The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Helen Cook

How much would you be willing to spend to buy parkland that would ban your dog?

Metro hopes Portland area taxpayers will spend $475 million to buy land kept from public use for many years. That’s the purpose of a Metro bond measure on the ballot in November.

Much of the new tax money would go to acquiring natural areas that will be unusable by the public for an unspecified amount of time. If this feels like déjà vu, that’s because Metro passed a similar bond measure in 2006.

Rather than let the previous tax increases sunset, Metro wants more money, ostensibly to create parks for historically underserved communities. But much of the land Metro plans to buy is located far from the communities it’s intended to serve.

Metro also claims the new bond measure won’t increase taxes. This is not true. If the bond measure fails, property owners’ tax bills will go down. A “yes” vote is a vote for higher taxes. A “no” vote will save the average homeowner about $48 a year.

Metro’s new bond is neither the beginning nor the end of a cycle of buying remote natural areas that won’t allow recreational uses. Make sure to look for this measure on your ballot in November and vote no.

Helen Cook is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

“Let ’em leave. Someone else’ll come in.” That was Oregon state senator James Manning’s response when told that new business taxes will cause some firms to leave the state.

Unfortunately, the senator is not alone with the let-them-leave attitude. That seems to be the attitude of the supermajority in the legislature as well as the city of Portland, who have both recently passed massive business taxes.

The legislature just passed a billion dollar a year “corporate activities tax.” The new tax is triggered once a business hits one million dollars in sales. This Continue reading

Pastor Bill Ehmann

Air Force Academy cadets keep a giant American flag aloft during the Air Force-Brigham Young University halftime 9/11 memorial ceremony at Falcon Stadium near Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 11, 2010. The flag measured about 55 yards by 30 yards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

It is good to have Flag Day. I believe every day should be a reminder of the significance of our American flag. It is a symbol of the freedom we enjoy in this great country. As long as it flies, we know we have certain rights and privileges.

The flag makes a statement of ownership. In a sense, each American owns this country. If we value and appreciate the relationship, we will do our part to maintain the portion that we call home. We will honor the heritage we enjoy because of people who gave us what we have.

When the American flag stands with those of other countries, it presents a cooperative effort beyond our borders. When nations work together for the good of all people, the benefits are without measure. Flags offer a statement of unity.

The stars and stripes on our flag represent the nation. While culture and traditions vary throughout the country, the 50 stars declare that we are one nation with goals and values that are essential to everyone. Those 13 red and white stripes remind us of commitment and faith of families who gave us the foundation of the country we enjoy today. Continue reading

I’ll tell you how it started out that night:
I’d gone to see my father where he lay,
Determined not to try to make him hear
Or summon up the memory of the guest
Who’d come once more to visit him this night,
In the old folks’ home. Most times he didn’t know
That I was standing there, or who I was.
He hardly ever spoke, for he’d forget
After he’d begun, just what it was
That he had meant to say. Continue reading

By Connie Warnock, NW Connection

Of course, I saw the new movie touting all the super heroes! I grew up with them. I loved comic books but had no subscription. My sources were Susan, my best friend, whose brother had a large box of them. Susan’s mom had secured the comics in an unused wood stove in their basement. Susan would stand guard while I read as fast as I could.

Every summer, we vacationed in Spirit Lake, Idaho at Uncle Cliff and Aunt Rosie’s house. My cousins, Pete and Oly, had an even larger box of comic books twice the size of Susan’s brother’s collection. I could “comic book” to my hearts content. Back to the movie; I loved it and stood up clapping at the end. After I got home however, I realized that my favorite hero had been omitted! Plastic Man was not represented! He was an amazing flesh colored, stretchy hero, who thwarted bad guys right and left. I loved the comic book where he figured out that the drinks at a roof top cocktail party were poisoned. My parents had cocktail parties so I was especially interested in how Plastic Man would save those who hadn’t already bit the dust. I remember these reading marathons as if they’d happened yesterday.

In reality, my superhero was my father. Mom? Yes, however, she was approachable only under certain conditions – the main one being “I didn’t do it, mom.” Dad on the other hand knew better. Not only had I done it, but I could justify it. In most cases I could claim legitimately that I had “gotten away with it”! However, I thought he should know “just in case”. I covered all my bases. Happily, my father let me know albeit subtly that I was simply high spirited. Better yet, he seemed to be proud of my fearlessness. Where angels feared to tread didn’t phase me. I was not an angel. I saw my childhood self as judge, jury and avenger! My adulthood has not been any different – just ask my children!

It has occurred to me more than once that parents should be superheroes for their children. Bringing children into the world is a great joy. As parents, we should also be shepherds, guardian angels and yes…superheroes. We should have patience. We should have the capability to see our child’s humanism; their abilities, needs and frailties. We have been there, and we should be able to honestly access the strengths and weaknesses of our children.

