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Fortunate to have OHSU heart clinic

To the Editor:

Re: 'Fixing Lucy's heart,' which ran in the Tidings last Thursday:

Lucy and her family are fortunate to have an organization like Children's Heart Foundation. A relative of mine had her first surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot back in the pioneering days of open heart surgery (the 1960s).

Support groups like Children's Heart Foundation simply didn't exist. Forty years later, my relative discovered her 1960s 'repair' had developed complications that needed to be repaired.

She also discovered that most cardiologists do not have extensive specialized training for adults with complex congenital heart defects. A congenital heart defect is different than a heart attack.

A congenital heart defect is a problem with the heart's structure that is present at birth. A heart attack is caused by blockage of blood flow to the heart.

Fortunately, we have the only clinic in the state specializing in adults with congenital heart defects right nearby at OHSU. The repair of the repair was successful and my relative is back to mountain biking and ski patrol.

According to the Adult Congenital Heart Association Web site, achaheart.org, 'most adults with heart defects have few or no on-going limitations or symptoms,' but those born with complex heart defects face an increased risk of developing new heart problems as they age.

They are urged to be seen regularly by congenital heart defect specialists.

The hard work of medical professionals, families, friends and the patients themselves is paying off - for the first time in the United States the number of adults with congenital heart disease is greater than the number of children with the disease.

This is a true testament to the medical advances in congenital heart disease.

Bravo to Lucy and all of those who have faced this challenge.

Madalyn Seyer

Lake Oswego

Coyote numbers have me worried

To the Editor:

I'm deeply troubled by the increase in the coyote population in our neighborhoods. When I'm out walking my dog in the morning near Rosemont Road, Shannon Lane and Horton Road I have seen many.

The sightings are becoming more frequent, indicating that not only are there more coyotes living among us but they are becoming less timid in their search for food.

As we continue to take their habitat away with housing developments and their natural food source diminishes, they turn to our precious pets for food.

It saddens me every time I see a poster of a missing cat, no doubt made by a grieving child who has lost his or her best friend.

Now my child is that grieving child when her beloved cat of eight years went missing this week.

Her cat rarely ventures out of our yard. I let her out every morning at 5:30 a.m. and she always comes back by 6:30 a.m., until yesterday.

My husband heard a ruckus outside our bedroom window that morning and just assumed it was two cats fighting. But if that had been the case, she would have come home.

We firmly believe this means that a coyote was brazen enough to come into our yard and attack and kill her cat.

Now my daughter will be the one making missing cat posters and placing them around our neighborhood, but I know in my heart that her cat will not be coming home.

I'm wondering what it will take before the city decides to take control of these animals. Are small children safe in their own yards?

Sandra Lissman

West Linn

Code change should be reopened

To the Editor:

The West Linn City Council closed the hearing on the Chapter 99 code revision hearing from further public testimony, stipulating written comments only would be accepted for final decision on May 12.

Then last week, City Manager, Chris Jordan and council members, started to say written comments submitted later than 5 p.m. on April 25 would not be accepted.

Written comments have always been accepted right up to the date. Why 17 days ahead this time?

Chapter 99 outlines the procedures for public decision making. Staff Attorney Gordon Howard dismisses new code revisions as 'minor changes,' but numerous, important public rights for notice, information, clear records and standing for appeals will disappear.

Public access to local justice is already discouraged by the recent appeal fee hike from $400 to $2500. A state-level appeal costs only $350, but LUBA requires a local appeal to come first.

People had no fair warning. Hearing agendas mailed to neighborhood associations only listed the titles and no explanations. When I recently searched the city Web site and there was nothing about Chapter 99 in the planning section, 'News and Information,' 'Update,' 'Items of Interest.'

Finally, after scrolling through more than 200 pages in the April 14 council agenda packet, I discovered Agenda Bill 08-04-07. The council has closed off discussion about this with the public. I guess this is how we have a silent majority.

Teri Cummings

West Linn