Friday, July 13, 2018

Hello, lucky person! It’s Friday, July 13, 2018, and if you’re reading this at the same time I’m writing it–around 4 AM… pretty soon would be the right time for that morning walk; it’s a perfect 71 degrees, a cool change from the 97 we endured yesterday. Today’s a shade more reasonable–and shade is still the best place to be, because we expect a high of 92. Then 90 on Saturday and 95 to 100 on Sunday. Sunrise 5:34 AM, sunset 8:57 PM. I know, this isn’t our low-70s comfort zone, but we have seasons and this is one. Six months hence is another. Sunrise 5:34 AM, sunset 8:57 PM.

It’s darn crispy out there. A homeless campfire broke out on the Sandy River Delta. A hay truck caught fire and flames spread in the brush outside Yamhill. So firetrucks are scrambling around, and God’s speed to them. Multnomah County just issued a burn ban. No fire pits, and for goodness’ sake no recreational bonfires. Or medicinal. BBQing is OK if you’re super careful.

President Trump overturned some more tables in London, with a newspaper interview that undercut Prime Minister Teresa May just as he arrived in her country. He attacked her managing of Brexit, said the US would “probably not” make a trade deal with her, and praised her rival Boris Johnson as someone who’s “got what it takes to be a great prime minister.” Yet he described the US-Britain relationship as “very very strong” when he arrived for a lunch meeting with May. He and Melania will have tea with the Queen later at Windsor Castle, while demonstrators rally outside under a baby Trump parade balloon.

Police say they made “an error” in arresting Stormy Daniels at that strip club in Columbus, apologized to her, and she was back on stage last night, continuing the story that began in Oregon in the spring.

Here’s today’s guaranteed-to-save-you-a-hassle traffic tip: avoid at all costs I-5 southbound in the Portland area this weekend anywhere north of downtown. Not only is the ramp to I-84 shut down; the whole freeway, in the southbound direction, will be barricaded off at the Fremont Bridge starting tonight at 10, to reopen at 5 AM Monday. They’re grinding the pavement from the Fremont to I-84. Seattle folks heading south to Portland? Grab 205 when you get to Ridgefield to avoid a gridlocked taste of home.

Be honest. How do you like your job? That question and lots of followups were posed to all of Portland’s public school principals in a survey by the Portland Association of Public School Administrators. It says the majority of principals are, or want to be, job hunting.

Should be a good night for watching our neighbors: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Mercury are all on display, and the brightest of all is Mars, just two weeks from its nearest appearance to our earthbound vantage in fifteen years.

With the closure of two stores in Alaska, America is down to just one Blockbuster in the whole USA. It’s in Bend.

New research done in part by the University of Colorado (shout out to the alma mater) suggests that people who are naturally early risers–meaning a 6AM alarm or earlier–have a 25% lower risk of depression than those who self-identify as night owls. I wake up at 3, which is why I am so darn chipper. Gr.

There’s a ton of stuff to do this weekend. F’rinstance:

–Arlo Guthrie, with his children Abe and Sarah Lee, is at the Aladdin tonight at 8. Tomorrow would have been his Dad Woody’s 106th birthday.

–Peter Cetera, who still has his great Chicago crooner voice, is at the Spirit Mountain Casino tomorrow night.

–Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene tomorrow night.

–Pentatonix are at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater on Sunday night.

–The Oregon Country Fair is this weekend in Veneta. Party like it’s 1969!

–Oregon lavender farms are open for tours this weekend.

–The Concourse d’Elegance is Sunday at Pacific University in Forest Grove

–Tomorrow is the day of the Big Float at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Really! The water’s fine!

–Plus all the stuff I’m missing. Tell me!

Or you could stay in and watch new Mom Serena Williams go for her 24th Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon tomorrow.

It was just announced that my crush Paula Abdul (I’m working on a tuba cover of “Straight Up”) will be at the Chinook Winds Casino in November, and tickets go on sale today.

“Die Hard”–a comedy masquerading as an action film–hit theaters 30 years ago Sunday.

Happy headlines to head into a happy weekend…

–“Turkish mom who read lecture notes for four years to her blind daughter at law school has been awarded honorary degree alongside her daughter.”

–“3-year-old saves father’s life with phone” (she Facetimed her Mom, who called 911) Three-year-olds know how to Facetime!

