TIME society

Portland Plans Tiny Houses for the Homeless

Homeless in the Pearl
A person walks by the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp in Portland, Ore. on Oct. 4, 2013. Don Ryan—AP

Designed to give residents greater privacy and independence than traditional shelters, the micro homes may persuade people who currently live in Portland's "tent cities" to relocate to the sturdier structures

With an estimated 2,000 of its residents sleeping under bridges, on streets and in empty lots in a variety of makeshift shelters, the city of Portland, Oregon, is on a quest to provide more safe housing for those without a permanent address. Thinking beyond typical dorm-style shelters, it has launched a task force that will meet September 4th “to assess the viability of using tiny homes as a potential for housing houseless people,” says Josh Alpert, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Mayor Charlie Hales. Alpert hopes the first batch of homes will be ready for occupancy by late February 2015.

The mayor’s office began looking into the idea of micro homes in June after housing advocate Michael Withey presented an idea to the city council based on designs by architecture firm TechDwell. Alpert says he envisions a pilot program in which up to ten structures are erected on four separate city-owned lots. The idea is to establish the micro communities in various neighborhoods “so that no one area is feeling overburdened,” Alpert adds.

TechDwell

The tiny houses will be selected through a request-for-proposals process and will hinge on two key factors: cost and the ability to meet city and county building codes. Tim Cornell of TechDwell, who has already met with Alpert to discuss his prototype, says he can deliver micro homes that sleep two people and have bathrooms and kitchens built-in for $20,000 each. His FlexDwell prototype (shown at right) measures 16 feet wide and 12 feet deep and features a sloped ceiling that is 12-ft. high in front. Made of prefab materials available at Home Depot and Lowe’s, it includes two sleeping pods joined by a kitchen, bathroom and eating area. To save space, the bathroom shares a sink with the kitchen. “We could have them built on-site in 45 days” after an order is placed, Cornell says.

Because the tiny houses offer dwellers more privacy than big shelters, they may appeal to people who are reluctant to give up the sense of independence that comes from living on the street. The micro homes could also be cheaper than temporary emergency shelters, which cost up to $16,000 a year and lack plumbing.

“If there is a potential to get even one person off the streets, it’s worth trying,” says Alpert. “Simply having a roof over their head may enable them to springboard into finding a job.”

TIME space

See What the Raging Pacific Northwest Fires Look Like From Space

NASA

In a photo taken from the International Space Station, smoke blankets a large swath of the western United States

Wildfires across the Pacific Northwest have been blazing since Monday and have scorched large areas of forest as a result of hot, dry weather in Oregon and Washington. A total of 25 large, uncontained wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres, with the single largest affected region in eastern Oregon’s Malheur County where about 369,000 acres of land has been burned. Incredibly, you can see smoke rising above the region from outer space. Reid Wiseman, an astronaut on the International Space Station, posted this photo on his Twitter feed.

MONEY Travel

7 Great American Vacation Spots (That Won’t Bust Your Budget)

Our mission: to find a geographically diverse group of top U.S. destinations where your summer travel dollars can — with a little bit of planning — go a very long way. Then: recommend particular attractions, eateries, and places to stay that will make the most of your visit without breaking the budget.

Nashville, TN

If Bristol, Tennessee, is the birthplace of American county music, Nashville is where it moved after growing some sideburns (or curves). Soak up live performances any night of the week and spend your days investigating Nashville’s many other artistic, gustatory, and historical delights.

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Johnny Cash Museum

Do: During the daytime, get heady on harmonies at the Johnny Cash Museum — where you can see the singer’s handwritten lyrics and Martin guitar ($15 entry) — and the Country Music Hall of Fame, which just underwent a $100 million expansion ($25; $2 off with a visitmusiccity.com coupon). Then hit a Grand Ole Opry live radio show (from $29.50, three days a week) for big names like Blake Shelton, as well as old-school and up-and-coming performers. For a taste of Nashville’s noncountry scene, check out the Stone Fox for the nightly live performances, many with no cover charge, and $1-off happy-hour specials. If visual art is more your speed, you can enjoy works by Goya, Hopper, and Wyeth at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located in a renovated Art Deco post office ($10), and take tours of 135-year-old letterpress shop Hatch Show Print — during which you make your own print to take home ($15).

