Thursday, September 19, 2019

Good morning, survivors of the deluge! It’s Thursday, September 19, 2019. Lots of 9s! 9-19-19, right? Anyway, we’re charting out a day unlike any other this week: no downpours, no thunderblasts, just filtered Northwest sun following a sleepy morning fog, then highs of 70. Sounds quite wonderful! Sunrise 6:53 AM, sunset 7:14 PM. We’re losing daylight at a rate of over three minutes a day, but it’s still light enough to sacrifice a wild IPA to the gods before sundown. We’ll be switching to mead by candlelight before long.

The rain has a reputation for washing us clean, but that’s not always deserved. Manhole covers popped off the sewer line on NW Westover, with indelicate results, and the health department has posted touch-not-the-water at Hubbard Creek Beach in Curry County, Sunset Bay State Park Beach in Coos County, and Nye Beach in Lincoln County, on top of earlier warnings for Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County and D River Beach in Lincoln County that are now 9 days old. That number again.

Hundreds of people were evacuated when a fire sprinkler pipe burst at McMenamin’s Edgefield in Troutdale last night. Flooding caused extensive damage to the historic building

So glad that no shoppers or employees were hurt during a police shooting at a Goodwill in West Salem, where a suspect was shot and killed after running inside trying to escape a drug investigation.

The Oregon Environmental Council is blasting President Trump for revoking California’s ability to set its own auto emission standards–to which Oregon and Washington have long opted-in. The Oregon environmental group says that because of the tougher standards, “our cars are cheaper to drive, our air is cleaner, and our tailpipes are emitting fewer greenhouse gases.” Trump tweeted that he took the action “in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER.” But the OEC says, “we can only hope the slow gears of federal bureaucracy and legislation will work in our favor as the clock runs out on this anti-environment administration.” (BTW the auto industry spent billions researching and retooling to meet those standards; there’s a market for clean vehicles, and I don’t see the industry clamoring to turn its back on it).

Tomorrow’s the day of the U.S. Climate Strike, and students all over are participating…let’s see: Portland, for sure, at 10:30 at City Hall (PPS middle and HS students will be excused if they ask the teacher); Beaverton 8:30 AM at City Hall by the MAX stop; Rex Putnam HS 8:45 in the school courtyard; Gladstone/Milwaukie/OC at the 205/99E interchange by the Oregon City Shopping Center; Hillsboro 10 AM, downtown on Main Street; Forest Grove 11:30 AM at Pacific U; Salem 1 PM on the Capitol steps. As 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told a Congressional committee yesterday, ‘If you did your job, we’d be in school.”

I want to lift up the fact that the Sunshine Division, which exists to help people who’d be otherwise up one of those creeks listed in paragraph 2, will benefit from an Act Against Hunger telethon today on KATU. Plus, if you go to Fred Meyer today, the checkers will invite you to round up to the nearest dollar at the register, and all donations will be matched up to a total of $20,000. The Sunshine Division has been getting people out of bare-cupboards pinch for almost 100 years, and you can be somebody’s hero.

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams–born in ’59, age 59, and singing about the Summer of 69, plays tonight in the Moda Center’s Theater of the Clouds. And what time? 8.

My sister Jan says the whales are busy spouting at Depoe Bay and they’re “pretty awesome to watch.”

Oh–let’s check. The Portland Timbers? Did they win? …No. Scoring drought continues. NY 2, Portland nil.

Good news time….OK, 3 out of 5 links today are good, two are not. So I’ll post this…and try to fix later. Gr.
–“Boy, 11, sells vegetables every day before school to pay for his sick brother’s medical bills after donating bone marrow to save his life”
–“Human chain helps ‘lost’ dolphins escape from St. Pete canal” (bad link)
–“Bridal party delivers aid to Hurricane Dorian-hit Bahamas” (bad link)
–“Pigeon poops on head of lawmaker discussing pigeon poop problem”
–“Amish buggy with stereo system, 12-pack on roof pulled over by cops”

Friends, I’m going to take a personal day tomorrow. But I’ll post something resembling a DD as usual, because I don’t want to waste the prep I’ve already done for it. Thanks to KEX’s Brad Ford for filling in for me on K103.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ah, the camel is on the prowl, friends, it’s Wednesday, September 18, 2019! Portland’s weather? So glad you asked. It’s pouring hard as I write this, at 0400, from a thick slice of heavy rain that extends from Eugene to Longview. There’s a 100% chance of showers with isolated thunderstorms, and highs around 66. Sunrise 6:52 AM, sunset 7:16 PM.

