Wednesday, July 18, 2018

All right! It’s Wednesday, July 18, 2018, and after our fifth 90-or-worse day in a row, relief is here; maybe you felt it in your pillow late last night, the oppressive heat flowing away, and temperatures falling 10 degrees from the previous night. It’ll still be plenty warm, but pretty much perfect by Oregon’s temperate climate standards, while we have them. The high will be 80 or so. And still no rain. The computer models show not a drop until one day in early August (the 8th, according to Accuweather), and then none until September. Pretty crispy, but I see a lot of people getting new roofs on, for seasons to come. Sunrise 5:39 AM, sunset 8:53 PM.

Good news, just in…the 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach who spent two weeks trapped underground in a flooded cave in Thailand have been discharged from the hospital.

A grassland fire is burning near The Dalles. At least one home is up in flames.

People in Pendleton are puzzling over a strange object seen floating in the daytime sky. Looked like a big white plastic bag, visible for miles, and completely stationary. Then a second object appeared alongside the first…and zipped away.

You hear complaints about the Portland street situation all the time, and every one should be heard…and when they come from the police, we need to listen carefully. A post from Daryl Turner, head of the Portland police union, says the city has become a “cesspool” and adds “Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City. Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.” The post then focuses on Mayor Ted Wheeler, with whom the union has a beef over his openness to the findings of a study that indicates officers may be profiling homeless people, arresting them in greater numbers.

Oregon found a record low unemployment rate of 4.0% for June, keeping up a steady trend that’s been going on for years. Some employers are having a hard time finding qualified people to fill vacancies–and that’s a threat to the economy.

Do you recall the plans to build a twelve-story all-wood condominium in the Pearl District? Scrubbed. Developers couldn’t raise the green.

Portland City Council today considers changing the name of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to the Office of Community and Civic Life. Love to see a cost/benefit on that.

Feathers are still flying over President Trump’s performance at the Helsinki summit and subsequent attempted reframing, but you know what? I had to deal all day yesterday with insistent partisans who objected to the discussion here–including the actual existence of it–and today I’m not in the mood. We all know what we think, and we’re anxious to see what happens next.

Baseball’s All-Star Game has come and gone–the AL winning as usual, but as noted yesterday, the outcome no longer determines which league has home field in the World Series, even though some folks think it does. Fake Sports! Meantime, making the rounds of radio talk shows, Commissioner Rob Manfred let it be known that MLB is itching to grow from the current 30 to 32 teams–and he named, in this order, Las Vegas, Portland, Nashville, Charlotte, Montreal and Mexico as potential homes. Where’s my thumbs-up emoji?

Robin Jones, who sat at the end of the bench as Bill Walton’s backup center for the world champion 1977 Portland Trail Blazers, but still played and played well in every game, has died at 64.

The leader of the fight for equality in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was born 100 years ago today. He was imprisoned for 27 years, freed in 1990, and became president of his country four years later. Here’s a quote from Mandela “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” And: “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” (The DD needs to run more quotes from wise people).

Oregon’s largest employer, Intel, was founded 50 years ago today by semiconductor pioneers Gordon Moore (of Moore’s Law fame), and Robert Noyce, who was my Dad’s roommate at Grinnell College in Iowa. Bob nearly got himself expelled for stealing a pig from the mayor’s farm and roasting it at a luau. Dad didn’t have anything to do with that; he spent all his time at the campus radio station that he and his friends founded, and wooing the love of his life, my Mom.

A cool exhibit is opening this evening at the Oregon Historical Society called “Psychedelic Portland”—full of memorabilia from our town between 1966 and 1972. Most of it was donated by my friend, attorney Peter Glazer, who picked up and saved concert programs, photographs, broken drumsticks, and much more during those days. Peter and his pals were present for performances by some true icons at the height of their countercultural powers, and he even met all four of The Doors. He found them open!

Phantom of the Opera opens a week from tonight at the Keller, in case you need to arrange tickets, child care, or chandelier repair service.

The search is on for Brazil’s celebrity surgeon “Dr. Boom-Boom,” after he fled following the death of a woman in a posterior enlargement operation.

Something good?

–“This Dog Pushes His Handicapped Owner’s Wheelchair Wherever They Go”

–“Missing Scottish climber found by drone in Himalayas”

–“Man finishes 50-state trip to mow lawns for elderly, disabled, and veterans”

–“Police post mugshot of lost dog, bail paid in cookies”

–“How Finland Rebranded Itself As A Literary Country: Per Capita, The Finns Borrow 19 Books A Year, Compared To Just 7.5 In The US.”

There we go. Middle of the week. Let’s not not be kind!

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