Friday, April 12, 2019

Carry on, wayward Dripsters! It’s Friday, April 12, 2019. Will we get a break from the deluge, or is that delusional? We’ll find out today; showers have been in and out of the forecast and I hesitate to say anything with certainty, except that the sun will come up like a Pop Tart at 6:30 AM, and ease itself down at 7:53 PM. In between, the latest guess is that it’ll be a partly sunny day with a 30% chance of showers, mainly in the morning, and a high of 59. Saturday and Sunday have a 100% chance of rain, with most of it falling on Saturday.

Portland’s current experience with high water will soon end, and we’ve managed to get through it without widespread hardship unless you live in a tent by the river, or make your living umping beer-league softball. From the National Weather Service: “The Willamette River at Salem and Portland and the Columbia River at Vancouver are anticipated to crest below flood stage over the next 24 hours based on the latest information from the Army Corps and NWRFC. As a result, the Flood Watch for the central Willamette Valley and the Portland/Vancouver metro was dropped. Nonetheless, these rivers will run unusually high and contain a lot of floating debris that will be potentially dangerous for boaters over the upcoming days.”

The effects of this ugly dunking will linger. Authorities in Salem tell us that “Wallace Marine Park remains closed. Salem Police and Salem Fire evacuated the few remaining homeless living at the north end of the park on Wednesday. City staff built a sandbag wall around the softball complex which helped to avoid significant damage.”

For folks in the mid-Valley: we’re anticipating an update this morning on Highway 34 into Corvallis, which remains closed, albeit for a shorter stretch, at this writing (0330). They’re hoping to open a lane in each direction this morning, but I see no indication that they have. Traffic has been a snarled mess through nearby communities because all the traffic from 34 has been detouring onto 20 and 99W instead. A lot of folks commute into Corvallis from other towns in the valley where housing is cheaper, and their drive to work has been a grind all week long because of the 34 shutdown. I see in the Gazette-Times that a homeless woman who ignored the city’s outreach efforts was rescued to the cheers of onlookers after she woke up to find the patch of ground she camped on was suddenly surrounded by water. Police and firefighters rowed over to her in an inflatable boat and gave her a ride, a citation, a lecture, and directions to the shelter.

A man who pulled a gun on somebody in a Keizer park tried to use a floating log in the Willamette as a getaway vehicle. He was fished out and put in the can.

The road from Coquille to Bandon, Highway 42S, has developed a 50-foot-wide, 10-foot-deep hole…which was discovered when two cars crashed into it Wednesday night. The occupants are now in the hospital.

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The Washington Post reports that the White House tried unsuccessfully to pressure ICE to bus border detainees onto the streets of “small-to-medium sanctuary cities”–Portland is not specifically mentioned–to retaliate against President Trump’s adversaries, according to Department of Homeland Security officials and email messages. ICE lawyers rejected the idea as inappropriate, and the White House says it was “just a suggestion that was floated and rejected,” and never actually done.

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The coastal town of Coos Bay has been rocked by news that Georgia Pacific is closing the mill, laying off 111 workers starting this summer. The mill depends on a century-old railroad bridge which has been closed for over a year for repairs that the Port of Coos Bay swears are almost done.

The trail to the top of Multnomah Fall is closed after the discovery of a large rock that could come down “any minute, or it could take 30 years,” according to the US Forest Service. It’s all part of the legacy of the kid with the firecracker. But the lower part of Wahkeena Trail should reopen today.

Portland is a city that dreams of having zero traffic fatalities. We’ve had six in five days.

Remember that 2-year-old girl who was accidentally shot by a parent in Salem last week, on the same day as a gun law hearing in the Legislature? Latest word, we’re so glad to say, is that she is doing better. Still in the hospital here in Portland.

The Market of Choice on Terwilliger at Taylors Ferry–a very fine store with too little parking and really bad traffic–will close on Sunday.

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This is Oregon author Beverly Cleary’s 103rd birthday. She lives in a retirement home in Carmel, but she’ll always be on Klickitat Street in our minds. And it’s the 65th for another sometimes- Oregon writer, Jon Krakauer, whose “Where Men Win Glory,” “Into Thin Air,” and “Under the Banner of Heaven” are among the most powerful I’ve ever read.

The Soviet Union won the first heat of the space race on this day in 1961, when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin lapped the Earth once in a Vostok spacecraft and parachuted safely to the ground in Kazakhstan. Twenty years later to the day, the first American space shuttle, Columbia, was launched for the first time.

Look who’s playing the Schnitz tonight: Kansas! You know, the rockers from Topeka whose “Dust in the Wind” and “Wayward Son” with all that 70’s philosophy are now a staple of classic rock radio.

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Let’s take a stroll down Good News Lane…

–“‘Brain Zaps’ boots memory in people over sixty, study finds”

–“Mom Charges Cougar And Pries Its Jaws Open To Save Son”

–“Teens hailed as ‘hometown heroes’ for picking up elderly man who fell and taking him home to clean his wounds”

–“13 Year Old Girl nicknamed ‘Trash Girl’ was regularly bullied for collecting trash on her way to school. On Friday she is to recieve a Points of Light Award award granted from Prime Minister Theresa May.”

–“The trunks of 3,000 year-old trees lurk beneath the surface of this crystal clear lake in Oregon.”

Links in the Cup!

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We have a half moon tonight, on the way to a full moon next Friday. So let’s have a half-crazy weekend, OK? Go Blazers on Sunday! And enjoy Game of Thrones that night, you who indulge!

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