I feel a strong need to lead with this sweet story from the town St. Helens. That’s where Oregon State Police troopers gave an elderly woman a ride home after a car accident and discovered her yard was totally overgrown. Turns out her husband had died 10 years ago… and she had no family to help her. So together, the people who work at OSP’s St. Helens office brought in their own lawn mowers and rakes and other equipment, and spent their Saturday on what they “lovingly called Operation Grandma’s House.”

So about the big storm yesterday? Officially PDX was at the shallow end of the rain stick at .13″. My digital Bluetooth readout, from a cup next to a garden gnome, was .17″. It mostly fell during my nightly walk, but as I said, it’s been raining hard in the overnight hours, and I have .15″ more. And 3200 PGE customers in the town of Newberg are in a power outage.

Trapped on the second-floor balcony of a burning apartment in Tigard, three people were ready to jump for it–when Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue arrived, put up a ladder, and helped them down safely.

We’re sure glad this ended without anyone getting hurt: a bus hauling 46 Oregon Army National Guard members crashed on the Oregon coast when the driver–who reportedly was talking on his phone and showed signs of impairment–missed the turn from US 101 onto Highway 26, then lost control of the rig and crashed onto a sidewalk.

We’re up to four people in Oregon–two in the past week– who’ve come down with a serious lung sickness related to vaping, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Apparently the material behind vaped, whether cannabis or tobacco, is suspended in an oil-based solution and some of that gunk can coat your lungs. Sounds hideous! In the meantime, New York becomes the first state in the US to ban flavored e-cigarettes, as a way of stopping teens from getting started on this junk.

The woman accused of killing her husband in Camas says she did it in self-defense, according to court documents, which say 47-year-old Stephanie Westby called 911 and said “my husband and I just had a big fight. I thought he was going to kill me and I shot him.” She told their teenaged children to leave the house before the shooting occurred. There was a large group in the courtroom supporting her, and she may be out on bail by now.

The transparency storm in Governor Kate Brown’s office has ended the judicial career of Misha Isaak, Brown’s former general counsel, before it even began. He’s backed away from his appointment to the Oregon Court of Appeals, under the cloud of a charge by Oregon’s first public records advocate, Ginger McCall, that he pressured her to secretly advocate for the governor’s interests rather than those of the public. McCall herself resigned in protest.

A followup to our story yesterday about Oregon State University announcer Mike Parker’s spinout accident on I-5, where his car ended up in the cable barriers in the median: that barrier was installed as a direct result of a wreck five years ago that killed the husband of Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and another person, which touched off a major effort to install barriers between the north and southbound lanes. Another life possibly saved.

Whether they intended to or not is unknown, but somebody dropped off “a substantial amount of money”–as in, thousands of dollars–at the Goodwill off Lombard in North Portland. Employees are scrolling through hours of security video to see if they can ID the benefactor, so they can determine if the generosity was a major “oops.”

The Portland Timbers get a chance to bounce back from Sunday’s own-goal, one-goal loss when they host the New York Red Bulls tonight at Providence Park.

We’re working on squishing the bug in the “Something Good” Coffee Cup. Let’s see how we’re doing!

