Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hello, Dripsters, my old friends! We’re softly creeping into Tuesday, the 19th day of the chilliest February in 30 years, as we’re turning our collar to a cold and damp morning with highs in the low 40s. If the clouds clear a bit, our eyes will be stabbed by the light of a full moon, the Snow Moon, the Hunger Moon, and most of all the biggest Super Moon of the year. And quite a lunar improvement over a year ago: in February of 2018, we had no full moon at all! The tilting earth brings the sunrise to 7:06 AM, sunset 5:43 PM, and the aforementioned Moon, which hangs above the clouds in the west as I write this, sets at 7:25 AM.

Oregon (but not Washington) is one of a coalition of 16 states now challenging President Trump in court over his plan to use emergency powers to spend billions of dollars on his border wall. The suit says Trump doesn’t have the power to divert funds for building a wall along the Mexican border because under the Constitution it is Congress that controls spending.

Senator Bernie Sanders today is entering the 2020 presidential race, vowing in an email to supporters to finish what he started in 2016. Early polls show well ahead of the pack–trailing only Joe Biden.

Many people here spent Presidents Day getting some things said: to the president, in local rallies decrying the executive order proclaiming a national emergency; and in Salem, where thousands of educators and supporters dressed in red came to press lawmakers for funding to cut class sizes and hire trained people like psychologists, nurses, and librarians. A recurrent theme was that students are “acting out” more than ever, disrupting the learning environment and even injuring teachers, and these kids need attention beyond what overwhelmed teachers have time to provide. Teachers are aware that this legislature is their best shot in years at getting some help.

Oregon could become the first state in the nation to allow 16-year-olds to vote, under a bill rolled out in Salem by State Rep. Shemia Fagan. Inspired by student activism that followed last year’s Florida shootings, young people gathered in Salem to demand the right to vote. This question was posed by a student at La Salle High School, and it was reminiscent of the perfectly valid argument that another generation made for lowering the age from 21 to 18: “Why can I drive like an adult, pay taxes like an adult, have an abortion like an adult, be charged and sentenced like an adult, but I can’t vote like an adult?” It’d require an amendment to the Oregon Constitution, and would be on the 2020 ballot if the Legislature agrees.

Senator. Kamala Harris, campaigning for President in the early-primary state of New Hampshire, says she’d support making Election Day a federal holiday…and that she’d push to rename Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” as it is in Portland and Eugene.

An op-ed by Michael Conway, a former lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee, says Trump’s emergency declaration may have laid the groundwork for his own impeachment.
His piece on the NBC News web site is headlined: “Abuse of presidential authority was one of the Articles of Impeachment against Nixon. This president could be next.”

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An all-night ordeal ended in blessed warmth for a young Salem mom and her 3-year-old son, who were found cold but okay after spending the night on a trail in Silver Falls State Park. They became lost on a hike with her boyfriend on Sunday, and he went for help while they huddled under a tree. Rescuers located them around 3 AM Monday and brought them out with blankets to food and hugs.

A scary night in San Diego, where sixteen people were trapped on the Bayside Skyride at Sea World, some of them in gondolas suspended above water. All were rescued safely. A gust of wind tripped a circuit breaker.

Some of the best women’s basketball in the nation is being played in our state right now, as #12 Oregon State knocked off #2 Oregon 67-62 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, avenging a loss Friday in Eugene by handing the Ducks only their second defeat of the year. It was the 200th win of Beavers’ coach Scott Rueck’s career.
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The best part of waking up…is good news in your Cup!

–“Good Samaritan rushes into icy creek to rescue stranger’s dog”

–“Michigan powerlifter heroically lifts vehicle pinned on top of man after accident.”

–“Police officer leaves pregnant waitress $100 tip along with ‘lovely message’ written on check”

–“A woman from Oxford has become the first person in the world to have gene therapy to try to halt the most common form of blindness in the Western world.”

–“For local families who can’t afford heat, this man’s help means everything”

******

This was the day 55 years ago when 21-year-old Paul Simon, sitting alone with his guitar on the floor of a dark bathroom with tiles that echoed his words and music, while the running faucet provided an ethereal white noise, wrote “The Sound of Silence.” No silence here, though! While my friends Bruce and Janine and I are chatting it up and playing tunes on the radio (103.3), let’s have a good day of conversation here on the Drip. Have a very fine Tuesday!

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