Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Howdy, Y’all! It’s Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Following yesterday’s spitfire of hail and technicolor rainbows, Portland’s in the path of some leftover rain cells; but we’ll dry out and moderate under the mid-March sun to a high around 50. We’re still on track for Dave Salesky’s 65-degree IPA threshold on Sunday! Sunrise 7:27 AM, and sunset 7:13 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

Spring begins one week from today!

Airplane news: A Horizon flight encountered engine trouble shortly after takeoff from PDX, and made a safe and uneventful return to the airport. A passenger shot video of the ominously-still left engine, which looks disturbing, but the plane is built to fly just fine on one engine, and it did.

Concern over the flightworthiness of Boeing’s newest plane, the 737 Max 8, has led to its grounding almost everywhere but the US and Canada. The FAA stands by its insistence that the “aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX . . . shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft.” I’ve read posts from U.S. pilots who like the plane, but think it’s a matter of training in how to interface with what amounts to a robot, controlling the very important nose up vs nose down thing. President Trump has been on the phone with the CEO of Boeing, with whom he has a relationship and who donated to his inaugural, and who wants the planes kept in the sky. But I’ve seen no suggestion of influence on the FAA’s decision.

(I’m a user of the Flightradar24 app, which allows you to search flights by aircraft type, and this morning there are flocks of Max 8’s flying up and down the eastern seaboard, and only one over Europe, where none are allowed–a flight from Vilnius to Prague).

In what some see as an overdue sign that local prosecutors are treating white supremacist violence as the crime that is is, a 23-year old Vancouver man who belongs to the “Proud Boys” will be arraigned this morning in the unprovoked beating of a man at NE 12th and Broadway…way last June.

Oregon’s Senate has unanimously passed a bill requiring Holocaust education in schools.

A year and a half after someone’s thoughtless firecracker, nature is still paying the price. From the NWS yesterday afternoon: “A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the Eagle Creek Burn Area due to a report of heavy rain. Rainfall amounts may be high enough to cause rockfall and debris flow in and near the Eagle Creek Burn Area.”

That college admissions bribery scandal, in which dozens of moneyed people including “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman are accused of bribing their kids’ ways into elite colleges, is burning the tailfeathers of hardworking students and their parents all across the country. The notion that privilege and cash outrank intelligence and effort lends bitter support to the worst suspicions that people hold of the way things really work. But it’s satisfying to see it exposed, and more arrests may come. Among the busted is the new California owner of Oregon’s Benton-Lane winery, who stands accused of paying fifty grand to have his daughter take the SAT with help during the exam– after which it was allegedly “corrected”..and she still got only 1360 out of 1600. I feel a need to counteract this with your real-life stories of how you made it into your life’s work; for me, I scrubbed toilets at a 10,000 watt daytime station in high school and worked fulltime on the air through college, and was ultimately able to pick an awesome station when it came time to raise a family in the place I love. And that’s how I’d do it all again. How about you?

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During a momentary ceasefire in the partisan wars, President Trump signed a public lands bill–vigorously advocated by Oregon’s Ron Wyden– that will, among other things, save for future generations the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, one of the last old growth forests in southern Oregon’s coastal mountains.

The activist podcast “Pod Save the People” originates from Portland tonight at Revolution Hall. Featured guest is City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

CJ McCollum had a blistering 23-point 4th quarter as the Blazers put away the LA Clippers 125-104.

The Oregon State Beavers took the nation’s No. 1 ranking into last night’s non-conference Civil War baseball game with Oregon….and beat the Ducks 7-6.

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The best part of waking up is something tasty in the Coffee Cup!

–“Man Narrowly Missed Ethiopian Airlines Flight That Crashed After Takeoff”

–“Late-blooming exercisers may get the same benefits as lifelong gym rats”

–“How a Detroit Tigers pitcher is saving 36 girls in Uganda”

–“Metalheads with kazoos drown out Westboro Baptist Church at Capitol”

–“He couldn’t hack it as a drug-sniffing dog. Now he’s conservation’s best friend”

Have you checked out the Coffee Cup lately? There’s good stuff there.

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That’s this morning’s report so far…your turn to comment on things…tune in 103.3 FM at 6:20 and see what shows up on the air!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Good morning, Portland, you’ve GOT this!

