Friday, May 25, 2018

Good morning to you! It’s Friday, sweet blessed Friday, May 25, 2018, the secret portal to a three-day weekend, which opens the doorway to summertime. Portland’s weather is cloudy today, high 70; cloudy with a slight shower chance tomorrow, high 65; then partly sunny and 75 on Sunday and Monday. Oregon coastal weather is the same, minus 10 to 15 degrees. Sunrise 5:30 AM, sunset 8:45 PM.

Has it been a year?–it seems like ten–since that awful Friday when a bloodthirsty white supremacist bastard aimed his hate beam at two young women of color on a MAX Green Line train loaded with commuters heading home, rolling into the Hollywood Transit Center. There, three good men stood and said, no, not in my town, not in my America, and in a moment they lay bleeding, two dead and the third nearly so. In the following days, the gray walls of the Transit Center became the chalk palate of a furious populous, with scribbled, scrawled, and artfully drawn messages of outrage and sorrow. And now that wall is being transformed again, into a mural of pastels that symbolize a deepening sunset, and images of native Northwest plants that bring healing. It’s not quite finished, but it will be dedicated in a Commemoration of Heroism and Community tomorrow from 4 to 4:30, the moment the blood of the innocent was spilled.

OK. Other news.

A Portland Streetcar mysteriously skipped the tracks and sprawled out of its lane on overcrowded Grand Avenue at Taylor yesterday afternoon, hitting cars, taking down wires, and requiring an all-night effort to right the streetcar and reopen the street. At least one person in a car was hurt, all 11 on the streetcar are OK, and we’re waiting for updates.

Does an Alexa live in your house? She’s hearing every word you say. A Portland family learned to their dismay that their Amazon robot recorded a conversation–and sent the audio to a baffled business associate of the husband’s in Seattle. Here’s how it happened, according to Amazon: “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa.’ Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.’ As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein turns himself in to face rape charges in Manhattan today. He’ll bail out, but he faces years in prison.

Actor Morgan Freeman is apologizing after several women–including three reporters–accused him of sexual harassment, mainly through suggestive comments and unwanted physical contact.

Ireland is voting today in a once-in-a-generation referendum to legalize abortion.

A couple of men with covered faces walked into an Indian restaurant in Toronto last night, dropped off some kind of explosive device, and left before it went off, injuring fifteen people. No word on who or what to blame this on, yet.

The 2018 Portland Rose Festival opens today at 5 PM, and ends on Sunday, June 10. Fireworks tonight, Starlight on June 2, Grand Floral on June 9, with a dog selected as the Grand Marshal, symbolizing the good work the Oregon Humane Society does. You know I love Rose Festival; I know the people who run it extremely well, having served on the board for years, hauling a tuba in many parades, and slipping into a tuxedo to help Bruce Murdock wrangle the Princesses–a funny but traditional word, for these serious college-bound young women–on Coronation Day every year. Of all the Portland things, Rose Festival may be the Portlandest.

Big congratulations to Damian Lillard, named to the all-NBA First Team.

Hey our KGW-alum Dripster buddy Joe Donlon threw out the pitch at a White Sox game last night! Turns out Chicago Joe is a southpaw. As seen on WGN, he comes up to the mound holding two baseballs in his left hand–and juggles them for a moment, then throws an arching meatball into the dirt that the catcher dug out as Joe shrugs and trots off the mound. Nice work, Joe!

Weird Al plays two nights–tonight and tomorrow–at Revolution Hall in Portland, for concerts that advertise “No Frills! Obscure Songs! Limited Commercial Appeal!”

Stevie Nicks turns 70 tomorrow.

Headlines to remind us that amid the garbage, there are flowers…

–“Once homeless teen gets full ride to Harvard”

–“Group of strangers Drive lost dog 3000km home”

–“Farm aims to feed a million bumblebees”

–“Elementary students honored for rescuing injured skier”

–“Budding clothing line provides lifeline for African refugee starting over in the UK”

–“The world’s largest cat-proof fence has been completed in central Australia, creating a 94 square kilometre sanctuary for endangered marsupials”

Away into the weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Well, look! It’s Thursday, May 24, 2018, just a day away from the Memorial Day weekend, and Portland’s weather is trending drier and warmer, with partly sunny skies and highs in the 70s for days and days. It does feel a little sticky, doesn’t it? Sunrise is 5:30 AM, though it’s light before that, and sunset comes at 8:44 PM, with twilight lingering past 9:30. Sweet!

