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Happy Valley annexations; Local gardening; Falsehoods damage Canemah; HealthCare.gov; Charles Gallia best for Senate District 20?

I am a new resident to the city of Happy Valley. Annexations allow our city to grow, to prosper, and to add future services for our families to use and enjoy. Annexations help spread out the tax burden among us and ensure future city services, including police protection.

Allowing varied housing types to be built throughout our community will help keep our elderly family members near us, which benefits the entire family. I support those wanting to join the Happy Valley community and encourage a YES vote on the upcoming annexation measure.

Diana Helm

Happy Valley

More locals fall in love with gardening

Thank you so much for telling your readers about our Fall into Gardening event in the Sept. 27 paper. More than 130 people attended last Saturday, making it the best attended ever!

And, in response to my question of "how did you find out about this event?" followed by naming potential sources, dozens of hands associated themselves with your paper.

Written evaluations showed a high degree of satisfaction of our classes. In addition, many clients offered unsolicited statements of appreciation.

Fall into Gardening was a success, and I am grateful for your help with reaching more gardeners!

Sherry Sheng

Clackamas County OSU Master Gardeners

Falsehoods damage Canemah

Paul Edgar needs to step up and tell the truth. His letter to the editor in the Oregon City News (Oct. 4, 2017) is unbelievable. The reason that Cottage Development is allowed in historic Canemah is that Mr. Edgar was negligent in his self-appointed, puported duty as Canemah land-use overseer. Why did he not launch a battle to exempt Canemah from the city's building code when it was debated at Planning Commission and City Commission levels and finally passed in 2009?

His allegation that the specious "Friends of Canemah," a tiny group formed to raise havoc under the IRS nonprofit code, is filling a void left by the city-authorized Canemah Neighborhood Association is an outright lie. The neighborhood association has a highly respected land-use liasion who gathers and reports on land-use issues in Canemah. What that liasion doesn't do is terrify and threaten city staff and neighbors.

I am one of two properties that are affected most by the Cottage Development. Am I happy about it? No. But I believe that when people operate according to the laws and regulations, it is wrong to pull the rug out and say, Oh no, not here. Not in my back yard. Literally. I wish Mr. Edgar had been on the ball in 2007-2009 so I didn't have to suffer the results of his neglect.

When Mr. Edgar speaks, truth flees, hysteria abounds, and people of good will suffer deeply.

Karen Blaha

Canemah resident and CNA treasurer

Support property owners' rights

The upcoming Happy Valley ballot measure is nothing more than an attempt to strip a property owner of their right to follow the law and do what they want with their property. Unincorporated property owners adjacent to Happy Valley should be allowed to annex to the city if they so desire.

We don't need outside interests with no stake in our city influencing that decision. The Altamont Neighborhood is not in the city of Happy Valley, and they forced this election upon us after our City Council twice approved this annexation. Zoning and Planning is best left to our elected officials in our city and our city staff. They do the research, understand the guidelines and follow the law.

Don't let these outside interests change our system for their own interests and agendas. The city of Happy Valley voters voted YES in 2008 to allow our City Council to consider and approve all annexations following strict guidelines within the law. The City Council considered and approved this annexation, twice.

We support our city. We support our voters' will. We support our City Council. We are voting yes on Measure 3-518 to support property-owner rights!

Don and Kelly Hanna

City of Happy Valley citizens and taxpayers

Locals eligible for health coverage

Congressional debates over health care are paused for now, and HealthCare.gov will be available again for 2018 coverage. Open enrollment is from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, and for most people who buy private insurance plans, it's the only time all year to get covered and qualify for financial assistance. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, part of a state government agency, is here to help Oregonians get covered through HealthCare.gov.

Clackamas County is noteworthy because our data indicate that more than 10,000 people in the Happy Valley, Oregon City, and Milwaukie areas are eligible for help paying for coverage through HealthCare.gov, but have not enrolled. That's the greatest number of eligible-but-not-enrolled Oregonians statewide. People are often surprised at the income levels that qualify for help paying for coverage. Individuals making less than $48,000 a year and families of four earning less than $98,000 can qualify.

If you're covered through your job, or another program such as Medicare or the Oregon Health Plan, you're all set. But do you know people who don't have insurance or who may be paying too much for their plan? Tell them to check out their options on HealthCare.gov beginning Nov. 1.

You, your friends, and your family don't have to figure out insurance all on your own. Licensed insurance agents and certified community groups can help people enroll, and their assistance is free. Find one near you at OregonHealthCare.gov/gethelp.

Or go directly to HealthCare.gov between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.

Elizabeth Cronen

Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace communications manager

Charles Gallia best for Senate District 20?

State Reps. Alissa Keny-Guyer and Jeff Reardon, as well as Clackamas County Chairman Jim Bernard, attended the Senate-race kickoff event for Charles Gallia, who hopes to unseat two-term State Sen. Alan Olsen of Canby. It was a sizeable turnout and the donations flowed. All in all, it was a really positive and energetic event.

I originally went there intent on asking him if he supported the idea of bringing safe-injection sites to Oregon; I ended up getting a front-row seat to the single-payer health care revolution.

Mr. Gallia is the senior policy advisor for the Oregon Health Authority, which is one of the most powerful and influential positions in state government. Health care and health care reform are always hot topics, because it affects just about everyone. I cheered when Mr. Gallia said he wanted to stop price hikes in medications, but he didn't go on to tell the crowd how he would go about it. I hope he will lay out his plan in detail for voters in the coming months.

I also hope that before we go handing over health care to the government, the legislature will invest in the actual health and wellness of our people. It's one thing to hand over health care and cost negotiations to a government body so they can assess, or tax, the needs of our people in categories like "Diabetics," "Heart Attack Candidates," and "Court Mandated Therapy," but it's another thing to actually change the overall health of our next generation.

Did you know that a plant-based diet has more benefits than any pharmaceutical on the planet? Why don't we feed our school children a diet that will keep them healthy, strong and clear-minded? Would overall school performance improve if students' brains weren't overloaded with the side effects of greasy, processed, non-nutritive food? This is a question that Charles Gallia is more than qualified to answer, and I hope he will.

I heard Mr. Gallia say he wanted to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, but I want to know what he thinks he can accomplish as a senator that he couldn't accomplish as the person who literally directs policy for the Oregon Health Authority. I would actually consider his current position with OHA a step up from the seat he is currently seeking; it's certainly better pay. However, if Mr. Gallia's PERS benefits are anything like his current salary, money won't be an issue.

I wonder if he would support legislation to fix PERS if it means voting against his own personal financial interests.

I wonder if he would be willing to hold his former coworkers accountable at the Oregon Health Authority if it ever became necessary. Part of what I look for in a lawmaker is the willingness to step in and hold a department accountable for fraud, waste or abuse, and I've been reading a lot of articles about OHA that don't give me the warm fuzzies.

I have so many questions, and I just hope that Mr. Gallia is willing to communicate more fully his plans for his constituents at his next event. I don't want to keep leaving with more questions than I started out with.

Christine VanOrder

Gladstone

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please 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 971-204-7742 with story ideas and comments.

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