Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Good morning to you on “Imagine Day!” It’s Wednesday, October 9, 2019, and today is John Lennon’s birthday! Portland’s weather sparkles like Lucy’s diamonds in the sky, with pure sun and highs of 55, and then a cloudless view across the universe tonight, with lows down to 30. The NWS this morning calls it “pumpkin patch weather.” Temps are in the 30s west of the Cascades and 20s to the east, as I sleepily type this at 0400. Sunrise 7:19 AM, sunset 6:36 PM.

It’s Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

How quickly the weather changes! Yesterday a rainstorm brought down trees that closed Highway 26 in the Coast Range; tonight, we may be able to view a meteor storm in a clear, cold autumn sky, as the annual Draconid shower is near its peak.

Also near its peak is the struggle in Washington, DC between the impeachment movement and the prospective impeach-ee. The courts need to get in there and show that the Constitution is still the boss. There’s excellent coverage online, in print, and on the air, and our time is well-spent absorbing it. I echo Lennon: All I want is the truth.

We continue to hope for a happy outcome in the search for 18-year-old University of Portland freshman Owen Klinger, who was last seen Sunday night, saying he was going to a lacrosse team meeting. Detectives picked up a ping from his cell phone at a TriMet bus stop at the edge of campus, and they’re working with TriMet to review video for clues. Meanwhile Gresham police report that a missing 25-year-old man, Jorge Leonardo, who functions at a 12-year-old level, is home and safe.

A bombshell story appeared on The Oregonian’s web site yesterday afternoon, reporting that a founder of Portland’s global relief charity Mercy Corps had abused his daughter for years, and that the group’s board of directors knew of the abuse and yet treated the victim dismissively–allowing her abuser to remain in power, covered in humanitarian virtue until his death over a decade ago. It’s a hard story to read and certainly a difficult one to report; one of the team of journalists says she was forced to seek counseling. But none of that compares to what the young woman endured, or to the courage it took for her to go public. It’s compounded by the fact that when, as an adult, she reached out to Mercy Corps last year, she was rebuffed again. CEO Neal Keny-Guyer has apologized and requested an independent external review. The founder’s name, plaques and memorabilia have been removed from the organization’s walls, a longtime board member who investigated the original charges in the 1990s has resigned, and a charity that has done and continues to do a world of good around the globe has been tarnished by its own blindness to the deeds of its founder.

Today the mayor and City Council of Portland will unanimously proclaim October 14th, 2019 to be Indigenous Peoples Day. Not Columbus Day. Portland and other progressive cities have been doing this for years. The resolution reads, in part, “The City recognizes the fact that Portland is built upon the homelands and villages, and traditional use areas of many tribes and bands in this region, without whom the building of the city would not be possible.”

The preseason is underway for the Portland Trail Blazers, who lost to the Denver Nuggets 105-94 in last night’s nostalgia-rich game in Veterans Memorial Coliseum. But it was wonderful to see the 90-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster Bill Schonely take the mic at center court and say, “This year, we’re going to have a lot of fun. Rip City, baby!”

The Portland Winterhawks, on a Canadian road trip in the middle of a snowstorm, fell to Medicine Hat 4-2 last night. Today they’re riding the team bus 135 miles east on an icy Trans-Canada Highway for a game at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, named for a creek that flows into a river which flows into a lake which flows into a river which empties into Hudson’s Bay. A long way from home.

If you hear a roar overhead at night this week, you can comfortably reassure that family and the pets that the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter wing is merely doing night training missions, and they promise to be done by 10:30.

100 years ago today, in 1919, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, defeating the Chicago White Sox–eight of whom accepted at least $5,000 from a gambling syndicate to intentionally lose.

And it was 10 years ago today, in 2009, when first-year President Barack Obama was unexpectedly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, based on hope.

On this date in 1940, the immortal–well, sadly, not literally–John Winston Lennon of the Beatles was born in Liverpool, England. The “Winston” comes from Winston Churchill.

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Rinse your eyes out with this!

–“Arab plumbers refuse to charge client after learning she’s a Holocaust survivor”

–“A dog saved his owner from a devastating house fire by nudging him with his nose to wake him up”

–“Schoolgirls use plastic bottle to save child from drowning”

–“Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming”

–“Field Goal Contest Winner Donates Prize to Rival Coach Diagnosed With Cancer”

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There are some beautiful stories in the Coffee Cup this morning, and we need to remind ourselves of the tremendous positive energy in the world, even though we’re confronted with their polar opposite. We all know of acts of kindness–maybe we’ve committed some ourselves–that are done in secret, never to be reported. It’s all part of this complicated world where good and bad is engaged in a never-ending struggle, and we choose to believe that goodness has the upper hand. Or at least.. imagine.

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