Eat: Go for a handmade pasta, like garganelli verdi with heritage pork ragout ($17), at Rolf and Daughters, which opened last year in a 100-year-old factory building in Germantown. Then there’s Pinewood Social, a restaurant/karaoke bar/bowling alley, great for treats like hot sweetbreads ($13) and pork-belly salad ($12). But no matter what else you eat, don’t leave town without trying Prince’s Hot Chicken, which is nothing short of a buttery, crunchy, fiery revelation ($7.65 for a half chicken). It’s a few miles northeast of downtown, on the way back from Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage estate. Newcomer 400 Degrees, near the Hall of Fame, is a close second ($5.86 and up).

Sleep: If your timing is flexible, you can snag discounts at hotels that reward you for longer stays. The Hutton, where rooms typically range from $200 to $300 per night, offers 15% off three-night stays and 20% off four-night stays this summer. Save even more by staying farther from downtown: A new branch of Homewood Suites in the Vanderbilt area, just west of center city, costs 30% less than the downtown Homewood Suites in August — $180 a night compared with $260.

Splurge: Good cowboy boots ain’t cheap, but you can allay the sticker shock by checking out the bargain section of French’s Shoes and Boots. Before bed, grab a nightcap at The Patterson House, a gorgeous speakeasy (and celebrity hangout) serving up class, sass, and incredible cocktails.

 

Portland, OR

Portland has a well-earned hipster rep, but it’s also become a buzzy culinary hotspot. Isn’t it time you went to taste the hype for yourself?

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Danita Delimont—Alamy

Do: Get your bearing with a free walking tour from Secrets of Portlandia, billed as a “stand-up comedy about Portland’s history and culture (twice a day through September 3). You’ll get a rundown of various neighborhoods, see the city’s best known street art, get bar and restaurant recommendations, and more. Still feeling a little of that World Cup fever? Get tickets for the Portland Timbers, the popular local Major League Soccer team. Of, if you’re after a more intellectual pursuit, head to Powell’s City of Books, the flagship of the world’s largest independent chain of bookstores. The store is always hosting interesting readings and book clubs, so check the calendar to see what’s on while you’re in town.

Eat: Portland is a foodie favorite known for two things: creativity and affordability. Start your noshing with the city’s famous food carts. Go to Foodcartsportland.com (or download their 99 cent app) to get the scoop on where to find the most mouthwatering options. One to try: Gastro Mania, home of the $8 foie gras burger. Check Under the Table with Jen, a local food blog run by Jen Stevenson, for sit-down eats. For an evening of wine, cheese, and charcuterie, Stevenson recommends Cyril’s: “It has a ‘secret’ patio, and they just added a bocce court.” Finally, don’t leave town without a stop at the legendary Voodoo Doughnuts, one of the originators of the creative doughnut craze.

Sleep: Portland has some great hotels, but if you’re traveling mid-summer, you’re unlikely to find a well-located place for less than $250 a night. For a more affordable option, try the Everett Street Guesthouse, which is an easy walk to many restaurants and cafes and a six-minute drive from downtown. Rooms start $100, including breakfast.

Splurge: If you’ve ever watched IFC’s Portlandia, the Portland-based comedy starting former SNL cast member Fred Armisen and musician Carrie Brownstein, you remember the “Put a Bird On it” sketch. That scene was filmed at Land, a store/gallery that carries a range of affordable gifts and artworks made by local craftspeople. No matter your taste, you’ll likely find a goodie worthy of a spot in your suitcase.

 

Santa Fe/Albuquerque, NM

New Mexico perfectly captures the spirit of the Southwest — and is full of fun, affordable activities. Start in Albuquerque, then drive an hour northeast to Santa Fe, home to one of the most vibrant art scenes in the country.

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http://www.visitalbuquerque.com

Do: With among the highest concentrations of Native Americans in the country, New Mexico is a great place to learn about Navajo and Zuni Pueblo culture. In Albuquerque, catch a dance performance and read about the history of the state’s 22 tribal communities at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center ($6 admission). If you’re visiting in August, try to catch the Santa Fe Indian market, where more than 170,000 people gather each year to learn about and buy contemporary Native American arts and crafts. For a dose of 20th century Americana, check out Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum ($12 for adults, free for youth under 18) — and don’t leave the state without catching a dramatic sunset on North America’s longest aerial tram, the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque ($20).

