Monday, July 29, 2019

Here we come groovin’ up slowly on a midsummer Monday, July 29, 2019! Plentiful sunshine is in store today, with highs in 80-plus zone. Maybe a shower late in the week to greet–gasp–August already! Sunrise 5:51 AM, sunset 8:42 PM.

Why anybody would shoot people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival is unknown, but at least four people are dead, including the gunman, and 15 wounded. The camouflaged shooter apparently sneaked through a fence to elude metal detectors on the festival’s final day. Some believe there may have been a second shooter.

Oregon’s Milepost 97 fire blossomed to 11,000 acres, at last report, with fire crews battling to keep flames away from busy Interstate Five. It’s about 100 miles north of the California border between Roseburg and Grants Pass.

Construction begins today on the 36-story Ritz-Carlton Hotel; when completed in 2023 it will be the 4th-tallest building in Portland.

Vancouver grocery workers hold a strike vote starting today.

Salem cops are on the hunt for two women who shoplifted what looks like kids’ clothes from a downtown TJ Maxx store Saturday night, fled in a car, and hit a bicyclist on the way. That person was seriously hurt.

The future of the Bend Bulletin will be settled today in a bankruptcy auction in Portland.

The media will be putting on a Carmageddon freakout this week, so let me join in: I-205 northbound is going to be totally closed from Foster Rd to I-84 this Friday, Aug 2, at 10 PM until Mon Aug 5, at 5 AM. That’s going to get ugly. All these west coast vacationers who skirt around Portland will be plunged right into the heart of it, braving the Gee-whillikers curves. And SE 82nd avenue is going to be a used-car lot.

In case you haven’t heard, John Prine has had to scrub next week’s Portland appearance and several other tour dates; he’s having stent surgery.

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The weekend story about Senator Ron Wyden’s intervention at the Mexican border, where he caused medical attention to be given to a pregnant asylum-seeker experiencing late-term complications, certainly touched off reactions here, including several who wondered why he wasn’t helping Oregon’s homeless population instead–drawing the response that he and Jeff Merkley had indeed arranged a $3 million transfusion to homeless agencies statewide. As for Wyden’s response to what he saw at the border, he said: “Donald Trump’s policies are wrong, and we saw firsthand the suffering and irreparable damage they cause. This is not what America is about – this administration is perpetrating blatant human rights abuses and violations of our own laws.”

The number of House Democrats on record favoring an impeachment inquiry is now up to 104, which is 14 shy of a majority of the Democratic Caucus. One of the latest is Denny Heck of Washington.

***

Say, we have another story about a seven-weeks-missing cat coming home, like my family’s Oliver (who’s doing better and better)! This one’s in Vancouver, where surveillance video showed a cat named Jack being taken from his back porch in June by a boy who later admitted that Jack looked friendly, so he picked him up, carried him a few blocks, and set him down. Seven weeks later, a homeless woman saw a flyer and called the number and said, “So, I don’t want to get your hopes up or anything, but I feed a cat every night that looks just like Jack.” Jack’s fine!

OregonLive tweets a story about a swarm of bees that enveloped a tree at Bridgeport Village in Tigard. There were thousands and thousands. The mall manager could have called in an exterminator—but instead, he found a beekeeper who safely transported the population to her backyard hive. The manager, Chad Hastings, said, “I know what a precious resource bees are to our area and the world. I’ve heard bee populations are dying and I wanted to protect them.”

Some folks who watched the 3-weeks of the Tour de France say it was the most exciting ever–as 22-year old Egan Bernal pedaled onto the Champs-Elysees and became the first Colombian ever, and the youngest person since WWII, to win 2000 mile event.

Seven hundred million people watched on live television as Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer on this date in 1981 in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. That is such an elegant place of worship but it’s also an architectural symphony of history’s sweep, including a chapel of gratitude to the 28,000 Americans who died while stationed in the UK during WWII.

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

Something good?

–“A mom buys 1,500 pairs of shoes in closing Payless for kids in need”

–“5-Year-Old Boy Saves 13 from House Fire”

–“‘Wonderful’ mum praised for breaking school rules and helping disabled daughter on sports day”

–“Professor rescues workers from thousands of killer bees”

–“Red Sox’s Mookie Betts promised a “Wish kid” he would homer for him. He hit three”

links

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Fifty years ago today the Beatles recorded “Come Together,” John Lennon’s strange and sardonic self-portrait. My friend Lew Frederick came over and we ended up singing and playing Beatles songs on the guitar. What a great time. And no worries–no video!

Programming note: it’s a 3-day week for me! Heading for a long weekend in Colorado.

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