Just as people are getting ready to back their boats into the water, a health advisory has been issued for Detroit Lake because of an early bloom of toxic blue-green algae. If you (or your kiddos or pets) accidentally drink some of that water, the results could range from tingling to nausea to difficulty breathing. It’s the second year in a row this has happened at the front doorstep to Memorial Day. The water’s fine…just don’t drink it.

You know that kicker rebate you got on your Oregon taxes this year? It looks like you’ll get a bigger one in two years, according to early estimates from the state economist. The continuing strength of the state’s economy gets the credit–or the blame, from the perspective of those who say the money is better socked away against the inevitable rainy day.

A GoFundMe account has raised around $13K to pay medical expenses for a PSU student who appeared to have been beaten nearly to death and burned on an Amtrak train in California. The last anyone heard from him, Aaron Salazar had texted his grandmother to say he’d met a new friend. He is still in a coma.

A newly released video shows police tasing and arresting Milwaukie Bucks rookie Sterling Brown over a parking violation. The police chief has apologized, and the Bucks organization released a statement saying in part, “Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.”

NFL owners knuckled under and passed a rule requiring players to stand during the National Anthem unless they opt to stay in the locker room–as they had for every game prior to 2009 with the exception of Super Bowls and post-9/11. Violations will result in a fine. The NAACP is ripping the NFL for “silencing black players” instead of addressing their issues.

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site. But the Trump summit is in doubt, as both sides insist on running their mouths.

It’s show time at the White House, where top officials of the Justice Department will deliver a highly classified briefing on the FBI probe into Russian meddling–first to top Republicans, then to the congressional leaders of both parties.

A federal judge says President Trump violated peoples’ First Amendment rights by “blocking” them on Twitter.

Torrential rain in Paris flooded the city’s Metro subway, creating a waterfall cascading down the steps.

There’s an excellent chance that a tropical depression will form in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Hurricane season is almost here.

A cat was captured on video clinging to the roof of a minivan doing 60 in Omaha, Nebraska. Other motorists pulled alongside to alert the middle-aged couple in the van, and they did pull over, but it’s not clear what became of the cat.

Portland Parks merrily tweets that a sign has finally been erected identifying Mill Ends Park, the flowerpot in a Naito Parkway median that is the world’s smallest park. You could take a selfie, but you’d have to lie down in the street to do it. I tweeted the Parks people that I noticed that some “harvested” the pot plant, and they tweeted back “Yeah…we did.”

It’s Bob Dylan’s birthday. The Nobel winner is 77. Here’s a story you might not have heard: Dylan had a fixation on Joni Mitchell’s music. He spent a weekend completely absorbed in her “Blue” album. And that’s when he wrote the song “Tangled Up in Blue.” In fact, his whole “Blood on the Tracks” album was so influenced by Joni in its introspection and gentle production that friends who listened to an early tape of it told him it sounded like “a Joni Mitchell album.” So he recut it, and that’s the one we know. But somewhere there’s a bootleg of the original, and in time it shall be released.

Headlines for whatever may ail you (I know what ales me!)

–“The first woman in space, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride, is getting her own postage stamp.”

–“Mom’s heartwarming video shows older boys including shy son in basketball game”

–“The Houston Rockets to give free Game 5 tickets to Santa Fe High School seniors”

–“Owner of a California fish market purchases giant octopus; sets it free”

–“Family finds Qing dynasty vase worth $600,000 in attic shoebox”

–“Radio presenters and journalists among top jobs for psychopaths”

Wait, what?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Morning, campers! Here’s the Daily Drip on a drip-dry Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Portland’s in the final stretch one of the driest Mays in history, and today’s right in line: sunny, with a high of 80, nicking five off yesterday’s just-fine 85. Normal is 69. Thunderstorms may bubble up along the Cascade crest this afternoon and evening. Memorial Day Weekend begins with a slight chance of showers Friday through Saturday morning, then partly cloudy through Monday with 72 degree highs. Sunrise 5:31 AM, sunset 8:43 PM

A runaway slash fire in a clearcut spread up a hillside outside St. Helens, threatening eleven homes near the Columbia County community of Yankton. The fire was contained last night.

