Friday, January 25, 2019

Good morning, friends! Here comes the trusty Daily Drip for Friday, January 25, 2019. Portland’s weather will be partly sunny with highs in the 50s, abnormally dry and mild for this long month. Sunrise comes at 7:39 AM, with sunset inching later at 5:07 PM. We’ve gained ten minutes of daylight since Monday!

Latebreaking news in the Mueller probe, as Trump adviser Roger Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster” whose activities date back to Nixon days–he even has a tattoo of Nixon on his back–was indicted on seven counts early this morning by the special counsel. The FBI pounded on his door at 6 AM and took him into custody.

It’s Shutdown Day 35, and a second paycheckless payday for hundreds of thousands of people who direct and inspect our airlines, guard our coasts, inspect our food, feed our poor. The Senate voted on two “message” bills, strictly for show, and defeated both. But the headline today is that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are negotiating with each other on a bill to open government for three weeks while they figure out a mutually agreeable compromise on border security.

Shots fired downtown, scary words to hear on the newsroom scanner, as two people were wounded yesterday afternoon in Ankeny Alley off West Burnside and SW Park Avenue. That’s between Powell’s and Big Pink. They’ll be OK, and so far no arrests or explanation or even a suspect description. But I want to paste in a Reddit post shortly after it happened from someone who says: “I was there, I’m waiting to give a police statement. Homeless argument, one guy pulled a gun, shot off 3 (I heard 3 shots) and one hit his leg. My sweater became one of the tourniquets for his leg, he was shaking and scared, only 22 years old. Suspect fled. My anxiety is thoroughly through the roof. My employer was super understanding and let me take the rest of the day off. I really hope the poor guy is okay and I wish I had gotten a better view of the shooter.” We’re left to hope the guy is caught, and to wonder why this happened. Next time could be worse.

Encouraging news on Oregon schools, as the state’s graduation rate went up 2% for the second year in a row, and is now just below 80%. The national rate is 84. Officials credit the reintroduction of career technical classes, but say that chronic absenteeism requires stepped-up attention. Almost every group shared in the gains, with the significant exception of African-American students, though Portland showed improvement there.

Late word from Vancouver this morning that the school district and VPS support employees have made a tentative contract agreement, and school will go on as scheduled today.

The Clark County measles count is up to 25 since the first of the year, with a dozen more cases suspected. There are stories in out-of-state media about how Clark County, Oregon is an anti-vax hotspot.

In our TMSG section, we’ll link to a story about Paul Simon’s donation to the Portland Public Schools. He’s making 10K contributions in every town he visits during his farewell tour, and this one calls attention to a Portland program that teaches culinary skills to special education students who have finished high school and now enter adult life with challenges ranging from Down syndrome to severe autism. Other artists on farewell tours have made similar moves–including Metallica, who gave ten grand to community colleges after their December appearance at the Moda Center. Good to see that. Your move, KISS!

*****

The Blazers punished the Phoenix Suns 120-106.

Tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of the climactic moment in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover, when one of its leaders, Robert LaVoy Finicum, was killed by lawmen as he appeared to reach for a gun on a snowy stretch of Eastern Oregon highway, where a memorial stands to this day. I thought it would be interesting to see what’s happening at the refuge today, so I went to its website and learned the following: “Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, this website will not be updated until further notice. Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.” So. The wildlife refuge is shut down again, but this time by our own government.

Tomorrow is the 319th anniversary of the cataclysmic Great Cascadia Earthquake, which clearcut forests on the Oregon Coast and shoved a tsunami across the ocean that smashed into Japan, which is how we know the date. The year was 1700. The estimated magnitude was 8.7 to 9.2, and it may have given us the Bonneville Slide, and thus the Bridge of the Gods.

Sunday is the 12th anniversary of the Portland Aerial Tram, whisking an odd blend of tourists and medical people in a scenic sail above the rooftops between Marquam Hill and the South Waterfront since 2007.

Happy birthday to my broadcasting buddy Paul Linnman! Great guy. It’s an honor to say “hi, there” every day to the only man on earth who’s forever associated with an exploding whale, unless that’s a metaphor for our current political climate.

The International Cat Show begins at the Portland Expo Center. For people who care about cats.

The lavish and elegant replicas of the King Tut exhibit at OMSI closes Sunday. It’s been there since October, and if you haven’t seen it and want to, it’s time to get off your sarcophagi.

****

Something good? Coming right up!

–“9-Year-Old Gives His Shoes And Socks To Barefooted Homeless Boy”

–“Veteran who lost leg in Afghanistan helps change Colin Powell’s tire on Capital Beltway”

–“Cop Stops To Play Catch With Kid Who Was Playing By Himself In The Cold”

–“This basketball team lost 102-2, has no wins, but you wouldn’t know it by the players’ body language”

–“Look who made a donation to the Portland Public Schools–Paul Simon!”

Details in the Daily Drip Coffee Cup, first item in the comment section below.

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You know we lost a dear member of the Daily Drip community, as Mary Bailey Hungerford passed yesterday afternoon. Many of us knew her from Dripstocks and related events, and all of us read her lively and interesting posts over the years. Her page is still active, and I know her close friends and family appreciate reading your thoughts there. Our community will find a way of honoring her memory.

And that’s it for another week on the Daily Drip. Hugs to all, and we’ll see you on the radio.

Days without a speeding ticket: One!

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