Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Hi there! Let’s crack open a can of Tuesday, October 2, 2018! Portland’s weather calls for several shades of gray clouds, scant showers, light winds, and highs of 69. Then a couple of dry days, and rain on Friday. Sunrise 7:10 AM, sunset 6:48 PM.

We start off with a missing child: a 12-year old boy named Westen was last seen at 9 AM yesterday when he was dropped off at Parkrose Middle School. He’s African-American, short hair, about 4-8 with a thin build, wearing a gray and black hoodie.

A 28-year old man is in critical condition after he was hit on his bicycle while riding down the middle of TV Highway just outside Hillsboro around 9 last night. It’s believed he was not wearing a helmet.

Let’s raise together a Trail Blazer/Seahawks/rock-and-roll cheer to Paul Allen, who tweeted the following: “Recently, I learned the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma I battled in 2009 has returned. I’ve begun treatment & my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result. Appreciate the support I’ve received & count on it as I fight this challenge.” Paul is just 65, and let’s hope he hangs many more championship banners, and funds many more good works.

This summer’s Southern Oregon wildfires have thrown a punch to wine growers in the Rogue Valley. A major customer in California has canceled its contract for millions of dollars of Oregon grapes, saying that an analysis shows they are affected by “smoke taint,” which scientists say “imparts undesirable sensory characteristics, such as smoky, burnt, ashy or medicinal” aromas or flavors. The twist in this story is that the same California winemaker is in a legal dispute with the Oregon Winegrowers Association for trucking in Oregon grapes, making pinot noirs at his California winery, and marketing them as though they’re Oregon wines, named The Oregon, Willametter Journal, and Missoulan Wash. I don’t know who’s right in any of this, but we’re better off if Willametter Journal doesn’t taste like an ashtray.

Early heads-up: tomorrow’s the day of the nationwide emergency alert test. Radios (can’t wait to hear how it sounds in my earphones) and TVs and your cell phone are supposed to jangle together at 11:18 AM in a national test of a system that people are suspicious of, but that could save our ham hocks. It’s important for the Pacific Northwest that it works properly because we’re (too slowly) developing an early warning system for earthquakes that could give us “tens of seconds” of scrambling time before the Cascadia Subduction Zone finally rips.

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The mid-term election is five weeks from today, but Oregon ballots will go out in the mail in a little over two weeks.

Vowing that the Kavanaugh nomination will be voted on this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, “Let me make it very clear. The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close.” There’s no indication the FBI is close to wrapping up its probe. Accuser #2 Debbie Ramirez supplied an “extensive” list of witnesses to the FBI, with more than 12 names. And there are reports Kavanaugh knew about the Ramirez allegation months before it became public. Meantime…

A tale emerges of a bar brawl during Brett Kavanaugh’s college days–involving his buddy Chris Dudley, who would go on to play hoops for the Blazers and run for governor of Oregon. They’d been to a concert by UB40–the English band that scored big by covering American pop hits with a reggae flavor, like Neil Diamond’s drinking song “Red Red Wine” (with chanted lyrics “Red Red Wine, you make me feel so fine/You keep me rocking all of the time”)–and after the show they went out to a watering hole called Demery’s, thought they recognized UB40’s lead singer, and the guy, whoever he was, told them to quit staring. So according to a witness, Kavanaugh threw a beer in his face. Or at least some ice. A rhubarb ensued. The witness–a former Yale basketball player teammate who now teaches college–says there was blood, glass, beer, and cops….but there is no record of charges being filed.

A refugee crisis is developing in South America, as five thousand people a day are leaving Venezuela–and two million since 2015–flooding into Columbia, Peru, and Brazil. The UN says Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach one million percent this year, and its currency is essentially worthless.

The death toll has risen to over 1200 in the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.

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Baseball fans are going to want to wrap up early today: The Dodgers and the Brewers won their division titles in yesterday’s one-game playoffs, so the Cubs and the Rockies face off in today’s National League wild-card game, 5 PM Pacific on ESPN. The A’s and the Yanks play in the AL wild card game tomorrow.

It was a year ago today that Tom Petty died. That was such an out-of-nowhere blow. The coroner says he succumbed to a mixed-drug toxicity, after onboarding multiple opiates to fight the pain of a hip fracture he’d suffered on tour. Such a loss. He was a peer to the greats, as we see in the video linked in today’s TMSG segment. I think you’ll enjoy.

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TMSG:

–“Pizza driver thwarts kidnapping when victim mouths, ‘Help Me'”

–“Saints Fan Helps Disabled Giants Fan Stand for National Anthem”

–“Nursing home builds real-life 1950s memory lane to help dementia patients”

–“Medical staff line hospital walls in ‘Walk of Respect’ for organ donor”

–“Tom Petty and the Travelling Wilburys, the End of the Line”

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So it’s all right! Have a beautiful Tuesday!

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