Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Good morning! We’re taking the first breaths of another beautiful day here in the golden Northwest, on this Wednesday, October 17. 2018, where the sun will make the most of its short under-11-hour transit across the sky: we’re expecting 75 degrees, with six more days of freedom from the puddly mud we normally see in the deepening autumn. The next rain arrives on Tuesday. Sunrise 7:29 AM, sunset 6:21PM.

Voting time is upon us! The Oregon Elections people are hauling to the Postal Service big burlap bags stuffed with ballots addressed to every voter in the state, and yours should arrive by the weekend. At our house, we vote immediately and send it right back; no chance of losing the ballot in the pile of political junk. I used to let my kids sit in my lap and vote with me, but that stopped being fun when they got into their 20s. But now it can be told: one of Bill Clinton’s votes in 1992 came from a 9-year old in Oregon.

Mayor Ted Wheeler’s getting plenty of kickback on his complex proposal to crack down on violent protests by regulating the time, place, and duration of demonstrations by groups who’ve engaged in political brawls. The ACLU doesn’t like it, Wheeler’s fellow commissioners want to slow it down for a hard look, and one element is planning a “Shame On Ted” march at the Mayor’s home on Saturday night.

Police, in the meantime, have dialed back some of the details of the gunmen-on-the-rooftop example cited by Wheeler as evidence of the need for a crackdown. Police say that on August 4 they found four people with three unloaded rifles in cases at the top of the parking garage at SW1st and Jefferson; they called themselves a “quick extraction team” in case any of their Patriot Prayer brothers got injured. Cops told them to lock up the guns and keep the ammo separate, and they complied, according to police. So, not so much of a “cache” of weapons.

The otherwise laudable mentoring program for African-American youth called Self Enhancement, Inc. has been suspended for a week from Jefferson High School while PPS investigates charges of inappropriate relations between SEI staff and students.

Tomorrow is the day of the big earthquake drill, but today is the anniversary of 1989’s magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area, responsible for 67 deaths and nearly 4,000 injuries. It might have killed even more people, but the 5 PM traffic was lighter than normal because the World Series was just starting.

We’re monitoring developments in the disappearance and apparent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, in which the Saudi royal family has given conflicting spins. President Trump claiming it’s a case of “guilty until proven innocent.”

It’s still a maple leaf on the flag, but recreational use of marijuana is legal in Canada as of today. The specifics vary by province. British Columbia will have only one legal pot shop–in the town of Kamloops. Oregon’ Sen. Ron Wyden greeted today’s legalization with these words: “Canada has recognized what Oregonians already understand: cannabis prohibition is a failed policy that wastes resources and destroys lives.”

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Let’s try some medicinal headlines, here:

–“Dave Grohl–the nicest guy in rock– lets 10 year-old play Metallica onstage, then gifts the kid his guitar”

–“New York City Goes an Entire Weekend With No Shootings for the First Time in Decades”

–“Louisiana deputies perform heroic rescue of kitten trapped in drain.”

–“Bill Gates and Ban Ki-moon are recruiting mayors, heads of state, and finance pros around the world on a last-minute quest to save us from catastrophic heat, drought and flooding”

–“Supermarket sets up “talking tables” to combat loneliness”

–“Radio Daddio’s Sweetie Makes it Home from 4200 mile Road Trip, is Rewarded with Bacon Tacos”

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Final item:

The Main Street town of Portland, Michigan, population 4000, wants everybody who’s jumping down their throat lately to know that “We’re not the Portland in Oregon” after their Facebook page was slathered with messages like, “You should be embarrassed for what you let happen to the citizens of your city when Antifa was blocking traffic and harassing drivers,” and “The Portland Police department is unsurprisingly but still disturbingly giving material support to Nazis by selectively protecting bigots.” That’s the kind of social media scorching and worse the police and mayor of Portland, Oregon get by the truckload, especially when Fox News features our fair city. The news in Portland, Michigan today is that its picturesque downtown is being vibrantly decorated for Halloween. And a street will bear the name of a popular person who’s retiring.

Let’s have a Portland, Michigan kind of day! (Let’s rename the winding road from Lewis and Clark College to Tualatin “Tracy Berry Ferry!”)

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