Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ahoy there! It’s the Daily Drip, requesting permission to come aboard, on this Fleet Week Thursday, June 7, 2018. We get one more day of bright spring sun before rain comes storming in for the weekend. Highs go 75 today, 70 on Friday, then 62 on Saturday. Sunrise 5:22 AM, sunset 8:56 PM.

This year’s Grand Floral Parade may be one of the rainiest ever. Allow me to say it’s OK to bring an umbrella if you have room to raise it. But ponchos keep you just as dry, and don’t poke your neighbors’ eye out. NWS says people from the coast to the valley to the Cascades need to be aware of possible thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, though it may be too cool.

Salem, we’re sorry you have to go through this again. Just four days after the last water alert was lifted, the cyanotoxin count bounced back up, so the alert is on once more that medically vulnerable people need to be back on bottled water. They ran out at the Fairgrounds last night, but I’m sure they’re replenished. The Oregon National Guard is back at it, and huge trucks marked “emergency water” were seen rolling down I-5. Hotter weather will worsen the algae; Salem is looking into upgrading filters.

A father from Colorado drowned at the Oregon Coast trying to save his 17-year old son, who was knocked into the waves while boarding off Rockaway Beach. The son has not been found.

Our best wishes go out to Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who revealed that he was diagnosed with a small cancerous brain tumor. It was caught early, and he says he’ll battle it like the helicopter pilot he was in Vietnam. Richardson is the highest-ranking Republican in the state, and is next in the line of succession for Governor. He put up a Facebook live video, and I have to say he had trouble communicating.

People on both sides are applauding the Trump commutation of a life-without-parole sentence for a woman who’s been in prison since the ’90’s for a nonviolent drug crime. Thousands of others are similarly languishing, but don’t have a Kim Kardashian lobbying in the Oval Office for their release.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley is calling for congressional hearings into what he calls Trump’s “horrific child-snatching policy” at the Mexican border.

Somebody spray-painted graffiti in one of the Ape Cave lava tubes at Mt. St. Helens.

Breaker breaker, good buddy, we could have us a self-driving convoy right here in Portland. Daimler is opening a research facility on Swan Island specifically to develop automated commercial vehicle technology, with the goal, as a company PR release says, to “make roads safer and help trucking companies boost productivity. At least a robot behind the wheel won’t get distracted by its water bottle and wipe out 24 guardrail posts, as a meat truck driver did on 217 the other day.

The country music soap opera “Nashville” comes to an end tonight on CMT.

The Golden State Warriors are a game away from sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals.

A young woman in the upper deck at a Padres game caught a foul ball right plop in her beer. The crowd roared as they watched her on the big screen chug the brew with the ball still in it.

Pick up the current Willamette Week for the dirty lowdown by Nigel Jaquiss on how the Portland area, where this used to be the state religion, has forgotten how to recycle. Almost 10 percent of what we put in the blue carts absolutely should go straight to the trash. That includes–eww–tons and tons of diapers. But other stuff that’s less obvious, and we need to get it right.

Here’s why we have to keep our garbage out of the environment. A whale washed ashore and died on a beach in Thailand. It had 17 pounds of plastic bags in its belly.

Prince would have turned 60 today. Damn opioids.

Tell me some good stuff!

–“Queen Elizabeth loves to dance along to ABBA’s Dancing Queen”

–“Waitress and grandma of 7 children receives 3000$ as a tip for smiling and hard work”

–“India will abolish all single-use plastic by 2022”

–“5 years after struggling to get permission signed by absentee dad, woman graduates from U.S. Naval Academy”

I shouldn’t tell this story. Recently we added a Daily Drip Minute every morning at 6:20 on K103. It wasn’t my idea, but I’ve come to realize it’s a really good one. Every day, I pull something out of the Drip or the comments, and run with it on the air. This does involve 5 minutes’ prep, but it’s turned out to be topical, colorful, and hyper-local, which I love. Now, this week I’m covering KEX’s drivetime newscasts simultaneously with my role on K103, so I’m enjoyably swamped all morning. Yesterday at 6:20 Bruce pops on the air and says, “Now it’s time for…” and then it dawned to my shock that I hadn’t prepared for…” John Erickson’s Daily Drip!” What do you do? Who DO you do? I danced and faked it and riffed on D-Day and RFK and I dunno what else, then slunk off the set like that scene in Charlie Brown’s Christmas where Snoopy is caught dancing after the music stops. Radio people, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I have a new radio nightmare!

