Good morning, and welcome to the Fridayest Friday there ever was! Today is December 20, 2019, the last day of Fall, and the last day of some other things too, but tomorrow is a new season in so many ways that have yet to reveal themselves. It’s a day of celebration!
Portland’s weather is a work of abstract art associated with an atmospheric river that flows and pours from far beyond the horizon. Now, the course of this mighty river has bent slightly to the north. So the heaviest precipients are between Kalama and Olympia. The cause of the northward bend was a blob of warm air which has created balmy conditions locally. It’s a weirdly warm 55 as I step out into the dark for the last time. The cause of the blob of warm air is unknown; perhaps the migrating whales had some bean dip. But what about Christmas? Well: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day look partly cloudy, with highs of 45 and lows of 35. And a 100% chance of comfort, joy, and blessings for everyone!
Sunrise, by the way, is at 7:47 AM, and sunset’s at 4:29 PM. And the December Solstice is on Saturday at 8:19 pm PST. They don’t call it the Winter Solstice any more, because, for half the planet, it’s the first day of Summer. Right, Kiwi Dripster Lizzy?
News. Forgive me, my mind is on a momentous change, and I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to competently cover such things as the final meeting of Democratic presidential hopeful in 2019, at a debate in Los Angeles hosted by PBS and Politico. Did you watch? would you please share thoughts? I know Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete tangled it up.
Portland’s getting year-round, nonstop service to London on British Airways starting June 1!
Portland’s also getting a popular Seattle fried chicken restaurant called Ezell’s Famous Chicken. It’ll open at Washington Square in late January. It’s famous because Oprah Winfrey fell in love with it when she was in Seattle shooting a show at KING-TV, and what she likes, she plugs.
A story in Texas Monthly carries the headline, “Portland Has the Best Texas Barbecue Scene Outside of Texas.”
They crowned a new Miss America last night without the outdated spectacle of the swimsuit competition. Graduate physics student Camille Schrier of Virginia won after conducting an onstage gee-whiz chemistry demonstration.
The Blazers have back-to-back home games tonight and tomorrow. This evening invokes the Orlando Magic; tomorrow night involves the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Happy birthday to former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts! A kind, gracious lady.
On this day in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life was first released in New York City. Love that movie.
It is indeed a wonderful life.
One last sip from the Coffee Cup of Good News! (We’ll get a new one, I promise)
–“Kind strangers help driver in medical distress on highway”
–“Scientists discover how to trigger pancreatic cancer cells to self-destruct”
–“Dog Wakes Up Owner and Alerts Her to Her Husband’s Heart Attack, Saving the Man’s Life”
–“Act of kindness from hockey goaltender draws standing ovation”
–“The Far Side by Gary Larson has a home online now!” (Because retirement isn’t necessarily forever. Did I say that?)
And here we are. This is not the end, but an inflection point. I want to thank you in advance for your patience and support as I delete the 3:45 alarm from my phone–there it goes!–and figure out life on more reasonable terms. I intuit that my sense of time will broaden out from the minute-by-minute life of a broadcaster who’s so governed by the clock that he can guess the time without seeing a clock. I aspire to process information more deeply; instead of distilling events into headlines and speeches into sound bites, I want to learn to grasp things in their fullness.
I want to thank you for making me believe that my daily effort here is useful.
Now I’ve got to figure out how the hell I’m going to say goodbye on the radio. It’ll happen, along with the singing of Melekalikimaka, around 8:45 or 9. If you’re not able to come, please listen on the radio. It’ll be a fun show. And if you are, whether for the early show, or the more intimate open house afterward, we’ll have a good time together.
Finally: in the farewell song of the great Mousketeer: Now it’s time… to say goodbye…to all our company.
But: we’ll see you real soon.
Because I like you!
Good morning, friends! It’s Thursday, December 19, 2019, and here comes the second-to-last Daily Drip before I metamorphosize into a butterfly or a slug of whatever evolves when the alarm clock’s tyranny is overthrown. What I can promise is that the butterfly or slug will still keep the Drip flowing, with the core principles intact, including a love for mixed metaphors, and we’ll keep the band together.
