Friday, May 25, 2018

Good morning to you! It’s Friday, sweet blessed Friday, May 25, 2018, the secret portal to a three-day weekend, which opens the doorway to summertime. Portland’s weather is cloudy today, high 70; cloudy with a slight shower chance tomorrow, high 65; then partly sunny and 75 on Sunday and Monday. Oregon coastal weather is the same, minus 10 to 15 degrees. Sunrise 5:30 AM, sunset 8:45 PM.

Has it been a year?–it seems like ten–since that awful Friday when a bloodthirsty white supremacist bastard aimed his hate beam at two young women of color on a MAX Green Line train loaded with commuters heading home, rolling into the Hollywood Transit Center. There, three good men stood and said, no, not in my town, not in my America, and in a moment they lay bleeding, two dead and the third nearly so. In the following days, the gray walls of the Transit Center became the chalk palate of a furious populous, with scribbled, scrawled, and artfully drawn messages of outrage and sorrow. And now that wall is being transformed again, into a mural of pastels that symbolize a deepening sunset, and images of native Northwest plants that bring healing. It’s not quite finished, but it will be dedicated in a Commemoration of Heroism and Community tomorrow from 4 to 4:30, the moment the blood of the innocent was spilled.

OK. Other news.

A Portland Streetcar mysteriously skipped the tracks and sprawled out of its lane on overcrowded Grand Avenue at Taylor yesterday afternoon, hitting cars, taking down wires, and requiring an all-night effort to right the streetcar and reopen the street. At least one person in a car was hurt, all 11 on the streetcar are OK, and we’re waiting for updates.

Does an Alexa live in your house? She’s hearing every word you say. A Portland family learned to their dismay that their Amazon robot recorded a conversation–and sent the audio to a baffled business associate of the husband’s in Seattle. Here’s how it happened, according to Amazon: “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa.’ Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.’ As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein turns himself in to face rape charges in Manhattan today. He’ll bail out, but he faces years in prison.

Actor Morgan Freeman is apologizing after several women–including three reporters–accused him of sexual harassment, mainly through suggestive comments and unwanted physical contact.

Ireland is voting today in a once-in-a-generation referendum to legalize abortion.

A couple of men with covered faces walked into an Indian restaurant in Toronto last night, dropped off some kind of explosive device, and left before it went off, injuring fifteen people. No word on who or what to blame this on, yet.

The 2018 Portland Rose Festival opens today at 5 PM, and ends on Sunday, June 10. Fireworks tonight, Starlight on June 2, Grand Floral on June 9, with a dog selected as the Grand Marshal, symbolizing the good work the Oregon Humane Society does. You know I love Rose Festival; I know the people who run it extremely well, having served on the board for years, hauling a tuba in many parades, and slipping into a tuxedo to help Bruce Murdock wrangle the Princesses–a funny but traditional word, for these serious college-bound young women–on Coronation Day every year. Of all the Portland things, Rose Festival may be the Portlandest.

Big congratulations to Damian Lillard, named to the all-NBA First Team.

Hey our KGW-alum Dripster buddy Joe Donlon threw out the pitch at a White Sox game last night! Turns out Chicago Joe is a southpaw. As seen on WGN, he comes up to the mound holding two baseballs in his left hand–and juggles them for a moment, then throws an arching meatball into the dirt that the catcher dug out as Joe shrugs and trots off the mound. Nice work, Joe!

Weird Al plays two nights–tonight and tomorrow–at Revolution Hall in Portland, for concerts that advertise “No Frills! Obscure Songs! Limited Commercial Appeal!”

Stevie Nicks turns 70 tomorrow.

Headlines to remind us that amid the garbage, there are flowers…

–“Once homeless teen gets full ride to Harvard”

–“Group of strangers Drive lost dog 3000km home”

–“Farm aims to feed a million bumblebees”

–“Elementary students honored for rescuing injured skier”

–“Budding clothing line provides lifeline for African refugee starting over in the UK”

–“The world’s largest cat-proof fence has been completed in central Australia, creating a 94 square kilometre sanctuary for endangered marsupials”

Away into the weekend!

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