Featured Stories

Composting problem re-emerges in Redland

I live in the Redland area, and I am concerned that the Stroupes are trying once again to launch the composting project on Redland Road that has a potential for polluting our water supply, destroying our air quality, polluting small streams in the area and causing serious traffic problems in our neighborhood.

I cannot believe that composting wastes of unknown origin could possibly be a farm use for this property.

Julie Lawyer

Oregon City

Where's our funding?

From the northernmost tip of Maine to the outer islands of the Florida Keys, from the Atlantic Coast to the far reaches of the Mississippi River drainage, the following is true: Within the aforementioned areas one will find Pre-Columbian, American discovery and exploration, Colonial America, French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War sites preserved and maintained with federal tax dollars.

At many sites, the admission is free. Then there's Oregon, which could only have the Oregon Trail Museum at Baker City if it was self-sustaining. The same true for the End of the Oregon Trail site in Oregon City, and now the only way we can have the historic Willamette Falls Locks operational is if we take them away from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and assume the expenses locally ("Officials want Corps out of locks," June 27).

I'd like for U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, U.S. representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden to explain to Oregonians how it is that other U.S. senators and representatives can generate federal funds to support the historic sites within their states, but in Oregon, our sites have to be self-supporting or locally funded.

D. Kent Lloyd

Gladstone

Parking problem solving

First you must admit there is a problem before you can fix it. Mr. David Frasher, city manager for Oregon City, is at least talking about parking in downtown Oregon City.

He did not go so far as to say there is a problem, but read between the lines, ("Oregon City rolls out lots of parking changes," June 27). He spoke of discount parking permits, discount coupons (given out by struggling small businesses owners-there is a $40 charge to participate in this program) and parking on the bluff. I do believe parking on the bluff was free at one time.

I am wondering: When the bridge opens, how will the ladies coming to visit my hat shop from Lake Oswego and West Linn even know they can park on the bluff?

All of the little gimmicks and proposals are made by parking enforcement to try and avoid the fact that there truly is a parking problem in downtown Oregon City.

For a year now, I have been told, "There is no parking problem in Oregon City; the study done three years ago says so."

For Mr. Frasher to address parking gives me hope that perhaps all the important people with all the power will get together and finally say, "Yes, we do have a parking problem."

I wish that all egos could be put aside for the betterment of Oregon City. As we prepare for our "First City Celebration," shouldn't we have a coming together of all involved, city, county, state, property owners and business owners, and give this First City what it needs. A parking structure.

Sandra Gillman

Oregon City

Decision a relief

The Supreme Court decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, it includes cost containment provisions that protect consumers and drive down health care costs over the long term for everyone. The repeal of the health care law would have resulted in the immediate skyrocketing of health insurance premiums of which few Oregonians can afford.

With this decision, Oregon will now no longer have to go through with these reforms alone in providing affordable health care for all Americans.

Congressman Kurt Schrader

Tax-and-spend plan

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is constitutional means that Congress now has power to do virtually whatever it wants. But having the power to write health care rules and actually improving our health care system are two very different things.

By finding that the individual mandate cannot stand under the Commerce Clause, but can stand when looked at as a tax, the court essentially seems to be telling Americans that while Congress cannot control every aspect of our behavior, it has virtually unlimited powers to tax us and spend the money as it sees fit.

Moving more control over health care to Washington, D.C. means that Oregonians, and citizens of every state, will have even less control over our own health care decisions. Big, centralized government systems mean higher costs, less access and less innovation in one of the most important areas of our lives.

Now that the court has failed to limit the role of the federal government in health care, it is up to Congress and the states to try to do so. The better chance for a lasting health care system fix involves empowering patients rather than marginalizing them. It involves giving them choices, and letting them do the inevitable rationing themselves, even if part of the money comes from public sources.

The court decision was a step in the wrong direction, but Cascade Policy Institute will continue working to reaffirm that in America personal liberty is a cornerstone, not an afterthought, of our way of life.

Steve Buckstein

Senior policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute

Health care for all

We must now focus on how to best deliver affordable, high-quality health care for every American.

In 2009, Congress set out to fix our broken health care system because the status quo was unacceptable. We took on this problem because America could not afford a health system that rationed care depending on wealth, gave insurance company bureaucrats final say over life and death decisions, and weighed down our economic competitiveness like an anchor.

After a year of debate, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President. This bill, while imperfect, made five major improvements to our current health care system.

Preventive Care - The bill greatly expanded access to preventive care, adding 15 million people that previously did not have health insurance to Medicaid, ending the "donut hole" that left many seniors unable to afford medications, and providing grants to build or expand health care clinics across the country.

Workforce - To meet the needs of the newly insured, as well as to replace the retiring baby boomers in crucial medical fields, such as primary care and nursing, the bill expanded training programs for health professionals.

Marketplaces - The bill created one-stop shops so families and small businesses can compare plans and prices to find the best heath care fit for themselves and join together to get better deals.

Small business - The bill sent checks to small businesses to make it more affordable to offer health insurance for their workers.

Health Care Bill of Rights - The bill ensured that as a health care consumer, you had certain rights - that no insurance company can deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition, that kids up to age 26 are able to stay on their parents' insurance policies, that women won't be charged more than men, that policies won't cut you off with arbitrary lifetime limits, and that insurance companies can't kick you off your policy when you get sick!

We have the chance to deliver these important advances for America's families and business and to implement a vision of affordable, accessible health care for all Americans. No one should go bankrupt if they get sick. Everyone should have access to preventive care in order to live healthy, productive lives. I look forward to working with Governor Kitzhaber and other Oregon policymakers to put in place these important reforms for all Oregonians.

Sen. Jeff Merkley

Participation requested

What if we could personally participate in research that might help determine factors that cause or prevent cancer?

What if our involvement, and that research, ultimately leads to the elimination of cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations?

What if we could make it so just one family never has to hear the words "you have cancer?"

Residents of our community have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in cancer research this July. Free enrollment for the American Cancer Society's third Cancer Prevention Study will be taking place at Providence locations in Milwaukie and Oregon City. You can see all the locations and times of enrollment by visiting CPS3Portland.org.

Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study are encouraged to sign up. Those who choose to enroll will simply fill out a comprehensive survey packet about health history, provide a small blood sample (to be collected by trained phlebotomists) and provide a waist measure. Participants will periodically be sent a follow-up questionnaire for the next 20 to 30 years.

If you aren't eligible to participate, you can still make a difference by telling everyone you know about Cancer Prevention Study-3.

Gretchen Groves

Portland

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