The Porch, Dec. 23 edition

WELL SAID: “Why did I walk though crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me?” — Marley’s ghost, in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

WELL DONE: Detecting a bit of a year-end commentary from director Michael Preston in the winter concert set list by Wy’east Middle School bands; numbers included “Jingle Bells,” “Good King Wenceslaus,” “Golden Eagle March,” “First Christmas Overture,” and “Basin Street Blues.”

Wrapping up the concert: Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust.”

PINK SLIPS: parents who leave their cars on May Street in front of May Street Elementary find the pink notes (see photo) on their windows when they leave cars unoccupied in front of the school. One recent day, four such cars lined the street, and in the surrounding blocks, four cars were parked in yellow zones and next to “No Parking This Side of Street” signs. The long-standing parking problem at the school is bound to get far worse when the replace-and-tear-down process begins. A new school will be built in summer 2018 in the existing playfield, followed by demolition of the existing buildings. The concrete pads recently poured on the northeast portion of the campus are for playground equipment that will be moved over Christmas break. Starting in January, construction mobilization will mean the school begins to lose most of its existing playground.

BUMPER STICKER of the Week: “Pickleball is Not A Crime.”

SEEN AND HEARD: Vehicle plate from nation of Aruba (“the Fun Island”) in the Caribbean … “I was in your chair, Daddy,” Mazzy Helfrich, 5, tells her father, Jeffrey, who had just been sworn in as Oregon Representative … A pile of kiddie bikes, for sale $15 each … “Hey, a ‘Deadpool’ backpack,” first-grader says in a classroom … River Daze café has a wreath in the shape of a peace sign … at River City Saloon, the bulletin board bears a “winter hours” poster — under another, more weathered one, advertising an event on Sept. 2 … kiddie bikes all sold …

— Kirby Neumann-Rea

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