Yay it’s Friday, February 15, 2019! Welcome to Portland’s humble Daily Drip, a glance at the top stories, with an oasis for good news, and a connecting place for kindhearted people in our community. Portland’s weather today will be showery with highs in the raw 40s, and scanning the extended models it looks to me like we could see snow at hilltop level a couple of times over the weekend, as well as in the week ahead. But considering that this past week had a chance of delivering a snowplop of historic proportions, we’re doing just fine. The Columbia Gorge is slowly emerging from this week’s Icelandic experience; winter weather advisories that included snow and freezing rain were set to expire at 4 AM, so we’ll be checking with ODOT on I-84–which probably has more ruts than the Oregon Trail it replaced. Sunrise 7:12 AM….sunset 5:37 PM.
It’s warmly reassuring to know that during the nightmare shutdown of I-84, the community of Gorge-dwellers stepped up to help in a way that deserves our attention. Local businesses ranging from Walmart to Dominos to a Cascade Locks-and-bagel shop delivered heaping supplies of water bottles, power bars, chips, and pizzas, and workers distributed them among the hungry travelers. Channel 8 did a nice piece about a Cascade Locks couple who drove to the store and loaded up on groceries and went to the freeway, sharing the bounty car to car. “That’s what Oregonians are all about,” said the Cascade Locks emergency manager about the couple—who just moved here from California. By the way, I know we have Gorge folks among the Drip community here: any stories that need telling?
We’re all waiting to see what our unpredictable president does with the border deal to head off another government shutdown, which passed handily in the House and Senate, but gives him a fraction of the border wall money that he could have had if he’d settled earlier. Fox News host Laura Ingraham let fly a string of tweets that Trump “must not” sign it. His allies in Congress say they expect him to sign, but also declare a “national emergency” and pay for his wall by raiding funds that were allocated for upgrades to US military bases, much to the ire of the Congresspeople in whose (mostly red) states they’re located. Democrats will challenge an emergency declaration in court, saying there is no emergency on the border; Republicans worry that a future Democratic president would seize the precedent and declare emergencies over, say, climate change and gun violence.
Willamette Week used the public records law to shine the light on hundreds of friendly text messages between a Portland Police commander and Joey Gibson, leader of the right-wing Patriot Prayer. Exchanges include advance warning from Gibson that his Vancouver group would be in Portland to stir up trouble, as a ploy to generate interest in his Senate campaign. “The hate against me will multiply because I am running for office, so when I come into Portland and Seattle the energy will be high,” Gibson texted. “I know it’s a pain in the ass for you guys, but I will do the best I can to work with you.” The police commander replied: “Your running for office?!! Good for you. County level?” “Running for US senate,” Gibson said. “I will be using Portland and Seattle protesters as a part of the campaign so it will impact you guys unfortunately, so I appologize now ahead of time.” The mayor calls the texts disturbing and the police chief says an internal investigation will begin. Police critics have accused Portland cops of being too chummy with the alt-right–a movement that’s been officially condemned by City Hall.
It’s off to the pokey for a couple of guys who, while heavily intoxicated last May, golfed the Rose City course–going the wrong direction. Counting down the holes from 18 to 1. A foursome who were golfing in the correct direction took issue, and the two buddies started swinging their clubs at them, causing welts and bruises to the others, who suffered broken fingers from holding the drunk guys down until cops arrived. The sentences are short–a month or so–but restitution, alcohol evaluation, and anger management are part of their sentences, too.
A new report says Portland has the 10th worst rush hour traffic in America, but guess what: that’s an improvement. Last year we were eighth. (Speaking of which: I was whooshing along 205 in my hotrod Subaru doing 62 in a 55 zone near the Viewpoint when a cop pulled behind me and hit the flashing lights. This comes two weeks after the first speeding ticket in my adult life. I cursed and killed the radio (“Radar Love” was on) and made my way to the shoulder to take my medicine–when the officer zoomed past and lit up somebody ahead of me. Lesson learned, again, I hope).
A couple of Oregonians who’ve made a national splash are celebrating birthdays today: Lincoln High School’s creative cartoon genius Matt Groening was born on this day in 1954–I’d still love to know whether anchorman Kent Brockman was inspired by Richard Ross or Pete Schulberg. And birthday hugs to a dear and famous friend, Delilah Rene, an Oregon native who brings comfort and joy to millions on her “Delilah At Night” radio show. I heart her as the one who brought happiness to one of my best friends for too short a time, the great KGW-KING-KCBS reporter George Harris.
This is the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, leader of the fight to win women the right to vote. She traveled by train all over the country delivering stemwinders and doing stern battle with curmudgeonly forefathers, and was no stranger to Oregon…I count at least three times (1871, 1896, and 1905) when she made the trip all the way out here to spur on the successful cause.
It’s Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon! Winter steelhead fishing is excellent on rivers up and down the coast. And lots of rainbow trout have been stocked this week in lakes all over the state. No license needed. It’s your chance to get hooked!
Here’s our “good news” section…and I’m told the Daily Drip Coffee Cup, containing all the links, is getting tons of visitors! That’s cool. If you’re new here, or you’ve missed some days, I leave the links up for several weeks so you can catch up–especially when you need to hear something that doesn’t make you throw stuff at the TV.
–“Dog, lost for 5 months, rescued from storm thanks to deputy, truckers and a sandwich”
–“The Polar Vortex may have eradicated an enormous number of stinkbugs!”
–“In Alaska, Birch Syrup Is a Sweet Sign of Breakup Season–also known as Spring!”
–“These guys hand out roses to widows and military wives on Valentine’s Day”
–“Woman Makes Dolls To Match Kids With Disabilities & Their Reactions Are So Precious.”
That’s it for this week’s Daily Drip! Thanks for your patience this week, as I’ve been batting out four newscasts an hour for KEX while doing the “Bruce, John, and Janine” breakfast show on K103. We’ll see you here this weekend!