Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Morning, good neighbors! It’s Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and Portland’s weather looks like this: Showers in the morning, rain in the afternoon with a chance of thunderstorms. High 69. Sunrise 6:42 AM, sunset 7:31 PM.

The union for 20,000 grocery workers in the area is expected to announce some kind of “economic action” against stores today. Could be leafleting or targeted picketing. Fred Meyer is advertising for replacement workers.

Thumbs up to Channel 8 weekend anchor Maggie Vespa, who ran the risk of feeding a troll by delivering an on-air retort to a viewer named Jeff for emailing a suggestion to “dress like a normal woman” instead of wearing high-waisted pantsuits, and wondering why KGW didn’t “pay her enough to afford a wardrobe makeover.” She talked on the air about “the pressure women face to embody the epitome of female attractiveness at all times,” pointed out that male co-workers don’t generally have that pressure and posted photos of herself wearing five different nice pantsuits. I have to say I’ve never even noticed Maggie’s wardrobe. What I notice is that she’s damn good. And that her retort has over 100,000 views.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service ran out to the pumpkin patch that was roughed up by a twister on Sunday, and they tweet that, yup, “the #tornado that hit the farm is a confirmed rating of EF-0.” As tornados go, that’s the puniest, with winds from 65 to 85 MPH. The same cell hopped over and scared the Orchards area, but that instance has not been given tornado status.

Tornados are not the primary natural hazard here.

Oregon’s beloved and scenic sleeping giant Mt. Hood gets big-time ink in the New York Times today under the ominous headline, “We’re Barely Listening to the U.S.’s Most Dangerous Volcanoes.” The story reports that “A thicket of red tape and regulations have made it difficult for volcanologists to build monitoring stations along Mount Hood and other active volcanoes.” It recounts the hoops that the Cascades Volcano Observatory has jumped through to install seismometers, GPS instruments, and gas emissions detectors on the mountain, so whenever Mt. Hood does what Mt. St. Helens did 39 years ago, we won’t have to rely on a radio guy in an airplane to tell us that “eruptive activity has begun.” I haven’t seen anything about this in our local media. Thanks again, NYT!

Benson High School has canceled its 2019 football season because only about sixteen kids turned out. Serious question: would you let your kid play?

A fighter jet had to make an emergency landing at PDX yesterday, and deployed the drag hook that they use on aircraft carriers. Inbound flights were diverted or kept in a holding pattern until the situation resolved.

The MAX extension to Portland International Airport opened on this day in 2001. The attacks of 9/11 happened the very next day, so a week’s worth of celebrations was canceled. To this day, MAX is an excellent way to get in and out of PDX.

Are kids trying to take an Uber to school instead of a bus? That seems to be the implication of a tweet from the Salem-Keizer district, which says, “A special reminder from our friends at @lyft and @Uber – riders must be at least 18 to have an account, and drivers cannot transport unaccompanied minors. We’re always happy to have students on our original rideshare program – those big, yellow buses! ”

Hurricane Dorian was “one tough mother”…so it makes sense that starting today, Columbia Sportswear will match any in-store donations at all Columbia retail and outlet stores dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000 to support Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas and the U.S.

Deep Purple is at the Keller Auditorium tonight! The touring lineup features three key members from their early iteration: the band’s original drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover (who dreamed up the concept and the title for “Smoke on the Water” after witnessing the famous fire at Lake Geneva), and vocalist Ian Gillan, who wrote the lyrics and sang lead on “Smoke.” (He also sang the part of Jesus on the original recording of “Jesus Christ Superstar”).

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The best part of waking up…is good news in the Cup!

