Thursday, July 11, 2019

Well good morning, friendly folks, and welcome to the Daily Drip for Thursday, July 11, 2019! Portland’s weather? Pretty good! Partly sunny, perhaps a morning sprinkle, and highs around 80. Sunrise 5:32 AM, sunset 8:59 PM.

I would really love a news day with a minimum of havoc and sadness….let’s try. We’ll cover you off on the hard stuff first, and then see what we can do.

NBC reports that President Trump is getting set to announce an executive action on getting the citizenship question added to the census, despite a Supreme Court ruling against it.

Get ready, drivers, for the possibility of paying fees to drive on certain Portland streets, along with “more robust freeway tolls”…as City Hall is creating a Pricing for Equitable Mobility Task Force. The whole idea is to take a chomp out of vehicle emissions, according to Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who says 42% of the city’s contribution to climate change comes out of your tailpipe.

Looks to me like Mt. Hood might be settling down. No earthquakes in over 24 hours now. As pointed out yesterday, this doesn’t appear to be a stirring of anything eruptive…but we learned in 1980 not to ignore seismic activity in a volcano you can see out your window.

Aftershocks from the California quakes are rolling in minute by minute…the largest I see is a 3.1, a few minutes ago (as of 4 AM).

Different regions have different hazards…the Louisiana Gulf Coast is under a hurricane watch, as a tropical depression now taking form just offshore may gin itself up into a storm named Barry. Probably only a Category One when it rolls onto land, but with rainfall a-plenty from Cajun country on inland.

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Have you ever heard of somebody swimming all the way around Sauvie Island? Me neither, but Portland oncology nurse Cindy Werhane set out to do just that. Thirty-eight miles, is how far it is, and she dove in at 6 AM yesterday from Warrior Rock Lighthouse at the northern tip of the island, figuring it might take 24 hours…so let me check her GPS tracker. Yep! She’s in the home stretch!

Just yesterday we had the mouth-watering news of new restaurants planned for Portland International Airport (mmm blueberry lemon-curd buttermilk pancakes), and now comes the announcement that Travel + Leisure has named PDX America’s best airport for the seventh year in a row. Quoting from the article: “People are friendly, there are ample local shopping and food options, there are free local short films, prices are normal, there’s local art, a local distillery, live music…I could go on and on.” And other readers did. Many remarked on the friendliness of Portland’s TSA agents. But one fan summed it up best: “Can’t think of anything that PDX doesn’t do well.”

Aw, a blessed event is in the offing at the Oregon Zoo, where Chendra, a 26-year-old Asian elephant–which is a bit long in the tusk for pachyderm childbirth–is pregnant and due sometime in late 2020. She’s about six months along, with a 22-month gestation period. I can just hear the Moms out there saying, Yikes. This is exciting news, as Asian elephants are highly endangered. Now as for the question of who the father may be? Well, it could be Samson, or it could be Samudra, and we’ll just have to wait for a Maury Povich moment for the big DNA reveal. (Chendra does need some followup lab work for possible tuberculosis; she showed a reaction to a preliminary test).

The emerging reality of a nicely cool summer, which we’ve been monitoring for a month here on the DD, is a topic on the Portland National Weather Service Twitter feed, which surveyed its readers with this question: “We’re not seeing a lot of heat imminent for NW OR and SW WA. What’s your preferable summer weather?” And the results came back like this:
–“Hot early in summer,” 5%.
–“Hot late in summer,” 18%
–“Hot all summer,” 22%
–“Never hot,” an overwhelming 55%, with respondents basically saying, tsk, that’s why we live here. One put it this way: “Hot weather is a form of oppressive violence against my mind and body.”

The door of an armored truck swung open, sending cash fluttering onto a busy interstate highway on the perimeter of metro Atlanta. Reports say $175 flew out, and people scrambled to recover it, no doubt with the intent to return every penny.

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Today is the fortieth anniversary of an interesting development in Portland’s racial history. The all-white School Board had voted to integrate the district by closing inner-city schools and scattering African-American students to schools across the city by bus–essentially putting the burden of desegregation almost entirely on families of color. So on July 11, 1979, the Black United Front called a news conference to announce a boycott, calling on the city’s seven thousand black students to stay out of school when class began in September. The school district called the threatened boycott illegal, but when reporters asked civil rights leaders if they were prepared to go to jail, the Rev. John Garlington of Maranatha Church and the Albina Ministerial Alliance replied, “Jail is not a scary possibility for us. Most of the Old Testament was written in jail.” The School Board gave in, and the mandatory busing was stopped.

It was 40 years ago today that the world had a Chicken Little moment–when the US space station Skylab made a spectacular and somewhat dangerous return to its home planet. Where would it crash?? I remember people in Portland wearing pith helmets and hard hats–jokingly, I think–but the spaceship burned up in the atmosphere and showered debris over the Indian Ocean and far-western Australia without hurting anybody or anything. That we know of.

Speaking of space anniversaries, it was 50 years ago today that David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” single was released in a hurry to beat the Apollo 11 moon landing–which happened nine days later.

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Ground control to Major Radio Dude, how about some really good news??

–“Grandma missing 5 days is found alive after her grandson and his friends decide to go search one last time”

–“Ugandan man becomes a lawyer, wins family land back”

–“Holland covers hundreds of bus stops with plants as gift to honeybees”

–“There’s more than one way to save a cat” (quick video)

–“New Research Says Short Bursts of Exercise Could Make You Smarter”

Links
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One last word about US Women’s soccer team. They won the World Cup, but those were champagne glasses that Megan and friends were sipping from during the parade. We looked into it and learned they were drinking Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, which was named for another boss woman, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, who was widowed at age 27, took over husband’s business and thus became one of Europe’s first international businesswomen–and made Veuve Clicquot into one of the greatest champagne makers in the world. $180 a bottle!

With that, let’s leap up and tame this Thursday morning!

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