Thursday, August 2, 2018

Good morning and a happy Thursday! It’s August 2, the beginning of the second half of the summer of 2018. Today promises to be cooler with a high of 74 under a thick stratus deck that reminds us of our nearness to the ocean. Might even be some drizzle or light rain out of that, and a chance of showers tonight and tomorrow too! Sunrise 5:55 AM Sunset 8:37 PM.

Firefighters and farmers alike have jumped hard on the third big blaze on the Oregon side of the Columbia, out there in wheat country, but it’s already up to 10,000 acres. This one’s south of Dufur and west of Highway 197; the other two were to the east. Across the river the fight goes on against a 14,000 acre fire between the town of Wishram and the Maryhill Winery, where the owner is valued Dripstock supporter Craig Leuthold, and he was on NPR last night likening the advancing flames to lava flowing down the side of a volcano. The winery posted on their Facebook page, “We want to let everyone know we are all OK at the winery and our thoughts are with everyone being affected by this fire. Thank you to all of the firefighters working tirelessly! Please check updated traffic reports before traveling.” Check. SR 14 is still closed between US 97 and 197.

Police need to find the young man who slipped through an open window on a hot night in Beaverton and cut a 10-year old girl in the neck. Not a life-threatening injury, thank God, but he barely missed a major artery.

A slipup on the witness stand by an Oregon State Trooper has outed the long-concealed identity of one of the two SWAT officers who fired the shots that killed Malheur takeover leader LaVoy Finicum, and the name spread through “Patriots” Network social media, with some commenters implying violent retaliation.

A win for sanctuary cities like Portland: the 9th Circuit has ruled that it’s unconstitutional for President Trump to cut off federal funding. That’s up to Congress, according to the appeals court, which writes, “Absent congressional authorization, the administration may not redistribute or withhold properly appropriated funds in order to effectuate its own policy goals.”

Trouble in the state Capitol…Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has accused the leaders of the House and Senate of ignoring, downplaying, or just burying complaints of sexual harassment on the part of Sen. Jeff Kruse, who stepped down last year. There are other cases as well. Senate President Peter Courtney and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek say they “welcome the additional scrutiny.”

The capitol is about to get plenty of additional scrutiny as Les Zaitz, an Oregonian alum and one of the state’s preeminent journalists, is launching a digital news service serving Salem and nearby communities, which are notoriously undercovered by the Portland media who typically only find their way to Salem when there’s a scandal. He’s won nationwide plaudits for his Malheur Enterprise, a small town weekly that plays ball like the big kids.

Oregon’s bow-tied politico Earl Blumenauer is in the current Newsweek predicting that a legal, cross-border marijuana market involving Canada, the US, and Mexico is “not only possible but probable.” La Marie-Jeanne sans frontières.

A traveler reports their debit card was skimmed at the PDX economy lot.

Alaska Airlines surprised a lot of people when a flight attendant ordered a gay couple to give up their side-by-side seats so a straight couple could sit together on a flight from New York to LA–or get off the plane. The two men deplaned and flew Delta instead. Alaska has expressed profuse apologies.

The Banfield should be slightly more bearable today, with the reopening of a left-hand inbound lane at I-5 that’s been closed since last weekend.

We’re, what, a week into the new scooter experiment in Portland…and one has already been fished out of the Willamette River.

Posters are appearing in Portland offering “parallel parking lessons” for $25. The little tear-off tags with the phone number are almost all gone.

****

Something…uh, Good??

–“Wrong number leads to wonderful friendship”

–“‘Spectacular’ ancient public library discovered in Cologne, Germany. DAting back to the 2nd century AD, it contains 20,000 scrolls.”

–“Hiker adopts injured dog she carried down 11,000-foot mountain”

–“He found 15 books in a Sierra dumpster. Then he found out they belonged to Thomas Jefferson.”

–“Katy Perry visits sick fan who missed concert because of brain surgery”

******

Influential American author James Baldwin (“The Fire Next Time,” “Go Tell It On The Mountain”) was born this day in 1924. A few quotes:

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

“American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Strong stuff. Have a strong day!!

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