Friday, March 23, 2018

And suddenly it’s Friday! It’s March 23, 2018, and though it’s spring, we’ve got our Ma Boyle hoodies fleece wrapped tight, shielding us from the chilly hard rain and hilly wet snow, and highs of just 45. Oregon’s Spring Break starts and finishes wet and cold, but it looks like we’ll have hours of sunlight each day from Monday through Thursday. Sunrise 7:07 AM, sunset 7:27 PM.

Your radio daddio here is on the sick list, but there’s a lot going on, so I’ll bash this out and crawl back in the sack.

Seems that the hilly snow is low enough to put school buses on snow routes in Mollala, Camas, and Newberg.

Long security lines at PDX…parking lots 80% full… Spring Break!

Five gang-related shootings in the last 72 hours….police say they aren’t naming the gangs because when they’re announced on TV, membership zooms.

Big march for gun control, part of the national March for our Lives, meets in the North Park Blocks at 10 AM tomorrow, and winds its way to Pioneer Courthouse Square, for a student rally and a performance by Portugal The Man.

The Dow fell a breathtaking 724 points yesterday, after the Trump announcement of tariffs–a tax to be paid by American companies and consumers–on goods from China. China responded by hiking tariffs on pork, aluminum and other goods.

President Trump, despite denials, is replacing H.R. McMaster (and HR has been a busy place there) as National Secretary Advisory with John Bolton, the firebrand ex-UN ambassador with the Sam Elliot mustache that Trump hates. The president’s top Mueller probe lawyer walked out the door, too.

Hobby Lobby will open its first Portland-area outlet in Clackamas this spring. That’s the private company that went to the Supreme Court battling for the right to exclude contraceptive coverage from its employee health plan–and won.

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on this date eight years ago.

I keep a list of key historical dates with my prep materials, but I missed a big one yesterday: it was the 25th anniversary of my longtime conspirator Craig Walker’s liver transplant. That partnership and more importantly that friendship are among the most important in my life, and the operation on March 22, 1993 gave it a new life that’s lasted a quarter of a century and counting.

It’s opening night for the 99W Drive-In in good old Newberg! Now showing: Peter Rabbit, PG, at dusk, followed by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Gates open at 6:30, earlier if there’s a backup.

It was on this day 20 years ago that ‘Titanic” ruled the Oscars, winning 11 Academy Awards, to tie the record set by “Ben-Hur.”

Gonzaga was the only men’s basketball team from our corner of the world in the March Madness brackets, and they lost to Florida State last night. But our basketball-happy province has a strong presence in the women’s Sweet Sixteen, as Oregon State women play Baylor at 4:00 PM today on ESPN 2, and Oregon women play Central Michigan at 3:30 PM Saturday on ESPN.

The Boston Celtics drop by the Moda Center to meet the Blazers, who are eager to hang up another string of W’s.

Soccer time! Both the Thorns and the Timbers are on the road tomorrow.

My Mother Mary would turn 90 today, but for the night when she hung a few homemade angels on the humble Christmas tree, went to bed, and became one of them.

Happy birthday to Chaka Khan! Her biggest hit rings out on the radio every week on K103, and right here on the Daily Drip, for Tell Me Something Good! (Or whatever we’re calling it today. I resist formatics.)

–“Couple meets at speed-dating event, fall in love. He’s 92, she is 80” (Don’t rush things, kids!)

–“Student At Columbia Univ. develops ‘Racing Auditory Display(RAD)’ technology which enables the blind to play racing games on a level competitive to sighted players”

–“An African-American musician named Daryl Davis has made it his mission to befriend members of the Ku Klux Klan, resulting in several hundred of them leaving the Klan”

–“County jail serves fresher more nutritious food; teaches inmates a viable skill”

–“Vancouver Aquarium rescues sea lion with nylon rope wrapped around its neck” (The kind of thing the SOLVE cleanup removes from Oregon beaches twice a year)

All this week–and thank you for the tremendous response–we’ve been celebrating Oregon’s visionary Governor Tom McCall, whose March 22 birthday was declared Tom McCall Day by Governor Kate Brown a few years ago and seems to have been pretty much forgotten. Not by our little group, though! So I’ll wrap up with one more quote from McCall, but first:

A direct part of the McCall legacy, the SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup is happening tomorrow. Started in 1984, this effort plucks tons of trash from the sands from border to border. Every cigarette butt tossed in the bag, every six-pack yoke and rusty beer can scraped from the tide line, is the volunteers’ message of love for our state. Ten AM tomorrow is the time. Might see a few whales spouts while you’re out there!

