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Letters: School boudaries; Josephine Estates; background checks; etc.

While we appreciate the time and effort Superintendent Matt Utterback and the Boundary Committee have already put in and will continue to put in to this delicate process (“District zeros in on boundary changes in the Rex Putnam area,” Feb. 26), as members of the NCSD community we feel that one of the primary focuses of this process, impacting as few families as possible, has not been met.

Some of the earlier options presented could have achieved maximum utilization without bumping any current students out of those remaining schools. We have not been presented with any compelling arguments or data to suggest that moving students from all of the schools is really necessary or provides any substantial cost savings to the district.

While closing Concord is a “district” issue, the goal should still be to minimize the number of families impacted. We feel the Superintendent had some key comments that were well said: “it is difficult to justify moving additional students (in addition to the Concord students that have to be moved due to a school closure) when there will still be adequate capacity in each of the elementary schools in the Putnam High School attendance area in 2022-2023.”

The Concord community is already feeling displaced. Why should the feelings of frustration, dissatisfaction and displacement be spread into another school community when not necessary? The current recommendation(s) from the Boundary Committee seem to have missed what was to be a key consideration.

Curtis Long, principal of Campbell Elementary at the time of its closing, warned the committee (from experience) that making boundary changes that impact a small number of students is MUCH more difficult on those students than changes that impact many. While the closing of Concord is extremely difficult, those students are all being displaced to other schools and many of them will be moving together to new schools. The impact will be much greater to the small number of students that are currently proposed to be moved even though their school isn’t closing. A majority of their classmates will stay put while they have to go, in many cases, by themselves to a new school for no reason other than a small group of people want as many families as possible to feel the pain of those from Concord.

Many people purchase homes with schools in mind. Some of us even purchased homes with a specific school in mind. Now we are being told that our neighbors, our friends, our children, our grandchildren our nieces and our nephews may no longer be able to attend the school in which they have been flourishing both academically and socially for several years already. Please don’t spread this already difficult impact to more families than absolutely necessary.

Sincere best regards from the concerned neighbors, friends and family members of the NCSD community who all know children and families being impacted by the decisions that have already been made and those that are being considered.

Lee and Carly Pinson

Josh and Jennifer Martin

Charles and Debby Lindley

Lee and Ann Sousley

Eric and Kellie Halkinrude

Jerry and Lynn Corwin

Kevin and Jessica Cheyne

Kendra Watkins

Richard and Sharon LaPointe

Travis and Jody Schreffler

Editor’s note: The North Clackamas School Board will again hear arguments at district headquarters, 4444 S.E. Lake Road, regarding the proposed boundary changes 7 p.m. Thursday, March 13, before making a decision.

Developers getting preference over neighbors?

I am a member of the Community Planning Organization. I am a resident being impacted by the Josephine Estates Subdivision off Webster Road.

The CPO feels they have been belatedly informed of this development, because of wording in the codes the county is using. We are suggesting in the future that public signs should be posted on or near the property being developed or permits being applied for so all the people being impacted would be informed in a timely manner.

The County Planning Division uses their codes verbatim, not as a guideline for community good. One-hundred-thirty-three homes are directly affected by this development, but only a third were notified as code required. The developer plans to enter and exit through the existing dead end streets that are the only access to Webster Road, rather than coming directly out to Webster. This 36-home development will add unnecessary heavy use to poorly maintained streets. The residents have been asking the county for 30 years for street maintenance, but have been rejected because of budget priorities.

The developer is claiming they will provide a temporary road off Webster to provide direct access to the construction of this development to avoid wear and tear to the existing streets. If this is possible, then why would the county not approve and require a separate road in and out to relieve the extra traffic load on already worn and overloaded streets? This would remove 95 percent of the CPO objection to this project as proposed.

The County Planning Division has not placed counting strips to evaluate an accurate count of traffic use for a whole month, but has accepted figures and data from people outside the area who claim to be qualified in their professions. These people may be qualified, but are not familiar with the reality of the total impact this is having on the existing neighborhood.

It is evident that little transparency has been displayed by the landowner and developers of this project, thus restricting the CPO from being informed in a timely manner and allowing sufficient time to meet the deadlines set forth by code for public hearings.

Roger L. Stafford

Clackamas

Unacceptable intrusion

Regarding last month’s Community Soapbox “Block gun violence with background checks” by Ms. Henderson and Dr. Scott from of the Oregon Public Health Association and National Physicians Alliance respectively, I wonder if they would agree that if it is indeed true that “A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state overall...” that the logical response would be to restrict gun ownership to the nth degree possible under the Constitution (which is really what’s going on).

The reason government isn’t involved with private firearm transfers is because it would be an unacceptable intrusion of big brother in the exercise of a Constitutional right.

When the Brady bill passed in 1993, I’m sure that to include private firearm transfers would have been unthinkable. It still is to this day for many of us. We don’t need government to oversee gun transfers to the obsessive degree that anti-gun activists insist on. To do so would do nothing more than pave the way for future firearms restrictions (not a good thing).

If these individuals want to get rid of guns altogether, they should have the courage to say so.

We all know that “universal background checks” wouldn’t have stopped the shootings at Clackamas Town Center or Newtown, Conn. So why do advocates imply that?

I think Ms. Henderson and Mr. Scott should stick with healthcare matters and leave us and our guns alone.

Samuel Dickerson-Edgington

Milwaukie

Will they ever learn?

Before I retired I was with a company that was involved with government contracts, and I worked with these contracts for 16 years (“Commissioners approve AMR ambulance contract,” Feb. 26). There are definite requirements for contract procedures, and they must be followed.

1. There is a Request For Proposal (RFP) sent to all bidders that request them. This RFP includes all of the technical requirements and a time and place where the bids will be opened and awarded.

2. At that time and place, all bids will be opened and an award is issued if the bid meets the RFP. Any bidder who does not meet the RFP is rejected, and this includes the time and place requirements.

Commissioner Tootie Smith and Chairman Ludlow do not seem to understand these basic requirements since they are both complaining that bidders being late are not considered. If a bid is late for any reason, it is disallowed. It’s that simple. If they can’t understand these basics about contracts and the awarding of them, then they should not be in these jobs.

Or, are there other motives we don’t see? It’s sad that the people we voted for to support the citizens have disregarded their wishes and shown that they can’t handle something as important as contracts.

Larry Haverkamp

Oregon City

Wage issue important

We are extremely pleased that Rep. Kurt Schrader (who represents most of Clackamas County) has signed on to the petition to discharge the Fair Minimum Wage Act which will allow the bill to come to a vote.

In less than 24 hours, over 2,000 people signed our petition to pressure Rep. Schrader to raise the minimum wage.

We are hopeful that he will also vote in favor of raising the minimum wage when the question is called.

Too many people are struggling to get by in Oregon, including an unconscionable number right in Rep. Schrader’s home district. Oregon Working Families applauds the representative for allowing the Fair Minimum Wage Act for a vote, however, we hope that he votes in favor of this important measure when the question is called.

Oregon Working Families will continue to gather signatures and pressure Rep. Schrader on this important issue.

Alejandro Juarez

Oregon Working Families

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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