The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

Although people who read The Oregonian might believe differently, conservation efforts over the last few decades have greatly benefited the iconic symbol of the far north: polar bears. Their numbers have increased dramatically since the signing of an international agreement in 1973 to eliminate commercial and sport hunting. The uncontrolled slaughter of these magnificent animals and many other marine mammals has led to a great resurgence. Canadian biologist Dr. Susan Crockford estimates that polar bears now number about 30,000. They are well distributed across all of their 19 Arctic habitats. Such a wide distribution is further evidence of a healthy population. Continue reading

Portland Public Schools is redrawing the boundaries of more than a dozen schools and reassigning 5,000 students, ten percent of its enrollment. According to The Oregonian: “To make sure no school ends up understaffed or overcrowded, students must be shuffled.”

In government-run school districts, kids are cards in a deck. The bureaucracy gets to deal, assigning students to school buildings based on their residences. And even when parents exercise choice by moving into a neighborhood, gaining access to special school-based programs, or enrolling in charter schools located in underused facilities, the district retains the right to shuffle and deal over. Continue reading

Paying tribute: No warrior laid to rest alone

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark A. Ma

The Arlington National Cemetery is truly sacred ground. It is the final resting place for over 400,000 of our nation’s military, some of whom have been buried there since the Civil War.

The grounds were originally the property of the family of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s wife, who was also a granddaughter of George Washington. When the Civil War broke out, the Union took the property; and, almost immediately, the burial of Union soldiers began there.

Every day Arlington National Cemetery sees dozens of new burials and provides each fallen service member or veteran with the pomp and circumstance, the honor and dignity they are due for having honorably served this grateful nation. Continue reading

Thanksgiving is almost here. Ideally, this day should be about more than football and the imminent arrival of Black Friday mega-sales. After all, the spirit of the holiday invites us to be grateful for what we have and for the presence of our loved ones.

But it’s important to look beyond just one day in November if you want your family to take part in your “abundance.” If you want to ensure your financial resources eventually are shared in the way you envision, you will need to follow a detailed action plan, including these steps: Continue reading

By Paul Driessen

Or at least by paper certificate, as St. Louis city council raises electricity costs for poor families

In 2016, Missouri generated 96.5% of its electricity with fossil fuel and nuclear power, 1.6% with hydroelectric, and just 1.5% with wind and solar. The St. Louis Metro Area did roughly the same.

But now, by royal decree, the St. Louis City Crown has made it clear, the climate must be perfect all year – and by 2035 the city will somehow, magically be powered by 100% “clean, sustainable” electricity. Continue reading

Individuals in all age groups have irritations in their lives. An infant, although they do not understand it, is irritated when a change or feeding does not happen when they feel the need for it. They know how to get our attention.

Schoolchildren get irritated when they think there is too much homework and not enough playtime. Continue reading

Martin Luther was the greatest man of the second millennium.

Many great and influential men moved about the world stage between 1000 AD and 2000 AD – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Bismarck, and Winston Churchill to name just a few – but Luther towers above them all.

As a lowly monk, he stood alone against the mightiest political power of the day, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and against the mightiest religious power of the day, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church. This wasn’t David against Goliath, this was David against an army of Goliaths. Luther took them on, and he won. Continue reading

A Traditional Jack-O-Lantern Face
• Choose a pumpkin that is ripe, with no bruises or nicks. Don’t carry a pumpkin by its stem, because it may break. (Larger pumpkins are easier to carve than small ones.)
• For easy cleanup, place your pumpkin on several layers of newspaper before carving.
• Using a marker draw a hexagon on the top of the pumpkin. Add a small tab on the side so you always know how the top fits on the pumpkin. (Knives are sharp, so it is important that children are supervised when carving their pumpkins.) Continue reading

WOW… last night’s sunset in the Gorge was one for the books! It was the one that just kept on giving. What I thought was going to be just a quick 20 minute outing ended up being a life changing 3 hour photo extravaganza! So many strange emotions experienced during that time and a whole renewed deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for this magical place we call “The Gorge”. For the past couple weeks, The Gorge has been in national news for all the wrong reasons- it was burning down! The Eagle Creek Fire was like something we’ve never experienced before around here. Our favorite hiking trails, our waterfalls, our bridges, tunnels, interstate to Portland, the wonderful little community of Cascade Locks, people’s homes, businesses and more- all closed off either up in flames or very close to it! Continue reading

Senators and crony corporatists deep-six proposed EPA reductions in biodiesel mandates

Despite what I thought were persuasive articles over the years (here, here and here, for example), corn ethanol and other biofuel mandates remain embedded in US law. As we have learned, once a government program is created, it becomes virtually impossible to eliminate, revise or even trim fat from it. Continue reading

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