Something happened to a 22-year old PSU student during an Amtrak trip from Colorado back to Portland by way of California (there’s no direct route). Aaron Salazar was found unconscious along the tracks in Truckee, and is in a coma.

A 13-year old Woodburn boy was arrested for threatening on Snapchat to shoot five fellow students at his middle school. The tip first came in to the website SafeOregon-dot-com, which is set up to field such reports. And a 16-year old is charged with making threats at Hockinson High School.

American literary icon Phillip Roth has died at 85.

Willamette Week reports that Mayor Ted Wheeler is pushing for a $4-per-night tax on Airbnb’s and the like, raising up to $2.5 million for the city’s housing efforts.

As we count down to next week’s landmark 70th anniversary of the Vanport Flood–a damning chapter of Portland’s history of racism that echoes down to the present–the Vanport Mosiac Festival gets underway today with a mayoral proclamation at City Hall. The festival, at eight different venues mostly near the vast space that once was Oregon’s second largest city, is described as “preserving, amplifying, and honoring the silenced histories” of the company town that was washed away in the blink of an eye, with its survivors sorted by the city into neighborhoods according to race. Thus was created a pattern of segregation that exists to this day. The Vanport Mosaic Festival is shining a light on what went down.

Oregon is in the pages of today’s Washington Post with the story of the coastal high school principal who lost his job for ordering LGBTQ students to read the Bible as punishment for being gay. (Leviticus, maybe, but probably not John 13:34). The ACLU, which sued the North Bend School District and settled in part for the principal’s ouster, said two girls, who shocked tender sensibilities by holding hands in the hall, were subjected to other outrages like the principal’s son driving his car at them, the school cop telling them they’re “going to hell,” and a teacher saying that same-sex marriage is like “marrying your dog.” The Oregon Department of Education opens a hearing today over this clear violation of the state’s discrimination laws, and the district could face a loss of funding and a ban on interschool activities (like sports).

The Portland Public School District is shaking up its HR department, beginning with a new name: The Department of Talent and Culture. Nike’s HR has a similar name.

The Mayor of Tigard has moved out of Tigard. John Cook reports that he and his wife have found their dream home–and it’s not in the city he’s led since 2012.

People were bemused to see a pony trotting along NE Alberta. A Portland police officer and a mail carrier rounded it up, took a selfie, and let Animal Control take it from there.

A sinkhole has opened up on the White House lawn. Really. It’s right outside the press briefing room, and it’s getting larger every day. Some people blame the fact that it’s rained nine out of eleven days; others say it’s just the swamp taking over.

After the horrible cougar attack on a bicyclist in the Washington Cascades, we learn that Oregon has a cougar population of around 6000. We’ve never had a wild cougar kill a human in the state’s recorded history, but Washington hadn’t had one in almost a century.

The NTSB is recommending lap and shoulder seatbelts on all new school buses.

Las Vegas casino workers have authorized a strike, which could begin anytime after June 1.

Can’t help but like the fact that Oakland’s Lake Merritt Park was full of barbecuers of every ethnicity over the weekend, after a white woman called the cops on a group of black men for using a charcoal grill at the lake.

Something good? OK!

–“Anonymous donor gives $10,000 to pay Maine student lunch debts”

–“Vaccination method that wiped out smallpox gets unleashed today on Ebola”

–“Cancer deaths are down overall, new report says”

–“82-Year-Old Japanese Woman Learns to code, writes popular mobile app”

–“Manufacturing company offers rehabilitation rather than termination for employees who fail drug screens”

–“Dolphins now are appearing by the hundreds in the Chesapeake Bay”

Loved the comments and furtive videos from the Moda Center last night. Who else went to the Eagles concert, and who saw Taylor Swift? Reviews? Some interesting story that I can tell on the radio?? I need content for the 6:20 bit, folks! Yesterday we just read H4aHH!

