Letters: Trash on South End Road; PERS; President Trump; Obamacare suggestions; Gladstone recall; Concord School
As a regular volunteer to pick up litter/debris on the precarious South End Road (99W Incident Route) I would like to make a request:
Please do not throw your used:
n Energy drinks (we pick up at least 100 each quarter),
n Starbucks cups (about 50 each quarter),
n Vodka/whiskey bottles (difficult to pick up)
n Dirty diapers (Whew)
n Lighted cigarette butts (how scary is this for wild fires with all the trees/fallen timber in the summer?)
n Plastic bags, (dangerous to birds, children, etc.)
n Soda cans and bottles (Take them to the bottle retun for cash money, please)
This is one of the prettier streets and main thoroughfares into Oregon City. Because the street is no narrow and only one guardrail, it is very dangerous for us to pick up this trash easily. Thanks!
PERS and the commonweal
In the Oregon Legislature's pursuit of resolution to the PERS debacle, how has it managed to sidestep our country's basic underlying principle of fairness to the "commonweal."
In contract law, a contract that is patently unfair to one of the signing parties reasonably can be nullified when defined by the legal concept of "unfair advantage." Why in the world is a PERS contract any different? The "public" is essentially a signing party to the PERS contract... a contract in which PERS clearly has received "unfair advantage" over the taxpaying public.
Certainly, the "commonweal," defined as the common welfare and the public good and which is an historic doctrine of relatively equalized treatment of the general public, should take precedent in all actions of the Legislature. That is why we have a "Legislature." They make laws and they can change laws. The laws they make are by their very nature, "pacts" to assure fairness to all. Their job is to resolve this amazing state of PERS's gross "unfair advantage" over the Oregon public. NOW!
Do you really believe that sitting on your hands and doing nothing about the constant excesses in the White House are going to improve Americans' opinion of government?
I realize your base will believe anything, but most Americans are insulted and infuriated by a president who demonizes the media and limits media access (which is what dictators do), or by a White House that tries to pressure the FBI to call off an investigation into the White House (which is what Nixon did).
Dear Rep. Schrader,
In the Feb. 22 article by Peter Wong in this newspaper titled "Schrader: Both sides should calm down about Trump," Wong wrote that our Congressman representing Clackamas County, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, says things are neither as euphoric as supporters say nor as hostile as critics insist during the first weeks of Donald Trump's presidency.
"People are almost irrationally afraid of what is going on, or irrationally excited about opportunities that will never happen," Schrader is quoted as saying after last month's meeting at West Linn City Hall. "We need to realize there has been a change in administrations. We have to figure out how we work together and move some things forward."
I would like to ask Kurt Schrader, "Doesn't President Trump's program of spreading hatred and curtailing civil liberities bother him?"
The Democratic Party is on the decline in state legislatures, goverorships and on the federal level. It is difficult for us Democrats to understand what our party really stands for.
Kurt Schrader's wishy-washy statement shows he doesn't know what he stands for. Sitting on the fence can only give him a sliver up his backside.
We need a representative in Congress who will stand up for our rights and liberties. Taking Kurt Schrader's statement at face value, he doesn't seem to care.
Because the recent Republican proposals to replace Obamacare (the ACA) represent their wealthy constituents' ongoing war on the poor and the sick, we have sent the following to our representatives in Congress:
Please work to KEEP existing critical ACA benefits, including:
n Taxes on the wealthy to pay for healthcare (the real reason the GOP wants to repeal ACA)
n Max out of pocket and lifetime maximums
n Protection for those with pre-existing conditions
n Medicaid expansion for the poor at current 90% levels (not 50% as GOP wants)
n Women's health (mammograms, births)
n Preventive care at no or low cost
n Fees on insurance and drug companies to pay for healthcare
n Requirement for all to participate (perhaps the way Medicare does it), which provides insurance companies a large enough pool to spread their costs (it's called giving a hand up to the less fortunate)
n Current federal minimum standards for all participating insurance companies so we can continue to effectively use healthcare.gov to compare and contrast their plans
We do NOT support tax credits of any kind, because a lower income Americans don't pay enough taxes to benefit from tax credits. We do NOT support health care changes that redirect money from the poor to the rich (see Feb. 16 article, New York Times). We do NOT support reductions that penalize the chronically ill or seriously injured, like:
n Doing away with lifetime maximums
n Block grants or per-beneficiary allotments for Medicaid that won't cover highest costs health-savings accounts, which quickly run out if you have high medical costs
n "Innovation grants" or high-risk pools that don't limit max out of pocket
n Fixed tax credits since insurance companies will still charge higher premiums for the sickest
We DO support improvements that favor lower income Americans, like:
n Add a single-payer option like Medicare for all
n Add more insurance options in areas that currently have only one or two options (possibly by negotiating a requirement to provide insurance in both a well-covered and a poorly-covered area)
n Reduce premiums, deductibles and copays
n Reduce maximum out-of-pocket amounts
n Get rid of co-insurances; the high cost of care makes these unacceptably expensive for the poor and the chronically ill or seriously injured
n Add a catastrophic choice at lower cost
n Allow ACA (and Medicare and Medicaid) to negotiate for prescription drugs. Currently, only one small group benefits - the drug companies. That's hardly democratic.
We also offer this idea: Because lower income people cannot afford to buy a home, they cannot increase deductibles on their taxes like home buyers. You can help those with high health costs by adding an option to subtract those costs, including premiums, from Adjusted Gross Income. Then leave the existing option in place for home buyers.
Charles and Andrea Sliger
Reread my letter
My original opinion letter on Feb. 22 was about the recalls in Gladstone. It was submitted without a title, it's done all of the time. "Library Foundation no longer runs City Council" was given by the newspaper.
While I understand the Gladstone Public Library Foundation is completely separate from the Gladstone Library Board, many members have gone from one to the other at different times. I also understand that the foundation cares about the library and does many good things.
However, they should reread my letter. At no time do I claim that Nancy Eichsteadt or Bill Osburn is currently on the foundation. But, Nancy was on the foundation back during the push to have the mega library on Webster Road when all of this started.
It's somewhat amusing that the responders have comments on things that I did not say, but have no rebuttal on the facts I presented.
Preserve open space at Concord
I spoke to the Board of County Commissioners at their meeting on March 9, when they voted unanimously to move forward with the strategic partnership with the North Clackamas School District.
Let me express my sincere appreciation for the action the county is taking on adopting the responsibility of tending for and preserving this historic property. Based on statements made by this board I believe that the historic Concord School has a long and promising future.
The third and current school was built in 1936 as a WPA project. The Works Progress Administration employed tens of thousands of Americans across the country. Concord School is a living testament to progressive governance during times of crisis.
Echoes of national history are present in our backyard. I find no coincidence in the progressive New Deal politics of the time and the progressive nature of this property exchange. Each speaks to the community building nature of Clackamas County.
I encourage Clackamas County to engage Restore Oregon in ways to best respect and preserve the legacy of Concord School. As we move further away from history it will become evermore important to have touchstones to the past. The open space and grounds that surround Concord School, as they are, remind us of a time when lands and resources were abundant. An abundance that is rapidly diminishing today. The foundation that Concord School is built on is literally part of the foundation of Clackamas County. A foundation that my family has built their home on.
Geoffrey J. Janke