Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Good morning, and welcome to a Full Moon Wednesday! It’s July 17, 2019, under a marshmallow sky with a chance of spotty rain in Portland and highs of 75. The coast looks wet and breezy with highs of 65. Sunrise 5:38 AM, sunset 8:54 PM. And the moon, should your inner wolf need to howl, sinks in the west at 6:16 this morning but looms up again at 9:45 tonight.

Just four House Republicans, but not one from Oregon or Washington, strayed across the divide and voted to condemn as racist the president’s “go back where you came from” campaign against four minority Congresswomen.

An effort to clamp off a fountain of money for Oregon schools has failed, as foes of the Student Success Act aborted efforts to repeal the legislature’s $1 billion education tax package. But a GOP campaign to recall Governor Brown is just beginning a daunting signature-gathering hill, though her political adviser Thomas Wheatley pointedly echoed POTUS’s recent rhetoric by saying, “This is really about Trump’s politics descending into Oregon. It has no place here and should go back to the morally corrupt place it came from.”

The Ford nominee who became the most liberal voice–usually–on the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens, has died at 99.

Our coolish summer will be remembered as a fond aberration if a peer-reviewed prediction by the Union of Concerned Scientists comes true. The report says of Oregon: “Historically, there have been four days per year on average with a heat index above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the worker safety threshold. This would increase to 20 days per year on average by midcentury and 44 by the century’s end.” Sorry, great-grandkids!

It’s only a gleam in dreamers’ eyes, but the day may come when you hop on an ultra-high-speed train in Portland and show up in Seattle just one hour later. The Washington Department of Transportation (“Wizz-dot”) released a study that says the train would zip away at over 200 mph using high-speed rail, magnetic levitation or hyperloop technology, and bring about with a reduction of 6 million metric tons of carbon emissions in the first 40 years. Price tag? The report says $24 billion to $42 billion in upfront construction costs would result in $355 billion in economic growth.

For the past week, people in Canby could hear a dog whining in distress on a steep hillside, but nobody could see it–until someone called the Oregon Humane Society. Their Technical Animal Rescue Team arrived on the scene with a drone to survey the area, and soon spotted an older Australian Shepherd mix marooned on a dropoff and surrounded by blackberries and poison oak. They created a plan and secured ropes, and lowered Rescue Leader Virginia Krakowiak 75 feet… to bring the grateful animal to safety. “Thankfully, he appeared uninjured – just thirsty and hungry and ready to be back with people,” says Virginia. He had no ID or microchip, and if the owner can’t be found, he’ll go up for adoption.

Seems to be a cougar on the prowl around Tryon Creek State Park and Dunthorpe.

The appeal of this utterly escapes me, but thousands of people have lined up to catch a whiff of the “Corpse Flower,” which is in malodorous bloom at WSU Vancouver. It also generates its own heat, the better to waft out its fragrance.

At the same time, people are being told to stay clear of Vancouver Lake due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, on top of a blue-green algae warning that’s in effect due to cyanotoxins.

The creative advertising superstars at Portland’s Wieden + Kennedy have scored a 2019 Emmy nomination for their Nike commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick. Titled “Dream Crazy,” the ad shows athletes overcoming challenges, while Kaepernick says “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.”

***

I’ve told you the story–haven’t I?–about the time in the 1980s when I lucked into an invitation to sit at the USA Today table at the White House Correspondents’ Association banquet in DC? I was in the middle of ordering my customary (then) white wine at the open bar when the bartender abruptly put down the bottle of Chablis and shifted his attention to someone behind me; I turned to challenge the line cutter and found himself staring at a bushy-browed face, while a very famous voiced growled, “Bourbon!” And then he turned to me, extended a hand, and said, “Sorry. Walter Cronkite.” We conversed; that is, he talked, I listened, and that was my encounter with the journalist who manifested truth and integrity for the entirety of America in a way that nobody, not one single soul, does today. I bring this up because it was ten years ago today….that Walter Cronkite died.

That seat, on the CBS Evening News, is newly filled by Nora O’Donnell, who ended her debut with a quote about truth and integrity from Edward R. Murrow. But her job is different from Murrow’s or Cronkite’s; TV news is evaluated today according to metrics that do not include ideals, and CBS is in third place among the major broadcast networks and even behind cable-leader Fox News on most nights. She’ll succeed if she’s able to move the numbers, and I hope she does!

*****************

Whew. OK. Good news??

–“Albert Pujols took his jersey off his back to give to a fan with Down syndrome ”

–“FedEx driver delivered shooting victims to ER”

–“2-Year-Old Girl Who Disappeared On Family Camping Trip Up North Found Safe”

–“Scotland just produced enough wind energy to power all its homes twice over”

–“NASA releases an amazing map of all known exoplanets”

Details

__________________

Gotta run! Win the day!

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