Axios Portland

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🐇 It's Monday, April 1. No joke.

ğŸ˜Ž Today's weather: Sunny. High 67, low 45.

ğŸŽ§ Sounds like: "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley (Glastonbury 2023).

🛣️ Situational awareness: The Morrison Bridge eastbound off-ramp to SE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be closed from 9am to 3pm today and for several days at the same time until the guardrail is repaired.

Today's newsletter is 602 words — a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Oregonians are among the nation's least religious

Share of adults who say they never or rarely attend religious services
Data: Household Pulse Survey; Note: Adults who say they never attend or attend less than once a year; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Oregonians are some of the Americans least likely to go to church.

Why it matters: More than three-quarters of Americans say religion's role in public life is shrinking, per a recent survey by Pew Research Center — the highest level since the group started tracking such sentiment in 2001.

We are up there with Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine — and our Washington cousins — when it comes to staying away from church.

By the numbers: Among Oregon adults, 62% say they never or seldom attend church or religious services, compared with the national average of 49%, per a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data.

  • 9% of Oregonians attend services one to three times a year, 3% attend four to 11 times per year, and 17% attend 12 or more times.

Zoom out: Vermont (75%), New Hampshire (66%) and Maine (66%) have the highest share of adults who say they never or seldom attend church or religious services.

  • Mississippi (32%), Alabama (36%) and Louisiana (37%) have the lowest shares, meaning they are the most churched states.

The big picture: Many Americans are unhappy about religion's shrinking role in public life, with about half of adults telling Pew both that "religion is losing influence and that this is a bad thing."

Friction point: Nearly half of U.S. adults say they feel at least "some" tension between their religious beliefs and mainstream culture, Pew found.

  • That's up from 42% in 2020.

Bottom line: Religious service attendance has been dropping for decades, per a separate Gallup survey, driven largely by "the increase in the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation — 9% in 2000-2003 versus 21% in 2021-2023."

2. Rose City Rundown

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Columbia County Sheriff's deputies found 18 frozen puppies allegedly being used as snake food in Goble, 40 miles northwest of Portland, after a tip from a neighbor.

  • An animal law expert said feeding dogs to other animals is not illegal in Oregon. (The Oregonian)

⚾ Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler suggested Rose City Golf Course to the Portland Diamond Project as a possible site for a Major League Baseball stadium within Portland city limits.

  • According to emails, the Diamond Project prefers the larger site of the RedTail Golf Center in Beaverton. (OPB)

🏓 The Irvington Club closed its two outdoor pickleball courts after a cease-and-desist notice from a neighbor living 15 feet away, who is requesting a noise mitigation plan. (Willamette Week)

3. Photo to go: Wood chips everywhere

A pile of wood chips on SE 89th Avenue. Many of the wood chips around Portland have been donated by arborists still cutting their way through the timber felled in the January storm. Photo: Joseph Gallivan/Axios

Piles of wood chips are showing up on Portland's front yards and sidewalks.

Why it matters: Arborists are trying to dispose of trees that came down in the January storm and that they hauled off for chipping.

🏠 Homeowners can sign up at Free Wood Chips, ChipDrop or Portland General Electric for a delivery of free wood chips.

How it works: The first two sites match arborists who have mountains of mulch with gardeners who want to cover their soil.

  • Gardeners use wood chips in compost, to prevent weeds from growing, and to keep moisture in the soil, although plastic sheeting is an alternative.

🌲 ChipDrop asks homeowners to clear space 15 feet long and five feet wide for the pile.

  • The delivery truck also needs a 20-f00t height clearance.
  • Chips are supposed to arrive in one to five weeks but have been known to show up the next day.
  • Arborists pay $20 per delivery.

🪵 Dig in: Arborist General Tree Service, based in Beaverton, explains ChipDrop on its website and adds a crucial detail: These chips are twice as big as those sold at home and garden stores and contain up to 50% leaves and green matter.

Tell a gardener

🧽 Joseph spent the weekend spring cleaning, which is defined as under the fridge and on top of the fans.

🌟 Meira will be back soon.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Khalid Adad and Anjelica Tan.