The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Marlon Furtado

MAN’S ARITHMETIC 1+1=2

God is a brilliant mathematician (the real Creator of the Laws of Physics). Therefore, it seems like a mistake to think He follows a simple 1+1=2 equation in our lives. What I mean by this equation is that some people think God always rewards good behavior with good conditions and punishes bad conduct with bad circumstances.

You hear this formula whenever someone responds to a bad circumstance with the question, “Is God punishing me for something I did?” Some people will Continue reading

Justus Armstrong, Cascade Policy Institute

The Oregon Department of Transportation recently published its Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Oregon Passenger Rail Project, which plans to expand and improve passenger rail service between Eugene and Portland and increase Amtrak Cascades rail service from two to six round trips per day. Out of two potential build alternatives—Alternative 1, which would improve the existing Amtrak route, and Alternative 2, which would create a new route along Interstate 5 between Springfield and Oregon City—ODOT has identified Alternative 1 as the preferred alternative. Many are optimistic about improved passenger rail options, but Alternative 1 would include anywhere from $870 to $1,025 million in capital costs. Is the project worth such a high price?

One of the stated goals of the Passenger Rail plan is to implement a cost-effective project, but based on ODOT’s own testimony, it appears that Amtrak is actually becoming less cost-effective. In a 2017 Legislative report on passenger rail performance, ODOT reported that “[t]he gap between revenue and costs continues to increase.…It is likely the costs to operate the service will increase in the coming years.” Continue reading

Every January, National School Choice Week shines a spotlight on effective education options for all children. A nonpartisan and nonpolitical celebration of educational choice, the Week raises awareness of the different K-12 options available to families, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. This year’s celebration will be January 20-26, 2019.

Here in Oregon, Cascade Policy Institute will host the Options in Education Fest 2019: Exploring Your Child’s Education Opportunities, at the Salem Convention Continue reading

Victoria Larson, N.D.

If you are the type who likes resolutions, pick something very specific like quitting smoking or drinking more water. If you’ve got those basics covered let’s go for a refinement of changes. But where to start…

Health and longevity are admirable goals. Years ago people researching these goals found that there were five places on God’s green earth where people routinely lived the longest and were the healthiest. These regions were circled on maps and the globe by the researchers. They used blue pen and henceforth these areas were known as The Blue Zones. They were areas found to have less arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease! Areas where the citizens lived into the later years, and without Alzheimers! Continue reading

Traditionally, newspaper columnists have offered up little lists about this time of year, designed to inspire, amuse, or inform their alleged readers by giving their resolutions, opinions of the preceding year, predictions, or wishes for the coming year.

It seems appropriate in this space to present some historical thoughts by writers from the past on the passing of the old year and the coming of the new. Seeking them out, we found some witty, some cynical, some incredibly optimistic, some full of wisdom, and some—well—a little boring.

“When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.” St. John Chrysostom, 347 A.D. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

It’s a little anticlimactic to watch the ball drop in New York on New Year’s Eve knowing it’s a rebroadcast from three hours earlier, and after you’ve seen all the fireworks go off hours earlier in Australia or Japan or London. I wish it turned 2019 at the same time everywhere. Having so many time zones is so confusing. Here’s a simple test: what time is it right now in Frankfurt? In India? In Japan? What did I tell you, confusing, huh? If it weren’t for smartphones and their apps, we wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight. Continue reading

Many Portland drivers probably wonder why there are so many curb pop-outs on Portland streets. The pop-outs, also called bioswales, are usually shaped like rectangles or triangles and filled with plants, grass and a drain pipe.

While advocates think the bioswales are important to protect water quality, a new report https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/article/705164 released by the Portland Auditor shows that there is little evidence to support such claims. The problem is the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services doesn’t have a monitoring plan. Continue reading

Steve Bates

50 years ago today, over 500,000 United States military personnel were deployed to Vietnam.  The New Year of 1969 brought many of the same experiences of 1968.  1968 was the year of the greatest number of casualties during the Vietnam War.  Almost 3 million warriors served in Vietnam.  Thousands were from Oregon.   All totaled, there were over 58,000 American troops who died in Vietnam; 710 of them were Oregonians.

These were the sons and daughters of the Greatest Generation.  The Vietnam generation of warriors went to war and served their country well.  Yet, when they returned from serving their nation, they did not get a Thank You, let alone a “Welcome Home”. Continue reading

Mickie Natonick

Apple of His Eye Charity: prayerful hour

One hour? Do I have one hour? Well, I could eat lunch…or I could text a friend…or play “Words with Friends.” I could run my many errands, and drive over to Starbucks and get a quick coffee…but did I hear that there are some people meeting for an hour to pray?

My friend who runs Apple of His Eye Charity, felt compelled to open their office each day for prayer. One hour, Mon- Fri. from noon – 1pm. Who would come? Who would give up their lunch hour to pray for the orphan, widow, poor and forgotten around the world?

Tj was called to start this charity through a penny she found on the ground while running. She had been arguing with God about taking the next step, but God definitely got her attention during this prayer run. At first, she dismissed the dirty penny as worthless Continue reading

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