Good morning, you! We’re beginning a fresh working year on a Tuesday, January 2, 2018, under a day-old Supermoon sailing west in the sky. The Wolf Moon. After two weeks without an alarm, and six weeks of holiday goodies, we’ll have to forgive ourselves and each other if we’re not yet on our game, clanking our metaphorical free throws and steering our buses into the ditch. I’m struggling to remember how to even write this. But l promise it’ll come back to us; in a day or two it’ll be just like flying a bicycle. One step, then another!
For the Daily Drip, step one is the weather. Across the country, it’s as cold as iron–90% of the US is below freezing. But here in Portland the weather is dry and breezy, and we’ll reach 45 degrees before the day is done. Sunrise 7:50 AM. Sunset 4:39 PM. We’re gaining a minute of daylight every day.
Firefighters had to step around used needles as they battled a blaze in an abandoned home in Milwaukie, one of several in the neighborhood blamed on squatters, setting fires to keep warm.
A 27-year old man is lost in the mountains. Clark County Search and Rescue is leading the hunt for Vadim Mukhin, who wandered off while drinking with friends in the Larch Mountain area Saturday night.
It’s the sixth day of demonstrations in Iran, where citizens are fed up with a weak economy and an oppressive regime. At least 21 have been killed in the resulting crackdown. The White House has been tweeting its support of the protesters–although, under the travel ban, they won’t find refuge here.
The Rose Bowl was a classic, with Georgia coming back to beat Oklahoma in double OT. They’ll play Alabama for the national championship next Monday.
What’s new in the new year? A vastly expanded Oregon Bottle Bill, for one; starting now, the 10-cent deposit law includes many kinds of plastic, aluminum, and glass bottles that haven’t been covered before. The Oregon Bottle Bill: it’s not just pop, Pop!
Driving your car will lighten your wallet this year. The Oregon gasoline tax is four cents a gallon higher, registration and title fees jump as well, all part of a package to pay for a decade of infrastructure improvements.
Other new laws…the legal age for buying tobacco in Oregon is now 21…and a judge can issue an order seizing an individual’s guns if petitioned by police or family.
Portland’s first baby of the new year is Adonzhay Avritt, born at 12:32 AM at Providence. He’s wrapped in a green blanket given him by the Portland Timbers and Thorns.
I think we’re beyond the point of doing a news story every time someone spots a coyote on their block…it’s their habitat we moved into, after all…but one particularly handsome canine damsel was modeling her winter coat all over the NW shopping district on New Years. Internet comments include “Typical. No respect for the leash law.” And “If you’re cold, they’re cold. Bring them in.”
Happy birthday to a blessing of nature that Portlanders enjoy every day, usually without thinking about it. It was on this date in 1895 that a 22 mile-long river named Bull Run, in a forest of 500-year old trees in the western shadow of the Mt. Hood, began supplying the young city with water that was, and is, so much purer than Portland’s previous source, the Willamette River.
And now…continuing in the new year a feature began in the fall called “Headlines for a Happier Heart”…or something like that….where I paste in the headline from the news…and you fill in the rest from your imagination!
–“Orphaned Baby Elephant Saved by Helicopter in Kenya”
–“Local Judge Spends Night in Jail with Veteran He Sentenced in a Show Of Solidarity”
–“Retired Navy SEAL Donates Organ to Total Stranger”
–“‘Christmas miracle’ as brain injury victim communicates with mom for first time since 1996”
–“Dozens of Wyoming residents rush out to save a herd of elk that fell through Ice in a reservoir”
–“Army veteran reunited with stolen dog in time for Christmas”
–“Ex-Prisoner Misses Job Interview to Save Life”
Thanks for joining me on the Daily Drip for another year! There’s warmth and conviviality in this community, even in these cold days. James Taylor tweeted out a little-known verse of a favorite old song, for New Year’s greeting, and I extend the same to you:
“So here is a hand, my trusted friend And give me a hand of thine! We’ll take a cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne!”