Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Good morning! And welcome to the Daily (sniff) Drip for Wednesday, November 14, 2018. (I’m trying all the potions and incantations recommended by you kind people to remedy my toddler cold. I just sneezed all over my MacBook screen. Awesome start!). Portland’s weather has some driply tendencies of its own, today, with scattered light showers and highs of 55. It’s cold right now in the valley, with temperatures in the 30’s, and Troutdale folks are leaning into a stiff wind. And there could be a flurry or two in the Gorge and Upper Hood River Valley. Sunrise 7:08 AM Sunset 4:41 PM It’s the 318th day of 2018, with 47 to go.

This morning’s update from our neighboring state 300 miles down I-5: we’ll start with the hopeful news that next week will bring widespread rain to both northern and southern California. But the discovery of more remains in Paradise brings the total number of fatalities there to 48 and counting. People who lost homes are suing Pacific Gas and Electric, blaming them for not adequately maintaining their lines, which one homeowner says were sparking just before the fire broke out. And by the way, smoke from the California fires has drifted north, and the air quality in much of the Portland area is downright unhealthy–with a particulate count of 151. Stagnant air conditions may persist until Thursday morning.

Best wishes go out to Portland Police Officer Taylor Rethmeier, who suffered a fractured skull when he was hit with a metal pipe by a man he was arresting for throwing rocks at cars near SE 41st and Division in Portland’s Richmond neighborhood last weekend. The good news is that Officer Rethmeier is out of the hospital and recovering at home, while his attacker is jailed on multiple charges, and clearly in need of mental help.

Portland’s on track to follow Seattle and California onto the no-plastic-straws bandwagon today, as City Council takes up a modified ban during this afternoon’s session, agenda items #1180 and #1181 if you’re scoring at home. An outright ban was rejected because many people with disabilities depend on straws to take in nourishment. Starting next summer, if you want a straw, you’ll need to ask your server. Such a weighty sacrifice. It’s a drop in the ocean–an ocean that has vast areas with decades of plastic garbage, bobbing as if to mock us–but it’s a start.

Yesterday we remembered the 30th anniversary of the racist killing of Mulugeta Seraw; today Mayor Wheeler and the City Council will make the 13th of November every year “Mulugeta Seraw Day,” reminding the residents of the least-diverse major city in America “to vocally condemn hate in our city and demand justice be served.”

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A bit of payback is called for as the Blazers suit up in the Lakers’ gym tonight at 7:30. Damian Lillard is listed as “probable” after banging his knee against the court during the win over the Celtics. The Winterhawks skate against the Silvertips in Everett tonight, then barrel down I-5 for a home game against that same crew on Friday.

Today is the 50th birthday of Madison High School alum Kent Bottenfield, one of quite a few Portland-area baseball players to make it to the major leagues. He was a pitcher for a bunch of teams; his best year was 1999 with Cardinals when he went 18-7 on the mound and delighted teammates by hitting three doubles. He survived heart trouble and now lives in Florida where he coaches college ball and makes Christian record albums.

Michelle Obama’s book tour started last night in Chicago; I see no Portland or Seattle dates, so far, but maybe they’ll add dates. Nearest is San Jose on December 14.

I ran into an odd fact that’s really none of our business, but it illustrates perhaps the toxicity of public life in the nation’s capital. In one Oregon congressional district, each and every man and woman who’s ever held that office has gotten a divorce during their tenure in DC.

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Let’s stray from the rocky road of news and see if there’s some high ground. Headlines for a happier heart, my friend Zia calls this:

–“Bride Donated Bone Marrow To Save A Stranger’s Baby. The Child Lived And Walked Down The Aisle As Her Flower Girl”

–“Man returns $100,000 found in secondhand cupboard”

–“18-Year-Old Elected Mayor of a Small Oregon Town”

–“Man Gets Second Chance At Life When Brain Tumor Vanishes Without Surgery”

–“Celebrity Chefs Are Serving Up Thousands of Meals to California Firefighters and Evacuees”

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I’m afraid that my efforts today will come up short of yesterday’s driply opus. I appreciate everyone’s awareness that there are two hats on my fevered head this week, as I appear simultaneously by magic on K103 and the wildly different KEX. With all of these Dripster-recommended potions and incantations, I feel like I’m in a George Carlin bit. Good thing germs aren’t transmitted by the Internet or FM radio. AM, I’m not so sure of!

(Truth: I think those zinc tablets are starting to work. My head aches but the waterworks have diminished sharply. But something, maybe those things, caused a fearsome dream, in which I was held captive in a downtown Portland warehouse by art snobs who tried to examine my mind with a stethoscope; I punched my way to freedom and fled in a downpour, as one shouted after me, “you don’t have a creative bone in your body.” And I sneezed on my computer. Jeez, what a start!)

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