Hey, it’s Bud Clark’s birthday! More shortly. But first…
The weather is too much of a mess for me to put into words any more concise than those of the National Weather Services, which synopsizes as follows: “A complex combination of fronts will produce rain, Cascade snow, with freezing rain mainly for the Upper Hood RiverValley and Central Columbia Gorge now through Thursday morning. Then, a very wet and slow-moving frontal system will produce significant rain across the region Thursday night through Saturday. Additionally as well as gusty winds and dangerous seas on Friday. Showers will decrease on Sunday followed by a dry start for next week.”
So today, for Portland, we have a 100% chance of up to half an inch of rain, and highs of 50. Sunrise 7:46 AM, sunset 4:28 PM.
Impeached. Trump makes three. All NW congresspeople voted with their parties on both articles. Earl Blumenauer says “History will thank us”–but says the House should hold off on sending the articles to the Senate to allow further investigation. Everyone is convinced that the law and the Constitution are on their side, and that opposing views are a result of idiocy, cultishness, or treasonous intent. We’re in deep trouble and we need leadership to lead us out. Nominations are now, literally, open. In the meantime, with holiday gatherings ahead, I refer you to the last headline in today’s Good News Coffee Cup.
Latest CNN poll, ahead of a debate tonight: Biden – 26% Sanders – 20% Warren – 16% Buttigieg – 8%.
It appears that a bank robbery is what led to the murderous chaos that started in the Murrayhill area of Beaverton, where a 20-year-old man used a machete to stab two people in a Wells Fargo branch; one, a female customer, died, the second, a bank employee, is in critical condition. The man then stabbed a man while stealing a car outside the nearby Planet Fitness, and a woman was stabbed in Tigard, where the suspect was arrested. Police now ID the man as Salvador Martinez-Romero, and we don’t know anything about him.
An Oregon State Trooper was startled to see an injured red-tail hawk flapping in the fast lane of I-5. So he pulled over, bravely grabbed the stunned bird, put it in his back seat, and brought it to a rehab facility. Hope it’s OK!
Folks in Astoria are a-grumble over plans to cover up a mural at Astor Elementary School, featuring a playful giraffe, that was featured in the 1990 Schwarzenegger flick “Kindergarten Cop.” The school’s being remodeled under a $70 million bond, and the mural–which has been restored periodically by the artist–is apparently doomed.
I’d like to send up a birthday whoop to a great Portlander, John Elwood “Bud” Clark, Jr., who was born December 19, 1931. People laughed when this elfin barkeep, with his twinkly eyes, twirly mustache, and oom-pah lederhosen, dared to challenge the stentorian Frank Ivancie for the mayorship of this city. But Bud, as all knew him, connected with real people and when he toppled the incumbent and suffered sudden national celebrity, he made like St Nick, whom he so closely resembles, and went straight to his work– and earned a whole lot of sometimes-grudging respect. And, since his tenure coincided with my return to Portland from five years working grim AM radio jobs in bigger markets, Mayor Clark, along with City Commissioner Mike Lindberg, took time and generously explained Portland’s new realities in ways that I understood, and deepened my love for this place. I’m grateful to Bud, as I’m grateful to Mike.
There’s good news in the Coffee Cup!
–“A Man Gave Up His First Class Seat for an 88-year-old Woman — and Her Reaction Was Priceless”
–“Rescuers free humpback whale entangled in fishing gear near Monterey”
–“Father And Daughter Publish Book Highlighting Children Doing Good”
–“A family is celebrating Hanukkah by performing 18,000 acts of kindness in 2020”
–“‘Alexa, change the subject’: Amazon adds feature to avoid Christmas arguments”
It’s Wednesday! Hi, there, and welcome to the Daily Drip for December 18, 2019! Fun fact: as of today, the sunsets in Portland are actually getting later! But first, we have winter to contend with, and in the Northwest that sometimes means ferocious storms that marshall their forces in the far Pacific and fling themselves upon our beaches, valleys, and mountains. One such event is just a day away from storming ashore, and precipitation totals for today through Saturday are impressive indeed: they could range from 2″ to 6″ for the interior lowlands where most of us dwell, to up to 10″ for the Coast Range and Cascades, where a plummeting snow level would bring an immense amount of snow starting late tonight. Sunrise 7:45 AM, sunset 4:28 PM…which is one minute later than yesterday!
