Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Good morning! We’re blinking our eyes into Wednesday, May 22, 2019, a day that’ll feel a little more like Memorial Day should and less like St. Patrick’s. We’re aiming for a 72-degree high, and only a lonely shower or two. The holiday weekend runs a small risk of scattered showers between puffs of clouds, and the warmest day looks like Sunday’s near-80 experience. Sunrise 5:32 AM, sunset 8:42 PM.

Election results will trickle in all morning…TVF&R local option levy passed…Lake Oswego’s school levy and open space bond passed…newcomers unseated incumbents on the school boards for Parkrose, Reynolds, David Douglas, and Corbett…looks like it’s incumbent Amy Kohnstamm, Andrew Scott, Pastor Eilidh Lowery, and Michelle DePass for the Portland School Board…Multnomah County voter turnout? 16%.

A thousand people or more packed Terry Schrunk Plaza at noon yesterday for one of the dozens of protests against the various anti-abortion laws sweeping parts of the country.

Oregon lawmakers are taking a poke at the PERS problem by passing a bill out of committee that 1) buys time by stretching out the accounting, 2) protects the investment returns of older state workers to keep them from retiring all at once, and 3) dedicates money from Oregon Lottery sports betting to help cover a fraction of our state’s PERS liability. And there are many other moving parts that might cross your eyes, as they cross mine. My impression is that this isn’t anything close to a fix, but a tactic to take some of the immediate pressure off.

Portland City Council votes this afternoon on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s budget. One big fight is over Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty’s proposal to get rid of the Portland Police Bureau’s Gun Violence Reduction Team, which used to be called the Gang Enforcement Team. Hardesty says it targets a disproportionate number of African-American youth, and she wants its 28 officers reassigned to general patrol duty to help solve the shortage of cops available to answer problems citywide.

The person who hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and crashed their Camry right through the glass and into Bortolami’s Pizzeria in Hazel Dell, pinning a woman to the counter, turns out to be the owner of the building. Everyone’ll be OK. (Confession: a few weeks ago, as I was backing my car toward our garage, while exhausted from the hours I work, I apparently and very briefly dropped off to sleep. I was jolted awake when the car’s Reverse Automatic Braking system abruptly stopped the car before it could crunch the garage door. Glad somebody was paying attention, if only a robot).

Heads-up for stay-cationers: NOAA is predicting three specific record low tides at the Oregon Coast this summer, and when the water is way, way out, crowds of people drive over to explore ghost forests, shipwrecks, and exposed caves. The dates are June 4-6, July 3-5, and August 1-2. Accommodations will be in high demand, so book now!

What do you do with a basketball coach who leads an unheralded team to the doorstep of glory? Keep him around! The Blazers announced a contract extension for Terry Stotts, the second-winningest coach in team history. He has a long way to go before he catches Dr. Jack Ramsay in his plaid bell-bottoms.

***

This was the day in 1843 that the first wagon train left Independence, Missouri with a thousand people bound for Oregon, having no idea how difficult it is to navigate the Marquam Bridge.

Boyz II Men are in town tonight, appearing in connection with the Oregon Symphony, whose website knows them better than I do: “Boyz II Men returns to thrill a swooning Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with timeless love songs and R&B hits, including “I’ll Make Love to You,” “One Sweet Day,” “End of the Road,” and more.” Their transition from Boys to Men is certainly complete–the average age of this Grammy-winning trio is 46–and they rank only behind Elvis, the Beatles, and Mariah Carey for cumulative weeks with number one songs on the charts.

****

And now, a story posted on the Portland Reddit site by someone who would love to find and thank the people who did what I believe any one of us here would do:

“This is a total shot in the dark, but worth trying. Last Wednesday, I was taking my nephews to the lower playground at Mt. Tabor. I slipped on the wet grass and broke my ankle pretty badly (I guess?). I was sitting on the hill, in the pouring rain, trying to wrangle a 4 year old, and calm a terrified, bawling 1.5 year old, wondering what the **** I was going to do.
“A couple walking their new pup came out of nowhere and I begged for their help. Instantly, they became my heroes. The sweet woman helped with the boys and the kind man found another person to help carry me up the hill. I threw my phone at him and he helped direct the lost paramedics to our location. They stayed helping with the kids and providing support until I was stable in the car, all in the pouring rain.
“I haven’t been able to come find you, since I’ve barely left my couch. I broke my ankle in 3 places, and am finally seeing a podiatrist today. But, to the 4 people who rescued me last Wednesday, all I can say is thank you. I was a total stranger, and you helped me like I was your friend or family. And I didn’t even get your names! I will hopefully one day get the chance to thank you in person, but for now, this will have to do.
“Thank you for rescuing me, for your patience and kindness, and for being good human beings.”

***
These can’t beat that, but here are this morning’s Good News stories from the Daily Drip Coffee Cup!

–“Passengers Surprised With Train Full of Flowers – and Their Reactions Are Bloomin’ Beautiful”

–“A Minnesota woman donated her kidney to firefighter who rushed to help her daughter after a seizure”

–“This Laundry Truck Will Be Washing Clothes for Homeless People of Los Angeles Throughout the Week”

–“Broccoli and Brussels sprouts: cancer foes”

–“These Glowing Plants Aren’t Genetically Modified – And They May Light Up Our Future Homes”

Details in the Coffee Cup. Away we go into the day. Have a happy one!

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