Act now or hold your nose

A simple fact can be derived from the DEQ public hearing on the proposed S&H Logging composting facility in Stafford held on April 16. The process itself will certainly fail us unless we act. Regardless of the good efforts and intentions of DEQ staff, they lack concrete guidelines to gauge the merits of permit. As such, approval with a list of conditions is the most likely outcome. The regulations weakly call for “all reasonable measures” to mitigate environmental risk. DEQ relies on the composting operator to design such measures, and will make their best guess as to the sufficiency of the plan. There is no “tested and proven” methodology here. Even worse, DEQ has no viable mechanisms to remedy a bad situation when it occurs. Just ask the residents of North Plains for evidence on this point. The results of any permit regardless of conditions will be disastrous. Some days will truly stink. Despite advances in composting technology, you can bet on it. Recess, soccer or any nearby outdoor activity will be misery. More critically, schools and churches in too close proximity serve sensitive populations who face severe health threats from high concentrations of airborne bacteria and molds. A single bad event is one too many for someone with immune deficiency or asthma, and yet we’re expected to rely on a “best guess” methodology ensure their safety? While participation in the public hearings in large numbers as was the case April 16 is helpful, we should accept that input into a flawed process is unlikely to achieve a satisfactory result. We must therefore actively advocate through every possible channel if we hope for a positive outcome. Contact your government representatives, DEQ and Metro, and let them know your concerns about the inappropriate location of this facility.

Brian Eastman

West Linn

Call for regional planning falls on deaf ears

John Carter's article (April 18 West Linn Tidings) calling for regional transportation planning is farseeing and welcome. At least to most folks. Unfortunately, his plea falls on deaf ears in many areas of our county, notably Clackamas County Commission Chairman John Ludlow who is doing everything possible to avoid getting involved in regional deals of any kind. You'd think Mr. Ludlow, a businessman, would know better, considering it cost Clackamas County just $20 million to get a $1.415 billion light-rail project linking Milwaukie with downtown Portland. Good luck to Mr. Carter. Maybe he can convince Mr. Ludlow of the error of his ways.

Peter Toll

West Linn

Athey Creek garage sale huge success

When the Athey Creek Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association started planning for the 2013 Spring Fling Garage Sale fundraiser, we were determined to build on last year's success so we could continue to provide the support our students and teachers ask for.

Many key team members returned from last year's inaugural event, including Chairwoman Kathy DeSpain. Parents were supportive, flooding our weekly drop-offs with their tax-deductible donations.

Gradually, an energetic, cheerful and willing team of volunteers came together. So many families in our community supported the garage sale, whether by making donations of used items; by volunteering time before, during and after the sale; or by coming to shop. With full support from Athey's administration (Thank you, Mr. Sebastian and Ms. Gregg!), we made the necessary arrangements and took over the school for two days two weeks ago.

Thanks to everyone who participated, in all those ways, the garage sale was a huge success, taking in more than $19,000. Because of your support, from start to finish, PTSA will head into the next school year ready and able to give teachers and students the resources they need. Please join me in thanking Garage Sale Chairwoman Kathy DeSpain and her entire crew for a job well done.

Kate Hoots

Athey Creek PTSA president

West Linn

Support state Tobacco Preventaion and Education Program

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network held its annual state lobby day in Salem on April 9. It was highly successful. Advocates from around the state converged on our Capitol to meet with their legislators and share three important requests with them. The meetings were impactful and our message to help cancer patients and survivors achieve a better quality of life was heard by Oregon lawmakers. One of our requests involved giving $120 million of currently available funds from money received yearly from the big tobacco companies to the state Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP). This program has a proven track record of success in helping Oregonians reduce (and avoid) dependence on deadly tobacco products. Having lost my wife nearly 10 years ago to tobacco-related cancer, I have continued her advocacy work to keep others from suffering a fate similar to hers. We both worked within TPEP and saw firsthand how effective it is when funding is available to enable its powerful community outreach. Please let Ways and Means Co-Chair Sen. Richard Devlin and Rep. Julie Parrish know of your support for this life-saving program. Thank you.

Eric Jones

Vision Lead volunteer

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network West Linn

League disapproves county's disregard of public meeting laws

The recent process used by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to replace the county administrator is of great concern to the League of Women Voters of Clackamas County. While we might understand the desire of newly elected officials to hire their own people, we disapprove of the lack of transparency and disregard for Oregon's public meetings law in this instance. The league "believes that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation at all levels of government. The league further believes that governmental bodies must protect the citizen's right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible." For the future, we urge our county commissioners to be fully aware of the laws governing public meetings, to understand why these laws are in place and to act in accordance with their provisions.