President Trump will almost certainly be impeached today by the House of Representatives, setting up a January trial in the Senate. This morning will be filled with at least six hours of partisan debate, parliamentary moves and rhetorical theatrics, with most network coverage beginning at 6 AM. Reporters who cover the beat expect the actual votes on the two articles to occur between 1 and 3 PM Pacific, though nobody can say for sure. All Oregon and Washington representatives are expected to vote with their parties. Last evening’s pro-impeachment rally–one of 500 nationwide–brought hundreds to the downtown Portland waterfront. The event was peaceful as organizers cooperated with police; similar rallies happened in Salem and Medford.
Under heat from climate activists, neighborhood representatives, and finally Governor Brown herself, the Oregon Transportation Commission is tapping the brakes on a plan to widen I-5 through the Rose Quarter. They’ll slow down to take a harder look at the environmental effect on the immediate area, consider tolling to control congestion, and think about covering the freeway so buildings can be erected above it–reconnecting a neighborhood that was split when I-5 plowed through there in the 1950s.
Storm-watching aside, one of the reasons to love the Oregon Coast in the winter is the southward migration of gray whales…and we hear that it’s underway. I wonder what whales do in a storm like this: dive to the bottom and ride it out? Or hang ten?
Today is the birth date of Oregon legislator and educator Nancy Ryles, the 1955 Rose Festival Queen who became a key figure in Oregon leadership until her untimely death to cancer at age 52.
Tonight at the Schnitz it’s The Oregon Symphony Presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert.
This is the second anniversary of that awful scene on a railroad bridge over I-5 near Olympia, where a speeding Amtrak Cascades passenger train skipped the tracks on a tight curve and crashed onto the freeway, killing six people, and injuring 70 others.
On this day in 1620, the Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The Golden State Warriors come calling at the Moda Center tonight at 7.
Happy birthday to Rolling Stone Keith Richards. That indestructible dude is 76.
Something good?? Check the Cup…
–“This 14-year-old beat stage 4 cancer, just in time to make it home for Christmas”
–“Family adopts neglected dog after she wandered into their home”
–“Police surprise motorists with gift cards instead of tickets during traffic stops”
–“Twice as many monarch butterflies are in Pismo this year. Here’s why that’s ‘great news’
–“‘Piece of my heart’: Teacher has three students with disabilities in wedding”
Three more days, friends, and then it’s Back to the Future for this radio daddio. Or at least back to bed! We’ll have more information today on Friday’s festivities, so stay tuned!
Bright and early! Here’s the predawn (and a chilly one at that) edition of the Daily Drip for Tuesday, December 17, 2019. Portland’s weather is cloudy and dry with highs of 45, and like the ten pins in a bowling alley, we’re just waiting for a strike from a big ol’ rainstorm that’ll come rolling our way later in the week. Will we be spared? I’ll let the National Weather Service deliver its pithy synopsis: “Fairly benign weather through Wednesday will likely give way to a multi-day stretch of notably wet and active weather by late this week. (Like up to five inches here in the valley. Whoa). Heavy Cascade snow with pockets of freezing rain are possible for the Upper Hood River Valley. River flooding is possible late Thursday through Saturday. High winds will be possible along the coast Thursday. Conditions ease up by Sunday.”
Also from the Old Dripster’s Almanac: Sunrise today is at 7:45 AM, sunset 4:28 PM. Those of us who lean toward the idea of year-round daylight time should use this moment to imagine what that would be like at this point in the year. The sun would be coming up at a quarter til 9 PDT.
A prostitution crackdown on 82nd Avenue has led to six arrests–but not of hookers or customers, as far as I can determine. In fact, Victim Advocates were on hand to offer help and resources for young people caught up in human trafficking.