It sure is dark, considering that it’s Daylight Time. But that’s the way it is, on Monday, March 11, 2019. Sunrise isn’t til 7:31 AM, when our star pops out of our mountain, but then the light blue lingers way past sunset at 7:11 PM. Portland’s weather–after a bright and beautiful weekend–will likely be a mix of sun and clouds, with highs running up to 52. So we’re actually cracking 50, but it’s still below normal, continuing a string of 37 consecutive days of subpar temps at PDX. When will be the first 60? Best guess: St. Patrick’s Day!

I have thought of neither work nor news since last we met, but I’ve done some catching up so let’s plunge in:

A young guy pulled an air pistol, which looks exactly like a no-kidding gun, on a Lloyd Center store employee. Might have been Zumiez, or however you spell it. Cops responded in full gear, and he gave up in a kneeling surrender. Apparently someone in the mall yelled “Shooter!” Folks reacted as you might imagine, and the whole mall was locked down until things were straightened out. Lloyd Center does not need this.

Police would like us to be on the lookout for Virginia Bach, 84, who left her home in Beaverton on foot last night around 9:30 and didn’t return. She might have been heading to Lake Oswego.

A home at SE 87th and Division was burned in a fire that neighbors say was caused by a cigarette butt. Two dogs ran from the home and, to my knowledge, haven’t been found. One’s a black lab mix, the other’s a black and white collie. No collars, no microchips.

A gentleman is getting lots of good feelings from the internet for posting that he and his dog “went out to my favorite water hole, High Rocks, and spent a few hours cleaning up trash”–with a photo of him sitting on four or five giant bags of garbage. He’s being called Ridiculously Photogenic Trash Collector Guy. Which reminds me that SOLVE’s Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup is less than two weeks away.

Bridgeport Brewpub, Oregon’s original craft brewery, filled its last growler last night.

Stay tuned for new developments today on the C.W. Parker Carousel, which delighted Portlanders for decades at Jantzen Beach, and will soon be making a comeback.

Early this morning a flatback truck will haul a big huge crane up Broadway Drive and Greenway Avenue all the way up to Council Crest Park, where it’ll help replace the roof of that tall green Council Crest Water Tank, a job that will take well into summer.

The Oregon Ducks fell to Stanford 64-57 in the championship game of the Pac 12 women’s basketball tournament. Brackets for the national tournament will be selected a week from today, and we’ll see Oregon and Oregon State there as well. (Brackets for the mens’ edition of March Madness will be announced next Sunday).

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Several airlines and the government of China have grounded their new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, after one operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on takeoff from Addis Adaba. The same model crashed off the coast of Indonesia in five months ago. The cause is unknown. The Max has bigger and more fuel-efficient engines than earlier 737s, and they shift the center of gravity forward, which increases the tendency for the nose to pitch up after take-off. So to counteract that, Boeing invented sensors to point the nose of the plane down if it has pitched too high and could be in danger of stalling.

A woman in her thirties climbed over a barrier to take a selfie with a jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona. She’s lucky to be hospitalized with only a wound on the arm.

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Today is the 8th anniversary of that terrifying day in Japan when a 9-point subduction zone earthquake, just like those that have re-engineered the Oregon coast over history, triggered a tsunami that killed at least 10,000 people. It also caused the second-worst nuclear accident in history, and pushed waves that rattled docks as far away as the Oregon coast, while following up with debris that’s arrived here ever since.

It’s the 15th anniversary of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, after which Portland-area lawyer Brandon Mayfield was wrongly accused, the result of a fingerprint mixup and the fact that he was a convert to Islam who had previously represented a Portland cell of Taliban wannabes. It all ended in an apology from the government and a $2 million settlement.

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Let’s see what we can post in the Smile File today!

–“Son tweets about Dad’s new doughnut shop being empty. Store sells out next day.”

–“A taste of coexistence: How a Palestinian and an Israeli found friendship through food”

–“Steph Curry releases sneaker co-designed by girl who asked why only boys sizes existed”

–“Dallas Library Offers Free Prom Dresses to Teens”

–“Man Who Stood on Street Corner with Sign to Reunite Dog with Owner Now Getting Date Requests”

Details in the Daily Drip Coffee Cup!

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Let’s everybody be patient with our fellow sleepy people; adjusting to the time change will take a few days. Just pretend you’re back from vacation on some distant sunny shore, and you’re experiencing some well-earned jet lag!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Hello friends, and hello Friday! It’s March 8, 2019, and if winter was the Oscars, the band would be playing it off the stage right now…once again we have snow showers likely in the morning, even down to the valley floor, then rain and snow showers likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch, primarily above 500 feet, and highs of 40 to 45. But check this out: weather folks are saying this may be our last shot at snow this winter, and KPTV’s Mark Nelsen even blogs that he took his snow tires off. And the weekend looks pretty good, partly sunny with highs of 45 to 50. Sunrise 6:36 AM, sunset 6:07 PM.

