Good morning, Dripsters of the world! It’s Tuesday, July 9, 2019, and ooh: satellites show a big curly storm is advancing on us from the southwest, with unsummerlike rain pushing in by late afternoon. Highs around 72 in Portland and 65 at the coast. The snow level in the mountains–weird words for July–is around 8000 feet, so gear up accordingly if you’re hiking at altitude. Sunrise 5:31 AM, sunset 9:00 PM. Heaven’s holding a half-moon, and it’ll expand to fullness one week from tonight.
Southeast Powell is open again this morning after a wild and deadly hit and run crash led to a manhunt, where a suspect was found cowering in a backyard swimming pool. The driver was speeding on Powell and apparently blew the light at SE 148th, wrecking at least four other cars and killing an unidentified woman. The suspect fled but was caught two hours later after he pounded on a resident’s door, then ran into the back yard, tore the cover off the pool, where he was found hiding.
Mayor Ted Wheeler spoke to the media for the first time since the public ugliness nine days ago between left- and right-wing hotheads in downtown Portland, which caused injuries to a conservative blogger and a resulting national criticism of Portland. Wheeler declared the violence totally unacceptable: he pushed back on the police union’s claim that he has “handcuffed” officers, but stopped short of endorsing Police Chief Danielle Outlaw’s request that masks be banned during protests. He said Portland has hundreds of protests every year and that the overwhelming majority are peaceful expressions of free speech, and blamed outside agitators for coming to Portland under the guise of the First Amendment with the intent to commit violence.
Next time Senator Brian Boquist comes to the state Capitol, he’ll have to give 12 hours advance notice so police presence can be stepped up. That’s what a special Senate committee on conduct finally decided, pending a longer investigation, about the Republican lawmaker whose words “hell is coming to visit your personally” and “send bachelors and come heavily armed” provoked jitters and objections among lawmakers during an already tense session.
Here’s a potentially unsettling aspect of Oregon’s new law permitting undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses: the Georgetown University Law Center says ICE agents are mining millions of state driver’s license photos for facial recognition matches with their own database–without the states’ knowing about it–and using them “to secretly find and deport those people.”
Say, I dropped into the Albertsons on Boones Ferry to pick up some salsa and limes yesterday, and the checker said, “Oh, do you want a bag? That’ll be a dime.” It’s a new plastic ban that took effect in LO on July 1. And me without my Whole Foods bag! Could be worse. NPR reports that shoppers at a Canadian grocery who forget their tote don’t have to pay for a paper bag–but they do get to enjoy the stares of people…as they haul home their groceries in bags emblazed with, “Wart Ointment Wholesale”…“The Colon Care Co-Op”…or “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium.”
Billionaire investor and accused human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein remains in jail in New York, after investigators say they found a trove of photographic evidence in a safe in his mansion. Epstein has had many rich and powerful friends–among them, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton–and his arrest is prompting demands for the ouster of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who was U.S. attorney in Miami when Epstein was given a plea deal in 2008 that shielded him from prosecution.
Courtney Love, a rocker with deep Portland roots, was born this date in 1964. She was raised mainly in Oregon, but was born to hippie parents in San Francisco with the last name “Harrison.” She adopted the “Love” name when she was working underage at Mary’s Club on Broadway. Then she went to PSU but hung out at clubs like Old Town’s Satyricon, now long gone, where she met and eventually married Kurt Cobain. Also long gone.
John Lennon made his solo debut 50 years ago today with fun family sing-a-long “Give Peace a Chance.”
Let’s put a little love in our lives with these headlines from the bright side:
–“English town tackles isolation and loneliness with benches inscribed with: “Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello!”
–“Good Samaritan drives 2,000km to save family stranded in Australian outback” (Hey Outback has yet to strand me anywhere!
–“Caught on video: construction workers come to the aid of a woman who was being hassled by two men”
–“Scientists Identify How Many Trees to Plant and Where to Plant Them to Stop Climate Crisis”
–“Around the World in 125 Melons”
And with that–let’s do a Tuesday!