So a final quote from Tom McCall, the former broadcast news guy-turned-Republican Governor, whose environmental legacy is so enduring that a whole park is named after him, in a spot where a freeway once marred the Portland waterfront. Said McCall, “I really care about this world. And I understand—as all Americans can or will—that man’s problems are made by man and can be solved by him. We can be roused from our pouting. Man is not all evil; life is not all pointless; the future has not yet been written. We are writing it now, and I hope what we write is a story of love.”

I love that! Every day, we’re writing the future. My immediate future is to pop another Nyquill and head back to the pouch. G’nite mates!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Here we are, up and at ’em on a Thursday, March 22, 2018. The deluge that’s been drowning California has lifted our way, and we’ll collect an inch of rain in the bucket until we crimp the hose and it all turns to showers later on. Snowflakes for the weekend continue to pop up on weather apps, but nothing is expected on the valley floor except for the good old daily drip ™! Sunrise 7:09 AM, sunset 7:26 PM.

The Austin serial bomber left a 25-minute recorded confession that police describe as the outcry of a very challenged young man.

Alert people that we are, the sight of a plastic box tied up with a parachute cord in the middle of I-5 near Woodburn was plenty to trigger calls to 911, and the bomb squad came with their trusty robot which shot the suspicious package with a powerful water cannon, and it was found to contain nothing. Though I-5 was closed for nearly an hour, most folks would agree, given current events, that’s perfectly OK.

Heads up for leadfoots: robocop cameras on NE Marine Drive will start issuing actual tickets today.

Just a relevant tweet from Tigard PD: Officers responded to a crash where a driver reached behind the seat to tend to a child and lost control of the car. Fortunately, everyone was ok.

You wouldn’t be blamed for nodding off during a story about Portland’s 20-year transportation plan, but during City Council’s murmurations yesterday, people snapped awake at the mention of driverless cars. A limited test period and a phasing-in of autonomous vehicles may be in the works, but in the wake of the Arizona fatality, council members seem to be tapping the brakes.

The Portland area population boom is slowing down; we gained 30,000 new folks in the most recent year, compared to 40,000 the previous two. Still, 578 people a week are moving into the Metro area.

I know we’ll go on somehow, but tonight is the end of “Portlandia,” the SNL-influenced show on the boutique IFC cable network that appropriated the name of an obscure copper statue to lampoon a city that’s pretty good at lampooning itself.

We might have to send a couple of our senior politicians to their rooms with no supper. Or better yet, get out the boxing gloves and let them have at it. In one corner, we have former Veep Joe Biden, 75, telling a Miami audience in reference to Trump’s “grabbing” comments from a couple of years ago, “Any guy who talks that was is usually the fattest, ugliest SOB in the room.” And then we have this tweet from President Trump, 71: “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

Tickets go on sale today for none other than James Comey, the famously fired FBI chief, who will make an April 21 appearance at Revolution Hall in Portland, 4 days after the release of his hotly anticipated book “A Higher Loyalty.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his company will proactively search out “anyone whose data might have been affected” by the Cambridge Analytica data breach. I’m hoping not to hear from him; the Drip banished anyone who insisted on posting those awful hate memes during the election.

Today is the actual the birthday of Governor Tom McCall, whose legacy we’ve been celebrating with pithy quotes all week, and today I will post my favorite. One of his most famous. In fending off the blowback he received from the “Don’t Come Here” sound bite, which some took as an impediment to economic development, McCall said these words: “Oregon is demure and lovely, and it ought to play a little hard to get. And I think you’ll be just as sick as I am if you find it is nothing but a hungry hussy, throwing herself at every stinking smokestack that’s offered.”

William Shatner is 87 today. He made fun of my voice once, so I made fun of his. Having thus bonded, I called on him when a Trekkie family member became ill a few years ago, and he immediately responded with a personal note on a signed photo. Michelle Obama did the same. Small kindnesses are remembered forever. As are small slights.

Happy birthday to KATU meteorologist, motorcycle daddio and ace pilot David Salesky!

