The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Miranda Bonifield

Metro’s attempts to provide low-income public housing since last year’s $653 million bond measure passed have been stymied by the same problem encountered by cities from Portland to Stockholm: Metro’s preferred way of building housing is too expensive to be sustainable.

But instead of addressing the overwhelming costs of its projects, Metro is doubling down on ineffective practices which neither accomplish its goals nor increase the supply of so-called affordable housing.

For instance, Metro’s interest in “leading with racial equity” means they prioritize firms certified to be owned by minorities, women, or “emerging small businesses.” Members of Metro’s housing bond oversight committee recounted multiple stories in early meetings of contractors who circumvent the certification’s requirements by outsourcing their government work to other, non-certified contractors—rendering the certification nearly meaningless. Continue reading

John A. Charles, Jr.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

In the next week or so, 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. The $475 million request is larger than the two previous Metro natural areas bonds combined, which were $135.6 million dollars in 1995 and $227.4 million dollars in 2006.

Cascade Policy Institute has published a comprehensive study of Metro’s parks and nature program, with the following conclusions: Continue reading

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on on July 29, 2016)

Dr. Ben Carson raised some eyebrows last week at the Republican National Convention when he mentioned Hillary Clinton and Lucifer. At first blush, it may have sounded over the top. The press went to town on this remark, castigating Carson for it.

Here is what Carson said, “Now one of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky and her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently.”

He added, “This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says, ‘In God we trust.’ So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?”

I would add that the key verb there isn’t just “acknowledges” but “approves of.” Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

The Bible tells us that God created two sexes, male and female. They are not interchangeable. They are different from each other in every single solitary cell of their bodies.

Women can become mothers who breastfeed their young. Men cannot. Men can become fathers, women cannot. (“Most males can become a father, but it takes a “man” to be a “dad.”[editor] )

Men can carry heavy loads long distances, women cannot. Men have much greater upper body strength, lung capacity, and stamina than women. So what happens when the military ignores these biological and biblical realities, and tries to integrate the sexes in military service? It’s not pretty.

We’ve spent long enough pursuing this exercise in futility to realize the dumbness of ignoring God’s created order. It radically affects the three central components of military success: recruitment, retention, and readiness. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Little did I know when I climbed into the car, I’d have a life-changing experience that day. As Mr. Presler drove, he asked one of his boys what he had studied that morning in Sunday School. From the back of the car came the son’s reply. Then Mr. Presler said those life-changing words, “Oh, that sounds like 2 Timothy.” I thought to myself, “The Bible is like a volume of the encyclopedia. How can anyone know where certain words are found in such a huge book?” From that moment on, I determined that I would make the Word of God a priority in my life. I wanted to know it as well as Mr. Presler. His family had played a prominent role in my coming to know Christ as my personal Savior. Now, he would play a prominent role in my future.

Since that time, I have become acquainted with many people who know the Bible as well as Mr. Presler. But their knowledge of its pages did not come easily or without effort. They have spent hours poring over its pages and committing parts of it to memory. Each of them made a personal decision to know their Bible well and to let it have authority over their life. Continue reading

Rachel Dawson, Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Portland hasn’t seen 50 road fatalities since 1996. With 43 fatalities already, it looks like 2019 will be a record-breaking year, with no thanks to Portland’s Vision Zero Action Plan.

Placing concrete pedestrian islands in the middle of the road, giving little to no room to turn onto side streets, installing plastic pylons against the roadway, and using confusing signage and lines—all Vision Zero road changes implemented to decrease road fatalities—don’t seem to be making streets safer.

While many factors are involved, perhaps distracted and dangerous walking, driving, and biking habits play a greater role in traffic accidents than the number of car lanes or crosswalks on a given street.

As a pedestrian, I’ve walked across a street with my eyes glued to my phone. Luckily, I haven’t been hit by a car. But if I had, it would’ve been due to my inability to separate my attention from my mobile device. The same goes for distracted drivers. I’ve watched drivers on the Sellwood Bridge pull out their phones when traffic slowed. Our failure to pay attention to the road and take safety precautions, especially at night, is putting ourselves and others at risk.

Portland’s approach of downsizing roads is punitive and counterproductive. Instead, everyone on the road system should take responsibility for their own behavior, regardless of what mode of travel is being used.

Rachel Dawson is a Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.


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

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