The hot-potato topic of widening I-5 at the notorious Rose Quarter chokepoint–at the expense, some say, of air quality in that immediate inner-city neighborhood–hits the Oregon Transportation Commission agenda at 10:35 this morning. They’re meeting in Lebanon, eighty miles south of the bottleneck in question, and community groups are emphatically demanding a full environmental impact statement. Governor Kate Brown has stepped in to order a delay, and she’ll get it, inasmuch as she’s the one who appoints the Commission members.
Tomorrow’s the day of the House vote on impeaching President Trump–we all aired our views in Saturday’s thread, which got 4 stars on the 5-star civility meter–and this evening, there will be an “Impeach and Remove” rally at 5:30 at the North end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Barack Obama speaking to a private event in Singapore: “I’m absolutely confident that if for two years every nation on Earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything.” I’d be good with that. Who’s in?
There were deadly tornadoes in Mississippi and Louisiana last night, and now that storm system is delivering freezing rain and snow to the eastern seaboard.
If you know anyone who missed the health care signup deadline, this could be a lifesaver. The sign-up period to buy insurance for 2020 has been extended until 11:59 tonight. It’s because the website Healthcare-dot-gov crashed hours before the stroke of midnight. Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden jumped on it and leaned on the Trump admin to extend, and they did. Good on all of them.
Happy birthday to my dear friend, an influence in my life for decades, Sen. Lew Frederick!
’twas on this night 30 years ago that “The Simpsons” first premiered as a series on television with the episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”
We lost Penny Marshall a year ago today.
OMG Judy Collins is at the Aladdin tonight. One of my greatest concert memories is watching her perform at the height of her crystalline powers at Red Rocks in Colorado. Her setlist tonight includes much of what she did then, from “Send In The Clowns” to Joni Mitchell covers including “Both Sides Now” (of course) and “Chelsea Morning.” And “Someday Soon” and Christmas songs and, well she’s Judy Collins. Some tickets are still available. If you’re going, I’d love to hear a review, please!
Good news for people who like good news!
–“‘Santas’ subdue stabbing suspect on train after New York City’s SantaCon”
–“They thought their dog was gone forever. Meanwhile, prison inmates were treating him like a king”
–“Navy Chief from New York raises money to send junior sailors home for holidays”
–“YouTuber gives away thousands of dollars in heartwarming Christmas spree”
–“Scientists reverse dementia…in mice. Could people be next?”
Details in the Cup!
Oh! Golden invitations go out today to a limited number of folks coming to the cozy iHeart Lounge for Friday’s farewell Christmas broadcast. There are magnitudes more people wanting to attend than the room can hold, and while that gives me a warm and grateful feeling, I’m sad about turning away anybody at all. So Bruce and I asked the folks in charge if we could keep the doors open after the broadcast for people who’d like to just come in and say hello (or goodbye), and mingle and meet and greet Bruce and me…and they said, sure! There probably won’t be any refreshments, and the choirs will be long gone, so it’ll be just us, from, like, 10:00 to noon. We’ll nail that down a little more between now and then. But if you don’t a magic ticket, I’d love to see you anyway. And some women’s socks for the shelter, if possible!
(Sounds an awful lot like a spontaneous Dripstock IV, I’m just thinkin’.)
Good morning! It’s Monday! And that, friends, is the last time I’ll ever write that exact phrase at 4:25 in the morning! Six or 7? Maybe! Anyway, it’s December 16, 2019, just six days until the start of Hanukkah, and nine until Christmas. Radar shows a band of precip slashing in from the coast; afterward, Portland’s weather will be sparkly and dry, with highs of 45 and lows down to the frost zone. Sunrise 7:44 AM, sunset 4:27 PM, glimpsing us all of 8:43 of daylight today, just a minute more than the shortest day of the year. We’re about to round the bend, friends, and head for brighter days!
But first…we may deal with a substantial storm late in the week, from an atmospheric firehose waving untethered and targeting Northern California, Oregon and Washington, depending on its whim, during the Wednesday night through Saturday time frame. Some models say there’s a potential for flooding.