Ringo Starr is now Sir Ringo.

Dis moi quelque chose de bien, s’il vous plaît? OK:

–“Former Make-A-Wish patient now doctor at same hospital that treated her”

–“Two people with severe vision loss due to a degenerative eye disease are able to read after embryonic stem cell treatment.”

–“Salina store clerks found a $1 million lottery ticket – then tracked down its owner” (I know people in Salina. I lived there for a year. Some of the nicest folks you’ll meet).

–“Starbucks Promises 100% Pay Equality for Women and Minorities”

–“Missing 14 year old walks into local business asking for help”

Sleep deprived but full of happy thoughts from last night’s Rosarian Newsmakers of the Year Banquet, it’s time to roll in for the morning merriment with Bruce and Janine on Portland’s K103. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Good morning to all the Drips in Dripville! It’s Wednesday, March 21, 2018, our first morning stepping into Spring, and wouldn’t ya know it, the weather’s going straight into the tank. Light rain today, high 55, followed by heavier rain tonight and tomorrow, and then a 1000 foot snow level on Friday and Saturday.  Sunrise 7:11 AM, sunset 7:24 PM.

Big news from Austin, where police say the bombings that terrorized the Texas capital are apparently over. Austin police say the bomber blew himself up in his car. The suspect is described as a 24-year old white male, no name released, and no word yet on motive.

The Blazers get a chance to start a whole new winning streak; the old one ended at 13 in a home loss to Houston.

Environmentalists are displeased to hear that Canadian oil is being shipped to Asia out of the Port of Portland. Bloomberg says oil companies are testing it as an alternative to shipping from British Columbia, where they’ve run into tribal and environmental opposition.

Aviators like to say that any landing you walk away from is a good one, and a 67-year old gentleman flying a home-built Kit Fox Super Sport executed a doozy, plowing up a stretch of beach and flipping over on Wallace Island off Clatskanie. Much better than ditching in the Columbia River. His sweet little red plane, seen on the pilot’s YouTube channel doing loops and flawless stunts, was wheels-up in wet sand against a rising tide when the Coast Guard arrived.  The pilot walked away. Whatever went wrong, he made a good landing.

It’s spring, so wild animals are prowling for love in all the wrong places, like the motel in The Dalles–where a two-year old male cougar was spotted in a room. Alone. ODFW has a strict protocol requiring that cougars which break into buildings and don’t seem to be afraid of humans be put down, and that’s what happened to this critter, just like the one in Silverton the other day.

Folks in Tualatin teamed up save-the-whales style to rescue some giant goldfish that have swum around for years in the lake at The Commons. The lake is being drained for cleaning, and these goldfish, which have grown into quite the lunkers since someone planted them, were doomed–but for the city’s effort to strain them out, and private pond-owners’ willingness to take them in.

Last night was opening night for Hamilton at the Keller. It’s close to..but not quite…sold out between now and the end of the show’s Portland run on April 8. We’ll get lots of Hamilton chatter tomorrow, because tonight is media night.

Today, as Rose Festival’s Marilyn Clint tipped us off yesterday, is National Rosie the Riveter Day, to honor the millions of women who went to work in nontraditional jobs during WWII while the guys were off at war. Together, they comprised the Greatest Generation. In celebration, the folks at Rose Festival are planting the new Rosie the Riveter rose at 11:00 am at Washington Park.

Let’s give a rosy Portland welcome to the trio of smart sophisticates who make up the Slate Political Gabfest, a weekly podcast that has informed many people including me for years. Emily Bazelon of the New York Times, John Dickerson of CBS, and David Plotz of Atlas Obscura will do their show before a sold-out Revolution Hall tonight at 7:30, and I think it drops as a podcast tomorrow.

White House aides were slapping their heads as President Trump had a conversation with Russian strongman Putin–and didn’t once bring up the nerve gas attack in Britain, the intelligence showing that Russia could cut off our power grid any time they want, or their interference in the US election. Instead, he congratulated Putin on his “election win,” which senior staff had specifically urged him not to do.  Said Republican Senator John McCain, “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.”

Via Twitter, fittingly, a Republican Senator has threatened Trump with impeachment if he fires Robert Mueller. From Jeff Flake of Arizona: “We are begging the president not to fire the special counsel. Don’t create a constitutional crisis. Congress cannot preempt such a firing. Our only constitutional remedy is after the fact, through impeachment. No one wants that outcome. Mr. President, please don’t go there.”

