The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Policy Institute

If Oregon charter school students can stay at home and stay in school at the same time, shouldn’t they be able to?

Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-08, which closed all Oregon public schools due to COVID-19, has been interpreted to also close Oregon’s online charter schools. This means students who were enrolled as online charter students before COVID-19 have had their online schools closed, even though these students already learn at home and can safely comply with Oregon’s social distancing and stay-at-home norms. Like other public schools, online charter schools are permitted to offer “supplemental” educational materials, but not their full curriculum, according to Willamette Week.

Apparently, this decision isn’t about students; it’s about school funding. A memo from the Oregon Department of Education suggests that because online charter schools already have a curriculum for students to learn Continue reading

With coronavirus shutting government schools, millions of parents have a historic opportunity to try homeschooling and non-government alternatives, declared leaders with the new movement “Public School Exit.”

According to the non-profit, founded in 2019 by Christian leaders passionate about K-12 education, government schools are seriously harming children through sexualization, indoctrination, and dumbing down.

But with schools closed across America due to COVID19, interest in home education and online options are surging.

PSE co-founder Dran Reese, president of The Salt & Light Council, called on ministry leaders to be involved. “Pastors and church leaders have a huge role to play in equipping congregations with a biblical understanding of citizenship, and that includes education of children,” she said. “This pandemic is a perfect time for pastors on the sidelines to get involved.” Continue reading

Lloyd Marcus

My brother who lives in Baltimore is a fellow black Christian conservative Republican. He phoned to warn me not to mention Trump to a senior relative. Fake news media’s corona-madness has driven her hatred to the extreme. Now, she wants him dead!

Our relative’s irrational hatred for Trump is exactly what Democrats/fake news media still strive to create since the day he was elected.

However, whenever Trump speaks directly to the American people, they believe him, gravitate to him, and love his America-first agenda.

This is why Democrats/fake news media continuously seek to block Trump from communicating directly to We the People. Absurdly, they claim his tweeting is an impeachable crime. The Democrats/fake news media were thrilled when coronavirus hit our shores, giving them an opportunity to demand that Trump stop holding rallies. The mega thousands who attend Trump rallies include a growing large number of Democrats eager to jump aboard the Trump Train. Continue reading

Here is a photo of Dave Owens (left) and District Manager John Radich (right).

As part of National Social Work Month in March, the Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Program named Dave Owens of Eugene, the 2019 Tom Moan Memorial Award. The annual award recognizes and promotes leadership and outstanding achievement by caseworkers in the field of child welfare.

“National Social Work month is a time to recognize that social work is more than social workers. Those who work to positively impact communities, families, youth, and children should be celebrated for their contributions to social change and development,” said Child Welfare Director Rebecca Jones Gaston.

The awardee is chosen through nominations from community organizations, Child Welfare employees, and organizational partners and will attend the National Association of Social Work Conference in Washington DC. All expenses for the travel are raised by DHS staff and the Tom Moan award committee. Moan was a career child welfare caseworker and administrator in Oregon.

This year’s winner, Owens, is a caseworker with 20 years of experience in Lane County. Owens was awarded to recognize his exceptional skill at family engagement, connections to community partners and the high level of respect he has from youth and families.

“We are exceptionally proud of Dave’s work serving strengthening Lane County’s children and families,” said Jones Gaston. “He honors the abilities and strengths of families as he works alongside them to address challenges. He is thoughtful and humble, and those he works with know he is not there to judge but to help.”

The National Association of Social Workers organizes Social Work Month to educate the public about the invaluable contributions of the profession. More information is available at


Rachel Dawson, Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Oregon, it’s about time we talk about nuclear power.

No, I don’t mean major reactors like PGE’s decommissioned Trojan Nuclear Plant which shuttered in 1992. Rather, I’m talking about small modular reactors (SMRs) which are experiencing rapid development and receiving great international interest.

Countries around the world, such as Russia and Canada, are currently exploring this technology. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed its first SMR certification review for a company called NuScale Power, which expects final approval by 2020. As it so happens, NuScale is headquartered right here in Portland.

NuScale is developing a new type of nuclear reactor that it claims is safer, smaller, and more affordable than traditional nuclear reactors. Continue reading

Jim Kight, Former Mayor of Troutdale

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources but the ones we remember the most are family members who endured hardship and came out stronger. My inspiration comes from my grandfather, George Reginald Nelson, who, at the retirement age of 55, left the Johnson Lumber Mill in Toledo, Oregon and built a home, two full sized barns and a gas station. He not only prospered during his retirement years but provided a valuable service to his community. His gas station, the Richfield Oil Company, today called Atlantic Richfield Oil Company which goes by acronym of ARCO.