–“Human chain helps ‘lost’ dolphins escape from canal”
–“Breast cancer survivor becomes first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop”
–“Plumber refuses to take payment from pensioner, 91, and gains hero status”
–“Gary Larson’s THE FAR SIDE Cartoon Coming Back”
–“Man being fired brings emotional support clown to meeting”

Clicking into fall mode! I have my dark weather walking gear ready–reflectorized vest, an old buddy’s rain jacket, fresh batteries in the flashlights…I love walking in the rain. Feeling the rain is sensory contact from somewhere far away. Like seeing the stars. Anyway, that’s the Drip for today!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Happy stormy Tuesday, September 17, 2019! You’re waking up on what promises to be a wet and windy day, with moderate to heavy rain, turning to showers in the late afternoon,, with winds gusting to 35 MPH, and highs of 60. Sunrise 6:51 AM, sunset 7:18 PM.

Oh…sad to say that one of our favorite broadcast journalists, Coke Roberts of ABC and NPR, has died at 75. And Alex Trebek is back in chemo.

Meteorologists say we’ll get a pretty healthy saturation out of this second early-season system, with maybe 1.5 inches of rain in the Willamette Valley and 3.5 in the mountains by the time it all blows out. If it weren’t so early in the season, we’d be talking about a major snow dump in the ski areas, but right now the snow level is around 7K. Big, pretty flakes were floating down at Timberline yesterday. Not exactly Columbus Day material, but today’s weather will be breezy enough winds to prune off some limbs, push over some trees with saturated roots, and maybe douse the lights.

PBOT’s trying a new tack at getting folks to scoop the gunk from their neighborhood storm drains. The city is inviting you to adopt a storm drain! In PBOT’s words, “Our crews work hard to keep the drains clear, but hey, with over 58,000 drains in the city they just can’t get to them all. That’s why we’re asking Portlanders to adopt storm drains in their neighborhoods to keep them free and clear of leaves.” Fine, then! Can we claim them as tax deductions?

Down here on the ground yesterday afternoon we had strong showers, sharp sunbreaks..rainbows…lightning strikes..and on my favorite radar app I watched a storm cell slide across downtown Portland and move directly over Portland International. So I listened to the PDX air traffic control frequencies and heard exchanges like this, from a departing jet heading into the storm: “We need a little left of the weather.” Which the pilot was granted, at a very specific altitude. The tower then radioed an incoming Delta jet, “we’ll have traffic taking off from Portland and deviating off the departure path to get around some weather. He’ll be below you, well outside required vertical clearance” And everything fit perfectly, like cards shuffled by an expert. They even accommodated a Cessna 152, departing from a busy airport at rush hour into rough weather for a trip up the Gorge. There’s always a drama in the skies…we’re just unaware of it.

An ex-private security guard is on his way to pen for seven years after he pleaded guilty to harassing a Muslim family for wearing hijabs; breaking a Latina woman’s hand with a metal baton for shooting video of his outburst, sending her phone into the Willamette; and pepper-spraying two other people…all during one racist meltdown on the dock along SW Harbor Way last year.

Portland’s been offering one-way bus tickets out of town for homeless people, but only to a place where there’s housing waiting. KGW reports that about half of them…go back to the streets.

Glad to say my favorite radio play-by-play guy…Mike Parker of the OSU Beavers…is okay, despite getting in a spinout wreck on I-5 at the Santiam River. Judging by the photo he posted on Twitter, it looks like his car was stopped by the cable barrier in the median!

A new report from WalletHub…which gets itself on the news by issuing new reports… ranks Portland as the eight most fun city in America. Vegas is #1, San Francisco is just ahead of us at #7, we Beat LA (a Portland mantra), and Seattle doesn’t crack the top 10.

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is in town.

It’s Constitution Day! Our country’s single most important document, representing the sacrosanct principle that all people are created with inviolable rights, is honored today because this was the date in 1787 that it was signed by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Not that they got everything right, which is why we have 27 amendments. But did you know there’s a glaring grammatical error in the Constitution that has gone uncorrected? In article 1, Section 10, the document uses “it’s” when it should be “its,” even in 18th-century grammar. Tsk! They also thought about calling the chief executive “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.” That one didn’t make it to the final draft, and good thing!

