The Magazine With Heart
Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
September 3, 2017 Vol. 10 No. 1

Reader Supported:  All Contributions Appreciated and Accepted Here


Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Our hearts continue to go out to all those touched by Hurricane Harvey.  We’ve watched both our local affiliates and read our own news sources for coverage.

I am gratified by how the entire nation is coming to the aid of several million of their fellow citizens.  I wish more of them had flood insurance; one report said only one in six does.  The media’s been outstanding about reminding us of aspects like this.  It may not be “good” news but it is information vitally needed.

It is the quiet professionalism and relative absence of melodrama (which to me is Hysteria with popcorn and an intermission) on the part of responsible officials and disaster personnel.  They are, for the most part, staying focused on the job at hand instead of engaging in bureaucratic slight of hand.  I think that’s easier to do when a crisis is an “act of God,” rather than one of Her children.

I like it, too, that while we may not be able to stop things like this from happening (nor do I believe we should), we can certainly be more realistic in preparing for it.

And more compassionate in the healing after.

Now, as the headline suggests, with this edition, we are officially a decade old…as a weekly.  From 1998 until the death of its associate editor, Shannon Goddard, of cancer in 2001, the Northstar Journal was a monthly whose news coverage brought you the first photos of the Kosovo Massacre and a special edition published from Seattle during the Nisqually Earthquake.

After my grief for Shannon passed, we started up again as a weekly.  Since then, we have renewed our dedication to serving as an example of the kind of journalism we ourselves admire and respect.  Our format is as traditional as Readers Digest and as useful as the Old Farmers Almanac.  We’ve even got a separate page for news you might have missed and sections on every aspect of life in America and the 21 other countries from which you folks come.

We come to you every Sunday and have for 520 straight weeks now, our own personal circumstances notwithstanding and there have been some tough and lean years involved here.  That’s the promise you were made and that’s the promise we’ve kept.  We’ve also been free for those who cannot afford us and we have not conducted pledge drives.

Instead, we’ve counted on the integrity of folks like you to eventually express your appreciation in ways that help us pay the rent and grocery bill.  If you’d like to do that now, as a birthday present to us, please go here.

And on that note, then, gang, have a great week and thanks for the ear.


Rusty Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here.




Hi Rusty:

This week we had friends from America here in Ukraine for a visit.  It was interesting to see their surprise at the prices in here. Of course if we were to compare average incomes, it would be a different story.

But for those who come from the West, the prices in the East are quite attractive. That is one of the reasons for the growth of Expatriate (“expat”) communities in such international cities as Kyiv, our capital.  Here, every school teacher in Europe could live like a king.

But of course economics and the relatively lower cost of living in Ukraine is not the only reason for the growth of expats.  In a modern world which becomes more open and more global every day, changing one’s place and style of living is much easier.

It is always interesting to hear their stories. There are a few of them  Why_I_shouldn’t_have_moved_abroad  The same site~ ~ is asking all expatriates to share their pioneering experiences.

In my experience communicating with expats, I should admit mostly they are interesting and open-minded people with good sense of humor. To these ones I would like to dedicate little writing experiment series. If you have a spare moment to find out about expats life and what’s in their minds have a look Expats. Introduction

That’s it for this week, Mishka.  Be good and stay safe, my cousin.  Olya

Olya Bereza, who was born in the Soviet Union, now lives in Ukraine and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian.  She is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments on this please go here.


Compassion brings us peace of mind. it brings a smile to our face and genuine smiles bring us closer together. Education today needs not only to develop our intelligence but also to support basic human values of warm-heartedness and compassion. These are not qualities confined to the religious, because as human beings we all want peace of mind.


