Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Good morning to you, on a sleepy drizzly Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Look at it this way: if you were vacationing in Ireland, you’d see this misty gray weather through a pub window, and think, ahhh, lovely Ireland. The Pacific Northwest is very much the same. It might be a flashlights-and-candles night tonight, with heavy rain, rising rivers, and plenty of branch-blowing wind, gusting to 40 MPH in the valley and 60 on the coast. Sunrise 7:49 AM, sunset 4:47 PM.

Unbelievable video of mud-covered people as they’re pulled dripping and filthy from their Montecito homes, demonstrating the worst fears coming true: California mudslides, propelled by gravity down fire-denuded hillsides, have now killed at least thirteen people, and there are a lot of areas that rescuers haven’t been able to reach. The 101 is mudded over between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara.

So glad to say that nobody was hurt when a suspect fired a gun at a Clackamas County Sheriffs deputy, after a stolen car was spotted at the Oregon City Shopping Center on McLoughlin just north of I-205. The deputy’s car took at least one bullet, and the suspect was caught when he tripped in the mud.

The Trump administration last week announced a sweeping plan to open all of the nation’s offshore waters to oil drilling, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke caved right quick when the Republican governor of Florida said, don’t do it! that’s messing with our tourist economy. So Florida is off-limits. The Democratic governor of Oregon fired off a tweet in reply: “Hey, @SecretaryZinke, how about doing the same for #Oregon?”

Could an immigration deal be in the works? President Trump, in an open meeting with congressfolk from both sides, appeared to agree to a compromise extending the Dream Act, and creating a citizenship pathway for millions, angering hardliners who view it as “amnesty.” Trump calls it “a bill of love.” But, he said, it still must include The Wall. (A San Francisco federal judge ordered the administration to maintain the DACA program, but Dreamers can’t breathe easy until Congress acts).

A federal judge has rejected a gerrymandered congressional map of North Carolina, calling it “motivated by invidious partisan intent.”

The date of January 10 is full of icy memories for long-time Northwesterners because that’s when, in 1979, Portland was dealt a wicked meteorological blow that we called a Silver Thaw. We’d been in a deep freeze since late December…reporters remember how cold it was when a United DC8 crashed on East Burnside…and I remember a January newspaper headline saying “Warm Front Brings Relief from Freeze.” What that warm front brought was rain that froze as it fell, and encasing our world in a coating of ice that snapped limbs, severed power lines, and plunged hundreds of thousands into a darkness that lasted for days. I’ve never seen our town so paralyzed, not even when Mt. St. Helens blew a cloud of ash in our direction.

Driving in Portland could become even more of a slow-mo experience, as the City Council will consider dropping the speed limit on thousands of miles of residential streets from 25 to 20. The legislature empowered the city to do it last year, and there’s a hearing a week from today at City Hall. One issue is that drivers are routinely directed onto residential streets by traffic apps like Waze, which detour people around the main drags during rush hour.

Nike has rolled out the outfits that American athletes will wear on the open-air (brr!) medal podiums at the Winter Olympics. The hooded jackets look like something an astronaut could wear as she plants the Stars and Stripes and says, I claim this Moon! Very cool: white with USA on the sleeves, an American flag on the shoulder, a helmety hood, and a secret phone pocket. I’ve always loved the Winter games for their soaring speed and crystalline alpine scenery; the opening ceremony is 29 days away.

A Pennsylvania congressman is offering up a bill requiring all presidential candidates to undergo a mental health examination. Democrat Brendan Boyles calls it the “Stable Genius Act.”

A study of elite athletes who take a lot of Advil shows that high doses of ibuprofen may cause infertility in men.

This was the night seven years ago when the Oregon Ducks, after an undefeated regular season with Chip Kelly at the controls, just barely lost the national college football championship game to Auburn, 22-19, on a 19-yard field goal as time ran out. (The guy who kicked it was signed by the Seahawks, but cut in camp, and hasn’t played again. And Chip’s back in the PAC 12).

Wake up, Rod Stewart! He’s 73 today. He’ll be at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater on the last night of August, together with Cyndi Lauper. And Donald Fagan, the surviving founder of Steely Dan, has reeled in 70 years today.

So we learned in yesterday’s Drip that many of you skip right to the the HHH section, here at the end. Fair enough! Good morning! Headlines for a Happy Heart, coming right up!

–“Surprise! Mom delivers unexpected second baby”

–“Chinese Crane Driver Rescues Passengers After Bus Falls Into River”

–“Turkish gym gives 12-year-old Syrian refugee shoe-shiner a free lifetime membership after photo of him staring longingly through its window went viral

–“When the animal shelter lost power during the “bomb cyclone,” this mayor let the animals stay in town hall overnight”

–“‘I kept holding her really tight’: Tow truck driver helps prevent suicide on Hwy. 401 overpass”

–“For the first time in a century, humpback whales have returned to the waters of New York City”

Hey I texted with Bruce Murdock, who’s recovering from surgery for a detached retina. He’s “Bored as hell. No pain.” Thinks he might be back Thursday or Friday. Meantime, the good guys are rolling up points on Stump the Jock!

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