Thursday, April 11, 2019

We’re in the home stretch, friends! Welcome to a Thursday, April 11, 2019. We’ll see rain changing to showers as a front flows inland, highs in the 50-55 zone. We have a flood watch taking effect in Portland and Vancouver this morning–more on that shortly–while winter advisory for the Cascades has been extended until 6 tonight, and the snow level is holding between 4000 and 4500 feet, with the passes expecting 3 to 8 inches and the ski areas enjoying more. Sunrise 6:32 AM, sunset 7:51 PM.

The Willamette River crested yesterday afternoon at Corvallis, but floodwaters have spread over a wide area, turning highway 34 into a river so deep that a news helicopter shot video of somebody zooming a speedboat along the flooded road. Linn County had to rescue people from swamped fruit stands along 34, and neighbors say the rushing water almost sounds like the ocean. Let me check quickly with ODOT on the status of 34…OK, still closed, which means the way into town is on 20 from Albany, and that’ll be quite jammed.

What’s happening is that the Portland District of the Army Corps of Engineers is doing what it can to manage the immense amount of rainfall, and they’ve had to release water from reservoirs to make room for more. Quoting from the Corps twitter feed: “The system is full, and in order to protect people and important dam infrastructure, we’re going to have some release rates that are going to impact a number of people. Given the circumstances and forecast, we need to push the controlled water releases that we can right now to maintain space in the reservoirs for the forecasted water inflow.”

We’ll see some of that in Portland, but not to the extent of Corvallis. The National Weather Service has posted a flood watch for the lower Willamette in the Portland area, plus the Columbia River in Vancouver, saying that with high flows moving down the Willamette and into the Columbia, we’ll see river levels right around flood stage. The main impact will be flooded roads, parks, and trails along rivers. And homeless camps on the riverbanks.

Meantime evacuation notices have been lifted for folks living in the 100-year floodplain along the Coast Fork Willamette River between Cottage Grove and Mt. Pisgah, author Ken Kesey’s old neighborhood I do believe. I’m not sure any of his people are still there. His widow married “Lonesome Dove” author Larry McMurtry, did you know that?

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Quick breaking news from London…Wikileaks leader Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy where he’d taken asylum for seven years. After publishing thousands of secret documents, he believes, perhaps rightly, that he’ll be extradited to the US to face charges.

The EU has agreed to push back tomorrow’s Brexit deadline from tomorrow to October, avoid an immediate chaotic mess.

Governor Kate Brown has signed a law cutting the next kicker rebate by $108 million, to save for next year, when economists say Oregon may enter a recession.

Oregon’s African-American leaders in the Legislature refused to let stand a notion about history expressed on the Senate Floor by Republican Sen. Dennis Linthicum, who claimed during a debate over the Electoral College bill that the intent of the Constitution’s so-called Three-Fifths Compromise, which defined a slave as three-fifths of a person, “was actually to eliminate the overwhelming influence the slave states would have in representative government,” and not necessarily “the measure of a man.” Senators James Manning, Jackie Winters, and Lew Frederick took strong exception to the implication that it was not fundamentally racist, pointing out that the inequality that existed at the nation’s founding has resounded down through the generations. Sen. Frederick said in a passionate rebuttal on the Senate floor that “I find it curious that some fail to understand the legacy of the three-fifths issue to this day. This is a reality for people around the country. It is a reality for my family across the country.” Sen. Linthicum later told reporters that conversations with Sens. Frederick and Manning “helped me see the racist legacy that the Three-Fifths Compromise left behind.” But he said that doesn’t change his opinion that the intent of the Three-Fifths Compromise was to “strip power from slave states.” This, by the way, is getting national news coverage. Good. Education is an ongoing process.

Tonight there’s a forum for candidates vying for the most important unpaid, thankless, time-consuming, and pressure-packed jobs in the city–four open seats on the Portland School Board. The forum is this evening at school board HQ.

The NBA regular season is all over with the Blazers 136-131 home win over the Sacramento Kings, and the next step is the first round of the playoffs–traditionally our team’s Waterloo. Game one is 12:30 Sunday afternoon in Portland against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The crowd-funded billboard is now up on Weidler at Victoria, informing the world that “We Love You Jusuf Nurkic” in both English and Bosnian. The wounded Blazer tweeted “Love” in response.

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So, what’s good about today? Well, lots of things, including this little journey down Good News Lane:

–“City bus driver helps mom find baby’s lost shoes during snowstorm”

–“This 13-year-old reporter solves a real-life murder mystery by herself”

–“New hope for treating childhood brain cancer”

–“Bird Keeps Stopping Mom’s Music With Alexa”

–“Hottest Prom Trend: Croissant Corsages”

Links in the Coffee Cup!

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Let me take one last slurp from my coffee mug, give the puppy a nuzzle, and hit the trail for the radio studio. Thanks for tuning in to 103.3, and participating here! (I don ‘t know if you know, but we do a quick Daily Drip segment on the radio at about 6:20, when I rattle off two or three of the pithier comments received so far).

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