Milwaukie light rail; native species on McLoughlin Promenade; Happy Valley annexations

In regard to the Sept. 27 Clackamas Review article on the Tigard contingent's visit to Milwaukie for light-rail preview, several items of interest stood out, and maybe a warning or two is in order.

Above all, make very sure the people of Tigard and the surrounding area really want the rail. We didn't have a final choice in Milwaukie. We voted it down twice by healthy margins, and once even recalled a mayor and two councilors who were forcing the issue, but to no avail. The rail is here.

Too often elected officials look at the electorate as disinterested or ill-informed, and don't feel they should have a part of any major decision on the future. Citizens usually have an innate sense of what their town is, what it should be, and which direction it should take. Trust them.

Heed our Mayor Gamba's words on property values and affordable housing. As strongly as our leadership has plugged affordable housing in Milwaukie, there won't be any, nor will there be in Tigard. The urban-growth boundary inhibits it by increasing property values within its borders.

The crime issue is another thing altogether. As both cities are described as first-tier suburbs bordering Portland, we are, basically, Portland. Just look over your shoulder, Tigard: Portland's ills and sins are creeping up on you. Light rail will just expedite the migration.

As Tigard's Mayor Cook stated, "Light rail in history has always been a development tool." Exactly, and your partner in this development will be Metro, a steamroller whose only development strategy is forced density. Light rail does not just carry people, it carries them to precisely where Metro wants them.

If light rail is coming to your city, Mayor Cook, take lots of pictures of the things you want to remember — they won't be there long.

As Walt Kelly's friend Pogo once so famously said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Ed Zumwalt


Oregon City plants native species on Promenade

On behalf of the Oregon City Parks Foundation I want to thank the Oregon City Parks Department, VFW Post 1324, Post Commander Bill Trumble for his support, VFW Post member Shawn Dachhtler, The Rivers of Life Center and all the other volunteers, who took part in the Promenade Park clean up in preparation for our Xeriscape garden project funded in part by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon.

Projects like this cannot be accomplished without community support and volunteerism. In just a three-hour period we were able to clear the area readying it for soil amendments and an October planting.

Roger Fowler-Thias

Oregon City Parks Foundation president

I support Happy Valley!

In response to Jeffrey Albelo's Sept. 20 letter to the editor, it is a sample of what the Altamont Neighborhood is attempting in this election. Embelishments, deceit and falsifications. Mr. Albelo does NOT reside in the city of Happy Valley city limits, he is NOT a Happy Valley voter, and he does NOT pay Happy Valley taxes, yet he and his neighbors — who are ALL in unincorporated Clackamas County — feel that they can dictate who annexes to our city and who cannot. Then, once our council approves an annexation, what that property owner can, and cannot do with their land.

Their view is more important than the rights of property owners and the critical need to provide senior living to our community.

This is an attempt of an outside homeowners association to dictate the policy of our city and trample on the rights of our Happy Valley citizens and those who wish to join our city. Because they have a Happy Valley zip code, they "claim" they are in our city when they know they are NOT. Our council approved this annexation twice following the law, per the order of our voters, who gave them this authority in 2008 by a 75 percent YES vote.

I support our City Council. I support our city. I support seniors. I support the rights of those who wish to be part of our city of Happy Valley family.

Jim Syring

Happy Valley city resident

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