On the local birthday list! Portland radio greats Joe Joey Gee Cooper Giannunzio aka Joe Cooper (KGW) and Inessa Anderson (KINK) are celebrating today. And two rightfully famous and movieworthy Oregon authors were born on this date. The “Wild”ly successful Portland author Cheryl Strayed on the planet in 1968…sharing the birthday with the sometimes-a-great-prankster Ken Kesey (1935).

It’s “Something Great from 68” night at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, as genius composer Brian Wilson and his band (including Al Jardine) play some huge Beach Boys hits–the show begins with “California Girls and “I Get Around”–while also venturing into his personal favorite tracks from two less-celebrated albums, “Friends,” and “Surf’s Up” (which is my own BB fave). Also on the bill are recent Rock HOF members, The Zombies (“Tell Her No” is the opening number), led by the band’s founder, Rod Argent (“Hold Your Head Up”).

For your future bingeing needs: All 180 episodes of the Emmy-Award winning Seinfeld are coming to Netflix starting in 2021. Last time I had a root canal, I asked the dentist to play Seinfeld DVDs. Between Season 2 and the nitrous oxide, I was laughing so hard they had to stop the procedure!

Today’s life hack you can use: next time you have a loved one who’s traveling by air, and you’re in a helicopter-parent mood..try Googling their airline and flight number…and it will show you exactly where the flight is, their airspeed, altitude, and ETA. Even a map, if you poke around.

In the Department of Something Good….all but one of the links that I posted for this morning are coming up dead. I have no idea what the problem is…but I’m done wasting time on it. The Coffee Cup will return when we fix whatever is wrong. Grr. Can you tell that I am pretty damn frustrated with this?

Nevertheless…I hope everyone has a very fine and manageably dry day!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Hello and good morning! We’re joining the world on a drippy Monday, September 16, 2019. After yesterday’s record-setter soaking of .78 inch of rain in Portland–more than an inch in some areas–today will be a showery day with a possible thunderstorm later and highs in the 65 range. Sunrise 6:50 AM, sunset 7:20 PM.

The September Equinox is just one week from today, but it sure feels like fall is here. Some neighborhoods already have colorful golden leaves, and our Sunday drenching was just the beginning; the National Weather Service says more storms will roll in over the next few days, and “Heavy rain rates with the fronts may challenge low lying areas with poor drainage for minor urban flooding. Ponding on the roads is also possible with the heavy rain, as well as hydroplaning of vehicles.” Doesn’t sound like this is a “false fall” to me, friends…but who knows?

Quick breaking traffic update! PBOT has opened a third lane on the Going Street Bridge, the critically important connection to Swan Island that was bonked into by a train derailment last weekend. That means two lanes will be going in to Swan Island, relieving the bottleneck of last week. But still only one outbound lane, when folks are trying to get home at the end of that day. It may be months.

Wonder if drivers will start topping off their gas tanks…pump prices are expected to surge following the drone strike on the world’s largest petroleum facility in Saudi Arabia. A faction in the civil war in Yemen claims responsibility for the attack, but the White House suspects Iran, which denies it. President Trump says the US is “locked and loaded” to respond.

He’s on the Supreme Court, but the past keeps trying to haunt Justice Brett Kavanaugh. New allegations of misbehavior at a Yale student party, plus corroboration of allegations that were deemed uncorroborated during last year’s confirmation hearings, are claimed in a weekend report in the New York Times. Calls for his impeachment have come from candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, and Beto O’Rourke.

For the first time in a decade, there’s a strike against General Motors, where 49,000 workers hit the bricks after contract talks failed. Their union says the company has been laying off tens of thousands of workers, while the CEO collected over $20 million last year.

Folks who live near Beaver Creek Canyon–a gem of a natural area in Troutdale–couldn’t miss the pitiful cries of two little dogs who became stranded on a cliff alongside a roaring waterfall. High angle rescue crews came and saved one of the pups late Saturday night…and came back the next morning and brought down its sibling, cuddled and warm in a towel.

The Portland Timbers will play New York on Wednesday night at Providence Park, and that’s good: they’ll have a chance to erase the memory of yesterday’s pouring-down-rain 1-0 loss to DC United. One of the Timbers knocked the ball into Portland’s net for an own goal, and that was the only score of the game–although television replays showed that the Timbers actually poked the ball into their own net a second time just thirteen minutes later.