Thanks for dropping by the Department of Drippage and Culture, and for adding to the fun in the comments below!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Good morning, Portland buddies! Here comes Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Our weather is really really warm, high 85, but only 68 at the coast, and that’s only an hour and a half away. An hour if my buddy Bruce is driving. Sunrise 5:32 AM, sunset nice and late at 8:42 PM. That’s the planet Mars hollering out in the early morning sky.

So now we know the punishment for the teen known as “A.B.” who certainly hopes to never see another firecracker as long as he lives. A Hood River judge stuck the Vancouver boy with a $36 million dollar bill for the damage he caused by thoughtlessly igniting last year’s Eagle Creek Fire. That’s on top of the 5 years probation, almost 2,000 hours of community service for the Forest Service (he’ll get good at spiffing up porta-potties), and the task of writing 152 apology letters to all those hikers who were trapped on the trail as the flames roared. “A.B” will never pay anywhere close to that amount, but some kind of payment plan will be worked out, and if he sticks to it and is very, very good for the next ten years, the balance will probably be forgiven.

A Tigard K9 officer located an 11-year old autistic girl within an hour of her being reported missing.

Fire consumed a beautiful home on Mt. Scott Boulevard last night. No word on what caused it. The homeowner arrived home from a trip to the store, discovered her home was on fire, opened the door–and her two dogs came running out. All safe.

Just about everyone seemed to have misgivings about it, but Governor Kate Brown’s proposed tax cut for about 12,000 “mom and pop businesses”–sole proprietorships that have at least one parttime nonfamily employee–sailed slickly through a one-day special session of the Oregon legislature. Even her Republican opponent in November–Rep. Knute Buehler–voted for it. And a number of Democrats–Mark Hass, Sara Gelser–voted nay. Some of those moms and pops are doing all right: 75% of the savings will go to people earning 200K a year or more.

The Dow is back above 25K after President Trump seemed to back off his threat to punish China with tariffs–although overnight, his chief trade representative said they could be back on. We’ll see today how the market responds to the mixed messages.

Columnist Eugene Robinson writes in the Washington Post that a constitutional crisis is upon us, with Trump’s demand for a Justice Department investigation of the FBI over its probe into Russian meddling with his campaign, undermining the department’s traditional independence from political pressure by the White House.

A student is suing Liberty High in Hillsboro after he was told to cover up a pro-border wall T-shirt.

The Eagles play at the Moda Center tonight, in a concert that was rescheduled from a few weeks ago because of Don Henley’s unspecified illness. Sadly Glen Frey has been gone for over two years now, but his son Deacon Frey is in the band, and he sounds eerily like his Dad, and so is Vince Gill, Amy Grant’s mister, who applies his creamy-smooth tenor to the Randy Meisner vocals on “Take It To The Limit.” The rest of tonight’s lineup stars longtime Eagles Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh, and surviving founder Henley, still in great voice at 70. I’m told that he really hates cell phones being used during a show, so I’m not sure we’ll get the same you-are-there posts from Dripsters tonight that we enjoyed so much during the Paul Simon concert. But maybe! BTW the show opens with “Seven Bridges Road”…delivers hit after hit after hit.. saves “Hotel California” for the first encore…and ends the second encore with an achingly beautiful “Desperado” featuring, I’ve read, a five-woman string quintet. And there are some goodies for us Rocky-Mountain-Way Joe Walsh fans too.

Other Portland folks are heading north to see Taylor Swift at Century Link Field in Seattle tonight.

Paul Allen is kicking in a cool million to a Washington gun control initiative that would raise to 21 the minimum age for buying an assault weapon while setting up an improved background check system. The Blazers/Seahawks owner calls Initiative 1639 “reasonable and necessary.”

A Vancouver Freddie’s figured out why plants kept disappearing from the garden center. Police arrested a 41year old man with 157 stolen plants in his home. Along with meth.

A baboon escaped from a crate at the San Antonio International Airport and roamed free for several hours until being cornered in baggage claim. He was on his way to a local animal shelter, and that’s where he is now.

