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Readers' Letters


End child abuse in our community

Oregon added a new tool to help keep children safe this year when it expanded the list of professionals who are required to report suspicions of child abuse. In addition to teachers, medical professionals and other established mandatory reporters, the new law increased the list of public and private professionals who must report child abuse, including: all employees of organizations providing child-related services or activities such as Scout groups and summer camps; all employees of higher education institutions; and paid coaches, assistant coaches and trainers of child athletes. These additions are a step toward increasing child safety. Yet, we must remember that each and every citizen plays a crucial role in keeping children safe. We daily see the devastation of child abuse at Children’s Center. Though we applaud the increased responsibility placed on adults, we don’t believe the Jan. 1 expansion goes far enough. Every citizen needs to notify authorities when they suspect a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect. You can make a world of difference to a hurting child by acting on your concerns. The expanded reporting law means increased education is needed about how to respond, and when to call in suspected cases of abuse. We encourage you to contact Children’s Center if you have questions or would like a presentation about child abuse reporting and other related topics. Call the center at 503-655-7725 or visit childrenscenter.cc today. During Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, make this a community that will protect kids from child abuse. Call Children’s Center today to learn how you can partner with us to end child abuse in our community. And most importantly, call the Clackamas County Child Abuse Hotline at 971-673-7112 if you are concerned about the safety of a child.

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center executive director

Oregon City

Restore our natural areas, vote 'yes'

Our family supports the Restore Our Natural Areas Levy (Measure 26-152), which will be on the ballot in May.

We have enjoyed hiking in many of the spots that have been preserved with the taxpayer-approved Metro bonds. One of these spots, the White Oak Savanna, is a rare and majestic place in the middle of our city. With measures passed in 1996 and 2005 by the far-sighted people of the Portland metro area, approximately 13,000 acres have been purchased leveraging Metro bond funds. That was money very well spent. But restoration costs could not be included in those two previous bonds. So now it is time to restore some of those beautiful places and make them more accessible.

The average homeowner will pay about $20 per year for just five years to accomplish this goal. We recently had the opportunity to host several people at a business gathering who were visiting the Portland metropolitan area from many other states. We were amazed at how quickly the parks and open spaces were brought up as one of the things that most impressed them about our area.

Please vote yes on Measure 26-152 and restore our natural areas.

Ed and Roberta Schwarz

West Linn

Let’s take charge of this country

We have lost our political finesse; or should I say we never mastered it. Let's start with the basics. The Constitution authorizes us to field a government to govern ourselves. We elect our neighbors or ourselves to govern. We remain more than employees or laborers. We are subjects to be governed, not ruled. We participate in governing through our opinions, petitions, elections and recalls. As the Constitution instructs us in governing a republic, the Gospel instructs us in building God's kingdom on earth. Two commandments direct us: love God above all; love our neighbors as ourselves. Faith in these two commandments determines how well we meet our responsibilities. The rule of law deals with our infractions as citizens. Our love of God and neighbor prompts us to insist on equality and justice for all. Christ judges the outcome! Realistically, we are fallen, imperfect and self-centered. Fortunately, Christ accepts us as we are, asking us not to stay that way. When we cease being citizens and Christians, our republic and the kingdom suffer.

Willful men move in and pervert our government and take control. They interpret the Constitution and the Gospel to justify taking liberties from the people. It is time to roll up our sleeves. We either take charge of our country or we will be the best experiment of democracy that ever failed. Let's address the misdeeds of our representatives and put our money and time in avoiding recessions, unfair labor practices, biased judicial decisions, unemployment, poorly funded schools, invasions of reproductive freedoms, mass killings of children in schools, and the military to solve diplomatic problems, to name a few. E pluribus unum! In God we are one!

John Ross