Friday, March 1, 2019

Well…just…wow! It’s March! Welcome to Friday, the first day of a month named after Mars, the Roman god of war, because it was the start of the season for invasions. More to our tastes it’s the beginning of meteorological (as opposed to astronomical) spring… and a time to celebrate the lengthening of days. The morning’s sunrise is at 6:49 AM, and sunset’s at 5:57 PM. March is coming in like neither lion nor lamb; a wool glove is more like it, with highs of 45. It’s been a month since we’ve ever seen 50. We do have a shot at rain or snow showers, all at elevations above 500 to 1000 feet, but they make way for a sunny and dry weekend with highs in the 40s. Still, it remains on the cold side at least into next week.

Regardless of party, people thought the world of Norma Paulus, the former Oregon Secretary of State who passed yesterday, just two weeks shy of her 86th birthday. Said Governor Kate Brown, “Norma Paulus was a pioneer who shattered glass ceilings in Oregon. As the first women elected to statewide office in Oregon, she paved the way for so many of us to one day run for public office.” I covered her often, especially in her race for Governor in the 1986 election, which coincided with my return to home from a sidetrack to Seattle and Houston.. In every encounter, she was razor-sharp but unfailingly kind. She dedicated her life to serving the state she loved.

Oregon is now home to America’s first statewide rent control law, as the Governor signed on Senate Bill 608. Tenant groups are happy but not over the moon; that 7%-plus-inflation ceiling seems a bit landlord-friendly to some.

Lawmakers are considering moving Oregon’s primary to Super Tuesday, in March, rather than May, when the presidential races are all settled. Some legislators don’t like it because they’d be running for office in the middle of a legislative session. And county clerks are grumbly because a March primary puts the filing deadlines in December, and they’d be working on Christmas. If SB 779 doesn’t go anywhere, that’s why.

The Portland Womxn’s March is happening Sunday, starting at noon with a rally in the South Park Blocks. (The spelling of the word with an “x” is a way of welcoming trans women, as I understand it). A turnout of 15,000 is anticipated.

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There’s joy in Oakridge, as power was finally restored to the Lane County town after nights in the dark. Oakridge is where that Amtrak train was stranded; passengers stayed on board and watched through the windows as townspeople used snowshoes to make their way through the village. Oakridge is still cut off from the world by the forest of fallen trees and deep snow on Highway 58, but highway crews have removed around a thousand trees and have only about 100 left to go before they reopen the highway, and that may be today.

The roof of the gym at Thurston High School in Springfield partially collapsed under the weight of the snow. No injuries.

There’s extensive flooding in California’s wine country.

Despite White House denials, the New York Times reports that President Trump indeed overruled intelligence officials last year and ordered top-secret security clearance for son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Trump is being grudgingly praised by people like Joe Biden for walking away from the nuclear summit with North Korea without a deal.

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The Portland Trail Blazers visit the Toronto Raptors tonight, and they do it without their new and welcome backup center Enes Kanter. It’s because there’s an international warrant for his arrest stemming from his outspoken criticism of the strongman president of his native Turkey, which yanked his passport in retaliation. He’s on track to become a US citizen, but for now, in his words to The Oregonian, “I just have to go out there and be a voice for all those innocent people who don’t have a voice in Turkey. Sometimes you have to pay the price. But it’s definitely sad. We obviously just won four (road games) in a row and I just want to keep growing with this team, because it’s been an amazing experience. And, obviously, the Toronto game is one of our most important games. Just because of the one dictator I can’t go out there and do my job. It’s pretty sad.” But another reason to love the Blazers.

Composer Andre Previn’s passing has provoked laudatory memories from around the world–and this tweet from his former wife Mia Farrow: “See you in the Morning beloved Friend. May you rest in glorious symphonies.”
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Other random notes…

Yellowstone National Park was established on this day in 1872.

Nebraska–the native state of Norma Paulus–joined the Union on this day in 1967. Nebraska historians claim that no other state–not even Oregon–is more closely connected with the Oregon Trail. Thousands of Oregon-bound pioneers spent roughly a month crossing this prairie state, and many of them liked what they saw and put roots down there.

Albert Hammond, Jr. is at the Wonder Ballroom tomorrow night. I don’t know a thing about him, but his Dad had a major hit in the 70s in “It Never Rains in California,” and was a prolific writer of hits for others, with songwriting credits on “The Air that I Breathe” and “One Moment in Time” and “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

The Portland Winter Hawks host the Spokane Chiefs at Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight.

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Headlines to turn on the heart light….

–“Oregon Couple buys out hotel for homeless in the snow”

–“Student walks 20 miles to new job – so CEO gifts him a car”

–“Shock, surprise, tears as police give family reunion with dog missing 8 months”

–“100,000 tulips headed to San Francisco — and they’re free for the picking”

–“Railroad buffs and dog lovers will love our new stamps”

Details in the elusive Daily Drip Coffee Cup–assuming I post it correctly!

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Gardeners, weigh in–have you pruned your roses yet? Begun turning soil in the garden, and planted starts indoors? Any projects that are just perfect for the first weekend in March??

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