Thursday, May 24, 2018

Well, look! It’s Thursday, May 24, 2018, just a day away from the Memorial Day weekend, and Portland’s weather is trending drier and warmer, with partly sunny skies and highs in the 70s for days and days. It does feel a little sticky, doesn’t it? Sunrise is 5:30 AM, though it’s light before that, and sunset comes at 8:44 PM, with twilight lingering past 9:30. Sweet!

Just as people are getting ready to back their boats into the water, a health advisory has been issued for Detroit Lake because of an early bloom of toxic blue-green algae. If you (or your kiddos or pets) accidentally drink some of that water, the results could range from tingling to nausea to difficulty breathing. It’s the second year in a row this has happened at the front doorstep to Memorial Day. The water’s fine…just don’t drink it.

You know that kicker rebate you got on your Oregon taxes this year? It looks like you’ll get a bigger one in two years, according to early estimates from the state economist. The continuing strength of the state’s economy gets the credit–or the blame, from the perspective of those who say the money is better socked away against the inevitable rainy day.

A GoFundMe account has raised around $13K to pay medical expenses for a PSU student who appeared to have been beaten nearly to death and burned on an Amtrak train in California. The last anyone heard from him, Aaron Salazar had texted his grandmother to say he’d met a new friend. He is still in a coma.

A newly released video shows police tasing and arresting Milwaukie Bucks rookie Sterling Brown over a parking violation. The police chief has apologized, and the Bucks organization released a statement saying in part, “Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.”

NFL owners knuckled under and passed a rule requiring players to stand during the National Anthem unless they opt to stay in the locker room–as they had for every game prior to 2009 with the exception of Super Bowls and post-9/11. Violations will result in a fine. The NAACP is ripping the NFL for “silencing black players” instead of addressing their issues.

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site. But the Trump summit is in doubt, as both sides insist on running their mouths.

It’s show time at the White House, where top officials of the Justice Department will deliver a highly classified briefing on the FBI probe into Russian meddling–first to top Republicans, then to the congressional leaders of both parties.

A federal judge says President Trump violated peoples’ First Amendment rights by “blocking” them on Twitter.

Torrential rain in Paris flooded the city’s Metro subway, creating a waterfall cascading down the steps.

There’s an excellent chance that a tropical depression will form in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Hurricane season is almost here.

A cat was captured on video clinging to the roof of a minivan doing 60 in Omaha, Nebraska. Other motorists pulled alongside to alert the middle-aged couple in the van, and they did pull over, but it’s not clear what became of the cat.

Portland Parks merrily tweets that a sign has finally been erected identifying Mill Ends Park, the flowerpot in a Naito Parkway median that is the world’s smallest park. You could take a selfie, but you’d have to lie down in the street to do it. I tweeted the Parks people that I noticed that some “harvested” the pot plant, and they tweeted back “Yeah…we did.”

It’s Bob Dylan’s birthday. The Nobel winner is 77. Here’s a story you might not have heard: Dylan had a fixation on Joni Mitchell’s music. He spent a weekend completely absorbed in her “Blue” album. And that’s when he wrote the song “Tangled Up in Blue.” In fact, his whole “Blood on the Tracks” album was so influenced by Joni in its introspection and gentle production that friends who listened to an early tape of it told him it sounded like “a Joni Mitchell album.” So he recut it, and that’s the one we know. But somewhere there’s a bootleg of the original, and in time it shall be released.

Headlines for whatever may ail you (I know what ales me!)

–“The first woman in space, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride, is getting her own postage stamp.”

–“Mom’s heartwarming video shows older boys including shy son in basketball game”

–“The Houston Rockets to give free Game 5 tickets to Santa Fe High School seniors”

–“Owner of a California fish market purchases giant octopus; sets it free”

–“Family finds Qing dynasty vase worth $600,000 in attic shoebox”

–“Radio presenters and journalists among top jobs for psychopaths”

Wait, what?

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