Eat: Enjoy the kitchy décor and savory diner-food-with-a-twist at Owl Cafe in Albuquerque; try the sumptuous green chili cheeseburger ($5.25) and the onion loaf ($4.95) — a plateful of thin, golden rings piled high. Up in Santa Fe, there’s something for everyone at Harry’s Roadhouse, where the saucy and delicious tacos, burritos, and enchiladas can all be made vegetarian. Generally, top-rated Mexican food abounds, so you just have to remember one rule: Dip those sopapillas in honey.

Sleep: Even nicer hotels in Albuquerque are much less expensive than their counterparts in other cities: The Hotel Parq Central, top-rated on TripAdvisor, charges less than $150 a night for stays in August. Santa Fe is considerably pricier, so go for a bed and breakfast instead, like the whimsically decorated El Paradero Inn, where rooms are available from $155.

Splurge: Take advantage of the hot-but-dry desert weather at the outdoor Santa Fe Opera, which shows original works alongside classics like Carmen. Ticket prices range based on dates and seats from $30 to $300.

 

Long Beach Island, NJ

Don’t be misled by the Jersey Shore GTL stereotype. While there is certainly plenty of fist pumping in some New Jersey beach towns, Long Beach Island is more of an old-school family getaway, complete with salt water taffy, mini-golf, and 18 miles of beach.

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Do: Climb the 217 steps of the Barnegat Lighthouse for panoramic views of the island and Barnegat Bay ($3 entry fee). You may even be lucky enough to be in town when the lighthouse is open for a “night climb,” which happens just a few times per summer (check the schedule). When you’re ready to hit the water, try a lesson at LBI Surfing. Non-surfers may want to try an SUP—stand-up paddling—class instead. Group lessons are $55 per person. Finally, don’t forget to grab a beach pass; they start at $5 a day.

Eat: You’re on vacation, so eat some fried food. Locals like The Clam Bar in Beach Haven. Try the fried flounder and fry platter for $12.95 or go old school with Clams Casino ($9.95). The line can get long, but you can always call ahead for take-out (and no matter what you do, mind the no cellphone policy!). For another fun indulgence, head to the infamous Chicken or the Egg, once featured on the Man vs. Food show on the Travel Channel. You’ll have plenty of egg dishes to choose from, of course, but the casual eatery is also known for its chicken wings, which come with a choice of 16 sauces.

Sleep: Rather than overpay for a funky beach hotel, look into renting your own place. A recent search of AirBnB turned up 1-bedroom condos starting at $160 per night, and a 4-bedroom cottage for a manageable $190 a night. Bonus: Many rentals come with bikes, grills, and beach chairs.

Splurge: Go to the original Ron Jon Surf Shop, opened in 1961. You know you want a new pair of board shorts or sunglasses, so pick them up at this massive, wonderfully cheesy beach emporium.

 

Yellowstone National Park, WY

America’s national parks are a shared treasure — and Yellowstone is the granddaddy of them all. Check an important item on your domestic bucket list and pitch a tent here.

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Neal Herbert—NPS

Do: Swim, hike, and horseback ride through the two-million-plus acres of our country’s first national park, containing the world’s largest collection of geysers and hot springs — which come in every color of the rainbow. Bring binoculars to get the best view of Yellowstone’s wild fauna, including bison, elk, bobcats, coyotes, moose, mountain lions, wolves, and bears. And of course, catch a glimpse of Old Faithful erupting. The park’s $25 entrance fee is good for a week’s stay, and seniors older than 62 (and their families) and military families can get in for free.

Eat: Nothing beats the smell of barbeque mingling with the fresh outdoor air, so cook outside in one of the park’s designated picnic areas for pleasure — and savings. If you need a break, grab a seat in the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room, located right next to the famous geyser, and order the smoked bison and pheasant and chicken sausage ($15.95) or make your way to Roosevelt Lodge for some farm-raised trout ($18.75).

Sleep: Hotels and cabins are available within the park, but you should decrease the hit to your wallet and up the excitement by pitching a tent in one of Yellowstone’s tent and RV campgrounds. Whereas a room at the Old Faithful Lodge can go for $124 a night in August, camping sites are only $21. There are five grounds where you can reserve spots online, and seven that are first-come, first-served.

Splurge: Bring along some high-quality thermal underwear — the park is surprisingly cold at night, with average lows in late August dipping below 40 degrees. And if you make any gift shop purchases, avoid this book, unless you want to spend your evenings dreaming about bear attacks.

 

New Orleans, LA

Despite its reputation as a party city, New Orleans is much more than beads and bachelor bacchanals. The city is rich with culture, food, lore, and one of the most American of musical genres — jazz.

