Greetings and happy Wednesday to you! It’s December 5, 2018, the 339th day of 2018 with just 26 to go. Kind of a landmark day in the cosmic ballet –for reasons due to the odd shape of the earth, today is the earliest sunset of the year; or more accurately, it’s the first of 12 straight days of sunset at 4:27, the earliest sunsets of the year. You wo n’t notice it for weeks, but sunsets actually begin getting gradually later on December 16. We’re granted all of 8 hours and 52 minutes of daylight in Portland, about a minute less than yesterday. The days are still getting shorter, because sunrises are still getting later–and will, into January. Confused? Yeah, me too. Sunrise today 7:35 AM, sunset 4:27 PM.
Oh..the weather? Stunning as long as you’re bundled up. Bright, clear, windy, with highs in the mid 40s. Looks like rain returns Friday night.
Those Gorge winds have been blowing out the lights in pockets of neighborhoods across the Metro area…including about a thousand homes in or around Gaston. PGE line crews are up in those bucket ladders as I write this, at 0315.
Anything weird happen at your house in the wind? A family member in West Linn had a fence section blow open, so of course right away their dog escaped, but wisely returned. And this happened: a piece of metal the size of car bumper came flying off the Portland Aerial Tram, fell 130 feet, and clunked a woman on the head as she was crossing the pedestrian bridge–and she had only a minor injury? That’s incredible. That could easily have been fatal. It’s also extremely lucky the chunk didn’t come hurtling down onto I-5. The flying object was identified as “decorative” and part of the tram’s (evidently pretend) aerodynamic design, and city crews have been checking Jean and Walt, the tram cars, overnight to make sure everything’s bolted on tight.
This is the morning of the funeral for President George H.W. Bush in the National Cathedral. The funeral begins at 8 AM Portland time, but television networks will be at full coverage by 7 at the latest. It will be an inspiring celebration of the personal decency and quiet accomplishment of the 41st President of the United States, the war hero who advocated a “kindler, gentler America,” the last member of “The Greatest Generation” to serve in that high office. The current holder and all four living former presidents will be there. And it will be a day of mourning with a patchwork of government closures: post offices are closed, regular mail delivery is suspended, but package delivery will continue on a limited basis, to “keep the system fluid” during the holiday crunch time. The US Capitol Tree Lighting is postponed until tomorrow night.
The stock market is closed today for the day of mourning–for Bush, not the Dow, which took a screaming 799 point nosedive yesterday on signs that the economy may not be as strong as it seems, and that our international trade moves are backfiring.
Depending on a close vote by the city council today, Portland will begin hiring “public safety specialists” who will respond, as police once did, to low-level non-emergencies. Dogs barking. Loud stereos. They won’t carry guns, but they will have pepper spray, they’ll drive city cars but not cop cars, and will be members of the police union.
Looks like there’ll be a move in the legislature to ask voters to kill off the “kicker”–Oregon’s unique and controversial constitutional mandate of returning tax surplusses to taxpayers rather than socking them away or spending them.
A crackdown may be coming on people who try to turn in pop and beer bottles from Washington–which has no bottle deposit law–at redemption centers in Oregon, where the bottles are worth a dime. The beverage industry says this trickery costs them “in the six figures,” and a bill by Oregon state Sen. Betsy Johnson would allow for criminal prosecution. Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode!
The Montgomery Bus Boycott began this day in 1955, and continued for one year and 15 days, ending in victory when a court ruled that segregated buses are unconstitutional.
It’s Walt Disney’s birthday. (1901)
Prohibition ended 85 years ago today. Portland celebrated with quiet restraint. Ha!
No prohibition on good news, here!
–“Siberian Husky sniffs out her human’s cancer not once…but three times.”
–“Homeless man turns in $17,000 cash he found outside local food bank”
–“Breweries Everywhere are Brewing Beer to Help California Wildfire Survivors”
–“Grandma Ruth is a “Perpetual Volunteer”–at 108 years old”
–“According to the local folklore, the myriad colors of this Italian lake are the result of a lovelorn wizard’s blunder.”
Details at the Coffee Cup, here!
How are things holiday-wise at your house? Our tree is lit but not fully decorated, and it’s so pleasant. Oh! That reminds me! I need to stash my tuba in the car, because K103 and Fred Meyer’s “12 Days of Christmas” contest begins tomorrow. Plus our Christmas broadcast is one week from Friday, and I would love to see a solid Drip representation. We could make it an unofficial Dripstock! I will put a link to the online signups right here. The Christmas broadcast will feature We Three…no, not We Three Kings…I mean McMinnville’s own recent stars of America’s Got Talent, plus Michael Allen Harrison and Julianne Johnson and high school choirs and a contingent from Tuba Christmas (we love tubas. It’s all about the bass)…and anyway: it’ll be fun. It always is!