The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Marlon Furtado

Here in the Northwest we’ve had a relatively mild winter. While the eastern two-thirds of our country has been brutally blasted with cold air and snow blizzards from the north, we’ve been spared. We had a short stint of snow, nothing like those other cities, but still enough to wreak havoc for motorists. Typically, the towns further east into the Gorge have it worse, with I-84 often shutting down for days on end, but on the west end, we’re back to rain. Up higher in the mountains, the ski resorts are excited for the February snows that are falling. They promise to bring more skiers, snowboarders, and tubers to the mountains and to their businesses.

One thing you’ve often heard from friends visiting our area from another part of the country is their amazement that we have so many trees and everything seems so green. Continue reading

Dr. Jay Lehr

Tom Harris

Global cooling – and global totalitarian socialism – are the catastrophes we should fear most

What do heat waves, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, forest fires, hurricanes, African wars, mass extinctions, disease outbreaks, and human and animal migrations from South America and the Middle East have in common?

According to climate activists, they are all caused by dangerous man-made global warming. And this, in turn, is supposedly caused by rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels resulting from our use of fossil fuels. Continue reading

Helen Maguire

Sgt. Carney: First African-American Medal of Honor Recipient. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Born as a slave on February 29, 1840, at Norfolk, Virginia, William Harvey Carney was an African American soldier during the American Civil War. Born as a slave, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his gallantry in saving the regimental colors (American Flag) during the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. He is considered to be the first African American to be granted the Medal of Honor.

His father, also named William, escaped slavery, reaching freedom through the Underground Railroad. William Sr. then worked to buy the freedom of the rest of his family. Free and reunited, the family settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts in the second half of the 1850s. Young William learned to read and write, and by age 15 he was interested in becoming a minister.

He gave up his pursuit of the ministry, however, to join the Army. In an 1863 edition of the Abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, Carney explained: “Previous to the formation of colored troops, I had a strong inclination to prepare myself for the ministry; but when the country called for all persons, I could best serve my God serving my country and my oppressed brothers. The sequel in short—I enlisted for the war.” Continue reading

As parents, and specifically as moms, our relationships change when children become a permanent part of our lives. Some things suddenly do not seem nearly as important as they used to be and others seem critical to the development of our children and our lives as growing families. We may find ourselves disconnected from friends who don’t have kids, friends who keep late nights and late mornings, friends or family who are completely spontaneous and cannot empathize with the nature of feeding, nursing, or naps schedules. We likely find ourselves drawn to other parents at play groups or preschool, Little League and dance class, school fundraisers or college financial aid seminars. Yet it is important to keep our lives rich with a variety of relationships.

It may take work and a lot of advance planning to set up a dinner out with a friend, but it’s important to maintain relationships that do not always involve our children. As long as we are devoting love and time to our kids, let us work at keeping ourselves complete as human beings, a part of which (and a very large part at that) consists of being parents. Continue reading

Our beloved Mouse, 2014

Mouse, my eleven-year- old Shih Tzu, had a bad morning yesterday. She has been diagnosed as having several tiny tumors in her brain that can cause balance problems. The treatment is a dose of phenobarbital morning and evening.

Yesterday , as I delved into morning chores, I noticed Mouse listing to one side. She was definitely unsteady. I stopped everything and fixed a dog food meatball with her pill in it. I sat on the floor and gave her the pill. “I’ve got your back, sweetie,” I said, “don’t worry”. She leaned against me and I took the opportunity to kiss her sweet round head. It’s true. I do have her back, and all the others too.

They are my babies, and when they get older I have to watch for problems, get as exact a diagnosis as I can, and then I have to be there with what they need.

Continue reading

One of the marks of a mature individual is their ability to face reality.We do not expect this of children, who have legitimate fears and appropriate imaginations. Adults help younger people learn to sort out what is real and what is make- believe. We can evaluate our level of maturity by our ability to identify and face reality.

There is a level of mystery and make-believe that should be a part of our life journey. Creativity comes out of that kind of thinking. So much of what we appreciate today is the result of people believing there is more to be experienced than what exists today. Consider medical advances, space exploration and technological abilities that are realities today but were only dreams – if that – a century ago. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

At least twice a week, the news stations sound the alarm that we need to get ready for the Big One, the earthquake that will rock Portland, Oregon. Our city officials are trying to get ahead of this and mandate that older buildings be reinforced to make them earthquake-proof. I don’t intend to get into the economics or politics of such an endeavor. But it is interesting that so much attention is given to making the foundations of our dwellings safe, but very little attention is given to explore the foundation of our lives. What is yours like? How does it do when you’re confronted with the storms of life? Does it produce peace, comfort, and hope? Or does it seem to crumble when you experience heartache? Are there cracks that have developed from traumatic shocks in the past? Continue reading

Secretary of State, Dennis Michael Richardson

An artists rendering and vision of what the memorial could look like

In a letter dated January 30, 2019, Oregon’s Secretary of State made a resounding endorsement of the Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds Project.

Secretary Richardson cited his support for House Bill 2195 which establishes a Vietnam War Memorial on the Capitol Grounds.
Steve Bates, President of the Vietnam War Memorial Fund, the non-profit established for the sole purpose of designing and building a Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds, stated:  “We are grateful to Secretary Richardson.  We appreciate his service to our country as a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and his service to our state as a Representative and Secretary of State”.

Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

We’ve seen an absolute stamped in the last several years to legalize pot, whether for medicinal purposes or recreational use.

We were told that there are legitimate medicinal uses for marijuana. The evidence for this is entirely anecdotal as medical science has yet to identify any verified and confirmed health benefit to using the drug. While some users celebrate it’s value in producing pain relief, Alex Berenson writes in Imprimis that “Almost everything you think you know about the health effects of cannabis…is wrong.” For instance, a four-year study of patients with chronic pain in Australia showed that cannabis use was actually associated with greater, not lesser, pain over time.

Another flat-out myth is that pot can curb opioid use. The truth, sadly, is quite the other way round. Marijuana is in fact a gateway drug, which leads to experimentation with other drugs. The American Journal of Psychiatry wrote in January 2018 that people who used cannabis in 2001 were three times as Continue reading

When interest rates rise, the value of your fixed-income investments, such as bonds, will typically fall. If this happens, how should you respond?
First of all, it’s important to understand this inverse correlation between interest rates and bond prices. Essentially, when interest rates rise, investors won’t pay you full price for your bonds because they can purchase newly issued ones that pay higher rates. So, if you sell your bonds before they mature, you could lose some of the principal value.

You may be seeing a price drop among your bonds right now, because interest rates generally rose in 2018 and may continue to do so in 2019. While you might not like this decline, you don’t necessarily have to take any action, particularly if you’re planning to hold these bonds until maturity. Of course, you do have to consider Continue reading

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