Let’s see if we can bring down the BP a few mmHG:

–“This Bus Driver Stops Every Morning To Feed A Stray Hungry Dog” (Adopt the critter, pal. He already thinks you have.”

–“A puppy was trapped in a Florida storm drain with water rising. A deputy lowered another deputy into the drain by holding on to her belt, and just in the puppy was saved. She’s been nicknamed “Poncho” while they search for the owner.”

–“Doctor dressed as Chewbacca tells boy he’s getting a new heart”

–“Scottish woman keeps ‘house trained’ pet bumblebee queen and even ‘cuddles’ it.”

–“Platypus milk might save us from bacterial infections” Sounds tasty, but I’ll stick with Alpenrose 1%!

Speaking of good news…tonight’s the night of the Royal Rosarians Newsmaker of the Year banquet, which my buddy Bruce Murdock and I dress up and MC every year. It’s “Tell Me Something Good”–live and in person. Some seats still available! For us it means Spring!  It also means a very late night for your resident Drippist, so tomorrow’s news breakfast may be on the kiddie-menu side.

Let’s close with words from Tom McCall, the great Oregon governor whose birthday is tomorrow. Tom McCall said, “The interests of Oregon for today and in the future must be protected from the grasping wastrels of the land. We must respect another truism – that unlimited and unregulated growth, leads inexorably to a lowered quality of life.”

It’s the first full day of Spring! Let’s have a heightened quality of life!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Welcome to the first day of Spring! If you feel like high-fiving your neighbor, or planting a rose or planting a smooch, the moment of the Vernal Equinox is precisely 9:15 AM Portland time. That’s when the plane of Earth’s equator passes right through the center of the Sun, and we officially leave winter behind. Not a bad winter at all, for us in the Northwest; a little snow at Christmas and a late-season encore. Nor is it exactly done with us; we flirt with hilltop snow levels on Saturday. But today, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, will be a cool beauty, with full-on sun once the clouds drift away, and highs of 60 degrees. Sunrise 7:13 AM, sunset 7:23 PM.

Breaking news from Texas…a package has blown up at a FedEx facility in San Antonio, injuring a worker. The package was bound for Austin, where four bombs have killed two and injured four. The motive is a mystery.

Given what’s going on in our country and world, authorities had to react when they spotted two suspicious packages hanging by a rope from the Lewis and Clark Bridge between Longview and Rainier. The bridge was shut down to cars, the Columbia River was closed to ships, and bomb squad experts with robots came in to neutralize the contents–which turned out to be somebody’s clothing. Also found, tellingly, was a “user quantity” of meth. A 61-year old Rainier man was arrested, and both the bridge and the river were reopened after several tense hours.

Portland’s downtown waterfront is in full bloom and filled with people, but it’s not immune from the violence that sometimes happens. Police say they haven’t found the man who shot and wounded another man at the west end of the Broadway Bridge around 10 yesterday morning.

Rockets at Blazers 7:30 PM, as our guys go for fourteen in a row.

The world’s last surviving male northern white rhino has died in Kenya. There are two living females, and hopes for avoiding extinction now turn to in vitro fertilization.

Authorities have euthanized the cougar that was spotted in the Oregon Garden last week, resulting in its closure. It’s the same cougar that killed deer in a Silverton backyard last month. Another cougar seen in town has not been found.

Here’s a quick Tell-me-something-good headline! –“Head to the gorge: Multnomah Falls viewing platform is now open.” Excellent timing! We’ve been barred since the fire from taking in the fresh spray at the base of the falls, and we still can’t hike the Benson Bridge or the trail to the top. But still, this might be a wonderful day to head east on I-84 to exit 31–and enjoy the mist coming off that spectacular landmark. However….the majority of the trails in that area are still closed. My hiking pals are all discovering the Washington side.

Over the weekend I drove on Macadam past our former K103 studios and saw the burned wreckage of the Macadam Center commercial building across the street, where we got haircuts and bought greeting cards and met for bagels, and wondered if they ever determined the cause of that fire back in January. And sure enough, up pops a news release from Portland Fire and Rescue, stating that “electrical failure” is the reason all those good businesses are now soggy cold ash.

