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Arbor Day Walk; Education Investment Initiative; Gladstone politics; Ludwick for Sunrise Water; Spiers, Farrer for OCSD; Planned Parenthood; Canemah

The second-annual Gladstone Nature Park Arbor Day Walk was celebrated in true Oregonian fashion this year.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Second grader Mark Girardy, with his face freshly painted, stands at the front of Gladstone Nature Park with April 29 festivities in the background.On Saturday, April 29, over 200 residents and neighbors of Gladstone rallied on a beautifully sunny afternoon to celebrate Arbor Day by raising awareness of — and funds for — the Gladstone Nature Park. Anyone who pre-registered for the event was given a swag-bag filled with goodies including a poncho (just in case), local wildflower seeds and vouchers for free ice cream and coffee courtesy of Baskin Robins, McDonalds and Happyrock Coffee Roasting Company.

There was face painting for the kids, live music for the fans, free raffle prizes and fresh air for anyone who wanted to take a stroll through any one of the park's recently laid walking trails. Two years and hundreds of volunteer hours had been put forward to make this park once again beautiful and enjoyable for local residents.

"I am overwhelmed at the things this group has done to move this park forward. We are truly thankful and grateful to everyone who has volunteered here today," said Gladstone Mayor Tammy Stempel, who took part in this year's Arbor Day walk.

Over 15 booths providing information on local issues were present, including representatives from Water Environment Services, North Clackamas Parks and Recreation, Boy Scout Troop 192, Trout Unlimited, the SHOC Foundation and of course Friends of Gladstone Nature Park. Also present for the festivities were WES Director Greg Geist, Gladstone City Councilor Neal Reisner and County Commissioner Ken Humberston - a Marine Corps veteran.

This year Friends of Gladstone Nature Park and the SHOC Foundation teamed up together with 13 volunteers from Gladstone High School to host the Arbor Day walk. The goal was to raise $200 to provide the park with a much needed pet waste receptacle (doggie bags included). By the end of the two-hour event that goal had been met and exceeded.

The annual Gladstone Nature Park Arbor Day Walk was clearly a success and is now a beloved springtime staple for the city of Gladstone.

Eileen Garlington

Gladstone

Support the state's Education Investment Initiative

As the mayor of a flourishing working-class city that is striving towards being an entirely equitable, livable and sustainable place to raise a family, I wholeheartedly support the Education Investment Initiative plan announced by Oregon Representatives Nathanson, Barnhart and House Speaker Kotek. Thank you for bringing this courageous and important plan forward.

As a lifelong education advocate, this is the plan we have all been waiting for: investments in kids, higher education and pre-K by shifting the burden of taxation away from individual taxpayers and onto the larger corporations that can easily afford to pay slightly more and who will reap the benefits of a better educated work force.

In the community of Milwaukie, our schools are a source of pride. Good schools speak volumes about our values and our goals as a city, and today's proposal for new investments in schools will allow our educators to do their jobs to the best of their ability rather than making do with an ever shrinking budget.

Almost everyone will say that our children are our most valued assets; this plan puts our money where our mouth is. Not just Milwaukie, but all of Oregon wins, because you can only build a prosperous community on the foundation of good jobs and great schools. The Education Investment Initiative gives every town a chance to say they have the resources they need for great schools far into the future.

Thank you, state epresentatives, for this powerful proposal. I strongly encourage the Legislature to adopt the plan and make these investments right away.

Mark Gamba

Milwaukie mayor

Don't recall

Dear Gladstone friends and neighbors:

You will be receiving a ballot for a special election for a recall. This is a separate ballot from the May 16 election and there may be some confusion, so watch for a separate May 23 special election ballot. Your vote will be especially important on the May 23 recall election. Please remember to vote in both elections.

Oregon State Law does not have good criteria for filing a recall. Most states have specific items that an elected official must have committed in order to have a recall, such as conviction of a crime. Oregon has no such requirement.

This recall appears to be a sour-grapes situation. The person requesting the election ran for office last November, and did not get elected. In January he filed for the recall. Personally I believe recalls should be reserved for serious situations. Not just because you didn't get elected.

If the recall is successful, the person we did not elect in November could be appointed to the position we would not elect him to. It is believed two seated councilor members, which he supported, may be involved in the recall. This further supports the opportunity for his appointment to council.

Through social media and opinion pieces, there have been a lot of claims that are completely unfounded and factually incorrect, with the intent to smear Gladstone City Councilors Steve Johnson and Kim Sieckmann. Both have donated thousands of hours over the past couple years along with other councilors to bring Gladstone out of the status quo.

Anytime City Council make a decision, there will be people that disagree. Johnson and Sieckmann understand this and are willing to take responsibility for their voting records, which most of the time is in line with the council majority.

We shouldn't be attempting to recall two councilors for decisions that were made by the entire council.

Vote NO on the Recalls (norecalls.com).

Jerry Davis

Gladstone

Endorsements for OC, Happy Valley

Robert F.P. Ludwick is that unusual person with fresh ideas, energy and vision who wants to devote himself to public service in his hometown of Happy Valley.

