Thank you VERY MUCH for taking time to visit the students and field trip and sharing the information with the public (“Field Trip offers hands-on learning,” March 19.)

by: PHOTO BY STEVE ST. AMAND - (From left) Clackamas Web Academy students Samuel Georgiyev and Max Skvortsov find a western tree frog egg sac in the wetlands at Three Creeks Natural area, just north of an industrial area that includes McFarlane's Bark.  We appreciate your quotes of our professionals (state and local) getting the message out about our local habitats, many of which are in continued peril, along with the critters. The surveys are critical (thank you, Susan Barnes and Terri Gibson).

Last spring the web academy had a gathering of students at Happy Valley Park to look at the wetlands on the boardwalk.

I look forward to more analysis of our lowlands, especially west of I-205 in the Mt. Scott Creek sub watershed.

Pat Russell


Preparation important

Clackamas Fire District No. 1 has two vacancies on its Budget Committee. These two positions will help guide us in budget development and preparation for next year. Please visit us at for more information.

A special thank you to the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce and Oregon City Chamber of Commerce for hosting a State of Public Safety forum on March 19. Clackamas Fire along with American Medical Response, city of Happy Valley police, city of Milwaukie police, city of Oregon City police and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, had a panel discussion regarding public safety issues. This was an opportunity to share programs that have a regional impact and address community and business needs.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. With all of the rainy and windy weather, please make sure you are prepared for localized flooding, downed trees, landslides and power outages. Please take time to prepare yourself, your home, your business and your community.

Fred Charlton

Clackamas fire chief

Smart gun technology a joke

Regarding Mr. Hamilton’s letter (“Gun thoughts,” March 12), the only “problem” is that there is no problem. According to the National Institute of Justice, the number of homicides and nonfatal gun crimes committed in the United States has declined from its peak in the ‘90s. Nonfatal gun crime in particular has “fallen significantly” from a high of 1.3 million incidents in 1994 to just 414,962 in 2011.

While gun ownership is difficult to quantify (federal researchers are forbidden to ask and thankfully there’s no national registry), the amount of guns in America has increased. According the NIJ, 192 million firearms were available to civilians in 1994, while according the Congressional Research Service, 310 million guns were available as of 2009. This in a country of 314 million people.

It’s easy to say that there’s a magic solution to end the remaining gun crime. Smart gun technology is a joke however. Strum, Ruger & Co., Inc. has recently joined the Second Amendment Foundation in a lawsuit against the state of California saying implementation of this technology is unworkable. Even if it was, I doubt many gun owners would want to subordinate the operation of their firearm to a computer chip.

But with 310 million guns in America not even outlawing guns for civilians will accomplish the goal of ending “gun violence.” The fact is that what we would lose is far more than what we might gain in a world of strict gun regulations. At least as far as gun owners are concerned. And of the course there’s the matter of that pesky Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That darn thing!

Samuel Dickerson-Edgington


Tootie refuses to debate

Tootie Smith has officially turned down the offer Lars Larson and I made for a debate live on his show. This is in addition to the four other debate requests she flat out ignored.

Why would a Republican Congressional candidate pass up an opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of like-minded Oregonians?

Does she have something to hide?

Is she scared of tough questions?

Running for Congress is serious business and debating one’s opponent is a fundamental part of campaigning. It gives the people the opportunity to make an informed choice by seeing how the candidates differ in substance and style. Why does Tootie think this rite of passage is beneath her?

These are the actions of someone who believes they deserve to be the nominee, not someone who believes they must earn the votes of the people. Professional politicians, with their sense of entitlement, feel they are above being challenged. Tootie Smith has shown that she is cut from this same cloth.

The Fifth District will be Oregon’s only competitive Congressional race in November, but we cannot beat Kurt Schrader if we nominate a typical politician who is more interested in holding a powerful office than representing the people.

Ben Pollock

Candidate for Congress

Blue Heron update

In my letter to the editor published April 2, I referred to the Oregon City Planning Commission hearing scheduled for April 21. However things have changed:

The current interested buyer is studying the site and framework plan and meeting with Legacy Project partners to explore how their ideas for the area fit our community vision. Last week, the bankruptcy trustee for the site, Peter McKittrick, sent a letter requesting that the city postpone the land-use hearings to give the potential buyer more time for due diligence. As the trustee and the project partners have been working in good faith for many months, the partners are happy to accommodate this request.

A new date for the first public hearing has not yet been determined. However, the city will host a public Open House on April 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at City Hall, 625 Center St., to display the proposed master plan. This informal event will offer a chance to chat with city staff about the Willamette Falls Legacy Project prior to public hearings.

Janine Offutt

Oregon City

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.

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