Friday, October 20, 2017

Good morning! Trickling through the gutter of news and down the spout to your phone or computer, here comes the Daily Drip for Friday, October 20, 2017. Yesterday’s rainstorm was just a prelude to the deluge, but today’s in between, with showers and sunbreaks and a high of 55. Tomorrow the trans-Pacific atmospheric firehose aims itself again at the Oregon/Washington border, and we could get a creek-flooding three inches of rain or more, yuck, on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunrise 7:34 AM. Sunset 6:15 PM. Might be time for a fresh bulb in the porch light.

The city is telling us, ummm….stay out of the Willamette River downtown, and you know why. It doesn’t happen that often anymore, but **it happened.

This enormous amount of rain creates fresh perils for the fire-weakened landscape of the Columbia Gorge; we’ll see what comes rolling, tumbling, or sliding down the denuded mountainsides. It certainly seems like authorities are going easy on the nameless 15-year old whose thoughtless toss of a firecracker on a crackling dry day caused all this destruction, yet is being charged as a minor with misdemeanors that could someday be expunged. Perhaps all that internet rage against him had something to do with it. The DA’s announcement said nothing about charges against the other kids involved, or about any effort to even symbolically recover damages.

A search for a little boy named Austin who ran away from home in Beaverton last night ended happily when he was founding hiding in some nearby bushes.

People are baffled by the disappearance of 38-year old Brian Duncan. He’s a paraplegic man who uses a motorized wheelchair, and was last seen near the Duckworth Dock by the Steel Bridge.

A suspect has been arrested after a Thursday morning sexual assault at Rocky Butte.

Washington County has been rounding up dozens of people accused of domestic violence.

We’ve learned the Portland Public Schools’ share of Oregon’s marijuana tax: 2.7 million dollars. Not trivial, but not a gold mine, says the PPS board budget committee chair Rita Moore.

Good news, ye who are condemned to commute downtown: the Morrison Bridge reopens by 6 AM Sunday. The Interstate Bridge will close all southbound lanes on Saturday night.

There’s so much misunderstanding in the unbearably sad story of the Green Berets who were killed in Africa, and the president’s call to a grieving family. The appearance by Chief of Staff General John Kelly, a steady and sober presence in the White House, makes clear that he didn’t want Trump to make the call at all, but reluctantly coached him with the “he knew what he was getting into” message; it sounded heroic and praising of sacrifice coming from the General, but was heard as dismissive coming from Trump. And the General, in his astonishment that a member of Congress would be “listening in” on such a sacred moment, seemed not to realize that she was a lifelong family friend who was there at the family’s request, and had every right to be there. So much misunderstanding, our national specialty.

George W. Bush took some swipes at the current zeitgeist in a rare appearance in New York, where he said “bigotry seems emboldened” and “bullying and prejudice in our public life is setting a national tone.” “Our politics,” he added,” seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

Saying that any trucker will tell you their windshields are a lot cleaner these days, a story in The Atlantic reports that insect populations are absolutely crashing. All kinds of bugs from butterflies to honeybees to moths are in a major decline. Pesticides and pollutants are the likeliest culprits, and the consequences are very serious: a little over half of all bird species depend on insects for their diets, and most plants require insects for pollination. (I still think the presence of mosquitoes on our planet is an argument against the existence of a benevolent higher power).

Today would have been Tom Petty’s 67th birthday. His sudden death was a crushing loss, but I love what Bruce Springsteen, who thought the world of Petty, told Rolling Stone. He said, “Good songs stay written. Good records stay made.”

A downtown plaza in Eugene has been renamed Ken Kesey Square.

The Ducks (4-3) are at UCLA (3-3) Saturday at 1…The Beavers are off; they host Stanford on Thursday. My Cubs are done; the better team by far won by a lot, and now the Dodgers wait to see what happens between the Yanks and Astros, who play tonight.

Finally, tomorrow morning, raining or not, people will gather in Tualatin for an annual 5K run/walk to raise funds for the Corporal Matthew Lembke Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting graduating seniors at Tualatin High School. Matthew lost his life during his third overseas tour, in Afghanistan, in 2009, and his parents created the scholarship in his name. It’s a great honor for me to do the pre-race announcements, and to mingle with his brother Marines, his friends from school, members of the Tualatin High staff, and most of all, his very kind parents, whom I interviewed recently, and I’ll post a link separately over the weekend sometime.

The weekend! Who’s doing what? Me: Tualatin in the morning, then family stuff, good stuff, staying dry and staying warm!

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