Uber has taken all of its self-driving cars off the roads after their self-driving SUV struck and killed a 49-year-old woman as she walked her bicycle across a street, apparently outside a crosswalk, in Tempe, Arizona. It is the first known pedestrian death involving a fully autonomous car on a public road. Defenders say they’re still a hell of a lot safer than actual humans behind the wheel.

It’s not a musical genre or a word that we feature a lot here on the Daily Drip, but the Russian feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot is in town for shows at the Doug Fir Lounge tonight and tomorrow night. These subversive performance artists were onto Vladimir Putin before most of us in the US were wise to his lies, and they were imprisoned as a result. Now with a rotating cast of musicians and artists, their targets have expanded to others they perceive as deserving, particularly one Donald Trump. Their shows here are sold out.

Happy birthday to my soul-singing friend Julianne Johnson!

TMSG = HH(4a)HH:

–“Identification of brain region responsible for alleviating pain could lead to development of opioid alternatives”

–“Man spends retirement years rescuing cats stuck in trees.”

–“Iowa high school class beats 1-in-177 million odds: All alive six decades after graduation.”

–“Inverness woman keeps ‘house trained’ pet bee and even ‘cuddles’ it. “People have a bond with their dog or cat and even their hamster. I think I’ve proved here that you can have a relationship with an insect.”

–“Missing boy brings dinner to officers who helped find him”

–“When a Texas teacher realized her students couldn’t read cursive, she found a creative solution: senior pen pals”

It’s the second day of Tom McCall Week, proclaimed here unilaterally, and as promised, another quote from the Republican articulator of Oregon’s modern ideals: “Quality of life is the sum total of the fairness of our tax structure; the caliber of our homes; the cleanliness of our air and water; and the provision of affirmative assistance to those who cannot assist themselves. True quality is absent if we allow social suffering to abide in an otherwise pristine environment.”

That’s our report and now it’s your turn. Take a moment and breathe in the reality that Spring is here!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Good morning! You’re adorable when you yawn, did you know that? Here we are together on the last day of winter, Monday, March 19, 2018. The weather for Portland-town calls for a little fog here, a small shower there, and gaps enough in the clouds to let the sun shine through and let us know that spring is about to get the keys and move in. Highs around 57. Sunrise 7:15 AM, sunset 7:22 PM.

It’s Tom McCall week! Come and visit the ending paragraph.

Thank you to the crisp and merry throng that filled the downtown park that’s named for our favorite ex-governor, for the Adidas Shamrock Run! That was an extremely well-run event, with a variety of races from a half marathon to a nice ramble, a hold-and-release system designed to prevent too many traffic jams, some lilting Irish music performed by the Grant High School Choir, a live-mixed dance track and a superb starting line announcer, Jeff Randall. I played a supporting role by providing color commentary (“So green! Look at all those people in green!”)–and all for the benefit of the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The Pacific University football team is under a disturbing spotlight today as Forest Grove police try to sort out a Saturday night incident in which two players are accused of going to a house to buy pot, then attacking the 18-year old seller, but he was able to defend himself–against two football players. So they, allegedly, returned for round two–with about a dozen other guys who may have also been on the football team. The 18-year old is OK, the two original players are jailed on over a quarter million dollars bail, and Pacific is pledging its full cooperation with police. That’s a good way to get expelled, kids.

Best wishes to the families of an Oregon State University student and her boyfriend who were reported missing Friday evening, and are feared to be intent on harming themselves.

For the second year in a row, both Oregon and Oregon State’s women’s basketball teams have advanced to the Sweet 16.

The Portland Trail Blazers took a 12-game winning streak to Los Angeles for a game against the Clippers last night, and this morning the streak stands at 13, the team’s longest in over a decade. Houston comes to the Moda Center tomorrow night.

Not sure why they decided to do this, but six empty rail cars skipped the tracks and fell over near the Steel Bridge, right below the Right to Dream Too homeless camp. No hazmat spills and no one hurt.

The government of British Columbia is hopping aboard with Oregon and Washington to nurture the notion of an ultra-high-speed rail link between Vancouver BC and Portland.

Saying that “It is a core mission of the Republican Party to protect the Second Amendment,” the Multnomah County GOP is demanding that Portland’s public schools to refund any money that was spent by allowing students to protest gun violence last Wednesday.

