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Readers' Letters


Support council, city staff

West Linn is considered one of the best places to live in the country. One reason is the leadership of ethical, responsible and prudent city leaders. 

Mayor John Kovash, with Councilors Jody Carson, Mike Jones, Jenni Tan and Thomas Frank have brought West Linn through turbulent times, working to refocus city government on efficiency and productivity.

They have recently grappled with difficult issues like the Lake Oswego water intertie, where no alternative satisfies all West Linn citizens. But as Councilor Carson wrote in a Jan. 30 Tidings letter: “We certainly hope we never need to use either of these emergency (water) sources, but I feel it is prudent for us to plan for unexpected events — especially when they might affect something as critical as our source for clean water.”

The work of City Manager Chris Jordan has also been key in achieving West Linn’s livability. He returned the city to a professional level of management after a time of financial chaos. Because of his strong record and reputation, Jordan is able to attract and retain a diverse and effective management team.

These are individuals who work to ensure West Linn infrastructure and schools remain among the best in Oregon. Join me in supporting them.

Melinda Robinson

West Linn

West Linn firefighters go above and beyond

I live in West Linn very near the Safeway at the top of the hill (Salamo).

I walked to the store on Monday morning, Feb. 10, just as the snow was becoming crusty and turning to ice.

On my return from my shopping I had three heavy sacks and I had to climb a very small hill but it was icy. I was having trouble navigating my body and groceries up the hill and was sliding down when a fire truck passed me. I thought: “I wish they would stop and help me.”

Well they heard me! And they did just that!

I really couldn’t believe it, but when I saw them turning into my complex, I thought maybe, just maybe, they heard my call. 

As the huge, red truck came closer, one of the angels stepped out and walked toward me. 

He told me his name was Marcus and they were from the Bolton Fire Station in West Linn returning home from a call. 

Their truck began sliding down the hill. It couldn’t make it either. I am not sure how old the truck is, but I’m 66.

I cannot thank these wonderful men and women enough for all they do for our well-being.

Thank you, Marcus and crew, for being aware and for your much needed help!

Cindy Self

West Linn

Clean up our existing power plants

The world is heating up at an alarming rate and with these increased temperatures come problematic shifts in the delicate balance of our natural world. President Obama’s Climate Action Plan seeks to directly address the environmental challenges that we are facing.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations on carbon pollution from power plants. These proposals are not only important, as power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., but they are also historic as this is the first time we’ve seen federal regulations on carbon pollution. The public comment period runs through March 10, and it is our civic duty to weigh in.

Through cleaning up existing power plants and preventing the creation of new dirty plants, we can work toward a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future. Our future generations are depending on us to act boldly and immediately.

Maria Fish

Northeast Portland

Time for workplace equity

Recently the Oregon Council on Civil Rights released a pay inequality report finding what too many women and families already know to be true: Women are not receiving equal pay for equal work and their economic security is suffering as a result.

The report, which was three years in the making, cites research by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) that shows Oregon women working full time, year round, earn an average of 79 cents compared to what men earn.

Oregon’s pay gap is not just an issue for women. With a record number of women in the workforce and four in 10 women serving as the primary or sole breadwinner for their families, it is essential that women bring home the pay they have rightfully earned.

As program vice president of AAUW of Oregon, I am proud of our efforts to advocate for legislation that would help to close the gender pay gap and allow workers to earn paid sick days (another barrier to equity identified by the council’s report).

We have been collecting signatures in support of these issues for months, and we look forward to delivering the signatures to the Oregon Legislature at our legislative advocacy day on Feb. 21.

The Oregon Legislature commissioned this report from the Council on Civil Rights — now it’s time for them to implement the policy recommendations in order to dismantle barriers to workplace equality and protect the health of Oregon’s families and economy as a whole.

Mardy Stevens

AAUW of Oregon program vice president


To recall or not to recall?

Currently I am fence-sitting regarding the recall of certain elected officials. Appreciate the thoughtful responses pro and con from Jim Mattis, Robert Martin, Tomas Pudil, Teri Cummings, Alice Richmond, Richard Marlo, et al. Ditto for the Tiding’s editorial in defense of Kovash, Jones, Carson and Tan.

Been a taxpayer in West Linn for 50-plus years. Earlier, wife and I lived in Portland where we both served on various commissions.

Over the years, we have had for the most part the utmost respect for those who willingly have devoted so many hours to community service. There is so much reading material when one is a member of city council, the planning commission, etc.

Basically, it’s tough keeping a town on an even keel when so much of its leadership is part time. And sad to say way too often, with respect to citizens advisory groups — the planning, the traffic, budget, parks, etc. — there are times when certain city staffers have so manipulated these departments’ advisory groups to the extent that the volunteer advisory groups are no more than rubberstamp entities that proceed to approve whatever certain well-salaried city administrators desire to achieve, whether it is long range in the interest of the public good or not.Suggestion: The city manager and city council should attempt to be less dismissive when listening to those citizens who actually dwell in those areas most affected by major decisions. Examples: Consider currently the incredible environmental ruination of that vast site for the water transfer facility off Mapleton and the horrendous ecological damage thus far committed by the city to natural wetland habitat at Fields Bridge Park.

Andy Rocchia

West Linn

OHSU bond is investment in our future

The Oregon Legislature should support the Oregon Health & Science University request for the $200 million bond measure to finance new facilities for the Knight Cancer Challenge. It’s an investment in ourselves.

It’s a small request when you calculate who will benefit from this research. All Oregonians, almost 4 million strong, will be the ultimate beneficiaries. It’s a mere $50 per person investment. This campaign to raise $500 million in matching funds will mean $1 billion toward finding a cure for cancer that affects all Oregonians directly or indirectly. If the Legislature passes this request, it will mean that OHSU will raise $1.2 billion in total.

It is not about just the rich writing checks in support of Penny and Phil Knight’s generous gift of $500 million. We Oregonians should do our part to support this campaign. The $200 million would not take away from any other spending priority. It would not take away money for education, health care or any other needed and necessary state funding priority. It is a bond measure that would be paid back over a long period of time without raising taxes.

It is the right priority for us to invest in cancer research and support OHSU, to make our research university to become a world-class cancer research center. Support this measure — it is for all of us.

Long live Oregonians.

Sho Dozono

Southwest Portland