQAir showed Portland’s average air quality in 2022 was nearly two times worse than the standards recommended by the World Health Organization. Portland’s air saw an average annual increase in fine particulate matter, according to the report. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality warns that these breathable particles are linked to serious health risks.

“Health studies over the past decade show that there are harmful effects from breathing PM particles,” the DEQ states. “PM can be inhaled deep into the lungs and can lodge there for weeks and months, aggravating asthma, heart disease and other respiratory and heart conditions.”

IQAir spokesperson Jonathan Winslow said that the region’s air quality decline was caused by wildfire smoke. He said that despite the 2022 wildfire season being mild compared to recent years, air quality can also be affected by its proximity to a wildfire and what direction the smoke is blowing.

The DEQ published similar findings last June, showing that air quality in the region has steadily decreased over the last decade due to ongoing wildfire troubles.

2. Paddy's attempting to break world record on St. Patrick's Day

Paddy’s Bar & Grill in downtown Portland is hoping to reclaim a world record by putting together the largest Irish coffee ever on St. Patrick’s Day. The 264-gallon drink will include 25 gallons of simple syrup, 50 gallons of Irish whiskey, 165 gallons of coffee and about 25 gallons of whip cream.

“It’s very strict,” Paddy’s owner Josh Johnston said. “The Guinness Book of [World] Records is the gold standard out there, so we have to video-tape the entire attempt, we have to have witnesses unaffiliated with us for the entire duration, we have to have a weight and measurement expert, we have to have a, because it’s a food item, a food safety inspector on site and the whole thing gets wrapped up with witness statements. And off we go.”

The team at Paddy’s expects it to take around four hours. The bar attempted to break the record in 2011 with a 159-gallon vessel, but later learned it wasn’t properly recorded.

3. Portland City Council approves $60K settlement with 2020 protester

The Portland City Council has just approved a $60,000 settlement to another Portlander injured during the 2020 racial justice protests. Jorge Bello was attending a protest on Lombard Street in north Portland on Aug. 24, 2020, when he says he was assaulted by Portland police officers, including members of the PPB Rapid Response Team. According to the lawsuit, Bello was forced on to the ground and lost consciousness as several officers held him down and attempted to interrogate him.

He was then thrown head-first into a police van, hitting a fire extinguisher, before paramedics arrived at the scene and took him away in an ambulance, Bello alleged. Bello “suffered a concussion and contusions to his head/neck/shoulders that resulted from the unreasonable excessive force he was subjected to by the Portland police officers,” including Sgt. John Oliphant, according to the lawsuit.

In Bello’s lawsuit, his attorneys sought $5,000 in economic damages and $250,000 in non-economic damages. He had roughly $10,000 in medical expenses. Portland City Council approved a $60,000 settlement with Bello on Wednesday. City attorneys have denied that police used excessive force.

Portland City Council has now approved at least 13 settlements related to the 2020 protests against police brutality and racism.

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