Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wherever you may be, Good Morning! It’s Thursday, January 10, 2019, and here’s the Daily Drip from somewhere near Portland, where the weather today is partly sunny with only a chance of scattered showers and highs a springy 55. Sunrise 7:49 AM, sunset 4:47 PM.

Inexperience in Oregon’s dangerous waters may have been a factor in the deaths of three crab fishermen whose boat flipped over in the steep seas off Yaquina Bay. The captain and one crew member were from New Jersey, and their boat was recently purchased. The other crew member, Josh Porter, was a well-known fisherman on the coast, and had told friends he was worried about the skipper’s inexperience. He even had another job lined up starting Saturday. The Coast Guard commander for the area says the capsizing occurred after all the other boats had raced to shore ahead of the storm, in a stretch of water most fishermen know to avoid–nicknamed “the dumping ground.”

The meantime the crabbing crews will be out again today, in seas that rise and fall 11 to 13 feet over and over again. That’s manageable for experienced crews, but would send most of us straight to the rail.

A driver carelessly veered off Oregon 224 in Milwaukie and hit an inmate work crew that was clearing low-hanging branches. Two men were taken to the hospital but should be OK.

The story of Corporal Scott Moss, the homeless Army veteran who died in Portland with nobody to claim him, resulted in a respectable turnout for his funeral yesterday. One Drip reader relayed the information to a Vietnam veteran friend, who reports: “Okay, I went. Along with 100 like minded souls. Full military honors, bugle Taps, active duty military flag folding, rifle squad, bagpiper, vet biker honor guard, other vets, civilians, lengthy eulogy, Yakima Indian Nation tribute with song, ½ mile long car procession, all in all the best attended funeral that I have attended at Willamette National. Thanks for the heads up.”

Going to bat for a green and growing local industry, Portland’s bowtied rep in Congress, Earl Blumenauer, yesterday introduced a bill that takes cannabis out of the Controlled Substances Act and puts it under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It’s dubbed the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,” and the bill number is literally HR 420.

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It started out sweet enough, with President Trump actually handing out candy…Butterfingers, according to Mike Pence, which drew some snickers over how this has been handled…but when he and top Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer got down to the crunch of bargaining, they were hardly the three musketeers. The latest White House meeting on the government shutdown was a dud. Trump said something like, “OK, if I open up the government, in 30 days could we have money for a border wall?’ And Pelosi said, “No, not at all, ” Not even 100 Grand. So Trump got up and walked out. Democrats say he was red hot, and slammed the desk and stormed out, the White House says he didn’t, but either way, today is Day 20. And for hundreds of thousands of workers, tomorrow should have been payday.

Two Republicans from the Oregon/Washington territory strayed from the herd like a couple of mavericks and voted with Democrats for a doomed House bill to reopen just the Treasury Department in time for tax season. The two, among eight Republicans overall, are SW Washington’s Jaime Hererra-Beutler and Oregon’s Greg Walden. Today happens to be Walden’s 62nd birthday; he’ll back home next week for sixteen contentious town halls, and he’s already getting a Facebook-full from some of his constituents, with comments such as, “You’re sounding more and more like a democrat every day. Pretty disappointed in you Greg” and “You’ve marked yourself, in the Dems eyes, as the weakest runt in the herd.” Walden (A good guy; I know him from his radio days in the Gorge) says he supports Trump on border security but explains, “I don’t agree that it makes sense to furlough the people working on the biological opinion in the Klamath Basin, forest fuels reductions in central Oregon, or grazing permits in eastern Oregon. How does a nearly month-long work stoppage benefit taxpayers who are waiting for decisions and plans and permits? And we know not many people can afford to miss a paycheck, so I have empathy for the federal workers and their families who are caught up in this.”

Today Trump goes to the border in McAllen, Texas.

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Today is the 40th anniversary of a vicious ice storm that turned the Portland area into a 5-county hockey rink. The Silver Thaw, we called it, and the complete disruption it caused for almost a week was exceeded only by its serene and glittering beauty. I was lucky enough to work for a radio station, KGW, that had an emergency generator at the transmitter, so we stayed on the air the whole time covering it while other TV and radio stations waited with everyone else for power to be restored. Our studios were dark, so we improvised an alligator clip connection from our battery-operated cassette recorders that we used in the field, to the telephone clips with the mouthpiece screwed off. Basic radio reporter trick, back then, and it kept us on the air–with KGW-TV reporters lined up to file reports.

It’s the 20th anniversary of “The Sopranos” debut on HBO. I loved James Gandolfini, the way he could deliver a line, like…“Oh, poor baby. What do you want, a Whitman’s Sampler?” and “A wrong decision is better than indecision” and “Is this a woman thing? You ask me how I’m feeling. I tell you how I’m feeling, and now you’re going to torture me with it.”

Oil was discovered in Texas on this day in 1901.

So close…on this day in 2011, #1 Auburn edged #2 Oregon, 22-19 to win the BCS National Championship.

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Let’s build a big beautiful wall of kindness and positivity with news stories like these!

–“The Most Wondrous State Parks to Visit During the Government Shutdown”

–“Reporter Covering Story of Missing Woman Finds Her ”

–“Kitten rescued from highway barrier, adopted by officer”

–“Parents surprise shelter volunteer daughter by adopting her favorite dog”

–“Government shutdown equals free BBQ”

Details in the Daily Drip Coffee Cup!

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Final score from the Moda Center last night…Blazers 124 Bulls 112. Nice win! Time for me to make a fast break into the radio studio for a very full day. Cheers to all; see you on 103.3!

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