Clackamas Fire is preparing for several upcoming events to help those in need this holiday season.

Since 1974, Clackamas Fire has been organizing an annual Operation Santa Claus toy and food drive to help support our community. Each year we collect new unwrapped toys and canned food through our parades, donations by businesses, and dropoffs at our community fire stations.

This year, we have added an additional three parade routes for a total of 15. When you hear the sirens and see lights of our fire apparatus and do not smell smoke, we are stopping by to collect food and toys for those less fortunate. Please visit us at for more details.

We are also supporting two community-based organizations through an internal coat, blanket, hat, and glove drive. Our employees and volunteers are working together to help support the Feed the Hungry, Inc. program in Milwaukie and the Clackamas Service Center in Clackamas by donating new items for those in need.

Last year, we collected over 100 coats and blankets for the Feed the Hungry program, and this year we have added the Clackamas Service Center.

Chief Fred Charlton

Clackamas Fire

Donate a bike for a local child

Throughout the year our Police Department responds to dozens of calls about abandoned bicycles.

Each found bicycle’s serial number is checked to determine whether the property had been reported stolen. Milwaukie’s Police Department must hold the abandoned property for a designated period of time.

The police property room is commonly overflowing with unclaimed bicycles. With no known owners, the bikes must eventually be discarded. Two years ago Officer Billy Wells suggested that the unclaimed children’s bikes could be taken to a local school and given to children who might not otherwise get to own a bike.

A small project has grown into a bigger one; last year, four Milwaukie elementary schools and Rowe Middle school each received 10 bikes. Not all were from the property room; thanks to some kind donations we were able to buy bikes from Walmart, who lets us have them for the price they pay for them. The department cannot continue to spare the time to organize the Bike Giveaway for 2014, so the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation has taken the project on. As the good weather days come to an end and bikes get put away for the winter, if you have a child’s bike which will be replaced as your child grows would you please consider donating it to the foundation for use in this program.

The schools select which children receive the bikes, and the Police Department will continue to give the bikes to the children. Any help you can give will be really appreciated by the kids.

If you have a bike but need it collected, please call me at 971-222-5299; otherwise bikes can be taken to the Public Safety Building, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dave Hedges

Milwaukie councilor

Fix website immeadiately

The implementation of Oregon’s health insurance marketplace has been abysmal. The current situation is completely unacceptable, and I expect much more from a state with a reputation for being an innovator in the field of health care.

Catastrophic technical failures, insufficient forethought and the complete absence of effective leadership and accountability at Oracle and Cover Oregon have resulted in our state being ranked dead last in enrolling folks in new health insurance plans, which is the heart and lifeblood of the health care law and the only way Oregonians are going to receive better, more affordable care.

I am committed to holding Oracle and Cover Oregon to their word that the Cover Oregon website will be up and operational by the middle of December. Until then, I demand that Congress see Oregon’s enrollment benchmarks for January and March, as well as weekly progress reports of applications submitted, eligibility for subsidies determined and people enrolled.

After hundreds of millions of dollars put into this marketplace, Oracle and Cover Oregon must accept responsibility for their failures and owe the people and State of Oregon an explanation and apology. Oracle and every board member at Cover Oregon should be also prepared to work around the clock to get this right, or step aside and allow professionals who can get the job done to do so. Oregonians deserve better.

U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader


Fix your own website

In an interview with Laural Porter about the disastrous roll-out of ObamaCare, Congressman Schrader was asked explicitly about the president’s line, “if you like your health care plan you can keep it,” which millions of Americans are learning is not true.

Interestingly, this was Schrader’s response:

“I think the president was grossly misleading to the American public...So I think the president saying you could stay with it and not being honest that a lot of these policies were going to get cancelled was grossly misleading to the American public and is causing added stress and added strife as we go through a really difficult time with health care.”

But it wasn’t just the president who was “grossly misleading.” On Kurt Schrader’s OWN WEBSITE, he carries the president’s water and parrots his false rhetoric:

“If you are insured and are happy with your current coverage, nothing changes. You will still benefit from all the efforts to drive down the overall costs of health care. The ACA has many tools in place to help develop a more efficient health care delivery system focused on quality of care, not quantity of care.”

After it was revealed that Schrader mislead voters about their ability to keep their health care plan, it seems his team promptly removed the page in question from the congressman’s website. But wait, there’s more! In 2010 Kurt Schrader posted a summary of the health care law where he said:

“Individuals and families are required to have health care and pay a part of their premiums and co-pays unless they are very poor and qualify for Medicaid as outlined above. If individuals like their current plan they may keep that plan for as long as they would like under the final proposal. These grandfathered plans will have most of the same consumer protections added as in the newer qualified plans.”

After being a loyal Obama- Care foot soldier for years, Kurt Schrader is blatantly misleading voters in the face of changing political winds and the law’s botched rollout. Maybe next time Schrader will read his own website before such an obvious attempt to deceive voters.

Alleigh Marré

Republican spokeswoman

Editor’s note: Congressman Kurt Schrader voted on Friday for the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013 to allow health insurance companies the option to continue offering all individual-market plans that were in effect as of Jan. 1, 2013, through 2014. Schrader also introduced legislation to delay penalties for noncompliance until and other applicable state health insurance marketplace websites are certified as being fully operational by the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Not the car again?!

The last couple of days have been tough on me and my car. First, I was towed out of an unmarked private lot while attending a Chamber meeting in Hillsboro. The following day, I was in a low-speed crash on 82nd Avenue, while trying to get a late lunch. Both incidents were extremely frustrating, but brought out a couple of good lessons.

Lesson number one: No matter how good your intentions and planning, you can’t prevent the unexpected. In fact, I recall several management gurus who said you should plan on it. Their theory was that every day at work some emergency will inevitably pop up, so time should be built into one’s schedule to deal with it. Both of my car incidents kept me from doing what I had planned for the day. Because I hadn’t planned in any time for “the unexpected,” that meant I got behind.

Lesson number two: No matter how much has been done to promote mass transit and bicycling, we’re still very dependent upon our automobiles.

Safe travels everyone!

David Kelly

North Clackamas Chamber

True patriots

Several weeks ago we were having lunch at a restaurant in Carver. While we were there a group of soldiers came in to eat. Seeing this, another couple in the restaurant went to their table and thanked them for their service. later, as the couple left, they paid for all the military lunches and instructed the waitress not to tell them until the couple had left.

After inquiring, the waitress told us that it was the second time that day that someone had paid for the food of servicemen. It is so good to know that some people are willing and able to go the extra mile for these brave men who put their lives on the line for us. We need to let them know, as Americans, that we appreciate them for what they contribute to our country and for the freedoms that we are able to enjoy.


Jim and Lila Elliott

Oregon City

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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