–“Listen to Police Captain’s Amusing Conversation With Phone Scammers Threatening to Arrest Her”

–“Woman turns newspaper boxes into emergency food pantries”

–“Dog falls 100ft down cliff while chasing birds and survives”

–“The Icelandic Postal Service delivered a letter addressed using a rudimentary hand-drawn map”

–“Drought Has Revealed Spain’s Long-Submerged ‘Stonehenge’”

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Say, a tip of my old Rip City cap to my iHeart colleague Travis Demers, who’s been named the new radio voice of the Portland Trail Blazers! He did the job on a fill-in basis during the team’s deep playoff run last spring, and now officially follows only Bill Schonely and Brian Wheeler as the radio play-by-play announcers for the Blazers. Way to go Travis!
Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Happy Monday! Yikes, I can’t remember such an abrupt switch from sultry summer to that feeling of fall! the sweet familiar gloom, the occasional tornado warning, the Ducks crushing a hapless opponent. Today is September 9, 2019…nine-nine-oh-nine…but not an occasion to dress to the 9’s. Dress, instead, for a rainy morning, a showery afternoon, and a high of 65. Have you found your rain hoody? And with sunrise at 6:41, and sunset now 7:33, we’re subtracting more than three minutes of daylight a day as we gallop toward the September Equinox, two weeks from today. But it feels like fall is here. Now.

That was quite a feisty sky yesterday..and a strange evening! Just before 7 the TV and weather app alerts started going off, as the NWS issued a tornado warning for a rural area northwest of Portland. Folks in the broadcast booth at the Hops playoff game in Hillsboro could look north and see a ragged cloud hanging from an angry sky, and somebody said the word “rotation”…and they weren’t referring to the pitching lineup. There’s video of damage to a pumpkin patch in the Cornelius Pass area and a swirling pattern in the grass, but no official confirmation yet that a tornado touched down. Then later, a little before 8, a funnel cloud and possible tornado from that same strong cell were spotted in the Orchards area north of Vancouver, where a heavy downpour caused high water along I-5. So a second tornado warning was sent out. Again, no touchdown confirmation, but quite a night!

The commute to Swan Island could be an ugly duckling for a long time, after a UP freight train derailed and crashed into the support columns of the Going Street Bridge. That bridge is the only public access carrying thousands of cars and trucks to Swan Island every day. It needs some serious inspection to determine the extent of damage, but for now, PBOT crews have reopened two travel lanes. Since the bridge normally has three in each direction, the commute on and off of Swan Island is going to be a mess–for weeks and perhaps months.

The wage clash between major food chains and their workers’ union will be on full boil this week, as UFCW Local 555 is making plans for a job action that’ll be announced tomorrow. I don’t think they’re at the strike point, yet, but things are hurtling that way, as they often do when hardball is played.

Some guy pepper-sprayed nine people on a TriMet bus over the weekend. Then he tried to escape from the police car taking him to jail, and three cops were hurt wrestling him down.

Today would be…and as far as anyone knows, still is…Kyron Horman’s 17th birthday. He was 7 when he vanished at Skyline School.

California became the 31st state on this day in 1850. Happy birthday, neighbor!

This was the day, in 1942, when a Japanese seaplane launched from a sub off the coast dropped incendiary bombs on Mt. Emily in the far SW corner of Oregon. It was a failed attempt at starting a massive forest fire, with the objective of diverting US military resources from the war in the Pacific. They actually dropped two bombs; the second has never been found. And they tried it again three weeks later, failing again, and those bombs have never been found either.

Every single story about the Seattle Seahawks 21-20 victory over the upset-minded Bengals yesterday contains the word “escape” in the lead sentence, and the phrase “a win is a win” in the last.

The Seattle Mariners suffered their worst loss in franchise history to the Houston Astros 21-1. Yikes.

The Portland Trail Blazers hit the road today–not for a game, but to spread Blazermania across faraway corners of Oregon. The 7th annual Rip City Rally will bring team alumni, Blazer Dancers, broadcast personalities and Blaze the Trail Cat to Baker City today, and moving like a wagon train to LaGrande, Hermiston, The Dalles, and Sandy.

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Some good news for your Monday, right here in the Coffee Cup!

