Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hello in there! And welcome to Thursday, July 12, 2018! The heat is on, as Glenn Frey sang in the 80s–except we’ll be in the 90s! It stayed really warm overnight…mid-60’s on the Daily Drip weather deck–and the NWS calls that a “springboard for today,” with temps in the high 80’s by late morning, eventually reaching 96. Hot enough to put our town into that slow-mo sunbaked glaze we know so well, and will long for in six months. Sunrise 5:33 AM, sunset 8:58 PM.

It’d be a perfect day, if you have the time and freedom, to head west: the coast is wonderful, with highs of 70 under a cooling breeze from the north. Or you could stick around Portland and take a leap into the normally-unswum Willamette River at Poet’s Beach, in the shade of the lovely Marquam Bridge. Opening festivities are at 10:30 this morning, though they’ve already taken the ceremonial first E. Coli count at nearby Riverplace Marina. It revealed 8 organisms per 100 ml. The state standard is 406. The water’s fine.

The Montana cop who found the baby who’d been left in a forest by a Portland man told a news conference about the moment he heard a whimper and saw the little one: “I scooped up the baby, made sure he was breathing, he had a sparkle in his eye. I warmed him up, gave him a couple of kisses and just held him.”

Homeland Security arrested eight people for blocking a van leaving the ICE facility on Macadam.

President Trump sent the NATO summit in Brussels into chaos by threatening that if all member countries don’t immediately increase their defense spending, rather than rely on American largesse, the United States would go it alone. European diplomats interpret that as a threat to withdraw from NATO.

Portland hotel impresario Gordon Sondland is now on the job as U.S Ambassador to the European Union. A delicate job it is, and all his diplomatic skills will be needed. That’s him in the photo between Donald and Melania Trump, arriving at the Brussels airport on Tuesday. He gave a million bucks to the Trump inaugural fund, but he’s also been a friend to Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who helped steer his confirmation in the Senate.

A snapshot of our times: Pew Research is out with a survey of 2,000 Americans on who was “the greatest president of our lifetimes.” Barack Obama led overall with 44%, followed by Clinton at 33, Reagan at 32, and Trump at 19. Of course it’s different when broken down by party. Obama was first among Democrats at 71%, and Reagan was the fave among GOPer’s at 57, with Trump following at 40.

Stormy Daniels was arrested at a strip club in Columbus for “allowing touching.”

The chairman of Papa John’s has resigned after using the N-word during a media training exercise on avoiding embarrassments.

Mark Hatfield, whose name is written in granite at schools, courthouses, hospitals, and train stations across Oregon, was born in the Polk County town of Dallas on this day in 1922. Hatfield joined the Navy, bravely fought at Iwo Jima, was among the first Americans to visit Hiroshima after the bombing, got a Master’s in poli sci from Stanford, became Oregon’s youngest Governor at 36, and then served 30 years in the U.S. Senate. As a self-described liberal Republican, he was a dove on Vietnam and famously said, “Having seen war, you obviously learned to hate war.” Mark Hatfield was a kind and decent gentleman, and he passed at 89 seven years ago.

A nice surprise for 46 Japanese students who came to the Beaverton Police Department for a tour: as they sat in a classroom for a briefing, a Beaverton officer named Lamb welcomed them in fluent Japanese.

Favorite headline today is in The Smithsonian, in a story about how the ovulation of wildebeests in the Serengeti is accelerated by sounds made by would-be mates. They wrote: “How Noisy Males Control the Gnu’s Cycle.”

A twenty-five pound, 100-year-old lobster was caught off the Maine coast. The claws are bigger than the captor’s head. But hold off on melting that pound of butter…the fishermen took photos, then tossed the ancient crustacean back into the sea to live out its days.

Ground was broken on this date in 1993 for the Rose Garden, which looms along I-5 like a giant concrete clam.

Something fun downtown today: a “Flash Fair” at Pioneer Courthouse Square. It’s not what you’re thinking, Bud! It’s a miniature Oregon State Fair, between 11 and 2, when you can hobnob with farm animals, gobble down fair food, and listen to fair entertainment right there in Portland’s Living Room. It’s all to whet your appetite for the real State Fair, from August 24 through September 3. Labor Day.

TMSG?

–“‘Imagine the joy:’ Father, four-year-old son reunite in U.S. immigration crisis” (Hope the rest of the divided families soon have a chance to experience that).

–“Six-year-old twin brothers save toddler from drowning”

–“Elon Musk says he will fund water filters for homes in Flint, Michigan.” (Dude likes headlines, but as long as he does things like this, he’ll keep getting them).

–“The Utah Town That Actually Wants a National Monument: In Emery County the mostly Republican residents are betting on adventure tourism to wean their economy off coal.”

–“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawaii and California Ocean Clean Up About to Begin.”

–“Bright lights attached to fishing nets stop birds and turtles dying in them, scientists say: Cheap, effective technique has no effect on quantity of fish caught, and shows promise for preventing needless death of marine creatures.”

Oh, by the way!

Looking for something good to do today? All of the Meals on Wheels centers in the Portland metro area would love to have new or gently used electric fans, a blessing and a lifesaver for seniors who swelter in unairconditioned apartments. I did that once; bought a stack of small $20 fans at Home Depot and dropped them off at the Tigard Meals on Wheels place. I hope it helped some old folks; I know it made me feel good all day. Even better..if you know someone like that..pop in and say, “Hello in there!”

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