What is remarkable about our Fall into Winter? It seems inevitable. Our days get rapidly shorter. We get colder. And our winter rains return, with lots of snow in the mountains.
But as soon as you look at the details, you realize that what we think is simple and inevitable is really a wondrous combination of factors. For instance, we cool off this time of year twice as fast as we warm up in the Spring. Every four days, we ratchet down one degree Fahrenheit in average high temperature. That average cooling slows to a crawl by the Winter Solstice (near Christmas), and begins its slow ascent toward Summer on the 6th of January (the Twelfth Day of Christmas).
Yet our coldest day of the year at the Portland airport was February 2, 1950 when we sank to -3 F. Although we have observed a trace of snow as early as October 31, we typically get our greatest snowfalls after the first of the year and can still get significant snow as late as March. Our greatest accumulation of snow at the Portland airport occurred January 31, 1950, just as we experienced our only two days below zero. Continue reading
It’s not news that free-market visionaries provide better service than their corrupt competitors, but big government advocates are reluctant to admit it, even when such enterprise benefits their causes.
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft provide cheaper, timelier, and higher quality rides. They better serve those with lower incomes and disabilities. They give Portland residents a local source of income. They also better comply with city regulations.
Uber serves high- and low-income communities equally; taxis underserve poorer neighborhoods. Ride-hailing services connect the disabled with handicap-accessible cars; taxi companies force disabled users to wait and hope for one to eventually pass by. Continue reading
Welcome to Venezuela, where former President (aka dictator) Hugo Chavez’s daughter is its richest citizen with an estimated $4.2 billion in assets. Amazing how that happens—one of the consequences of corruption of power in government.
That reminds me of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Evita” –the story about government corruption in Argentina in the 1950’s. The character/story narrator, “Che,” laments for his country as it succumbs to the corruption of its government. He cries out “What’s new Buenos Aires? Your nation, which a few years ago had the second largest gold reserves in the world, is bankrupt! A country which grew up and grew rich on beef is rationing it! La Prensa, one of the few newspapers which dares to oppose Peronism, has been silenced, and so have all other reasonable voices! I’ll tell you what’s new Buenos Aires!” Continue reading
We are approaching the holiday season when friends and family will be staying at our homes. This is a great time to renew old acquaintances and have dinners and parties with the ones we love. However one group of folks that isn’t looking forward to you coming to where they work is the staff at the Multnomah County Jail.
They have a program for those that choose not to come back and are seeking a changed life. For a plethora of reasons some former inmates have gotten off track and turned to a life of crime. In their heart they know this is a dead-end; but lack the skills and knowledge to turn their lives around. Enter the Multnomah County Justice Reinvestment Program and the Inverness Jail Alcohol and Drug Pre-Treatment Unit. Continue reading
When I left you with Part One, I had refused to accept the pills prescribed by my doctor for my cholesterol and blood pressure. Hubby and I were planning to show dogs in Washington. The motorhome was packed, including a banana cream pie and cinnamon rolls with mile-high cream cheese frosting. Arriving home, I took out the pie and the cinnamon rolls. I had thrown down the gauntlet so-to-speak, and now I had to make good.
That weekend I ate sparingly. And, each evening I walked all around the show grounds. We arrived home Sunday and I whipped up soup and half of a peanut butter sandwich. Monday morning, I didn’t make my customary trip to Starbucks. Instead, I ate a large bowl of Honey Nut Cherrios. Tuesday, I added blue berries to the Cheerios! I didn’t waste time wondering what to cook. Instead, I became a tweaker…for every calorie-laden meal I had ever cooked, there was a way to get around it. My “treat” became a small bite of 72% dark chocolate. I discovered when eating out, I could make smart choices, or splurge, and only eat a few bites. It became a game. Continue reading
For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” Philem. 1:7
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Eccles. 4:9-12
Heavenly Father, I can’t imagine how storms can b navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without good friends, I praise you today for the gift of friendship—for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you give us through friends. Continue reading
I was listening to a rather famous broadcast personality when the thought occurred to me: “Is the world a better place because of the influence of this person over several decades?” And then remembering that once we die we are mostly forgotten in a short time, I wondered: “Will their absence have a negative impact, or is it possible that the world will actually be a better place without them?”
These are sobering questions that make me wonder what kind of footprint I am leaving on Planet Earth. I thought about some individuals whose influence I respect and whose wisdom I miss. Every now and then I think, “I wish I could run that situation by my friend.” These are people who usually had a “big picture” perspective, were good listeners, and could see the difference between the urgent and the important. They made my world a better place. Continue reading
Metro is asking for a new tax levy this November (Measure 26-178 on your ballot) despite the fact that it already has sufficient funds to operate all its parks.
In 2002, the Metro Council enacted a garbage tax for the specific purpose of funding operations and maintenance of Metro parks. That amount was raised to $2.50 per ton in 2004. Between 2002 and 2015, the garbage tax brought in $46.8 million for Metro parks.
Given that Metro raised all this money for parks, why is Metro asking for voter approval of another $80 million parks levy in the upcoming November election? Where did the $46.8 million in garbage tax money go?
The answer can be found in a bait-and-switch ordinance adopted by Metro in 2006. The Council amended the Metro Code to retain the garbage tax, but “undedicate” its use so that revenues would be swept into the Metro General Fund.
Since 2006, regional taxpayers have paid more than $32 million in garbage taxes that should have gone to parks, but instead went to other purposes. We’ve heard the scare stories before, but it’s time to call Metro’s bluff.
Voters should reject the Metro tax levy and demand that all money from the garbage tax be rededicated to parks maintenance, as promised 14 years ago.
John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization. Allison Coleman is a Research Associate at Cascade.
If you’re in one of 16 key states – including battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania – make sure you double-check your ballot… better yet, bypass the electronic voting machines altogether and request a paper ballot.
Why? Because we’ve discovered that the company providing many of the voting machines for as many as 16 states – Smartmatic, has deep ties to leftist globalist George Soros. These machines were used in Venezuela and have been tied to the so-called “landslide” victory of President Hugo Chavez and his supporters, WikiLeaks is revealing.
Over the course of this election cycle we Americans seem to have entirely lost our reason. For example, in the face of a deluge of emails which reveal deep corruption within the Clinton campaign, including wholesale media complicity in debate manipulation and poll fraud among other things, our concern seems to center on the fact that the messages in question were allegedly hacked by “the Russians.” And so many of us have bought the party line, which comes to us direct from Emerald City. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” We must ignore the content of the damning emails, we are told, because they were “stolen.” In law, this is the doctrine that forbids “the fruit of the poison tree.” And it makes some sense when we are attempting to determine the guilt or innocence of a criminal suspect. Though the illicit information may be factual and probative, in law we nevertheless disallow it because as a society we choose not to condone illegal conduct by our authorities in their prosecution of citizens. Continue reading