Letters: Michelle's Love; Orange Line, Milwaukie; Canemah, HRB
The day Michelle's Love came into my life was the first day that I felt like I would be able to complete treatment and beat cancer. It was the first day I felt hope about this battle. Fighting cancer as a single parent is the hardest thing I have ever done, and raising two teenagers on my own is hard enough as it is!
Working in hospice as a social worker I deal with cancer, chronic and terminal illness, and death on a daily basis. It's my job to help people find peace, access resources, and find what they need to deal with their cancer battles. The problem with fighting cancer as a single mom is that there aren't resources available that make fighting cancer and raising kids at the same time feasible. How can a woman attend weekly chemo transfusions or daily radiation treatments that can take an entire day, drain her energy, make her incredibly ill and fatigued, sometimes causing hospitalizations, AND continue providing the financial means to maintain a home, feed her children, pay bills, fund sporting and other activities, clothing, transportation, and childcare? It is not only daunting to face, it's terrifying. Oftentimes it felt like having to choose between fighting for my life or providing for my kids until I couldn't anymore. Michelle's Love changed all of that.
My life changed the day Andy McCandless, the founder of Michelle's Love, came into my life and offered help to us. Michelle's Love pays $1,000 of my rent each month while I'm in treatment. The weight of that financial burden has been lifted off of me. I don't have to worry about how I'm going to provide a home to my children while I fight cancer. Having just finished 12 weeks of chemotherapy which hospitalized me twice with sepsis, colitis, and neutropenic fever I was able to focus on my treatment and getting well without fretting that I had to continue working full time so that the bills could get paid. Michelle's Love also provides our family with meals from Dream Dinners. These dinners are healthy and nutritious, easy to prepare meals that my teens or I can prepare in a short time, even when I'm not feeling good. I can have a hard day and still feed my kids at the end of the day. Then as a pretty ribbon on top of everything else that Michelle's Love does, they come and clean my house — and while I'm enjoying my favorite local Italian fare as a treat from Michelle's Love — I get to come home to a sparkling clean house, a bouquet of flowers, cleaning supplies and a $100 gift card to my local grocery store. What a treat!
Return of the Soviet-state mindset
So, we citizens pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build the Orange Line, and now we need to spend more millions to make sure there are riders for it in the city of Milwaukie ("Mayor Mark Gamba seeks to control escalating rents," May 31)? And all of this, for a transport mechanism which is already full at rush hour because light rail is light on capacity to move people during rush hour. Then, at many other hours of the day, the thing turns into a ghost train largely.
Meanwhile, Metro hardly changes the urban growth boundary to absorb population growth, making it actually an urban fixed boundary.
This causes land values to escalate far faster than the price of the house above the land. Government causes housing and rents to escalate sharply by making it difficult to obtain land for development and by having less-than-streamlined methods of getting house permits.
Metro's own surveys show overwhelmingly people want single-family detached housing with a yard, not to be crammed in to small box units. (The preferences of millennials will change as they age, and they too will be eying bigger spaces.)
Moreover, because the folks in these new developments will find the Orange Line not sufficient for many of their transportation needs, they will need parking spaces for their autos (even electric ones).
The very character and quality of Milwaukie downtown is about to be radically transformed into the cramped living conditions and stress of neighboring city of Portland.
Why do we cram ourselves into these tight living quarters when something like 90 percent of the state of Oregon is uninhabited? It is said to be for reducing carbon emissions, but this is a global problem and last November's national elections puts into serious question whether there will be a global solution anytime soon.
If the American Dream is indeed dying, it is because of the actions of people like State Rep. Karin Power, State Senator Kathleen Taylor and Mayor Gamba. Someone who has poured their life savings and sweat equity building an apartment business service is suddenly being told how much he/she can make — this in what used to be one of the freest countries in the world.
I am not myself a landlord, partly because of the progressive governance of our state and many local Portland-metro cities. Because of progressive governance you can not be assured the government will not step into your voluntary risk taking and work and transfer the fruits of it to the government itself and/or somebody who will play by the progressive rules of order that are full of favoritism. So, it all becomes a game of crony capitalism where a few elected officials of the progressive persuasion tell us how to live and how we will live. It can take several generations before the progressive governance hits a wall like that of the former Soviet Union, where you make so many vacuum cleaners even if everyone already has a vacuum cleaner.
Very sad our state of governance.
Bob "Elvis" Clark
Canemah residents have good reason for concern
As Howard Post stated in his letter of May 10, the problems facing Canemah in Oregon City are twofold.
He is correct. Lack of respect and compliance to historic building code and the Historic Review Board's lack of enforcement is one. The other is irresponsible and dangerous building on and around an active landslide. But, those problems really exacerbate each other. Infill lots still remaining in Canemah probably should be left alone, for aesthetic reasons and for the safety of the people already living there.
With each property sale in Canemah, challenges due to terrain, wetlands, seasonal waterways and shifting conditions create more design difficulties and deface Canemah's historic neighborhood with innappropriate and non-conforming styles. Each new home perched on our precarious and dangerous bluffs, increases danger to the people on surrounding properties that eat, sleep and live there with their families. Yes, Canemah is terribly concerned with keeping our neighborhood's national historic registration. We love our old historic homes. That's why most of us gladly and willingly follow our historic building requirements and expect the same from others that buy in Canemah.
But, there are also others doing whatever they can to bypass the building codes and helping others to do the same, treating building codes as an obstacle to get over, not comply with. We don't appreciate property buyers that only pretend compliance and respect for those codes until gaining ownership, then want to ignore them, because of the "design difficulties" presented by the property. Difficulties present at purchase are no secret to any buyer or agent performing due dilligence. We don't appreciate the cavalier attitude of the Oregon City Planning Department or Historic Review Board when they approve completely inappropriate designs that devalue our district, putting our homes and our families in physical danger.
On nights, when heavy rain is coming down, some of us lie in bed and say a prayer for the hillside not to come down on us. At times like that, somebody else excavating uphill is a very scary situation. At times like that, I wish OC officials would do their job and protect us, not scoff at our fears, deny responsibility and treat us as if we are expendable.
Friends of Canemah