A helping hand, the ability to listen without prejudice, the ability to fearlessly take action if necessary: these are the qualities of superheroes and yes, good parents. Our obligations are to share our knowledge, our abilities, our love and our acceptance. Providing a warm and loving atmosphere is a good thing. However, of equal value is our reaction when for whatever reason our own circles of stability are upended. In such moments, our actions and reactions take the stage. In that situation we can indeed become heroic. We can manifest the all-important attribute we call survival. If done right, survival techniques involve facing the problem, getting assistance if necessary, having the ability to bravely go beyond a possibly unfortunate solution to the unconventional. Certainly, there is a higher power, but more readily available can be the knowledge of what to do and the courage to carry through. Plus we don’t need to wear capes or tights!

It’s the best medicine!

John A. Charles, Jr.

Portland politicians claim to be concerned about carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. That’s why so many of them support TriMet’s proposed 12-mile light rail line from Portland to Bridgeport Village near Tigard. They think it will reduce fossil fuel use.
Their assumptions are wrong.
According to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, energy used during construction of the rail project will equal 5.9 trillion Btu. Much of this will be in the form of fossil fuels needed to power the heavy equipment. Additional energy will be used to manufacture the rail cars, tracks, and overhead wires. Continue reading

Helen Maguire

The rose, the flower for those born in the month of June, is the national flower of both the United States and England. It is also state flower of several states including Iowa, North Dakota, Georgia, New York and Texas. Portland, Oregon holds an annual Rose Festival, and in Southern California’s annual Rose Parade features hundreds of floats decorated with many thousands of roses and other flowers and plants.

All species of the Rosa (Latin for red) come from the northern hemisphere, and normally form as shrubs or bushes with flowers. However some are considered trailing plants or climbers that will grow up walls and over other plants. The most common colors are red, pink, yellow and white; however they can also be found in various other colors including orange, peach, purple and black. Continue reading

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

The two hottest issues on the political scene in many Western countries are climate and immigration. On the one hand elites on the Left argue theoretical and moral concerns involving the survival of the planet and fairness to those who arrive illegally, while those in the Middle and on the Right see the issues in far more practical pocketbook terms. Completely left out of most discussions is any mention of competent climate science or any discussion of the impacts of massive migration. Emotions rule the day.

The gulf between the Far Left and everyone else is forcing the issue everywhere that the Left has already moved democracies in substantially unworkable directions. Where the pendulum has swung far beyond what working people will tolerate, they have revolted, expressing their outrage in the streets and at the ballot box.

French President Emmanuel Macron (right) with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 (Source: via Wikipedia)

Take for instance France.

When President Emmanuel Macron announced that gas and diesel prices would go above $7 per gallon to make automobile travel impractical for many, French citizens took to the streets in massive numbers and in the reflective yellow vests that everyone is required to carry in their cars. Although Macron canceled his climate action plan after four weeks of protests, demonstrators were not placated and still demand his ouster.

That has not yet occurred. But French voters did humiliate Macron by voting for Marine Le Pen’s candidates in the EU parliamentary elections in late May. In sharp contrast to Macron, her National Rally party is famously opposed to massive immigration from Muslim countries and otherwise strongly nationalist. She avoids the climate wars altogether. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Ever put a cranberry in your mouth, mistaking it for a cherry? As soon as you bit down, you became acutely aware of your mistake. Or you’ve taken a big bite out of an apple that was bad, and immediately spit it out. Far more serious than bitter foods is a bitter heart. The Bible describes bitterness as a seed germinating in the soil of an offended heart, sending down roots, and growing into a bush that bears fruit that can poison every relationship in our lives.

The New Testament speaks to this poison of bitterness in Hebrews 12:14-15, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Continue reading

Richard H. Carson, MPA, Damascus City Manager


My name is Richard Carson and I am the duly appointed City Manager for the city of Damascus.

I have worked as a senior policy analyst for three Oregon governors. I was given a management recognition award by Governor Victor Atiyeh for my work on statewide land use planning. I was appointed to chair the state’s economic development team by Governor Neil Goldschmidt. And I was charged with creating Governor Barbara Robert’s salmon habitat protection program.

And I can tell you first-hand exactly what happened to the city of Damascus because I witnessed it. And what happened was the failure of the Oregon legislature to save the city and many cities like it from the anti-government movement. And now, this bill is nothing less that a death sentence for the city of Damascus – an incorporated municipal government created under Oregon law – a community that was established back in 1867. And I am here today to tell you that you have a moral obligation to save Damascus this time. Continue reading

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