Spoiler alert: Tonya Harding did not win Dancing With The Stars. But she was a finalist. She’s had a good year.

Britain’s Sun tabloid reports that Meghan Markle’s Oregon nephew Tyler Dooley tried to bring a knife into a London nightclub–and explained that he carried the weapon because President Trump warned that London is a “war zone” with knife fights all over. Tyler’s in the cannabis profession in Southern Oregon.

Which leads to…headlines for a happier heart! I post an actual headline…your mind fills in the gaps:

–“Meghan Markle, Prince Harry donate royal wedding flowers to hospice patients”

–“A Noah’s Ark of animals rescued from Hawaii lava”

–“Alaska Airlines says ‘so long’ to non-recyclable plastic straws”

–“Dog becomes stay-at-home dad for ducklings after their mum disappeared”

–“California man wins more than $6million in five months from four different lottery tickets”

–“Man embarks on mission to mow lawns in all 50 states”

That’s the how Tuesday is starting out. And if trouble comes your way, take a hint from the two big concerts in the Northwest tonight. Take it easy! And shake-shake-shake it off!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Good morning to you! Today is Monday, May 21, 2018, a day that starts out cloudy, ends up sunny, and opens the door to a sequence of warm days, with highs that go 76 today, 83 tomorrow, and 81 the next day. Sunrise 5:33 AM, sunset 8:41 PM.

We’ll get to the inevitable, but first let’s see how many people agree that the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was, oddly, a great American moment. Here’s a biracial American woman being embraced into the blue-blooded belly of British royalty, marrying the very son of the imminent King Charles and justly-sainted Diana, Princess of Wales. My K103 colleague Stacey Lynn posted that “…the whole time I’m thinking how Harry’s mom would’ve loved every non-royal thing about Meghan.” Rather than coming into his world and leaving her world behind, she brought it with her. I woke up at 4 AM to watch it expecting to be lulled back to sleep, but was soon riveted by the eloquent black pastor filling the cathedral’s acoustics with a message of love and social justice and quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, then a gospel choir’s soothing “Stand By Me.” This was diverse, unstuffy, and rich in content–all American attributes that had some of the stiff-upper-lip crowd shifting in their seats. It made me proud of my country, to see our good side shown to the world.

We have to deal with this: It’s two decades to the day since a 15-year-old who will remain nameless here committed a horrendous gun crime inside Thurston High School in the Oregon town of Springfield. It’s three days since the same thing happened in Santa Fe, Texas. I guarantee there’s not a kid in America who isn’t worried about it happening to them. It’s become so common that school administrators can now access a pre-produced parental advice sheet they can download and quickly post on their websites, as that Texas district just did. And it’s good advice, including listening carefully, gently correcting misinformation, reviewing and updating safety plans, pointing out heroic behavior, and this: Limiting media exposure. For your kids’ sake and yours. Young ears do not have calluses filtering things out yet. They will. (I’m mindful of that on the air, but we still have to talk about it. We’re on in lots of school buses. There are sound bites I won’t play, descriptors I won’t use, repetitions I omit. And I’m in the camp of generally not using the name. Of course it’s symbolic. Social media is where these flames are fanned).

Other items:

A wrong-way driver on I-5 in Southern Oregon hit a car carrying three Eagle Point High School seniors, girls, who were set to graduate in June. No survivors.

A vivid and spectacular scene on Hawaii’s Big Island, as red molten lava from Kilauea is crossing a highway and splashing mightily into the cooler Pacific Ocean, creating a weird and dangerous acidic steam that contains microscopic shards of glass which can travel with the wind. And a blob of lava hit a man as he sat on his porch, seriously injuring his leg.

This is exceedingly rare: a cougar attacked two bicyclists in the mountains east of Seattle– killing one and dragging him off to its den. The other cyclist, also bitten, pedaled miles before he could get a cell signal and call for help. Wildlife agents say the cyclists did what you’re supposed to do if a cougar threatens: they faced it, shouted, even swung a bike at it, and it ran off…but it came back. Authorities tracked the cougar and killed it.

