Thursday, December 20, 2018

Morning, all! It’s Thursday, December 20, 2018, and time to pen the penultimate Daily Drip for the year! Today turns breezy, with gusts to 35 MPH in Portland, and there’s a high wind warning for gusts to 65 at the coast. Plus we’ll get a respectable amount of rain, maybe half an inch of it, and highs of 55. Warm for December! The snow level in yonder mountains is a lofty 6500 feet today, but it plummets to 3500 feet tonight and 2000 tomorrow.

News!

Southeast Portland is resting easier now that three suspected armed robbers have been rounded up. But a fourth is believed to have fled somewhere else. A neighborhood east of 205 and north of Foster was in lockdown during the manhunt.

Things were fine in Beaverton schools yesterday, but many students were kept home, as the entire district went into lockout mode on the remote chance that phoned and posted threats from out of town were real.

Here’s a pleasant followup to the big storm the other day: the sewers did not overflow into the Willamette River. The $1.4 billion Big Pipe did its job.

Portland’s expanding streetcar network is getting $1.1 million of encouragement from the Federal Transit Administration. Plans are taking shape to run streetcars to Montgomery Park and the Hollywood District.

There’s a familiar snag in the new bid to build a better I-5 bridge over the Columbia, as Washington Republicans say they are “dismayed” by their governor’s endorsement of light rail as part of the project. But that’s a deal-killer for Oregon, which doesn’t want Clark County’s cars pouring onto Portland streets without a light rail alternative.

Hikers are allowed back on the Angel’s Rest trail for the first time since the 2017 fire in the Columbia Gorge. It’s beautiful but disturbing, with charred remnants everywhere, though the view from the top is still spectacular.

*****

President Trump seems to have surprised the Pentagon as well as the White House staff by proclaiming that Isis had been “defeated,” and that all US troops were withdrawing from Syria, ceding control of that country to Russia and Iran. But this morning, Trump tweeted, “Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer. Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild. #MAGA.”

The Dow took a 351 point swoon yesterday, after the Fed announced they would raise indeed interest rates by a quarter of a point, despite President Trump’s demand that they not do so. The market is now at a 15-month low.

*****

“It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered on this day in 1946. It was a real dudley at the box office but now it’s one of the most beloved films of all time. Little known facts:

–It’s based on a story that publishers rejected, so the author sent it to his friends as a Christmas Card.
–When the pharmacist gets angry at young George for not delivering a prescription because it was poison, the actor slapped him–for real. Drew blood.
–The swimming pool that everyone falls into is still in use today, including the sliding gymnasium floor. It’s at Beverly Hills High School. They call it the Swim Gym.
–Donna Reed herself threw the rock that broke out the window on the old house, and she did it on the first try.
–The scene where George rescues his little brother who fell through the ice was a re-write: the original script had them playing ice hockey on a river owned by Mister Potter, who’s glaring at them through the window. George shoots the pick and it breaks Potter’s “No Trespassing” sign, and the bitter old man releases the hounds. The boys flee, and that’s when George’s brother falls through the ice.
–It almost got caught up in the McCarthy-era “Commie” obsession, as the FBI issued a memo declaring that the film “represented obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists.”

********

Here’s the sweet stuff you can find in the Daily Drip Coffee Cup:

— The story of a truly frequent flyer who had an inspiration for what he can do with all his airline miles since he’s already flown enough, thank you;
— Then a heartwarming, mascara-running followup story on a Dad who danced for his little boy as he fought cancer–this Dad has an entirely new reason to dance.
–There’s the story of a man in a Santa suit who drew gasps and turned heads when he showed up in the children’s’ ward of a DC hospital, trailed by elves who were talking into little radios in their sleeves.
–We have a story of how an Ohio neighborhood proved that Charlie Brown was right when he said that “a little love” is all a pathetic weed needs to become a beautiful Christmas tree.
–And finally, I link to an article that reveals the secrets behind the most incredibly beautiful gingerbread cookies in the world. There are some tricks you can try. Tell you what: save all the regular news for later, pour yourself something freshly ground and warm, and click on the Daily Drip Coffee Cup icon below!

*****

We’re almost to the shortest day of the year. Tomorrow will be just seven seconds shorter, and then it turns around. Sunrise 7:47 AM, sunset 4:29 PM.

K103’s morning show is doing something special this year: each of us is presenting our own personal Christmas card to the listeners. Bruce’s was yesterday, Janine will go today, and tomorrow is my turn, all at 7:20 AM. You already know what we’re going to do–though I’ll precede it with some words. Maybe a poem. Perhaps a limerick. I better get to work on that!

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