Two big-college football games in the Willamette Valley, and two wins for the home teams on Saturday. The Ducks are eager to roll into Stanford this weekend, while the Beavers, who have a bye this week, get Stanford at home the following Saturday. And it was great to see the Portland State Vikings on ESPN, holding their own against Boise State until the Broncos pulled away. The Vikings are going to have a great year.

Ric Ocasek, frontman for The Cars, died Sunday. “An interesting, smart, kind, funny man who made incredible records,” said one tweet from a fellow musician. Police have not confirmed a cause of death.

This is the birth date, in 1925, of Bill Naito, one of the most influential business leaders in Portland history. Born in Portland to Japanese immigrant parents, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City to avoid internment during WWII; then Bill joined the U.S. Army in 1944 where he served during the postwar military occupation of Japan as a translator. Coming home, he graduated from Reed College and helped grow his family’s curio shop into a billion-dollar import business with his brother Sam. They opened the Import Plaza and the Galleria…bought up buildings when other investors were leaving downtown, coined the phrase “Old Town” to replace “Skid Road,” donated the space for Saturday Market…fostered the planting of 10,000 trees..the list of his achievements is endless and indelible. The downtown stretch of Front Avenue was named in his honor, a month after his death in 1996.



Here’s hoping for a kind and peaceful Monday!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Very superstitious,
Writing’s on the wall,
Very superstitious,
Ladders bout’ to fall

Does this feel weird? It’s Friday the thirteenth, and we have a Full Moon—a cosmic/calendar coincidence that hasn’t happened in thirteen years and won’t for another 30. And it’s a Micro Moon, the dusty orb’s farthest point from the earth. So let’s carry on and expect good things, from this Friday, September 13, 2019! The day should be sunny except for a shower leftover from overnight rain, and highs of 70. Saturday is cloudy and 75; Sunday shows plain old rain. We officially topped at 83 yesterday, and could that be the last 80-plus of the year? Hope not. But could be. Sunrise 6:46 AM, sunset 7:25 PM. And moonrise? That smallish ball will peep orange over the shoulder of Mt. Hood at 7:44, and bleach bone-white as it sails the path toward moonset at 7:04 tomorrow morning.

Recall the Portland Police Lieutenant who drew grief for texting chummily with the Patriot Prayer boys during our notorious right-left rumbles? Lt Jeff Niiya has been exonerated by an Independent Police Review investigation and praised by the Mayor for doing his job: gathering information and sharing it with police commanders, trying to keep the peace. Ted Wheeler initially called the texts “disturbing” and “crossing several boundaries,” but Lt. Niiya explained the friendly tone of his texts, while being griddled by investigators with his job on the line, in blunt terms: “You don’t get cooperation by being an a-hole to people. Do I condone the actions of the group? Absolutely not.”

By the way, Chief Danielle Outlaw scorned the media for “narrowly tailored” public records requests for texts and emails, saying that the narrowness of the records lacked the vital context. But one of the reporters who did the initial story, Katie Shepherd, replies via Twitter, “That is kind of jarring considering the Bureau’s records division has asked me to narrow many requests I have made. The Bureau charges huge fees for broad requests.” Public records are public records. They should be free to the public.


I listened to the gun violence portion of the Democratic presidential debate last night, and the sound bite coverage this morning, but not having three hours to devote to it on a school night, the debate is in my video queue for weekend. I did see the part where Beto O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, I’m coming for your AR 15,” and this morning he says he’s getting death threats for it, beginning with a Texas State Representative who tweeted, “My AR 15 is ready for you, Robert Francis.” If you have comments on what you saw/heard, bring it on!


Say, look who’s back! Portlandia! Our famous copper statue has been hidden by a shroud for months while workers rebuild the lemony Portland building. But the shroud was pulled yesterday morning, and she’s back, and really shiny after a deep clean.