–“University offers free tuition to the boys and their coach who were trapped in the cave”

–“California has hit its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal years ahead of schedule”

And a dream wedding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast suddenly turned disastrous as an intense thunderstorm rolled in just as the guests were arriving. All the folding chairs and the altar arch with the couple’s initials were drenched, while everyone sat in their cars not knowing what to do. The bride was in tears–when suddenly a woman knocked on her car window and said, come inside and bring your wedding to our house! So everyone quickly scrambled into the beachfront home, which turned out to be a storybook location, with a grand piano, a spiral staircase for the bride to descend, and a perfect beachfront view that framed the couple as they exchanged vows. The bride is Dominican, her husband Puerto Rican, and the couple who saved the day is white, none of which would normally merit mention, but in this era, it does.

Okidoke! That’s the news I’ve been able to gather up on this Friday the 13th. Not superstitious, but last time we had a Friday the 13th, I was rear-ended. On Highway 213 on 2/13. So I’m staying the heck off Highway 713 today!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hello in there! And welcome to Thursday, July 12, 2018! The heat is on, as Glenn Frey sang in the 80s–except we’ll be in the 90s! It stayed really warm overnight…mid-60’s on the Daily Drip weather deck–and the NWS calls that a “springboard for today,” with temps in the high 80’s by late morning, eventually reaching 96. Hot enough to put our town into that slow-mo sunbaked glaze we know so well, and will long for in six months. Sunrise 5:33 AM, sunset 8:58 PM.

It’d be a perfect day, if you have the time and freedom, to head west: the coast is wonderful, with highs of 70 under a cooling breeze from the north. Or you could stick around Portland and take a leap into the normally-unswum Willamette River at Poet’s Beach, in the shade of the lovely Marquam Bridge. Opening festivities are at 10:30 this morning, though they’ve already taken the ceremonial first E. Coli count at nearby Riverplace Marina. It revealed 8 organisms per 100 ml. The state standard is 406. The water’s fine.

The Montana cop who found the baby who’d been left in a forest by a Portland man told a news conference about the moment he heard a whimper and saw the little one: “I scooped up the baby, made sure he was breathing, he had a sparkle in his eye. I warmed him up, gave him a couple of kisses and just held him.”

Homeland Security arrested eight people for blocking a van leaving the ICE facility on Macadam.

President Trump sent the NATO summit in Brussels into chaos by threatening that if all member countries don’t immediately increase their defense spending, rather than rely on American largesse, the United States would go it alone. European diplomats interpret that as a threat to withdraw from NATO.

Portland hotel impresario Gordon Sondland is now on the job as U.S Ambassador to the European Union. A delicate job it is, and all his diplomatic skills will be needed. That’s him in the photo between Donald and Melania Trump, arriving at the Brussels airport on Tuesday. He gave a million bucks to the Trump inaugural fund, but he’s also been a friend to Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who helped steer his confirmation in the Senate.

A snapshot of our times: Pew Research is out with a survey of 2,000 Americans on who was “the greatest president of our lifetimes.” Barack Obama led overall with 44%, followed by Clinton at 33, Reagan at 32, and Trump at 19. Of course it’s different when broken down by party. Obama was first among Democrats at 71%, and Reagan was the fave among GOPer’s at 57, with Trump following at 40.

Stormy Daniels was arrested at a strip club in Columbus for “allowing touching.”

The chairman of Papa John’s has resigned after using the N-word during a media training exercise on avoiding embarrassments.

Mark Hatfield, whose name is written in granite at schools, courthouses, hospitals, and train stations across Oregon, was born in the Polk County town of Dallas on this day in 1922. Hatfield joined the Navy, bravely fought at Iwo Jima, was among the first Americans to visit Hiroshima after the bombing, got a Master’s in poli sci from Stanford, became Oregon’s youngest Governor at 36, and then served 30 years in the U.S. Senate. As a self-described liberal Republican, he was a dove on Vietnam and famously said, “Having seen war, you obviously learned to hate war.” Mark Hatfield was a kind and decent gentleman, and he passed at 89 seven years ago.

A nice surprise for 46 Japanese students who came to the Beaverton Police Department for a tour: as they sat in a classroom for a briefing, a Beaverton officer named Lamb welcomed them in fluent Japanese.

Favorite headline today is in The Smithsonian, in a story about how the ovulation of wildebeests in the Serengeti is accelerated by sounds made by would-be mates. They wrote: “How Noisy Males Control the Gnu’s Cycle.”

