The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

The Portland Association of Teachers declares Oregon has suffered “a 30-year disinvestment in education.” That’s a bold charge. Thirty years is a long time, and disinvestment is a strong word.

To disinvest literally means “to reduce or eliminate” investment. Is it true that Oregon has reduced investment in public schools over 30 years? No.

Multnomah County’s Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission has been tracking school spending in the Portland area for more than 30 years. A review of Portland Public Schools spending since 1985 shows that per student spending in Oregon’s largest school district has steadily increased over the past 30 years, as shown in the figure below. Continue reading

John A. Charles, Jr.

According to the state’s Global Warming Commission, Oregon has already met its goal of reducing per-capita carbon dioxide emissions to levels that are 20% below 1990 emissions by the year 2020. In fact, we met the goal four years ago.

Are state legislators celebrating this achievement? Not at all. They are too busy rolling out a 98-page bill that will establish a statewide limit on carbon dioxide emissions, designed to make energy more expensive. The bill also repeals the CO2 goal that we’ve already met and imposes a more stringent one: to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Continue reading

Rescued sea otters Uni Suhi and Juno play in Steller Cove. ©Oregon Zoo/ photo by Shervin Hess

Playful 5-month-old meets Juno and Lincoln at Oregon Zoo’s Steller Cove

Visitors might notice more splashing than usual at the Oregon Zoo’s sea otter habitat this week. Uni Sushi, the rescued pup who arrived earlier this month, had her first meet-up with the zoo’s other otters — Juno and Lincoln — and the three got along so swimmingly they can now be seen together much of the time.

“The introductions went very well,” said Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, the Oregon Zoo’s senior marine life keeper. “They just hit it off right away and seem to enjoy one another’s company.”

Keepers say Juno’s maternal instincts kicked in as soon as she met Uni — much as they did last year with Lincoln — and she hugged the young pup close and floated all around with her. Lincoln soon joined the pair, greeting them with a chorus of squeaks, and all three have been playing together since. Continue reading

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Today, the Secretary of State Audits Division released its annual report on the Oregon Government Waste Hotline. This report summarizes the activities of the division’s government waste hotline during 2018.

“This hotline is an important tool that Oregon citizens and state employees can use to increase government accountability and transparency,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “Waste in state government costs all of us by reducing resources available for services. We take seriously the reports received through the hotline, and we are committed to doing everything possible to hold state government accountable to the citizens of Oregon. I was a member of the Legislature when the Government Waste Hotline was developed, and its’s encouraging to see this tool being used to clean up government waste.” Continue reading

Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Policy Institute

This month, the Tennessee legislature passed a new Education Savings Account (ESA) law for its state’s K-12 students. The law creates the second ESA program that will operate in the Volunteer State.

The new Tennessee law provides families there with alternatives to low-performing public schools in the form of about $7,300 per student in education funding annually, if parents want to withdraw their children from their zoned district schools. Parents may spend ESA funds on private school tuition, tutoring, educational therapies, or other education-related expenses.

Education options are widespread in America, unless a family can’t afford an alternative to their zoned public school. Education Savings Accounts give parents the ability to customize their children’s education in the ways that are best for them as individual students. ESAs put parents, rather than government school bureaucracies, in the “driver’s seat” of their kids’ education. Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee are operating ESA programs today. Continue reading

Deputies from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office will be working extra shifts over the next several weeks to promote vehicle occupant safety as part of the most recent seat belt enforcement campaign. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from May 20 to June 2, 2019. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign runs concurrent with the busy travel season.

According to NHTSA, in 2017, there were 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Oregon, citations for failing to use a safety belt, or improper use of a safety belt, start at $120.

 

Dr. Jay Lehr

Tom Harris

The true costs of wind energy are too often (deliberately?) ignored or underestimated

Wind energy can never replace fossil fuels, despite claims of environmentalists and advocates of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal (GND). It’s not environment-friendly either. Indeed, wind power is hampered by many limitations, including:

* its intermittent and inefficient nature

* insufficient sites with adequate, reliable wind

* acreage required to erect turbines and harness wind

* excessive expenses, many of them rarely mentioned

* dangers to bird and bat populations

* dangers to human health from light flicker and low frequency throbbing noise (infrasound).

* costs, limitations, and health and environmental impacts of batteries and other back-up systems

Wind turbines are highly inefficient. Large industrial wind turbines (IWT) typically produce about 2.5 megawatts of power when wind speed is between about 8 and 25 miles per hour. However, most of the time it’s not, even at the best locations. Continue reading

By Paul Driessen

Let’s finally review Endangerment Finding used to justify trillions in climate and energy cost.

In December 2009, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency issued its Endangerment Finding (EF) – decreeing that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) endanger the health and welfare of Americans. In the process, EPA ignored the incredible economic, health and welfare benefits of fossil fuels – and the fact that (even at just 0.04% of the atmosphere) carbon dioxide is the miracle molecule that enables plants to grow and makes nearly all live on Earth possible.

EPA turned CO2 into a “dangerous pollutant” and ruled that fossil fuels must be eradicated. The agency subsequently used its EF to justify tens of billions of dollars in climate research, anti-fossil fuel regulations, and wind and solar subsidies; Continue reading

By Paul Driessen

The climate-fearing, capitalism-loathing Left cannot abide questions or differing opinions

Throughout history despots had effective ways of reducing dissension in the ranks. Inquisitors burned heretics. Nazi’s burned books – before taking far more extreme measures. Soviets employed famines, gulags, salt mines and executions. ChiComs and other tyrants starved, jailed and murdered millions.

Today’s Green New Dealers and their allies have mapped out their own totalitarian strategies.

They proclaim themselves socialists, but their economic policies and tolerance for other viewpoints reflect a different form of government – fascism: A political system in which authoritarian government does not own businesses and industries, but strictly regulates and controls their actions, output and rights – while constraining and suppressing citizens and their thought, speech and access to information. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Often when I get home after church, I’ll plop on the couch, turn on the TV for background noise, and work on another blog. I enjoy watching golf, which is so slow and quiet. On the far other extreme, I also like to watch car races. It may seem odd, but there is something relaxing about the deep throats of those cars as they barrel around the track.

When I was in college, I worked at a plywood mill some distance away. As I drove my Plymouth Fury to work one evening, I decided to see how fast it could go on the long straight stretch of road. When I approached 100 miles per hour, the car started to shake, and I quickly backed off the accelerator. Scared me to death. It was the last time I tried that! I can’t imagine the nerves of steel it must take to drive over 200 miles per hour while trailing another car by only inches. Continue reading

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