We are writing to urge voters in the Oregon City area to vote YES on 3-435 (Expanding the Carnegie Library).

Libraries are part of what make our communities special. You can take yourself and your kids or grandkids for free and open up new worlds. Yes, there are books, computers, videos, periodicals, special events and programs, and even a coffee shop.

The Carnegie is an Oregon City treasure. But our community has grown, and it is time to keep its style and expand its size.

As your state representatives, we know you’ll appreciate that this authorization vote will not be raising your taxes either.

Please vote YES on 3-435.

Rep. Brent Barton

(D-Oregon City)

Rep. Bill Kennemer

(R-Canby, Redland and Beavercreek)

Another good deal for OC

Oregon City is arguably Oregon's most historic city. It's also a city that values its history. And in Oregon City, history may be about to repeat itself in a most remarkable way.

Once again, citizens in Oregon City may be able to construct a state-of-the art public library without having to raise their taxes to do so. If this happens it will be because of enlightened city leadership that has come up with a plan echoing another plan that was carried out a century ago.

A century ago city leaders had the good idea of approaching the great industrialist Andrew Carnegie to pay to construct a new public library for Oregon City. Carnegie was in the middle of his unparalleled philanthropic program that would result in 1,679 new public libraries built throughout the United States. To get a grant, communities had to provide the site and operating funds — but Carnegie covered the entire cost of library construction.

Oregon City's grant request was successful, and in 1911 Carnegie made a $12,500 grant to construct a new public library. The city became the 12th city in Oregon to benefit from Carnegie's generosity and his strong belief in the power of libraries to improve communities.

The Oregon City Carnegie library, dedicated in 1913, was one of 31 Carnegie libraries that would be built in Oregon between 1907 and 1920. Most were outgrown a long time ago, and only 11 are still being used as libraries today.

As a librarian myself, I have always been a proponent of expanding and improving Carnegie libraries whenever this is possible. Several Oregon cities have done this with good results including Ashland, Hood River, McMinnville, Newberg and Woodburn.

For that reason I applaud the elected leaders in Oregon City who have developed a plan that will be voted on in May to expand and improve your Carnegie library, and to do so without raising property taxes.

It is fitting that the most historic town in Oregon preserve and improve one of the most historic buildings in the city. It is wonderful that the library construction can be funded without raising taxes, as was the case a century ago.

I trust the voters in Oregon City will see this as another deal that is too good to pass up.

Jim Scheppke

State of Oregon librarian (retired)

Bond measure to better train students

Clackamas Community College has educated and trained local students for almost 50 years. In 2016, the school will mark a half century of providing education and workforce skills to the region.

The CCC Board of Education is developing a plan that will both honor a half century of service to the community and prepare the college for future service. We are crafting a bond measure to provide modern facilities and equipment to better train students to qualify for today’s jobs and prepare for transfer to university.

In the coming months, we will share more about our plan. We are inviting the public to hear about the bond and share ideas with President Joanne Truesdell before a plan is finalized. She will host a series of community meetings in May, two at each of the three college campuses.

The full schedule is at Meetings are scheduled for morning and evening May 15-16 at the Harmony Community Campus; and May 22-23 in Wilsonville.

Please come and help us shape the future of CCC.

Judy Ervin

CCC Board of Education, Zone 3

Keep balance on the commission

There is an effort being funded from outside of Clackamas County to try to take the Clackamas County Commission further to the right. Don't fall for the negative rhetoric. Chair Ludlow doesn't like having people who disagree with him. The commission desperately needs balance.

Commissioners Jim Bernard and Paul Savas have worked hard to represent the entire county. I appreciate their commitment and passion, and encourage voters to keep a balance on the Commission. Vote Bernard and Savas on May 20.

Robert Bitter


Good common sense

In the world of politics where common sense and civility are a rare commodity, it is assuring to see someone who does the job, does it well and is really interested in what is best for the public he serves.

