Thursday, June 21, 2018

Morning, friends, and welcome to the Summer of 2018! May it be everything you hope for, and nothing that you dread. It’s Thursday, June 21, and humankind hasn’t found a way yet to trip up the celestial ballet, so summer in the Northern Hemisphere began right on schedule at 3:07 AM Pacific. It’s the longest day of the year, with sunrise at 5:21 AM and sunset 9:03 PM, adding up to 15:41:09 of daylight–seven hours longer than the day of the Winter Solstice.

Portland’s weather? Well, after hitting an insufferable 95 yesterday, the heavens popped and crackled late into the evening across the Metro area, with hail the size of nickels peppering a field in Farmington, nearly an inch of rain pounding a West Linn neighborhood. and thunderheads that stood 45,000 feet into the twilit sky. Today some leftover drizzle stretches into the morning hours, and then it stays cloudy and humid but much cooler, maxing out at 75.

I put in my miles without a drop or a rumble, while tuned in on the LiveATC app to some fascinating chatter between the PDX tower and the many aircraft flying in, over, and out of town during our flirtation with stormy weather. The men and women with hundreds of lives in their hands were unfailingly cool, patient, and mutually helpful, even as planes large and small were climbing and darting around some epically turbulent towers of thunderclouds. Love to hear stories from any Dripsters who may have been aloft for the ride!

For all the jubilation and glee over President Trump’s apparent cave on his globally-decried border policy, it’s way less than it seems. Those 2300 kids who were taken from their parents will not be reunited with their families anytime soon. The government will keep arresting everybody who comes over the border without papers, so the zero-tolerance edict remains intact. The change is that Trump now wants the kids to stay with their folks in custody pending a court resolution of their low-misdemeanor charges, and to do that, the USA will be building detention camps. As for what changed his mind, Trump said, “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.” He got an earful from both his wife and his daughter, but history will recall the scorching he received from the First Ladies, especially Laura Bush.

(And while we’re using our inadequate resources to arrest and charge every one of these misdemeanants–even calling in military lawyers as prosecutors–one wonders how we’re doing against drug cartels, smugglers, and terrorists).

The 24/7 protest outside ICE headquarters on Macadam continues to grow into an Occupy-style situation, and it’s having a definite effect: yesterday the agency closed its doors over “security concerns.” Portland’s mayor has taken the stand that, unlike a year ago, he won’t allow police to break up the protest. Tweeted Ted Wheeler: ” I want to be very clear I do not want the Portland Police to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track.”

An ODOT employee bought herself a whole lot of grief by tweeting, about the refugees, “I personally think they should shoot them all at the border and call it good…” ODOT HR has some work to do there.

Oregon Republican lawmakers believe that Democrats will make a move on killing the “kicker” tax rebate in the next legislative session.

Governor Kate Brown was born on this date in 1960.

Looks like TriMet has big plans…its new GM, Canadian Doug Kelsey, told The Oregonian editorial board that buses should get priority over cars in traffic…that some light rail stops need to be closed downtown to speed up the system…that a multi-billion dollar bond issue will be on the 2020 ballot to pay for MAX to Tigard.. that there might someday be a tunnel under the Willamette River..and that MAX and the buses all need WiFi.

Seattle has us beaten by three months, but Portland may ban plastic drinking straws starting in October. Lots of procedural mumbo-jumbo between now and then, but that’s what it amounts to. Environmentalists say that plastic straws do what they’re supposed to do. They suck. Especially for the marine life forms that choke on them.

It’s Draft Day in the NBA. Portland picks #24, They might trade that pick in exchange for a veteran who can help them right now. Think good thoughts for the home team; this is kind of traditionally a tragic day in Blazerville.

The Oregon State Beavers plated eight straight runs to roar back and beat North Carolina 11-5, and stay alive in the College World Series. They play the Mississippi State Bulldogs tomorrow at noon, and if they can beat them twice, they’re in the finals. It’s great fun hearing Mike Parker calling the games on Rip City Radio 620.

Despite foreboding skies, the Hillsboro Hops were able to get in their home opener, which they lost, but not if you sampled the menu items that this year include Spimento Sandwiches, a spam and pimento combo that sounds disgusting but is apparently delicious.

In answer to several Dripster questions about this year’s World Naked Bike Ride, 1: it starts at Cathedral Park, and will probably be pretty much a St. Johns thing. and 2. Are you kidding? Me??

Headlines for a happy heart? Sure. Right here. Scroll past, if it doesn’t fit the mood. Everyone understands.

–“These parents hoped to raise $1,500 for separated migrant families. They’ve brought in $8 million.”

–“Japanese fans praised for their work ethic, cleaning stadium after beating Colombia in World Cup.”

–“Girl, 3, with an inoperable brain tumour may now survive thanks to $300,000 anonymous donor.”

–“Netherlands to close more prisons as crime rate continues to fall”

–“Rodney Smith Jr. is traveling to all 50 states mowing lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms and vets for free”

–“Shirtless firefighter rescues kittens from sewer”

Couple quick personal items!

You can’t spell “stitches” without “itches,” but they came out yesterday, and I am several notches more comfortable. Still not up for pix.

My MacBook is in the shop, so I’m using our backup desktop PC that has the feel of driving a Ford Pinto.

And a reminder to everyone that this is a civility zone. The other day I bounced another one of our perpetually-cranky trolls, whose only contribution ever was to be kind of an arse, and I finally put him out of our misery. If you hold an opinion that’s contrary to mine or anyone else’s here, that’s perfectly fine. Just don’t be a toad about it, and expect be politely rebutted.

Happy Thursday, and happy Summer!

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