The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Marlon Furtado

How do you handle interruptions? I don’t handle them too well. I wish I dealt with them better, but I prefer it when life happens smoothly, according to (my) plan.

A familiar story can teach us a lot about interruptions. The story takes place in the early morning, near the end of Peter’s workday. He had been fishing all night. All that was left to do before going home to bed was to wash his nets and make any needed repairs to them.

While Peter worked on his nets, he listened to Jesus teach a crowd nearby. Peter met his first interruption the moment Jesus stepped into his boat. The Lord wanted Peter to push off from shore so He could be heard better by the growing crowd. Peter may have thought, “Hope this won’t take too long. I’ve still got more cleaning to do before I can go home.” Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

There is a movement afoot in Jamaica to ban spanking on the grounds that it is a form of child abuse.

In this story in the Miami Herald, spankings are consistently labeled as acts of “violence.” But they are not.

Spanking is not violence, it’s entirely necessary discipline for a child. It’s not child abuse. In fact, Solomon says that it’s a form of abuse to withhold spanking from a child who needs it. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24).

We need to be precise in the language we use here. For some people, “spanking” means the same thing as “beating,” and if beatings are bad, then to them spankings are too. But a spanking is not the same thing as a beating. A beating is designed to inflict harm. A spanking is designed to promote character. Continue reading

Parents know the educational needs of their children are as diverse as they are. As Lance Izumi notes in his new book Choosing Diversity, families use the flexibility of charter schools to cater to their students’ unique needs. Some choose classical schools rooted in the Socratic method, while others seek out technical schools which cater to students’ individual learning styles. And for some kids experiencing homelessness, charter schools can provide a point of stability and hope.

Transient housing may have a lifelong impact on educational outcomes for the estimated 22,000 students in Oregon who statistically fall behind in grades and graduation rates. When a student’s address is constantly shifting, it is difficult to feel secure enough keep learning.

Enter charter schools like Life Learning Academy in San Francisco. Instead of falling through the cracks as they might in a traditional public Continue reading

“Laughter is better than complaining.” – paraphrasing a paraphrase of “Anger is better than laughter,” which in the King James Version is “Sorrow is better than laughter” (last week’s column) SOMETHING LOST IN THE TRANSLATION?

Not to repeat myself, but the English words anger and sorrow meant the same thing in pre-KJV times. The root word for anguish, angst, and angina was the root now used for “anger.” Rage wasn’t involved until the 1300s. Some say that “Sorrow is better than laughter” is one of their favorite scriptures.

While it’s true that sorrow and trials can do some good things for us sometimes, the God of the children of Israel is a comforting God, a laughing God (Psalm 2 and others). Continue reading

Frank Salvato

It was only a matter of time I suppose. Some Progressive-Democrats in Congress are floating a bill to make the taxpayers pay for their housing in Washington, DC, even as they receive over $170,000 a year in salary. Keep in mind this excludes what they get to spend on travel and expenses related to their campaigns.

 In a measure that would ban members of Congress from sleeping in their offices, Rep. Bennie Thompson (P-MS) has introduced legislation that we should all hope fails miserably. In addition to the ban, HR5845 proposes to allow Congress creatures to write-off up to $3,000 on their taxes toward their Washington, DC living expenses, even as it calls for taxpayer subsidized housing – dormitory-style (actually it would be closer to condominium-style) for all members of the US House of Representatives.

 Citizens Against Government Waste, a taxpayer watchdog group, points out that the average cost of a studio apartment in Washington, DC clocks in at about $1,602, which would be roughly 10 percent of any member of Congress’s taxpayer-funded salary. The common percentage the average American plays out of his or her salary for housing is closer to 30 percent. Continue reading

Vlad Yurlov

Does the cannabis industry need central planning? The Oregon legislature thinks so.

On June 17, Governor Kate Brown signed a bill allowing the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to limit the number of marijuana production licenses, “based on the supply and demand for marijuana.” Senate Bill 218 actually declares the production of large amounts of cannabis an “emergency”—a legislative convention suggesting the issue at hand deserves immediate government intervention.

