1984: Former police chief advocates city police force


The U.S. Senate unanimously voted to give Congress the ability to veto President Richard Nixon’s promise to provide nuclear reactors to Egypt and Israel.

by: ARCHIVE PHOTO - In 1984, Clackamas County News reporter Christine Bierman reported on a visit from the Snake People of Portland to a local summer camp. The caption read: 'Some people just get wrapped up in their work. That could be said of Clackamas County News reporter Christine Bierman when she got a snake hug from Tobias, a Burmese boa constrictor. When this picture was taken she could be heard saying, 'Will you puh-leeze hurry up and take the picture, Steve!' and Steve (Pomeroy) was saying, 'Try not to look nervous!''


Former Estacada Police Chief Bob Watts was on what the paper called “a one man crusade” for a city police department.

Watts had been the city’s police chief from 1959-62.

He advocated that a return to a city police force would provide better law enforcement for less money than the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Watts was well-known for vocalizing the issue in letters, appearances at City Council meetings and in various conversations.

Taking things a step further, Watts began volunteering to compile the number of times Clackamas County Sheriff’s deputies assigned to Estacada were slow to respond or didn’t respond at all to citizen complaints.

In an attempt to prove the lack of accountability of the Sheriff’s Department and to dispute the department’s reported 4.8 minute average response time, Watts invited citizens to call him if they waited more than 20 minutes for a deputy.

Three incidents of slow or no police response (two involving complaints brought by Watts himself) prompted this effort.


The Estacada School Board unanimously voted to renew Mark Meyer’s teaching contract for a third year.

The renewal of Meyer’s contract included several conditions including dropping his grievance against the district.

After two years teaching fifth-grade at Eagle Creek Elementary, Meyer learned that Principal Jan Jaqua had recommended not renewing his contract.

The non-renewal was approved by the school board in the spring, but sparked a storm of protest from parents and a student walk-out in June


“If we hadn’t had all those parents show up that first night, they (the board) probably would have just said no,” Meyer said.

The school board issued a statement expressing support for Jaqua and cited special circumstances and the board’s desire for unity in reversing its earlier decision and renewing Meyer’s contract.

The superintendent would be in charge of assigning the school for Meyer to teach and he would be placed on a “plan of assistance” to correct deficiencies noted by Jaqua.


Citizens debated possible sites for a skateboard park in Estacada during a meeting at the Estacada Community Center.

Two sites were being discussed: the location of the former Valberg Lumber building on the Eagle Creek Highway and a site next to the high school.

The Valberg Lumber site was being acquired by the city of Estacada to add to Wade Creek Park. It was controversial, but appeared to be the most viable option for the location of the skatepark.

Some voiced concern about the skate park being so close to the new library.

“Actually, I think the library is a positive,” said City Councilor Becky Arnold. “I think libraries and kids go together, and I’d like to get them back together.”

Diana Turk, the chair of the Estacada Parks and Recreation Commission, said that the skate park didn’t fit in with the commission’s vision for the Wade Creek Pond Park.

Forty-four of the 65 residents of Whispering Pines signed a petition that said the skate park would cause too much noise. The residents were between 62-87 years-old.

However, the seniors were willing to work with the Skate Park Leadership Group for solutions to their concerns.

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