The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Mary Jo Conniff, The Northwest Connection

Senator Ted Cruz, Photo Credit: Wikipedia

This brave man never waivers in his support of a border walls! He has experience on how these walls, along with professionals, tough immigration legislation, and technology, are effective.

In a recent speech to the Senate, (

Ted said that politicians from states that don’t share borders with other nations are very supportive of anti-wall rhetoric. He tells us that it’s convenient for them to have that opinion because they are unaffected.

I know what Sen Cruz means, but in the last 10-20 years EVERY STATE has suffered with drugs that are killing our children; gangs that promote the death of our family units (both literally and figuratively); that traffic people for the sex trade and to illegally, for thousands of dollars and terrible danger, to trespass into the U.S. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

The problems with the so-called “whistleblower” complaint against President Trump are legion. For one thing, this guy’s not a “whistleblower” at all. A true whistleblower – an NFL referee for instance – blows the whistle when he actually sees an infraction of the rules with his own eyes. This anonymous dude, whoever he may be, by his own admission didn’t see nothin’. That’s nothin’ as in nada, zip, zilch, nothing.

This is the equivalent of an NFL official who throws a flag because somebody told him that he’d heard from a trusted friend that the friend had seen pass interference.

The entire complaint is a rehearsal of rumors this scandal-mongerer had heard from anonymous sources or from the Talking Snake Media, people who lie for a living. This report belongs on the pages of the National Enquirer, not in the halls of Congress. Continue reading

Sea otters Juno (light head) and pup Uni Sushi together in Steller Cove. © Oregon Zoo / photo by Shervin Hess.

Oct. 2 event features sea otter conservationists from the Elakha Foundation

Once common along the Oregon coast, sea otters were hunted almost to extinction for their rich fur in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Although they have made a comeback elsewhere, they remain missing from Oregon. What will it take to help them return?

That’s the question at the heart of Oregon Sea Otters: Once and Future, the first Oregon Zoo Pub Talk of the season, taking place Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in the zoo’s Cascade Crest Banquet Center.

Robert Bailey, president of the Elakha Alliance, and Peter Hatch, a Siletz tribal member who serves on Elakha’s board of directors, will explore the history of sea otters in Oregon, their ecological and cultural importance to the region, and the prospects for their return and recovery. The talk will also touch on the mission of the Elakha Alliance, an Oregon nonprofit devoted to sea otter conservation. Continue reading

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

Portland City Council has just learned that what it thought was a $500 million water filtration plant will now be an $850 million project–and may go as high as $1.2 billion. The reason for the 70% spike: The water bureau did not include the cost of the pipes leading to and from the plant. Those forgotten pipes are going to add more than $130 a year to the average water bill.

Truth is, those pipes weren’t forgotten. They were omitted so the bureau could low-ball the cost of the project. This isn’t a first. The Portland Aerial Tram was three times over budget in part because the city “forgot” to include soft costs. If they included these costs, the eye-popping prices for the tram would have given even a spendthrift city council some pause. Portland Public Schools intentionally low-balled the cost of school construction so voters would approve a school bond measure. Continue reading

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

Voters should reject Metro’s tax increase and land grab

In approximately four weeks Portland area voters will receive their November ballots. One of the items is Measure 26-203: a $475 million bond measure by Metro, the regional government for the Portland area. Metro wants the money so it can buy more land for its so-called parks and nature program. Measure 26-203 will raise the region’s property taxes by about $60 million a year.

Cascade Policy Institute urges a vote NO on Measure 26-203. Voters have already approved two such measures—one for $135 million in 1995, and another for $227 million in 2006. Most of that money has been spent to buy up more than 14,000 acres of land. Yet, less than 12% of these lands are available for public use.

Metro has made it clear that many of the parcels purchased since 1995 will never be open for use. In fact, if you try to find a list of all properties bought by Metro with bond money, you won’t be able to. A Metro lawyer told Cascade staff in a meeting this summer that they don’t want the public to know where the park land is because they don’t want the public to visit it.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

Eric Fruits, Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, said, “Most of Metro’s nature properties are Oregon’s own Area 51—they’re owned by the government, they don’t show up on maps, and no one knows what’s going on there.”

