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Beautiful weather brought huge crowds for the two Rose Festival parades—and once again TriMet employees delivered safe and reliable service for the region, providing more than a half million rides.

by: PHOTO BY: ADAM WICKHAM - Trimet General Manager Neil McFarlane addresses the crowd at the June 6 celebration on Tillicum Crossing.This month, we also celebrated a major milestone for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project — construction crews completed the bridge deck for the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, being built over the Willamette River for the future MAX Orange Line. The bridge and the new light rail line are on schedule, and on budget, to open on Sept. 12, 2015.

Upgrading Our Bus Fleet: We continue to upgrade our bus fleet with more reliable, fuel efficient and lower emission vehicles, which offer a smoother ride. This past week, new buses were placed into service on the Line 70-12th/NE 33rd Ave, which provides service from Northeast Portland to downtown Milwaukie.

More Transit Investment: More people are returning to the workforce and TriMet is investing in service to meet this growing demand. TriMet’s Board of Directors approved our next year’s budget, which includes $7.1 million in service investments. These investments are possible thanks to the progress we’ve made controlling costs and additional revenue provided by a steadily improving economy.

We remain focused on doing our part to help make this one of the best places to live in the country. If you have any questions or advice about TriMet’s services, finances or future plans, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my staff, Diane Goodwin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your continued support of TriMet.

Neil McFarlane

TriMet general manager

Overwhelming events require ongoing response

The tragic shooting today at Reynolds High School in Troutdale leaves us shocked and saddened by such a senseless act close to home. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the families and staff at Reynolds High, and the community of Troutdale.

In our roles as parents and adults who support students, it is important to know that news of these events could raise intense feelings and emotions for our children. They are likely to show a wide range of responses. It is important that we support each other as adults, as well as our students.

As you know, we have counselors and administrators at each school who can further support students who may be struggling. If your student is talking about this shooting, I would encourage you to listen and hear their feelings and concerns. Give them time to work through their emotions.

We need to reassure our students that our schools have safety procedures in place and that we practice those safety procedures throughout the school year. We continue to work to review our procedures to make sure our schools are as safe as possible. A North Clackamas School District Security Task Force completed a review within the last year of procedures, and they are being implemented.

We have trained safety personnel in our schools, including police officers, who work within all our schools. We have ongoing working relationships with area law enforcement.

Events like these can be overwhelming. As we close the school year, please make sure you are in touch with your school and let us know any support we may be able to provide.

Matt Utterback

NCSD superintendent

Keep our schools safe

Our thoughts and prayers are with Reynolds High School educators, students and their families.

In the face of this tragedy, Reynolds staff have shown our community and the entire nation what it means to be an educator. We have seen the uncommon courage and selflessness of the teachers and staff and our community is truly blessed to have such devoted educators. We want to show our solidarity and support in this difficult time. We vow to work together to forge an alliance with families and communities to keep our schools safe, secure and welcome to everyone.

As educators, our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all students. Our focus now at the Oregon Education Association is on supporting the educators, students and their families in the Reynolds community today and in the future. We all have a responsibility to create safe schools and communities. As a state and a country, we can and must do more to ensure that everyone who walks through our school doors — educator, student, parent or community member — is safe and free from violence.

Tony Crawford

OEA vice president

Compassion should not be considered...for some

I’m responding to the Community Soapbox on page A5 (“Oregon’s death penalty moratorium helps us escape the horrors of a botched execution,” May 21) written by Frank Thompson questioning the “cruel and unusual” in dealing with execution.

I consider myself a compassionate, loving husband and devoted father to my three adult children, and I’m now 85 years old. I have always, however, had a strong feeling of the need for the death penalty.

I’m aware sometimes an injustice takes place and an innocent person is charged with a crime they did not commit, and I’m certain in a few cases some have been executed. That’s the fallacy of our system!

But for me, anyone who takes another person’s life does not deserve any consideration whatsoever, but I do have to draw a fine line of how or why the death of someone else took place. I’m of a strong opinion that a person who kills another person while committing a crime, sexual assault or even a person of unsound mind who commits a death crime, should be executed... period!

And to me the degree of cruelty committed to the person or persons killed dictates the degree of “pain” that convict should receive when executed. Compassion should not be considered.

And to carry my personal feeling even further, I was certainly not in agreement with the Frank Thompson article when he wrote that: “Because of our concern about the psychological and emotional well-being of our staff, we spent about $85,000 in overtime for training alone.” That’s their job! And expected of them at the time of an execution!

I always enjoy your newspaper, however.

Jack Sherman

Unincorporated Clackamas

Serving the community in poverty

I am an 18-year-old senior at La Salle Catholic College Prep, just east of Milwaukie city limits, writing to you expressing my deep concern with poverty in our nation, and why Clackamas County should become more educated about it.

There are 46 million people in our nation that are in poverty, which makes up 15 percent of our population. Also, there are 20.5 million people who have an income less than half of the poverty line, and six million with no income at all. Granted, the government does aid these individuals through programs such as welfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps and school-lunch programs. However, the reality is that we still have a significant number of individuals finding themselves below the poverty line every year.

I strongly encourage your reporters to look how this poverty epidemic is affecting Clackamas County. Poverty is something we struggle with on a national scale, and the citizens of Clackamas County should be more aware of how poverty is affecting their own community and what they can do to help. There are numerous ways for people to volunteer their time, energy and treasures to make a difference in poverty, but unfortunately too many people are not aware of such opportunities to serve the community at large.

Thank you for your consideration.

Christopher Dowhaniuk


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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