for February 14, 2014

Agree to plow the streets; then I’ll vote yes

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, I received Mayor Shane Bemis’s Feb. 7 letter urging Gresham’s 106,000 residents to vote for the police, fire, and parks levy.

It’s possible I would have received the letter sooner if the U.S. Postal Service had been able to make it up my street’s unplowed hill to deliver my mail in a snow storm. I went without this federal service for two days.

I also lost three days of work, during which time I watched a tow truck give up trying to make it through the unplowed snow and ice on my street.

During the 2008 storm I had no work, mail or garbage service for a week, and a fire engine responding to a house fire got stuck in the neighborhood’s unplowed main street and failed to reach the burning house.

My informal estimate of three residents to a household suggests that about 35,000 of Bemis’s letters may have been mailed, with a postage bill of about $16,000. I wonder how much snow plowing $16,000 could have bought.

Bemis’s letter didn’t address winter road maintenance. If the proposed levy will pay for plowing streets so police cars, fire engines, ambulances and the Postal Service can provide 106,000 citizens with emergency and federal services, if it will allow cancer patients to make their chemotherapy appointments and ensure working taxpayers go to work to earn their salaries, I’ll be the first in line to vote for it.

Diane Hodgman, Southwest Gresham

Better is not good enough

While the proposed power plant in Troutdale sounds like “it is far better for the environment,” is it far better for the beautiful Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area? No.

There is no guarantee of harmful pollutants to the atmosphere, to the Columbia or Sandy rivers, to the land, nor with the proposed diesel backup in the event of a failed natural gas line. Let’s hope the “approved for comment” public agencies can stop this before a permit is issued.

Thank you USDA, Gorge Commission, Oregon Pilots Association and Friends of the Columbia Gorge for doing your homework and continuing to enhance and protect the gorge.

Bev Law, Corbett

Show generosity when students call for donations

We have put five children through the Gresham-Barlow School District. We believe that education only works through a partnership between the student, community, parents and teacher. Our community benefits from well-educated, informed and motivated young people. Developing reading, math and science skills is critical to student success.

Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation raises money every year to help ensure the students in our district have the resources they need to be strong readers.

High school students will call Feb. 24-27 to ask for your support. Please be generous. If you don’t get a call, I urge you to take a moment to make your donation online at

Join me in making a difference in the future of all children in our community.

Bob and Jacki Lilly, Gresham

Contract Publishing

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