The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Helen Cook

This summer, I was walking on an old logging road in the middle of thick forest, not a person in sight. The only sign of human activity were signs nailed to the trees prohibiting fungus-collecting. A tattered strand of red tape displaying the print, “Invasive Species,” waved in the wind.

You wouldn’t know it since no signage exists, but I was hiking through Metro’s biggest natural area: Chehalem Ridge. In fact, you wouldn’t know this was public property. The trailhead is on the side of a gravel road after driving miles through rural countryside. A gated fence blocks the entrance alongside a sign forbidding a long list of activities, including dog-walking. (Ironically, later in the day, I observed a couple walking their dog in Chehalem. There was no one there to stop them.)

Metro bought Chehalem Ridge Natural Area in 2010. The land is nestled between Forest Grove and Gaston, about a 20-minute drive to Hillsboro. The size of the parcel is actually bigger than Central Park in New York. In other words, this land’s potential is not that of a typical neighborhood park. Continue reading

Bound for Bend and a well-earned retirement. Photo credit Sue Santiago

Larry Lovelin offering 50% discounts on way to retirement

“I would like to extend my gratitude to my loyal customers. Without them, Springwater Jewelers would never have been possible.”
So says Larry Lovelin, on his way to a well-earned retirement after thirty-eight years as a master jeweler, including seventeen-plus years at his popular location at 35 East Powell Blvd. in downtown Gresham.

While the future of the retail space in the historic former Dowsett Building is not clear, Lovelin’s hope is to find another jeweler to set up shop there. “That would be ideal,” he says. “I can’t tell you how many times customers have asked, ‘who’s going to take care of us after you retire?’ I then decided to hire a professional broker, Murphy Business and Financial Corporation, which I think will be the best for my customers.” Continue reading

The prince had no idea he was a prince. He went along his path helping those he felt were in need. It was said of him that if a hand was needed to be of help, it was always his hand that was held out to grasp. It was indeed a fact that his hand on the shoulder of an anxious or confused child had an immediate calming effect. Unlike most of the princes you may know, this one spoke not with a superior tone. He spoke with a voice that was soft – yet tender and knowing. If he had no ready answer for a question, he would simply find one. Of course, the found answer would indeed be exactly right or at the least doable. He marveled at all of nature, especially the silky white mushrooms that lived along his path.

He didn’t see himself as a prince. He simply wanted to learn and to do his chores. Yes, sometimes if mothers are smart, they teach their little princes how to work in the world. May it be known this was not an easy life he lead. Truthfully, it was not the life of a prince. No – he had to hold fast to his space in the pond of life. Most of the time he felt indeed like a frog sitting beside the magical white mushrooms. Continue reading

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

When I was a small boy in Sweden many years ago, the Swedes were emphatic. At movie theaters where American Westerns were being shown, signs proclaimed “Barn Förbjudna” or “Children Forbidden.” That was the first Swedish I learned. The Swedes were trying to protect me from the very mild violence in American Westerns of that era. But I was not happy with a steady diet of Walt Disney pictures featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. At six years old, I thought that I was more sophisticated than that!

Fast forward almost seven decades and the Swedes are today far less protective of children, especially sixteen year old autistic girls like Greta Thunberg, whose Asperger’s syndrome makes her very vulnerable to exploitation. Her parents and many others promoting the climate religion find her a very convincing advocate for their cause. They have scared her to death, not with American Westerns, but with American climate hysteria. And she has gone forth throughout Europe and now America to proclaim her fears and accuse adults of stealing her future with man-made Global Warming. It would be very sad, if she had not become such a hardened and sometimes nasty advocate at the still tender age of 16.

