Ah, the camel is on the prowl, friends, it’s Wednesday, September 18, 2019! Portland’s weather? So glad you asked. It’s pouring hard as I write this, at 0400, from a thick slice of heavy rain that extends from Eugene to Longview. There’s a 100% chance of showers with isolated thunderstorms, and highs around 66. Sunrise 6:52 AM, sunset 7:16 PM.
I feel a strong need to lead with this sweet story from the town St. Helens. That’s where Oregon State Police troopers gave an elderly woman a ride home after a car accident and discovered her yard was totally overgrown. Turns out her husband had died 10 years ago… and she had no family to help her. So together, the people who work at OSP’s St. Helens office brought in their own lawn mowers and rakes and other equipment, and spent their Saturday on what they “lovingly called Operation Grandma’s House.”
So about the big storm yesterday? Officially PDX was at the shallow end of the rain stick at .13″. My digital Bluetooth readout, from a cup next to a garden gnome, was .17″. It mostly fell during my nightly walk, but as I said, it’s been raining hard in the overnight hours, and I have .15″ more. And 3200 PGE customers in the town of Newberg are in a power outage.
Trapped on the second-floor balcony of a burning apartment in Tigard, three people were ready to jump for it–when Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue arrived, put up a ladder, and helped them down safely.
We’re sure glad this ended without anyone getting hurt: a bus hauling 46 Oregon Army National Guard members crashed on the Oregon coast when the driver–who reportedly was talking on his phone and showed signs of impairment–missed the turn from US 101 onto Highway 26, then lost control of the rig and crashed onto a sidewalk.
We’re up to four people in Oregon–two in the past week– who’ve come down with a serious lung sickness related to vaping, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Apparently the material behind vaped, whether cannabis or tobacco, is suspended in an oil-based solution and some of that gunk can coat your lungs. Sounds hideous! In the meantime, New York becomes the first state in the US to ban flavored e-cigarettes, as a way of stopping teens from getting started on this junk.
The woman accused of killing her husband in Camas says she did it in self-defense, according to court documents, which say 47-year-old Stephanie Westby called 911 and said “my husband and I just had a big fight. I thought he was going to kill me and I shot him.” She told their teenaged children to leave the house before the shooting occurred. There was a large group in the courtroom supporting her, and she may be out on bail by now.
The transparency storm in Governor Kate Brown’s office has ended the judicial career of Misha Isaak, Brown’s former general counsel, before it even began. He’s backed away from his appointment to the Oregon Court of Appeals, under the cloud of a charge by Oregon’s first public records advocate, Ginger McCall, that he pressured her to secretly advocate for the governor’s interests rather than those of the public. McCall herself resigned in protest.
A followup to our story yesterday about Oregon State University announcer Mike Parker’s spinout accident on I-5, where his car ended up in the cable barriers in the median: that barrier was installed as a direct result of a wreck five years ago that killed the husband of Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and another person, which touched off a major effort to install barriers between the north and southbound lanes. Another life possibly saved.
Whether they intended to or not is unknown, but somebody dropped off “a substantial amount of money”–as in, thousands of dollars–at the Goodwill off Lombard in North Portland. Employees are scrolling through hours of security video to see if they can ID the benefactor, so they can determine if the generosity was a major “oops.”
The Portland Timbers get a chance to bounce back from Sunday’s own-goal, one-goal loss when they host the New York Red Bulls tonight at Providence Park.
We’re working on squishing the bug in the “Something Good” Coffee Cup. Let’s see how we’re doing!
–“Human chain helps ‘lost’ dolphins escape from canal”
–“Breast cancer survivor becomes first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop”
–“Plumber refuses to take payment from pensioner, 91, and gains hero status”
–“Gary Larson’s THE FAR SIDE Cartoon Coming Back”
–“Man being fired brings emotional support clown to meeting”
Clicking into fall mode! I have my dark weather walking gear ready–reflectorized vest, an old buddy’s rain jacket, fresh batteries in the flashlights…I love walking in the rain. Feeling the rain is sensory contact from somewhere far away. Like seeing the stars. Anyway, that’s the Drip for today!