I’m looking forward to hearing what Jack Bogdanski, and anyone else who attended, thought of Tony Bennett’s concert at the Schnitz last night. I’m already getting messages saying it was spectacular.

Oh…I owe the Dalai Lama one (with everything, I know, fine old joke)….yesterday was not his birthday. It’s July 6. An internet source I recently switched to (because the other one had nothing but YouTube stars I’ve never heard of) was off by a month, and therefore so was I. So. I’ll make it up by calling Dial-a-lama for another quote:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It’s the dark of the moon on the sixth of June….well, actually, it’s a half moon, on this Wednesday, promising sunny skies, highs of 75, with a solar ETA of 5:23 and ETD of 8:56. Sunny tomorrow, too, but the weekend brings an unseasonably cool and wet disturbance, and all the petals and blooms will be freshly rinsed for the Grand Floral Parade. Do floats float? (The parade will be fine. Matt Zaffino on KGW says there might be a break between the ran and the showers, but either way, we’re Oregonians. We handle rain like a boss. Like buying tickets to watch the parade from the comfort of the Coliseum).

America and its allies stormed the beaches of Normandy on this day in 1944, a hallowed date in history, when wise and cooperative leadership, unbreakable alliances, and individual courage, all supported by a unified nation, overpowered the forces of evil incarnate.

Portland takes on a crisp, squared-away naval town look today, as the fleet begins arriving for Rose Festival’s big weekend. I count eight vessels inbound, down one from a year ago, since the USS Independence canceled for Mar-a-lago duty. Kidding! As always during fleet arrival, bridge lifts will be an issue, as will a welcoming delegation from Mary’s or someplace, but you know how to navigate around that. And it’s Junior Parade Day, part of the end-of-school ritual in these parts, and great fun for thousands of kidlets.

Bullets flew but nobody was hit, that we know of, during a shootout between people in a dark sedan and a small SUV. They exchanged gunfire in two Southeast neighborhoods separated by two miles, beginning near Mt. Tabor and winding up on Cesar Chavez, a few blocks off Holgate. Who, why? Dunno.

The family of Quanice Hayes is suing the City of Portland. He was the African-American teen who was shot and killed by police last year, and a fake gun was found nearby. The family lawyer says the 17-year old was trying to obey police commands, but that the officers’ own grand jury testimony indicated contradictory orders were coming from different cops, and that Hayes death resulted from both excessive force and inadequate training. No comment from the city.

The father and son fishermen who got lost near Breitenbush are home safe.

At long last, traffic signals will be put in this year at the ramp from the Sunset eastbound to Cedar Hills Blvd, which locals refer to as the Left Turn of Death. Washington County has an open house on this decades-delayed project tonight at Cedar Park Middle School.

Latest slap between allies: Mexico imposes a 20 percent tariff on Washington State apples. How do you like them trade wars?

The U.N. human rights office is demanding the Trump regime “immediately halt” its policy of separating kids from their parents after crossing U.S. border with Mexico. Border agents, meantime, say they are running out of room to house the (hopefully temporarily orphaned) children. NPR says they have over 10,000 of them.

The Washington Post reports that the White House may grant a presidential pardon to eastern Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, whose second imprisonment on arson charges inspired the Bundys’ armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. By the way, if that topic interests you, you must hear the Bundyville podcast from OPB.

If you’ve been to the British Museum in London, you’ve marveled at the cultural and archeological treasures from around the world and across the millenia…and then perhaps you’ve wondered why they’re not in their home countries and cultures. Now, a collection of artifacts from Oregon tribes that have languished in storage at the British Museum for over a century have been returned, and are on display at the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde. It’s part of an effort by tribes around the new world to reclaim their heritage.

The newest Pacific Northwest property taxpayer is one Oprah Winfrey, who’s closed on a home on Orcas Island. Forty acres, 10,000 square feet, 8.3 million bucks…the place is beyond gorgeous. The listing photos look like a Thomas Kinkade painting. (Her place in Montecito was a muddy mess this past winter. Wonder if she’s bailing to head north).

Lava from Kilauea has destroyed hundreds more homes, and has now filled an entire bay, creating a new peninsula on the Big Island. And more people are fleeing Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire.

This is the day fifty years ago that RFK died of the bullets he took the night before in Los Angeles. But his words are alive, including these, which he spoke to a devastated crowd in Indianapolis, moments after he announced the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

“What we need in the US is not division; what we need in the US is not hatred; what we need in the US is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”

Happy Birthday to the Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, and eminently quotable fountain of wisdom. A few: “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” “The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.” “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” Brilliant! He should record those, and put them on a 1-800 number. Dial-a-Lama!