A twenty-five pound, 100-year-old lobster was caught off the Maine coast. The claws are bigger than the captor’s head. But hold off on melting that pound of butter…the fishermen took photos, then tossed the ancient crustacean back into the sea to live out its days.

Ground was broken on this date in 1993 for the Rose Garden, which looms along I-5 like a giant concrete clam.

Something fun downtown today: a “Flash Fair” at Pioneer Courthouse Square. It’s not what you’re thinking, Bud! It’s a miniature Oregon State Fair, between 11 and 2, when you can hobnob with farm animals, gobble down fair food, and listen to fair entertainment right there in Portland’s Living Room. It’s all to whet your appetite for the real State Fair, from August 24 through September 3. Labor Day.

TMSG?

–“‘Imagine the joy:’ Father, four-year-old son reunite in U.S. immigration crisis” (Hope the rest of the divided families soon have a chance to experience that).

–“Six-year-old twin brothers save toddler from drowning”

–“Elon Musk says he will fund water filters for homes in Flint, Michigan.” (Dude likes headlines, but as long as he does things like this, he’ll keep getting them).

–“The Utah Town That Actually Wants a National Monument: In Emery County the mostly Republican residents are betting on adventure tourism to wean their economy off coal.”

–“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawaii and California Ocean Clean Up About to Begin.”

–“Bright lights attached to fishing nets stop birds and turtles dying in them, scientists say: Cheap, effective technique has no effect on quantity of fish caught, and shows promise for preventing needless death of marine creatures.”

Oh, by the way!

Looking for something good to do today? All of the Meals on Wheels centers in the Portland metro area would love to have new or gently used electric fans, a blessing and a lifesaver for seniors who swelter in unairconditioned apartments. I did that once; bought a stack of small $20 fans at Home Depot and dropped them off at the Tigard Meals on Wheels place. I hope it helped some old folks; I know it made me feel good all day. Even better..if you know someone like that..pop in and say, “Hello in there!”

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hi there! Today is Wednesday, July 11, 2018, a warm and balmy day in the Northwest with highs of 87 in Portland and 68 at Cannon Beach today. A fresh north wind blows along the coast today, and there’s a small craft advisory for sharply breaking waves offshore, the kind that can capsize a boat even on a sunny day. Temperatures step up tomorrow to 95 in Portland. Sunrise 5:33 AM, sunset 8:58 PM.

Somebody tossed a firecracker at the Plaid Pantry on N. Greeley Avenue. It took firefighters ten minutes to stop the flames, but the store will be closed for months.

Folks who live around SE 118th and Division are keeping their pets indoors after a cougar was spotted in a backyard late Monday night. That’s not too far off Powell Butte. Go home, kitty!

Ranchers and former inmates Dwight and Steven Hammond are back home already, following the pardon from their arson conviction by President Trump. It was their case that inspired the Bundy takeover of the Malheur wildlife refuge. Kieran Suckling, head of the Center for Biological Diversity, said “Trump’s pardon abandons human decency and will encourage more violence and extremism among his base.” And Dwight Holton, former Oregon U.S. attorney, said “President Trump is playing to his political base. I do think it’s disappointing that folks want to play politics with the criminal justice system.” But Rep. Greg Walden said, “Today is a win for justice and an acknowledgment of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West.”

The sigh of relief is like a wind sweeping the world, after twelve boys and their soccer coach were threaded through tight and pitch-black underwater tunnels to safety in Thailand, escorted with extreme care by heroic and media-shy expert divers from several nations. This morning the boys and the coach are all in good condition but still in quarantine. Part of the story emerging is that some of the boys are refugees from Myanmar, and one 14-year old–proficient in English and other languages–played a critical role in the rescue, acting as an interpreter between the trapped group and the British divers involved in saving them.

There’s another bunch of reunions that needs to happen, but the administration failed to meet yesterday’s deadline to reunite all separated migrant children under five with their parents, as ordered by a court.

It’s a thankfully happy ending to the story about a Portland man, a meth user, who abandoned a baby in the woods after a car crash in Montana. Officers followed a trail of baby items down a slope from the scene, heard a whimper, and discovered the 5-month old boy on the ground, dehydrated but alive. He’s OK, and the man is jailed on criminal endangerment charges. No word if the baby is his, or why he had the child in his care.

Today is Day Three of Carmageddon, Act One. Southbound 5 to Eastbound 84 is a no-go until the morning of July 23; Act Two begins on the 25th, which closes inbound 84 to NB 5. So that’ll put the whammy on the Banfield. Act Three happens in mid-August, closing inbound 84 to Southbound 5. We can guarantee that there will be no closure of the ramp from Southbound 5 to Westbound 84, because there is no such thing, even though I’ve heard it on two radio stations.