President Trump is “demanding” the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI placed a “spy” in his campaign in 2016 for his political purposes. The New York Times reports, “In fact, the F.B.I. sent the informant only after receiving evidence that the advisers had suspicious contacts linked to Russia.”

Stormy Daniels declined to press charges against a man who smacked her in the face with his wallet, as she performed at a strip club in Bend. He later explained that he was “being wasted,” apologized, and said, “she’s really nice.” Meantime, in Tualatin, she collected thousands of dollars by auctioning off, literally, the shirt she was wearing. Many of the patrons, including most in the front row, were women who came to support he

President George H.W. Bush, who seemed to be ready to follow Barbara into whatever lies beyond just a few weeks ago, vowed that he would go to the family place in Kennebunkport for the summer. Yesterday, his son Jeb tweeted that “my beloved Dad made it.” People lined the streets and waved flags as his motorcade went by.

Let’s see if I can find a few headlines to lighten the day.

–“Two pilots spend savings on plane to rescue migrants in Mediterranean Sea”

–“NASA’s new exoplanet hunter snaps 200,000+ stars in its first photo”

–Golfer hits first hole-in-one aged 93 during last ever round”

–“You think Meghan Markle had a meteoric rise? Her rescue dog, Guy the beagle, is now a freakin’ royal dog”

Thank you to the many Paul Simon concertgoers who filed live reports, reviews, and even videos in real time on the Saturday night thread here. You really took us there. Eagles concert tomorrow night–let’s do the same thing!

Wrapping up. I was sipping a Pelican Brewing Mosaic IPA on the deck, which overlooks a small valley. Suddenly in the distance across the dell, perhaps a half a mile away, I hear an amplified piano. Noodling pleasantly. Then…it breaks into the Wedding March. And I distinctly hear the amplified voice of a man intoning, “Dearly beloved,” before trailing off into an indistinguishable mutter. That’s followed by a different male saying some words, and then a female, and then complete silence for two minutes. And then the sound…of a large motorcycle roaring off onto the highway, carrying the newlywed bride and groom!

So, for better or worse, that’s our report today!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Good morning to youuuu! It’s Friday, May 18, 2018, and time for one last skim of the Daily Drip before we dive into a wonderful weekend in the Northwest. Today’s weather is somewhat sunny with a high of 70 following morning drizzies. There’s a 20% chance of showers at times this weekend, starting tonight. Sunrise 5:36 AM, sunset 8:38 PM. We hit exactly fifteen hours of daylight today, just 41 minutes less than the longest day of the year.

Yes indeed it’s May 18th, a date which lives in igneous infamy in the Northwest, and while Hawaii trembles from the rumbling of Kilauea, let’s do a quick check with the Cascades Volcano Observatory–nope! Nothing happening at Mt. St. Helens, aside from the regular small earthquakes that remind us that she could wake up big-time, any time. Alert level normal, aviation color code green. BTW the road to Johnson Ridge opened the day before yesterday. The 38th anniversary of that astonishing blast is being celebrated tonight with an appearance at the Schnitz benefiting the Mt. St. Helens Institute by Bill Nye. You know, the science guy.

Officials on Hawaii’s Big Island are handing out masks as Kilauea spews out ash, and as more fissures open up in the ground surrounding the volcano. The air in the area is
putrid with sulfur dioxide and several schools are closed. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory is trying to put to rest worries that Kilauea could collapse, causing a Pacific-wide tsunami; they say Kilauea historically doesn’t behave that way.

The airline lost Stormy Daniels’ luggage, as the president’s former alleged fling began a three-night tour of Oregon strip clubs. So, ironically for lack of her costume, the first show was canceled. But the late show went on, in Bend last night, with a large crowd packing the local Starz Cabaret, including a man playing a tuba for some reason. Wasn’t me, I swear.

If you’re borrowing Uncle Al’s boat for the weekend, be aware there’s a flood warning on the Columbia River at Portland and Vancouver, and the tall water is covering up all kinds of stumps and wooden dock structures that stick up above the waterline, and are now lurking below the surface ready to rip the hull. Several parks are closed along the river because of flooding, and those extra Interstate Bridge lifts may continue until late June.

