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Readers' Letters

Family thanks community for its support

Drake Aron Edwards’ family would like to thank our community for the heartfelt outreach to Drake’s family and friends in honor of our beloved Drake. by: SUBMITTED - Pictured, from left, are Drake Edwards, Julie Edwards, Jim Edwards and Warner Edwards.

This community has been a blessing since we arrived, when Drake was 3, until his tragic death in a car on Dec. 23, 2012, when he was 20. So many memories in every face we see and everywhere we look remind us of the faith, grace, joy, commitment, leadership, music ... the very essence of Drake’s infectious laugh and enjoyment of life, family and friends. Matthew 5:16

Drake’s family has so much to say and yet our tears will keep them from reaching your ears, but please know our hearts reach out to you all. You are appreciated — your prayers, memories and keeping Drake in your hearts are meet with our gratitude.

As only Drake could say it, a video is online from his freshman year at Seattle Pacific University at vimeo.com/28094717#.

Jim, Julie and Warner Edwards, Jennifer Edwards Giustina, John Giustina, Tammy Edwards Foster and Cristi Ianuzzi

‘Let’s find a better way to solve issues’

I have been a resident of West Linn since the early 60s when our address was still Lake Oswego (97034) and we had the Robinwood Water District. Although I feel it is good to discuss issues in our community, it seems that something has gone wrong with the process.When expressions like “water grab,” “$5 million bribe” and “West Linn first” strike me as phrases to strike alarm and fear into the citizens rather than being attempts to solve the issues at hand. Now I see another super large sign that says the chamber of commerce opposes the improvement of the Lake Oswego treatment plant. I, for one, am tired of seeing these signs marring the landscape. I even wonder if they are legally posted. Let’s find a better way to solve issues and keep our city beautiful.

Chuck Geldaker

West Linn

PERS reform should be fair to all

I was disappointed to read Rep. Julie Parrish’s views on PERS reform in the Tidings, Feb. 7 “What is fair and what is necessary?” 

In the article she referred to Gov. Kitzhaber’s proposed PERS reforms as “a key mechanism to return as many as 500 teachers back into classrooms.” She later refered to one of the Rotary Club’s Four-Way test questions, “Is it fair to all?” I think the Rotary’s Four-Way Test is a good mechanism to evaluate the proposed PERS reform and whether it is worthy Rep. Parrish’s support and vote. 

1. Is it fair to all? Is it fair that only one group is asked to fund much needed improvements in education? It might be more politically difficult, but ultimately more fair to ask all Oregonians to do their part to improve education funding in the state.

2. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Teachers, firefighters and police officers work with dedication and heart. Asking them to provide a slice of their retirement benefit to fund services because the state can’t figure out a method to provide stable funding feels like a slap in the face to many employees. 

3. Is it the truth that public employees retire with overly generous benefits?  According to the Oregonian, “About 68 percent receive $3,000 or less a month — $36,000 or less a year. Only 17.6 percent earn more than $50,000 a year.” Source: gov.oregonlive.com/pers/faq.

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? The proposed changes would certainly benefit students and parents but at the cost of retired and retiring public employees. Imagine an employee with the state average $35,000 pension retiring this year. Under the governor’s proposed plan, that employee would receive $32,000 less over the course of 25 years of retirement. Source: oregoned.org PERS COLA calculator.

Greg Mylet

West Linn

West Linn demoted to the minors

It’s that time of year when professional baseball opens its spring training. You know the deal: Those athletes/ballplayers good enough make the major league team and the not-so-good/also-rans are shipped to the minors.

Guess what happened at Monday’s council meeting. The actions of four councilors sent West Linn to the minors while Lake Oswego will play forever in the major leagues. In actuality, their vote was much less hurtful than the small potatoes conditions they added to their approval.

The Lake Oswego-Tigard hearing process not only showed the councilors as abject amateurs in overseeing the destiny of West Linn but also reflected poorly on city staff and outside legal advice.

The affected neighborhood group leading the opposition may appeal but in the end the project will go forward.

Because the conditions were so watered down, Lake Oswego will pay less than $5 million to West Linn (a portion of the money is set for repaving the construction areas) and will control the Stafford triangle development, keep its own ratepayers cost increases to 57 percent over 25 years and be able to sell more than 10 million gallons of excess water to other jurisdictions ... forever. Lake Oswego will make up the $5 million payment in one year.

The councilors will say we got this and that, amateurs. The city staff gave no macro view of this project, the legal services (I am still wondering why a legal group who advises many other cities never asked why a CAFR or audit was not presented for four years) could have structured a much more favorable package for the citizens of West Linn.

Like the spring training in baseball, the LOT hearing showed West Linn was not ready for prime time! Minor-leaguers forever, or until the next election.

Mike Taylor

West Linn




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