Speaking of firehoses…an off-duty Portland firefighter spotted a fire licking out of a house and was able to save the man inside, and summoned the on-duty colleagues to put out the flames.
An injured woman was rescued from the trunk of a car near SE 104th and Division in SE Portland Saturday, and a man was arrested on felony domestic violence charges. May this be fulcrum point toward freedom and happiness in her life, while he meets justice.
Somebody mistook the gas pedal for the brake on their Crown Victoria, and sent the big car roaring into the Lane Bryant clothing store in Gresham. Employees screamed and ran while the car cut through the store and wound up in the winter coat rack. Along with broken glass and assorted damage, there were mannequins sprawled and broken everywhere. But nobody was hurt.
They’re both OK, but two local notables were shaken up in separate crashes: “Wild” author Cheryl Strayed was bumped by a hit-and-run driver on NE Broadway, and Unipiper Brian Kidd was hit by a Subaru on his two-wheeler in the Buckman neighborhood.
A guy chopped down and stole 78 Christmas trees from a family farm up the road in Federal Way. He also stole a truck and a trailer. His big plan was to sell the trees, worth thousands, at a popup roadside stand, but the law intervened.
Best wishes to Kris Balliet, who’s resigning as the longtime head of Tualatin Riverkeepers. She’s fighting Parkinson’s disease. The Tualatin is a vital body of water to our corner of the state, and TRK does a lot to keep it healthy and loved.
Oregon’s Humane Society is happy to report that the blind and abandoned kitten, named Ilene, who was found crying in the trash in Modesto and brought to Portland for care and shelter, was adopted into her forever home over the weekend.
The Hallmark Channel has yanked a wedding ad featuring two brides after objections from a conservative group.
They flicked on the lights along Peacock Lane last night, and that four-block stretch between Stark and Belmont east of the former 39th will be aglow from 6 to 11 every night through New Year’s Eve. The street’s open to pedestrians only tonight and tomorrow night.
A couple of classical musical landmarks are celebrated today, including a big one: Ludwig van Beethoven was born this day in 1770. And 123 years later Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor was performed at Carnegie Hall, as he brought the “New World” to the New World. (My #2 desert island album. #1 is the birthday boy’s 9th, and #3 varies by mood).
Tonight at the Schnitz it’s The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal. I can imagine. The Nutcracker is 7 shows into an 18 show run at the Keller; they are on a weekday break now but they’ll be elanc’ing, tourne’ing, and glissading across the sumptuous set again on Thursday.
The Blazers are at the Phoenix Suns at 6 tonight. The Portland Winterhawks lost to Seattle 4-3 in OT last night, and now they get to skate away for Christmas; they’ll be back in action on the road against Kennewick on December 27.
One thing that may go away with my departure from K103–one Dripster said I should call the Erickson exit “Erexit”–is the Coffee Cupon the K103 web site. But we’ll still find a way, as the Drip evolves, to share the good news. I love finding these stories for you.
–“In rural Colorado, the kids of coal miners learn to install solar panels”
–“They thought their dog was gone forever. Meanwhile, prison inmates were treating him like a king.”
–“‘Friendship over business’: Coffee shop owner helps competitor stay open”
–“Random act of kindness during rain, cold weather caught on video”
–“OHS Celebrates 11,000th Pet Adoption of 2019 and he’s a happy boy!”
Note the absence of the I word! Plenty of time for that in the days to come. Have a fantabulous Monday!
Good morning! It’s Friday, December 13, 2019, but despite the superficially ominous date, we have the good fortune of being together for one more week before my own personal Brexit. Let’s hand the guitar to the weatherman. Go! “Ain’t no sunshine….just a 50% chance of showers and highs of 50… but I know, I know, I know…it’s Friday! It’s twelve days til Christmas!” Sunrise 7:42 AM, sunset at 4:27 PM.
The winter storm warnings in the Cascades are starting to drop off, and let’s see what the elves on the overnight shift at ODOT can tell us: Government Camp has snow flurries and slushy roads….Santiam Pass has snow flurries and packed snow…the Siskiyou summit has bare pavement and 39 degrees…while Snoqualmie Pass is snowing hard with chains required…
And there’s a sneaker wave alert along the entire Pacific Northwest coast, with log-bearing surges rushing up the beaches with no warning.
