Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday’s here, friends, and so is June! It’s June! The first day of meteorological summer will be a pretty mix of sun and clouds, with highs of 70. It felt so refreshing to walk out into a cool rain yesterday, until it didn’t, and I trudged home like the loser in a spelling bee.  Sunrise 5:25 AM sunset 8:52 PM.
So..what’s going on?
The Salem water crisis is in its third day as tap water remains faintly tainted with toxins from an algae bloom in Detroit Reservoir. Until further notice, which the overwhelmed city people say could come Saturday or Sunday at the earliest, children under 6, pregnant women, nursing moms, and medically vulnerable people should not drink the Salem water.  There are reports of price gouging, with flats of bottled water going for $50 and up at some locations. Oregon AG is on it.  Salem’s City Council holds an emergency meeting at noon today, and they face a citizenry angry over the delay in notifying the public until late Tuesday about what they knew on Saturday. Lots of finger pointing. The Statesman Journal knows of a young cancer patient on chemotherapy whose family needed that information immediately, and not days later.  Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency, and today Oregon National Guard troops have towed in big green tanks of drinkable water so the public can fill their empty milk jugs, growlers, tea kettles, and whatever they’ve got at seven locations including the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Those big tanks–nicknamed “hippos”–are stenciled with the words “Potable Water.” That doesn’t mean what it sounds like.
Glad to say that Yelena Gangelhoff,  a female student at Jesuit High who left school at 9:45 Wednesday morning and hadn’t been seen since, turned up safe in Oregon City last night.
The US is now in a trade war with our own allies in Canada, Mexico, and the EU, with tariffs and countertarrifs being imposed back and forth. There are reports that President Trump told the French president that he wants to completely ban the import of German luxury cars into the United States. Might get complicated: Mercedes-Benz has a factory in Alabama, and BMW in South Carolina.
Portland is a year away from building two new car-free bridges: the newly-announced Sullivan’s Crossing will carry pedestrians and bicyclists over I-84 at 7th Avenue, while Flander’s Crossing will run above I-405 in the Pearl.
If you gassed up your jalopy at an ARCO or AM/PM a few years ago, you might have a $200 settlement coming–plus interest–as the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict against BP for charging debit card users a hidden fee of 35 cents per transaction. The oil giant says it’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court; that $200-per-class-action-plaintiff is going up by 9% interest a year.
Most inspiring video on the Internet today happened in remote eastern Oregon on Tuesday, when a springtime under-13 football team from Boise came upon an overturned vehicle…and, all together, they lifted up the rolled car to allow a passenger to escape her entrapment.
The Oregon Ducks pounded Arizona State 11-6 in their College Softball World Series opener, and play Washington at 4 PM today. .
LeBron James thundered in 51 points, but the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-114 in Game One of the NBA Finals.
We’re heading into Oregon free fishing weekend, June 2 and 3. The idea is to get beginners hooked.
Oregon, according to the state economist, is running short on workers who can pass a drug test.
If you’re hiking on the Washington side of the Gorge because something or other happened on the Oregon side…be advised of a serious poison oak presence on the trails of Dog Mountain. That’s actually true all over the Gorge and all over the region, but several groups of people brushed up against this despicable weed over the holiday weekend, and they wish they hadn’t.
Happy birthday to one fine gentleman, Bill Schonely, whose mighty voice was an essential part of the great years of Blazermania, the heartbreak and joy that defined a couple of decades around here. When the Trail Blazers played in the cozy Coliseum, tickets were hard to get, and the games weren’t all on TV, so the whole town would gather around radios for The Schonz’ eloquent narration. Everybody here was a Blazer fan in the seventies; every Blazer was a household name, right down to Wally Walker at the end of the bench. It was Schonely who carried us through to that last golden minute on June 5, 1977,  St. Championship Day,  and even though the game was on TV, lots of us had the sound muted and the radio tuned in to KYTE 970 AM, knowing the only way to hear a Blazer game is through the mind, eyes, heart, and deep rich vocal chords of Bill Schonely, who turns 89 years old today. (Dottie gets lots of credit there!)
Tomorrow is my friend Zia McCabe’s birthday.  She does a lot of amazing things, including simultaneously playing keyboards and bass, on separate keyboards, for the internationally famous Dandy Warhols. That’s what Ray Manzarek did for The Doors, who played a concert on July 26, 1967, at the Portland Masonic Temple, now part of the Portland Art Museum, on the very same stage where Zia and I met as panelists in the Schoolhouse Supplies Celebrity Spelling Bee. Which she won. (And I walked sadly back to my classroom).
A 14-year old from Texas named Karthik Nemmani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night by nailing the word “koinonia,” which means Christian fellowship.
Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” hit #1 fifty years ago today.
It’s National Doughnut Day. Krispie Kreme, Papa Johns, and Walmart are all giving away freebies, but I’d love to know of local Mom and Pop doughnut shops that are joining in the fun. We’ll help spread the word.
Time for the always fun “Headlines for a Happy Heart.” Here are today’s winners!

–“Florida brewery unveils six-pack rings that feed sea turtles rather than kill them.”

–“Federal rescue teams in Hawaii are now using small drones to help free humpback whales caught in tangles of debris.”

–“Homeless Man In Louisiana Gets Year Of Free Buffalo Wild Wings After Finding Rude Note From Server On Check”

–“Canadian children’s hospital was running low on handmade finger puppets. Now, it’s inundated with creations from all over the world”

–“After 46 Years, Illinois Ratifies ERA”

Weekend plans? On my sked…brunch with my daughter and fam this morning….iHeart station BBQ if I can make it…dinner with the Murdocks tonight…quarterly haircut and brew date with my son on Saturday afternoon (I’m intentionally getting shaggy as a general comment)…Starlight Parade tomorrow night…where Bruce, Janine, and I will surprise you with something that only K103 can do!

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