The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

If Gambling Is a Problem, Who Is Responsible?

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization

John A. Charles, Jr. is President, Cascade Policy Institute

Governor Kate Brown opposes a plan by the Coquille Indian Tribe to build a casino in Medford.

In her public statement, the Governor said she opposes the addition of any more casinos because “even a single additional casino is likely to lead to significant efforts to expand gaming across Oregon to the detriment of the public welfare.”

Her concern for the public welfare is touching, but if one simply “follows the money” associated with the state’s own gambling franchise—the Oregon Lottery—it’s clear that the Governor has little regard for the health of Oregon citizens.

The Oregon Lottery is a state-run monopoly using a network of 3,939 retailers to offer players a wide choice of games, including Scratch-its, Keno, Powerball, Win for Life, Mega Millions, Lucky Lines, and Pick 4.

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We Don’t Need Billion$ To Prevent Zika

Aedes-aegypti

Aedes-aegypti

Controlling mosquitoes and preventing diseases requires smarter policies, not more billions

By Paul Driessen and Robert Novak

The Zika virus is increasingly linked to serious neurological complications for pregnant women and microcephaly in newborns: smaller than normal heads and brains. It also affects areas of fetal brains that control basic muscular, motor, speech and other functions, leading to severe debilities that require expensive care throughout a person’s life.

The disease is becoming a crisis in Brazil, site of this year’s Summer Olympic Games. But cases continue to be reported in the United States, primarily among women who have traveled abroad, and Zika is reaching serious levels in Puerto Rico, other US territories, and many parts of Central and South America.

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Real World Energy And Climate

“The sky is falling” scare stories have no place in public interest science or policy

John Coleman

By John Coleman, Weather Channel founder was the original meteorologist on ABC’s Good Morning America. He has been studying weather and climate for over 60 years.

Earth Day 2016 brought extensive consternation about how our Earth will soon become uninhabitable, as mankind’s activities of civilization trigger unstoppable global warming and climate change. President Obama used the occasion to sign the Paris climate treaty and further obligate the United States to slash its fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth.

I love this little blue planet and do all I can to preserve it for my children and grandchildren.

If I thought for even a second that the civilized activities of mankind are producing a threat to our planet, I would spend the rest of my life correcting the problems. However, after devoting a decade to carefully studying mankind’s impact on our climate, I am firmly convinced that the entire global warming/climate change campaign is based on a failed scientific theory.

In short, there is no dangerous manmade climate change problem.

“Who cares about your scientific study,” many people respond. “This is about loving a native environment. This is about escaping from the horrors of so-called civilization.” Continue reading

NWC Endorsement: Save the City of Damascus

We urge a NO vote on Measure 93

On May 17th, the question of Damascus disincorporation will be decided once and for all. The Northwest Connection recommends that city voters defeat Measure 93, and save their city.

We’ve covered the issue of Damascus’ municipal viability for years, through multiple administrations, tumultuous disagreements, and controversial rulings. We’ve been consistently against the dissolution of the city. We believe that the best hope for Damascans to chart their own course as a community is for them to stick together. Continue reading

Progress & Prosperity or Status Quo & Stagnation?

Steve Bates

Steve Bates

By Stephen Bates, Candidate for Clackamas County Commissioner

This article was published originally in 2014. It is being published with minor modification as it has the same meaning today as it did then.

Progress doesn’t happen by itself.

Progress will never come for Clackamas County as long as commissioners stand in the shadow of Portland decision makers. Continue reading

Damascus Land Use Explained: City Control vs. County Control

Mark Fitz

By Mark Fitz, Chairman, Damascus Planning Commission

The City of Damascus is the Metro region’s first city since Oregon started regulating land use. There are many reasons why the City was formed, but my favorite excuse was a demand for Local Control.