Couple of headlines from the DD world and national desk (or couch, actually)…
The Conservative Party scores a mighty win in the British election, and what that means is a clear path to Brexit in the spring, for better or worse, and potentially a separate trade deal between the US and London.
The impeachment brawl roared late into the night, and Chairman Nadler, not wanting a vote at 1 in the morning, kicked the roll call until this morning starting at 7 PST. It’s clear that they’ll move two articles to the full House, charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It’s all about Ukraine and the subsequent stonewalling; no mention of the obstruction of justice charges that Mueller teed up, or of emoluments, or what have you. With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promising Fox News late last night “There is zero chance the president will be removed from office,” we should remind ourselves that the 2020 election is the real trial of Trump in his fullness, and the real jury is the American people.
By the way, when the House vote comes up next week, Oregon Democrat Kurt Schrader is the only local lawmaker on the fence. He’d rather censure the president than impeach him. If you have feelings one way or the other, it’s time to let Schrader know. (503) 557-1324.
People will gaze with new respect when the Christmas Ships glide by tonight…with the Willamette fleet visiting Milwaukie while the Columbia fleet sails the I-205 stretch….as news spreads that one of the boat captains pulled a drowning man from the Willamette River. The man had jumped from the Steel Bridge and was spotted in the water by the captain of the lead boat who’s responsible for scouting logs and debris. Rob Steffeck radioed the fleet behind him to hold up as he hoisted the man aboard, saying afterward…”you just got to know someone out there loves you.” Which is exactly what the angel Clarence proved to the despondent George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The FCC is setting up a 3-digit suicide hotline. When it’s operational, the number for help and a friendly ear will be 988. Which should be easier to remember than (800)-273-TALK (8255).
KATU reports that to help the remaining Chinook spawn, following a recent die-off, officials have closed the entire North Coast to all salmon angling effective today through New Year’s.
Clark County has seen its first case of severe lung damage from vaping. It’s a woman in her 40s who’d been vaping both THC and tobacco, and she’s getting better.
Look who’s now a co-owner of Portland’s delectable avant-garde ice-creamery Salt and Straw: it’s Duane “The Rock” Johnson! The company that started as a food cart has national ambitions, and Hollywood star power is as good a way as any to get there.
Today is Taylor Swift’s 30th birthday!
This is the day in 1577 Sir Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth, England on a round-the-world voyage that likely, or not, brought him to the Oregon Coast. It’s in dispute. Drake wrote of dropping anchor in a place he called “Nova Albion”–and the map his crew drew of it looks an awful lot like Whale Cove, south of Depoe Bay. But about 20 other spots up and down the west coast make the same claim, and Drake isn’t talking.
Oregon’s Mario Cristobal was named the AP’s Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Five years ago today, Ducks QB Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy!
How’d the Blazers do in Denver last night? Oh. Lost 114-99. The Portland Winterhawks host Everett tonight at the Moda Center.
Happy 63rd birthday this Sunday to KGW-TV! I have managed so far in my young career to avoid popping up much on television, except for a year or two when I was one of Channel 8’s off-camera voices introducing the newscasts. “News Channel 8 for Monday” I would growl, “with Pete Schulberg and Kathy Smith!” Then the next day, “News Channel 8 for Tuesday, with Kathy Smith and Pete Schulberg.” I rotated top billing without checking with anyone but Pete Schulberg and Kathy Smith, and they were fine with it! Right, you two?
–“Migrant hailed after rescuing man in wheelchair from fire”
–“Veteran now a freshman at Yale with help from his service dog”
–“Everyone Hates When Waiters Sing “Happy Birthday”—Unless It’s This Viral Olive Garden Serve”
–“New Monopoly games are ready….one really short…and one reallly long!”
–“Quick thinking people save a baby!”
One week to go, friends! I’ll likely be posting quite a bit this weekend. We will definitely stay in touch.