We begin today with the words of a great Oregonian:
“May we face and endure every winter with spring forever on our mind.”–Tom McCall
(And may we endure every metaphorical winter in the same way).
Good morning! It’s Wednesday, March 20, 2019, The First Day of Spring! The heavenly bodies line up like this, from Portland’s point of view: Sunrise 7:14 AM, Vernal Equinox at 2:58 PM, Full Worm Supermoon at 6:42 PM, Moonrise at 7:10 PM, and Sunset 7:23 PM. Through it all, our weather will be perfection: partly cloudy with highs near 70, and a puffy wind out of the Columbia Gorge. Yesterday Portland attained 70 for the first time–a month earlier than last year–and that’s even with the cooling effect of the east wind. But Seattle hit 79, for the warmest winter day in the city’s history.
Portland is admirably nonchalant about celebrity–Lady Gaga can walk unbothered in Sellwood– but Michelle Obama is on another level in this town. Before she took the stage at the Moda Center last night, she chatted in a tight circle with a fortunate 14-woman book club at Broadway Books, across the street from Helen’s Bakery. This was kept hush-hush until it happened. Then word hit social media. People came from all over. No autographs were given–Secret Service held folks back– but there was a buzz and a starstruck glow. As for the Moda Center appearance? I could write a wrapup from media reports, but I think folks here would rather hear it from the Dripsters in attendance. Check in, please! What stood out? (Aside from the fact that so many women were there that Moda Center staff put up temporary signs turning men’s’ rooms into ladies!).
A Multnomah County jury found a member of a white supremacist prison gang guilty of murder and a hate crime in the unprovoked killing of Larnell Bruce, a black man, in Gresham in 2016. He’ll get a minimum of 25 years-to-life. The killer’s girlfriend, who egged him on as he ran over the victim, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Portland podcaster Greg Nibler is fine after being carjacked at high noonish from the drive-up window of the Burgerville at SE 12th and Hawthorne. A guy came up and threatened him, and made off with his Ford Ranger and two laptops. Portland cops located the truck just half an hour later, after the same guy stole someone’s cell phone, and the suspect was nabbed a short time thereafter. Greg partners with broadcaster/artist Sarah X Dylan for a podcast (and one of my occasional guilty pleasures) titled “Funemployment Radio”–proof of their terrestrial radio experience–and they do a great show. Glad you’re OK, Greg, and hope your laptops turn up soon! (Loved his quote to Oregonlive: “The thing is, if he had asked nicely and not held a bottle over my head, I probably would have bought him a burger”).
Today the Portland City Council decides the future of The Everett House, an alternative-healing spa in NE Portland. Recently they lost their parking spaces at a nearby medical clinic, which was torn down to make room for apartments, and that put them out of compliance with one of our innumerable city codes. Neighbors don’t like the traffic it’s attracting, and some seem to not appreciate the clothing-optional hot tub in the back yard.
The Mt. Hood Community College Board will vote today on whether to bring jazz station KMHD back to campus. It’s been operated for the past decade by OPB,
Denyse McGriff will be sworn into a vacant seat on the Oregon City Commission today. She’ll be the first person of the color to serve on the council of the oldest city in Oregon.
In response to rehashed attacks on American hero John McCain by Donald Trump, the daughter of the fallen warrior, Meghan McCain, tweeted last night, “As my father always used to say to me – Illegitimi non carborundum.”
The Blazers host the Dallas Mavericks tonight in the Moda Center. Hope the men’s rooms are reinstated.
Today would have been the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
–“First Oregon, now Florida: Taco Bell hot sauce saves another life”
–“10-Yr-Old Entrepreneur Writes To Airline For Advice & CEO Sends Back Epic Response”
–“Couple rescues teenager trapped in burning car”
–“Police officer answers the call to save teddy bear in peril”
–“How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross. The NPR host offers eight tips for having better conversations.”
Fun fact from Earthsky: “This is the closest coincidence of a full moon with the March equinox since March 2000 – 19 years ago. The full moon and March equinox won’t happen less than one day apart again for another 11 years, until March 2030.”
I’m a little hoarse…which means I have a colt…but I’ll be fine. I’m not, though, above celebrating Tom McCall Day on Friday by treating it as a holiday and sleeping in. We’ll see.