Florida State beat the Washington Huskies to win the college softball national title.

NBA Finals Game 3 tonight at 6. Members of both teams say they will skip any White House event.

I admit that I, too, am shaky on the lyrics to “God Bless America.”

Let’s hear from the Dripsters assigned to cover the James Taylor concert last night! Did thee people get showered?

Tony Bennett is at the Schnitz tonight. No spoilers! Well OK if you insist. My research of local reviews and setlists indicates that he puts on a hell of a show, even at 91, for cryin’ out loud, and: He might sing a song about a city in California.

(Tony Bennett seems like a great guy. Painter and sketch artist. Craig and I had him on K103 by phone one morning to plug his stuff. I answered, and this husky voice goes, Yo! John! It’s Tony Benedetto!).

Something good?

–“Boy, 11, prevents 3-year-old girl from drowning in ‘miracle’ rescue

–“India policewoman praised for breastfeeding abandoned baby newborn and possibly saving his life

–“Star Trek actor donates his earnings from Trek conventions to Doctors without Borders

–“High school students surprise ‘lunch lady’ with car

–“Bill Gates is giving Factfulness to everyone who’s getting a degree from a U.S. college or university this spring. (It’s a book that Gates says is packed with advice about how to see the world clearly.

Oh! One more Dalai Lama quote before I go: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Time to buzz into the radio world. Dripsters, take the wheel!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Hello, world! It’s Monday, June 4, 2018, and Portland-town is looking cool, this morning, with the sun ascending at 5:23 into a partly cloudy sky amid a very slight risk of showers. After fifteen and a half hours in the heavens above us, the sun sets at 8:54 PM, and by then, we will have seen a high near 70.

With thousands of families enjoying Rose Festival events just a few blocks away, blood was spilled, rocks were chucked, and pepper spray filled the air as Portland police dealt with “multiple fights” between the same hot-headed “Patriot Prayer” and “Antifa” (for anti-fascist) elements who clashed notoriously a year ago, around the time of the white supremacist murders on the MAX train. This time, four people were arrested.

A firefighter from Bend was killed off-duty when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a bear on US 26 in Warm Springs.

Whatever it was that happened to little Kyron Horman–and we don’t know, but everyone has their suspicions–happened on this date in 2010, when he was a 7-year old second grader at Skyline School. If somehow he is still with us, Kyron would be 15, looking forward to getting his license in September.

We can finally report that Jesuit High student Yelena Gangelhoff has been found and returned home, after disappearing last Wednesday. Beaverton police tracked her down using social media to a location in Portland, where she was in the company of a 28-year old man. He’s been jailed on multiple charges.

Five hundred and one days into the Trump term, we learn that the president’s lawyers argued in a secret memo to special counsel Robert Mueller in January that Trump could not have obstructed the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election because, as president, he possesses complete control over federal investigations. The lawyers added that “Having him testify demeans the Office of the President before the world.”

Many women with early-stage breast cancer who would currently receive chemotherapy don’t really need it, according to a new study. That could quickly change medical treatment for 60,000 women.

I’m hoping that nobody wings the messenger, here, but there’s a better-than-even chance that it will rain on the Grand Floral Parade Saturday morning. Tickets are still available for seating in the Coliseum if you prefer an unsoggy experience.

Speaking of Rose Festival…the week plays out like this: The Fred Meyer Junior Parade is on Wednesday. The Fleet arrives Wednesday and Thursday. Cityfair is open Friday through Sunday. We crown the new Queen starting at 8:30 on Saturday morning in Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and roll the floats, bands, horses, and scoop-wagons through the big, wide streets of Portland in the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade starting at 10:00. In between, there are lots of fun Rose Festival activities, and their website has all the details you need.

Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of people who turned out for the Starlight Parade! It was fun studying the reactions of the mostly delighted faces in the crowd to K103’s Santa Claus float, with Christmas music playing, and Bruce exhorting the throng to vote for “naughty” or “nice” (it was always a tie. Humans that we are, most people voted twice!).

Yesterday was the second anniversary of the oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon, where sixteen black tanker cars of a 96-car train pulled by orange UP engines and hauling Bakken crude skipped the tracks apparently the brakes suddenly locked, and spilled 42,000 gallons, some burning up, some seeping into the Columbia River.

Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers bring their “Summer of Living Dangerously” tour to the Moda Center tonight. It’s the Dan’s first tour since the death of Walter Becker, and his surviving partner says he’d rather call it “Donald Fagen and the Steely Dan Band,” but was overruled for commercial reasons. As for the Doobies, this incarnation includes two original members–Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, plus longtimer John McFee, who’s done a ton of nice stuff including playing pedal steel guitar on Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey.” Both bands save some of their biggest hits for the encore…the Doobs do “Listen to the Music” last, and Steely Dan wind up with “Reelin’ In The Years.” Sounds sweet to me!

It’s Angelina Jolie’s 43rd birthday.

How about some headlines, to settle the jangled nerves that the news gives us…

–“Toddler, 3, makes life-saving 911 call after mother collapses”

–“Endangered mountain gorilla population recovers to over 1,000”

–“Rice grown by Chinese scientists using seawater in Dubai’s deserts – Successful harvest of salt-resistant strain raise hopes that one day large swathes of the desert could be turned into paddy fields”

–“Rapper buys good Samaritan a new car after the man saved him from a car wreck”

–“Lamb named Lucky rescued after four days trapped on cliff”

–“Scientist proves dogs actually love us”

Whoops–no time to proofread–I’m doing double duty on K103 and KEX today. My job is the most fun..when it’s the most challenging. So tune in 103.3 or 1190AM, and either way, have a good news day!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday’s here, friends, and so is June! It’s June! The first day of meteorological summer will be a pretty mix of sun and clouds, with highs of 70. It felt so refreshing to walk out into a cool rain yesterday, until it didn’t, and I trudged home like the loser in a spelling bee.  Sunrise 5:25 AM sunset 8:52 PM.
So..what’s going on?
The Salem water crisis is in its third day as tap water remains faintly tainted with toxins from an algae bloom in Detroit Reservoir. Until further notice, which the overwhelmed city people say could come Saturday or Sunday at the earliest, children under 6, pregnant women, nursing moms, and medically vulnerable people should not drink the Salem water.  There are reports of price gouging, with flats of bottled water going for $50 and up at some locations. Oregon AG is on it.  Salem’s City Council holds an emergency meeting at noon today, and they face a citizenry angry over the delay in notifying the public until late Tuesday about what they knew on Saturday. Lots of finger pointing. The Statesman Journal knows of a young cancer patient on chemotherapy whose family needed that information immediately, and not days later.  Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency, and today Oregon National Guard troops have towed in big green tanks of drinkable water so the public can fill their empty milk jugs, growlers, tea kettles, and whatever they’ve got at seven locations including the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Those big tanks–nicknamed “hippos”–are stenciled with the words “Potable Water.” That doesn’t mean what it sounds like.
Glad to say that Yelena Gangelhoff,  a female student at Jesuit High who left school at 9:45 Wednesday morning and hadn’t been seen since, turned up safe in Oregon City last night.
The US is now in a trade war with our own allies in Canada, Mexico, and the EU, with tariffs and countertarrifs being imposed back and forth. There are reports that President Trump told the French president that he wants to completely ban the import of German luxury cars into the United States. Might get complicated: Mercedes-Benz has a factory in Alabama, and BMW in South Carolina.
Portland is a year away from building two new car-free bridges: the newly-announced Sullivan’s Crossing will carry pedestrians and bicyclists over I-84 at 7th Avenue, while Flander’s Crossing will run above I-405 in the Pearl.
If you gassed up your jalopy at an ARCO or AM/PM a few years ago, you might have a $200 settlement coming–plus interest–as the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict against BP for charging debit card users a hidden fee of 35 cents per transaction. The oil giant says it’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court; that $200-per-class-action-plaintiff is going up by 9% interest a year.
Most inspiring video on the Internet today happened in remote eastern Oregon on Tuesday, when a springtime under-13 football team from Boise came upon an overturned vehicle…and, all together, they lifted up the rolled car to allow a passenger to escape her entrapment.
The Oregon Ducks pounded Arizona State 11-6 in their College Softball World Series opener, and play Washington at 4 PM today. .
LeBron James thundered in 51 points, but the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-114 in Game One of the NBA Finals.
We’re heading into Oregon free fishing weekend, June 2 and 3. The idea is to get beginners hooked.
Oregon, according to the state economist, is running short on workers who can pass a drug test.
If you’re hiking on the Washington side of the Gorge because something or other happened on the Oregon side…be advised of a serious poison oak presence on the trails of Dog Mountain. That’s actually true all over the Gorge and all over the region, but several groups of people brushed up against this despicable weed over the holiday weekend, and they wish they hadn’t.
Happy birthday to one fine gentleman, Bill Schonely, whose mighty voice was an essential part of the great years of Blazermania, the heartbreak and joy that defined a couple of decades around here. When the Trail Blazers played in the cozy Coliseum, tickets were hard to get, and the games weren’t all on TV, so the whole town would gather around radios for The Schonz’ eloquent narration. Everybody here was a Blazer fan in the seventies; every Blazer was a household name, right down to Wally Walker at the end of the bench. It was Schonely who carried us through to that last golden minute on June 5, 1977,  St. Championship Day,  and even though the game was on TV, lots of us had the sound muted and the radio tuned in to KYTE 970 AM, knowing the only way to hear a Blazer game is through the mind, eyes, heart, and deep rich vocal chords of Bill Schonely, who turns 89 years old today. (Dottie gets lots of credit there!)
Tomorrow is my friend Zia McCabe’s birthday.  She does a lot of amazing things, including simultaneously playing keyboards and bass, on separate keyboards, for the internationally famous Dandy Warhols. That’s what Ray Manzarek did for The Doors, who played a concert on July 26, 1967, at the Portland Masonic Temple, now part of the Portland Art Museum, on the very same stage where Zia and I met as panelists in the Schoolhouse Supplies Celebrity Spelling Bee. Which she won. (And I walked sadly back to my classroom).
A 14-year old from Texas named Karthik Nemmani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night by nailing the word “koinonia,” which means Christian fellowship.
Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” hit #1 fifty years ago today.
It’s National Doughnut Day. Krispie Kreme, Papa Johns, and Walmart are all giving away freebies, but I’d love to know of local Mom and Pop doughnut shops that are joining in the fun. We’ll help spread the word.
Time for the always fun “Headlines for a Happy Heart.” Here are today’s winners!