The annual swirl of Vaux Swifts should be nearing its peak at Chapman School in NW…they counted 5,160 birds on Tuesday night…the average peak is around September 20, but anytime should be good! (Park at Montgomery Park..the streets packed). And I know there are other Swifts viewing spots too. Share, please!

The Montana Grizzlies visit the Ducks on Saturday night…Cal Poly’s at the Beavers at 1:15 PM…Hawaii’s at Husky Stadium at 4:30..and the Cougs are at Houston tonight. And Portland State, which hung 70 on a lesser opponent last week, will try to avoid getting a taste of its own against #24 Boise State.

This is the weekend of Rose City Comic Con at the Oregon Convention Center. which calls itself Portland’s premier pop-culture event! In town for photo ops and autographs are Cary Elwes, hero of “The Princess Bride” (Buttercup: “We’ll never survive!” Westley: “Nonsense, you’re only saying that because no one ever has!”) …along with Weird Al Yankovich, his second time in Portland in a month…Lou Ferrigno…Pauly Shore……a whole bunch of celebrities your kids have heard of.

Mark Knopfler, the Sultan of Swing himself, still Wanting his MTV, still doing the Walk of Life…plays at the Keller Auditorium tonight. Hey, he did the beautiful soundtrack to The Princess Bride! I wonder if he and Cary Elwes will connect while they’re in town?


Let’s try the Tell Me Something Good thing again. Yesterday all the links in the Coffee Cup were dead ends, though they were fine when I posted them. And this morning, the first two links are dead, while the others are good. I don’t have time for this!

–“A young cancer survivor gets a wonderful surprise”

–“Mets Win Emotional 9/11 Tribute Game With 9 Runs on 11 Hits”

–“After Porcupine is Rejected By His Mother, Wiener Dog Steps in to Be His Best Friend”

–“This therapy dog is helping firefighters take care of their mental health”

–“JK Rowling donates £15.3m to the University of Edinburgh for MS research”

Everybody have a safe and lucky and kind and nonsuperstitious day. A rocky start for me, given the links hassle. By the way, has anyone seen a woolly bear yet? I’ve seen just one…and he was puny indeed, trying to cross my road. What could this portend?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Morning, cowpokes! Welcome to Thursday, September 12, 2019. Portland weather is back to the good old summertime for one more day, with a shining sun after the morning clouds and highs that could hit 80. This could very well be our last 80-degree day of the year. Enjoy! Sunrise 6:45 AM, sunset 7:27 PM.

KPTV’s meteorologist Mark Nelsen makes a good point about the summer just ending: although we didn’t have as many scorching hot days as the previous two summers, it was still plenty warm. In fact, says Mark, on his weather blog: ” this summer was WARMER than any summer before 1958. A better way to state this? In the 1930s-50s this would have been considered one of the warmest summers on record! That shows how our summer climate has warmed over time.

Early-fall weather is spectacular at the coast, but don’t be splashing in the surf! The Oregon Health Authority this week has cranked out six..that’s 6!..warnings for not-very-nice levels of bacteria in at prominent beaches on the Oregon Coast. To wit: the warnings cover Agate Beach, Beverly Beach, Seal Rock State Park Beach, and D River Beach in Lincoln County, and Neskowin Beach and Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County. Something’s going on, and I think it’s related to our recent rain washing abundant emoluments of cow poop downriver. (Being an English major, I know about sending cow poop downriver). Seems like that could affect other beaches, non? Playing in (muddy) waters is an invitation for tummy trouble. Go to the coast, but go fly a kite!

We’ve got a Creep Alert on the west side, where a Mom tells deputies that two kids were trying to cross a street when a man stopped his white Outback right in front of them, rolled down his window–and showed them his dog. Nice grey dog with a red collar. He told the kids that his dog was happy, and loves children….especially little girls. Creep! Just then Mom showed up and he hit the gas. This was in a neighborhood on the sundown side of the West Hills, near NW Miller at Cornell Rds, not far from all those the TV and radio towers. Folks are being told to keep their antennae up.