The judge in the case of the teen who tossed the firecracker that ruined much of the Columbia Gorge could decide restitution as early as today. The damage tally comes to $36,631,687.10, but in yesterday’s hearing, the attorney for the Vancouver boy–identified only by his initiations, AB–calls the notion of billing him that amount absurd, silly, and cruel and unusual punishment. The judge says he needs to think about it, and will hand down a written ruling when he’s ready.

Insiders say it was hardly a surprise, because student enrollment has been in the tank since academic programs were cut and online learning became a thing, but it comes as a shock to the community that Marylhurst University is shutting down. You and I know many midcareer professionals who’ve come to the lovely campus along Highway 43 south of Lake Oswego for new degrees and reinvigoration. But enrollment is half what it was just five years ago, and they’re turning out the lights at the end of 2018. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary will decide what to do with the property.

The Truth is Out There, but watch out for probes…the annual UFO Fest is underway in McMinnville! Ranging from deadly serious to downright goofy, the event includes a UFO parade, big-time UFO expert speakers, a UFO film festival, and last evening on kickoff night, a wine tasting called “Close Encounters of the 3rd Vine.”

We have yet another person claiming to be the hijacker DB Cooper: a now-deceased Special Forces veteran from Michigan who told his friends and family that he’s the one who hijacked a Northwest 727 back in 1971 for $200,000, and detailed how he spent the money. They don’t say why the serial numbers on the bills never raised alarms. His friend has written a book titled, “D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, A Spy, My Best Friend.”

That lawyer in New York who threatened to call ICE on restaurant workers for speaking Spanish has been kicked out of his office space on Madison Avenue.

Tomorrow night at the Moda Center, Paul Simon puts on his last concert in the town where he wrote “The Boxer.” (The lyrics are scrawled on hotel room stationery from the Benson). He’s at KeyArena in Seattle tonight. Simon’s setlist opens with “America,” includes some new ones but delivers his towering hits (though not “Trouble Water”–only Artie can sing that). He finishes with “You Can Call Me Al,” and while the crowd’s still bouncing to that one, he does three encores, classics all, and I won’t spoil it beyond that. I hope that any Dripsters in attendance will post reviews.

Tomorrow is commencement for Pacific University in Forest Grove. The speaker for the undergraduate morning ceremony is Pacific University Trustee, Tommy Thayer…guitarist for KISS. Local guy, good guy even without the face paint.

Cakes with candles today for Tina Fey, Reggie Jackson, and Frank Capra, who’s gone now, but had a wonderful life.

My notorious red microwave oven died with a grinding buzz last night as I was making popcorn. Ominous beginning to a bachelor weekend.

Headlines to happy up the heart, if it’s not enough that we’re in the middle of May in a beautiful world–

–“New York couple finds buried safe full of money, gold and jewelry in their backyard.” (It was ditched there a few years ago by somebody who’d burgled a neighbor. The finders returned it to them).

–“The San Diego Zoo has successfully impregnated a rhino via artificial insemination, a hugely important first step in saving the near-extinct Northern White Rhino” (The mind reels about the process).

–“World’s largest fog catching project conjures water for communities at the edge of the Sahara” (It’s a system of nets hung between poles on a mountain in Morroco. Water droplets are caught in the mesh and drop into a pipe that serves about 140 families).

–“Soldier finally reunited with the dog she rescued in Iraq” (The puppy bonded with Sgt. Tracey McKithern’s unit, and vice versa, and when her deployment ended, the nonprofit Puppy Rescue Mission helped bring the pup to the US).

That’s my report for the morning! Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Time to wake up, fellow sleepy folks, for the early (and only) edition of the Daily Drip for Thursday, May 17, 2018. Portland’s weather is thus: Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers in the morning, then partly sunny in the afternoon. Highs around 70. Light wind. Slight chance of showers creeping into the weekend by Sunday. But look up in the night sky, if the clouds fall apart, and you might see gigantic Jupiter at its brightest of the year, while Mars is coming on strong. It’ll be a Mars-watching summer. Sunrise 5:37 AM, sunset 8:37 PM.