Kermit Washington is going to federal prison for six years for charity fraud. The former Portland Trail Blazer and NBA All-Star admitted in court to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to his Sixth Man Foundation–supposedly to support medical aid for children in Africa–on vacations, shopping, plastic surgery for his girlfriend.

For the sixth year running, our beloved PDX has been named the best domestic airport in the United States by Travel + Leisure. The Port of Portland deserves props for what they’re doing. The publication praises PDX’s user-friendliness, gouge-free retail shops, even the friendliness of TSA. I’ve always loved our airport–because it’s so easy to get away, and so easy to come home. My family cohort has had a tiny amount of drama at PDX in the past year or so, but it was all entirely self-induced. Two missed flights. One forgotten wallet, one forgotten iPhone, one lost brand-new Goorin Bros’ hat. Perhaps the anticipation of the relatively mellow level of the airport experience caused us all to drop our guard, and lose the heightened state of anxiety on travel day that we usually need to help us deal with crap. That we don’t have a lot of at PDX.

It’s England vs. Croatia in the World Cup semifinals today at 11 on the FOX network. That’s, what, 9 PM in London? We were there during the World Cup in 2010, and no matter who was playing, every pub near our hotel was packed, alive, and bright, bright fun. Love to be there tonight. France, in the meantime, celebrated with firecrackers exploding all night long, as their national team defeated border rival Belgium 1-0 to secure a spot in the final.

Having a baby? What a wonderful….thing in life. Redbook says the top names in the US so far in 2018 are: Eleanor, Lincoln, Olivia, Wyatt, Charlotte, and Milo.

Cowboy songwriter James McMurtry is at Revolution Hall tonight. This guy could have been a character in a novel by his Dad Larry McMurtry, whose son is a Lonesome Dove poet with a Johnny Cash range and a sneer toward the elite, and who growls these grim grassroots tunes accompanied by nimbly fingered twelve-string guitar. Think Neil Young or John Prine. I sometimes post links to his stuff and they get 10 likes. Maybe a little dark, but they resonate.

A little something-something for our collective morale?

–“Hero firefighters save man having a heart attack then finish his garden work”

–“Fed up villagers in Wales install their own ultrafast broadband”

–“Instead of spending money on an expensive honeymoon, a newlywed couple in Londonderry adorned their entire neighborhood with beautiful flowers and hanging baskets.”

–“Australian experiment involving sterilizing males wipes out over 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes.” (Can you imagine the skill required for all those microvasectomies?)

–“How Buddhist meditation kept the Thai boys calm in the cave” (Mindfulness meditation. Sounds like something to get to know).

Hump day under way. See if we can make like that park in Vancouver, Lacamas Regional Park, that is creating a one-way downhill trail strictly for mountain bikers. Let’s see if we can grab that momentum and zoom heck into a summer weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Morning, sleepy person! I’m right there with you. It’s Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Portland’s weather is a day or two away from soaring into the 90’s, so today’s 78 should be an occasion for knocking stuff out so you can avoid toiling in the heat later this week. Sunrise 5:32 AM, sunset 8:59 PM. That’ll be our first pre-9 PM sundown in a month.

Latest from the cave rescue? Three more boys are out–which means one boy and the coach remain, along with several Thai Navy SEALS who are with them. Doctors say most of the kids who’ve been rescued are in better condition than they’d expected, but a couple may have lung infections. This may wrap up today!

Let’s see if day two of Carmaggeddon works out more according to script today than yesterday, when the likes of me were urging, nay, braying on the air that you must at all costs avoid I-5. Sneakily, it turned out that 205 was the utter disaster, where a freak construction snafu shut down two lanes on the very highway that was the recommended alternative to I-5. What happened apparently is that an overnight crew’s equipment malfunction prevented pavement from hardening. Seems inexcusable. They have pills for that.

And the rose goes to—Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s 53-year old pick from among the appellate judges vetted by the Federalist Society to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Kavanaugh will provide the steady shove to the right for which Trump was elected. I hope the upcoming confirmation hearings will be a national civics deep-dive into the profound power wielded by these nine individuals, who are appointed for life and literally have their hands upon the Constitution. These nine have the power of the founders. How many people can name them all, without Googling? Most do better naming the Seven Dwarfs.