Seeking to quell nervous reactions to a weekend of presidential tweeting, here’s a statement from White House lawyer Ty Cobb (a distant relative of the ballplayer): “In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.” But Maggie Haberman of the New York Times reports that “A dozen people close to Mr. Trump or the White House, including current and former aides and longtime friends, described him as newly emboldened to say what he really feels and to ignore the cautions of those around him.” Trump unbound. Nobody knows what’s next.

We learn now that last Thursday a helicopter carrying Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner from DC to Washington had to return to the airport after one of its engines failed.

For the fourth time in the last few weeks, a bomb has gone off in Austin, Texas. Two people were hurt.

It was fifteen years ago tonight that President Bush, supported by both parties in Congress and convinced in that raw post-9/11 time that weapons of mass destruction were being stockpiled against us, announced the start of the war on Iraq. The Iraqi military quickly fell to the “shock and awe” bombing onslaught and follow-on ground action that went all the way to Baghdad. Bush declared “an end to major combat operations” May 1 on the aircraft carrier with that unfortunate “Mission Accomplished” banner. But WMD’s were never found, nearly 5,000 American and coalition lives were lost along with a much higher but unknown number of Iraqis, civil war and armed conflict have continued for years, and some estimates say the whole thing may end up costing the US six trillion dollars.

Congress blessed us all with Daylight Saving Time 100 years ago today.

Headlines for a Happy Heart! Little reality bites to remind us that all is not lost:

-“It’s wear your PJ’s to school day at Woodstock Elementary in Portland.”

–“Stan Lee’s Missing Dog Found, Returned by NFL Legend Jim Brown” (They live a block apart in the Hollywood Hills, Jim found the mini-Pomeranian in his yard, spotted Stan’s “Lost Dog” poster, and returned the little guy to the 95-year old comics legend.

–“Ontario man runs first 10K post-heart transplant while his donor’s family cheers him on”

–“In France, clothes are being hung up in the street for the homeless to take”

–“Grandmother keeps frozen snowball made by 5 year old granddaughter for 11 years, and delighted her with it at age 16”

–“Spring officially arrived in Tokyo on Saturday as Japan’s weather agency declared the start of the cherry blossom season.”

What means spring finally has arrived for you? Some of my cues (aside from the annual lawnmower breakdown) are early Rose Festival-related, including this Wednesday’s Rosarians Newsmaker of the Year banquet. For fans of the Tell-Me-Something-Good remedy to the maladies of news, this event is perfect, and maybe you should come! Bruce Murdock and I have MC’d it for over a decade, and we keep returning because we love the people, and we love the stories as they’re told by the reporters themselves. And usually we meet the star of the story! I believe they still have tickets available, and if you google up the Royal Rosarians web site, I’m sure it’ll show you how to join us. If you do, find me and say hello and I’ll get you into Dripstock.

Quick soapbox time. Our third annual Tom McCall Day is Thursday of this week. Not enough is made of this occasion to honor the ’67 to ’75 governor, a Republican, who practically founded Oregon’s modern sense of itself by articulating the state’s values so incredibly well. So we’ll buck the media indifference by reading a quote from the great Tom McCall each day of the week, beginning today. He put so much color and meaning into each phrase, that you need to read them slowly.

“Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state’s beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens.”

OK! Time to charge into a springy Monday and get it done–especially with Oregon Spring Break next week!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Good morning and Happy St Patrick’s Day Eve! Today is Friday, March 16, 2018, 75 days since the midnight we sang “Auld Lang Syne,” and the weather today in the cool green Oregon country is precisely that of its mirror-land Ireland. I can boldly paste in today’s Dublin forecast from the Irish Meteorological Service and know that it’s accurate for Portland as well: “There will be sunny spells with further outbreaks of showery rain at times. Top temperatures nigh 10 degrees.” (That would be 50 here).

The Old Dripsters Almanac says sunrise is 7:21 AM, and sunset at 7:18 PM. The Equinox isn’t for four more days, but because of our planet’s various irregularities, tomorrow is the day Portland has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

Unlike the supportive approach taken by metro area schools, the Scappoose district is punishing students for participating in Wednesday’s national walkout, suspending them for a day from extracurriculars and sports and ordering them to attend Saturday school. They knew the ramifications, said the superintendent. Nevertheless they persisted.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury delivers her 2018 State of the County address this morning at Reynolds High School. In keeping with the attention being earned by the powerful young voices in our country, Reynolds students will ask her questions during the address. Love to see that on the state and national levels.

