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My wife and I recently bought our first house in Milwaukie after years of renting in town. The Quincy Addition plat in our Lake Road neighborhood is one of the earlier street grids in the city, dating back to 1907. Our residential streets seemed unusually wide, so when I looked up the original plat details, we were fascinated to find that the streets were intentionally planned that way in 1907 in order to provide room for future street car lines.


Nearly 110 years later, there is renewed development interest in our city. I’m excited that City Council has passed an urban-renewal plan that will allow the city to reinvest in business and economic development alongside other long-requested projects, like our south downtown plaza. However, Milwaukie, like our neighboring suburbs, has long since built out its residential areas. Our regional housing and rental markets continue to be tight, and, unfortunately, that’s meant that some great volunteers on our boards and committees have had to leave the city. It’s made me think long and hard about how Milwaukie can also make room for the different types of housing that people need and can afford throughout their lives.

I don’t know if any street car lines in Quincy Addition were ever actually built. But that’s how cities and towns have always developed, as leaders try to look into the future and accommodate and plan for the changes they think will come down the road. Milwaukie may have long been a hidden gem of a suburb, but I think we can all agree — our secret is out. So as the city embarks upon its next comprehensive plan update and vision process in the coming months, I hope we also consider what kinds of housing, transportation and other changes we need to make in the future, so Milwaukie continues to be the welcoming, stable and tight-knit community that we love today.

Karin Power

Milwaukie city councilor

Carbon caps: A proposal everyone can get behind

I appreciated the article (“Carbon cap with rebates needed,” Sustainable Life section, Sept. 7) because of its focus on a solution to carbon pollution.

This article highlights how pricing carbon has been included as part of the Democratic platform, but what people may not realize from reading this article is that this is also a solution that would be attractive to Republicans.

Placing a steadily-rising fee on carbon, with 100 percent of the revenue returned equally to American households, is a market-based solution. It would remove the need for subsidies for renewable sources of energy as they would become competitive with fossil-fuel prices, eventually becoming more cost-effective as the fee rises. Since all of the revenue is returned to households, it would not add to the size of the government and would actually create jobs.

A study from Regional Economic Modeling Incorporated, a nonpartisan think tank, in 2014 found that this solution would bring 2.8 million jobs to the economy and reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent in the next 20 years.

I think, whether you are to the left or the right of the political spectrum and whether or not you believe climate change is real, a carbon fee and dividend will lead to a brighter future for America.

Heather Saul

Oregon City

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