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Viewminder—Flickr

Do: Get to know New Orleans and its history intimately with one of Free Tours By Foot’s two-hour walking tours, after which you tip the guide whatever you’d like. Start with the French Quarter tour, where you’ll learn about the city’s founding (details are delightfully macabre and salacious) and see historic spots like the Tennessee Williams house. Then branch out with the cemetery or Garden District tours, where you might glimpse a celebrity pet. In the evening, unless you are a dead serious jazz enthusiast, forgo the long line and $30 ticket prices at Preservation Hall and enjoy a live performance at effervescent (and free-of-cover) Fritzel’s.

Eat: Trying the sweet, fluffy beignets at Cafe du Monde ($2.65 for three) is a crucial rite of passage for NOLA visitors, as is ordering a po’boy from one of the city’s many worthy shops. Wash down the grease with the quintessential New Orleans cocktail, the Sazerac, at the quintessential New Orleans bar: the Napolean House ($7).

Sleep: Skip chain hotels like the Marriott or Hyatt, where prices typically top $200 a night, and soak up local charm by staying at a family-owned bed and breakfast. At the 1830s Creole-style Bourgoyne Guest House on Bourbon Street (just north of the hubbub) you’ll pay only $95 a night for studios overlooking a quiet inner courtyard. The plates in the attached kitchenette come in handy to collect crumbs from a late-night muffaletta.

Splurge: Reward yourself for hours of walking — or dancing at The Spotted Cat — with dinner at romantic, atmospheric SoBou. An appetizer of sweet potato beignets is fancied up with foie gras fondue, duck debris, and chicory coffee ganache ($12).

 

Chicago, IL

Always one of America’s most exciting cities, Chicago really comes alive in summer, when residents can finally shed all those layers and get out and enjoy their town.

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Stephanie Lamphere—Flickr

Do: No matter what part of the city you’re itching to explore, you’ll find an intriguing itinerary at ChooseChicago.com. The site runs down a weekly calendar of what’s going on, and suggests routes through 51 different areas. You’ll also find a bevy of free activities throughout the city this summer, including 30 concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. For more culture, seek out one of the dozens of shows put on by small theater companies every weekend. Tickets usually range from $15 to $35 and Chicagoreader.com offers current listings. Finally, no one with even a passing interest in America’s Game should skip Wrigley Field. Check the schedule and get tickets—some at as little as $20—at the Cubs’ website.

Eat: Start with the classic: a Chicago-style hot dog topped by sport peppers, tomato slices, and bright green relish from Hot Doug’s on the North Side. Or, for the type of neighborhood joint locals love, Stephanie Callahan, of food blog Stephanie Eats Chicago, suggests Home Bistro in Lakeview. “It’s a cozy, BYOB place that always has the best ingredients and freshest flavors,” she says. Want a $20 a person dinner (including tax and tip)? Get away from the downtown Loop for a range of ethnic food, including Mexican, Indian and Vietnamese.

Sleep: Hotels in the city center are pricey in summer, but you can save by choosing a B&B. Check out options in Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods, such as Andersonville, Old Town, or Wicker Park. The Wicker Park Inn, for instance, has rooms in July for $159 a night and occasionally offers special rates as low as $99.

Splurge: Reward yourself for a day of serious sightseeing with an al fresco cocktail at Shanghai Terrace, in the Peninsula Hotel. A Green Tea Mojito or Sour Cherry Old Fashion goes down even easier with a cool breeze and sweeping skyline view.

Need more ideas for summer sojourns? Take our quiz: Which Movie Matches Your Travel Style — and Dream Destination?

 

 

TIME Congress

Congressman Breaks Down on House Floor After Oregon School Shooting

Amid a moment of silence on the floor

When the Oregon congressional delegation took to the House floor on Tuesday to ask for a moment of silence in the wake of a deadly school shooting, Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer was overwhelmed with emotion.

“[The] Troutdale High School is a terrific institution in my district,” Blumenauer said, before showing a gift students there had recently given him during a visit. When Blumenauer held up the wooden bowtie decorated with a bicycle on the House floor, he began to fight back tears.

Police say a teenage gunman killed one student and injured a teacher before turning the gun on himself at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Ore., on Tuesday. All five members of Congress from Oregon, Democrats Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, and Suzanne Bonamici, and Republican Greg Walden, stood with Blumenauer as he laid out the details of Tuesday’s tragic events.