Some major unfinished business today: the teen who started the fire that blackened the Gorge and did $40 million damage goes back to court in Hood River for a hearing to determine the amount of restitution he owes. The court has been collecting input from people and businesses who lost money, and lawyers predict the kid will be symbolically socked with the full amount–but with a vastly reduced payment plan to be worked out. His parents may be on the hook as well.

A 16-year old boy ignored his friends’ warnings and tried to crawl under a slow-moving freight train in Washougal last night. He’ll survive, but without his right foot.

Portland may be about to rename a 13-block downtown stretch of Stark St. in honor of Harvey Milk, the assassinated San Francisco city supervisor and early LGBTQ icon. Plenty of signatures have been turned in, many (like Mother’s Bistro) but not all businesses on the street support it, and there’ll be a hearing and City Council vote on June 14.

An OSP trooper rescued 10 puppies that were locked in a hot trunk without any water during a traffic stop on I-5 south of Medford. The car was on a trip from Southern California to Seattle. The puppies–a Husky/German Shepherd mix–were taken to the local animal shelter, and the driver was charged with animal neglect.

People who think the Internet should be equally accessible for everybody got a bit of cheer Wednesday as the Senate voted to roll back the FCC’s repeal of Obama-age net neutrality rules. This doesn’t stand a chance in the House, but it’ll be front and center during the election this fall.

Numbers for election geeks to think over: Clackamas County had the lowest turnout in Tuesday’s voting, with just 28.1% percent bothering to fill out the ballot and mail it in. Multnomah County had 30.7 while Washington County hit 30.8. Highest turnouts were in rural counties, led by Grant County, with 65.8%. Democrats turned out 43.2% of their voters, while Republicans topped them with 46.6%.

For folks who want to keep up on current affairs…some of our state’s gentlemen’s clubs will host performances by Stormy Daniels starting tonight. She’ll be at the Starz Cabaret in Bend this evening, then the Salem Starz tomorrow, and the Bridgeport Starz (actually tucked away along the other side of I-5 from Bridgeport) (not that I’ve ever been there) on Saturday night. Guaranteed, they’ll be packed houses…including people of both genders who are there to cheer on her cause. At least that’s what’s happened on her tour so far.

Hey this is kind of cool…Portland was visited this past weekend by a Houston author named Cindy Wang, whose fun habit is to come to a city, dive deeply into its many delights, and plant little crocheted critters around town with her contact info. Then she posts a detailed critique of the city on social media. Every one of them scattered around Portland was found. A sampling of her comments about Portland: “Every person I met was warm and friendly and didn’t mind me bombarding them with questions..y’all are so damn polite on the roads too!”…She went to the Gorge and says “there’s no scary wildlife to worry about on the trails?? It was all birds and butterflies. It was like being in a (insert adjective) Disney movie, it was amazing”…”Your tap water just tastes better…Things close surprisingly early!…every single person who had moved here from somewhere else loves it and doesn’t plan on leaving, and I can see why.”

I have some snowbird neighbors who drove home this week by way of Tonopah, Nevada…and say that town is seriously and disturbingly haunting. They were shaken. And pale…and they’ve been in Arizona!

Forty years ago on this very day, “Saturday Night Fever” was the first–and still only–soundtrack to have four #1 hits: “Night Fever,” “Stayin Alive,” “How Deep is Your Love,” and “If I Can’t Have You.”

Some other actual headlines, to offset the bad stuff…for details, just paste the headline in a Google search window, and the story’ll pop up….

–“Program donates graduation caps and gowns to ensure students don’t have to skip ceremonies”

–“Teacher to Donate Kidney to 10-year old Student She Doesn’t Know”

–“7-year-old gets Good Deed award for helping homeless”

–“Once Written Off for Dead, the Aral Sea Is Now Full of Life”

–“Painting Newly Attributed to Rembrandt On Show in Amsterdam”

So let’s go! Better yet, stay here, where it’s all birds and butterflies, like being in a (insert adjective) Disney movie. Have a great Thursday, and keep up the Dripster comments! I’m poaching more and more of them for use on K103!