–“After Hurricane Dorian, Celebrity cruise ship in Bahamas reroutes to deliver food, aid”

–“Snow White comforts boy with autism who had a “meltdown” in Disney World”

–“Seattle Seahawks open a sensory room at their home field”

–“Get out your hankies…Missing 46-Year-Old Turtle Reunited In Rochester”

–“Biological age of humans reversed by years in groundbreaking study, scientists suggest”

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Monday. It’s what’s for breakfast. See you on the radio!

Friday, September 6, 2019

working warrior. Today is September 6, 2019, and Portland’s weather promises to be partly sunny–once the sun gets around to actually rising, ahem–with a chance of a morning shower and highs of 80. Sunrise 6:38 AM, sunset 7:39 PM.

Anyone hear thunder last night? As of 0400 radar shows scattered showers and a few isolated thunderstorms over Lane and Douglas counties, while forecasters say there’s a thunderstorm potential along a line from Corvallis to Sandy.
Hurricane Dorian is bobbing along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and gladly it’s downgraded to a Cat One with 90 MPH winds.

Ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz today is dropping his presidential campaign. In a letter to donors, he says, “[N]ot enough people today are willing to consider backing an independent candidate because they fear doing so might lead to re-electing a uniquely dangerous incumbent president.”

We’ll get the August job numbers this morning. Reading predictions from economists on whether we’re heading into good times or a recession reminds me of an old Dolly Parton line: “They don’t know whether to scratch their watch or wind their butt.”

The economy of rural Marion County will take a hit with the announcement that bankrupt Norpac Foods is shutting down the food processing plant in Stayton in October–and laying off 485 workers.

Oooh…the Portland Art Museum says part of the decorative ceiling came down on the ballroom, a famous event space in what was once the Mark Building and the Masonic Temple. Nobody was injured. That’s where the Schoolhouse Supplies Celebrity Spelling Bee used to be. That’s where The Doors played in the 60s!

Looks like homeless folks have been digging a tunnel along I-405 in downtown Portland. The social media site Reddit first posted pictures of a shallow tunnel being dug near a camp under the freeway at SW 1st Avenue; authorities followed up by rousting the ten people who were living there,and filling in the hole. Not sure what they were tunneling to…maybe it was an attempt at building a shelter for the winter…but it could potentially have caused a landslide onto 405.

A Portland judge handed a hard 3-year prison sentence to a 61-year-old white man who yelled racist insults, and waved a knife, at two African American kids in his SE apartment complex last year. Under the Oregon sentencing guidelines, the punishment could have been only 10 months in jail.

There’ll be rebellion in the air when the Portland Timbers host Sporting Kansas City tomorrow night at Providence Park, as the Timbers Army will show its displeasure over the banning of a number of fans–by declining to fly flags or deploy any smoke for goal celebrations. The fans are being punished for violating a league rule against political signage by deploying an anti-Nazi flag associated with Antifa. The Timbers Army says it will protest the suspension by showing only “banners featuring words instead of symbols to remind the world of our unwavering opposition to fascism and to discrimination.” Their statement goes on to say, “We want to make something very clear: Our fight is not a fight with the Portland Timbers. Our fight is against white nationalists, white supremacists, and others that seek to bring hate and violence to our stadium, city, state, and country.”

This was the day in 2006 when a Portland nurse came home from work only to be attacked by a hitman hired by her husband…and she killed him with her bare hands.

Nobody felt it but the whales and mermaids, but a series of undersea earthquakes jiggled the bedrock beneath the ocean way out west of Bandon yesterday, the biggest clocking in at 5.9. Lemme check the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network for updates…nope. Nothing further as of 0400. Geologists basically yawn at this activity, and say it protends nothing.

Cycle Oregon begins this weekend, starting and ending in Oakridge, and covering 400 miles including the rim of Crater Lake.

High school football begins tonight! Love the Friday night lights. My son played when he was in HS, then I was drafted to do PA for Lakeridge for a dozen very years. Every bit as challenging as the radio show I’m on, and just as much fun!

