The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Asian elephant Chendra in the North Meadow habitat, part of Elephant Lands at the Oregon Zoo. © Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham.

Abundance of caution applied pending definitive news on possible TB infection

Chendra, a 26-year-old Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, is pregnant and expected to deliver another member of Portland’s elephant family in late 2020.

The pregnancy — while long hoped for and strongly encouraged by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Asian elephants — was a happy surprise for zoo staff. Over the past decade, Chendra has spent time with several male elephants but until recently was not observed engaging in breeding behavior, according to Bob Lee, who oversees the zoo’s elephant area. At around 26, she was nearing the outer age limit for first-time elephant moms; elephants that don’t conceive by their mid-20s rarely conceive at all.

“We are so excited for Chendra,” Lee said. “Raising a calf is one of the most enriching things an elephant can experience, and we didn’t know whether she would ever have that chance. Asian elephants have evolved to live in social groups, and every member of the group has some role in raising young. We’re thrilled by the prospect that Chendra and the rest of the herd may get that opportunity in the near future.” Continue reading

John A. Charles, Jr.

Portland-area motorists who have to regularly cross the Sellwood Bridge may wonder why the new structure is twice as wide as the 1925 bridge, yet has the same number of travel lanes. The answer is simple. Portland transportation planners don’t want to solve traffic congestion problems; they prefer to make them worse.

We know this because 20 years ago, Metro published a report entitled the “South Willamette River Crossing Study” (SWRCS), which examined the long-term bridge needs in the stretch of the Willamette River from the Marquam Bridge down to Oregon City. The study found that by 2015, levels of traffic congestion on those bridges would be at “unacceptable or grossly unacceptable levels” if new capacity wasn’t provided.

The study also looked at numerous potential sites for a new bridge but ultimately recommended that no new crossings be constructed. The Metro Council decided instead to focus on “transportation demand management” (TDM) to address the growing congestion.  TDM is an amorphous concept utilizing public relations campaigns and regulatory mandates to encourage drivers to shift to other modes of travel. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Once again, Chief Justice John Roberts has overstepped his bounds and arrogated to himself the imagined authority to be chief lawmaker for the United States of America.

Roberts cavalierly rejected the president’s inclusion of a citizenship question on the census even though Roberts admitted its inclusion is perfectly constitutional. He rejected the question because the president’s reasoning for including it “contrived,” and demanded a “better…explanation for the action taken in this case.”

He essentially said that what you want to do is permissible under the Constitution (he had to say this since citizenship questions have been on the census since 1820), but you’re going to have to come up with a better reason than “voting rights” to exercise your constitutional prerogative to ask folks about citizenship.

Worse, Roberts has invented a completely unprecedented legal principle: you can do something absolutely legal and constitutional, and I can still punish you if I don’t like what you were thinking when you did it. This is dangerous to a staggering degree. Continue reading

Susan Gallagher, Parents Rights In Education

Oregon Ninth Circuit will hear Parents for Privacy VS Dallas School district case, Thursday, July 11

PRIE is one of 4 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against DALLAS SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 2; OREGON, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; GOVERNOR KATE BROWN, in her official capacity as the Superintendent of Public Instruction; and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; BETSY DEVOS, in her official capacity as United States Secretary of Education as successor to JOHN B. KING, JR.; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; JEFF SESSIONS, in his official capacity as United States Attorney General, as successor to LORETTA F. LYNCH

Attorney Ryan Adams will handle the oral argument. Judges Graber, Tashima and Owens preside. Members of the organization will be present to hear the arguments, however based on previous rulings we are not hopeful.

Kate’s new law HB2023 goes too far!

The first openly bi-sexual US Governor signed House Bill 2030 mandating classroom instruction on homosexuals, lesbians, and transgenders. Pro-LGBT lessons will be sprinkled throughout school subjects such as history, geography, economics, and civics lessons. In other words, LGBT historical figures are featured because of their sexual preference and gender identity, not their relation to the subject being taught. Because of the comprehensive nature of the plan, parents cannot opt students out of the lessons. Continue reading

Richard H. Carson, MPA, Damascus City Manager

As the city manager of the newly reborn city of Damascus, I have faced a lot of challenges. Some were to be expected. The is the anti-government group who killed the city of Damascus in the first place. They, or at this point he, are working hard to kill it again. I understand that. Then there is Clackamas County. They are also working hard to stop the city from becoming functional. For them it about money in the form of tax base. Then there was Senator Shemia Fagan’s use of her legislative power to help a city in her district over one that is not. In her case, it’s about power and the need to pander to voters. With politicians the equation is always about doing anything to stay in power.

So, I understand why the kill Damascus groups do what they do. It’s all about money and power. But what I can’t understand is what is happening with the press. These days, the press is rated as low as politicians because many media outlets have lost their professional compass and started playing politics. CNN is the case study in a mainstream media outlet that lost their credibility by joining others like MSNBC and CBS in their Trump bashing. The public has always allowed that publisher opinion is reserved for the editorial page. But reporters are not allowed this privilege.

So, I have been perplexed by the behavior of Oregon’s only statewide newspaper in its coverage of the city’s rebirth. Notice my use of the word “rebirth.” As the city manager and an advocate for the city, I can be expected to use positive words like “rebirth”, “reborn” and even “resurrected.” Personally, I like these words because they have Biblical connections to the reborn apostle Paul, the “rock of the church” who literally found Jesus in the other city of Damascus. It is after all our namesake.

