The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

The Inspector

The Inspector

Troutdale Taxpayers; Are You Being Fleeced?

In last month’s NWC we provided the nuts and bolts to the Urban Renewal Project east of the Columbia Gorge Outlets in Troutdale. We have come across new information.

Here is what we know so far:

The Urban Renewal Committee is made up of City Council members who have voted to enter into contract with Eastwind Development L.L.C.Eastwind Development LLC is owned by Junki Yoshida.
Eastwind Development owns 7.72 acres next door to the City property.
The City property comprises 11.86 acres.
The City property is being offered to Eastwind Development for 1.5 million.
The City has committed to condemning a storefront at the Columbia Gorge Outlets, removing the storefront and building a new street access. This could involve massive legal fees, court, and construction costs estimates of $2.9 million to 3.5 million.
Continue reading

The Case for Donald Trump-Hashtag Never Moloch

By Jim Wagner, The Northwest Connection

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

Dennis Prager has recently offered what seems to me a startlingly clear-headed perspective on the “Never Trump” mantra.  http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2016/05/24/dennis-prager-n2167737  Of course that is only another way of saying that he sums up my thoughts exactly.  To wit, it is heartbreaking to find so many conservatives and Christians I respect and admire aligned on the side of what seems to me a rather shallow and dangerously inchoate moral principle.  In their “Never Trump” stand they seem to be clearing their consciences by washing their hands, as if taking no action when confronted with a choice between two evils can ever be a principled alternative. Continue reading

Oregon Governor’s Transgender Student “Guidance” Challenged By National Group Of Pediatricians

Govenor Kate Brown

Governor Kate Brown

On May 16, 2016 Oregon Governor Kate Brown received a 6-page letter from Dr. Michelle A. Cretella, President of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), a national organization of over twenty-thousand physicians and health professionals (www.best4children.org/).  The ACP letter was in response to a 15-page Oregon Department of Education document titled ‘Guidance to School Districts: Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment for Transgender Students that was sent to all Oregon Superintendents. 

In this letter to Governor Kate Brown, the American College of Pediatricians commends the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) for its “professed goal to foster a safe environment that is conducive to optimal learning for all students” however they go on to state that “We are gravely concerned, however, that the implementation of the ODE’s ‘Guidance to School Districts: Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment for Transgender Students’ issued May 5, 2016 will severely undermine this goal…[and]  “will threaten the health, privacy, safety and learning experience of all students”. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

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

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