We change to Daylight Time at 2 AM Sunday. We’re all good with that, right? Right?

Vancouver police have been involved in their third fatal shooting in three weeks, this time in Hazel Dell when a drug suspect with a gun failed to obey police orders; it’s not clear whether he actually fired.

Best wishes from all of us to State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, who’s been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and will have surgery in a few weeks. Prognosis is good.

Traffic update! Forget about the Hawthorne Bridge this weekend…it’ll be closed to motor vehicles from 10 tonight until 5 AM, or earlier, on Monday. They’re doing a concrete pour.

And: PGE, working on upgrades to the electrical grid, is planning temporary power outages in downtown Portland at 4 am on this Sunday and two weeks from Sunday. Both are expected to last one hour but in the event of unforeseen problems, they could last up to five hours.

Iconic Portland TV salesman Tom Peterson passed away three years ago, and now, at age 89, we’ve lost Gloria, too.

They aren’t the Sonics anymore, but the rivalry was as intense as ever as the Oklahoma City Thunder came to the Trail Blazer’s home court–and left with a four-game season sweep over Portland, winning what coach Terry Stotts called “a hell of a game” 129-121 in a nationally televised overtime. Damian Lillard scored 51–just the 12th time in team history that a Blazer topped 50–while Jusuf Nurkic was ejected, and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook shushed and taunted the sellout crowd to the point where he was booed every time he’d get near the ball. “I’d boo me too, if I were on the other team,” said Westbrook. The Blazers would love to meet these guys again in the playoffs.

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North Korea seems to have rebuilt a rocket site that was initially used to launch satellites but is reconfigurable to fire long-range missiles toward, ulp, the US West Coast. The State Department says it’s monitoring the activity, and that “The intent of the North Koreans in this matter is known only to them … They need to keep their commitments to the president of the United States.”

It could have been five times more, but former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will spend less than 4 years in prison for tax and bank fraud. The only other chair of a presidential campaign to be sent to prison was Richard Nixon’s John Mitchell, and Nixon was out of office by then.

K.c. Cowan, did you really get stuck in an elevator for 45 minutes?

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“The Simpsons” cartoon series has dropped from rerun rotation the episode in which Michael Jackson makes a guest appearance.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2019 season begins Saturday night in Ashland with a preview performance of the musical “Hairspray.”

Happy 60th birthday tomorrow to the Barbie doll! The first commercial aired on the Mickey Mouse Club, a lilting melody that finished with the lyrics, “Barbie, the beautiful Barbie..I’ll make believe that I am you!” Maybe a little creepy in restrospect? You decide; I’ve linked to that spot in the Coffee Cup. Barbie herself had a bit of a past–she was modeled on the German Lilli doll, based on kind of an R-rated comic, and sold in smoke shops. Mattel bought the rights for 21 thousand bucks. Have to admit Barbie’s never been my type. Too plastic.

Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio left and went away 20 years ago today.

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Here’s today’s Smile File!

–“Check out the very first Barbie Doll commercial”

–“60-year-old single dad on raising 7 adopted kids: ‘Love happens’”

–“High school seniors shovel neighbor’s driveway at 4:30 a.m. so she could make it to her dialysis”

–“For Sale: The English Farmhouse That May Have Inspired ‘Wuthering Heights’”

–“Tuba player finds harmony after overcoming homelessness”

After a daylong outage, I can finally access the Coffee Cup. Just scroll to the number one slot in Comments. If you don’t see it, just click “View More Comments” and it should be at the top. Sorry about the elusive nature of these links..I’ve been experimenting with ways to make them more easily findable..and managed to anger the Facebook gods!

So that’s the week. Love to hear what you’re up to!

Smile File links for Friday, March 8, 2019

Our company web-posting gears have ground to a halt, so I’m deploying this backup parachute. Just click on the headlines to read the full stories!

