Monday, July 2, 2018

Good morning! Time to grind the beans for the Daily Drip on Monday, July 2, 2018. While you were in dreamland, some cool air snuck in and brought along a possible morning shower. But it’ll fizzle away and the sun will pop out and we’ll hit 70 in Portland and 62 at the coast. We’re at the midpoint of the year: it’s the 183nd day, with 182 left to get things right. Sunrise 5:26 AM, sunset 9:02 PM.

The Fourth of July looks partly cloudy and 80. Sweet!

Portland firefighters spent a sunny Sunday waging a battle against a third-alarm wildfire northwest of town, along Front Avenue, preventing it from threatening a recycling plant; then later another fire scorched part of Kelley Point Park, where the Willamette blends into the Columbia. Up to a hundred picnickers were evacuated, and the Vancouver Fire Department sent a fireboat over to help douse the flames.

Fists flew, and so did rocks and firecrackers, as right- and left-wing combatants rumbled in the downtown streets and shady squares. At times it seemed like the police stood back and let them have at it. But then, as projectiles sailed and medics attended to the injured, the city declared it a riot, canceled the “Patriot Prayer” parade permit, tossed in some flash-bangs and pepper spray, and the crowds broke up to fight another day. Which they will. Overnight police told us that one officer was injured, four protesters taken to the hospital, and four others arrested.

Squirrel! Now that I have your attention, PGE says that’s what caused Sunday morning’s power outage in the Pearl.

If someone in the family is working for that minimum wage, it just went up to $12.00 in the metro area. It’s over a buck less in non-Portlandized parts of the state. And all of us Oregon worker bees are now paying a transit tax of one buck per one grand, which will be subtracted from our paychecks.

LeBron James is going to the Lakers. Four years, $154 mil.

There’s plenty of grumbling in Blazer-land–among fans, the media, and on the team itself–over the loss of backup center Ed Davis to the Brooklyn Nets, who signed the hard-working, low-maintenance player on the cheap at $4.4 mil for one year. He didn’t want to leave. Damian Lillard tweeted an emoji of a broken heart; CJ McCollum said, “lost a real one.”

A couple of Oregon’s most famous rodeos kick up their hooves this week: The Mollala Buckaroo, and the St. Paul 4th of July Rodeo. As I once heard an old guy in the stands at St. Paul slap his forehead and say, while a mad beast dragged a cowhand in chaps around the dusty arena, “Man, these cowgirls are TOUGH!”

The Timbers beat Seattle, always a good thing from a Portland perspective; our lads return to our favorite town next Saturday to host San Jose. And the Mariners have won 7 in a row. Which we like, even as we await a team of our own.

Shocker in the World Cup as Russia beat Spain, and will now face Croatia, which defeated Denmark. And Wimbledon! today through July 15.

The first Walmart opened on this day in 1962 in the state that is now home to the second-best college baseball team in the country…Arkansas…and a can of corn fell off a shelf and three employees watched it hit the ground. (Sorry, gratuitious CWS joke).

The lilting tone poem “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius debuted in Helsinki on this date in 1900. What’s not widely remembered today is that it was a covert protest against Russian suppression of press freedom, and was performed under a variety of different names around the country to avoid detection. We might want to dust that one off.

It’s World UFO Day, to mark the supposed crash of an alien ship in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, which the US military covered up in a hurry. (Non-X-Files believers say it was actually part of the top-secret Project Mogul, to send aloft sophisticated listening devices to eavesdrop on Soviet nuclear tests).

(Which we still need. Credible media reports say North Korea is very much still at work on its nuclear program, no matter what promises it sold us).

Mexico has elected a leftist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

OK. Let’s throw a little sugar in, to sweeten up the mix:

–“Heroic puppy recovering after jumping into harm’s way to protect owner from rattlesnake”

–“An Oregon county closed all its public libraries. These rural, DIY book lovers revived them” (That’s Douglas County. Named after Stephen Douglas, who debated Lincoln).

–“Scientists create a water purifier that works using only sunlight, water, and oxygen.”

–“China freezes approval for new nuclear power due to competition from renewables”

–“University of Memphis Won’t Charge Tuition to Children of Fallen Soldiers”

–“Boy sells his toys to pay for treatment of sick service dog who once saved his life”

–“Town In Italy Switches To Silent Fireworks To Reduce Anxiety In Animals”

Wait, do they have the 4th of July in Italy? Sure! What comes between the 3rd and the 5th?

Thank you, by the way, for the overwhelming response to my spontaneous (after watching some news) request for Independence Day mini-essays from everyone who feels like writing one! This 4th of July happens to be the 100th anniversary of the birth of America’s advice-columnist twin sisters who wrote under the names Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren. Maybe some of you have some advice for this land of ours! Wake up and smell the coffee, dearie!

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