It’s debate night for Democrats, with the field whittled to ten. We’ll see Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden at center stage, together for the first and not last time (Bernie Sanders’ll be on Joe’s other side), along with Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke, and Julián Castro. Five PM on ABC-TV. Keep an open mind, folks..the season is young.

Shippers on the Columbia River finally got the news they’ve been waiting for, and it’s not what they wanted to hear: the damaged Bonneville Dam navigation lock won’t return to service until Monday, September 30. Barges full of just-harvested Oregon wheat have been lining up at the gate for almost a week already.

The season is over for the Hillsboro Hops…and our beloved minor league baseball team takes home the crown! The Arizona Diamondbacks short-season A team won the Northwest League championship, defeating TriCity 3-1 last night. It’s the third title for the Hops in their 7th year of existence.

But the Portland Thorns lost hard to North Carolina–6 to zero–in front of over 17,000 folks at Providence Park.

The light rail line we once called “Westside MAX”–now part of the Blue Line, the busiest of all MAX lines–opened on this date in 1998. It was originally designed to end at SW 185th, but the city of Hillsboro fought hard to be included, and that’s where the line terminates to this day.

All of a sudden it’s mid-September…so it’s time for Mt. Angel’s Oktoberfest! Celebrating the harvest in German style, this four-day blend of family fun, music, food and beer brings thousands to a picturesque Marion County town where a monastery was founded to serve the Bavarian settlers in the mid-1800s. From Portland take I-5 to exit 282A through Woodburn, follow the signs…and let a non-partaker drive home. The Marion County Sheriff is using a state grant for DUI patrols.


Something good here!

–“‘Game-changing’ immunotherapy cancer drug boosts survival rates five-fold”

–“Two hikers found a message in a bottle and helped rescue a stranded family. Now the family wants to thank them”

–“Muslim engineer who fled Pentagon helped build 9/11 memorial chapel”

–“The people of Hong Kong left cash on MTR ticket machines for protesters to buy single journey train tickets to get home”

–“Hasbro launches Ms. Monopoly game that pays women more than men”


A commentary piece by Oregonian reporter Lizzy Acker is generating some chatter about how considerate Portlanders are, or not. It’s titled, “Hey, you! Why won’t you give up your seat to a pregnant person on public transit?” Lizzy, who’s like 38 weeks along, relates that she recently was “on a bus where an older woman gave me her priority seating seat. Then another pregnant woman got on and another older woman gave her her priority seat. The young men occupying the other seats just sat there.” I cannot, well, conceive of not giving up a seat to a pregnant lady! Or anyone who needs it! I was on a crowded subway in Nuremberg, Germany last year when an older Muslim lady climbed aboard, hauling bags of groceries, and she was clearly exhausted. Yet all of these commuters sat on their seaters and did nothing while she hung onto a post. So I discretely got the lady’s attention and we switched spots. Seems so very basic! And not just an American example of oblivion to the needs of others. Grr!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Morning, friends! It’s time we shake off the rain like a big wet dog, and plunge into Wednesday, September 11, 2019. Say, it looks like we get a two-day break from the rain! The National Weather Service reports that “Wednesday and Thursday will be dry with slight warming. Rain is expected to return on Friday, with cooler and moister weather into next week.” High today 75, and high tomorrow 80. That ‘ll feel good! Sunrise 6:44 AM, and sunset tonight is at 7:29 PM. Mama’s working late? Flip on the porch light!

September 11 comments at the close.

Salem, you doing okay? Stayton, Lyons, Sublimity? Radar was ferocious over your towns during the afternoon commute, the Statesman-Journal web site was talking about high water and flash flooding, and Mark Nelsen says there were 44 lightning strikes there, while I was out walking and listening to PDX air traffic control steering jets around your bouncy skies. Portland and the suburbs got it too, for sure, earlier in the day as all the comments in the various Drip threads attest. Water got into through the roof of my kids’ old elementary school, River Grove, and some ceiling tiles came raining down. No kids were in the room. The deluge flooded out the box office at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall just hours before an appearance by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. So ticket sales were moved a few blocks away to the higher and drier Keller Auditorium, where Deep Purple was sound-checking for a show. Hey, they’ve seen water. It even had smoke on it.