Seattle Man Erases Seattle’s School Lunch Debt, Aims For Rest Of State

One Man’s March For Indigenous Rights

Catholic Bishop Protects 2,000 Muslim Refugees In CAR


Maps: Here’s Everywhere In The US You Can Still Get Fired For Being Gay Or Trans

More Than 100 Arrested In Bellevue, Washington Prostitution Sting

Professor: How Humans Make Disasters Worse


Why Houston Will Never Be Able To Stop Flooding For Good

How the Kindness of Strangers Became a Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry

Eid al-Adha: Muslims Around the World Celebrate Holy Festival


This, I think, makes where I live exciting.  Why Seattle Is Poised To Be A Leader In ‘Smart City’ Technology And Regulations

ET phone home?  Alien Seekers Report 15 More Fast Radio Bursts

This Is Incredible.  Fell: Brilliant X-Ray Laser Comes Online


The Ocean Is A Strange Place After Dark

How Hurricane Harvey Became So Destructive

Permagardening In Chad Boosts Livelihoods For Refugees


September Guide To The Bright Planets

Watch For September’s Full Moon

Cassini Plunges Into Saturn September 15


TEDGlobal: The Computer That Can Smell Explosives

Inside Apple’s Plan To Give You A New Way Of Experiencing The World


Alaska’s Villages Turn Toward Renewables—And Don’t Look Back

Ships Voluntarily Slow Down For Underwater Noise Reduction

Al Gore And Jerry Brown On America’s Renewable Future


Russian Tanker Completes Arctic Passage Without Aid Of Icebreakers

17 Things Successful People Do On Long Weekends

The US’ Little-Known Geographic Oddity


Coffee’s Health Perks May Be Strongest For People Over 45

New York Times Wellness Page:  Healthy Living As A Health Plan

The Climate Impacts Of Eating Meat


With A Simple DNA Test, Family Histories Are Rewritten

Here’s How Much Cheaper Amazon Made Whole Foods Groceries

Hurricane Harvey: Where The Money You Donate to the Red Cross Goes

7 Signs You’re Dealing With A Passive-Aggressive Person


After Harvey, A Fire Ant Raft In Texas

Six Days On The Road – For America’s 18 Wheelers From Johnny Cash

‘They Tried To Kill My Child To Shut Her Up’ 


NEXTDOOR is a dynamic non-profit community networking association helping neighborhoods across America become friendlier and better organized.  They offer membership profiles, free classifieds and local social networks, all at no charge.  For more information, contact them at

A kid friendly story about Little Queen Harmony and her best friend, Rocky the Rocket, as they head out to enter Rocky in the World Space Models Championship. A very cute Kindle Book, it is on sale here for just $0.99:

Thought of the Day:  For true inspiration delivered to your email every week, contact Amy at  It will be the nicest thing you’ll do for yourself today.

A superpower no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall. The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust. Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose. A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves. For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here.

ADVERTISE WITH US:  50 words for $5.00  


We had one of these once.  But after it tried to eat the cat, we sold it to Guido the Gun, who was looking for a floral soulmate.  From The Jungles of Borneo and Sumatra…

This, to me, is a battle worth the engagement.  Fighting For The Whales Caught In Fishing Nets

This seems fairly obvious to me?  Does it to you?  Wildfires Make Hungry Bears


How Horses Got Their Hooves

Earliest Flying Mammals Discovered

Nature’s Gardeners: Arctic Foxes Create Verdant Oases in Tundra Wasteland


The Animals Rescued From War Zones

Miranda Lambert Rescues 72 Dogs After Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey: Saving Displaced Pets


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s latest FeederWatch newsletter is now online.

The Audubon Society’s Latest Newsletter Is Now Online


Get The Thrill Of High-Flying Through The Mountains With None Of The Risk! 

First Hints Of Water On TRAPPIST-1 Planets

Meet The Man Who Turned His Furniture Stores Into Shelters For Harvey Victims


The Northstar Journal reaches strong, compassionate and proactively green readers in 22 countries who are making our world a better place.  We are proud to serve them as a resource in that regard.  If you would like to become one of them and subscribe for whatever you can afford, please go here.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact me, Rusty, at  Y’all take care now and thanks for the ear.  RM/OB

Reader Supported:  All Contributions Appreciated and Accepted Here


About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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