My grandmother worked alongside him pumping gas and selling food, pop, and candy—the first convenience store gas station in Oregon. My father, Walter Lyle Kight also made a very good living during the Depression, had a new car and well-appointed apartment in Denver and later joined his brother in San Francisco in the same enterprise. Remember during the Depression 75% of the work force was still working.

Today many have lost jobs temporarily, or permanently. This is an opportunity to reevaluate your job skills and take online classes at very little cost. By now you are familiar with the thousands of job openings in the grocery industry, Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, and distribution systems at companies like Amazon and Fed Ex. These are the companies you notice because of their large demand of employees needed. However there are countless smaller companies in the distribution system that could use your help, NOW. It is going to take them months from production of products and delivery to warehouses to fill the recent demand of the public. This is where you benefit. Continue reading

Jim Humphrey

This is the first in a series tracing the word “faith” in the book of Romans. (Faith is translated from the Greek word pistis, [G4002], which usually, but not always, is translated “faith” in the New Testament [NT].) Pistis occurs 40 times in the epistle to Romans, the most frequent in any NT book. Today, we’ll compare the first and last occurrences of the word faith in Romans and then highlight the 2nd through the 6th occasions of it in the first chapter:

  • First occurrence; “By whom (referring to the Lord Jesus Christ) we (referring to Paul and his fellow apostles) have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” Romans 1:5.
  • Fortieth and last occurrence; “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my (Paul’s) gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:25 – 26.

We’ll focus on the significant phrases “for obedience to the faith among all nations,” Romans 1:5 and “made known to all nations for the obedience of faith,” Romans 16:26 but first we note that Paul begins Romans by branding himself a slave of Jesus Christ Who divinely selected/appointed him an apostle (a messenger sent forth with Continue reading

Sarah Popovich

TJ Saling Caldwell, Director, Apple of His Eye Charity and India widow

As an introvert and homeschooling mom, I have an extraordinarily high threshold for isolation. I’ve been known to say my dream vacation is actually staying home for a week while my husband and children escape to some exotic locale, though if I’m completely honest I could probably go longer than seven days without them.

Or so I thought.

This world-wide pandemic and accompanying quarantine has me a little twitchy today, and I’m still surrounded by family. I’ve been on social media more than usual, avoiding the news while simultaneously seeking updates concerning the welfare of friends and family.

These are strange times, unlike anything most of us have ever seen, and many are suffering despite their lack of symptoms, because God created us for community.

Luckily most of us still have it in digital form, the hope and positivity radiating from our devices is encouraging. Those of us with faith know God brings great blessing out of turbulent times, and this situation is no different. He is bigger, stronger, and remains in control.

The lessons we carry down the road with us from living in this present moment are sure to be spectacular, many of us are already learning things about ourselves and about this world that we never knew. Continue reading


Marlon Furtado

Have you ever been upset with yourself for giving into temptation … again? Have you ever assumed that if you were just more disciplined, you could be victorious? Feel you need to try harder or be more regimented to keep your routines? How many times have you heard it said that if you want to be more spiritual, just read your Bible and pray more, as though that was the solution for everything?

Now, discipline is valued in the Bible. Routines and to-do lists can be helpful. Reading your Bible and praying are definitely good. But NONE of these four, in themselves, is the key to growing in your love-relationship with God. The New Testament book of Galatians was written to clarify this.

Some people like to live by rules and lists. They do better when they can check off items they have accomplished. I’m not saying this is bad. It’s just not the way to live the Christian life. On the other hand, some people just “wing it.” They are undisciplined and could use a few more lists of things to guide their life. Whether you like lists and routines or not is not the issue. Continue reading

International Christian Relief Organization Responds at the Epicenter of the Coronavirus in the U.S.

Today, Samaritan’s Purse deployed its Emergency Field Hospital to New York City, New York, where the local medical infrastructure is severely overwhelmed. In cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), New York state officials, and local hospital authorities, Samaritan’s Purse will open a 68-bed field hospital, specially designed as a respiratory care unit. This response comes one week after Samaritan’s Purse opened an identical unit in Cremona, Italy-making it an unprecedented medical response for the N.C.-based organization as two Emergency Field Hospitals are run simultaneously.

An advance team arrived in New York on March 27 to begin assessments and site preparation. The Emergency Field Hospital is being trucked from North Carolina on four Samaritan’s Purse tractor-trailers. Once it arrives on-site, it will be built and operational in roughly 48 hours. This convoy’s arrival will be followed with doctors, nurses, lab technicians, water and sanitation experts, and other support staff.

“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does-we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus.”
The United States now has the largest outbreak of COVID-19 with nearly half of these cases in New York state. Thousands of new cases are reported each day.
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