In addition, more than two-thirds of the land bought with bond money is outside Metro’s jurisdiction, and nearly 80% is outside the Portland Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). That means most voters will never use Metro parks because they are so far away—even if the areas were open to the public.

Measure 26-203 is on the ballot largely to ensure tax dollars keep flowing to Metro. The measure brings in so much money, the Metro Council can’t figure out how to spend it all. That’s why Metro has earmarked $50 million of the bond funds for “advancing large-scale community visions.” Metro itself says the earmark is “not well-defined” and a leader of 1,000 Friends of Oregon called it a “slush fund.”

For more information on Measure 26-203 and Metro’s parks program, contact Cascade Policy Institute at 503-242-0900.

See You at the Pole is Wednesday, September 25, at 7:00 a.m. local time.

All around the globe, in every time zone, students will gather at their school flagpole to pray for their school, teachers, friends, families, churches, communities, and nation. See You at the Pole is a prayer rally to foster global unity in Christ among today’s young people. It is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.

According to the initiative’s website, “See You at the Pole, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grassroots movement with 10 students praying at their school. Twenty years later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September.”

1MM encourages all students to participate in See You at the Pole on Wednesday, September 25, at 7:00 a.m. local time. We also hope all parents and grandparents will encourage their children to participate in this important prayer event.

For more information, please visit the See You at the Pole website here.

Bryan Fischer

You’ve heard that the Bill of Rights protects group rights – you heard wrong.

Every right protected in the Bill of Rights is an individual right. There is no such thing as a collective right or a group right under the Founders’ Constitution. Every right – the free exercise of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, the right to a trial by jury, the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, etc. – is a right that belongs to every individual American. It belongs to him as an individual and not because he is a part of a favored group.

You’ve heard that churches have religious liberty rights because they are churches – you heard wrong Continue reading

Frank Salvato

Have you read a lot about the pro-democracy (read: pro-freedom) demonstrations currently taking place in Hong Kong? If you are like most people you are surprised to hear that they are still taking place. That’s because the “loud-mouth media” – or the big cable networks, to be more specific – are more concerned with sensationalism than news that happens to be important to the fabric of humanity.

Via One America News, Reuters reports:

“Hong Kong police fired tear gas on Sunday to break up pro-democracy protesters who trashed fittings at a railway station and shopping mall, the latest confrontation in more than three months of often violent unrest.”

These freedom-seeking protesters have been fighting a violent battle against the Communist Chinese government of the mainland for three months and these protests land on the back pages and/or below the fold if they are reported on at all. Continue reading

Late Monday, Sept 16, 2019, the judge of the tax court of Oregon ordered Clackamas County and the County Assessor to begin levying taxes on behalf of the City of Damascus. The parties have till Oct 1st to respond as ordered or to show cause why they will not.

This ruling means that the County Assessor must assess on properties in Damascus the rate set by the Damascus Budget Committee on June 28, 2019, of $0.57 per $1000 of assessed value. This levy is equivalent to the additional assessment that the County has been levying for the last three years, which will now disappear and the levy will now go to the City.

Mayor James De Young has further details (503-658-2886).

Steve Bates

Unfurling the POW-MIA flag

Friday, September 20th is POW – MIA Recognition Day. This special day and the POW-MIA flag are symbolic of our nations resolve to never leave our warriors behind. Our armed forces will look for the missing until they are accounted for.

Sunday, September 29th is Gold Star Mother’s Day. A Gold Star Mother is one who lost a son or daughter while serving their nation in times of war or conflict. These two special days have a great deal in common. On September 20th and September 29th, we should all stop and ponder the losses of our American families through the years. After all, these losses and sacrifices were made to protect our nation. Over the years, about 1 million brave warriors lost their American Dream so that we could live ours.

On these two special days we should remember that: Continue reading

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