How much better off she would have been if her heroes had been cowboys like John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, William Boyd, Clayton Moore, and Jay Silverheels. They were mine. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Lighthouse_Tillamook Rock Photo credit USCG

Suddenly a bright light flashed across the bow, nearly blinding the captain. The other ship was on a collision course with his. Straightaway, he signaled to it, “Change your direction.” He quickly received a signal back, “You change your direction!” Put off, the captain sent another message, “This is Captain Palmer. I order you to change your direction.” Without delay, he received the reply, “This is Mark Forsyth. You are to change your heading.” Boiling, the captain sent a third message, “I am a ship of the US Navy. I order you to change your direction immediately.” Without hesitation, the third response arrived, “I am a lighthouse. Change yours before it’s too late.”

There is one harbor that each of us hopes to reach when our sail is pulled down for the last time, that of Heaven. Its entrance is tight, though, and there are many rocks that surround its approach. The rocks represent the Judgment Day of God, in which each of us must stand before God, entirely alone. The Bible shines the only beam to point the way to avoid those rocks of judgment. Its light is the GOOD NEWS about Jesus, His death and resurrection. When Jesus died on the cross, He suffered God’s judgment on sin. He took the punishment for us. Continue reading

Mark Ellis, NW Connection

S.O.A.R. Membership Skyrockets After Announcement

If a person had asked four months ago if there was an organized Republican group in the Sandy, OR area, the answer would have been “no, there isn’t.”

There is now. The Sandy Oregon Area Republicans (SOAR) has only been around since May 24th, but has already attracted 643 members.

According to group spokesperson Dotty Pratt, the word “area” is inclusive of any town or burb in and around Sandy, specifically the official political districts that Sandy is in: Senate District 26, House District 52, and Congressional District 3. Continue reading

Bill Wehr

Bill Wehr, Damascus Council President

In the popular TV science fiction series Star Trek there was a storyline where space aliens created their own new world through mental force. This phenomenon was described as a “reality distortion field.” This has been used to describe the abilities of persuasion that Steve Jobs of Apple had, and Bill Clinton has, upon other people. The Clackamas County Commissioners are using this approach to overcome the reality of the Appeals Court unanimous ruling in favor of the City of Damascus to exist. The Commissioners, by convincing themselves that Damascus is not now a resurrected city, feels justified in blocking, ignoring and ridiculing the efforts of the City”s taxpayers who are restoring local governance.

There has been a sequence of events since last May’s ruling by the Oregon Appeals Court that the Oregon legislature forced ballot Measure 93 in 2016, resulting in the disincorporation of Damascus, was indeed illegal. Each of the recent developments are significant in demonstrating how the Commission responds to obeying the Courts. Continue reading

John R. Charles, Jr. President, Cascade Policy Institute

In 2016 Val Hoyle, then a legislator from Eugene, introduced a bill to guarantee postage-paid envelopes for Oregon’s vote-by-mail system. She argued that having to find and apply a stamp was a barrier to voter participation, especially to young people.

That idea was widely ridiculed, and the bill died.

Unfortunately, the political culture has changed. In March the Oregon legislature quietly passed SB 861, which requires the state to pay for ballot envelopes that can be returned by business reply mail. It will go into effect on or after January 1, 2020.

Implementation will cost an estimated $1.6 million to the state General Fund for the first 18 months. There will be an additional cost to Counties of $84,000 to destroy obsolete ballot return envelopes. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

While President Trump may get impeached by the blindly obsessed Nancy Pelosi and her band of rabid Trump-haters, there is absolutely no possibility – as in zip, nada, zilch – that he will be convicted in the Senate.

The reason? Evangelicals.

In 2016, 81% of white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump. It is no exaggeration to say evangelicals put him the Oval Office. There is a less-than-zero chance they will be inclined to participate in a coup d’etat against him.

The reasons are obvious. This is a president who has kept the large promises he made to people of faith. He has used the authority of his office to protect the sanctity of human life, and just recently stripped Planned Parenthood of $60 million in blood money.

He has appointed over 150 judges to the federal judiciary who believe, as the Founders expressed in the Declaration of Independence, that the “right to life” is an inalienable right of every human being in the womb, a gift from their Creator. Continue reading

Alyssa Ahlgren

My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us!

I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis (Florida) trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of presidential candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around.

I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Continue reading

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