Friday, May 17, 2019

Good morning! It’s Friday, May 17, 2019! Portland’s weather is cool with showers breezing in from time to time, and highs around 60. It’s weird wearing long sleeves this deep in May, but I’m not scratching any skeeter bites, you know? Sunrise 5:38 AM, Sunset 8:36 PM.

Blazers? Well, last night’s going to leave a mark, that’s for sure. Up by 15 at the half and fully in command, our team’s shooting turned ice-cold at the end while Golden State unleashed a furious 14-3 run for a 114-111 win in a game we should have won. “We stole that game,” admitted Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “They outplayed us for much of the night. But we’ve been here before.” And Kevin Durant taunted Portland by yelling down the hall, postgame: “Finals? They don’t want to go there!” So time for the Blazers and their fans to have a gut check. The series is far from done. It’s time for some home cooking, Saturday night. Nothing unites this town like a deep Blazer playoff run, and this is the deepest of the century. The whole city’s lit up–didja see the Oregon Convention Center twin spires glowing Rip City Red? What other signs of good-old-Portland Blazermania have you seen around here?

Saturday night, by the way, will be one merry zoo in the Rose Quarter! We’ve got Game Three, plus a free watch party showing on a big screen what’s happening inside the Arena, while next door at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where it was moved to accommodate basketball, it’s Stars on Ice! Who has a pro tip for handling ingress/egress? I always MAX it to Rose Quarter events. But MAX will be packed like a can of Albacore tuna.

*****

Huge respect to Officer Michelle Pratt of the Salem Police Department. She’s been identified as the one who was hit by gunfire when she pulled somebody over a few nights ago. The radio logger tape show.s her matter-of-factly reporting that she’d been shot multiple times, requesting medics Code Three, and explaining that she had just tourniqueted her own leg. She’s used to being cool under pressure: prior to becoming an officer, she was a volunteer advocate on the Domestic Violence Response Team. Tough woman, and she’ll be fine.

Governor Kate Brown yesterday signed the business tax which Senators passed after she cut a deal with Republicans to kill bills on mandatory vaccines and gun control. She’s getting heat from both sides; you know you’ve done something when you’ve provoked the ire of both Ginny Burdick and Lars Larson.

There’s now a bill, sponsored by Speaker Tina Kotek, that would take part of the 1.4 billion-dollar estimated kicker, and spend it redo the accident-prone and seismically-dubious I-205 Abernethy Bridge. So..would that mean no tolls? Doubt it. Anyway, she may get resistance from Governor Brown, who’d like to see what some in Salem see as a windfall spent on something with statewide benefit–namely, paying down PERS (of which the kicker would cover a small fraction).

Police say they’ve arrested a driver for hitting a bicyclist on a rural road near Forest Grove…and then flipping him off as he sped away.

*****

Tomorrow is the 39th anniversary of the day Mt. St. Helens stupendously upstaged all of her sister Cascade volcanos and put terms like “plume trajectory forecast” and “pyroclastic flows” into our everyday jargon. Out of curiosity and prudence, I check the Cascade Volcano Observatory periodically, and here’s their latest Activity Update: “All volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington are at normal background levels of activity. These include Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams in Washington State; and Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters, Newberry, and Crater Lake in Oregon.” Pat Dooris of KGW summitted Hood the other day (great story) and says you can definitely smell sulfur from the fires deep within.

This was the day in 1954–65 years ago–that a unanimous Supreme Court rendered its monumental Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka ruling, which stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” and therefore violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It was a watershed moment in the long task of rolling back our country’s historic structure of racial inequality, and has been roundly praised by the likes of John Roberts, who called it both “genius” and “correct,” and Samual Alito, who termed it “the greatest thing the Supreme Court has ever done.” And it was foundational in providing precedent to support later civil rights rulings. But human rights advocates are concerned that some recent nominees for the federal bench have declined to weigh in on Brown v. Board, or made only lukewarm statements of support. These are times that bear watching. Require attention.

*****

Neil Young is at the Keller Auditorium tonight for the second stop on a tour that began this week in Vancouver, BC, where reviewers loved it. They say “Cinnamon Girl,” “After The Gold Rush,” and “Old Man” (sung now by a 73-year old) stand up incredibly well…and without Crazy Horse backing him up, it’s just Neil and his guitar. There’s kind of a campfire quality that people love.

Art Garfunkel sings, and does he ever still, at the Aladdin tomorrow night. At recent appearances, he’s been joined by son James, a gifted singer in his own right, and reviews are superlative. Art selects and curates compositions by what he terms America’s five greatest songwriters: Paul Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Jimmy Webb, James Taylor, and Randy Newman. We would love to hear reviews by anyone who attends!

It’s UFO Festival weekend in McMinnville! Half tongue-in-cheek, a parade of space aliens, lots of costume play, but some UFO experts with Art Bell-like interests. Wine etc. are involved.

And tomorrow, I’ll be visiting the Maryhill Winery Vancouver Tasting Room on the wonderful new waterfront, which I can’t wait to see. I would love to visit with as many Dripfolk as possible, anytime between 4 and 6 pm. There will be prizes and stuff, but more importantly, there’ll be time to chat!

*****

A nice mix of good news stories today!

–“A waitress mistakenly served a $5,000 bottle of wine. Her manager took to Twitter to forgive her”

–“From ‘unadoptable’ to hero: Rescue dog saves three girls from possible abduction”

–“14-Yr-Old Makes Prom Dress For Big Sister & The Final Result Is Jaw-Dropping”

–“A Secret Cupid Is Emerging From a 17th-Century Vermeer”

–“Help people, and the money will come: Oregon’s Small Business Person of the Year”

Details in ye olde Daily Drip Coffee Cup, right here!

*******

Programming announcement from Drip HQ: starting Monday, I’ll be posting around 5 AM, instead of 4. That’s me, following doctor’s orders. Gonna make that work.

Hope to see you Saturday in Vancouver! It’s not Dripstock…but if you’re there, it’s not far off!

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