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Letters: Business interests; Gladstone schools; Merkley, Molinari responses

One of Your Chamber’s key values is to advocate with partners for a pro-business platform on the local, regional and state levels.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Chamber Board Chairman Rob Wheeler introduces all five Clackamas County commissioners at the Oct. 23 Business in the County Forum Luncheon at the Monarch Hotel and Conference Center.This is one of the tremendous values we bring to our members, whether you have time to participate or not. As the constituency that creates income for all levels of government, the needs of the business community must be in the forefront of the minds of all our elected and appointed officials. Simply by being a member of Your Chamber, you help make that happen!

Just look at what Your Chamber has been doing and planning lately:

Oct. 12 - hosted a successful debate on the disincorporation of Damascus. Your Chamber was asked to come in as a neutral party to moderate a professional, respectful and informative discussion of the many issues surrounding this ballot measure. We partnered with Gresham-Barlow School District and presenters Mark Fitz and Chris Hawes on this event.

Oct. 23 - hosted the Business in the County Forum Luncheon featuring all five Clackamas County commissioners. It is both an opportunity for you to meet and greet the commissioners and to participate in asking questions of importance to the business community. We partnered with the Oregon City Chamber and the county commissioners on this event.

First Monday of every month - the Public Policy Team meets to receive presentations on issues of interest to the business community and to consider recommendations to the Chamber Board on positions for Your Chamber to advocate on your behalf.

Jan. 11 - hosting the Candidate Training Workshop. This is an opportunity for business people and other interested community members to learn the ins and outs of running for office. The keynote speaker is former Gov. Victor Atiyeh. We’ve partnered with numerous elected officials to bring their expertise to this event.

Jan. 22 - hosting the State of the Cities Forum Luncheon featuring the mayors of all our local cities. Your opportunity to find out what is going on throughout our region and to participate in asking questions of importance to the business community. We look forward to working with our mayors to make this yet another successful forum.

While the Chamber is always working on your behalf, we hope to have your participation in as many of these events as possible. When we work together, we can have a powerful voice in government.

David Kelly

North Clackamas Chamber CEO

Growing great people

You may have heard in the news recently about the state’s annual report cards for Oregon schools and districts (showing below-average performance in Gladstone schools when compared statewide). Please bear in mind that these ratings, based on a complex mathematical formula, do not tell the whole story of what’s happening in our schools.

I am proud of our schools’ recent accomplishments. Highlights include:

1. Kindergarten students benefited from an expanded, full-day program that includes music, physical education, technology and access to school meals.

2. John Wetten students exceeded the state average for third-grade math and fifth-grade reading. The school is a front-runner in piloting Common Core mathematics.

3. Kraxberger students exceeded the state average for sixth and eighth-grade reading, sixth and seventh-grade math and eighth-grade science.

4. Gladstone High students exceeded the state average for reading, math, writing and science, with 95 percent of last year’s seniors passing state assessments. Graduation rates exceeded the state average by more than 10 percent. Over 68 percent of graduates from the class of 2010-11 enrolled in college.

Our schools are known for innovation. Gladstone is a district that engages students, teaches technology, encourages creativity, models sustainability, supports families and builds community, starting well before children enter our schools.

Our community’s work is growing great people. Thanks for being our partner in making that happen for each child we serve.

Bob Stewart

Gladstone superintendent

Governments can’t create prosperity

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) continues to try to deflect the blame onto others for his, and his party’s, inability to make a budget for the past four years (Letters: “Standing up to the Tea Party,” Oct. 23).

The wonderful bonus of championing collectivism is never having to be responsible for your shortcomings and always being allowed to blame as the villain any entity that doesn’t follow you in lock step. If only those evil corporations would pony up more money, your contributors excluded, of course, then we’d have utopia.

Merkley, and all the other statists we keep electing in Oregon, want nothing more than to control every aspect of our lives, businesses and choices. This is evident when he parrots the mantra, “we (Congress) have our work cut out for us to fix Washington and get this country back on tract.” It is the statist who have derailed our country by making the laws, regulations and give-aways that are making us dependent on the government from cradle to grave...and for killing the American Way. It was their best thinking that got us a government out of control that cannot sustain itself.

The government cannot borrow its way to a fiscally feasible budget nor can it create prosperity. Only a liar would allude to such ideas and only a fool would believe them.

Libby Wentz

Gladstone

Sophomoric and asinine attacks

Mr. Jeff Molinari has once again accused former Clackamas County commissioners Jamie Damon, Charlotte Lehan and Ann Lininger of, while they were in office, accepting bribes in return for favors (Letters: “We need Jeremy Ferguson,” Oct. 23). If Mr. Molinari wants law enforcement to make arrests and the district attorney to prosecute, it’s time for him to put his cards face up on the table. It is not an attack on Mr. Molinari to make the point that, if his accusations are false or fabricated, he could be guilty of slander.

Mr. Molinari said of present Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard, “He was paid $20,000 by TriMet for property he owns in downtown Milwaukie. So naturally he supported this [light rail] project.” Eminent domain is the power to take private property for public use following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property. Now there’s a possibility. Mr. Molinari obliquely suggests the $20,000 was a bribe. Under oath asking TriMet and Commissioner Bernard what transpired would be a step toward the answer. It is not an attack on Mr. Molinari to say to him that suppositions are not evidence.

It is not an attack on Mr. Molinari to suggest that, as part of this learning experience, he look up the meanings of sophomoric and asinine. Starters, “overconfident of knowledge” — “failure to use good judgment.”

D. Kent Lloyd

Gladstone

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.




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