–“Florida brewery unveils six-pack rings that feed sea turtles rather than kill them.”

–“Federal rescue teams in Hawaii are now using small drones to help free humpback whales caught in tangles of debris.”

–“Homeless Man In Louisiana Gets Year Of Free Buffalo Wild Wings After Finding Rude Note From Server On Check”

–“Canadian children’s hospital was running low on handmade finger puppets. Now, it’s inundated with creations from all over the world”

–“After 46 Years, Illinois Ratifies ERA”

Weekend plans? On my sked…brunch with my daughter and fam this morning….iHeart station BBQ if I can make it…dinner with the Murdocks tonight…quarterly haircut and brew date with my son on Saturday afternoon (I’m intentionally getting shaggy as a general comment)…Starlight Parade tomorrow night…where Bruce, Janine, and I will surprise you with something that only K103 can do!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hooray, hooray, it’s the end of May! Today is Thursday, the 31st, and though it’s been the second-driest May in Portland’s history, the month bows out with a farewell shower and a high of 65. Sunrise 5:25 AM, sunset 8:51 PM.
That don’t-drink-the-water alert (for certain people) remains in effect for customers of Salem’s municipal water supply. New test results are due today, so watch for updates. Salem hospitals are avoiding using tap water for patient consumption or care. The city of Salem, by the way, confirms they received test results on Saturday– but didn’t say anything to the public until late Tuesday, including that botched emergency alert. They say they had to make a plan. Folks, have a plan. Plus, media people were on the job all through the holiday weekend. A Flash Alert (public agencies know what that is) would have gotten the warning out instantly on the air, and on the DD, too!
In the meantime, as Saleminians have cleared the local shelves of bottled water, neighboring Keizer is making a supply available at City Hall, and listing businesses with water on its Facebook page, which is link just below today’s DD on my FB timeline.
As the school year runs out, Channel 8 last night did some comparative math showing that a student who completes a K-12 public education in Washington will receive a full year more classroom time than a student in Oregon. The KGW piece suggests there’s an evident correlation between Oregon’s short school year of 165 instructional days, against a national average of 180, and the fact that our state has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country.  #outrage
Portland International Airport hasn’t raised its parking rates in four years, but all that changes June 11 when most rates will go up, along with Lyft, Uber, and cab prices. A MAX ticket still costs $2.50.
Sears lost a quarter of a billion dollars in the first quarter, and is closing at least 72 more stores.
There are reports that President Donald Trump is about to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Retliatory tariffs are in the works too.
A Charbonneau man wrecked his newly-bought Ferrari 360 while driving (allegedly) under the influence on I-5 near Wilsonville. He and his passenger (believe it’s his wife) were hurt, but not as bad as his ride, which is totaled; the Internet says it is probably worth $80,000. Was.
Posted on a local site: “Found ring along Sauvie Island beach in the sand.” Message me if you’re missing one, and I’ll dig out the link.
CNN reports that the world’s largest diamond miner–De Beers–said it would invest $94 million to build a new synthetic diamond production facility somewhere near Portland. (We’re perfectly happy with ours from LaRog).
NBA Finals start tonight. Cavs-Warriors. 6 PM, ABC. Lake Oswego High graduate Kevin Love is Cleveland’s second-leader scorer, but his coach doesn’t know if he’ll play tonight. He’s still recovering from a concussion. Let’s all send Kevin some good vibrations.
Our Oregon Ducks begin the College Softball World Series against Arizona State this morning at 9 on ESPN from Oklahoma City.
Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary turns eighty years old today. His son used to own a curio gallery called “The Monkey and the Rat” in Old Town, that sold Buddha statues and lots of things, and Peter would come and give concerts sometimes, but I’m afraid it’s closed now. Maybe a Dripster knows what happened? Did he sadly slip into his cave?
The National Spelling Bee finals are on TV tonight. Do you have any spelling trauma in your past? When I was in 5th grade, the two classes at Rockland School in Libertyville faced off for a spelling bee in the gym, and while the other class nailed word after word, the kids in my class stumbled and sat, one by one, until it was just me against nine of others. But I was hot. I couldn’t miss. My classmates rallied around; Jennifer, the Winnie Cooper-esque girl with long dark hair whom I’d silently crushed on since kindergarten, was clapping her hands–for me!–after every correct word, and that made me warm in my chest.  Now there were eight of them. Could I actually do it? Seven, and six..five…and then four…against me.  Could I singlehandedly win the spelling bee for my class, for Jennifer? Then Miss Sheffland asked me to spell the word “Merrily.” I glanced at Jennifer, made eye contact anticipating some more of her sweet approval, and I said, “M-e-r-i-l-y.”  A groan filled the gym. Miss Sheffland gently and slowly shook her head. Jennifer’s eyes looked down.  Our teacher, Mrs. Sikes, let me lead the way as our side filed silently back to our classroom. We moved two years later and I never saw any of them again.

