The Northwest Connection

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

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

In accordance with House Bill 2941, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is making recommendations to the Oregon State Legislature to ensure Oregon’s solar energy incentives are equitable, efficient, and effective.

One recommendation is to modify the compensation method for solar energy, net metering. Under net metering, solar owners consume energy their panels produce. When energy produced is insufficient, solar owners purchase additional energy from traditional sources. When excess energy is produced, solar owners sell energy. Solar owners are compensated at above-market rates and are exempt from paying their portion of incurred costs. Such costs include operation and maintenance of the grid and “spinning reserves,” the alternative power source utility companies run continuously in case solar produces less energy than projected. The state’s incentive structure shifts costs from solar owners to non-solar ratepayers. As the number of solar owners increases, ratepayers bear higher costs. The PUC is recommending these costs instead be shifted to taxpayers. While the PUC proposal’s efforts to alleviate inequity are commendable, their proposed recommendations still constrain Oregonians. Continue reading

Lori Porter

Lori Porter, Parent Rights In Education

On August 22, 2016, United States District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a nationwide preliminary injunction which blocked the Obama administration’s Title IX “Guidelines.”

This federal case (U.S District Court, Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division Preliminary Injunction Order: State of Texas v. United States of America et al ) included twelve other states and two school districts suing the U.S. DOE, DOJ, EEOC and DOL. Additional states have since joined, making a total of 23 states involved in this case. This Order allows school districts around the country the ability to maintain: “[T]he status quo as of the date of issuance of this Order and this preliminary injunction will remain in effect until the Court rules on the merits of this claim, or until further direction from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.” Continue reading

Part 4 in Series

Last month, I let the founding fathers do the opining for me, as to the original intention and meaning of the Second Amendment. This month you will hear from another founding father, and me, as to why we want you to exercise your Second Amendment right.

So why do Tommy J. and I want all (qualified by me: responsible) citizens to be well armed? Well, (to be serious and respectful), former President Thomas Jefferson had something to say about that, and it is eerily timeless in its advice to us today: “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” (Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776) Continue reading

ford1

By Jim Kight, NW Connection

By Jim Kight

The Ford Explorer entered the SUV market in early 1991 and proved to be extremely popular with the driving public, and especially with families. It came in both two-door and four-door models. Fast forward to the new 2017 model year and you would hardly recognize they are the same vehicle except for the blue Ford medallion.

This is near the top of the pyramid in the Explorer family. It also puts the “Sport” in the Sport Utility Vehicle vernacular. The styling is impressive, the ride is comfortable, and it is quiet. I drove the Explorer on I-84 where the road bed is worn done to the aggregate. I was surprised at how quiet it was and I could actually hear the radio commentary without cranking up the volume. Continue reading

Pixie dust

Pixie dust

Democrats fight climate change with renewable pixie dust, while rest of world burns fossil fuels

“There’s been a record six straight years of job growth, and new Census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation,” NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt misinformed Americans, as he launched the first Trump-Clinton presidential debate September 26. Continue reading

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

cr-other-risks-graphicDetecting Cr-6 droplets in Olympic-sized swimming pool doesn’t equal health or cancer risks

Erin Brockovich became rich and famous by promoting the notion that people in Hinkley, CA got cancer because of hexavalent chromium (Chromium-6) in drinking water. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) settled a 1993 lawsuit for $333 million, rather than risk trial by a jury frightened by a steady drumbeat of horror stories from lawyers, activists, celebrities, “journalists” and hired “experts.” The lawyers got $134 million in fees, and Ms. Brockovich pocketed a cool $2-million bonus – plus movie royalties and other cash. 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

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