Good morning, friends, and welcome to the last day of winter, another bright and breezy Tuesday in the glorious Northwest. It’s March 19, 2019, presenting itself as one more wondrous day of sunshine and warmth, with highs of 70, and a 100% chance of gardening or hiking, if you’re not working, and of looking out the window longingly, if you are. Sunrise 7:15 AM, sunset 7:21 PM.
Commuters should punch up 103.3 for traffic updates, as we begin the morning with I-205 NB completely closed at Powell Blvd following a wreck involving a Portland Police officer.
Tonight’s the night Michelle Obama speaks at the Moda Center in Portland, after her sold-out appearance in February was canceled because of one of our real, or merely predicted, snowstorms.
Twenty-seven students have been “emergency expelled” from school for ten days, as the consequences begin for the violence involving dozens of young teens that broke out Friday evening during an 8th-grade basketball tournament at Gaiser Middle School in Vancouver. They’re from various schools, and they include both boys and girls from 13 to 15 years old. The expulsions will be followed by a discipline plan for each individual. Nine already face criminal charges in the juvenile justice system–including a girl who spat in an officer’s face and a boy who punched an officer; the latter two appeared in court on felony charges yesterday. It began when one student confronted another over a “crass comment” in the stands, and escalated to the point where dozens of officers arrived with lights and siren. Shameful.
Recall the unforgettable video of a girl who pushed her supposed friend off the 50-foot (at the very least) Moulton Falls Bridge in Clark County last year? (“Three..two..” “No I don’t…” “Ready?” —-shove, scream, splash….guy in the background says, “That’s so —-ed”) Anyway, the pusher has now pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and will be sentenced next week, while pushee is still recovering.
Today is the sentencing day for a woman who admits, after copping a plea in a hate crime trial, that she goaded her boyfriend into running over and killing a black teenager in Gresham last summer. The boyfriend is now on trial.
Looks like the city is finally about to do something about the tent village that has risen up along the I-205 bike path around NE Sandy Blvd. There are so many tents literally on the pathway that bicyclists have only a few feet to get by. The city, which has taken over this problem from ODOT, has put up signs reading, “This campsite will be cleared no less than 48 hours after and within ten days of 3-18-19.”
We’re waiting for word from Sauvie Island, where hundreds of sturgeon were trapped in a small lake at low tide on the Columbia. Many of them apparently managed to escape, but the fins of dozens of others were seen sticking up from the water. Sturgeon are ancient evolutionary survivors, and can put themselves into a hibernation-like state to conserve oxygen if they need to. But these fish may be in trouble.
Farm country in America’s heartland has been brought to its knees by flooding, from the same epic storm referred to as a “bomb cyclone” that buried Colorado in snow. Damage is in the billions of dollars in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
We might be flirting with fire danger in the Northwest, as the NWS explains this morning: “Despite the moist ground, the cold weather experienced in February and early March
seems to have delayed spring greenup, and things like leaf litter and dead vegetation from last season can be very dry and potentially receptive to fire. Thus caution with fire is advised today.”
Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, is about to sprout windmills. Twenty-five small turbines–about 4 foot tall and 4 wide, with 3 blades–will be installed starting next week at a cost of $350,000. The turbines will light lights…that shine on the turbines.
On this day in 1918, Congress approved daylight saving time.
OK let me pop open the pdf titled “2019 NCAA Division I Women’s BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP” and see what’s in it for us. We have second-seed Oregon (29-4) playing fifteen-seeded Portland State (25-7) in the first round, on Friday, in Eugene. Looks like 4 PM on ESPN 2. Then on Saturday, we have fourth-seeded Oregon State (24-7) playing #13 Boise State (28-4), at 12:30, on ESPN 2, in Corvallis. And I do believe those are the only Northwest teams in the dance.
What’s in the SF (Smile File) today?
–“This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile”
–“Deliveryman helps VPD arrest two suspects in two separate crimes an hour apart”
–“Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration” Maybe someday you can grow a whole new you!
–“How the healing power of Irish soil may help fight superbugs”
–“Walk Through This Giant Stunning Exhibit Where Van Gogh’s Artwork Comes to Life in Light”
Details in the CC!
Away we go! Your host is gamely battling the late-winter attempt to make me take some days off, but so far, I’m winning this one. Zicam rocks, but sleep is better!