NHL player hugs young fan who lost Mom

60-year-old single dad on raising 7 adopted kids: ‘Love happens’

High school seniors shovel neighbor’s driveway at 4:30 a.m. so she could make it to her dialysis

For Sale: The English Farmhouse That May Have Inspired ‘Wuthering Heights’

Tuba player finds harmony after overcoming homelessness

 

 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Good morning! Time to wake up and enjoy a cup of the fresh Daily Grind! It’s Thursday, March 7, 2019. We may see more of those flurrious snowflakes gently melting on contact–although if temps have dipped below 32, then yesterday’s slush is this morning’s glare ice. So checking our 3 AM temps: PDX 38..Salem 37…Hillsboro 35…Troutdale 34…my deck 32.5. The wind shifted overnight, cutting off the cold Gorge blast and bringing a warmer onshore flow. But we’ll keep a vigil on the traffic cams and the school network and pass along any aberrations on K103’s live-and-local morning show. Same conditions apply tomorrow, and then it should be a dry and warmer weekend, with highs that could actually achieve 50. Portland hasn’t seen 50 since Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. That rat should be investigated for fraud! Sunrise 6:38 AM, sunset 6:05 PM.

Here comes the state of Washington, hoping to restart the I-5 bridge project that it scuttled six years ago. The state Senate Transportation Committee passed a $15 billion transportation package that includes $450 million for a new bridge over the Columbia River. Vancouver Democratic Sen. Annette Cleveland said: “This is only a down payment on what a new bridge will cost, of course, but we anticipate funding from other avenues, including our federal and Oregon state partners once we agree on a mutual vision for the new bridge.” I envision a bridge with light rail tracks. Twenty-first century, you know?

Oregon’s late Secretary of State Dennis Richardson was remembered, during his state funeral at the Oregon Capitol, as a tenacious, kind, and effective public servant, An overflow bipartisan crowd attended and a Blackhawk helicopter flyover followed. It was the first state funeral at the Capitol in 35 years–the last was for Governor Tom McCall. (Governor Vic Atiyeh had a “public memorial” there, and apparently that’s different).

Sen. Jeff Merkley extracted a promise from President Trump’s nominee for the ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia, with whose regime Trump is friendly, that he’ll request a State Department inquiry into the apparent Saudi government practice of posting bail for citizens accused of crimes in the US–and then whisking them home. It’s happened five times in Oregon. The nominee, retired Gen. John P. Abizaid, said that he’ll initiate a probe–if Merkley votes to confirm him.

It’s sentencing day for Paul Manafort. He could get 25 years for tax and bank fraud.

Shark warnings are posted on the Oregon Coast after a surfer was nearly bitten off Pacific City. He put his board between himself and the dangerous fish, possibly clubbing it on the nose, and paddled like crazy to shore. He says he’ll keep surfing, explaining, “Hopefully my card was punched and I’m good now.”

OMSI has scrubbed a planned Michael Jackson laser show at its planetarium this month because of the explosive documentary that aired on HBO. A statement on the OMSI web site reads, “One of our goals is to be an inclusive place where people feel safe to learn, play and grow. Due to the controversial nature of the documentary and out of respect for those who may have personal experiences relative to the content of the documentary, we feel it is not appropriate to play this show.” They’ll do an AC/DC laser show instead.

As of today, when a store in Australia stops renting videos, the last Blockbuster in the world is in Bend. That store continues to thrive–thanks in part to the lack of high-speed internet service in vast stretches of rural Oregon, where Netflix doesn’t work so well, and renting a good old DVD or even a videotape is one way to stay entertained on a cold winter night.

The self-checkout machines at the Gateway Fred Meyer seemed to have sprung a cash leak, with hundreds of thousands of dollars vanishing–but the company didn’t have to look far to find the thief. The store’s own loss prevention manager was convicted of sneaking in at night over a six-month period and helping herself to the money. She’ll be sentenced next month.

Our very best wishes to ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek, who revealed that he recently received the tough diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The gentleman vowed in a video that despite a 3% five-year survival rate, he’s going to fight this. “Truth told, I have to. Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win.”

Today marks the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the day in 1965 when 600 civil rights marchers were brutally attacked by state and local police in Selma, Alabama.

A Florida groom spent his wedding night in jail…after slugging a bystander who wouldn’t move out of the way for wedding photos.

They’re down to the last nine home games of the regular season, and tonight’s clash between the Blazers and Oklahoma City carries serious playoff implications. The former Seattle vs. Portland rivals are both 39-25 and are in a three-way tie for the third seed in the West.

