Difficult economic times come with a silver lining, and that has proven to be true in Clackamas County. Prior to the 2008 economic collapse, few were paying attention as investors, including local governments, made big plans and promises that were not sustainable. By 2010 many local citizens had became active in their communities for the first time.

by: PHOTO BY: LES POOLE - Hundreds line Gladstone's Portland Avenue with over 100 classic cars during a well-attended cruise-in at the Gladstone Cultural Festival earlier this month.I saw many new faces at Clackamas County Commission and various city-council meetings. Once empty rooms were suddenly filled with people asking questions and expecting answers. Local volunteers donated their time gathering thousands of signatures for initiative measures to allow a public vote prior to creating new urban-renewal districts. That was followed by a similar citizen’s measure requiring a vote on future light-rail and streetcar projects.

Others stepped up and began working on habitat restoration at Kronberg (Kellogg Lake) Park and elsewhere. Many had lost their jobs, but helping out created a sense of community that was lacking during the economic boom. Numerous school sports and music programs were saved by volunteers who turned off their big screen televisions, answering the call for help.

The Milwaukie Elks Club is being revitalized, and the swimming pool has been restored for future generations. Visit the lodge building on McLoughlin Boulevard, and you’ll be amazed at what is going on. Membership is only $12 per month, and the money is used to fund college scholarships and other worthy needs.

Recently in Gladstone, the 100-year-old Chautauqua Festival was cancelled due to the lack of funds. Once again the locals answered the call, and the festival was saved. The Gladstone-Oak Grove Rotary Club, with the support of Watts Heating and other businesses, sponsored the event, which was renamed the “Gladstone Cultural Festival.” Live music and other events were held at Patterson Park, and the library book sale at Wetton Elementary School was a big success. On Aug. 11, Portland Avenue was lined with over 100 classic cars during a well attended cruise-in.

There are many current opportunities for involvement, including preserving the historic Trolley Bridge over the Clackamas River between Gladstone and Oregon City. The “Meals on Wheels” program needs help delivering food to senior citizens who are unable to leave their homes on a regular basis. The list is long... Isn’t it time to put your name on it?

Les Poole


Seriously flawed!

I am responding to Kent Lloyd’s letter to the editor dated Aug. 14, titled “Seriously flawed!” He was referring to my guest editorial on Aug. 7 responding to Tammy Steven’s article the week before.

There is absolutely nothing flawed about my article. Everything in the article was spot-on. John Ludlow and Tootie Smith were both voted into office because people wanted change. Apparently, Mr. Lloyd likes the status quo.

Both John and Tootie represent the majority of people in Clackamas County. For example, they represent the 61 percent who voted for Measure 3-401. They represent the majority who voted down the CRC. They represent the majority of people who voted down the Sellwood Bridge toll. This while the previous commissioners Charlotte Lehan, Jamie Damon, as well as Ann Lininger and current commissioner Jim Bernard voted along with their campaign contributors and against the voters/taxpayers of Clackamas County.

It is pretty obvious who Mr. Lloyd represents. And, it is not the majority of Clackamas County voters/taxpayers.

Jim Bernard has announced that he is running for re-election. We need to remember that along with Charlotte Lehan and Jamie Damon, he committed political suicide last year when they supported paying the $20 million to TriMet for the light-rail project, even though the majority of voters/taxpayers told them “NO.” Jim Bernard also was paid $20,000 for property he owns in downtown Milwaukie by TriMet. Jim Bernard can not be trusted.

Milwaukie Mayor Jeremy Ferguson has announced his candidacy for Clackamas County commissioner. He will be running against Jim Bernard. This change is definitely needed. I don’t know much about Mr. Ferguson, however in the next few months, I plan on finding out what he is all about. Will he make common sense decisions on behalf of the majority of Clackamas County voters/taxpayers, or will he only represent his campaign contributors?

Let’s stay tuned and find out.

Jeff Molinari


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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