The angry Oregon Ducks will be inhospitable hosts indeed at Autzen Stadium for the University of Nevada at 4:30 PM tomorrow. But don’t look past the Wolf Pack–they surprised Purdue last week. Oregon State is over on the Islands to play at Hawaii at 9 PM for a late Saturday game that’ll be live-streamed only Facebook, not TV. Or you can hear Mike Parker describe it just as vividly on 1190 KEX!

Northern Colorado comes to Pullman to play the Cougars at 2 Saturday…Washington hosts the Cal Bears at 7:30 PM….the PSU Vikings host Simon Fraser at Hillsboro Stadium at 2 PM Saturday, a week after nearly upsetting the Razorbacks in Arkansas.

The Seahawks open at home Sunday at 1 against the Bengals on CBS.

The very listenable alternative rock band with the macabre name of Death Cab for Cutie—title of an old British doo-wop song—-plays at the Oregon Zoo Amphitheater tonight, and the Oregon Symphony plays there tomorrow evening. And tonight, for music lovers, the lovely Iron Maiden is at the Moda Center.

This was the day in 1985 when I was liberated from the last job I didn’t love!

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Something good, eh? Check the Cup.

–“Anonymous Man Buys Over 100 Generators To Send To Hurricane Dorian Victims”

–“Dads pumping up nervous kid on his way to his first day in school”

–“‘Max the tiny hero’ saved teacher’s life after she fell, hit her head on desk”
–“The love letters returned after 70 years thanks to Facebook romantics”

–“Maid of honor shows up to wedding in T. rex costume after being told she could wear anything”

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So much going on. I’ll wind it up there! Have a great weekend. Look forward to reading your comments!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Well, good morning! The gift of another day! It’s Thursday, September 5, 2019. Did thunder or lightning come your way overnight? I don’t believe we got any in the Portland area, but some may yet develop in Lane County and move north this morning as an upper-level storm system is bringing a chance of showers and thunderstorms to the PNW region through tonight. And it’ll be buggy and muggy, with highs of 85 to 90. Sunrise 6:36 AM, sunset 7:41 PM.

Having thoroughly battered the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian will is now hammering the coast of South Carolina as a Cat 3 with 115 MPH winds, and will target North Carolina next. (Alabama is sunny and hot). Watches and warnings now extend to the Delmarva Peninsula. Meantime, the Oregon Humane Society is bringing in 49 dogs and 25 cats from the hurricane zone, to make room in shelters there for pets who are displaced by the storm. I’ve messaged them inquiring about when they might be up for adoption, given the importance of medically screening the arrivals. They need to be, well…vetted.

An 11-year old girl in Salem says a man chased her home from the first day at Adam Stephens Middle School. Police will have an increased presence in the neighborhood today.

It’s legal in Oregon to strut around toting your rifle (ORS 166.173), but that didn’t calm any nerves at Tangent Elementary School in Linn County, where a staff member spotted a man with a weapon and wearing body armor striding along a street near the school. The building was put on lockdown and cops descended but quickly determined the man meant no harm and was actually on his way to do some business at City Hall. But “Deputies counseled him on the perception of walking by a school with a firearm and the alarm it caused, considering recent events nationally. ”

The Portland Timbers have banned “a handful of fans” for the next three matches at Providence Park for violating a league rule against political signage. They were displaying the logo of the “Iron Front,” an anti-Nazi paramilitary group in pre-war Germany. The Timbers Army says it’s disappointed in the ban and will have more to say today.

Fire up the pigskin, rub up the grill, and let’s get physical! it’s NFL time in America! The regular season begins this evening with the Packers and Bears at 5:20 PM on NBC. Oregonians who don’t give a rip who wins will have a chance to make it interesting by betting on games using the Oregon Lottery’s new mobile app called “Scoreboard,” but not just yet. Though we got a sneak peek during the State Fair, official rollout’s expected in late September or early October.