Luana Luther


League of Women Voters of Clackamas County

Lake Oswego

Vote for Keith Steele for school board

In the face of budget uncertainty caused by a lack of funding from the state, we have a chance to maintain stability on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board with Keith Steele running for re-election. Keith has served our community well during the last four years in these difficult economic times. He has kids in our schools giving him a vested interest in the schools’ success.

For this nonpartisan school board position, the voters have a choice between Keith who is an experienced, dedicated public servant focused on strong schools and a political ideology, which only wants to be elected for political gain.

For us who have lived in this community for many years, that is no choice at all. We don’t need politics on the school board.

Keith Steele is the only candidate who will continue the success of our outstanding schools as he has demonstrated during times of success and adversity.

We have excellent schools in West Linn. Let’s keep it that way. Please vote Keith Steele for West Linn-Wilsonville School Board, Position 5.

Greg McKenzie

West Linn

Former WLWV School Board member

Support Regan Molatore for school board

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District enjoys wonderful community support. Voters have passed facility and local option levies, teachers and staff are passionate about student achievement, and students, parents and community partners work hard to keep our schools outstanding.  

Regan Molatore exemplifies that commitment to our schools. As vice president of the West Linn-Wilsonville Education Foundation she’s worked hard to preserve teaching positions. As an experienced attorney, she understands school laws and knows how to research and analyze complex issues and make tough decisions. Best of all, as a parent and dedicated volunteer in the schools, she has first-hand experience and a commitment to excellent schools.   

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Regan through the education foundation, and a bonus is that she is collaborative and personable. She actively seeks input from all sides and would work hard to represent constituents.

Thank you for your support of our schools, and please vote for Regan Molatore for school board.

Betty Reynolds

West Linn-Wilsonville School Board member

West Linn

We benefit from continuity in leadership

We are 19-year residents of West Linn and our children have attended West Linn-Wilsonville schools. In the upcoming May school board election we are voting to re-elect Keith Steele and hope he will continue his leadership as board chair. Keith is a 16-year district resident and currently has children attending WLWV schools.   Keith cares about education and community. He was elected to the board five years ago, after having first gained perspective and local experience on the school district's budget committee and then as co-chairman of the 2008 capital bond committee, which financed major projects in Wilsonville and West Linn. Keith actively applies his community experience and business acumen to his work on the board. He's not just looking out for our kids, he's also looking out for us, the taxpayers. In these times of tight budgets and limited cash flows the board just refinanced the 2004 levy to save us, the taxpayers, $800,000.

At every board meeting Keith is making equally significant leadership decisions to keep our schools healthy and vibrant, and to optimize the education of children in Wilsonville and West Linn. It's paying off, we maintain very high educational standards and still have the highest graduation rate in the state! Please vote to re-elect Keith Steele so he can continue his demonstrated leadership. Learn more about Keith at

Dean Suhr

West Linn

Keith Steele has earned your votes

You may not realize it but our school board election is coming up May 21. Watch for your ballots and make sure to vote. 

This is an important election. Despite the financial challenges facing our country, our schools here in West Linn/Wilsonville are still excellent. This is due, in no small part, to Keith Steele’s leadership. Please join me in re-electing Keith Steele. He is the candidate who has earned your vote. 

Keith has served our schools by volunteering for years on the board and budget committee. His kids attend our WLWV public schools. His competitor has no kids or grandkids in our schools, has never served in any capacity and so doesn’t have the background necessary to be effective and maintain the level of excellence our schools enjoy. 

Keith has been tested and proven through one of the most difficult financial periods in our school district’s history and has the background, experience and commitment to lead us to even greater things in the future.

Michelle Labrie-Ripple


Re-elect Keith Steele to WLWV School Board

Keith Steele understands the financial challenges confronting our school district and is a pragmatic consensus-builder who finds solutions.

As a member of the school board for the last four years and as chairman for this past year, Keith has worked effectively and energetically to support and strengthen our schools.

Despite a time of severe state spending cuts and fewer classroom days, Keith has helped our district make remarkable progress: two new award-winning primary schools; badly needed repairs and improvements to buildings; dual-language programs; cooperative relations with labor unions; high schools with the state’s highest graduation rate; achievement scores that are among the highest in the state; and high rates of college-bound students.

Keith has done an outstanding job as chairman of the school board. He has a proven track record. Go to for more information, then join me in voting to re-elect Keith Steele.

Melinda Robinson

West Linn

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