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And now, from our Smile File…

–“How a veteran went from homelessness to sweet success after making a delicious mistake”

–“Supermarket Keeps Retraining Employee With Dementia So She Can Continue Working”

–“Researcher develops wheat variety safe for people with Celiac disease”

–“Stray dog becomes first to conquer Himalayan summit after tagging along with climbing expedition”

–“This Woman Set Up A Photo Booth For Birds In Her Yard, And The Results Are Extraordinary (30 Pics)”

Details in the DD Coffee Cup here. Time to roll, friends!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Good morning, and welcome to the little neighborhood coffee shop we call the Daily Drip! Today is Wednesday, March 6, 2019, and before we get to anything else, we need to check the Daily Drip Weather Center to find out if yesterday’s hints at a touch of winter are coming true. It’s a dry 31 degrees at PDX right now, but the National Weather Service posted this statement just as I’m writing this, at 0325:

…SPOTTY LIGHT FREEZING RAIN THIS MORNING…Light rain over Lane County will spread northward this morning. But temperatures in many areas are still around, or just below
freezing. So, this will result in areas of sleet or freezing rain or the interior lowlands. Fortunately, precipitation will be light, resulting in only light ice accumulation, generally up to 0.05 of an inch. Some areas closer to the Columbia Gorge may see a light mixture of sleet, freezing rain and snow this morning.

OK…so maybe something, maybe not. At this early moment, I don’t see any ODOT or PBOT tweets, school announcements, or power problems. That could change, and we’ll hustle that information onto the radio on 103.3, then put updates on the Daily Drip Facebook page here.

What a winter. Portland’s hospital ERs all have an hour-long wait thanks to a whole lot of people battling the flu. OHSU put out a statement summing it up: “The entire city is struggling with capacity issues due to an acute spike in the flu, which is putting pressure on Emergency Departments and hospitals everywhere.” KGW reports, in a story featuring a recent experience by media figure and Daily Drip participant K.c. Cowan, that hospitals all over town are packed. But as KC points out, people are still getting great care. Quick-care clinics may be a good choice. Watch out about going out of network. $$.

These are intense times in the Oregon Capitol. The legislature (in other words, the taxpayer) will pay a 1.1 million dollar sexual harassment settlement to eight women, and the biggest chunk by far goes to two former interns who were subjected to the ways of Senator Jeff Kruse. The settlement includes an agreement to create an office to handle complaints of this nature, plus an apology from the leadership with a commitment to allow such sins no more. And one of those leaders is suddenly taking a leave of absence: Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat who’s been under criticism for allegedly underreacting to complaints about the Republican Kruse, emailed as follows: “Under the advice of my doctors, I am taking a medical leave of absence of 10 days…. I look forward to returning to the Senate in full health and continuing our work together this session.”

Portland’s venerable Alpenrose Dairy and all of its amenities including baseball fields and a velodrome could be weeks away from being shut down and sold to developers. A lawsuit by heirs to the founders seeks to block other family members from carrying out the planned liquidation.

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The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 120-111 in the final game of solid 5-2 road trip, and are now in a 3-way tie for 3rd in the West with the Rockets and the Thunder–who happen to be coming to town for a crucial clash at the Rose Garden tomorrow night.

We’ll soon see a self-portrait of Tonya Harding we’ve never known, as the former star skater will share her story of surviving domestic violence–beginning at the hands of her own mother–at next weeks’ University of Oregon 20th Anniversary Domestic Violence Clinic Fundraiser and Gala. Said Harding in a U of O interview reprinted on OregonLive, “together, my husband and I are raising our son to be a happy, nice, gentle and loving little boy – so that he can grow up to be a good, loving, and gentle man.”

One Kanye West played a private concert for Adidas employees at their North Portland HQ yesterday. He’d been spotted having dinner the previous evening at the Korean restaurant Han Oak at NE 24th and Sandy Blvd. Kanye and Adidas are partners on his Yeezy line of shoes.

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Her Mom was a nurse…her Dad owned the largest shirt factory in Germany but it was seized by the Nazis….so together the young family escaped to freedom in the new land of America, settled in the state of Oregon, bought a hat company and named it after the biggest local river, and eventually began manufacturing outdoor clothing; she took over as president when her husband died, and turned Columbia Sportswear into a massively successful, publicly-traded corporation with herself as spokesmodel. Happy 95th birthday to Gert Boyle…let’s say it together…One Tough Mother!

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Here are some stories worth reading, in the links provided in the Daily Drip Coffee Cup below.

–“Panicked Bridesmaid Leaves Dress At Home, But Southwest Swoops In To Save The Day.”

–“City Bus Driver Stops To Help Car Stuck In Snow On Train Tracks–and her Passengers Jumped Out to Help”

–“‘Momma, you’re OK:’ 7-year-old girl calls 911 to save her mother”

–“A Navy veteran jumped into a New Jersey river to rescue a woman following a car crash”

–“Found: A ‘Life’ Magazine Stolen From a Library 51 Years Ago The sender returned it, confessed, and paid up.” Cool cover.