How do you feel about them newfangled self-checkout machines in stores? I much prefer people, but will deal with a robot to dodge a long line. Anyway, later today the AFL-CIO will submit preliminary signatures on a proposed 2020 Oregon ballot measure limiting stores to just two of the machines, claiming that “The widescale use of self-checkout machines in our state’s grocery stores is part of a deliberate corporate strategy that relies on automation to reduce labor costs and eliminate jobs. It disproportionately impacts workers of color. It disadvantages and inconveniences customers, especially the elderly and people with disabilities.”

At the same time, the union for 20,000 local grocery workers is inching closer to a walkout, as the two sides in wage talks are playing hardball. We’ll know more about timing and other details when the UFCWU Local 555 announces plans this coming Tuesday.

Tough times at Tektronix: the company that once was an economic engine for Oregon is cutting hundreds of jobs, many through buyouts.

This week we’ve been tracking the infuriating events of September 2017, when our cherished Columbia Gorge was in flames. On this date two years ago the Eagle Creek Fire had grown to 10,000 acres, thirty miles of Interstate 84 through the Gorge was shut down, Multnomah Falls Lodge was threatened…and the fire even crossed the river into Washington. Today the Portland AQI is 26. Compared to 2017’s triple digits, I love it. I honestly love it.

Have you never been mellow? Olivia Newton-John poses that question in a different way today as she appears before the Cannabis Science Conference at the Oregon Convention Center. She’s a breast cancer survivor, and cannabis has been a part of her recovery, and today she’ll deliver an address titled, “Plant Medicine – A Personal Healing Journey.”

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What’s the good word from the bright side of things? Check the Daily Drip Coffee Cup!
–“Upperclassmen befriend lonely freshman at lunch after he sat by himself on his first day of high school”
–“‘I’m In Heaven’: Homeless Father Reunited With Adult Daughters After 24 Years”
–“6-year-old uses money saved for Disney trip to help Hurricane Dorian evacuees”
–“Blind Man Develops Smart Cane That Uses Google Maps and Sensors”
–“What Is ‘Hell Yes’? Alex Trebek Returns To ‘Jeopardy’ Filming After Finishing Chemotherapy”

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Say, I just wanted to report that I’ve heard back from the Customs people on my complaint regarding an agent’s treatment of my wife at the PDX port of entry last week. They “regret any inconvenience or unpleasantness that you have experienced while being processed through CBP, ” and suggest that next time, I ask for a supervisor. I know it’s a small irk, but interpersonal kindness is a core value of mine, and I don’t regret speaking up. Maybe they’ll be a little nicer to the next folks coming into Portland on a transoceanic redeye; that’s all I want.

That, and a really fine day for us all!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Welcome, friends and neighbors, to this Wednesday, September 4, 2019! Portland’s weather is golden and dry, with sunny skies, highs around 82, but what’s this? A slight chance of dry thunderstorms after midnight? So we might be rocked by crashes from the sky on the graveyard shift like a week ago? We’ll see. I was away, but I read your posts describing quite the nocturnal experience. Sunrise happens 6:35 AM, and sunset 7:42 PM.

Let’s check: OK, as of 0400 Pacific, Hurricane Dorian is a Category Two with 105 MPH winds, 95 miles east of Daytona Beach, and has finally become un-glued from its pulverizing focus on the Bahama. The storm is on a northward track that’ll hug the southeast coast of the USA. Dorian’s eye might make landfall where South Carolina juts out around Charleston, but either way, the whole eastern seaboard is in for a whipping from the outer bands, a 5 to 8-foot storm surge, and a genuine dunking. Help from the NW is on the way, including the Red Cross and AMR, and if you know of others, let’s lift them up!

Oregon may have its first death caused by vaping cannabis from an e-cigarette. Something–doctors don’t know what–has caused a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory distress among young vapers, and although tobacco, and not marijuana, has been involved in what we’ve heard on the news this summer, the Oregon Health Authority says the July death of an unidentified individual who’d been vaping pot may be part of this disturbing trend.

Sad to say that the body of 37-year-old Tracy Allen was recovered from the Willamette River, where she’d been floating over the weekend with friends. She was wearing a life jacket, but the group ran into some tree roots in the river in Polk County.

