While waiting at my bank the other day (they were counting a jar of coins) I picked up a 4-page paper setting next to my chair. The bank is West Coast Bank and the “Economic Forecast” was by William B. Conerly, Ph.D. of Conerly Consulting LLC. The date of the paper was January/February 2010.

I have only a limited understanding of economics, although I did take a year of it while in college ever so long ago. One thing that caught my eye was the comparison of the value of the U.S. dollar side by side with the Oregon and Washington employment forecasts. As the employment numbers rose in the period 2006 into 2008, the value of the U.S. dollar dropped. When employment dropped in 2008 through 2009, the value rose; but then dropped again in the second half of 2009.

The forecast is that both Oregon and Washington employments have bottomed out as of the beginning of 2010 and will rise throughout this year (2010).

The second item that caught my eye was that the 10th largest Pacific Northwest Trading Partner is United Arab Emirates (UAE). It only took me a minute to grasp that this must be because they must have purchased a bunch of Boeing aircraft. A quick look through Google and I came upon this statement on a Boeing website: Emirates, one of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) main airlines, is the largest operator of Boeing’s 777. UAE has also ordered Boeing 6 C-17 cargo aircraft.

Let’s keep that oil money flowing back into our United States industries.

Mr. Conerly has quite a bit of information available on his site which you can get to HERE.

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My oh My! I got the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet in the mail today. There are around 75 pages of arguments for and against the measures. I was driving in rural Yamhill County yesterday and saw several signs in opposition to the measures. Elsewhere I have seen signs and statements for and against.

I will have to make up my mind on these; and hopefully it will be an informed decision.

If we are to have any level of government we need taxes to support it. Where are the moneys to come from and how much do we need? This is an eternal question. I hope that all voters will take a dispassionate approach to this important matter. Sewers, roads, schools, police, social services, building inspections, prisons, and so on, and so on; all supported by taxes. Once again: how much and from where does it come.

Become informed and vote.

At the time I wrote my previous blog posting on this subject, I also wrote a letter to Mr. Bob Hermann who is the Washington County Oregon District Attorney. Please refer to my Previous Blog Entry for the links to the Willamette Week and OregonBlue articles.

Let me quote three items from Mr. Hermann’s response to my letter to him:

“Unfortunately the information reported by Ms. Axtman and the Willamette Week is inaccurate in some critical areas.” “Additionally the charges the grand jury issued were not reported fully or at all.” And: Ms. Aguilar-Gutierrez was arrested for reckless driving and causing injury to a child, subsequently charged by the grand jury for those same reasons. That part of the ‘facts’ were not reported.”

I should have held my tongue until I had my response from Mr. Hermann. I should have realized that the grand jury would not have agreed on the charges without a strong case from the DA’s office.

Because this incident involves a minor and because the case is open pending trial, Mr. Hermann could not comment fully on all the circumstances. But after reading his letter, I can see that the DA’s office is proceeding properly and within the law.

In my working years (I am now retired) I worked in the insurance industry for 15 years with about 5 of those years actively handling or reviewing accident claims. In all those years I can recall no criminal charges arising out of an automobile accident claim processed by me or that I handled unless there were extenuating circumstances such as drunk driving. The public’s attitude on these matters seems to be changing. Beyond simple negligence, if you are overly reckless in your driving habits and cause injury to another person, particularly a minor, you may be charged with a criminal offence.

I have learned a lesson here. Make sure I have all the facts before I lash out.

Yesenia Aguilar Gutierrez has been charged with felony to commit domestic violence in front of a minor as the result of an automobile accident arising out of the negligence of the driver, Gutierrez. Here is the LINK to the original story in the Willamette Week – Online from November 11, 2009. And here is a LINK to a follow-up article on OregonBlue.com with information about the origin of the law under which Gutierrez was charged.

If you read both the articles (no, I’m not going to quote them both here) I think that you will agree that the Washington County Assistant DA Jason Weiner has gone wacko. I can see thousands of criminal cases now being brought because a minor has witnessed an automobile accident.

This case will ultimately be thrown out by any appeals court that sees it. In the meantime, Gutierrez has to live with a possible felony conviction looming in the air. Shame on the Washington County DA’s office for even considering bringing this case against any person. It is a waste of tax money, it is a crime against Gutierrez, and it is just plain bad practice by the DA’s office.

I just created and posted a new blog entry using the new program, Windows Live Writer. I like it. it’s easy to use; and it produced expected results. Of course this is only my first impression. I’ll use it for a while and give updates. 00

Here is another Bald Eagle picture i took a couple days ago near Banks, Oregon. Oregon has an increasing number of eagles, now around 500 nesting pairs or more. They are a beautiful bird and worth of being our national emblem.

Oregonians generally don’t complain about too little rainfall. However, this fall, October through the middle of December, we are noticeably under our averages here in northwestern Oregon. Hillsboro, Oregon, averages around 37 inches of rain a year (measured at the Hillsboro Airport). So far at the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve weather station (3-4 miles from the airport) there have been only 18 inches of rain this calendar year and about 5.4 inches this fall.

Jackson Bottom Flooding 2007

Jackson Bottom Flooding 2007


The statistics published on the Jackson Bottom web site (here’s the link) indicate that the annual amount of rainfall in recent years can vary as much as 25 inches. So maybe we don’t want to sound the alarm yet; but in the past two and a half months we are six inches under the average.

What could be the affect of this? Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is a 725 acre wetlands that normally floods in the winter months over ¾ of its area. The flood waters come from the Tualatin River and Dairy Creek that overflow their banks into the wetlands. These flooded areas provide a winter home for thousands of water birds of many types. If it doesn’t rain enough, the rivers don’t fill, and the wetlands don’t flood.

The heavier rains are late this year. For the next week the prediction is for very cold temperatures and light to moderate rainfall, not enough to raise our average. We need 15-20 inches of rain in the next 3-4 months to reach our average.

Rain, Rain don’t go away,
Don’t come another day,
Come today.

Hillsboro Library and Pond

Today, I was sitting in the main Hillsboro Library (the one on Brookwood) reading. Out the window to my left is a pond that was full of ducks and geese. (Rats! I didn’t have my camera with me. The picture is from last spring.)

After I finished the part of the book I had committed myself to read, I watched out the window for about ten minutes. There were a lot of kids running about the walkways adjacent to the pond, but the noise that was no doubt there didn’t seem to bother the birds.

There are some domestic and hybrid geese that live in this area year round. Today there were also Common Canada Geese, Cackling Canada Geese (the smaller variety of Canada Geese), a pair of American Widgeons, 2 pairs of Buffleheads, lots of Mallards, and some others I was not able to identify. All were delighting in the water.

If you happen to be driving along Brookwood Parkway, pull into the library parking lot and head to the other side of the building to the pond. You will no doubt see some wildlife.

Just north of the building in the Douglas-fir trees are some Great Blue Heron nests. They aren’t occupied this time of year, but you should be able to still see the nests at the tops of the trees. The picture above shows the Douglas-fir trees and the north end of the library. You can sit on the other side of the glass in the library and relax from your reading and do some bird watching.