An interfaith group, with young voices out front, is pushing to put an initiative to ban semiautomatic rifles in Oregon on the November ballot.

Portland’s suburbs are encountering more and more people from the homeless world. A fire in a gully in Tigard the other night where fifteen people were camped highlighted that fact. Oregon City’s been witnessing it for some time.

It’s not just our elections that Russians are able to mess with. The Trump Administration says have hackers have infiltrated American and European water and power plants, and could shut them down if they want to.

You hear about problems with our aging infrastructure, but it was a brand new pedestrian bridge that collapsed on a major Miami-area thoroughfare, crushing cars and killing at least four people. There might be more cars under there.

Ten years from now, we may have an entirely new Burnside Bridge. Motivated by the awareness of our seismic vulnerability, Multnomah County has narrowed down the options for the midtown span to either a major retrofit, or total replacement. They’ll pick one this fall.

The red-hot Portland Trail Blazers roll on, beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 113 to 105, to extend its perfection-since-the-All Star-Break streak to eleven. James himself with his shocking orange Nikes had a big night, scoring 35 points including a thundering dunk over Jusuf Nurkic, but the Blazers adjusted. They host Detroit tonight and go for a dozen.

There’s trouble on the Nike campus in Beaverton. The company announced that top executive Trevor Edwards is leaving, even though he was the heir-apparent to CEO Mark Parker. It came on the same day Parker sent out a company-wide memo that said “Over the past few weeks, we’ve become aware of reports of behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment at a time when we are accelerating our transition to the next stage of growth and advancing our culture. This disturbs and saddens me.” He was no more specific.

Lots of Portland folk will be in motion this weekend, if only to make it to the nearest cup o’ kindness…St. Patrick’s Day festivities begin at noon today at the Portland Irish Beer Festival at Kells Irish Pub, at Second and, what, Ash? We all know how to find it. Hillsboro has a big St P’s day parade on Saturday. The Shamrock Run brings throngs downtown on Sunday including your humble Dripster, who’ll be a guest at the starting line mic. That’s a huge event and iHeart, beating strongly, is proud to be a sponsor. The Doernbecher Foundation is a beneficiary, and we’re eager to help.

The Netflix series about Oregon’s early-80s Bhagwan adventures is available right now, so drop everything and put on a maroon bathrobe. Those certainly were colorful times. Today the land briefly known as Rajneeshpuram is the Washington Family Ranch, owned by the Christian group Young Life, which operates a working cattle ranch along with summer camps for high school and middle school kids. Not a Rolls in sight.

Another new film dropping online today is a fun dive into behind-scenes stories of the Muppets, with all the creators except the late Jim Henson telling their tales. Just google Muppet Guys Talking. I don’t post links because who knows what Facebook’s artificially-intelligent algobots will do with the DD?

In tribute to Stephen Hawking, people who inhabit the online game world, in an intensely imaginative quasi-reality called New Eden, are laying down their virtual weapons and lighting up their galaxy with bright, radiant beacons.

Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay” hit #1 50 years ago today, though Otis never knew it. He died in a plane crash three days after he recorded it. The whistling at the end was supposed to be a placeholder for a last verse he had yet to write, and he never did.

Vietnam history. My Lai. Fifty years ago today.

There’s some media confusion about the astronaut who supposedly had 7% of his DNA change during a year in space. Things changed, yes, but 7%? That would make him a different species.

Headlines, now, that might get folks to crack a smile…

–“Kansas rancher herds his cattle to spell out the word “Hi!” in enormous letters. The message from the cows was visible from space.”

–“A ‘perfect’ ending for four Kansas siblings seeking adoption brings judge to tears”

–“India wild elephant saved in dramatic rescue”

–“Teacher in Ghana who used blackboard to explain computers gets some Microsoft love”

–“Toronto is the first city to make their buildings bird friendly” (I wonder if Portland might have a claim there. If not, we should be second. City Hall has talked about that with the Portland Audubon Society. There may be some expectation of high-rise builders to use materials that aren’t magnets or mirrors for migrating flocks, that smash into windows at an appalling rate).