–“Ice cream truck, Batmobile, Weinermobile: Man picks up girlfriend from class in different embarrassing ways every day”

–“Young boy gets out of car, stops traffic to help elderly stranger cross street and climb stairs”
–“Walmart Offers to Foot College Tuition Bills for U.S. Employees”

–“Domestic violence shelter being custom-built to include pets”

–“Man who rescued boy from balcony offered internship with Paris fire brigade”

That’s my report today! Let’s be kind to each other here and in the real world too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Morning, mates! It’s Wednesday, May 30, 2018, a partly cloudy day just like yesterday with highs around 65. Tomorrow could bring a light shower in the afternoon, but they’ve now removed the rain possibility from the Starlight Run and Parade. But it’ll be cool. Sunrise today is at 5:26 AM, and sunset’s 8:50 PM.

Did you get a text message or hear a broadcast bulletin last night about a civil emergency in Oregon…and that you should “prepare for action”…with no details on what that emergency may be? The Oregon Office of Emergency Management says: sorry about that. It was intended for Salem, about a water problem I’ll describe in a second, and they’ll try to figure out why they needlessly scared the whee out of everyone in listening range. The Salem situation is this:

A number of people, as well as pets, should avoid drinking the municipal water in Salem, thanks to the algae bloom in Detroit Lake. where low levels of toxins have been detected in the system that supplies Oregon’s capital city, the town of Turner, and some other areas. The don’t-drink-the-water warning applies to more than just little kids. From the Salem website: “Children under the age of six, people with compromised immune systems, people receiving dialysis treatment, people with pre-existing liver conditions, pets, pregnant women or nursing mothers, or other sensitive populations should follow this advisory.” An important point, that we’re not hearing in the media: Don’t boil. Boiling makes it worse. I’d pick up some bottled water at Costco ASAP.

A Hillsboro High School senior has won a judge’s OK to wear a T-shirt that reads, “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co. The wall just got ten feet taller.” The judge, overruling the school district, said, “The T-shirt is core protected speech, and walking down the streets of Hillsboro, no state official -petty or grand – would be able to do much about that T-shirt legitimately under the Constitution.”

The scene developing on the US-Mexico border in Texas, according to NPR, is that families escaping the violence of Central America are making it across the river into the US, where they hope to be granted asylum, but instead they are jailed–parents and children together–for several days, until they’re separated, with the adults being prosecuted for entering the US illegally and held for deportation, apart from their children, who remain in US care ostensibly to be placed with relatives in this country. The White House says they’d rather keep families together, but don’t have the facilities.

