MAGONE LAKE, Oregon - On the center line in the path of Monday's total solar eclipse, the two minutes and six seconds of darkness passed far too quickly. The sun disappeared behind the moon, plunging this central Oregon lake and its visitors into a strange twilight at 10:22 a.m.
Just days after Energy Secretary Rick Perry made his first trip to the Hanford nuclear reservation, HBO’s John Oliver used the polluted nuclear site as a satirical punching bag for the nation’s decades of failure to find a permanent storage solution for the millions of gallons of nuclear waste.
Pulling his cardboard eclipse glasses tight around his face, Cole Cullen squinted at a crescent of sun and counted down the minutes. From his vantage point in the football bleachers at Eastern Washington University, the 8-year-old wanted to see the sun when it was most obscured at about 10:30 a.m. Monday. “It started out looking like a cat,” he said, matter-of-factly. “And as the moon started coming in, it started looking like a banana!”
The light dimmed, the air cooled and the solar eclipse showed its growing crescent in shadows cast by leaves. For a moment, as people turned their eyes sunward, or stared at their pinhole projections on the ground, or wondered what everyone was looking at, the world slowed down. Traffic calmed. Jackhammers stilled. People gathered on sidewalks.
Eclipse watchers started gathering on the Capitol Campus lawn around 8:30 a.m., while the full sun was rising over state office buildings to the east. Some came from a few blocks or a few miles away while Danielle Vukovich and Corbin Cronic drove from Woodinville, Washington.
The European Renaissance-style garden in Manito Park that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each summer was planted around Memorial Day of this year with tens of thousands of begonias, marigolds, dahlias, snapdragons, petunias, geraniums and others to create the profusion, color and elegant symmetry of a royal garden. It is now a feast for the eyes. It’s worth a visit for those who haven’t been recently.
The political advocacy group Respect Washington has received thousands of dollars and legal advice from organizations tied to John Tanton, a Michigan-based activist who has been criticized for holding staunchly anti-immigrant views some have said rise to the level of white nationalism. The group will make the argument Spokane voters should have a say in whether the city’s nonbiased policing policy, which they say makes the city a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, should remain in place.
City Council President Ben Stuckart says Spokane should start acting now to re-imagine a four block stretch of Main Avenue in order to promote business growth by getting more people walking and cycling down the street. He’ll ask his colleagues to sign off on a study that would create the city’s first dedicated, two-way bike lane right in the middle of town.
A driver is expected to face a vehicular assault charge after the car she was driving rolled into a ditch in Lincoln County, according to the Washington State Patrol. Dana Y. Birdtail, 25, was driving a Mazda Protege east about 5:30 p.m. on state Highway 174 when she lost control of the car, the WSP said in a news release. The crash occurred about 4 miles northwest of Wilbur, Washington.