Alex Zielinski, Portland Mercury

Alex Zielinski

Portland Mercury

Washington, DC, United States

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Recent articles by Alex:

Officers Shoot Alleged Arsonist in Southeast Portland

Portland police officers shot at a member of the public suspected of lighting a vehicle on fire in Southeast Portland on Monday morning. According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), officers were called to assist firefighters in addressing a vehicle fire around 8:50 AM along SE 83rd Ave near SE Harrison St. According to the Oregonian, an unidentified man had specifically set a Mercedes on fire… → Read More

Workers at Southeast Portland Burgerville Location Move to Unionize

Workers at a Southeast Portland Burgerville store are joining the wave of labor organizing that's sweeping Portland. On Monday, workers employed at the Burgerville restaurant at SE Powell Ave and SE 25th Ave announced their intent to join the Burgerville Workers Union (BVWU), the nation's first fast food union. The announcement follows workers' allegations that a new manager sexually harassed… → Read More

City Raises Concerns about ShotSpotter Gunshot Detection Technology

The city office focused on surveillance technology and public data ethics, Smart City PDX, isn't certain that a technology used to monitor gunshots is the right tool to address Portland's gun violence problem. In a report prepared for City Council, staff with Smart City PDX explain that the technology—called ShotSpotter—could open the city up to legal risks, financial woes, and weaken… → Read More

Good Afternoon, News: Wheeler's Latest Homeless Ban, Betsy Swipes Left on Mike Nearman, and US Sends Warfare Gifts to Ukraine

Good afternoon, Portland! Good news: We're cruising into a weekend of cool 80-something temps! Better news: That's the perfect temperature to enjoy a Burger Week burg on a patio! Bad news: You still have an hour of work left. Let these headlines help tide you over, somehow: - Mayor Ted Wheeler is at it again: This morning, he issued an emergency declaration banning homeless camping from an… → Read More

Police Shoot at Armed Man During Attempted Arrest in Lents Neighborhood

Police officers shot at a man in Portland's Lents Neighborhood Tuesday evening while attempting to arrest him. The man, identified by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) as Robert Connelly, was not injured in the shooting. The officers involved were members of the bureau's team that responds to gun crimes, called the Focused Intervention Team (FIT), who were seeking to arrest Connelly on several… → Read More

Good Morning, News: A Peek Back at Pickathon, Portland Parks Welcome Cancerous Weedkiller, and Seantors Pass Significant Climate Bill

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support! Good morning, Portland! You made it through another scorching weekend to be rewarded with some cooler temps in the 80s—and… → Read More

Man Arrested for 2019 Murder of Sean Kealiher

After years of investigation, Portland officers have arrested a man for the murder of Sean Kealiher, a local anti-fascist activist who was 23 at the time of his death. Kealiher, known by friends as “Armeanio,” was fatally hit by someone in a black SUV in Northeast Portland in the early morning hours of October 12, 2019. Kealiher was struck shortly after leaving the former Cider Riot pub located… → Read More

Police Officer Shoots at Driver in St. Johns Neighborhood

A Portland police officer shot at a man driving a car in North Portland's St. Johns Neighborhood Tuesday morning, after the driver allegedly attempted to run over a cop. According to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), officers arrived at the scene near N Fessenden St. and N Macrum Ave. around 1:15 am, responding to a 911 call regarding gunfire in the area. Per the PPB,… → Read More

Mayor Wheeler Announces State of Emergency to Streamline Response to Gun Violence

Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced a state of emergency to address Portland’s surge in gun violence during summer months. The announcement allows Wheeler to gather all city departments related to deterring gun violence under his office in hopes of orchestrating a coordinated response. “Emergency declarations can get results the status quo cannot,” said Wheeler at a Thursday press conference. “It… → Read More

