The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Bill Wehr

Bill Wehr, Council President

In a letter from Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to State legislators on May 23, 2019 the Commissioners requested an ominous “ final resolution “ to ending the city.   The Commissioners claim in the letter that “ it is not possible to restore the city to its predisincorporation status.” In other words, find a political legislative fix to dig them out of the legal hole they are in.

The Commissioners are trying to come to grips with the Appeals Court unanimous ruling of May 1, 2019 that the Damascus disincorporation vote of 2016 forced on the City by the State legislature was illegal. Not only illegal, but the Court ruled that the city should return to ” resume their home rule constitutional right to self-governance.”

When Damascus surrendered its City Charter, all of its assets, including approximately $8.4 million in cash, real estate property and office equipment went to the County. The County then over time spent all the cash and sold off the real estate for a low ball fire sale price to the Fire District on a non open bid process. Of the cash, $2 million was for former Damascus employees and continuation of law enforcement services. Approximately $2.9 million for road maintenance and $3.4 million refunded to to taxpayers. Continue reading

Richard H. Carson, MPA, Damascus City Manager

I am asking you and your colleagues to stop a legislative train wreck in the making and what is the lowest form of legislative chicanery. I am talking about the gut and stuff bill SB 226. We have not seen this kind of intentional and systematic destruction of a city in Oregon since the halcyon days of the Rajneesh.

Do you really want to put your good name on a bill meant to benefit only developers, anti-government activists and euthanizes a city against its will? Why do you want to put a political albatross around your neck for the next year or two as this drags through the courts? Do you want to explain your vote to your opponent or a reporter in the next political season.

This bill (SB 226) is the clone to the one that was struck down by the Oregon Appellate Court. You are being lured into signing on to a gut and stuff legislative monstrosity that will (1) be a legal loser – again, (2) profit land developers, and (3) support anti-government activists bent on destroying a city. What a trifecta! Ask yourself, who benefits (cui bono) from this legislative albatross? Certainly the land developers and anti-government activists – but not you! Continue reading

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Senator Jackie Winters

Secretary of State Bev Clarno issued the following statement following the news of the passing of Senator Jackie Winters:

“Oregon has lost a true giant today, and our hearts are heavy. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jackie for over 20 years, and she was always a steadfast champion for children, for families, and for justice. She was always so proud of her work with Governor Vic Atiyeh as his Ombudsman, and carried the lessons she learned there throughout her career. She was the epitome of working with all and a master of bipartisanship! She will be missed by all who serve here in the Capitol, her community, and her family. She was a true and dedicated public servant, and Oregon is better because she dedicated her life to public service.”

Susan Gallagher, Parents Rights In Education

Hillsboro School District may roll out a NEW health and sexuality curriculum implementing Gender Identity, Gender roles, Gender Expression, “different families,” and explicit sexuality education in your child’s classroom. Come to the open house on June 4, 7-8 pm Shute Park Library 775 SE 10th Ave., Hillsboro, OR 97123

You have a chance to weigh in!  

Concerned Hillsboro teacher and parents reviewed the sexually explicit curriculum, which is likely to have long term harmful effects on your children.  Examples of content include:

Continue reading


Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Policy Institute

Senate Bill 668 in the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session would implement an Education Savings Account program here in Oregon.

This bill will receive an informational hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, June 5, at 1 pm at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

If you support parental choice in education, please attend the hearing or submit your own testimony online.

Senate Bill 668 would create an Education Savings Account program for K-12 students who chose to leave their zoned public schools for other school options. Children from families with income less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level and children with a disability would receive $6,500 deposited into their accounts. All other participating children would receive $4,900 deposited into their accounts. Funds remaining in a child’s account after expenses are paid each year could be “rolled over” for use in subsequent years, including post-secondary education within Oregon. Continue reading

Frank Salvato

There is a lot of wiggle-room that was provided to partisan politicians in Robert Mueller’s statement, a statement made of the US Department of Justice even as he refused to voluntarily speak in front of Congress. Of course, that wiggle-room will super-charge the “I see bigfoot” impeachment crowd. But there are a few problems with their foaming at the mouth enthusiasm to draw blood against the President.

Mr. Mueller’s words – which he was very careful in choosing and delivering – simply do not lead to any forgone conclusion. “We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime…That is the office’s final position,” Mueller stated.

While Mueller was very purposeful in stating that his investigation could not bring criminal charges against the President – and that DOJ long-standing policy was to never charge a sitting president with a crime, he did allude to impeachment. While this made Democrat and Progressive-Fascists giddy, it was Mueller’s other words that will, once again, leave them slack-jawed when nothing comes of their investigations. In fact, it should warn them off of pursuing any investigation and/or impeachment proceedings. Continue reading

Miranda Bonifield

Last November, Metro gained approval from Portland voters to borrow $652 million for low-income public housing projects. In 2020, they’ll ask for $850 million for a light rail project.

This year, the regional government is proposing a $475 million bond measure to fund parks and nature projects. While Metro argues this is not a tax increase, the reality is that borrowing $475 million will cost taxpayers over $800 million between principal and interest payments. And judging by precedent, Metro will ask for additional funds before they’ve completed the projects currently on their roster. Metro has owned its largest nature park, Chehalem Ridge, for nearly a decade without making it accessible to the public—making it a nature project, but not a park. Metro continually asks voters to pay full costs without delivering full benefits.

In 2016, Metro persuaded voters to approve additional funding for similar projects despite concerns that the regional government ought to make smaller demands and demonstrate its reliability. While audits have found some improvements since 2016, Metro still struggles to demonstrate measurable benefits from the thousands of acres they already possess.

The Metro Council will be finalizing the bond language and hearing public testimony in their Portland headquarters at 2 p.m. on June 6. Voters should require accountability and consistency from Metro before indebting ourselves for another twenty years.

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

Marlon Furtado

Christ had a very clear understanding of why He was born into our world. He expressed that purpose to Nicodemus [Nic, for short] in a late-night conversation recorded in the third chapter of John. Nic was a very religious man, having devoted his life to the study of the Scriptures. But as he heard of the miraculous healings Jesus was performing, he was honest to admit that his religious traditions paled in comparison to Christ’s power. Therefore, he arranged a private meeting with the Lord. During their brief encounter, Jesus explained that He came to this world so that people of all backgrounds could go to Heaven.

Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Continue reading

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

The Portland Association of Teachers declares Oregon has suffered “a 30-year disinvestment in education.” That’s a bold charge. Thirty years is a long time, and disinvestment is a strong word.

To disinvest literally means “to reduce or eliminate” investment. Is it true that Oregon has reduced investment in public schools over 30 years? No.

Multnomah County’s Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission has been tracking school spending in the Portland area for more than 30 years. A review of Portland Public Schools spending since 1985 shows that per student spending in Oregon’s largest school district has steadily increased over the past 30 years, as shown in the figure below. Continue reading

John A. Charles, Jr.

According to the state’s Global Warming Commission, Oregon has already met its goal of reducing per-capita carbon dioxide emissions to levels that are 20% below 1990 emissions by the year 2020. In fact, we met the goal four years ago.

Are state legislators celebrating this achievement? Not at all. They are too busy rolling out a 98-page bill that will establish a statewide limit on carbon dioxide emissions, designed to make energy more expensive. The bill also repeals the CO2 goal that we’ve already met and imposes a more stringent one: to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Continue reading

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