The problem I have is that an Oregonian reporter is using words like “zombie,” and the reporter’s newspaper allows it. I come from a long line of writer. My grandfather was published writer. I have written articles for over 100 national and regional print outlets. My daughter has a degree in journalism from OSU. And newspaper reporters don’t use pejorative terms about their subjects and newspapers don’t allow it.

So, I have to wonder why. It’s not about power or money. What motivates a report and a major newspaper to stray from the accepted norms of ethical journalism? Why is the Oregonian pushing to kill of a city in Oregon? Why is the Oregonian on the side of a Tea Party driven, anti-government and anti-land use planning group? Especially, when this group is targeting the very soul of Oregon’s Statewide Land Use Planning Goals tool – the comprehensive plan.

Where is the expected liberal media bias? At this point, all I can give you are theories. Maybe even conspiracy theories. For example, maybe the new mayor of Damascus ran over the reporter’s dog at the Sparky’s Pizza. Perhaps her ex-husband was a city employee. But all kidding aside, perhaps there is something more sinister at play. I think that The Oregonian is an oddity in today’s anti-Trump, liberal media bias. The Oregonian has a conservative bias.

The Media Bias folks says so. The very liberal Willamette Week observed that in “recent years been at odds with Portland’s liberal orthodoxy.” By recent years, they are referring to the years that Erik Luekens’ libertarian, anti-government bias had sway. One Portland city councilor said that “We’re not going to be bullied by some sorry Orange County right-wing publisher.”

I wrote a letter to the editor about it. Never saw it despite the editor saying she would run it. I assume she will run it after the Governor signs the Damascus death warrant – Senate Bill 226. I have contacted The Oregonian chief editor about this issue and asked to sit down and talk about it. Fat chance.

So that’s my theory and I am sticking to it.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect The Northwest Connection)




Bryan Fischer

Folks, don’t let the Talking Snake Media lie to you. Not only does man-caused global warming not exist, it is the scientific hoax of the century. And 90 leading Italian scientists say so.

All of them signed a detailed letter to lawmakers which challenges the claim that man is causing catastrophic global warming, and that CO2 emissions are the culprit.

They argue that our policies with regard to global warming should not be based on hysterics but should be “consistent with scientific knowledge.” I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Colin Kaepernick kicked up a massive dust storm by complaining when Nike put the Betsy Ross flag on the heel of a shoe. You’d have thought by the hue and cry from the regressive left that they had used the Nazi swastika.

Nike means “Victory” in Greek. It is supposed to symbolize masculine strength, a determination to conquer against all odds and to take on the biggest, baddest bully on the block without flinching. But Nike, forgetting all about the spirit that won our freedom from the British, collapsed like a cheap Bedouin tent in a stiff desert breeze.

Michael Eric Dyson, a regressive professor at Georgetown, actually did compare the Betsy Ross flag to the swastika and made the flag virtually a symbol of the KKK by comparing it to burning crosses. Continue reading

Vlad Yurlov

In the 2018 general election, voters approved a bond measure that enabled Metro to borrow about $652 million for low-income public housing in the tri-county area. This money will be given out to localities within Metro. With the minimum of 3,900 housing units to be built, the price-tag would be more than $165,000 per unit.

When pressed for completion times for this project, a high-level Metro staffer stated new units can be expected to be used in eight to ten years. This schedule should not surprise anyone who has dealt with government bureaucracies, but a decade is a long time to wait for a crisis we’re having today.

For comparison, more than 6,700 housing units were constructed per year between 2010 and 2018 in the tri-county area, based on the U.S. Census Annual Housing Estimates. This means that even a target of 3,900 units would be roughly 60% of just one year’s worth of private construction. In addition, if Metro does build homes, private companies have less incentive to build, thereby compounding the current crisis.

A good government delivers public services on time and on budget. Right now, Metro is taking the bucks, without making much of a bang.

Vlad Yurlov is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Uh-oh. New data from the notorious pro-homosexual organization GLAAD reveals that

America is rapidly falling out of love with the radial LGBT movement. And guess who is leading this wave of disaffection? Millennials aged 18-34.

Big Gay is non-plussed. Said the New Civil Rights Movement, “Days before the nation’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the start of World Pride in New York, a new study is measuring American attitudes toward LGBTQ people – and the results aren’t stellar.” Continue reading

In January 2019 the City of Portland implemented a voter-approved a 1% tax on certain “retail sales” within Portland to fund clean energy projects and jobs training. This tax will be applied to retailers with $1 billion or more in total sales, $500,000 of which must be from within Portland city limits. Retailers can pass the cost of the tax along to the purchaser of the good or service. Thus, it is likely consumers—not retailers—will ultimately be paying for it. Once collected, these funds will be administered by the Portland Clean Energy Fund.

Despite claims that the Portland Clean Energy Fund is unique, the energy efficiency projects funded by this tax are already being completed by the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) and Oregon Housing and Community Services through a surcharge on ratepayers’ utility bills. In some cases, the Portland Clean Energy Fund will be triple-taxing Portland utility ratepayers. Continue reading

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