Greetings, friends! and welcome to your mid-week check-in from Portland’s Daily Drip on Wednesday, June 26, 2019! The weather in our home town promises to be partly cloudy, with a chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 65 to 70. We’ll take it! Sunrise 5:23 AM, sunset 9:03 PM.
I dunno…weird juju on the state level…
The climate change bill is “mostly dead” (Princess Bride quote that’s going around Salem) but hard feelings and an intrigue-filled denouement will live on at the Capitol for quite some time. Senate President Peter Courtney stunned the chambers by proclaiming to the surprise of all that, regardless of the Republican walkout, HB2020 doesn’t have enough Democratic votes to pass. Courtney’s death pronouncement of a bill a decade in the making blindsided its supporters, who stood en masse and turned their backs not only on Courtney but on the Legislature itself for faltering on a bill that would have put Oregon on the forefront of the climate battle. But the math works like this: any bill needs 16 votes to pass in the 30-member Senate. There are eighteen Democrats. Courtney counts three no votes. (I count two: Roblan and Johnson. Who else?) Fifteen is a fail. The bill’s supporters in the environmental community hotly dispute that count. saying there are two no’s at most. Republican leaders claim from their Idaho exile that it’s all a trick; that Democrats are trying to lure the fugitives back, get the Senate in session, and then spring a successful HB 2020 vote on them. I don’t buy that; my hunch is that Courtney gave up the climate bill to save the session, in the same way that Kate Brown gave up gun bills for school funding. In any event, I don’t think the runaway R’s are coming back today, and some may stay out altogether, wounded by rhetoric in this acrid and wholly un-Oregonian, but not un-American, debacle.
(Some adults need to get together and get a quorum long enough to rescue 125 pending bills that have inched their way through months of bipartisan work, and some of which are of immediate and critical importance–higher education funding, for example–that will fail if not passed by Sunday when the legislature must, under the Constitution, adjourn. “Sine Die” is not supposed to mean, “Lord, heal our broken state”).
By the way, OPB news director Anna Griffin tweeted this: “Hate to roll my eyes at national media coverage of #orleg standoff, because we should talk more about climate change. But the hysteria over armed militias getting into mainstream politics is several years too late. Welcome to the West. This has been our life for a while now.”
An awful story from Washougal, where a man is being held for driving his red Jeep Cherokee through a chain link fence and onto the beach at Sandy Swimming Hole Park, hitting and killing a man and a woman from Germany who were lying on the beach. He kept going up a berm and out of the park, but was later tracked down and arrested for vehicular homicide.
The possibility of closing the Kings Hill MAX station is up for a hearing at the TriMet Board this morning. Neighbors have been railing for months against the move, which is aimed at trimming a few moments off the train’s downtown trips, and they seem to have won a slight concession: the closure would be only for one year, so the actual effects can be studied. But an even bigger concession was scored by Saturday Market, the U of O, Mercy Corps, and others near the Old Town MAX stop–a proposal to close it appears to have been dropped altogether. (I watch more of these board meetings and legislative hearings than you can imagine. Citizen involvement is a beautiful thing here!).
The Portland City Council will vote today to ask voters to enshrine protection of the Bull Run Watershed into the City Charter, which is basically Portland’s constitution. Kind of unbelievable that protecting Bull Run isn’t in there already!
The Multnomah County River Patrol will be back in the Willamette today fishing out more of those e-scooters that have been irreverently (and quite irresponsibly) dropped into the drink. They dredged up eleven of them yesterday, with at least four to go.
Special investigator Robert Mueller has agreed to testify to two Congressional committees on July 17.
The first of two debates airs tonight among the populous field of Democrats seeking the White House.
It was four years ago today President Barack Obama–spontaneously and unrehearsed–sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed with eight others when a white supremacist gunman opened fire during a Bible study at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
It was on that same day in 2015 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Happy birthday to Rindy Ross, superstar Portland musician whom we’re always glad to hear from on the Daily Drip! Her silver voice and bluesy saxophone have rung for decades across the land in one of the all-time breakup songs–“Harden My Heart”–but she and Marv Ross are far from being done creating. Their timely and viral “I Won’t Sing Here Any More” is like acid-washed jeans, a sweet and sad song that bites hard and demands reflection. Here it is.
Something good? Okay!
–“Woman Jumps Out Of Her Car To Rescue A Child Running In Traffic”
–“This woman has been on a three-year road trip documenting acts of kindness”
–“Mysterious $100 bill, life-affirming note delights Nova Scotia town”
–“German locals buy out their town’s entire beer supply to thwart a neo-Nazi gathering”
–“Teacher gives student shoes off his feet to walk across stage at graduation”
That’s it so far. Peace and love!!