Your Weekend Reader for June 25-26

by | Jun 25, 2022 | Weekend Reader | 0 comments

Wasn’t it just last weekend that we were all bellyaching about the cool, wet spring? And today, we’re all complaining about the heat advisory? Well, to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, a foolish consistency about our weather complaints is the hobgoblin of little minds. Which makes me think this: “Hobgoblin” is a great word that you never see used any more outside of comic books. Vow to try to use it at least once in the coming week.

But I already digress. I started with the weather because I wanted to call your attention to a terrific story by Kale Williams in The Oregonian/OregonLive about last year’s lethal “heat dome” event in the Pacific Northwest. It’s been just about a year exactly since we roasted under some of the hottest conditions ever recorded in the region — in fact, the temperature posted at Hyslop Farm on Sunday, June 28 was 110 (or maybe 109), possibly the hottest day on record in the Corvallis area.

Williams’ story recalls the report that came out shortly after the heat dome event, which killed hundreds throughout the Northwest. That report, by a group of climate scientists, concluded that the event was extremely rare and that it would have been “virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.” And that’s likely true. But Williams talks to a leading climate scientist, Michael Wehner of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, who has identified some of the other extremely rare weather factors that combined last June to push temperatures well above 100 degrees. The upshot is that while a similar heat dome event is extremely unlikely, climate change means that 105-degree days during the summer will become increasingly frequent. Williams’ story is a subscriber exclusive, but that’s an investment you should make if you can.

As you may have heard, it was a busy week at the U.S. Supreme Court, what with overturning Roe v. Wade and striking down New York state’s 100-year-old law restricting the carrying of guns in public. Here are some of the pieces I noticed this past week that offered context:

Moving back to Oregon: You might not have known that Willamette Falls, between Oregon City and Portland, is the largest waterfall in the West (and second-largest in the nation, behind only Niagara). There’s no public access to the falls, however, which have been blocked off for a century by a cluster of industrial facilities. An effort is underway to reclaim the falls and restore public access, but it’s been hamstrung by bureaucratic gridlock and disagreements among Native tribes — not to mention more than a century of painful Native history. Brian Oaster of High Country News has a thoroughly reported story about the falls.

The current edition of High Country News features another story from Oregon: A wood-treatment plant in West Eugene closed its doors in January, leaving behind a legacy of pollution — and a mess that needs to be cleaned up. The company says it can’t afford the cleanup bill. Neighbors are left holding the bag — not to mention the fact that they’re dealing with health problems that have been associated with pollution from the property. This story, by Kylie Mohr, also is about how relatively low-income neighborhoods like West Eugene take the brunt of pollution woes: West Eugene (near where my daughter lived during the years she attended the University of Oregon) is home to 32 of the 33 manufacturers that handle hazardous substances in Eugene.

Here’s a piece from Sara Fischer, the ace media trends reporter for Avios: A new report says that U.S. newspaper revenue from digital advertising will surpass print newspaper advertising by 2026. As the charts that go with the story make clear, however, it’s not so much that digital ad revenue is exploding at newspapers: It’s more that print ad revenue will continue to decline, although not at the steep pace of the recent years. Sometime this year, newspaper revenue from circulation is expected to surpass advertising revenue.

This edition of Your Weekend Reader seems to need a bit of cheering up. So I call to your attention this story by Tom Hallman Jr., that ace writer for The Oregonian/OregonLive, who starts this story with a lede (in journalism, the word we use for the beginning of a story) that caught my attention: “More than 40 years in the writing business and I’ve never stumbled across a story as crazy as the one I’m about to tell you. It has a bit of everything: A parrot, crows, a cat and a dog.”

It also has — spoiler alert! — a happy ending. In a column summarizing the week’s news, Therese Bottomly, the editor of The Oregonian, noted that some readers thought the story was too light to appear on the paper’s front page. This is nonsense; any editor — and Bottomly is among the best — would never have thought twice about running this story on A1. You’ll agree with me (and Bottomly) after you click here to read the story.

Remember what the Weather Service says about the weather this weekend: Wear light clothing. Seek out cool, air-conditioned spaces. Hydrate. Beware those inviting — but still dangerous — rivers. I’ll see you next weekend.

Want your art event listed?

Read more published work

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Recent Blog Posts

Your Weekend Reader for July 20-21

Your Weekend Reader for July 20-21

A not-so-surprising Lee Greenwood flap. Oregon on fire. Commercializing the weather. OSU’s Bazzana starts life as a pro. More lists of books. Misinformation and “weak ties.” And news as you vape! It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more
Your Weekend Reader for July 13-14

Your Weekend Reader for July 13-14

We’re still “Bowling Alone.” Gender and politics. Trump’s campaign managers. The Oregon link to “Oh, Mary!” OSU’s Carey heads to Paris. Documentary controversies. And 67 more books to go. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more
Your Weekend Reader for July 6-7

Your Weekend Reader for July 6-7

Heat wave — or heat dome? Regardless, stay hydrated. Wolf news. Olympic fashion, crafted from Oregon wool. Blue blazers, Ralph Lauren and “The Prisoner.” RIP, Robert Towne, and the scandal that shaped “Chinatown.” The struggle for access to public records. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

Comments on this website are the sole responsiblity of their writers and the writers will take full responsiblity, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment.

We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever.

More Blog Posts

Your Weekend Reader for July 20-21

A not-so-surprising Lee Greenwood flap. Oregon on fire. Commercializing the weather. OSU’s Bazzana starts life as a pro. More lists of books. Misinformation and “weak ties.” And news as you vape! It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more

Your Weekend Reader for July 13-14

We’re still “Bowling Alone.” Gender and politics. Trump’s campaign managers. The Oregon link to “Oh, Mary!” OSU’s Carey heads to Paris. Documentary controversies. And 67 more books to go. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more