Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tanned, rested and rusty, we are, and happy to be back on Tuesday, August 6, 2019! Portland’s weather is sunny and hot, by Northwest standards, with highs of 90. You could avoid that by declaring a mental health day and taking a spontaneous trip to the coast, where highs are in the 60s. Portland should be cooler tomorrow. You might see thunderheads muscling up over the Cascades, strong enough for long-lasting, lightning-rich thunderstorms that could spark trouble in the high country drylands. Sunrise 6:00 AM, sunset 8:32 PM.

The air quality has been a little smudgy over the mountains, and that’s largely because of smoke from Alaska, Canada and Russia mixing down to the surface. At the moment, Portland’s air quality index is a good-ish 44 (as of 0400), but yesterday afternoon it was in the 50s, and today’s AQI is expected to reach 85. That’s moderate. Not bad, not good.

Things will be groaty-to-the-MAX for the second big commuting day, as track replacement near Lloyd Center will whammy-up the whole light rail system for a fortnight. The fact is that most folks are leaving early, expecting the worst, or maybe walking or biking, and it turns out OK.

A drive-by shooting near Salem last night wounded three people, all of whom are expected to recover. The shooter was long gone by the time police arrived at 47th and Polaris, a few blocks east of I-5 near Chemeketa Community College.

The national struggle over how to stop the unique-to-America epidemic of mass shootings continues this morning, but people are staying in their familiar lanes. Just as they all did after Sandy Hook. President Trump read a speech that checked off the mental health and video game boxes, but said nothing about assault weapons, nor did he mention expanded background checks even though he’d tweeted in favor of them earlier in the morning. Trump did advocate NRA-approved “red flag” laws, in which family members can prevent tragedies by calling cops if they suspect a loved one of planning something terrible. A grandmother in Texas did just that, resulting in her grandson being found in a hotel room with an assault rifle and a bunch of ammo. Oregon has such a law, as does Washington. I can see value in every proposal out there; they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But we didn’t do anything after Sandy Hook; why would expect anything different now?

It’s election day in Clark County, choosing council members in Clark County, Vancouver, and Battle Ground..members of the Vancouver School Board…a school levy in Green Mountain, an EMS levy in Yacolt..and other items of direct local impact on folks in their home town.

Your 401K is suffering a hopefully temporary slumpage, as the inflamed trade war between the US and China sparked a big selloff yesterday, with the Dow nosediving 767 points. The Nasdaq, where the tech stuff trades, is in the tank as well. Plus, China is suspending agricultural product purchases in response to President Trump’s new tariffs–and they’re a huge customer of Eastern Oregon’s bountiful wheat. The harvest there is underway now.

Beaverton police say 44 drunk drivers traded in their car keys for orange jumpsuits in July, as part of a crackdown that’s continuing in August. The average BAC among people doing the perp-wobble so far is point-14.

He was a longtime Portland cop…and he was an 18-year Oregon legislator…and now Rep. Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) is calling an end to his public service career.

Oooh…Fitz and the Tantrums are playing at Edgefield tonight! If you know them..you’re probably there.

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Let’s link in some good news, here, and see if I remember how to post it in the old treasured Coffee Cup..

–“Meet the hero soldier who saved children’s lives during the El Paso Walmart shooting”

–“After the El Paso shooting, people from Juárez gathered on their side of the border with candles and phone flashlights turned on.”

–“A New Jersey man nearly lost his home. Neighbors raised more than $50,000 so he could keep it”

–“Man reunites with $23K found in recycling sorting facility”

–“Goats doing good work, preventing wildfires”

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K103’s “Bruce, John, and Janine” morning show will have all three prime suspects together for the first time in a while all this week and next, before the guy in the middle blasts off on yet another vacation. So tune us in there, and kindly weigh in on my FB page, so I can borrow heavily! And have a fine and not-too-sweltery day.

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