Monday, December 3, 2018

Hi there! Come in and get warm, at the Daily Drip coffee shop for Monday, December 3, 2018! Blue skies and chilly temperatures are the house specialty all week long, with highs of 45 and lows down to the twenties. Cold Gorge breezes and bright starry nights too. Sunrise 7:32 AM, sunset 4:28 PM, giving us 8 hours and 55 minutes of daylight in Portland, about a minute less than yesterday. It’s day 337 in 2018, with 28 to go.

It’ll be bitterly cold tonight, with over 100 families on the city/county wait list for shelter, but there will be relief for many as a family shelter is opening in Northwest Portland tonight. It’s at 1150 NW 17th Ave, and has a capacity of 75. Families must call the nonemergency 211 number to schedule an intake interview in order to be eligible.

This is the morning after the first night of Hanukkah, with the sacred light burning bright in communities of the Jewish faith around the world. Portland’s Menorah was lit at Directors Park during the 35th annual ceremony…which featured the first ever “Hanukkah Chocolate Gelt Drop,” when firefighters dropped a thousand chocolate coins from atop a fire ladder for the kids below.

Flags are lowered but spirits are lifted by respectful words spoken across the deep divide about George Bush, as the casket of the 41st President of the United States lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda. It’s a high honor that was only recently accorded to another personification of bipartisanship in leadership, John McCain. Again and again, in the comments on this page and elsewhere, praise for Bush is preceded by the words, “I didn’t agree with him, but….” And that fundamental humanity is precisely the hope of this country.

It’s 700 days until the 2020 election.

The Oregonian is in the midst of a disturbing yet creative piece of multimedia journalism under the title, “The Ghosts of Highway 20.” The name comes from a Lucinda Williams album set along the Gulf Coast, but the Oregonian story– investigated, written, and narrated on video by Noelle Crombie–is about a series of rapes and murders that occurred roughly along Highway 20 between Central Oregon and the Coast from the 1970s through the early 90s. One man, a now-dead inmate named John Ackroyd, may have committed at minimum four murders of young women, after raping a young mother, as detailed in the first installment in Sunday’s Oregonian, with accompanying video episodes. If investigators had treated her case more seriously, rather than blowing it off without filing charges, it’s likely the other victims would be alive today. It sounds like we had our own version of Ted Bundy in our midst–and didn’t know it until now. Outstanding work by Noelle Crombie, unlike anything we’ve seen from The Oregonian, and worth your time to find.

The Coast Guard did their best to save a surfer who was battered by heavy waves and separated from his board, off Devils Punchbowl near Lincoln City Saturday. The young man–identified as 30-year old Toren Stearns, a doctor who lived in Corvallis–was brought to shore by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer and another surfer, and he was flown by helicopter, unconscious, to the hospital in Newport, but he did not survive.

School children from the burnt-out town of Paradise, California are back in school today in nearby cities like Chico, for the first time since the fire. The number of missing people there has dropped to 25.

With hundreds of aftershocks being felt…and hundreds more too small to feel…and now a snowstorm hitting the city, there’s no school today in Anchorage, Alaska. In fact, no school all week, as damaged is assessed and repairs are made. The remarkable news is that there was not a single fatality, despite Friday’s quake registering a fearsome 7.0., and as a local Anchorage story in the TMSG segment below will explain, when you click on it at the Coffee Cup, efforts made to strengthen buildings against inevitable seismic events proved their worth. Portland news veteran, former first responder, and Daily Drip reader Bob Calkins posted the following:

“We usually think of police and fire as the people who save lives in a disaster, but as we celebrate a death toll of zero in the 7.0 Alaska quake there is another group that deserves some credit: building inspectors, code enforcement officers, and politicians with enough spine to enact realistic building codes despite the cost to builders (and their lobbyists.)
Kobe: M7.2, 6400 dead
Northridge: M6.7, 57 dead.
Anchorage: M7.0 deaths zeeeeero.
Amazing.”

This was the day in 2007 when the Chehalis River flooded, and closed a 20-mile stretch of I-5 for days.

****

Stocks may soar today on news of a trade truce between President Trump and China.

A Soyuz rocket carrying two Americans and a Russian is on its way to the International Space Station.

We’ve learned that the Oregon Ducks will play Michigan State in something called the Redbox Bowl, at noon on New Year’s Eve, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Washington plays Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day at 2 PM. Ohio State will be in the mood to punish somebody: they’re mad they’re not in the final four.

“Camelot” debuted on Broadway this day in 1960. (The musical play has a fond place in my heart because my high school took it on during my senior year, and I was recruited to play King Arthur. I have all the acting chops of a dancing bear, but I can carry a tune, especially with a full orchestra behind me, and it was great fun. I didn’t get the girl–Lancelot did, and I was left holding my sword).

Celebrity Birthdays! The late Andy Williiams (1930) (famous for crooning warm Christmas songs on TV in a nice cardigan sweater); Ozzy Osbourne (1948) (we’re still waiting for the Christmas album, Ozzie!); Darryl Hannah (1960) She and husband Neil Young lost their home in Malibu to a fire last month, but they’re OK, and she’s written a poem about the experience that goes:

We all mourn together
and then life goes on
Each shooting, hurricane, flood, each fire
with each new tragedy
Ever more survivors fall away
And disappear from daily routines
A depopulation of trauma
So many
Left alone
Left behind
A shade of invisible
Falling out of step
frozen in ash
Obliged to deal with continuing ramifications
charred remains
aching for lives lost
Struggling to find a path
To make a future
To be able to look back

–Darryl Hannah

*****
Stories to warm up a cold December day!

–“Thanks to science and engineering, nobody died in the 7.0 earthquake in Anchorage”

–“Lovebirds Reunited with Engagement Ring that Fell Down a Times Square Grate”

–“Secret Santa pays for $45,000 worth of layaway items at Colorado Walmart”

–“Pilot and midwife find love in the skies while saving lives”

–“UPS Driver Adopts Shelter Dog Who Jumped Into His Truck”

*********

There! The Daily Drip for this Monday. Your kind words over the weekend were read and appreciated so very much. We’ll actually be here all week!

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