Those amber waves of Northwest grain are going nowhere fast as a damaged downstream lock-in Bonneville Dam has halted river traffic, bottling up barges loaded with soft white wheat bound for markets in Asia. The Army Corps of Engineers is working hard to fix it–they have to demolish and replace a concrete sill–but their latest update does not include an ETA.

In the poker game of contract bargaining, the grocery workers’ UFCW Local 555 has upped the ante. Earlier, the union had canceled Freddy Meyer checker contracts. And now, “Due to Fred Meyer’s member intimidation, corporate overreaching, and unfair labor practices, the Union has determined that it is now necessary to cancel all remaining contracts for Kroger companies (including Fred Meyer and QFC)…Further information on Union actions and requests for public support will be forthcoming on September 22nd after the remaining cancellations take effect.” Meantime, Freddy and Co. is holding job fairs and advertising for temporary employees at $15/ hr (but not including benefits) in the event of a walkout. Both sides say a strike is a last resort, which they’d all like to avoid.

Speaking of job openings! With Christmas coming, Target is hiring more than 130,000 people ahead of the holiday season, up 8% from last year.

And! Ever dreamed of being a snowplow driver? ODOT’s putting out a call for “Highway Heroes to “join our team & make a difference for travelers this winter.”

The Pendleton Round-Up gets underway today. Let ‘er buck! Him too!

A trio of famous Oregon birthdays today: former Sen. Bob Packwood, a self-inflicted early recipient of the #metoo treatment, turns 87; OSU baseball great Jacoby Ellsbury is 36; he’s on the 60-day injured list as a Yankees center fielder but I don’t think he’s played in two years; and the late Jack Ely was born this day in 1943. As a Portland teenager, he warbled out “Louie Louie” with his garage band the Kingsmen, the most famous vocal performance in Portland history.

Something good, no? Yes! Links here.

–“These two toddlers’ heartwarming reaction to spotting each other on the street will make your day.”

–“Sleeping with your dog in the room can improve your health, new study finds”

–“Astronauts mix cement on ISS, pave way for future space colonies”

–“ICU Nurse Donates Part of Her Liver to 8-Year-Old Wisconsin Boy: ‘She Saved His Life,’ Says Dad”

–“New research provides hope for people living with chronic pain”


OK, some September 11 thoughts, and you’re invited to share yours.

The bell is tolling for the reading of names at Ground Zero, as it always does when this date rolls around, but it tolls as well in firehouses and town halls from coast to coast. The moments of silence and sounding of chimes are timed to coincide with most terrible blows of that profoundly awful day. Local example: at Cowlitz Fire and Rescue in Kelso, the instants when each jet, packed with humanity, roared into the side of a skyscraper, also packed with humanity, and then the moments when those towers crashed to the ground, are honored in a ceremony that was initiated by local high school fire cadets. And the centerpiece of that Kelso ceremony is a steel artifact from the World Trade Center itself, released by the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, one of 1,000 such precious relics that are part of memorials today throughout the United States.

What’s different this year is a recognition of the price being paid even now by the selfless first responders who survived the ordeal–unlike so many others–but whose exposure to that toxic hell wrecked their health. More police officers have died of 9/11-related cancers since that day than died in on September 11th itself. Good work by social commentator Jon Stewart, who shamed Congress into taking action that will help these men and women, for whom we give thanks.

September 11. Our generation’s date of infamy. Nobody younger than a high school senior was even alive on that catastrophic morning; all they have are YouTube videos, conspiracy suspicions–and no memory of all at how absolutely united this country was for one brief, scary, shining moment, with the whole civilized world behind us. We keep intoning “Never Forget”–but judging by how ripped asunder this country is now, with political violence coming from the extremes, it feels like we already have. My fervent prayer is that we can get it back someday–without going through the hell we endured together eighteen years ago today.

Let’s live for September 11, 2019, and make it the best day ever!