Welcome to Friday, and welcome to the Summer of 2019! Our weather is cloudy with highs around 70 in the city and 60 at the coast, and the freezing level leaps up to 9000 feet, so no danger of any Timberline snow, unlike that rather Christmassy last day of Spring!
For those who have Druidistic impulses, the Solstice occurs at 8:54 AM Pacific Daylight Time. This 21st of June will bring us exactly 15 hours, 41 minutes, and 10 seconds of sunlight, precisely five seconds more than yesterday. And three seconds more than tomorrow. We’ll also hit our latest sunset of the year, at 9:03 tonight–and it’ll hang there for the next eleven evenings.
Breaking news around the world…the jet were in the air for a retaliatory strike against Iran…but President Trump changed his mind, and called off the attack.
The best information I have is that Oregon’s runaway Republican legislators have not been rounded up, so the missing eleven are racking up $500-a-day fines that’ll be deducted from their paychecks while they hold out to block the carbon-reduction bill that they believe will be devastating to the economy, particularly in their rural districts, where incomes are lower and the driving distances much farther than in the Portland area. Where have they gone? Rumors abound. Missoula comes up a lot, but Vancouver’s an easier drive.
Amid all the Capitol turmoil Governor Kate Brown is celebrating her 59th birthday today. She was born in Spain where her Air Force Dad was stationed, grew up in Minnesota, got her undergrad degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder (yay! Alma mater!) then came to Portland for law school at Lewis and Clark, before ending up in her present job as a cat herder. She, by the way, is described by people who know her well as “truly pissed. Steam-out-of-the-ears angry.”
Portland drivers say the city’s new speed bumps–enforcing the 20 MPH speed limit–and poorly marked, rather high, and tend to chew up your oil pan when you hit it at the speed limit, as evidenced by the slick on at SE 18th and Stark. Motorcyclists say they’ve nearly wiped out on that one. It’s in the shade and hard to see–giving new meaning to “Vision Zero.”
We’ve learned what’s taking the place of the Alder Street Food Pod! It will be a 35-story building starring the Pacific Northwest’s first Ritz Carlton. It’ll be Portland’s first five-star hotel.
The Portland Trail Blazers drafted 19-year old Nassir Little, a backup small forward at North Carolina, with their 25th pick.
Tonight’s the night for Catlin Gabel grad Avi Gupta’s turn on Teen Jeopardy….7:30 PM on Channel Two.
Feeling festive? Many communities hold their town festivals this weekend. For example…the oldest city west of the Rockies is celebrating its 175th birthday at Oregon City Heritage Days, today and tomorrow at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Plus, things are looking up in Tigard, where the Festival of Balloons is underway at Cook Park today through Sunday. This is the weekend of the Good in the Hood Multicultural Festival, starting tonight at 6 at King School. And it’s time for the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. If your town has something happening, let us know!
Speaking of LO….a big project gets underway on Boones Ferry in Lake Grove…Expect lane closures between Bryant and Madrona (basically between Albertson’s and Roundtable Pizza) today and tomorrow for tree removal, with major lane shifts starting on Monday.
The lilting melodies of Judas Priest will emanate from the Moda Center tomorrow night. Lucinda Williams plays tomorrow night at the Zoo. Live Wire’s 15th-anniversary show is tonight at Revolution Hall.
And here’s a local favorite…the Hillsboro Hops home opener is tonight at Ron Tonkin Field!
Good news, friends!
–“‘True heroism’: Meet the man who dove into a river to rescue a motorist”
–“Dog kept injured woman warm for three days and nights after crash”
–“Millennials are causing the U.S. divorce rate to plummet…by waiting until all is secure before tying the knot.”
–“103-year-old nicknamed the ‘Hurricane’ wins yet another gold in 100-meter dash”
–“Television viewers in Turkey are treated to Portland scenes including Rose Festival…and if you look carefully, your friendly radio daddio makes a few cameos…”
Here’s something I’d like to hear your thoughts on. Ancient sites from Stonehenge to Machu Picchu have works of art and design that are astronomically aligned to the Solstice. They’re indicative of the enormous importance that early people placed in this fulcrum point in their relationship with the life-giving light of the sun. There are practical reasons: growing seasons and livestock fertility could mean life or death, and the Solstice is proof that the opposite season is coming. But the Solstices were also deeply spiritual events to the ancients we call pagans–which is why our Christmas falls where it does. They watched, studied, and often worshipped the sun, the moon, and the stars. Today we regard the Solstice with no awe whatsoever and celebrate it, if at all, with a raised glass toward the late-setting sun. But what about you? Do you have a Solstice tradition, or a way in which you think about it, that reflects a mindful attitude toward this turning point of the year?