Most of the kids in the Salem-Keizer district begin the school year today! We enjoyed so much reading folks’ stories yesterday about their back-to-school calamities. I shared some on the radio and will do more in the 6:20 AM Daily Drip break on K103 this morning. For all the children heading off to school, we wish you a calamity-free experience, and yes, your pants are on backward.

Folks who drive to Salem during off-hours are reminded that I-5 night paving is underway between Woodburn and Salem. Hope people zooming up and down the valley are mindful of the men and women at work; seems like we lose one every year or two.

The Trump administration is reportedly about to divert $3.6 billion from 127 military construction projects…to build the border wall. Lawmakers in both parties warn that will hurt military readiness, and scuttle projects that Congress specifically approved.

Today was the day two years when a shift in the winds pushed smoke from the Eagle Creek fire westward into the Portland area, bringing air quality to the danger zone. Happy to say that today’s air is green and clean, with a sparkling AQI, as of 0400, of 20. Hope tonight’s lightning doesn’t start anything to mess that up!

That bright object in the sky the other night? Not a fireball, not a planet, not a UFO, says OMSI’s Jim Todd….it was “an ascending weather balloon.”

Our town became a poorer one on this date in 1982, when The Oregon Journal–the city’s scrappy and nimble afternoon newspaper since 1902–published its last issue forever. The Journal featured the likes of Doug Baker (who did a daily news-gossip column; he interviewed me once by phone without identifying himself, but I knew); Dick Fagan, whose running bit created tiny Mill Ends Park; sports guy George Pasero, who chronicled milestones from the first NCAA basketball championship in 1939 won by the Oregon “Tall Firs,” to the great Portland baseball years, to the mighty Duck football teams in modern days. Even a young and gifted photog named David Hume Kennerly, the West Linn graduate who later won a Pulitzer in ’72 and became Jerry Ford’s White House photographer was on the Journal staff. And Dripster Mike Alesko, you were part of that crew too, weren’t you? Portland was a smarter place when we had two vibrant daily newspapers slugging it out. Good times.

Today would have been Paul Harvey’s 101st birthday. Miss him too.

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Page Two!

Good news! Check the Coffee Cup for the rest of the story.

–“Former Navy SEAL enters Yale as a 52-year-old freshman”
–“One-year-old boy beams with joy after hearing music for the first time thanks to cochlear implants”
–“‘I’m Just For Animals’: The Veterinarian Who Rescues Animals From Conflict Zones”
–“Two French guys save kitty in distress”
–“Owner of Pho King Good noodle shop says he’s not in on joke”

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Oops, sorry about that last one, especially for folks with tender ears who read this stuff aloud over the breakfast table. Off we go into the second day of a four day week, in which we who toil must accomplish five days of work. So with that, I’ll just sign off….”Radio Daddio…….
……….”Good day!”

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Bonjour! No, wait. That was nine time zones ago. Um, Howdy! Here’s the reappearance of the wandering Drip for Tuesday, September 3, 2019! We’re all taking a cold plunge back into the swift waters of reality today. Schools in Beaverton, Tigard, Gresham, Hillsboro, Oregon City, and lots of other towns are ringing the beckoning bells for the first time, just as Portland and Vancouver did last week. So watch for lurching buses and sugared kids and time-stressed carpool parents, and folks like me who may not remember how to do whatever the heck it is we do. Portland’s weather will be sunny with highs of 80, once the morning clouds boil off. Sunrise comes at 6:34 AM, and sunset goes at 7:44 PM.

First thing: an update on Hurricane Dorian, which is imperiling a good section of the American map. As of this morning, the storm’s been slightly demoted to Category Three, with winds whipping at 125 MPH, and it’s still nearly stalled over the Bahamas, where at least 5 are known dead. It’ll begin its march up the Southeast US coast today; there are hurricane warnings from Jacksonville north. I know that a number of our Daily Drip community have family members in the hurricane zone, and we send our very best wishes to your loved ones. Keep us up to date, please?

