The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Today, the Secretary of State Audits Division released its annual “Keeping Oregon Accountable” report. This report summarizes the results of the division’s two largest annual audits: the audit of Oregon’s financial statements, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), and a compliance audit of the state’s administration of federal programs, otherwise known as the Statewide Single Audit.

“State agencies are accountable to the citizens of Oregon for how they use public money,” said Secretary of State Bev Clarno. “Preparing accurate financial statements is a key responsibility for ensuring transparency and accountability, and providing decision makers and stakeholders with accurate financial information. Our auditors found no evidence of fraud, but there were accounting errors totaling $809 million, which calls for continued improvement in our process. Other states do a much better job of public accountability with their finances, and it is time that Oregon looks at making serious improvements to our level of transparency.”

The audits provide an independent professional opinion on the accuracy of the state’s financial statements and compliance with federal rules and are required for the state to receive over $11 billion in federal monies for important social, economic, and environmental programs in Oregon.

Read the full report and prior year summary reports on the Secretary of State website.

Susan Gallagher, Parents Rights In Education

Bottom line! No amount of hormone therapy and body manipulation can change an individual’s sex. Every cell in the human body is either male or female. It is defined by their reproductive organs and the DNA of every cell in the body. If people are struggling with their identity it is in their head, and they need professional help.

No Gov’t authority or any adult has the right to mess with another adult’s minor child by counseling him or her to consider this dangerous, irreversible decision. The American College Of Pediatricians recommends not taking this approach with minors because 80% outgrow any confusion when they go through puberty naturally.

Suicide is the unfortunate consequence for many souls who have transitioned only to realize it is not the answer. In a Swedish Study, Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers.

I subscribe to an abundance of women’s magazines. Every month I am beset upon by women writing article after article on how to be themselves and claim what they have earned. I suspect I know where it all started – possibly in Hollywood, possibly in politics. Anyhow, it seems as if every article addresses, at some point, how women are losing ground and all the things we, as women, should be doing to maintain any sort of authority, ability, or authenticity. Honestly, I have discontinued two of these magazines because I can’t stand this ridiculous rhetoric anymore!

Since I have been on this earth 80 years in September, I have never felt inferior or looked down upon. I have always been the person I am. I just figure with the right equipment I can do anything I want to. I know for a fact I have made the world a better place – especially for dogs! I have a spoken up for my family when it was needed. Then there’s the whole self-esteem thing. Ladies, the only way you lose that is if you give it away! If it weren’t for women, the economy wouldn’t exist. Continue reading

Paula Olson, The Northwest Connection

Watson Creek, Photo credit: Gary Randall

The signs are everywhere at this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. The weather grows a little milder, the days’ lengthening is gradual but reliable, hardware stores and plant nurseries roll out their carts full of vegetable and flower starts, and buds and leaves emerge on winter–worn bare branches. It is spring and we are seeing green! Shades of green, that is.

I am a proponent of getting outside all year long, but isn’t it more enticing when you have spring’s “spring” in your step? This is an opportunity to take your children outside and invent activities simply not possible in the wind and rain of dismal winter. Following are some ideas that I have gleaned from various sources and friends over the past few years:

Jill Frankel Hauser has a great book out called Science Play that offers low–cost “discoveries” for the younger set. One idea from her book is to hand a box of crayons to your child and go on a walk. Ask your child to find as many things in nature as he can that match the colors of his crayons. The sky is truly the limit here—hopefully it offers you a chance to match to that blue to your Crayola. Continue reading

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

Pacific Walrus utilize beaches around Cape Peirce as haulout areas on which to rest between feeding forays. These beaches are surrounded by sheer cliffs affording the walrus protection from predators, much like the beaches in Siberia. (Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge via Wikipedia)

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”
—Through the Looking-Glass

That is certainly wonderful nonsense from a bygone era (Louis Carroll, 1871), yet it foretells the not-so-wonderful nonsense of today where similar gibberish carries heavy political overtones.

I am thinking of the second episode of the new Netflix series called “Our Planet” that has gained widespread attention. It features the much loved 93 year old naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, narrating a disturbing scene where several walruses fall to their deaths over a steep cliff in Eastern Siberia along the Arctic Ocean. We are told that several hundred walruses perished in all, because they were forced to haulout in an area where Attenborough claims they never would have been if the sea ice had not retreated due to Global Warming:

“They do so out of desperation not choice. Continue reading


I am pleased to report that on May 1, the Appellate Court of the State of Oregon unanimously decided favorably on behalf of James De Young in his lawsuit, James De Young vs Governor Kate Brown, the State of Oregon, Clackamas County and the City of Damascus.

The Court has nullified the disincorporation vote of May, 2016. It determined that the state legislature violated state statutes when it (not the city) initiated a vote on disincorporation, when it placed the vote in the primary in May, 2016 (not the general election in Nov), and when it lowered the required number of votes to a simple majority of those who voted (not a majority of the electors–the registered voters). All of these matters violated existing state laws. The Court said that the State Legislature could not create a new law to empower only Damascus to change State Statutes while voting on its special law.

The basic thrust of their decision is that you have to follow the law until you change the law. While the defendants tried to find another path to disincorporation besides the one in statutory law, the Appellate Court found that “the” describing the present path meant “the” and not “a.” Continue reading

David Wojick, PhD

Oil companies give billions to climate alarmists, but hardly a dime to climate realists

Climate alarmists often accuse skeptics, like myself and independent groups like the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Heartland Institute, of being in the pay of Big Oil. This is completely false – the Big Lie repeated so often that people eventually believe it. We do not receive even a dime from Big Oil. It’s part of the green fairy tale that skepticism exists only because the oil companies are funding it.

For the record, none of us skeptics – climate realists – doubt or deny climate change. We all recognize that Earth’s climate is in nearly constant turmoil and fluctuation, locally, regionally or globally. Continue reading

Asian elephant Samson takes a swim at the Elephant Lands pool. ©Oregon Zoo/ photo by Shervin Hess

Spring weather is making waves in Portland this week, and so is zoo elephant family

Spring has finally sprung at the Oregon Zoo, and one resident in particular is diving in headfirst — trunk and all. Samson, the 20-year-old male of the Asian elephant family, made a splash this week in the pool at Elephant Lands.

With the sun shining down and temperatures reaching a warm 70 degrees, the 9,900-pound pachyderm was eager to hit the pool. He dove for treats of apple and honeydew melon, and playfully splashed with his feet and trunk. After a quick break in the sun, Samson plunged back into the 160,000-gallon pool for another swim.

To see a video, go to

“He loves to play in the water,” said Bob Lee, who oversees the zoo elephant program. “Now that spring is here, I think Samson and the rest of the family will be spending a lot of time poolside.”  Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

The Bible is full of stories of real people who faced real challenges. One such account is that of a young Jewish girl named Esther. After her parents died she was raised by her cousin, Mordecai [more-dah-kye]. She lived in the Persian capital city of Susa about 500 years before Christ. Hers is a remarkable story of God’s intervention, mixed with her winsomeness and boldness.

At a state party, King Xerxes (some versions use his other name – Ahasuerus),became furious with his queen and, with a wave of his hand, deposed her. His advisors suggested he hold something like a Miss Universe pageant to select a new queen. Liking this idea, he ordered all the attractive young unmarried women throughout his empire to be brought to his palace. Esther is among those rounded up for the competition.

I’m assuming Esther was looking forward to marrying a Jewish man some day and raising a family. All of a sudden, these plans were dashed. If she didn’t become the queen, all her future held was a single life surrounded by other women in the king’s harem. Continue reading

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