Oh-oh…last year’s Eagle Creek Fire in the Gorge? It’s still alive. Somebody spotted a reddish glimmer in the woods a few miles east of Cascade Locks, and the glow turned out to be a hot spot that flared up in the dry conditions. Firefighters jumped on it. There’ve been a couple of other fiery remnants this spring, which is about to turn into a whole new hot dry summer.

A 28-year old Hillsboro man was killed in a 3,000 to 4,000-foot fall while climbing Mt. Adams over Memorial Day, and recovering his remains turned out to be difficult because of snow and high winds. Three other climbers fell on Mt. Hood, and lived to tell.

“He deserved it”…is how a jailed Newport woman explains why she stabbed her six-year-old son. He’s recovering from wounds to his liver, lung, and chin. This poor kid and his baby brother were born addicted to drugs. Where’s dad? He’s a commercial fisherman, and he just got back. And has filed for custody.

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Vanport Flood. As every Portlander knows, or should, the Kaiser ship-building company town was wiped out when a dike broke and the Columbia River–running powerful and high with snowmelt, as it is today–rushed in and clipped the homes right off their shallow foundations. Fifteen people were killed, and the survivors were distributed to other neighborhoods by race. Severe redlining, a common practice. Back then, we’re told. Thus was an African-American population etched into Albina, or at least until the Coliseum was built and eventually gentrification took hold half-a-century later. Shame on Portland for that, and for not memorializing the historic grounds of Vanport in an indelible way. Somehow “Delta Park” just doesn’t get it said.

Nobody really believed that just 64 people were killed when Hurricane Maria mowed down Puerto Rico last year, and now a study led by Harvard estimates the death toll at close to 5,000. And much of the island is still without reliable water or power.

Asian stocks tumbled overnight, as American stocks did yesterday, largely because of rumblings within Italy that a break with the European Union may be in store.

So “Roseanne” is history: we’re sad for Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman and the countless behind-scenes people whose suddenly-revived careers have been just as abruptly dashed by the star’s tweet suggesting that President Obama’s chief aide was a Muslim and an ape. We all know that our standards of interpersonal decency, especially on the Internet, have been chucked out the window, and that words are now weapons in the cultural war. But someone who’s in a position to fill the national hearth with family laughter and entertainment, as she did in the 80’s, cannot send little winks to one hateful fringe without serious blowback. She later said she was “Ambien tweeting.”

One of Portland’s big contributions to 20th-century pop culture–actor Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig–was born on this day 110 years ago. His gravestone really does read, “That’s all, folks.” (Let’s not shortchange his bio. Mel also did Mister Magoo, Yosemite Sam, and George Jetson. And, like many nice people, he was a KGW alum).

The Mayor today declares May 30 through June 12 Great Blue Heron Week. That’s actually two weeks, but it’s a big bird.

The Beatles began recording The White Album fifty years ago today.

Today is Paul Simon and Edie Brickell’s 26th anniversary.

The series finale of “The Americans” airs tonight on FX.

Random factoid: do you know Emanuel Hospital in Portland…is based on a misspelling?

Also: A friend who just returned from Paris says the food on the flight back was much, much better than on the flight over. Croissants vs. hot doggish buns. She says the homeward food came from a French kitchen…while the food on the flight over was made in Seattle.

Today’s spoonfuls of sugar:

–“A 71-year-old woman has completed her mission of performing a headstand in all 50 states”

–“Couple goes to zoo, both bring a ring to propose”

–“All 12,000 Pret a Manger staff to get £1,000 each as chain is sold for £1.5bn”

–“U.S. high school dropout rate reaches record low, driven by improvements among Hispanics, blacks”

–“Weezer Fulfills Wish Of Fan-Led Campaign By Covering Toto’s ‘Africa'”

–“Sighting of a lifetime: Whale watchers find, rescue orphaned bear cub near Tofino, BC”

–“Firefighter rewarded for wooftop rescue”

Nothing to add to that! Good day friends!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Good morning, children of the Flower Moon! We’re all back from a well-earned timeout, and now we’re slipping into a comfortable Tuesday, May 29, 2018, with a mix of clouds and sun and highs of 65. We’ll stay in that neighborhood for the week, while adding a chance of showers for the weekend–including, maybe, during the Rose Festival Starlight Run and Parade. But we’re in serious need of having the dust settled; this is one of the driest and warmest Mays we’ve ever seen. Today’s the day of the Full Moon. The Flower Moon comes up at 8:58 tonight. Sunrise 5:27 AM, sunset 8:49 PM.

