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Letters to the Editor

Nov. 18, 2014

We do our best to make smart decisions

Whenever bad weather hits the Portland region, schools throughout the area have tough decisions to make. Because weather conditions can be difficult to accurately predict in this part of the country, we typically don’t make a decision until the early morning.

Our transportation department travels the roads in the district early in the morning, beginning at 4 a.m. Once the road conditions have been reviewed, we use that information along with weather forecasts before deciding whether schools should be closed.

The weather forecast on Friday, Nov. 14, showed that later in the morning the temperatures were expected to rise, melting the snow and ice. Because of this, we determined at 5 a.m. that a two-hour late start would allow time for the roads to improve so that we could hold school today.

Unfortunately, by the time buses started their routes, the ice had not melted in some locations. This made traveling difficult in some areas of the school district.

The size of the district, variations in road conditions and the timeline for making decisions create real challenges. We do not always get it right for every neighborhood.

Parents and guardians are always encouraged to use their best judgment in deciding whether it is appropriate for a child to attend school. If you choose to keep your student home due to weather it will be considered an excused absence.

Thank you for all the feedback and information you provided our schools and the school district this morning through your emails, calls and through social media. We will use your feedback and the reports we collect from our schools and staff members to improve our decision-making process.

Jim Schlachter, Gresham-Barlow School District, Superintendent

Johnson Creek is just a stormwater ditch

Owners of undeveloped property within 300 feet of Johnson Creek, its tributaries and stormwater ditches draining into them, this is a minority of citizens that grows in numbers as you move eastward and see the environmentalist expanding their regulations from the creeks to the drainage ditches. These regulations have very little effect on small lots with established homes and buildings.

Environmental extremists within Metro Regional Government have taken control of our county and systematically, in the name of complying with the endangered species act and Oregon’s Title 13, have implemented regulations over an ever expanding area.

These regulations have made these properties impossible to sell due to excessive and expensive developmental requirements.

Many of us think that classifying Johnson Creek as suitable for salmon reproduction was wrong and not based on good scientific evidence or common sense.

Every bit of this drainage basin is, or was, filled with human activity that defies letting the creek return to nature.

Examples: Thousands of acres of nurseries use tons of chemicals. They cannot compete without chemical use. All of the trash from miles of Highway 26 wash down Johnson Creek, meaning blacktop, rubber, brake lining, paint, windshield washer soap, oil, grease, diesel, gas, antifreeze, de-icer, road kills, exhaust, brake fluid, cigarette butts and whatever else gets tossed from cars and trucks.

It is financially impossible to remove this highway to benefit fish. When it rains hard this highway gets washed off, and it goes to the creek. What about the greater area of Gresham’s roads and parking lots?

Then, there are the trees, that the environmentalist want left alone to create habitat for wildlife and the fish when they fall over. If the property owners can no longer keep these cleaned out, heavy storms will cause log jams that cause course changes and the washout of bridges.

These are good solid reasons to say this stormwater basin too close to a populated area to reasonably give it back to nature.

Even if it was possible to restore this creek, why should those who live or own property close to the creek be the ones to pay the price for something that is supposedly to benefit all?

Are we really, as a country, stooping so low that we allow our government to seize private property, for whatever reason, without compensation?

Richard H. Crampton, Gresham

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