Well, it’s a frosty ol’ morning, on this Tuesday, December 4, 2018, but another sunny day awaits, with highs of 45, and a thundering east wind coming down the Columbia Gorge. Sunrise 7:33 AM, sunset 4:28 PM. It’s day 338 in 2018, with 27 to go. We luxuriate in 8 hours and 53 minutes of daylight in Portland, down about a minute from yesterday.
We don’t have the fog that obscured yesterday morning’s commute, but it’s cold, with temperatures in the twenties in areas away from the Gorge winds, and in the thirties where the wind is blowing–but the wind chill makes it feel much colder. Winds have been clocked above 60 MPH at Vista House, and over 35 in the eastern Metro area, where PGE is currently responding to a couple of hundred power outages.
A fright for a couple of Battle Ground families ended happily last night after a boy and a girl, both 16 and with special needs, apparently ran away together from high school early in the afternoon. Search and Rescue became involved, and the two were located and reunited with their families after dark.
Intel and health officials are puzzling over what’s causing employees to experience respiratory problems at the company’s Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro. Hazmat teams were called there for the second time in a week, and six employees were taken to the hospital, but Intel says no hazardous materials were released.
All night long, people have been streaming past the casket of President George H.W. Bush, positioned under the Capitol dome in Washington. Leaders of both parties stood side by side to pay respects, as did President Trump and the First Lady. The Trumps will attend tomorrow’s funeral in the National Cathedral; The Washington Post reports that the Bush family promised them that speeches and eulogies would avoid criticizing him, unlike the recurrent digs during the funeral for John McCain.
So what’s open and what’s closed tomorrow, during the National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush? Good question. Most but not all federal employee will take the day off. It’s up to individual agencies. There’ll be no regular mail delivery, but packages will likely arrive; it’s crunch time. The federal courthouse in Portland will be open. Crater Lake, the only National Park in Oregon, will be open. The stock market will be open, but there will be a moment of silence at the opening bell. Parking meters are unaffected.
Mayor Ted Wheeler acknowledges that “it was a stupid thing to say,” when he muttered within earshot of a reporter that he can’t wait for the next two years–the duration of his term in office–to be over. Wheeler told the Portland Tribune that people should expect that he will indeed run for re-election, though he and his wife will decide next year. Asked to give himself a letter grade, the mayor replied, “Incomplete,” but added, “There are a lot of very high bars that I’ve set for my administration, and we are making good progress,” and “I will continue to be aggressive in my agenda, and that means we’ll have spectacular successes, and we’ll have spectacular failures, and everything in between.”
Local journalists are raising an eyebrow at a request by the Mayor’s office to require hand-picked reporters who were invited into the police nerve center during a recent right-wing protest to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and to allow police to determine what information can be tweeted or published. Willamette Week was told by the Mayor’s press secretary that the news organizations were chosen for the invitation “based on their history of being tough, factual, fair and consistent,” and that after media outlets turned down the NDA and content restrictions, the invitations were rescinded.
The Blazers are at the Dallas Mavericks today at 5:30, hoping to reverse a skid during which they’ve dropped seven of the last ten games.
Very cool dude Jeff Bridges has been abiding since this date in 1949. Frank Zappa died 25 years ago today.
Let’s pour a little nonartificial sweetener into the news day, okay?
–“Metallica donates to local food banks during tour” They’ll be in Portland tomorrow!
–“96-Year-Old Man Helped Save Bluebirds In Idaho By Building Over 300 Nest Boxes Across The State”
–“8-year-old boy beats cancer”
–“Man’s toothbrush holder turns out to be a Bronze Age treasure”
That’s this morning’s report so far. Enjoy the sunshine, brief though it may be!