“I would ask, Mr. Speaker, that the House observe a moment of silent in support for the victims, their families, and the community,” Blumenauer said through tears.

TIME U.S.

Engineer Turns a Boeing Jet Into a Fully-Functional Home

Boeing 727 home of Bruce Campbell is seen in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland, Oregon
The Boeing 727 home of Bruce Campbell is seen in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland, Oregon May 21, 2014. Steve Dipaola / Reuters

It's bigger than a lot of New York apartments

In a move that feels straight out of a Zach Braff movie, a former electrical engineer named Bruce Campbell decided to take a Boeing 727 and convert it into his home.

It all began when Campbell spent $23,000 for 10 acres of land in the Oregon woods, Reuters reports. He originally planned to make a home from freight vans, but then decided to up the stakes and use a jet instead. So he spent about $220,000 to purchase an aircraft and convert it into a home, where he now spends six months of the year.

Though the home is fully-functional, Campbell does not live lavishly. He sleeps on a futon, cooks with a microwave or toaster and bathes in a makeshift shower, Reuters explains. But still, he’s living ON A JET.

Here are some pictures of the interior:

Bruce Campbell sits on his futon bed while using a laptop in his Boeing 727 home in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland, Oregon
Steve Dipaola / Reuters
Fully functional lavatory is seen in the Boeing 727 home of Bruce Campbell, in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland, Oregon
Steve Dipaola / Reuters
Cockpit, which Bruce Campbell is currently renovating, is seen in his Boeing 727 home in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland, Oregon
Steve Dipaola / Reuters

 

TIME Transportation

Study Finds People Feel Safer With ‘Protected Lanes’ for Bikes

A new study finds around 79% of residents feel safer with bicyclists in protected lanes on city streets

The installation of protected lanes in U.S. cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C. has resulted in greater peace of mind, not just for cyclists, but for residents in surrounding neighborhoods, too, a new study found.

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities, a transportation research program out of Portland State University, evaluated the use of protected lanes—areas with strict barriers dividing lanes for cars and bikes on city streets—in select neighborhoods in Chicago and D.C., as well as Austin, Portland and San Francisco.

Almost 100% of cyclists and over three quarters of residents surveyed said biker safety increased when bike lanes were protected.

Perceptions of safety for motorists, on the other hand, was less dramatic. Only about 37% of respondents thought driver safety had increased, while 26% thought safety decreased. About 30% said they thought there had been no change.

The study also collected and analyzed 144 hours of video surveillance footage and tallied zero collisions–not even near-collisions. There were approximately six “minor conflicts,” described in the study as sudden slamming of brakes or a change in direction, discovered in that same video footage.

Overall, the study found an increased overall support for the addition of protected bike lanes in areas around U.S. cities, even in urban areas where the primary mode of travel entails four wheels, not two.

TIME cities

Teenager Holds His Breath While Driving in Tunnel, Then Faints and Crashes

A local police officer said that some people hold their breath in tunnels as part of a game or superstition

A 19-year-old man caused a three-car crash in Oregon Sunday when he fainted after holding his breath while driving through a tunnel.

The teenager, Daniel J. Calhon, lost consciousness and control of the car as he drove through a tunnel close to Portland, the Associated Press reports.

Some people hold their breaths in tunnels as part of a game or superstition, State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings told the Associated Press.

Calhon’s car drifted over the centerline and had a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle. A pick-up subsequently hit Calhon’s car. Four people were injured — Calhon and his passenger as well as the two passengers in the oncoming car — though none of them seriously.

Calhon has been cited for reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

[AP]

TIME Crime

Portland Police Arrest Naked Man Playing a Violin

Matthew Thomas Mglej
Matthew Thomas Mglej Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Police warned the nude musician about putting on some clothes several times before they arrested him and carried him to a cop car

A naked man playing a violin outside of a courthouse in Portland was arrested Friday afternoon after numerous complaints and warnings, police say.

The man said his name was Matthew Thomas Mglej and that he is 25 years old, although police have not confirmed his identity.

The man was jailed for indecent exposure under Portland city code, which states that it is “unlawful for any person to expose his or her genitalia while in a public place or place visible from a public place, if the public place is open or available to persons of the opposite sex,” according to a statement from the Portland Police Bureau.

Police gave the man several notices about his violation of city code before arresting him, but he didn’t go down without a fight: The nude violinist refused to go to the cop car and had to be carried by police.

