Thursday, March 7, 2019

Good morning! Time to wake up and enjoy a cup of the fresh Daily Grind! It’s Thursday, March 7, 2019. We may see more of those flurrious snowflakes gently melting on contact–although if temps have dipped below 32, then yesterday’s slush is this morning’s glare ice. So checking our 3 AM temps: PDX 38..Salem 37…Hillsboro 35…Troutdale 34…my deck 32.5. The wind shifted overnight, cutting off the cold Gorge blast and bringing a warmer onshore flow. But we’ll keep a vigil on the traffic cams and the school network and pass along any aberrations on K103’s live-and-local morning show. Same conditions apply tomorrow, and then it should be a dry and warmer weekend, with highs that could actually achieve 50. Portland hasn’t seen 50 since Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. That rat should be investigated for fraud! Sunrise 6:38 AM, sunset 6:05 PM.

Here comes the state of Washington, hoping to restart the I-5 bridge project that it scuttled six years ago. The state Senate Transportation Committee passed a $15 billion transportation package that includes $450 million for a new bridge over the Columbia River. Vancouver Democratic Sen. Annette Cleveland said: “This is only a down payment on what a new bridge will cost, of course, but we anticipate funding from other avenues, including our federal and Oregon state partners once we agree on a mutual vision for the new bridge.” I envision a bridge with light rail tracks. Twenty-first century, you know?

Oregon’s late Secretary of State Dennis Richardson was remembered, during his state funeral at the Oregon Capitol, as a tenacious, kind, and effective public servant, An overflow bipartisan crowd attended and a Blackhawk helicopter flyover followed. It was the first state funeral at the Capitol in 35 years–the last was for Governor Tom McCall. (Governor Vic Atiyeh had a “public memorial” there, and apparently that’s different).

Sen. Jeff Merkley extracted a promise from President Trump’s nominee for the ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia, with whose regime Trump is friendly, that he’ll request a State Department inquiry into the apparent Saudi government practice of posting bail for citizens accused of crimes in the US–and then whisking them home. It’s happened five times in Oregon. The nominee, retired Gen. John P. Abizaid, said that he’ll initiate a probe–if Merkley votes to confirm him.

It’s sentencing day for Paul Manafort. He could get 25 years for tax and bank fraud.

Shark warnings are posted on the Oregon Coast after a surfer was nearly bitten off Pacific City. He put his board between himself and the dangerous fish, possibly clubbing it on the nose, and paddled like crazy to shore. He says he’ll keep surfing, explaining, “Hopefully my card was punched and I’m good now.”

OMSI has scrubbed a planned Michael Jackson laser show at its planetarium this month because of the explosive documentary that aired on HBO. A statement on the OMSI web site reads, “One of our goals is to be an inclusive place where people feel safe to learn, play and grow. Due to the controversial nature of the documentary and out of respect for those who may have personal experiences relative to the content of the documentary, we feel it is not appropriate to play this show.” They’ll do an AC/DC laser show instead.

As of today, when a store in Australia stops renting videos, the last Blockbuster in the world is in Bend. That store continues to thrive–thanks in part to the lack of high-speed internet service in vast stretches of rural Oregon, where Netflix doesn’t work so well, and renting a good old DVD or even a videotape is one way to stay entertained on a cold winter night.

The self-checkout machines at the Gateway Fred Meyer seemed to have sprung a cash leak, with hundreds of thousands of dollars vanishing–but the company didn’t have to look far to find the thief. The store’s own loss prevention manager was convicted of sneaking in at night over a six-month period and helping herself to the money. She’ll be sentenced next month.

Our very best wishes to ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek, who revealed that he recently received the tough diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The gentleman vowed in a video that despite a 3% five-year survival rate, he’s going to fight this. “Truth told, I have to. Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win.”

Today marks the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the day in 1965 when 600 civil rights marchers were brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama.

A Florida groom spent his wedding night in jail…after slugging a bystander who wouldn’t move out of the way for wedding photos.

They’re down to the last nine home games of the regular season, and tonight’s clash between the Blazers and Oklahoma City carries serious playoff implications. The former Seattle vs. Portland rivals are both 39-25 and are in a three-way tie for the third seed in the West.

*****

And now, from our Smile File…

–“How a veteran went from homelessness to sweet success after making a delicious mistake”

–“Supermarket Keeps Retraining Employee With Dementia So She Can Continue Working”

–“Researcher develops wheat variety safe for people with Celiac disease”

–“Stray dog becomes first to conquer Himalayan summit after tagging along with climbing expedition”

–“This Woman Set Up A Photo Booth For Birds In Her Yard, And The Results Are Extraordinary (30 Pics)”

Details in the DD Coffee Cup here. Time to roll, friends!

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