I’ve known Jim Bernard since he was a small-business owner and activist in downtown Milwaukie. Jim and I, along with many helping hands, started the Milwaukie Sunday Farmers Market. Every Sunday morning for the first five years, we met and set up the market. Doing what needed to be done. Nothing glamorous, but definitely rewarding.

Jim moved on to mayor of Milwaukie, then County Commission. He continues to do what needs to be done, but now, for all of Clackamas County. I support Jim in his bid for re-election to the commission. His common-sense methods of solving the problems in our best interest is refreshing when compared to the loud, brash, combative new wave of anti-government office seekers.

Having different opinions on the five-member Clackamas County Commission is important and rational. We need the good common sense of Jim Bernard on the Clackamas County Commission. I’m voting for him, and I hope you will as well.

Jack Elder


Politics of NO

Philosophically as a young adult I was a Barry Goldwater-Mark Hatfield Republican Conservative. Then I went through a metamorphosis as I witnessed my fellow Conservatives become part of the problem and not party to solutions. Social programs and public works projects which I felt warranted support the response of conservatism was becoming "NO." No as in "NO!" and not that we conservatives were offering alternative solutions to the problems we as a people faced. I moved away from conservatism, past the middle and to progressivism.

Progressives believe a "loyal opposition"makes for a healthy democracy. It doesn't make for a healthy democracy when that "loyal opposition" only manages to generate NOs. Mr. Jeff Molinari is entitled to his opinions, he's free to attack liberalism and we progressives. But given the need for solutions to social problems and answers to issues with public works what does Mr. Molinari and his fellow conservatives have to offer beyond "NO." What's the better idea in way of solutions to our social and public works problems?

I offer this as an example of the problem with the conservative politics of "NO". Light rail is a prime example. If we progressives see that light rail is built and it should prove to be true that we needed it — we have it. If we progressives see that light rail is built and we don't need it today we still have it. If conservatives like Mr. Molinari say "NO" to light rail, and it's not built, we don't have it. That's the baggage of the politics of "NO." Progressives choose to err on the side of progress.

Progressives and Conservatives need to weight the consequences of being wrong. Conservatives and Progressives need to layout for scrutiny their avenues to the future. The politics of "NO" doesn't cut it.

D. Kent Lloyd


Bowerman for Clackamas County

As a Lake Oswego city councilor, it’s been my honor to serve with Karen Bowerman. And, as much as I would miss her serving the City of Lake Oswego, she would be a tremendous addition to the Clackamas County Commission.

Dr. Bowerman has served as Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration with California State University, San Bernardino. She has served on commissions regarding commerce and women’s issues. She is a bright, proven leader.

As I’ve worked with Karen on the LO City Council, we have not always been in agreement, but that has never prevented us from working together with mutual respect. Karen is always prepared and comes armed with questions and insights that prove she’s done her homework. She doesn’t test the political winds or shy away from controversial issues. She’s present and votes based on her convictions and values.

But, beyond her leadership, stellar credentials, and amazing work ethic, Karen cares deeply about people and our community. She takes the time to hear from citizens—no matter the issue. She is warm, compassionate, and full of grace and humor, even in tense and difficult situations.

Clackamas County would be very fortunate to have Karen Bowerman as a commissioner.

Lauren Hughes

Lake Oswego

Real life substituted for politics

Politics sadly have become not about what's good for out citizenry at large but a contact sport. This is played out on the national and local scene.

The goal is to not only be right but to ground your opponent into dust rendering his or her opinion as worthless because only your opinion counts. We see this with John Ludlow, who yells and screams and challenges a fellow board member to a fight. We see this with the Jeff Molinaris of the world. For them, the issues are second to spending their days trying to show us how smart they are and how wrong anyone who dares disagrees with them is.

Since he chooses to substitute this action for any kind of a real life, here you go, Jeff — you're right, and everyone else is wrong. Feel better? Wish I did.

I now return to my life which includes family, sporting events and volunteering in my community. You can return to your email to crank out another "War and Peace" size novel, once again proving my point about him and others like him.

John Robinson


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.m. 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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