Hunker down…here comes the Daily Drip for Tuesday, October 29, 2019! The Portland-Vancouver area is under a wind advisory until 7 PM, for easterly gusts of 30 to 50 MPH, enough to push over trees, snuff out the power, even topple high-profile vehicles driving in a crosswind. We’ll only warm up to a high of 47 today, then down into the 20s tonight. I don’t see any rain for the next week. It’s just going to be dry and cold. Sunrise comes late at 7:45 AM, and sunset’s at 6:02 PM.
Let’s do a quick check of the power grid: OK, as of 0400, PGE has 1400 outages spread across the Metro area; Clark Public Utilities has a handful in the Camas area, and Pacific Power has a few around Stayton. Could be worse, and probably will be.
But we’re in the rosy pink, compared to our California friends and neighbors, as 17 active fires are burning statewide. Some headlines, courtesy of the LA Times…which, by the way, has dropped its paywall during the fires:
–Fire rains smoke and ash on Los Angeles Basin, creating hazardous air
–Westside residents grab their ‘apocalypse bags’ and race to outrun flames
–Fire licks the edges of Getty Center, but the art is safe, the museum says
And the Kincade Fire in Northern California has chewed through 66,000 acres, destroyed 94 buildings, and is still only 5% contained.
Oregon is represented on the firelines by nearly 300 men and women from fire departments around the state; they brought 75 fire engines with them, and they’re planning on being there for up to 16 days.
Rep. Greg Walden made quite a cannonball splash when he announced his retirement yesterday to “pursue new challenges and opportunities.” There’d been rumblings in the East Oregonian press lately, but they’d all been rebuffed and debunked, and then, pow. Questions abound. What’s the real reason, who will jump in, will Jamie Mcleod-Skinner (who got 39% against Greg in ’18, the closest any Democrat has ever come) pull out of the Secretary of State’s race and file for Congress (the deadline’s in March)? Can Democrats turn Oregon’s sagebrush country blue? We don’t know!
My own stray thought about Walden’s plan: he’s sick of that scene, we all are. And maybe something’s in the works for an ideal lobbying gig. Former Oregon Senator Gordon Smith became CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters after losing to Jeff Merkley in ’08, and his 10th anniversary in that job happens to be this Friday. He’s 67. Broadcasting runs in Walden’s blood. He and I traded voicers often in the early 90s. Many times, we heard “Greg Walden, K103 News, Hood River.” Bet the NAB remunerates its CEO substantially more than Congress, which pays $174K. And the gig doesn’t involve nonstop cross-country flights, fundraising, or elections every two years. He’d rep the biz well. It’s what he does.
Latest on the Swan Island Bottleneck: PBOT begins work on opening a fourth lane on the North Going Street Bridge this coming Monday, and it could be open before Thanksgiving. But it may be Spring before all six lanes are open, after a Union Pacific derailment in September damaged the bridge supports.
It seems like they’ve been there a long time–25 years, in fact– but no more: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery has closed their downtown Portland location at 2nd and Morrison.
It was 90 years ago today– October. 29, 1929–when panic selling took over the New York Stock Exchange, stock prices collapsed, and thousands of investors were wiped out.
The internet turns 50! October. 29, 1969 was the date of the first host-to-host connection on the Arpanet, an experimental military computer network, between UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif.
English singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield is at Revolution Hall tonight.
And that’s it for the Drip so far. The rest is still unwritten.
Today’s assortment of Good News in the Coffee Cup:
–“Cancer patient wins lottery on the way to his last chemo treatment”
–“‘I help answer the world’s love letters'”
–“Girl, 11, wrestles crocodile to save friend’s life”
–“Diver Convinces Octopus To Trade Its Plastic Cup For A Shell In Amazing Video”
Have a very fine and windy Tuesday!