Found alive!–a 59-year-old California man who came to Oregon for his daughter’s wedding, then wandered off his brother’s Polk County property and got lost a week ago on a Christmas tree farm. Some farmers found him yesterday morning, dehydrated but in good spirits. He survived by eating berries.

This is the first working morning of some changes to TriMet’s schedules, like bumping all MAX trains two minutes later, to somehow improve connections with the struggling WES. The downtown end of bus 19, which gets tangled up in traffic snaking onto the Ross Island Bridge, is shifting off the Sheridan Curves (did you know they had a name?) and onto SW Lincoln. Several lines have added weekend operations, and a handful have minor adjustments to speed things along.

We’ve learned that Newport’s Undersea Garden is shutting down. That’s the one where the people are behind glass, underwater, and the fish are outside looking in at us aghast, no doubt, having read the news.

The Eagle Creek fire started on this date in 2017. A whole bunch of hikers were trapped on a trail when the kid torched the Gorge, and they were led out on this day two years ago.

Nice to see that Channel 6 is back on DirecTV. Hi, Jeff and Jennifer! Hi, Sixty Minutes! Now, come on DirecTV suits, get us the Pac 12 network already. KOIN-TV, by the way, just started playing the Star-Spangled Banner at the beginning of its local programming day, at 3:59 AM, on orders of its parent company. It’ll be performed by “emerging artists.”

Look who’s at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield tonight: Heart! Seattle’s Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, have reunited after a squabble between inlaws in 2016.

Happy birthday to Portland native Damon Stoudamire, the hometown hero of the Portland Trailblazers who veered from the path during the weedy Jail Blazer days, but is now a respected Division I head coach for the men’s basketball team at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. He’s 46 today.

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So what good news can I find? And do I remember how to post the links in the Coffee Cup?

–“Oregon Woman Turns School Buses Into Tiny Homes for Working Homeless Families”

–“Jonas Brothers surprise fan in hospital after she missed concert for chemotherapy treatment”

–“Stranger Buys Shoes For Kid After Overhearing Single Mom’s Conversation”

–“Officer searching for teen after witnessing his incredible act of kindness”

–“Washing Machines Are Learning to Play the Harp”

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It almost feels good to be awake before dawn on Pacific time and writing the Drip and getting set for a morning on the radio with my partners Bruce and Janine! I’ve had my fill of faraway travel for a while. Eternal flights, customs hassles…and though the river cruise experience is relaxing and interesting, we’ve been mainly hanging out with Americans for the last couple of weeks. I wore a Portland Timbers cap with a T on the front, and people looked at me curiously. What does that T stand for? One winegrower in France looked at me directly as he told our group to tell our president that climate change is real, and it’s hurting his vineyards. I ended up accidentally leaving the cap on the Lyon-to-Paris TGV. I really love lurking around foreign lands, we’ve covered a ton of them, treading historic ground, meditating in musty old churches with heavenly stained glass, sipping wine over timeless afternoons in quaint cafes, people-watching in the town square and chatting in broken high-school French with local folks whose facility with language isn’t confined to their own native tongues. We’ll do it again! But not for…maybe a year.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The train’s pulled into the Friday station, friends, and here’s where I hop off for a little while. But first, one last Daily Drip for August 16, 2019! Portland and the valleys will see the clouds hanging around until early afternoon, with a slight chance of morning rain or drizzle, and highs of 65 to 70. Same for tomorrow. But probably no well-timed downpours. Sunrise moves to 6:12 AM, and sunset’s now at 8:16 PM, which is perfect for libations on the deck!

Quick news about our planet…

We’ve had one of our little offshore earthquakes…magnitude 3.8, around midnight, west of Coos Bay.

NOAA says July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880.

The foreign minister of Greenland says the island is “Open for business but not for sale.” This follows the Wall Street Journal report that “President Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered island.”

