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Local leaders want to improve communication

We have been communicating over the past several years how the Oregon City Chamber has become more engaged in large-issue advocacy.

These large issues are those like this May Special Election,

Measure 3-423. Essentially, this measure needs to be passed with a YES vote by Oregon City voters to eliminate the automatic rollback of water rates to 1994 levels. Setting Oregon City’s water rates to the levels of 20 years ago will be detrimental to the city’s ability to deliver and maintain a quality water supply.

Our chamber’s advocacy efforts need not always be on large issues. We know advocacy for business comes in all shapes and sizes.

Sometimes a single business needs an advocate. Take, for instance the Masonic Lodge in downtown Oregon City, purchased last year by a private equity firm. Based on a recommendation from the Government and Economic Affairs Committee, our Board of Directors voted unanimously to submit a letter of support for the use of urban-renewal façade improvements grant funds for the Masonic Lodge.

The chamber hopes our effort will: 1) Demonstrate positive representation and support for our local businesspeople (and members) who are investing funds in existing buildings, and especially investments in rehabbing our most unique buildings for marketability, and 2) Demonstrate support to our Urban Renewal Commission to fund the façade improvements grant for the Masonic Lodge, furthering economic improvements in our downtown through this showcase effort.

Masonic Temple Multnomah No. 1, 707 Main St., was constructed in 1907. This building is significant historically and architecturally. With four floors, its height and width make it one of the largest, most visible commercial buildings on Main Street.

It’s hard to speculate what new uses and tenants will be occupying the Masonic Temple, but one thing is certain. Façade improvements and interior rehabilitation of this 106-year-old building will be cause for even greater celebration of our downtown economic renewal!

Amber Holveck

Oregon City

Communicating with citizens

The city of Happy Valley and its City Council have goals that we keep in mind as we go about our duties. One is to work towards a safe, livable community with a sense of pride and a strong idenity, and another is to provide effective and efficient services. When it comes to communicating with our citizens, we show accomplishments for both.

In January the city received FCC approval and launched a new radio station — AM 1700. Soon, signs around town will remind drivers to tune in and listen. An information loop will announce city news and upcoming events, road advisories, and messages from partnering agencies that provide safety tips and reminders 24 hours a day. In an emergency, the city or any of our government partners or emergency responders can immediately broadcast updates and give you emergency instructions.

Happy Valley has kept up with technology and social media, too. Everyone from grade-school kids to grandparents uses the Internet, and the city has a very user” friendly website. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all daily connections for most of us.

Facebook followers can click on the city of Happy Valley’s page and catch up-to-the-minute news and happenings. The city has a great YouTube video showing our National Night Out celebration and plans to add more event videos. Twitter users can follow city happenings, too (@hvmayor and @HVCouncilorMichael).

At City Hall, visitors have wi-fi internet access, and can use touch-screen kiosks in the lobby to search city services, to find local points of interest or to print out forms and maps.

Staying on top of technology has boosted Happy Valley’s community profile, and also gives our citizens more ways to keep in touch with what’s happening in their community, and that keeps us all connected.

Councilor Tom Andrusko

Happy Valley

Improving communication

Clackamas Fire has been working closely with our cities to discuss areas of greater collaboration and partnership.

We have been meeting through an interagency committee process that includes representatives from both the Clackamas Fire District Board of Directors and elected officials to include staff from each city. We have met with the cities of Milwaukie and Oregon City. A meeting with the city of Happy Valley is scheduled for April.

Meetings include discussions regarding economic development, collaboration on future capital improvement projects, updates on fire and life safety initiatives, and exercising the local Emergency Operations Centers. Communicating openly and developing strategies within our communities in an effort to be more efficient and effective is a primary focus for Clackamas Fire.

Fred Charlton

Fire chief

Keep kids safe

Oregon added a new tool to help keep children safe this year when it expanded the list of professionals who are required to report suspicions of child abuse.

In addition to teachers, medical professionals and other established “mandatory reporters,” the new law increased the list of public and private professionals who must report child abuse, including: all employees of organizations providing child-related services or activities such as scout groups and summer camps; all employees of higher education institutions; and paid coaches, assistant coaches and trainers of child athletes.

These additions are a step toward increasing child safety. Yet, we must remember that each and every citizen plays a crucial role in keeping children safe.

We daily see the devastation of child abuse at Children’s Center. Though we applaud the increased responsibility placed on adults, we don’t believe the Jan. 1 expansion goes far enough. Every citizen needs to notify authorities when they suspect a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect. You can make a world of difference to a hurting child by acting on your concerns.