(BTW We’d love to hear the perspectives of the legal types within the Drip group. I think the confirmation process will be a mortal struggle over Roe, which Kavanaugh famously called “a binding precedent” in his confirmation hearings for the DC Circuit. Which means absolutely nothing now, for the simple reason that SCOTUS rulings are binding to circuit judges, but not to SCOTUS. They could overturn Roe. Not saying they will, but for a mighty congregation of religious voters on the right, that’s the whole idea of their support of Trump).

The government says at least fifty immigrant children under age 5 will be reunited with their parents in time for today’s deadline, and the families will then be released into the U.S. But that’s only half the kids covered under the court order.

A skirmish broke out between federal police and demonstrators outside the ICE HQ on Macadam. Three arrested, two feds have minor injuries. These were not city officers. In fact, the City of Portland served papers on the feds saying the fence that Homeland Security built at the ICE office wasn’t built to city code. And was built without a permit. Kind of a gutsy counter-aggression by City Hall; we’ll see what happens.

It’s unthinkable that anyone wouldn’t get immediate medical help if their children needed it, but that’s why an Oregon City mother and father are going to prison for six years minus time served. These young people belong to a small congregation that relies on hands-on faith healing, rather than humankind’s God-given ability to figure things out and let the doctors and nurses take it from there. Their infant daughter died last year after being prematurely born, in a home, surrounded by church people. Nobody called 911. A twin (and they didn’t know there were twins) barely survived. That’s the fifth such case among this small group, though prosecutors see hope in the fact that the plea agreement includes the posting of a statement by the couple inside their unmarked building near the point where Molalla Ave meets 213, saying that “everyone in the church should always seek adequate medical care for our children.” They do for their pets, for crying out loud. And they wear glasses.

Democrats led by Kate Brown are pressuring Bend Democratic legislative candidate Nathan Boddie, M.D., to resign his nomination after he was accused of sexually harassing a woman at a bar, and then claiming his accuser has a substance abuse problem. Victim-shaming, say party leaders. The Gov tweeted, “I’m not willing to compromise my values over an election. Time’s up.”

Mayor Ted Wheeler seems to be growing a beard. I did that once, to savage reviews, and auctioned it off for $7,000 for Make-a-Wish. Your move, Ted! (There’s a Make-a-Wish car auction going on now. Go to their website for details. It’s a Subaru).

Someone posted the following on the Portland Reddit message board: “Red means stop! Someone just blew a red light in front of the MAX, causing the operator to hit the emergency brake, which caused some poor woman in a wheelchair to fall over and needed medical attention.”

George Clooney suffered minor injuries in Italy when somebody ran into his motorcycle.

World Cup semis begin today with France vs. Belgium at 11 AM on FOX. It’s England vs. Croatia tomorrow. Wouldn’t you love to be in a pub in London tomorrow night?

Kelso High School breaks ground this morning on a new football field..with the same turf that the Seattle Seahawks, UW Huskies, and WSU Cougars play on in their stadiums.

TMSG

–“When the Texas heat got to a senior citizen doing his yard work, a responding fireman to the 911 call pitched in and finished up the man’s lawn care”

–“California couple finds wedding ring in ashes of burned-down home”

–“Man drops $1,300 outside supermarket, good Samaritan returns all of it”

–“Cerebral palsy didn’t stop this 9-year-old girl from saving her baby brother from drowning”

–“Activists use soccer jerseys to form “hidden” rainbow flag in Russia, where displaying LGBT flag is illegal”

–“Women Who Violate Tehran Dress Code Won’t Be Arrested, for the First Time in Nearly 40 Years”

#timesup. Gotta get to work!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Good morning, and welcome to Monday! It’s July 9, 2018, and Portland’s weather is heading into a summertime straightway, with highs of 78 today, 80 tomorrow, and then into 90 degree country beginning Wednesday. Sunrise inches later at 5:31 AM, and sunset is at 9:00 straight up–for the last time this year.

Lead story: this generation’s Baby Jessica moment. Now, as then in 1987 when a todder was stuck in a well for 58 hours, we are unanimous in our concern for these young people, trapped in claustrophobic hell, with their fate in the hands of extremely capable and brave people. Thailand is fourteen hours ahead of us, something to keep in mind as we watch the all-caps heroic effort to save the remaining members of that youth soccer team from a cave that’s nearly full of water, and with rain on the way. So as I write this at 4 AM Pacific, it’s 6 in the evening for the rescuers, and the numbers now: four confirmed rescued–there are unconfirmed reports that a fifth is out and a sixth is on the way–and if all goes well the rest of the 13 will be pulled out today or tomorrow.

