Thursday, January 24, 2019

All aboard the Thursday express, friends! It’s January 24, 2019, a day that will launch a meteorological winning streak of dry skies and mild temperatures that could last a week or more. The weather pattern imitates late spring or early summer, with a thermal low along the coast, and highs reaching into the fifties. We’d be reaching for IPAs on the deck, but for the scarcity of light, with the planet’s shy tilt away from the sun and the stil-long hours of darkness. Sunrise 7:40 AM, sunset 5:05 PM.

Two significant arrests to report this morning:

–19-year old D’Anthony Leslie Williams was arrested in Camas for the murder of Kelso convenience store clerk Kayla Chapman.
–21-year-old Austin C. Keever-Nyberg was arrested while visiting the Clackamas County Courthouse for the incident captured on video where a Toyota Tacoma truck was driven into a group of young men as they attempted to run away near Wilkes Park in Portland. None of them have yet contacted police, so the extent of their injuries is unknown. And we have no clue why they were targeted

Day 34 of the shutdown. The Senate votes today on two bills that could end it, but neither has the needed 60 votes, and the House is leaving town today anyone. After days of back-and-forth, President Trump gave in to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s demand that the State of the Union be delayed until the shutdown is over. The headline on Fox News, whose hosts have been critical of the president for not delivering on the “wall” promise: “Trump Blinks.”

None other than Pink Martini founded Thomas Lauderdale popped up at a TriMet board meeting yesterday to speak out against the possible closure of several downtown Portland MAX stops, in the interest of shaving a few minutes off the crosstown trip. The bandleading genius said “MAX has been a grounding presence in downtown. If you take away one of those grounding presences, the city becomes less.” He also repeated the notion that Westside employers Nike and Intel are pushing the change, although TriMet says the companies have nothing at all to do with it.

A Hood River skateboard designer who spends winters in Mexico is the subject of a month-long search in the mountains of southern Baja, where he went hiking a week before Christmas. Over 100 searchers have been trying to find 28-year-old Max Watson without success.

Willamette Week says an FBI sting has revealed seven brothels operating in downtown Portland and the West Side suburbs, including, yikes, an Extended Stay America not three blocks from where I work. Six people were indicted on charges that they brought young women from Asian and forced them into servitude.

So where did you sleep the night of January 23rd? For most of us, the answer is comforting. Home! In my bed! With my human and canine or feline animals! But that exact question is being posed at homeless camps, shelters, and meal centers as outreach workers conduct the annual “Point in Time” count, which is required for federal funding. Last year’s survey revealed 4100 people “experiencing homelessness,” as the phrase goes, at that point in time.

***

Our thoughts are with our Daily Drip community friend Mary Bailey Hungerford, as she deals with a serious illness. There’ll be updates here, but also on her page, which would be the ideal place to comment so she and her family and see them. You’re loved, Mary!

*****

Today would have been the birthday of Oregon track wonder Steve Prefontaine, who was born in Coos Bay in 1951, rewrote record books, just missed medaling in the Munich Olympics in 1972, and died when he crashed his sports car near Eugene in 1975.

It was exactly 30 years ago today that Ted Bundy was executed. He’s the subject of a new Netflix doc series starring Zac Efron, but a lot of us who were around in those days will probably skip it. A Colorado high school classmate is one of his suspected victims.

John Belushi would have turned seventy years old today. He was only 33 when he died after ingesting a cocaine/heroin “speedball.” Did you know the “ugly little spud” that slimed Bill Murray in “Ghostbusters” was intended by producer/director Ivan Reitman to be the ghost of John Belushi?

***
Amazon is testing self-driving delivery robots in Snohomish County, outside Seattle. They’re ugly little spuds, boxy and blue, about the size of a big dog, with six wheels and a smiley logo. They’re called Scout, and they can steer around people and pets. For now, anyway, they have a human companion.

The new mayor of Yoncalla, OR, near Roseburg, is Benjamin Simons. He’s 19. Umpqua Community College student.

The parent company of the Bend Bulletin has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And Buzzfeed is laying of 200 people, 15% of its work force.

*****
This morning’s good stuff? Right here.

–“New study: The Mental Image of a Loved One Can Keep Down Blood Pressure”

–“Golden Retriever saves its owner by leading an ambulance to him”

–“How a Group of Daring Bootleggers Created NASCAR”

–“Blood test could detect Alzheimer’s up to 16 years before symptoms begin”

–“A Puppy Saved From A Fire Grows Up to Become A Firefighter”

Details…you know where to find ’em…

***

And now for the four words you’ve never heard from me: I got a ticket. I know, I hear the deflated gasp, the echoes of Peggy Lee. But this was big. I haven’t had a speeding ticket in my adult life. A warning or two, but I’m into driving safely and vehicular speed doesn’t impress me and tickets are just handing free money to the government. Yesterday I’m heading home tired at noon on the tall 213 hill coming up from 205 in Oregon City. Radio on, light traffic, good mood, and I zinged right by the black unmarked OC police car that everyone sees parked and waiting for speedsters. I glimpsed him in the peripheral and glanced at the speedometer. Gulp. Past 70. All seven of George Carlin’s words crossed my lips as reigned hard back to 55. In the rearview mirror, I watched the black car pull out and accelerate behind me. Then came the almost liquid blossoming of red and blue lights. The officer, a nice man, walked to the passenger side window and we both were friendly. Took my license, ran the check, saw my lack of moving violations and said ‘Well, you’re a good driver.” Will I get a warning? Oh, but no. $165 fine. FINE. Now I’m setting the cruise control at 3 MPH over the speed limit and letting traffic whiz around me. Anyway, those were the four words. I got a ticket. Crap.Thanks for all the other four-word ideas!

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