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Microsoft Word - Document3What if we could have an experiment to compare the two systems? Wait – we already did.

Experimentation is a major tool in the scientist’s arsenal. We can put the same strain of bacteria into two Petri dishes, for example, and compare the relative effects of two different antibiotics.

What if we could do the same with economic systems? We could take a country and destroy its political and economic fabric through, say, a natural disaster or widespread pestilence – or a war. War is the ultimate political and economic cleansing agent. Its full devastation can send a country back almost to the beginning of civilization. Continue reading

By Stacey Seaman, Executive Director, Blackbox Foundation of Casa Grande, AZ

By Stacey Seaman, Executive Director, Blackbox Foundation of Casa Grande, AZ

Nonprofit Director Offers Thoughts On Daily Living

Someone asked me the other day if it’s all worth it.

oct16_bbf-logoThey saw me on a day that I was particularly frustrated about something or another. It was hot, and I was running late, and was stressed, and when they asked me…well, in that moment, I wasn’t sure it was worth it.

Because this is hard. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s not hard to build a dream from the ground up. Its early mornings, late nights and never enough time in between. It’s missing your family and spending too much time with your volunteers. Its too many bills and not enough pay checks. It’s some people not knowing your business’ name and others dragging that name through the mud. Its broken air conditioners, dirty floors, stuck doors and drawers and sweat from your pores and my God, what is it all for? Continue reading

Kathryn Israelson with Fairview memorial plaque

Kathryn Israelson with Fairview memorial plaque

bluestar1You have seen them along the highways and maybe at a vista point with their attractive metal plaque and prominent blue star featured on top. But have you ever wondered who put them there and for what purpose?

The Blue Star Memorial and Gold Star Families Memorial Markers were first put in place along highways to honor the World War II veterans in 1944. The garden club of New Jersey started the process by planting 8,000 dogwood trees. Immediately preceding the end of World War II, the National Council of Garden Clubs expanded the program to cover the highways throughout the United States. Continue reading

1966 photo of Mazamas on the summit of Pico de Orizaba at 18, 491 feet above sea level, the third highest mountain in North America and the second most prominent volcano in the world after Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Half the earth's atmosphere lies below these climbers. The author is fifth from the right.

1966 photo of Mazamas on the summit of Pico de Orizaba at 18, 491 feet above sea level, the third highest mountain in North America and the second most prominent volcano in the world after Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Half the earth’s atmosphere lies below these climbers. The author is fifth from the right.

When I was a boy, my mother introduced me to mountaineering through a friend of hers who had undertaken many outdoor adventures. All it took was one trip into the mountains to convince me that this was a great sport. I joined the mountaineering club in Portland that my mother joined during the 1930s and have now been a Mazama for 55 years.

A proud mountaineering tradition

A proud mountaineering tradition

A couple of years later, I organized a trek down the Oregon Skyline Trail. My brother and I hiked 200 miles through mountains neither of us had seen before. And, we carried all of our supplies with us to prove the Seattle Mountaineers wrong. They had claimed that self-sufficient three week trips were impossible. It was a great adventure for teenagers who lived in Chicago at the time.

I also rendezvoused with the Mazamas in Mexico City to successfully climb the third, fifth, and seventh highest mountains in North America. It was one of their first major expeditions that was celebrated recently on its 50th anniversary. Again, we did it all ourselves.

But things change in half a century. Outdoor clubs now want to be about so much more than merely recreation. They want to be big businesses that have many members, many programs, many employees, and impressive facilities. That takes far more money than outdoor enthusiasts typically have. So they look for a money stream. Continue reading

Kathryn Hickok

By Kathryn Hickok, Publications Director, Cascade Policy Institute

By Steve Buckstein, Senior Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

By Steve Buckstein, Senior Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Last month, National Employee Freedom Week (August 14-20, 2016) called attention to the rights of union members to opt out of union membership if they choose and to stop paying dues and fees to unions they do not support. National Employee Freedom Week has conducted surveys of union members and households. One of this year’s significant findings is that a strong majority of union members nationwide agree that if members opt out of paying union dues and fees, they should represent themselves in negotiations with employers. Continue reading

Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow

Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow

As I campaign for re-election, I occasionally hear about how some folks misrepresented the disagreements between Clackamas County and Metro. My opponents were not helping as they would have voters falsely presume our county commission just can’t get along with the regional government.
To give you a clearer picture…
No one at Metro has been or is representing Clackamas County interests…not with land use, transportation planning, or growth management.
The reality is our regional planners and Metro councilors have hurt our county.
On land use, it all comes down to how Metro has purposefully over-restricted the county’s buildable land supply for housing, industry, and jobs. Continue reading

Honeybee02Now wild bee junk science and scare stories drive demands for anti-pesticide regulations.

