Thursday, June 6, 2019

(*crackle*) It’s the dark of the moon on the sixth of June…in 20-breaker-1-9 (*crackle*). There! “Convoy” reference complete. Portland’s weather is in cloudy-and-negligibly-wet mode, with showers and highs of 65. Sunrise 5:23 AM, sunset 8:56 PM, total daylight 15:32:57, up 1:07 from yesterday. (I get geeky as the Solstice nears; it’s fascinating to me how the rate of day-to-day change slows near the turning point, just like a pendulum).

This is the day our ships come in, as the United States Navy drops anchor for one of Portland’s most honored Rose Festival traditions, joining the Coast Guard and Canadian navy crafts that pulled alongside yesterday. This year, along with the bridge lifts and fireboats and maybe a saucy welcome from the talent at Mary’s, the Navy arrival will–we hope–be accompanied with a zoom-over by four EA-18G “Growlers” based at Whidbey Island. At first, they’ll roar overhead in a single-file pass well within view of thousands of people; then they’ll circle back to the northwest and form up in a “V” pattern for a second pass. When they’re over the Steel Bridge, the leader will pull straight up, leaving the rest of the jets in a “missing man formation,” saluting the fallen Americans and Allies on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, 75 years ago today. It takes my breath away to write that. I’ve been in touch with the Navy folks already in town, and they tell me there’s a chance the ceiling will be too low for this to happen, and it’ll be a game-time decision by the pilots in consultation with a logistics person on the Steel Bridge. Their minimum is 3000 feet. So come on, Portland, raise the roof!

Seventy-five years–since the forces of good overcame fascist evil in an act of unity that saved the world, at the cost of many thousands of young lives, whom we will honor and give thanks for as long as we are a free people. May we prove worthy of their sacrifice. This isn’t just history. It’s a challenge.

President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day at a ceremony in Normandy that included surviving veterans–who actually took part in the invasion, and who made the trip back to the scene for today’s events. Trump told those veterans they’re among the “very greatest Americans who will ever live.” Do you know anyone personally landed on the beach on that day? Many of us do–Jack Cappell, the late KGW-TV meteorologist, a Canadian who not only served in and survived the Normandy invasion, but spent a long time fighting in Europe in an American uniform. He wrote about it all in “Surviving the Odds: D Day to VE Day with the Fourth Division in Europe.” Five-star rating at Powell’s web site.

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A Portland man is one of four climbers who’ve been stranded at the 13,500 foot level of Mt. Rainier since Monday when the wind blew away their tent and their climbing equipment. Two attempts to rescue them by helicopter have failed because of the wind, and the Liberty Ridge climbing route has been closed because of the unstable conditions.

It’s worth noting that snow could fall in the Oregon Cascades tonight as low at 4500 feet.

What do you think about this? Oregon, now that the legislature has approved it and the Governor says she’ll sign, will become the 15th state to promise to award its presidential electoral votes to the nationwide winner of the popular vote, providing enough other states agree to do the same. Had the National Popular Vote Compact been in effect since 2000, we would have had presidents named Al Gore and Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Post reports that President Trump plans to address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial on July 4 during what has traditionally been a non-political, nonpartisan celebration of America. Judging by the response on social media, this will attract throngs of equally vocal supporters and detractors. And perhaps more than vocal.

There’ll be a big new 4th of July fireworks celebration in our parts this year–at the Clark County Fairgrounds. It’s the brainchild of a county council member whose home almost burned down last year because of backyard fireworks.

This is the last day of a record low tide at the Oregon Coast…but if you missed gazing at the freaky ghost forests or exploring the exposed Devil’s Punchbowl, there are two more episodes–the next one around the 4th of July.

Longtime Portlanders can be forgiven for clutching up a little when they see the words “Ringside” and “Closing” in the same headline, but put away the torches…the venerable steakery is only closing from July 3 to August 10 for a bit more remodeling. They’ll re-open in plenty of time to comfort us in the rain with Dry Aged Bone-In Filet Mignon and RingSide’s Famous Onion Rings and Walter Scott Clos des Oiseaux Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley for twenty bucks a glass that we happily spend in the dark months, which is when we go to the Ringside.

Ahead of last night’s third game of the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors posted an image of their team all suited up and stretching on the Golden Gate Bridge with the words, “Crossed the bridge. Ready for battle.” Trouble is, that’s not the bridge to Oakland. That’s the bridge to Marin County. No matter. Final score: Toronto 123, Golden State 109.

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Let’s see if I can manage to post today’s Good News links without giving the internet a flat tire.

–“The Universe is Encouraging You with a Giant Thumbs Up!”

–“101-year-old WWII veteran flew 1,500 miles to commission grandson at Air Force Academy”

–“Middle School students pay it forward with human food chain”

–“14-Year-Old Sells Enough Cupcakes to Take His Family to Disney World”

–“Powerball winner used numbers from granddaughter’s fortune cookie”

–“Just for fun…the ‘Convoy’ video!”

Details here!

 

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