Jury Finds Right-Wing Brawler Mackenzie Lewis Guilty of Riot at Cider Riot

A jury has found 32-year-old Mackenzie Lewis, an affiliate of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, guilty of engaging in a riot during a Portland street brawl on May 1, 2019. The brawl took place after members of the conservative group approached a now-shuttered Northeast Portland bar called Cider Riot, where a group of anti-fascist activists were meeting. The confrontation began with yelled… → Read More

Workers at New Seasons' Sellwood Market Join Unionizing Effort

Workers at a third New Seasons grocery store have joined the burgeoning labor organizing efforts. On Thursday, employees at the grocery chain's Sellwood location filed a petition to join the New Seasons Labor Union (NSLU) with the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday. "We're tired of being unable to bring any issues to management," said Jakob Parsons, a grocery clerk at the Sellwood store.… → Read More

New Seasons Hires Another Trump-Aligned Law Firm to Fight Workers Union Efforts

Confronted with a revitalized unionizing effort among its workers, New Seasons management is turning to a familiar tactic: Hire a national law firm that's helped fight union organizing at Trump-owned companies to quash the labor movement. According to the National Labor Relations Board filing, New Seasons has hired a lawyer with Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart to represent the company in… → Read More

New Seasons Management Sows Distrust in Workers' Unionizing Efforts

New Seasons management didn't wait long after receiving their workers' petition to unionize to kick off a campaign meant to undermine the labor movement. On Friday, the day employees at the New Seasons "Seven Corners" location at SE Division and 20th filed their intent to unionize, workers placed handmade zines in the store's break room for workers that included information about what to expect… → Read More

Oregon Medical Providers, Politicians, and the Public Respond to Draft Repeal of Roe

The leaked majority opinion draft from the US Supreme Court, indicating the court will overturn the abortion rights enshrined in 1973's Roe v. Wade, has Oregonians on the defensive. As the late Monday news spread, politicians, advocacy groups, and other leaders pledged their commitment to keeping Oregon a state that protects the individual right to an abortion, regardless of the federal ruling.… → Read More

Good Morning, News: Timbers' National Anthem Singer is Over It, Infowars Goes Bankrupt, and it's Pizza Week!!

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support! Good morning, Portland! We're splashing into another rainy April week (no snow, though!), so layer accordingly. But don't… → Read More

Oregon's Rental Assistance Program Extended to March 22

An eleventh-hour influx of federal funding has allowed Oregon's emergency rental assistance program to continue accepting applications for an additional week. The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP), which was initially scheduled to shut down on midnight March 14, will now remain open to new applicants until midnight on March 22. In response to the state's request for additional… → Read More

Good Morning, News: Mask Mandate Lifted, Ammon Bundy Arrested, and US Journalist Killed in Ukraine

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support! Good morning, Portland! Happy daylight saving time to those who observe (and I hope you enjoyed sleeping in, Arizona and… → Read More

What Was Accomplished (and What Wasn't) in Oregon's 2022 Legislative Session

The Oregon Legislature's short sessions—held on even numbered years—are historically unusual. These month-long sessions are often used to fast-track uncontroversial policies or pass emergency budget packages to hold the state over for another year. Despite their swiftness, these sessions are not void of drama: The last time the state held a short session in 2020, Oregon Republicans made sure to… → Read More

"It's Not Perfect": City Council Approves Police Union Contract

Portland City Council voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to ratify a new contract with the Portland Police Association (PPA), the union representing rank-and-file officers. All commissioners appeared relieved to move past the years-long negotiations, yet acknowledged that the end result didn't accomplish everything they had hoped. "Yes, it's not perfect," said Mayor Ted Wheeler before casting… → Read More

Mass Shooting Suspect Ben Smith Facing Nine Charges

Ben Smith, the man accused of shooting people at a demonstration in Northeast Portland Saturday night, has been formally charged for his actions. Smith, 43, faces a total of nine charges: One count of murder in the second degree with a firearm, four counts of attempted murder in the second degree with a firearm, two counts of assault in the first degree with a firearm and two counts of assault… → Read More