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It’s fair to say our town is on edge this weekend, with several distinct factions set on making their point–and creating what they hope will become viral video evidence to support that point. We’ve got the fringe right, starring boisterous out-of-towners, hopped up on talk radio and eager to prove the left are terrorists by provoking them. We’ve got the left, encompassing the whole local rainbow, from the staunch and antiviolent Trump resistance, all the way to the masked Antifa which can and will inflict damage and injury. And we’ve got the mayor and the police chief, with every cop on the payroll on duty, needing to show that they can, after all, do what they say is their job: protecting free speech while stopping violence in its tracks. There are wildcards a-plenty. Fox News ran a banner saying that “All Hell Will Break Loose in Portland.” Some would like that to happen. And it’s taking place under a national media microscope that includes both legitimate journalists and partisan platforms, together with the whole spectrum of opinion-based social media which will probably drive the perceptions of how it all turns out.

In a not-at-all unrelated development, the Multnomah County DA’s office has filed felony charges against Joey Gibson, the leader of Vancouver’s Patriot Prayer, for one of the violent episodes earlier this year. And a couple of guys on the other side have been picked up as well. The message, to any combatants this weekend, is that if you come to Portland and you engage in violence, be ready to experience incarceration in our fair city. It’s time to make that promise good.

For everyone else…stay clear of the government-blocks area between SW 4th and the Waterfront. Check radio or your traffic apps for street closures. Be ready for disruptions in traffic or transit….but go about your world.

This could be a defining moment for Portland.

And there’s a full moon.

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Other happenings, briefly….

There’s a forest fire in Lane County’s Mt. Pisgah, a popular recreation area. It’s closed for now.

If you get a chance to find it on their web site (since lots of us satellite subscribers no longer get Channel 6), KOIN does a nice story about how a Japanese garden has been created by inmates within the walls of the Oregon State Penitentiary–with the help of the people behind the famed Japanese Garden in Portland.

And…there’s both a book club and quilting lessons for the women prisoners at Coffee Creek.

Well, here’s a point of pride…an insurance company’s analysis of millions of traffic infractions reveals that Gresham drivers have the 13th worst driving record of any city in the country, and certainly the worst in Oregon.

NASCAR figure Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family were in a plane that ran off a runway and caught fire alongside a highway yesterday in Tennessee. He, his wife and young daughter, along with the two pilots, are all fine.

***

We lost Aretha Franklin one year ago today. And it’s the day Elvis Presley died in 1977.

Tonight was supposed to be the kickoff of ZZ Top’s 50th-anniversary tour at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield…but the show’s been scrubbed because the drummer has pneumonia.

Taj Mahal and Marc Cohn play at the Oregon Zoo tonight, and Herbie Hancock tomorrow. Big Pink Martini does concerts at Edgefield.

Earl Blumenauer, who as a boyish prodigy politician was elected to the Oregon Legislature at 25, turns 71 today. He ran for mayor against Vera Katz and lost, but now he and his bowtie collection have been in Congress for 23 years.

The Portland Thorns play the Washington Spirit tomorrow night at Providence Park, and that’s the place to be. Or…

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is playing at the Keller. Plenty of seats remain.

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Something good, before we go on our late-summer break?

–“12-year-old Oklahoma boy breaks into hot car to save toddler locked inside”

–“50 Years After They Met at Woodstock, Couple Finally Finds a Photo of Their First Hours Together”

–“Lawn guy offers to adjust mowing schedule for neighbor who’s an officer working graveyard shift”

–“12-Year-Old Boy Guides Ambulance Over Flooded Bridge”

–“The remarkable couple who met in a care home and defied the odds to find love, a family of their own and a successful business”

Links here.

***

That’s that for now. We’ll crank up some Dripster threads while I’m away, and I’ll keep an eye on things this weekend and report in when needed.

So one more air shift with Bruce and Janine, and I’ll head off on vacation, not wanting to talk overmuch on this nefarious social media platform about exactly where and when. Plenty of time away, but plenty of time at home, in the Northwest, in America, still and all the place I feel overwhelmingly blessed to call home. We’ll fix it. We always do.

Au revoir pour maintenant!