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Readers' Letters

‘Democracy hangs in the balance’

State Rep. Julie Parish, R-West Linn, fell from grace for one reason alone: She’s a loyal party member.But it’s not the Republican Party she’s loyal to.

Parrish pledges allegiance to the Tea Party, and made the mistake of recruiting radical candidates to run against more moderate Republicans in the May primary.

District 27 voters knew of Parrish’s Tea Party affiliation prior to the last election, but chose to ignore it, as did the editorial boards of both the West Linn Tidings and The Oregonian.

She boasted of being a Sarah Palin “Mama Grizzly.” Her campaign contributors include the Koch brothers. She was caught instigating illegal robocalls aimed at disenfranchising Democratic voters and admitted her guilt.

The Koch brothers have billions to burn. They will doubtless buy their Mama Grizzly another term in Salem by bombarding voters with lies, half-truths and innuendoes.

People, wake up. Democracy hangs in the balance.

David Hedges

West Linn

Engagement? Is city getting into ‘wedding business’?

One of the vital issues surrounding the recent recall petition is the curtailment of citizen input by the city of West Linn via its city manager and its city council, which seems to vote in astounding lockstep with the city manager.With that said, I was somewhat surprised to see your recent column headline reading: “City wants to get citizens engaged” (Feb. 27). Believing what I do regarding how the city views those pesky citizens, I could only think that perhaps the city had gone into the wedding business and had begun a website for those wishing matrimony. But alas, alas, it really meant that the city, through it assistant city manager, was proffering more citizen input.

Knowing just a bit of the recent history of the city council and city management, I could not hold back my skepticism; ergo, after digging a bit deeper, it would seem that the following makes more sense:

1. Citing the words of Councilor Mike Jones whereby he viewed neighborhood associations as anachronistic and more hampering than helping, the upshot of this new “engagement” is that it does not have to deal with face-to-face dialog. Instead it relies wholly upon Internet interfacing that allows city officials to determine what is pertinent to any cause.

The city can simply determine what information should disseminated and what facts should be withheld or given. Once more, actual people are given the boot.

2. Oh yes, of course, I did not include the so called “house parties” as described by the assistant city manager as “fun and interesting.” My first question would be, who is eligible to have a house party? I would assume that the city decides that question. I highly doubt that anyone from the recent recall committee will be offered such a “party.”

In the end, I think this is just one more hidden device to bring the city of West Linn into alignment with an image that has been developed by a very few. Of course, perhaps I should just be more wide-eyed and trusting.

Richard Marlow

West Linn

(Editor’s note: The following is a response from Assistant City Manager Kirsten Wyatt:

  • The city of West Linn posted an RFP for a communications expert to draft the “Citizen Engagement 2020” plan. The due date for the responses is in late March; and the plan is expected to be completed in early summer. Thus, any comments about the contents of the plan or approaches the city may take are purely speculative.  
  • The city council is determined to open up more opportunities for meaningful citizen engagement. This means providing more and better ways for people to get involved.  For a long time, West Linn only allowed people with the luxury of free time in the evenings to attend meetings if they wanted to have their voice heard. 
  • This city council is committed to finding new ways, some involving technology, to invite as many voices to public conversations so everyone can have a chance to participate.
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    As for the house parties — all residents are invited to host a party with their neighbors and friends. Just contact Zach Pelz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find a date and time that works for you.)

    Crack down on adults buying alcohol for minors

    Hello, I am Cameron Kindley.

    I am in Boy Scout Troop 149 and I am here writing to you on the issue of the stores that sell alcohol are not checking for ID.

    This is an issue, however, me being a high school student, have knowledge that even if you lowered the percent of stores that don’t check most for valid ID doesn’t matter.

    Most kids get alcohol from people with valid ID and who are old enough to buy without suspicion.

    This is a minor issue. If this issue is to be solved then we need to crack down on minors getting hold of it not through stores but through adults.

    Cameron Kindley

    West Linn

    Calling police was unwarranted and a waste of money

    Last Thursday, KOIN 6 News asked several us to be available to view a special tour of the Lake Oswego-Tigard water treatment plant hosted by Joel Komarek, LOT project director.

    We gathered (four of us) in front of the plant at 11 a.m. and were told by LOT staff that we were not welcome in the plant. When KOIN 6 arrived several minutes later, we were asked to stay around for questions after the interview/tour.

    About 10 minutes later the first of three police cars arrived to quell the disturbance in front of the plant. At that time, three of our members were in a car listening to Mayor John Kovash’s interview on KPAM radio and I was standing outside the car listening in. There was no demonstration other than a couple of signs on cars and a total of four people.

    Last summer during a LOT open house the police were again called for a disturbance. This time they found four people sitting at a table in my driveway drinking lemonade and two of the four were from LOT (They even offered to watch the table while we went into the free lunch provided by LOT).

    This is around the sixth time LOT has called for the police for no reason whatsoever and I believe the city of West Linn should be charging them for the false police reports. There has never been even the remotest reason for summoning our police, and LOT and our city leaders appear to simply be trying to create a record for the citizens as being unlawful.

    The armed police at city hall meetings and the metal detectors are another example of wasting taxpayer money for a non-existent threat.

    Lamont King

    West Linn



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