By the way, something to know about their coach, 25-year old Ekkapol Chantawong, is that he was raised in a monastery and trained as a Buddhist monk…and during their long confinement, he taught the boys meditation techniques, to keep their minds clear and calm, and to preserve their energy. He also let them have his share of the food during the early days of their confinement. Some are calling for discipline because he apparently ignored warning signs about entering the tunnel so close to monsoon season, but some of the kids’ parents say they regard him as an angel.

Here at home, it’s our first morning without one of the busiest freeway ramps in Oregon, the one that feeds the Banfield from I-5 southbound near the Moda Center. The expected traffic delays are described by ODOT in such apocalyptic terms that they’ve created a Spotify playlist for the occasion called Grilock Grooves (“Tired of Waiting,” “Running on Empty” etc). It’s only the first of three major closures during which cars will be snake onto surface streets, or pour onto crowded alternatives like I-205.

That’s not the only closure sending commuters onto time-devouring detours this morning. The Springwater Corridor Trail near Oaks Park is closed starting today, and continuing all the way through Halloween. That’s going to put a lot of bicycles onto the Sellwood bridge, so they can come downtown on the westside Greenway Trail.

But the good news is that the Portland Aerial Tram is back in action this morning, three weeks ahead of schedule, following a maintenance shutdown that was supposed to take all month long.

President Trump does a big reveal of his second Supreme Court pick in prime time tonight.

A British woman has died after being poisoned by Soviet-era nerve agent.

At least 100 are dead in flooding in Japan. People are camping on the roof.

Confusion and disappointment for a McMenamin’s Edgefield crowd Saturday night, as a concert by the sweet-singing country roots trio The Avett Brothers was unexpectedly called off because a metal detector at the gate alerted security that a man with a gun was trying to get in despite a no-weapons policy. The man identified himself as an out-of-state law enforcement officer and showed a badge, but while the security guard waited for her supervisor to come and make a ruling, the guy slipped away into the crowd, and the band opted to postpone the show. They offered to stay and play the next night, Sunday, but that didn’t work–because it was Steve Martin and Martin Short’s turn to entertain the crowd on the lawn.

Ann Wilson of Heart is at the Elsinore Theater in Salem tonight. She and sister Nancy had a falling out last year (after Ann’s husband smacked Nancy’s teenage kids for leaving the door open on the tour bus), so the band is on hiatus. So Ann’s been on tour this spring, and has a new album, too–called “Immortal,” made up of covers of songs written by artists who are now longer among the living. David Bowie. Tom Petty. Leonard Cohen (she does “A Thousand Kisses Deep”).

Starbucks is getting rid of plastic straws.

Something good, please?

–“JetBlue flight attendants come to dog’s rescue on flight to Massachusetts” (the French bulldog pup was having trouble breathing, so the cabin crew brought over an oxygen mask).

–“HIV vaccine shows promise in human trial”

–“Teacher In India Buys A Bus And Picks Up Students Every Morning So No One Drops Out Of School”

–“After A Passenger’s Tweet, 26 Minor Girls Rescued From Train In India”

–“Couple remodeling bathroom finds funny hidden message from former owners”

–“Amazon will publish toy catalog this holiday to fill Toys ‘R Us void”

The K103 morning show this week features our afternoon drive star Stacey Lynn, who takes over the Murdock chair for the next five days. And I’ll be keeping the news beast fed at 1190 KEX this week, from my perch at K103. There’s a lot happening and I’ll do my best to keep the Daily Drip up to date, though my live on-air responsibilities have to come first. Interesting times.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hiya friends! It’s Drip time for Friday, July 6, 2018. Today we prune ten degrees off yesterday’s high of 87, and mix in a slight chance of a shower. The weekend could start with a Saturday morning sprinkling, then warm to 80 or more. Sunrise 5:29 AM, sunset 9:01 PM.

So let’s find out what’s up, on this very strange working week with a huge holiday right in the middle of it…

Heads up for travelers…a wildfire in northern California has closed a 120 mile stretch of I-5 between Ashland and Yreka, and there is no estimated time of reopening.