Let’s start with why Damascus is such a battle ground. The little known fact of this battle is that those most involved in forming the City are now the ones trying to destroy it. The big reason, they are more worried about who gets to be in control than with results. The battle is really about who gets to claim to be in charge. But much like the Jerry Springer show, the simple problems are insurmountable not because you can’t figure them out. It’s because the people appear to be more interested in slapping other people than focusing on the result they are causing. Disincorporation will not solve the personal differences and might even make things worse. Helplessly delegating your own ability to make decisions has never helped anyone, usually things are made worse. Continue reading

The Vote in Damascus On Disincorporation Is Unconstitutional Says Damascus Resident and City Councilor.

James De Young, long-time resident of Damascus and current member of the City Council, announced on Wednesday, April 20, that he, as a private citizen, is challenging the constitutionality of Measure 93 which the people of Damascus will be voting on during the May 17 primary. Measure 93 is a vote on whether to disincorporate the City of Damascus.
In mid 2015 the State Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, House Bill 3085 which forces the people of Damascus to vote on disincorporation a second time (after such a vote failed in November, 2013). De Young has filed his complaint that this law is unconstitutional for three major reasons.

First, HB 3085 violates the Oregon Constitution. The legislature does not have the authority to mandate or initiate a special election on the issue of disincorporation. The legislature also cannot alter Damascus’ Charter and it cannot reduce the necessary majority to pass disincorporation. The legislature’s actions violate clear provisions in the Oregon Constitution that protect the right of a city to determine what legislation it will vote on when that legislation affects it alone. Continue reading

Elementary School Exposes Kids to Depictions of Graphic Sex Acts: School Board and Parents Blindsided

By Lori Porter, Parents Rights in Education.

Lori Porter

Lori Porter

On April 14, 2016, Portland, Oregon’s KPTV Channel 12 broke a story (later reported nationally) that 9 year-old students at a Rainier, Oregon elementary school were given access to “It’s Perfectly Normal”, a book using graphics to instruct elementary students in sexual intercourse and masturbation. The Rainier School District (RSD) claims that under the supervision of Hudson Park Elementary School (HPES) librarian Allison Dale-Moore, eleven-year-olds “accidentally left the books out” where a 4th grade class found and read them. School officials added that it was “an honest mistake”.

In an April 14, 2016 ‘The Daily News’ (Longview, Washington) report, parent of a fifth grader in the district, Darren Vaughn, said that “several board members were in the dark about the books” even though Superintendent Michael Carter had received multiple complaints as early as March. Continue reading

Flexibility Is Key: The Next Generation of Parental Choice Solutions

By Kathryn Hickok

Kathryn Hickok

Kathryn Hickok

Families in five states now have access to a special program called Educational Savings Accounts.

Educational Saving Accounts, or ESAs, allow parents to take money the state otherwise would spend on their children in the public system and put it on a restricted use debit card. Parents can spend this money on a wide variety of approved educational options, including private school, individual tutoring, online classes, and other services. Any money not used is rolled over for parents to spend in the future.

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice surveyed Arizona families to see how they are choosing to spend the resources allocated for their kids. The survey found that more than a third of participating families used ESAs for multiple educational purposes, not just private school tuition. It also found that families saved a significant amount of their ESA money for future expenses. Continue reading

Matters Concerning Counting Spoons, Dogs And Fleas, And The Heretic Who Fled The Monastery

 

Bill Wehr

By Bill Wehr, Damascus Council President

The poet Emerson once wrote, “ The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” The louder the clamor for disincorporation grinds on, the more our voters should consider what eliminating the city would mean when voting on Measure 93. A yes vote would surrender our City’s local governing existence to the County. All cash reserves, city property, citizens property rights and public policy matters would then be in the hands of Clackamas County. A No vote on Measure 93 retains our citizens’ ability to directly influence the course our City takes in the future.

The issues that are facing our city are immediate. We are in a particular geographical location that is right next to growth pressures coming from metropolitan Portland urban development. Happy Valley, on our western border, has absorbed extraordinary urban development in recent years. In addition to the existing stack and pack hillside residences there is the starting of Scouter’s Mountain 600 home project. The new Fred Meyer, under construction bordering Damascus at 172nd/ Sunnyside, now causing traffic delays, will bring more congestion. In addition to shoppers attracted to the mall, there will be a large apartment complex at the site. Continue reading

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