The expanded-reporting law means increased education is needed about how to respond, and when to call in suspected cases of abuse. We encourage you to contact Children’s Center if you have questions or would like a presentation about child abuse reporting and other related topics. Call the Center at 503-655-7725 or visit childrenscenter.cc today.

During Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, make this a community that will protect kids from child abuse. Call Children’s Center today to learn how you can partner with us to end child abuse in our community. And most importantly, call the Clackamas County Child Abuse Hotline at 971-673-7112 if you are concerned about the safety of a child.

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center executive director

Don’t get the wrong impression

I voted for Paul Savas for commissioner in 2010 but since he entered into county service he seems unable to make clear, sound decisions even when he has adequate information.

For example, Mr. Savas stated that the Columbia River Crossing is not our project and “we have no intimate knowledge of it” in your March 27 story headlined “County ‘compels’ 2014 run for Savas.” This project has been on the drawing board for 10 years! The CRC certainly does concern the citizens of Clackamas County. We are the taxpayers who are paying for it!

Although this was just a basic resolution, Mr. Savas felt that the issue had not been studied enough and voted “No” on the county voicing its concerns about the impact CRC may have on Clackamas County. I cross the bridge to Vancouver every day and my family and I would be greatly impacted by tolling on either bridge! Then there was a suggestion to go to the people of the county and ask to poll them on the tolling issue he says the people do not understand the issue fully. This could apply to any poll; apparently you should only poll if you know what the outcome will be, this is ridiculous.

This is just one of Mr. Savas’s many political ploys to stall and delay the county’s work, avoid taking action or making a firm decision!

I will not support Mr. Savas’s re-election campaign for 2014.

I cannot support a candidate who publicly professes to be in favor of transparent county business, conservative spending and pretending to serve the citizens wishes only to turn to indecision.

I would support a candidate that shows courage, acts boldly in making timely decisions that serve to have a positive impact on the citizens of Clackamas County.

Wes Stanley

Oak Grove

Occupy TriMet

The stage is set. There will be an Occupy TriMet on Tuesday, May 7, all day at TriMet headquarters, 1800 S.W. First Ave., in downtown Portland.

We need a huge turnout. Bring signs, we will have microphones or megaphones set up so people can talk. We need a huge crowd to make a difference. This is all having to do with Portland/Milwaukie light-rail project, which voters in the city of Milwaukie, and Clackamas County have voted down for nearly 20 years. We are tired of our locally elected officials trading favors for campaign dollars and ignoring the voters/taxpayers. The voters/taxpayers hired these people by electing them. We need to let TriMet know that they can not bully the voters/taxpayers or our local elected officials. TriMet is currently suing Clackamas County.

They don’t want the voters/taxpayers to have a say. These are our tax dollars at work.

There will also be media coverage at this event. We can make a difference with a huge turnout. So please spread the word. We hope to seee not just Clackamas County residents, but residents from all over the Portland metro area.

Let’s let TriMet and our

elected officials know who is in charge.

I am also responding to Peter Belamy’s April 10 letter to the editor titled “Let county, TriMet sort it out.”

I never said that myself and my group represents all of the voters in Clackamas County. However, based on the fact that Measure 3-401 passed by a 61 to 39 percent margin, we do speak for the majority of Clackamas County voters.

As for letting Clackamas County and TriMet sort it out, the county commissioners need our help. Do we really want to do business with a company who is financially unstable? I think not.

As far as my comments on the unions, what Mr. Belamy says is true. The unions do provide 40-hour workweeks, however, so do non-union companies. Many of the union jobs that provide 40 hour work weeks are temporary jobs. Once the Orange Line is finished, these workers who really want to provide a stable environment for their families will go on unemployment until the next job comes along.

Measure 3-401 was designed to stop the Orange Line. Why do you think the previous county commission went to Bank of America and got a $20 million loan that they paid to TriMet four days before the Sept. 18, 2012, voters’ approval of 3-401? I never implied that the people’s word cannot be trusted. I am one of those people. Some members of the previous commission however, could not be trusted, so they were fired by the voters/taxpayers.

And then there is Ann Linninger who set herself up with Oregon Iron Works. This is why she did not seek re-election. She did not care about the people of Clackamas County. She only cared about her future.

Mr. Belamy also claims that the unions provide living wages, annual holidays, workplace safety. So do non-union companies. He also claims that there has been a drop in union membership. Need I say more?

Jeff Molinari

Milwaukie




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