–“Stranger’s Facebook message reunites family with dog stolen six months ago”

–“A South Florida couple marked their 23rd wedding anniversary by undergoing a live kidney transplant” (What other kind is there?)

I think we’re close to announcing details of the April 13th Dripstock. There will be a simple signup mechanism so we know who’s coming, and then we’ll just hang out together and socialize. TWBW! Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Good morning! It’s your radio daddio, dishing up the Daily Drip for Thursday, March 15, 2018. Portland’s weather is mainly nice, with an isolated light rinse, and highs of 55. Might get a tiny dusting of snow above 1000 feet. Sunrise today 7:23 AM, sunset 7:16 PM.

A student at Portland’s Franklin High School saw fit to bring a gun to class on Tuesday–and share a photo of it, sticking in his waistband, on Snapchat. Another student who saw it immediately notified authorities, and the kid with the gun was arrested at his home.

People who were there say those were seventeen powerful minutes of perfect silence at schools in our area during yesterday’s national walkout against gun violence. I’m seeing comments from teachers who were filled with respect for their students who took part. One teacher wrote, “It was absolutely beautiful and I’ve never been more proud of my students. The tone was somber, the leaders were gentle, inclusive to differing viewpoints, and optimistic.” An elementary teacher added, “They all took the walkout extremely seriously which amazed me. I’m used to one or two kids always goofing off, but this morning there was none of that. I cried. I’m so proud of them today.”

A Keizer police officer shot and killed a man suspected of robbing a Pizza Hut.

Hillsboro police officers peacefully diffused a situation with a suspect armed with a machete.

OregonLive interviewed the man whose girlfriend allegedly attacked him with a samurai sword because she found a dating app on his phone and red hair in the shower drain though hers are green. He said the attack “scared the living poop” out of him and that he’s still in the hospital with lacerations. He claims he never had time to cheat on her because he was playing elite competitive video games 13 hours a day, and doing training exercises to improve his mouse moves. I’m not a nerd, he said. “I’m an Ethlete.”

A wealthy Portland hotel magnate is in line to be named U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, according to the Wall Street Journal. Gordon Sondland is founder and CEO of the company that owns the Benson, Heathman, Sentinel and other hotels; he or his company donated a million dollars to the Trump inaugural committee.

The general manager of McCormick and Schmick’s Harborside restaurant–one of our favorite spots to grab an outdoor table on a sunny day–is suing a pest control company for a million bucks because he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. No doubt something bit him, but brown recluses don’t live in Oregon, a little fact that I found on the web.

While we’re at the river, Waterfront Blues Festival early-bird tickets go on sale today.

The LeBron James show comes to Portland tonight as the Trail Blazers put their 10-game winning streak up against the 3-time defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers–who, for some reason, have a habit of getting blown out in Portland.

Sen. Marco Rubio has filed a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent across the country.

Strange: NASA scientists have discovered that astronaut Scott Kelly’s genes are no longer identical to those of his identical twin after spending a year in space.

“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid,” the old jingle went. But, as hinted last week, Toys R Us is pulling the ripcord on the entire operation, closing all 800 stores including eight in Oregon. Analysts say people are buying toys from Amazon, now, along with Walmart, and Target.

We get to relive a bad-dreamy episode of Oregon history soon as Netflix releases a 6-part series on the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh tomorrow. We all remember that gray-bearded guru with the fleet of Rolls Royces who attracted thousands of blissful followers, and they overwhelmed a tiny town in Wasco County in the early 1980’s, and then things went bad. Might be a good series, though; titled “Wild Wild Country,” it’s done by the same people who produced “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” the doc about the Portland Mavericks.

Tell me something really good, OK?

–“Environmental initiative: Adidas sold 1 million shoes made out of recycled ocean plastic in 2017”

–“Dude wearing an “Elsa” costume from the movie “Frozen” pushed a Boston police paddy wagon from a snow bank.”

–“A new study says talking to your dog like you would a baby is the best way to build a good relationship with your puppy.”

–“Motor Neurone Disease charity site crashes after surge in donations in honor of Professor Hawking”

–“‘Wonder girl’ beats tumor with robotic surgery”

–“Toddler with rare liver disease needed a liver… so her new nanny donated part of hers.”

The Ides of March! Beware of friendly strangers in black sedans…and have a very fine Thursday!