Another brush fire at Kelley Point Park…and one along SR 14 on the Washington side of the Gorge, which has closed part of the Cape Horn Trail because of the potential for rolling debris…two men are accused of lighting illegal fireworks that started the 10-acre Pilot Butte fire in Bend, which took out power to 20,000 people and shut down US 20 for two hours…pretty crispy out there, folks…

This is the weekend the barricades go up for the first of a summer’s worth of major road construction closures right in the heart of Portland. The ramp from I-5 southbound to I-84 will close on Sunday night, and stay that way for two weeks. That will shove thousands of cars onto I-205 and surface streets, and fill up the MAX Yellow Line with commuters who are lucky enough to find a parking spot at the Expo Center.

Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler takes over as acting head of the EPA, with Scott Pruitt’s resignation yesterday. Pruitt was effective at his mission of peeling away environmental safeguards enacted by President Obama, but blew through millions of tax dollars for security and personal perks, and accepted sweetheart deals from people connected to industries he was supposed to regulate. Reaction on Twitter from Merritt Paulson, the Portland Timbers owner whose father, Hank Paulson, was GWB’s Treaury Secretary: “It take a lot of work and effort to be the lowest deplorable in DC these days but Scott took the crown. Imagine a legacy of leaving a wasteland for future generations.”

The world is waking up to a trade war, as the US started imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products at midnight Eastern, and China immediately retailiated with tariffs on unspecified tech products sold to US industry.

A retired Thai navy SEAL has died in that cave where twelve boys and their soccer coach remain trapped. His air ran out as he was bringing oxgen tanks to the team.

Waterfront Blues Festival headliner George Thorogood performs Saturday night on the Main Stage. A favorite story about him dates back to the 70s when his band, the Destroyers, and another blues band, Jimmy Thackery and the Nighthawks, were performing across the street from each other at competing joints in Georgetown. George and Jimmy hatched a plot: at midnight, the Destroyers and the Nighthawks each played the same Elmore James song in the same key. Midway through the song, the two lead singers unplugged their guitars, marched out of the nightclubs, met in the middle of M Street, exchanged patch cords, and went to the opposing club and finished the song fronting each other’s bands. Love it! Bad to the bone!

John Lennon and Paul McCartney met on this day in 1957, and formed a little band a few years later.

Tomorrow is Ringo Starr’s 78th birthday.

It’s George W. Bush’s birthday. He’s 72. People miss him today, but he had his rocky moments. And Sylvester Stallone was born the very same day.

World Cup Quarterfinals begin this morning with Uruguay and France kicking off at 7 AM Pacific, followed by Brazil and Belgium at 11. Tomorrow look for Sweden and England at 7 AM, and Russia and Croatia at 11.

The Utah Royals are at the Portland Thorns tonight. Then it’s the Portland Timbers against the San Jose earthquakes tomorrow night.

If you’re into beads….jillions of them from around the world are on display and up for sale at Bead Faire starting at noon at the Oregon Convention Center. It’s Bead Faire Day!

And now today’s Headlines to Lower the BP, because part of our job here is to provide plausible hope…

–“Elon Musk offers to help rescue the Thai soccer team stuck in a cave” (one of his companies drills tunnels)

–“Boston commuters rock a train car to rescue woman whose leg got stuck between the train and the platform”

–“Sweden to reach its 2030 renewable energy target this year” (And they’re in the World Cup quarterfinals. My great grandparents, up in Swedish heaven, are very pleased)

–“Japan Team Leaves Locker Room Spotless and Leaves Thank You Note in Russian after Loss to Belgium in World Cup”

–“For only the second time on record, no one killed by tornadoes in US in the deadly months of May or June.”

–“Golden Retriever saves owner by taking rattlesnake bite”

–“‘Alaska’s version of Lassie’: Dog helps rescue injured hiker near Anchorage, smiles in selfie with victim.”

That wraps up the DD for what’s felt like a really long week. I’m batching it…which usually means I’ll pick some project, and spend the weekend thinking about it while I find me some good baseball on TV. And it’s time to get into the World Cup. Go Sweden! Who’s up to what?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

There’s got to be a morning after….but do we really have to go to work in it? OK! It’s a privilege and a challenge, actually, to be up and at ’em on this Thursday, the 5th of July, 2018. It may be just us chickens…but let’s crow! Today’s weather is starting out cloudy, but by the time the rest of the world is awake, it’ll be sunny and well on its way to an 80 to 85 degree high. Sunrise 5:28 AM, sunset 9:01 PM. You might be able to spot Mercury in the post-sunset sky, about 10 degrees above the horizon in the west-northwest.