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It’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season for those of the Christian faith.

Spring begins two weeks from today, as evidenced by the lengthening, though frigid, days. Sunrise today is at 6:40 AM, sunset 6:04 PM; yesterday I walked my miles without a flashlight or reflector vest for the first time since November. Bring it on!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Morning all! You and the Daily Drip have found each other on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Our Northwest weather continues to be cold and lip-crackling-dry, are you noticing? Dry throat, lots of static electricity? Today will partly sunny with highs in the 40s, but then: tonight a chance of very light snow begins around midnight and continues into tomorrow morning, with the sticking level right down to zero feet above sea level. An inch or less, is the latest guess for Portland. That could give us a challenging commute on Wednesday. Sunrise 6:42 AM, sunset 6:03 PM.

Ladies and gentlemen…President Jeff Merkley! That’s a phrase you’ll not be hearing soon, longshot though it may have been, as Oregon’s junior Senator is announcing today that after mulling it over for a year, he’s decided to run for re-election to his secure Senate seat, rather than plunging into the crowded pool of hopefuls for 1600 Pennsylvania.

There’s a bill in the Oregon Legislature to keep our state permanently on Daylight Time. It’s sponsored by Republicans Kim Thatcher and Bill Post, and Democrat John Lively. Some clever person decided that SB 320 will come up for a public hearing–get this–on Tuesday, a week from today, at 8:30 AM…when we’ve just made the lurch to Daylight Time. People will be discombobulated from the time switch, and that’s the point. (The downside is that if we stick with daylight time year-round, our kids will be feeling their way to school in pitch darkness at 8 AM in December).

KGW reveals that Oregon is experiencing a decline in the birth rate–and that last year’s arrival of 42,067 squealing little bundles is the lowest number in 25 years. This baby bust is chalked up to women having kidlets later–in part because of student loan debt–and some people making a lifestyle choice not to have children at all. It’s part of a national trend. Yet the state’s population is continuing to grow–thanks to people coming here to live their lives in the green, blue Northwest.

Suddenly a sandwich shop in southeast Portland that many people loved, delicately named “Shut Up and Eat,” has shuttered for good. The place made gigantic sandwiches, and it served the last one on Sunday.

An apparently famous comedian named Micah ‘Katt’ Sierra Williams, who’s accused of slugging a Portland chauffeur for not letting his dog ride in the front seat of a limousine last fall, was a no-show for his trial on assault charges in Multnomah County Circuit Court. There’s a warrant now for his arrest.

It’s Mardi Gras!—and in a fun coincidence, tonight’s the night the Oregon Historical Society welcomes former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who’s certainly tossed a few beads from Mardis Gras floats in his time. He’s here tonight in his capacity as the mayor who took down the statue of Robert E. Lee; The title of his appearance: “In the Shadow of Statues, a White Southerner Confronts History.” He’s at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall tonight as part of the 2019 Mark O. Hatfield Lecture Series.

Also happening in our town tonight:

Made internationally famous on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album, but with a recording history that began a decade earlier and continues today, South Africa’s stellar male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo is at the Aladdin Theater tonight. (They’re on the tracks “Diamonds on the Souls of her Shoes” and “Homeless” on “Graceland”).

Luke Perry was only 52 when he succumbed to a stroke. The “Beverly Hill 90210” heartthrob was a household name in the 90s, and still had a fairly prolific acting career. In fact, he’d already filmed a role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming flick about Charles Manson called “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Country singer Patsy Cline was killed in a private plane crash on this day in 1963. She was 30. Thirty-three-year-old John Belushi died of an OD this day in 1982.

Happy birthday to Dr. John Kitzhaber, governor emeritus.

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Today’s guaranteed-to-make-you-smile headlines, with links in the Coffee Cup below..

–“City Bus Driver Stops To Help Car Stuck In Snow On Train Tracks”

–“Thousands line up in rain for stem cell test to help child with cancer”

–“This Hiker Saved the Life of an Alaskan Timber Wolf—4 Years Later the Wolf Still Remembered Him” (This is a good read, though it may set off your “tall tale” detector).

–“From rags to wrenches: Brent Jones went from cleaning SF’s cable cars to taking charge of Muni’s iconic fleet”

–“Grandma Spotted Carrying Teen With Cerebral Palsy Up Stairs Gets Life-Changing Gift.”

Details in the Coffee Cup right here. Have a great day, friends!