Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Good morning and welcome to a busy day! It’s Wednesday, April 18, 2018, and Portland’s weather is a spring salad of sun showers, fluffy clouds, and highs of 60. Sunrise 6:19 AM, sunset 8:01 PM. Sunsets will be after 8 PM from now until almost Labor Day.

Americans always liked Barbara Bush, no matter how they felt about “her Georges.” She said what she believed. A clear-eyed pragmatist on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, education, and AIDS. Pro-ERA. Pro-choice. Loved and fiercely defended those in her household with other views. Dedicated her post-White House life to advancing literacy. America’s Mom, in the four years between Reagan and Clinton. That gentle lady is gone at 92, but remembered with love, and with flags flying low in her honor.

Some parents were furious–to the point of talking about a May levy boycott–that the Beaverton School District hadn’t swiftly fired Deputy Superintendent Steve Phillips for retweeting a crude post claiming that “one of the biggest causes of death in America is Illegal Aliens” who “should be banned.” But word came late yesterday, in a district statement pointedly posted in both English and Spanish, that Phillips has “resigned.”

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who’s trying to get confirmed as Secretary of State, traveled secretly to North Korea two weeks ago and met personally with leader Kim Jong Un, to lay the groundwork for an anticipated summit between Un and President Trump.

The NTSB will figure out why an engine exploded in midair on a Southwest Airlines flight from New York To Dallas, killing one passenger–an Albuquerque mother of two who was nearly sucked out a window–and injuring seven. The pilot who steered the crippled jet to safety, Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, was one of the first female fighter pilots in the Navy’s history, and the first woman to fly the F/A-18.

Your Portland Trail Blazers are down two-zip in the seven-game playoff series against New Orleans, following a night at the Moda Center when Damian Lillard was neutralized by an exuberant Jrue Holiday…. next game is Thursday in New Orleans. If you’d like to be in the company of Blazermaniacs, there’s a watch party at McMenamin’s Bagdad Theater.

We’ll find out a lot more today about the Portland Diamond Project and how they plan, as one option, to break the hearts of Oakland A’s fans, who just last night celebrated the 50th anniversary of the team’s move from Kansas City. Though last night’s Oakland crowd of 46,000 was robust, it’s because everybody got in free. Normally they pull 10,000 at most. That venerable franchise is ripe for a revitalizing rebirth in a town like Portland, young and on the move. And though many people don’t care at all about baseball, this town will fill up a 35,000 seat stadium night after night. The Timbers Army, squadrons of boomers like me, we’re there. By the way…on the subject of a team name? Call them the Athletics (not A’s). It’s one of baseball’s eight foundation franchises, starting as the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901..becoming the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and Oakland Athletics in ’68. Instead of getting cute with a tree or a fish or a reference to the rain, let’s adopt the Athletic legacy as our own.

The Simpson family of Springfield–a real family in the Oregon town, not the cartoon folks–was saved from their burning second-floor apartment by two nightshift workers at a forest-products chemical company across the street. The men saw the flames, ran over and pounded on doors to awaken residents, then heard screams for help from the second floor, where the Simpsons were trapped on the balcony. They dropped a toddler into the arms of one of the men. They lowered their dog and they grabbed him too, and one by one, each family member was helped to the ground. In all, police say the workers, Matthew Jackson and Chris Young, saved fifteen lives. Including The Simpsons.

That’s got to be embarrassing for the IRS, having to delay the deadline for a day because their website crashed. Wonder if there’s some monkey-busineski. Anybody have an unexpected Happy Hour last night?

Portland City Council today is expected to okay a hike of $2.55 in the average monthly garbage and recycling bill.

This was the day in 1906 of the San Francisco Earthquake. At magnitude 7.9, shaking was felt in Oregon, and Oregon mills provided much of the lumber used in rebuilding the city.

Sad to hear that Carl Kasell, longtime rock-steady, old-school news anchor on NPR (on morning-drive-Eastern, so he was my companion for decades), has died at 84.

Tell me something good, to make for a happy heart or something, OK?

–“81-year-old Japanese man leaps into river to save drowning 86-year-old woman.”

–“Youngest person to receive the Presidential Medal in Technology and Innovation develops bra capable of detecting early stage breast cancer.”

–“Teen takes Mom to prom: ‘My mom had me at 17, so she didn’t get to experience prom.'”

–“There’s a giant unicorn island floating off the shore of the Philippines *Books plane ticket immediately*” (That’s from Cosmo)

–“Costco’s Hot Dogs Will Probably Never Go Up in Price. It’s been $1.50 — with a soda — for over 30 years.”

Let’s end with a Barbara Bush quote, one of many from that great American First Lady. “Somewhere, there may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse. I wish him well!”

V-8.

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