A Plea to Portland’s Weather Men and Women


Please stop smiling about our sunny weather.

Please shake off those grim frowns when rain is in the forecast.

Please stop the cheerful banter with the anchors about the gorgeous weekend weather.

At least Matt Zaffino will have a momentary air of seriousness when there are too many days of sunshine, and he certainly has a sparkle in his eye when the snow flies!

Please tell the story how we need rain and snow. Story is the drought, not the sunshine.

Please think about the rivers.

Please talk about the mountains and their snowpack.

The snowpack report should be part of the business news in our region – the mountain’s fall, winter and spring mantle of the frozen and frosty stuff is the most important number there is for a robust economic forecast for the entire Northwest.

Sure the eastside esplanade is full of people who rent bikes and ride around the waterfront and patronize the food carts on a sunny day. Definitely a sun-driven economic activity, but even on sunny days there are more people inside REI than out on the trails.

I am talking about serious economic activity based on a rain and snow-driven region!

Ski area business from Ski Bowl to Anthony Lakes powers rural communities.


Hydropower from British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon gives northwest business a competitive advantage over many regions in the country.

The agricultural heartbeat of the Northwest provides winter wheat, grass seed, hops, wine grapes, alfalfa, nursery stock, trees and more to the entire world.

Water-based recreation – kayaking, rafting, fishing – are legendary here where we live.

We are an anchor point in the Pacific Flyway for waterfowl breeding and nesting – and the bird hunting and bird watching that follows.

Groundwater re-charge in the Cascades powers the Central Oregon economy.

Industrial manufactures need the rain because normal and high surface water run-off and flowing rivers allow polluters to dilute their foul discharges at legally permitted levels. When the rivers run low, the pollution hurts everything else downstream even more than it likely does at legal levels.

Low snow and rain levels on the coast can result in dried up rivers when everyone in Lincoln City, Seaside and Netarts flushes their toilets at the same time motel maids start washing towels and sheets. These are the same rivers that nurture the young salmon who bravely go to sea and then return on the tides that attract anglers world-wide and help power the coastal economy.


We all need the rain – from Ecola to Enterprise, Brookings to Burns. Hood River to Hoodoo.

Come on weather people; embrace the cold rain and snow!

The umbrella man in Pioneer Courthouse Square is ready and waiting for the rain every day – you should be too!


Day’s Rain is Done (Translated from Alexander Pushkin)

Day’s rain is done. The rainy mist of night
Spreads on the sky, leaden apparel wearing,
And through the pine-trees, like a ghost appearing
The moon comes up with hidden light.
All in my soul drags me to dark surrender.
There, far away, rises the moon in splendor.
There all the air is drunk with evening heat,
And overhead the azure skies…
It is the hour. From high hills she has gone
To sea-shores flooding in the waves’ loud cries;
There where the holy cliffs arise,
Now she sits melancholy and alone…
Alone…Before her none is weeping, fretting,
None, on his knees, is kissing her, forgetting;
Alone… To no one’s lips is she betraying
Her shoulders, her wet lips, her snow-white visage.

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