Friday, January 5, 2018

Good morning friends, Dripsters, and lurkers alike! It’s Friday, January 5, 2018, and as we put the first week of this fresh year in the books, we expect a quarter of an inch of rain today with highs pushing 50, and freezing rain whipped by gusty winds in the central Columbia Gorge. Sunrise 7:50 AM Sunset 4:42 PM, getting later by a minute a day.

There’s a foot of snow on the ground in New England, where hurricane-force winds delivered a blizzard, and icy water from Boston Harbor surged inland, swamping city streets. With the storm moving out, even colder arctic air is rolling in, and wind chills will fall below zero. PDX still reports cancellation of several arrivals from New York metro airports.

Not since the last Harry Potter installment have we seen all-night lines outside bookstores, but that was the scene in some cities today as “Fire and Fury,” the unflattering book about President Trump went on sale, almost a week ahead of schedule. The president’s lawyers failed to stop publication, and hard copies are already sold out on Amazon. (Willamette Week tweets that Powell’s has copies. Opens at 9).

Local reaction is burning and blunt to Attorney General Jeff Session’s dumping of the Obama-era policy that protected the cannabis industry in states where it’s legal. But two quotes catch my attention. Senator Ron Wyden signaled that he’ll use his powers to make the upcoming budget deal conditional upon stopping this federal intrusion on a state decision. And the most important reaction is that of Oregon’s presidentially-appointed United States Attorney Billy Williams, because the new policy leaves enforcement in this state up to his discretion. Caps are mine: “We will CONTINUE working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners to pursue SHARED public safety objectives, with an emphasis on stemming [no pun evidently intended] the overproduction of marijuana and the diversion of marijuana out of state, DISMANTLING criminal organizations and thwarting violent crime in our communities.” Again, those caps are mine, but the US Attorney’s words strongly imply that the status quo will continue here.

Environmentally-minded folks are cheering as Portland’s ban on fossil fuel terminals has been upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals. Meantime, west coast governors say they’ll stand united against the Trump administration’s effort to open the coasts of Oregon and Washington to offshore oil drilling.

Demands are growing for the resignation of Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, after she called Commissioner Loretta Smith a “bitch” at the end of a contentious meeting in December. I heard over an hour of stinging testimony by African-American community leaders, county employees, and citizens at yesterday’s commission meeting, the first since the outburst. Kafoury shows no sign of resigning, but she has a big hill to climb.

Some jerk assaulted a woman at a downtown Portland yoga studio yesterday morning early and was caught and jailed.

The driver who plowed into a herd of elk on a dark stretch of the Sunset Highway west of Portland is very lucky not to have been injured. Thirteen elk perished; food banks are already making sure it’s not going to waste.

A couple of shoplifting suspects rolled their getaway car on 217 at Denny Rd. Minor injuries, major traffic delays.

A team of private investigators claims it has used sophisticated decoding techniques to reveal the identity of hijacker DB Cooper. They say he’s a 74-year old Vietnam veteran and army paratrooper who’s alive and living in San Diego. Name of Robert W. Rackstraw. The FBI closed out the case as unsolved over a year ago.

Mystery of the day, from the Portland subReddit: There’s a brand new 2017 Subaru Crosstrek that has been parked at SE 16th and Hawthorne, and it hasn’t budged since early September. It has plates from a California dealer, who sold the car in August.

This is the last day of a mellifluous career for NPR’s Robert Siegel. The urbane host of All Things Considered is retiring at age 70; among the show’s new hosts is the formidably talented Ari Shapiro, well known to Portlanders for his frequent appearances as a guest vocalist for Pink Martini. Ari, a Beaverton High graduate, has the potential to be one of the greats, too.

It’s almost a quarter century since the whack heard ’round the world…tomorrow was the date in 1994 when Tonya Harding’s people smacked Nancy Kerrigan in the knee, crippling Tonya’s career even more than Nancy’s. The movie “I, Tonya” is getting major Oscar buzz, with nominations expected (on January 24) for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Margot Robbie, who plays Tonya…and potentially a runaway Best Actress win for Allison Janney, who slays in her portrayal as Tonya’s sailor-mouthed mom.

It’s NFL Wild Card Weekend, and if you need a reason to care, the Tennessee Titans led by all-time-favorite Oregon Duck Marcus Mariota visit the Kansas City Chiefs tomorrow at 1:35 PM.

It’s only 38 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Meantime at my house we’re binge-watching “Breaking Bad.” (My second time).

Tell Me Something Good, yo!

–“Little Dog snatched Up by Eagle is returned to her family”

–“Kitten Frozen To Boat Dock Saved By Local Sheriff”

–“Police Officer Donates Part of His Liver to Ailing Baby Girl”

–“All-girl engineer team invents solar-powered tent for the homeless”

–“Polar bear cub can play the piano.”

–“College basketball coach gives inspiring speech to opposing team after win”

It’s the weekend! What are we still doing here? Flee!

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