The Nose: As sea levels rise, local TV weather anchor holds strong

TheNose@thenewstribune.comMay 9, 2014 

He’s the dean of the Puget Sound weather scene. His face looks chiseled from Wilkeson sandstone. His basso profundo voice could unleash a lahar from Mount Rainier. His hands sweep over the KING-5 weather map like a god controlling the elements.

Ladies of a certain age are left trembling by the Doppler waves of machismo he emanates.

He is Jeff Renner, chief meteorologist of Greater Cascadia. And we knew it was only a matter of time before President Barack Obama asked him to join an elite new climate-fighting superteam. Its mission: to finally defeat the fossil fools.

Faster than a melting glacier! Full of more hot gas than a methane digester! Able to leap a carbon footprint in a single bound!

It’s … the league of distinguished TV weathermen!

Al Roker is on the team. So is “Good Morning America” weather anchor Ginger Zee, and a handful of smaller-market weather people including Renner.

Sadly, our favorite names in forecasting didn’t make the cut: Larry Sprinkle. Dallas Raines. Johnny Mountain, Brick Tamland. Steve Pool. JZ Knight.

Moment in the sun: This week, eight great talking weather heads were invited to the White House to interview Obama and spread the global-warming gospel.

They got a warm welcome — but not too warm because, well, you know.

Renner hasn’t stopped talking about it all week, like a kid who just came home from space camp.

Obama apparently figured out he was whistling in the wind for years with his initiatives to combat climate change. Yes, his scientific panels have egghead pedigrees, but their gobbledygook is so hard to understand that it’s easy for normal folks to ignore.

Tropospheric ozone precursors … carbon capture and sequestration … yadda, yadda, yadda.

Far better to enlist good-looking TV personalities who can condense a complex doctrine into a soundbite that fits conveniently between “Get Jesse” and the nightly Mariners highlights.

Won’t be long until they roll out their new Doom Tracker technology. (Tonight’s forecast: a 90 percent chance of ecological cataclysm in Tacoma.)

And if they’re wrong?

Well, duh, they’re weathermen! They’ll just try again tomorrow.

Torrential drizzle: Renner was given four minutes on camera with Obama in the Rose Garden.

In a light moment, the POTUS asked J-Renn whether Washington’s soggy reputation is overblown, to which the weather guru replied: Yes, we mostly just get light rain — but don’t tell the Californians, ha ha!

Ahem, Jeff, we know your head’s been in another time zone lately, but light rain? We’ve already recorded more than 25 inches of precipitation this year — a mark we don’t normally reach until late October.

Seems like Mother Nature is firing some warning shots. If only she’d smite us with more 85-degree spring days and less biblical flooding.

Strong opposition: Some Tacoma insiders don’t like that the TNT uses the shorthand “strong mayor” to describe a proposed change in city government.

Some prefer “mayor-council-chief administrative officer” form of government, and the way it rolls smoothly off the tongue.

Others fear “strong mayor” revives thoughts of the Tacoma aroma. Or makes a bad association with Seattle City Hall.

Still others might feel it insults Mayor Marilyn Strickland by implying she’s not already strong. (We’d never suggest that or she’d have us placed in the stockade in Tollefson Square, again.)

Whatever your view, The Schnoz respects it and offers alternatives:

Grand poobah. Pharaoh. Czar. Monarch. El jefe supremo. Skipper.

We’re nothing if not open-minded.

This one needs no punchline: The Nalley Valley will soon boast what’s billed as the largest flagpole north of California and west of the Mississippi River. It will carry a giant U.S. flag flying 24 hours a day.

Looking forward to its 70th anniversary, a stalwart local company will erect the pole at its headquarters at 2001 Center St.

Tacoma Screw Products.

Just leave it alone and walk away.

Finally, a free plug: It’s Bike Month, and the Tacoma Wheelman’s Club will host a Tweed Ride Saturday along Tacoma’s original trolley car route. Meet at the Point Defiance Pagoda at 10 a.m.

So put on those scratchy knickers and try to ignore the chafing.

Because as Great-Grandpa Nose always said: A man in tweed is a man, indeed.

Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune

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