Hi there, and welcome to the Daily Icicle! It’s Tuesday, February 26, 2019, and though the sun will shine brightly today–and reveal itself to be higher in the sky than the last time we saw it–this could be a nose-numbing day with a strong Gorge wind and highs only around 40. We’re just days away from March, and we should be doing a lot better! It’s pretty cold as I write this at 0330– temps are close to or below freezing across the metro–so icy roads are a possibility. Sunrise 6:54 AM, sunset 5:53 PM.
We have a situation here in Oregon that’s making national news: The Los Angeles-bound Amtrak Coastal Starlight got stopped by snow and fallen trees in southern Oregon Sunday evening, and it’s still there with 183 passengers on board. Amtrak says the train has power and there’s ample food, which they’re supplying to passengers free of charge (of course), and they’re “in the process of clearing the track and are expected to reach the train by 6 a.m. Pacific Time Feb. 26.” But we hear that families with babies are out of diapers. They say they decided to keep the people on the train because power is out in the nearest town, Oakridge, which has only two hotels anyway.
Portland made it OK through the Monday snow adventure, but wow: it put a whammy on the rest of the state–and that’s just what the forecast models predicted. I-5 was shut down for hours around Cottage Grove, bottling up hundreds of motorists in urgent need of facilities. We just checked and can verify that I-5 is open again, but Highway 101 is closed north of Bandon by a sunken grade. US 20 is closed in the Cascades because of downed trees, and there are other closures that suggest a looking at ODOT’s Tripcheck site is in order.
Pacific Power has about 30,000 customers out of power in southern Oregon, and have doubled their crews to get lights back on.
School announcements have been coming in since last night, and we’ll certainly see more as your district transportation super gets out there and tests the roads, Oregon Trail is already 2 hours late, Colton is 3 late, and Valley districts like Scio and North Santiam and Cascade are clocking in at two hours late.
A jury has awarded a potential multi-million dollar settlement to a young woman who lost her right leg when she was hit by a MAX train. She running to catch an eastbound train in Beaverton in 2015 when she was hit by a westbound train. She had earbuds on and the jury deemed her to be partially at fault…but the train’s driver didn’t hit the horn until 1.9 seconds before impact…plus the jury found that TriMet didn’t follow a consultant’s recommendations for making it a lot more obvious that trains come from both ways.
Michael Cohen, the president’s formerly trusted lawyer, now convicted of campaign finance felonies, speaks in closed section to a House committee today, then in public tomorrow. The Wall Street Journal reports Cohen will say he witnessed “lies, racism and cheating” during his decade of working closely with Trump.
On a walk in the woods last night, I grew frustrated with the news and turned to the Blazer game on the radio. The team was up by 23 at the half against lowly Lebron-less Cleveland. The very minute I turned on the game, the Blazers went straight into the tank. Shots stopped falling, rebounds went to the bad guys, and suddenly in the 4th the game was almost tied…so I turned off the game while I stopped to take care of my neighbors’ cats. When I turned the radio back on again, the Blazers had won 123 to 110. Nice, and I derive from that a principle which I may reveal on the radio this morning. Three Blazer road wins in a row. Boston tomorrow.
It’s Johnny Cash’s birthday (1932). Happy birthday to NPR (1970).
Happy birthday to the Pride of Parkrose! Retired Air Force Lt. General and Astronaut Susan Helms, a 1976 graduate of Parkrose High School who went to the Air Force Academy and enjoyed a long career that included 211 days in space, was born on this day in 1958.
Grand Canyon National Park was established 100 years ago today.
Pour me something warm? OK!
–“Mom Captures Video Of Cop Playing Dolls With Girls Who Were ‘Afraid Of Cops’:
–“Lucky Pup Survives 5 Nights in the Woods After Family Involved in 15-Car Crash”
–“Dog-training program gives inmates purpose, companionship”
–“A love like theirs: Pakistani woman travels to Nepal to marry Hindu man”
–“Nike’s ‘Dream Crazier’ ad is an empowering visual love letter to women:
Back on the radio, we are! Tune in to live and local 103.3 FM and see what we’re up to. We do a little segment based on Daily Drip comments at 6:20, so if you say something pithy in the comments below, they might become regionally famous in a matter of minutes!