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Readers' letters: Light rail; Savas kudos; special needs

The Orange Line between Portland and Oak Grove is a done deal. Whether you love or hate the new Portland-Milwaukie light rail project, let’s agree to move forward and finish this project as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. There is a good deal to like about this construction—it’s already created more than 6,000 jobs, many for people who live in Clackamas County. It’s bringing millions of dollars to our local economy when unemployment is still above 7 percent.

More importantly, when the new line opens in 2015, it will provide a reliable and efficient option to driving to Portland in the congestion of McLoughlin Boulevard. Traffic on McLoughlin Boulevard is just going to get worse, and soon we’ll have a transportation choice that will move people quickly and efficiently into downtown.

I looking forward to gliding into town while waving to those folks stuck in traffic.

Hank Schmidt

Oak Grove

Seeing Orange

I am an alumni parent of the Portland Waldorf School and now serve on the Board of Trustees. Our school is directly adjacent to where the new Portland-Milwaukie light rail line is being built.

For the past seven years, I have been volunteering on the Portland-Milwaukie light rail Citizens Advisory Committee to make this project as beneficial as possible to our community. I live very near Park Avenue and am excited that I will be able to zip quickly into Portland regardless of traffic conditions. My daughter, who attends PSU will be able to efficiently get there. We have a great deal to be excited about with this project.

In the short term, this project has created 6,000 jobs for Oregonians, including many in Clackamas County. Long-term, the future Orange Line will be give those of us living in this part of the county a choice we don’t currently have. Starting in 2015, Portland Waldorf students and employees will be able to take the new line to school or take it directly to Portland State University or Oregon Health and Science University.

The time for controversy has passed, the Orange Line is coming. Let’s begin focusing on the benefits of this transportation asset to the citizens of Clackamas County.

Barbara Andersen

Oak Grove

Thanks to county workers

On Friday, May 31, I called the after-hours pothole line for Clackamas County to report vegetation encroaching on a bike path that was making it unsafe for me to walk.

On Monday, June 3, when I walked home at 3 p.m., the bushes were already trimmed.

Thank you Clackamas County for your quick response.

Annette Stacey-Whitmore

Milwaukie

Politicians not exempt

I would like to applaud Commissioner Paul Savas for being the only Clackamas County commissioner against giving himself a pay raise.

It would seem only fair that while Oregon’s economy continues to suffer, our politicians should not consider themselves exempt from the reality we all face.

We should expect more from our leaders at home, as well as in Washington, D.C.

Shirley Soderberg

Oak Grove

Kudos to Savas

While family members, friends and neighbors continue to struggle with high unemployment, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to raise their own salary.

As everyone knows, the president of the United States elected to take a 5 percent pay cut this year.

Unbelievable that this board would go ahead with pay raises. Kudos to Commissioner Savas for doing the honorable thing.

Ginny Davidson

Milwaukie

Mainstream special needs

I am an 18-year-old senior at La Salle High School just east of Milwaukie trying to spread the word about mainstreaming kids with special needs in our public schools.

All public schools around Portland have a program for kids with special needs; the program is generally just a smaller class with other kids with special needs. The course is slower paced, and the kids get more help. This can be very helpful for most kids. But things need a change if these kids truly want to be responsible and develop the social skills they need to be successful later in life. That’s what mainstreaming can do.

Mainstreaming is putting these kids into normal classes, with some guidance from a mentor or tutor. That way they can still interact with their peers, and develop the social skills and responsibility they need.

If these kids get a little less help and are treated like everyone else, then I believe they can accomplish great things.

Garrett Howe

Happy Valley

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.



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