As cannabis businesses have increased in number, the price of legal weed has decreased. Lawmakers’ concern is that when marijuana supply is greater than demand, Oregon growers will turn to the black market and illegal interstate trade. Continue reading

John A. Charles, Jr.

TriMet recently marked the ten-year anniversary of the Westside Express Service (WES), the 14.7-mile commuter rail line that runs from Wilsonville to Beaverton. Sadly, there was little to celebrate. WES ridership has been falling steadily since 2014, and there is no prospect that the line will ever meet the opening year forecast of 2,500 average daily boardings.

At the groundbreaking for WES in March 2007, then-Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland) gushed, “Wilsonville is jobs rich…the train will be full both ways…morning and afternoon. That is absolutely unique.”

It might have been unique if it had happened, but it had no connection to reality. Average daily ridership peaked in 2014 at 1,964 daily boardings, then dropped in each successive year. During Fiscal Year 2019, WES daily ridership has averaged only 1,505. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

One could almost feel sorry for Robert Mueller, whose reputation as a man of unimpeachable integrity and straight-shooting law man burned to the ground in front of him during his testimony before Congress.

He appeared frail, uncertain, and feeble. He simply was not up to the challenge. He fumbled simple questions, paused awkwardly on numerous occasions, and repeatedly made it clear that he was almost completely unfamiliar with his own report.

The Washington Post noted his “shaky demeanor,” and observed that under questioning from House members, “his voice grew thinner, less certain. He sometimes searched for words…(his) halting manner seemed involuntary.” It was, in sum, a “haltering, faltering performance.”

I said on my program a number of weeks ago that I did not believe Mr. Mueller even knew what was in his report, and almost without any doubt did not write it. (Newt Gingrich is out there today calling for an investigation into who actually did in fact write the report.) Mueller had an aide at his Continue reading

Country Pride: North Carolina hit makers Parmalee

Hood River County Fair presents “Country Pride-County Wide” July 24-27 featuring hit band Parmalee, LIVE at Hood River County Fairgrounds July 27th.

Comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas (lead vocals and drums), cousin Barry Knox (bass) and their best friend Josh McSwain (lead guitar), Parmalee are the quintessential American Country band. Named after the small town where the band started, Parmele, N.C. (population 278), the chart-topping quartet pays tribute to their humble Carolina upbringings with their name and their sound.

The band’s blue-collar persistence made their 2013 breakout single, “Carolina,” into a Platinum-certified #1 hit, while their debut album landed in the Top 10. Two more singles (“Close Your Eyes” and “Already Callin’ You Mine”) rose to #3 and #10 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

Awards nominations from the Academy of Country Music and Teen Choice Awards came rolling in, and headlining tours were launched but the hard-working virtues of their upbringing stand tall. Both singles from their sophomore album 27861, “Roots” and “Sunday Morning,” enjoyed chart time on Billboard’s Top 40 Country Airplay chart and have seen more than 30 million combined streams on Spotify. Continue reading

Paula Olson, The Northwest Connection

I am issuing an assignment for you and your kids, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, or play date friends. This mission, if you choose to accept it, will lead you to information online that is critical to the deployment of forthcoming spy tasks. You and your agents will follow directives with time outdoors regardless of circumstances beyond your control (i.e., weather). You may complete your mission in your own backyard or a nearby park, or you may challenge yourself by pursuing observations in destinations further out: go on a wildlife observation hike.

Step one: background research. Go to National Wildlife Federation’s website then click on your state that appears on the US map. Narrow it down to county or zip code. You will be able to see how many different species of wildlife other people in your area have reported. This may be motivation for your young assistant to put her own observations on the website.

Step two: join the agent legion. Register your name on the site and submit. There are categories with photos that help novice wildlife watchers know what to look for. Clicking on the photo will provide young researchers with descriptions, habitat information, and fun facts about the wildlife they might observe. Continue reading

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