TIME 2014 Election

Oregon Race Is A Fight for the Soul of the Senate

Oregon Primary
With her children at her side, Dr. Monica Wehby greets supporters at the headquarters in Oregon City, Oregon after winning the Oregon Republican Primary race for Senate on Tuesday, May. 20, 2014. STEVE DYKE—AP

More than any other race in the country, Sen. Jeff Merkley’s re-election battle with GOP candidate Monica Wehby is about political dysfunction and who’s better to fight it

“I am running for Senate because I believe I can help. I’m exactly the person capable of changing things,” Dr. Monica Wehby told a crowd of supporters at her Oregon City campaign headquarters Tuesday night after winning the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate. “I’m not a career politician, they’re the ones who got us into this mess. But I am a Doctor [and] a mom.”

Wehby defeated State Rep. Jason Conger, a Tea Party darling, for the opportunity to deprive Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, of a second term. Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, ran on a moderate platform of compromise and pragmatism. “I believe that polarization of opinion is ruining this country,” Wehby said. “This vilifying of others we disagree with has got to stop. Our greatest enemies are those who want to divide us. Because a house divided against itself cannot stand. We are better than this. We are the United States of America.”

At the beginning of May, Merkley sent out a press release lambasting Republicans for filibustering a Democratic attempt to raise the minimum wage. “Together, we led the effort to reform the filibuster and create a pathway for judicial nominees to move forward,” said Merkley, who led the fight to change the Senate rules to prevent the minority from filibustering most judicial nominations. “This week’s vote shows why we need to continue the fight for all our progressive values.” Merkley backs more rule changes to further ease the Senate logjam.

At stake in Oregon isn’t just a Senate seat in an election where Republicans could take control of both houses of Congress. It’s also a fight for the soul of the Upper Chamber and how things could and should be run. One of the major issues in the races has been who would deal better with Washington’s broken system. “There’s no question that this race is shaping up to be a referendum on political dysfunction,” says Jennifer Lawless, a political science professor at American University. “With congressional approval at an all-time low and public dissatisfaction with politicians and the entire political system at an all-time high, candidates have every incentive to signal to the voters that they can fix the way Washington does business.”

But, Lawless, continues, both candidates face challenges in making their respective cases. “Given the gridlock and stalemate associated with the Republican party, Wehby needs to figure out a way to distance herself from her party’s tactics,” she says. “Merkeley has a tough road to hoe, too. Beyond the fact that filibuster reform is a somewhat esoteric and not at all sexy campaign issue, he needs to convince voters that he hasn’t been part of the problem, even though he’s been in the Senate for the last six years.”

Merkley was elected six years ago with just 49% of the vote. A poll early last month found Merkley ahead by 12 percentage points, but a second poll done at the end of April showed Wehby ahead by 4 percentage points. Merkley entered the race prepared for a fight, raising more than $5 million. As of the end of April he had $3.7 million cash on hand compared to Wehby’s $350,000, much of which she likely depleted in the final days of her primary battle. Most observers rate this race solid or likely blue. But in a wave year, even Oregon could flip. It will depend on who makes the better case that he or she is the better salve for Washington’s dysfunction.

TIME

High “High Elf” Attacks Woman’s BMW With A Sword

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Daniel Allan—Getty Images

Evil Morgoth can come in many forms

She thought it was a pirate. That’s what she told 911 when she called for help, that a pirate was attacking her car with a sword. As it turns out, it was a “high elf”.

The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, was driving in the southeast section of Portland, Oregon, when a man wearing a helmet and shield and carrying a sword and staff ran into traffic and started attacking her BMW. As is the recommended course of action in such circumstances, she called 911 and explained the situation. Police responded to the call, and when they arrived on the scene, they found Konrad Bass dressed in chain mail, holding a sword. The woman’s car had several puncture marks.

Bass told officers that he wasn’t a pirate, but was a “high-elf engaged in battle with the evil Morgoth.” He also told officers that he had taken LSD, which may be the reason he believed a BMW was an instrument of Morgoth, the evil villain from J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Silmarillion”.

He was taken to the hospital and cited for criminal mischief, but was not booked into jail.

[Via KATU]

MORE: Police: Naked Man Doing Push Ups in the Street Hit and Killed by Car

MORE: Naked Guy High On Embalming Fluid Shouts ‘SURFBORT’ in Beyoncé Voice

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