First…heartfelt and humble thanks to the scores of citizens who wrote from their souls…and to the countless of others who read and heard these proud, troubling, and ultimately inspiring words about the nation we live in, at the hour of its 242nd anniversary. We saw powerful writing and thinking, and I encourage everyone to share the thread far and wide. I say theoretically–not volunteering–that someone needs to print it off and bind it up into a volume that lands in every library, newsroom, jailhouse, immigrant detention facility, and smoke-filled backroom in every capitol building in the land. By the way, that thread continues; if you’d like to contribute, it should be findable downstream.

Anybody get any sleep last night? I did OK. Probably five hours.

Let me, through ringing ears, quickly scan my reliable sources for the news of the morning..

The Portland Fire and Rescue twitter feed was alive all evening with a series of fires caused by you-know-what….4800 SE 75th…117th and SE Madison…6100 NE Glisan…in many cases, embers threatened nearby buildings, but firefighters stopped the flames from spreading. One civilian injury. Those late-afternoon showers were not on the menu at all, but they bumped up the humidity by ten points, and that may have helped hold down the damage from all the demolitions experts out there.

A mom in Happy Valley was hit with a $1,000 citation for her kids playing with illegal firecrackers.

A man fell 20 feet from a balcony during a Fourth of July party in Forest Grove. His injuries are life-threatening.

A branch from a hundred-year-old oak tree fell on a crowd at a fireworks show in Rock Island, Illinois. Two were killed, others hurt including a pregnant lady, who then gave birth, and those two are fine.

A woman scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty and vowed to stay there until kids seized at the border are reunited with their parents. She was arrested.

A neighbor in Clackamas called the cops on a black woman who was going door to door, thinking she was looking to steal something. The woman turned out to be Oregon State Rep. Janelle Bynum, knocking on constituent doors.  It should be added that cops were also called on a white politician who was similarly canvassing the neighborhood.

The kids in the cave in Thailand…lemme check. They’re still trapped. Rescuers had brought in a phone so they could talk to their parents, but it fell in the water. They’re bringing in another. Teams are trying to drain the water before the next deluge arrives…others are trying to drill a hole…

Lost animals…they’ll be turning up for days at the animal shelters, where it’s prime time for people doing good work. It was a scary night for our friends of the canine and feline persuasions, but if they fled your neighbors’ celebratory weaponry, they might be cowering behind the tree out back, or somewhere down a street where you’ve walked them. When scared, they look for the familar. I’ve had success finding lost dogs (okay, it happened just once) by driving my car down neighborhood streets–and the “He’s Home!” engine noise brought her right into my lap.

On this day in 1971, Richard Nixon certified the 26th Amendment, and the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. Oregon played a role in that, but not in the progressive way the state is known for. Congress passed a law in 1970 lowering the age to 18–and Oregon, of all states, objected. I dunno why. The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled–hey, a win for Oregon!–that Congress could lower the age for federal elections but not state and local. So Oregon’s nitpicky little ambiguity was resolved with the 26th amendment.

It’s the 81st birthday of Spam.

And now…quietly…tell me something really good! (Actual headlines here, copy paste and Google for the stories).

–“Girl with cerebral palsy saves 1-year-old brother from drowning”

–“The San Antonio Zoo wants to offer Toys ‘R’ Us mascot Geoffrey a new job as ambassador for giraffe conservation”

–“Player misses first World Cup for birth of first child, saying “Everybody says you only get one chance to be in a World Cup, but also there’s only one day in your life where your children are born.”

–“Nigerian Prince Scam took $110K from Kansas man; 10 years later, he’s getting it back” (Spoiler: it turns out that Western Union employees were in on this, and the company has a fundto reimburse victims).

–“Japan Team Leaves Locker Room Spotless and Leaves Thank You Note in Russian after Loss to Belgium in World Cup”

OK. Those of us who are on the clock today probably have to get five days’ work done in four. Fortunately we’ll be unimpeded by colleagues who were quick enough to grab the days off. I am consistently insistent on the creation of new holidays to match reality, when most people are taking the day off anyway. Like the day after the Super Bowl. Productivity in the workplace would improve if we didn’t have these ambiguous half-holidays. Make them real. The Fourth of July, which should be called “Independence Day” anyway, should occur as the climax of a floating four-day midsummer break. However, this is not yet the case, so off to work we go. Not complaining, y’understand. I’m straddling the morning shows on K103 and KEX, today, and hoping I don’t step on a metaphorical rake.