Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hello there fellow sleepy people, and welcome to a Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Today’s probably the last in our string of dry days; it’ll be partly cloudy with highs of 44, and more of that banshee wind in the Columbia Gorge. Sunrise 7:50 AM Sunset 4:40 PM. Today we gain a full minute of daylight over yesterday; we have seven minutes more sun than on the Winter Solstice.

People from Battleground to Camas report feeling two earthquakes near Mt. St Helens. Seismographs recorded the events at 12:30 and 12:40 AM, at magnitude 3.9 and 2.7. This happens occasionally as magma oozes deep underground, and does not necessarily indicate an eruption is in the works. But that’s still very much an active volcano.

Early warning for folks living in the Gorge, or anyone heading thataway–the National Weather Service says light freezing rain may slicken up the roads between Hood River and Cascade Locks–and possibly as far west as Corbett–tomorrow and Friday.

A massive winter storm is coming to New England. A foot of snow expected in Boston.

The Coast Guard did all they could, but they were unable to find a Tualatin man who vanished while crabbing from a kayak near the mouth of the Necanicum Estuary in Seaside on New Year’s Day.

Not an encouraging clue in the search for a man who wandered away from a campsite near Yacolt: his coat was found floating in the Lewis River.

The wagon trains have been replaced by moving vans and U-Hauls, but the Oregon Trail is a hopping place these days. United Van Lines says 65% of its Oregon moves were inbound, second only to Vermont for the ratio of coming vs. going. Give ’em a year–they’ll be complaining about traffic just like the rest of us. And blaming newcomers.

Governor Kate Brown has just appointed the first African American judge to the Oregon Supreme Court. (We’ve been a state for 158 years). Adrienne Nelson has served as a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge for a dozen years. A bit of backstory: when she graduated from her Arkansas high school in 1985, she was at the very top of her class–but the local school district opted to name a white student, with the runner-up GPA, as valedictorian. Ms. Nelson’s mother hired a lawyer, fought the decision, and won. Thirty-three years later, Adrienne Nelson will take her place on the Oregon Supreme Court.

The Canby Ferry…kind of a back way between West Linn and Wilsonville… is closed until further notice for electrical repairs.

Happy birthday to the talented and creative Portland recording artist–and American Idol alum–Haley Johnsen.

Oh the joy…Portland is going to be the filming location for season two of the apparent hit Netflix series “American Vandal.” It’s about some high school guys accused of painting, well, masculine biological embellishments on faculty cars. There’s a casting call soon!

Now that Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has announced his retirement, all eyes are on Republican Mitt Romney, the staunch Trump critic who can pretty much have that seat if he wants it. Romney isn’t talking, but last night he updated his Twitter account to indicate that he’s in Utah, not Massachusetts.

President Trump says he uses Twitter to communicate directly with the people. Fair enough. Pasting:

11h11 hours ago

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” (In fact, neither one has a literal button. But both of these petulant individuals have the terrifying power to unleash an apocalyptic calamity, and this ongoing playground exchange has wise heads shaking all around the world today).

Headlines to warm the soul? Right here:

–“Police Officer Punches Through Frozen Pond To Rescue 8-Year-Old Boy”

–“Syrian refugees say thanks to Canada with New Year’s blood drive”

–“Beached whale saved by more than 100 Nova Scotians in spontaneous rescue effort”

–“When an Arkansas man had trouble paying off the $1,700 fine he was sentenced to pay for vandalizing a mosque with a swastika, and faced a 6-year jail term for nonpayment, the mosque wrote the check to cover his fine.”

–“‘Proof true love exists’: Sweet video shows divorced dad proposing to ex-wife”

A hat tip to Atlas Obscura for this item, which goes on the travel list: “The Loggia dei Mercanti, the open-air space beneath Milan’s Palazzo della Ragione, hides a secret communication system. Speak softly to some of its columns, and its archways will whisk your whispers to a well-placed listener on the opposite side of the portico.” I’ve see one or two places like this. And we have a couple of spots in Portland (in Pioneer Courthouse Square and Schrunk Plaza) where if you stand and speak in the center of a circle, your voice sounds eerily magnified. But a secret whispering system sounds cooler!

Still trying to get the hang of this DD thing. Gratified to see so many people reading it; I depend on you to straighten me out on stuff, and provide your own updates. You’re much appreciated all around!

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