Friday, May 18, 2018

Good morning to youuuu! It’s Friday, May 18, 2018, and time for one last skim of the Daily Drip before we dive into a wonderful weekend in the Northwest. Today’s weather is somewhat sunny with a high of 70 following morning drizzies. There’s a 20% chance of showers at times this weekend, starting tonight. Sunrise 5:36 AM, sunset 8:38 PM. We hit exactly fifteen hours of daylight today, just 41 minutes less than the longest day of the year.

Yes indeed it’s May 18th, a date which lives in igneous infamy in the Northwest, and while Hawaii trembles from the rumbling of Kilauea, let’s do a quick check with the Cascades Volcano Observatory–nope! Nothing happening at Mt. St. Helens, aside from the regular small earthquakes that remind us that she could wake up big-time, any time. Alert level normal, aviation color code green. BTW the road to Johnson Ridge opened the day before yesterday. The 38th anniversary of that astonishing blast is being celebrated tonight with an appearance at the Schnitz benefiting the Mt. St. Helens Institute by Bill Nye. You know, the science guy.

Officials on Hawaii’s Big Island are handing out masks as Kilauea spews out ash, and as more fissures open up in the ground surrounding the volcano. The air in the area is
putrid with sulfur dioxide and several schools are closed. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory is trying to put to rest worries that Kilauea could collapse, causing a Pacific-wide tsunami; they say Kilauea historically doesn’t behave that way.

The airline lost Stormy Daniels’ luggage, as the president’s former alleged fling began a three-night tour of Oregon strip clubs. So, ironically for lack of her costume, the first show was canceled. But the late show went on, in Bend last night, with a large crowd packing the local Starz Cabaret, including a man playing a tuba for some reason. Wasn’t me, I swear.

If you’re borrowing Uncle Al’s boat for the weekend, be aware there’s a flood warning on the Columbia River at Portland and Vancouver, and the tall water is covering up all kinds of stumps and wooden dock structures that stick up above the waterline, and are now lurking below the surface ready to rip the hull. Several parks are closed along the river because of flooding, and those extra Interstate Bridge lifts may continue until late June.

The judge in the case of the teen who tossed the firecracker that ruined much of the Columbia Gorge could decide restitution as early as today. The damage tally comes to $36,631,687.10, but in yesterday’s hearing, the attorney for the Vancouver boy–identified only by his initiations, AB–calls the notion of billing him that amount absurd, silly, and cruel and unusual punishment. The judge says he needs to think about it, and will hand down a written ruling when he’s ready.

Insiders say it was hardly a surprise, because student enrollment has been in the tank since academic programs were cut and online learning became a thing, but it comes as a shock to the community that Marylhurst University is shutting down. You and I know many midcareer professionals who’ve come to the lovely campus along Highway 43 south of Lake Oswego for new degrees and reinvigoration. But enrollment is half what it was just five years ago, and they’re turning out the lights at the end of 2018. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary will decide what to do with the property.

The Truth is Out There, but watch out for probes…the annual UFO Fest is underway in McMinnville! Ranging from deadly serious to downright goofy, the event includes a UFO parade, big-time UFO expert speakers, a UFO film festival, and last evening on kickoff night, a wine tasting called “Close Encounters of the 3rd Vine.”

We have yet another person claiming to be the hijacker DB Cooper: a now-deceased Special Forces veteran from Michigan who told his friends and family that he’s the one who hijacked a Northwest 727 back in 1971 for $200,000, and detailed how he spent the money. They don’t say why the serial numbers on the bills never raised alarms. His friend has written a book titled, “D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, A Spy, My Best Friend.”

That lawyer in New York who threatened to call ICE on restaurant workers for speaking Spanish has been kicked out of his office space on Madison Avenue.

Tomorrow night at the Moda Center, Paul Simon puts on his last concert in the town where he wrote “The Boxer.” (The lyrics are scrawled on hotel room stationery from the Benson). He’s at KeyArena in Seattle tonight. Simon’s setlist opens with “America,” includes some new ones but delivers his towering hits (though not “Trouble Water”–only Artie can sing that). He finishes with “You Can Call Me Al,” and while the crowd’s still bouncing to that one, he does three encores, classics all, and I won’t spoil it beyond that. I hope that any Dripsters in attendance will post reviews.

Tomorrow is commencement for Pacific University in Forest Grove. The speaker for the undergraduate morning ceremony is Pacific University Trustee, Tommy Thayer…guitarist for KISS. Local guy, good guy even without the face paint.

Cakes with candles today for Tina Fey, Reggie Jackson, and Frank Capra, who’s gone now, but had a wonderful life.

My notorious red microwave oven died with a grinding buzz last night as I was making popcorn. Ominous beginning to a bachelor weekend.

Headlines to happy up the heart, if it’s not enough that we’re in the middle of May in a beautiful world–

–“New York couple finds buried safe full of money, gold and jewelry in their backyard.” (It was ditched there a few years ago by somebody who’d burgled a neighbor. The finders returned it to them).

–“The San Diego Zoo has successfully impregnated a rhino via artificial insemination, a hugely important first step in saving the near-extinct Northern White Rhino” (The mind reels about the process).

–“World’s largest fog catching project conjures water for communities at the edge of the Sahara” (It’s a system of nets hung between poles on a mountain in Morroco. Water droplets are caught in the mesh and drop into a pipe that serves about 140 families).

–“Soldier finally reunited with the dog she rescued in Iraq” (The puppy bonded with Sgt. Tracey McKithern’s unit, and vice versa, and when her deployment ended, the nonprofit Puppy Rescue Mission helped bring the pup to the US).

That’s my report for the morning! Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

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