Friday, April 6, 2018

Hello Friday People! Today is April 6, 2018, a day that starts out showery and grows wetter and windier as time goes on. A high wind watch is posted for late tonight through tomorrow evening for western Oregon and southwest Washington, with gusts expected to peg 75 on the beaches and headlands, 65 in the coastal towns, and 40 to 55 in the valleys where most of us live. We can expect falling trees, power outages, and dangerous crosswinds. As it happens, one year ago tomorrow we experienced a windstorm that put 170,000 PGE customers out of power. Sunrise today comes at 6:41 AM, and sunset 7:45 PM.

A rotten way to end Spring Break on the coast…an Orkin man was spraying pesticides at the Tillamook Shilo Inn…and guests started feeling sick. Four were hospitalized.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s tweets have become world news sound bites as she explains her refusal to allow the Guard to be deployed to the Mexican border by saying, “I will not let our Oregon National guardsmen and women be used as political pawns to distract from the incompetence and chaos of the Trump administration.” It may be moot; she hasn’t been asked.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 9,000 points for the first time exactly 20 years ago today. Today we’re starting out at 24,505, but that’s been bouncing like a microbus on a potholed Portland street, mainly because of the tariff snarling between the US and China. Remember that those are only proposed tariffs: both sides are playing poker with the global economy. But it’s nail-biting time for Oregon agriculture: China is their #4 international market, and the tariffs would target hazelnuts, apples, berries…and wine. And Oregon is far from alone. GOP Senator Ben Sasse from the farmland state of Nebraska writes, “This is nuts….he (Trump) is threatening to light American agriculture on fire.”

The Register-Guard reports that two KVAL-TV anchors in Eugene refused to read a statement assigned by the station’s owner, Sinclair Broadcasting, that accused other media of alleged biased reporting. No word on consequences.

Latest developments in the Hart family tragedy: the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office says it incorrectly stated that the two mothers had their seatbelts on while the children did not. In fact, nobody was belted.

With zero fanfare, the Salem Nordstrom closes forever tonight at 6. The Statesman Journal reminds us that the opening, way back in March of 1980, was a major festival including hot air balloons and clowns and a contest for a trip to Mexico. But the corporate office explains that since the Salem Nordstrom was the company’s lowest-volume store in its smallest market anywhere, that’s the way the brick and mortar crumbles.

The Portland Trail Blazers bench staged a furious fourth-quarter comeback against the Houston Rockets, rallying from 17 points down to tie the game with seconds remaining. But then Houston won it. Still, a team confidence-builder for the playoffs.

A bald eagle landed on Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton during the national anthem at the Twins’ home opener in Minnesota yesterday. He didn’t flinch. Instead, he pitched scoreless ball into the sixth, but gave up a couple of runs, and the Mariners lost.

With the Masters underway in Augusta, golfer Jason Day’s second shot hit a tree, bounced off a fan’s shoulder…and splashed into his cup of beer. The fan chugged the beer and handed the ball to Day.

Knowing when to fold ’em, 79-year old music legend Kenny Rogers has canceled the rest of his farewell tour because of “a series of health challenges.”

Best joke from late-night TV: Facebook is under investigation in Australia, where, Jimmy Fallon says, “Facebook’s stock actually goes down the toilet in a counterclockwise direction.”

Dripstock is one week from today! Lots of people have signed up, but until I hear from Ye Powers That Be, there’s still room for you!

Tee Mee Ess Gee!

–“The number of plastic bags found on the seabed has plummeted, suggesting efforts to combat plastic pollution are working”

–“Teen girl buys every cupcake in bakery..depriving another customer behind her who rudely and loudly fat-shamed her”

–“Father still brings daughter’s toy to work every day after 18 years: She gave him the plush ‘beluga’ so he could take it out when he misses his family, nearly two decades later he still does.”

–“Four people are fortunate to be alive after being rescued from the sea off the coast of North Yorkshire by a human chain”

–“Indian women fought tiger with a stick, survives, then took selfie.”

I have a fun and challenging day ahead: it’s time for the all of the state Geography Bees, leading up next month’s National Geographic Bee, and Oregon’s competition will be at noon at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. I’ve been the moderator since the 1990’s, and every year is a renewal of my impression that young people are incredibly smart. I haven’t seen the questions yet, and the pronunciations are sure to be daunting. But I’ll scurry down to Monmouth and speed-prep as best I can. That means I’ll leave it up to you to self-patrol the DD…a few elbows got a little sharp yesterday. So let’s be friendly out there!

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