It was a perfect day for the thoughtful and heartfelt Memorial Day ceremonies around the state, with oceans of fluttering flags at Willamette National Cemetery, the reading of names at the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and local events in towns like Oregon City and Lake Oswego, where the design was unveiled for a Veterans Memorial. And it was all tied together by a team of U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from the 173rd Fighter Wing out of Klamath Falls, roaring across the state at 400 MPH, a thousand feet high, slipping in and out of clouds, glinting in the morning sun.

The daughter of a man who was stabbed in Northeast Portland on Sunday night says her father was attacked by a homeless man after telling him not to camp in his neighborhood. A 25-year old suspect is in custody.

At this point we don’t know what in the world motivated that 61-year old man to drive onto a sidewalk at PSU Friday, running into three women. He’s in jail charged with attempted murder, while all three are recovering, with one in critical condition.

A guy leading police on a 100 MPH chase in his Land Rover through Estacada wiped out on a curve and sailed airborne off Oregon 224, splashing down upright in the middle of the Clackamas River. A witness yelled to see if the people inside were OK, and the man yelled back, I’m fine, no help needed…and he apparently swam away. Hasn’t been seen. Cops have his Land Rover. It’s wet.

Without any of the trash-talking that accompanies some of our international relations, negotiations begin today between the US and Canada on updating the Columbia River Treaty, which was formed after the Vanport flood 70 years ago. Canada now stores a huge amount of water to help prevent such floods on the Columbia, and is paid in hydroelectric power–overpaid, the US contends, and that inflates power rates in the Northwest.

Neighbors around SE 122nd and Main say they were blindsided by the news that a homeless shelter for men was opening, and opening soon, on county land that abuts on no fewer than eleven backyards. The county says, hey, we told the neighborhood association, but word never made it to the people. The first public meeting is tonight–more than two weeks after the announcement.

Your afternoon pick-me-up at Starbucks today might need to happen in a neighborhood spot instead, as the chain is closing 8,000 of its company-owned coffee shops at 2 PM for a session of anti-bias training, an outgrowth of the Philadelphia incident where a Starbucks manager called the cops on two black guys.

After a pair of Game Sevens over the holiday weekend, the NBA finals are set. Cleveland and Golden State meet again. As they have every year since 2015, with Golden State winning twice. Golden State–which beat Houston last night despite a cold start–has home court advantage, and Game One is Thursday night.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights–in their inaugural year as an NHL franchise–has taken a one-game lead in the Stanley Cup finals.

This was a surprise–David Byrne, former frontman for The Talking Heads–was in town for a concert at the Keller. But he also popped into the Alibi on N. Interstate Avenue…and sang karaoke Prince tunes.

A Portland author won a critical but ultimately favorable review in the Sunday New York Times. Former Willamette Week writer Corey Pein’s book is LIVE WORK WORK WORK DIE: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley.

It’s President John F. Kennedy’s birthday. He would have been 101 years old today. JFK’s was a familiar face in Oregon through the 1960 presidential campaign, coming here at least five times, and he whomped our fabled anti-war Senator Wayne Morse in his own state primary. The average approval rating through JFK’s presidency was about 70%.

On this date in 1942, Bing Crosby recorded “White Christmas.”

Now the feature some folks scroll straight to!

–“This 6th-grade teacher once wrote ‘invite me to your Harvard graduation!’ on a student’s report card. More than 20 years later, the student did just that. ”

–“Alabama student who woke up at 4.30am every morning to get a bus to his high school is gifted a car after photos of him making the trek in graduation robes went viral”

–“Mamoudou Gassama, the heroic Malian migrant who scaled a Parisian apartment building like Spiderman to save the life of a toddler, is to be given French citizenship and a job with the fire department.”

–“Indiana Teacher Out of Hospital After Stopping School Shooting (including throwing a basketball at him)”

–“94-yr old WW II veteran gets high school diploma 74 years after dropping out to serve”

–“A 4-year-old in a superhero cape goes around the city and feeds the homeless.”

Big week ahead! June begins Friday…Starlight on Saturday night…K103 is taking, well, a different approach to its float this year, and I’ll be riding it along with Bruce and Janine. We hope you like it! Meantime tune us in on 103.3 FM, please, including the 6:20 AM “Daily Drip” segment. You’ll never know which Dripster’s comments will be featured on the air!