I've known Robert quite a while and am impressed with his "can do" attitude, his ability to listen thoughtfully and then engage positively and productively.

That's why I'm asking my friends who are served by the Sunrise Water Authority to elect Robert F.P. Ludwick to the board. Think about it next time you turn on the tap.

As a former school district budget committee member in West Linn, I take particular interest in new school board candidates who bring two key attributes: intelligence and fresh ideas.

Oregon City district voters can find that special combination in Martha Spiers and Emily Farrer. Both are smart, proven, and tirelessly dedicated to the district's children and taxpayers.

State-based funding problems haunt all districts. Working within those constraints demands new leadership and new approaches. That's why I support Martha Spiers and Emily Farrer.

Peter Toll

Lake Oswego

Swanson lacks interpersonal skills

Gladstone City Administrator Eric Swanson's past actions as city administrator in Roseburg and Medford support everything Sharon Alexander stated she experienced in the recent Clackamas Review article of April 16.

Mr. Swanson's statements appear to be false based on viewing the video of the Jan. 24 Gladstone City Council meeting, when this issue was discussed. Our city administrator's lack of knowledge, understanding or interpersonal skills have been experienced by other tenants, as well as citizens at large, in this sad example of mismanagement by a Gladstone city official.

Susan Liston

Gladstone

For developers or the public?

It seems like some of the Gladstone city officials care more about what developers want than their own citizens.

We fought hard for a library (which we're still fighting for), along with fighting to save our city parks (which we are still trying to save), and now with proposed parking code changes for the Downtown Revitalization Plan, it looks like we are going to be rallying together again to save our community post office, which we all love.

Dave Sleight

Gladstone

Canemah is in danger

The two biggest concerns in Oregon City's historic neighborhood of Canemah? Maintaining our historic-district status and not being buried by South End Road.

"Oregon's First Neighborhood" is in danger from those responsible for its protection. There are laws against excavating an active landslide, yet it happens. I dare anyone, to walk South End Road above Canemah, look up, and not want to run.

Building or digging on more than a 25 percent slope is not allowed, especially at the foot of an active landslide. So, why does the Historic Review Board (HRB) continue to have hearings to allow it? Slapping another layer of asphalt on it, only masks the real problem. South End Road is just a symptom, not the problem. The real problem is the shifting earth above and below it, compounded by new construction and improper dangerous digging that shouldn't be allowed, but is.

At the last HRB meeting, about a seven-house development, members said a "Cottage Plan would set a precedence in Canemah." Isn't that contrary to their purpose? These boxes aren't built for aesthetics or to conform to Canemah. These are tiny (600-square-foot and 800-square-foot) rentals, built cheap, wringing every penny: what Pete Seeger was singing about in "little boxes made of ticky tacky." This project takes advantage of cheap property, cheap for good reason. A perilous location — and now on top of a wetland — sending the seasonal flood waters downhill to the unlucky neighbors.

It's bad enough, to allow inappropriate, non-conforming building to deface our historic district. But, when they put us in physical danger (Oso?) that's completely unacceptable. If the Oregon Wetlands Division forbids covering wetlands, it shouldn't happen. If the Oregon geohazards map says not to dig under South End, that's it. Period. No exceptions.

Historic home owners in Canemah (about 60 percent) have been labeled "special interest group" and "discriminatory" by people who have taken over our neighborhood association, people who sit on the Citizen Involvement Council and HRB. The Canemah Neighborhood Association should act as an aid to residents in Canemah, not oppose them.

This past Christmas, a water main broke above South End Road, on Sunset Street, and ran for two days. The road and ground up there, are already shifting and sliding, yet nobody tells the people downhill. Sunset was closed to traffic, yet nobody was told why. There was a lot of damage caused and even more peril added to a dangerous situation. One house, has over 100 cracks in the foundation and walls; there is a lawsuit pending. Anyone in Canemah who worries about landslide or asks that the historic building requirements are wise and lawful, that building practices be followed, are treated as troublemakers. Seems to me, the ones violating the codes — and the ones allowing it — are the troublemakers, not the ones trying to prevent it. As Canemah residents, we promised to follow these laws. We can be fined or have liens put on our homes, and some have. Yet, we are called names and harrassed for it. That's pretty bad.

Howard Post

Friends of Canemah

Dollars for abortions?

In your April 26 opinion section, Stacy M. Cross, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette president/CEO, is so proud that her organization "...is all about health! We are committed to the health of our community members and the health of our environment. PPCW's patients and staff are concerned about the carbon footprint of our seven health centers, and we responded with clean energy solutions."

Stacy, does that include the developing babies that are ripped in pieces from their mother's wombs; or the emotional health of the young girls who are coerced into having a life-changing procedure that they really don't want; or the older women — and men — who finally realize why they've been depressed for so many years; or the proven, but hushed, connection between abortions and breast cancer. Stacy, do you and PPCW care about the health of these community members? Do you? Or are they just dollar signs to you?

Cindy Bliss

Happy Valley

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please 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 971-204-7742 with story ideas and comments.

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