As stubborn facts ruin their narrative that neonicotinoid pesticides are causing a honeybee-pocalypse, environmental pressure groups are shifting to new scares to justify their demands for “neonic” bans.

Honeybee populations and colony numbers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere are growing. It is also becoming increasingly clear that the actual cause of bee die-offs and “colony collapse disorders” is not neonics, but a toxic mix of predatory mites, stomach fungi, other microscopic pests, and assorted chemicals employed by beekeepers trying to control the beehive infestations. Continue reading

This dog speaks Dutch and a little English too. He is uber alert and misses nothing. Even the suspects know better than try to outrun a dog that can do 20 to 30 miles in short spurts.

This dog speaks Dutch and a little English too. He is uber alert and misses nothing. Even the suspects know better than try to outrun a dog that can do 20 to 30 miles in short spurts.

By Jim Kight, NW Connection

By Jim Kight, NW Connection

Multnomah County Deputy Todd Weber remembers the night as if it had just happened. He can provide remarkable details from that event thirteen years ago. He made a traffic stop at 2:30 a.m. He did a background check based on the license plate of the car. Immediately the passenger opened the door and made a run for it. The male passenger had an outstanding warrant which is plenty of reason for him to bolt from the car. Along Deputy Weber immediately called for backup since the driver was still in the car. What came next as part of his call for backup was to change his professional career. An officer showed up with a K-9 and within minutes the Drago had the passenger cornered. Although not visible to the deputies the criminal was hidden only two yards away.

After that demonstration Deputy Weber made a decision that he wanted to be a K-9 Officer. Early on the County decided to raise their K-9 dogs from pups. That attempt failed for Deputy Weber but he was not easily discouraged. His current K-9 German Shepherd, who is five years old, comes from the Netherlands. Rangers’ commands are in Dutch although he appears to be bilingual and understands some English words. The dogs like their deputies are highly trained and spend hundreds of hours in training with other K-9 units from other agencies. For master trainers they will spend 400 hours, 10 weeks in a row. Each dog is valued at between $9 and $10,000. The dog’s personalities are matched to that of the deputies. Continue reading

Kathryn Hickok

By Kathryn Hickok,  Cascade Policy Institute

Your average high school students may not be able to explain a fictional company’s dividends to a lecture hall full of adults from the business world. But after five days at Young Entrepreneurs Business Week, they could.

Students receive instruction on their business simulation (BizSim)

Students receive instruction on their business simulation (BizSim)

YEBW is a nonprofit annual summer camp founded in 2005 by young Oregon entrepreneurs Nick and Maurissa Fisher, hosted on the campuses of the University of Portland, Oregon State University, and University of Oregon. From 75 students on one campus during its first year, YEBW has grown to more than 400 participants on three campuses in 2016.

YEBW’s founders shared a concern that young people of all educational and economic backgrounds often leave high school with no practical business knowledge, hindering their ability to innovate, create, and produce the kinds of goods and services key to Oregon communities’ growth and success. They sought to fill the gap by drawing together curriculum developers, business professionals, educators, and successful youth-focused program leaders to launch an innovative educational program for high school students. Continue reading

Rich Allen, Troutdale City Councilor

Rich Allen, Troutdale City Councilor

I read a flyer the other day for one of the regional candidates. It talked about values we could all agree with. Then it dawned on me that the person pictured on the flyer was working with the very people that have violated everything I believe in, and that my fellow service people have died for—a republic that represents the people with liberty and justice for all. These aren’t dead words. They actually mean something, and soldiers have been willing to give their lives for the ideals our nation has been founded on.

All too often politicians hire campaign managers and implement polls to find out what we want to hear, then once in office they cater to the people that can help them win the next election. At least twice I have endorsed people that later proved that they couldn’t live up to their campaign promises. It was just too tempting for them to support benefactors instead of us. If you feel like you aren’t represented, you are right. The average person doesn’t attend meetings, or know who is representing them. Certainly there is nothing a good spin can’t take care of. Politicians know it takes money to win an election, and the best contributors are people who make money from their decisions, or the people who have a special interest they want to impose on us. Hence, the folly of our system. Continue reading

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