Friday, December 22, 2017

Hark! It’s Friday, December 22, 2017…nearing the end of the long wait for Christmas…and just the beginning of a mad panic for some of us (insert blushing emoji here)…we’re heading into a time that rewards mindfulness, including awareness of the weather…which is not necessarily ideal. Today we have a possibility of light freezing drizzle in the morning, then two inches of snow tonight in the hills above 1000 feet, which is right around the summits of Mt. Scott and Council Crest. Then we continue with a chance of rain, snow, or freezing rain right on through Christmas. I’m seeing models that trend against that having much of an impact, but confidence is low. Situational awareness will get us through!

Sunrise 7:48 AM Sunset 4:30 PM. Today we will bask in 30 seconds more daylight than yesterday.

OK…news..

There’s some unfortunate meanness on the Multnomah County Commission, with the chair calling another commissioner a “bitch” over critical comments she’d made about another county leader. Apology offered, but not yet accepted. Hope they cool down over the holidays; not everything has to go to Defcon 1. (I’ll use the B word here, but not on the radio).

Congress passed a short-term funding patch that keeps the government chugging halfway through January. Included is a three-month lifeline for CHIP, the children’s health insurance program, so thousands of kids won’t be kicked off their coverage at Christmas. But nothing on the Dream Act.

An unexpectedly strong nine million people signed up for Obamacare, despite the administration’s reduction in the signup period and outreach budget. The tax bill repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, but it does not repeal Obamacare.

Governor Kate Brown is asking for $5 million in emergency funding to get families off the streets during this cold winter.

Last night ODOT was able to reopen Oregon 22 in the Santiam Canyon after last week’s fatal tanker accident, which spilled some gasoline into the river. The other good news is that water samples have tested clean…a lot of the gas burned off..and the Salem water department has reopened the intake valves.

Oregon fire crews are home from helping fight California’s enormous Thomas Fire, which rages on in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The Santa Barbara Zoo is getting ready to evacuate…but giraffes would have to remain because they can’t fit under freeway overpasses. Visiting reindeer have already been removed; they have another appointment soon.

Condolences to the family of Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, whose brother in law and his wife were killed in that tour bus crash on the Yucatan Peninsula. Andy Fritz was the brother of Steve Fritz, Amanda’s husband, who lost his life in a crash on I-5 several years ago.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is conducting decoy stings to see if pot shops are selling to minors. So far they visited 20 stores in Bend and LaPine…and found 100% compliance with the law.

Unfinished business, regarding a 64-year old woman who walked to Starbucks at NE 15th and Fremont over a week ago and didn’t come back. She’s been found safe. Police say they’ll have no other details, which is their way of saying MYOB, so we will. Glad she’s OK.

Portland doesn’t have the fastest-rising rents in the country, but we’re close. Sacramento, Riverside, and Seattle are ahead of our town in rental inflation. We’re up 4.7 percent this year.

Last night was the final night of the Christmas Ships.

The Seattle Seahawks have been fined $100,000 for failing to follow the concussion protocol when QB Russell Wilson was clocked, a few games back. The team blames sideline confusion, and accepts the fine.

Let’s hook up the pipeline to the Headlines for a Happy Heart…

–“Stray Cat Brings Her Kitten to Kind Woman – She Follows the Mama and Finds Another Baby In Need of Help”

–“MacArthur Grant Will Create ‘Sesame Street’ for Syrian Refugees” I cannot freaking imagine what those kids are going through.

–“RSPCA worker braves precarious ice to save whimpering dog trapped in frozen river for an hour”

–“Michigan Eye Doctor Opens Office In Storm And Carries Elderly Patient Through Snow-Filled Parking Lot”

–“New York Church Mixes Christmas Carols for Beatles Hits; Thousands Cheer as “O Come All Ye Faithful Morphs into All You Need Is Love.” Yeah yeah yeah!

Speaking of fine music, hope you tune in K103 at 6:40 this morning, or check into K103’s Facebook page, for a surprise continuation of our Melekalikimaka tradition. Bruce, Craig, and I hope Janine, and I will gather around our microphones, and sing the song that our long-ago traffic reporter Lyle Arthur taught us, from his native Hawaii. Lyle’s sunning himself on the beaches of the afterlife, but we still love to reflect his joy of the season. At one point, this feature was so popular that folks who’d moved away would call their friends and have the phone put up to the radio. Other ex-pats would drive to Olympia or Eugene, cities at the edge of our transmitter range, to hear our annual attempt. It may have lost its target-demographic relevance over the years, but K103 has a heritage morning show, one of the last in the country, and sometimes we just have to keep an inexplicable tradition alive. Part of our success is our stability, and our deep, deep local roots. This will be the 40th year for Melekalikimaka. I can’t think of any feature in Portland radio that’s lasted this long.

And that’s the last official Daily Drip of a most challenging year. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we navigate these trumpulent waters– an odious superfund site for some, a satisfying marination for others. Of course I’ll pop up like a whack-a-mole if something weird goes down, or if I feel the need to circle the Driply wagons around a warm campfire. In closing, as John and Yoko say, So a very merry Christmas! And a happy New Year! Let’s hope it’s a good one…without any….well, fill in your own blank there.

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