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The way it was; tackling homelessness; responsible pet ownership; climate change; SB 1573; OC Elks; respect representation
As we begin 2017, Milwaukie Historical Society is proud to present our newest exhibit, 'The Way It Once Was: Remembering How We Lived Not So Long Ago,' in our upstairs exhibit hall. The first public viewing begins from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.
As we begin 2017, Milwaukie Historical Society is proud to present our newest exhibit, "The Way It Once Was: Remembering How We Lived Not So Long Ago," in our upstairs exhibit hall. The first public viewing begins from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.
"The Way It Once Was" is assembled by Mark Hurlburt, who has been working professionally in museums since 2011. Mark joined Milwaukie Historical Society in 2016 and was elected to its board for the upcoming 2017-18 sessions.
In this exhibit, we journey the visitor back in time to explore how locals would live their everyday lives and to illustrate our evolving society through examples of life in the home, on the farm, and around the town. The exhibit will display a variety of artifacts and objects of historical interest including a beaver felt top hat that belonged to Seth Lewelling, a Doppler radar (pictured) from 1968 that was used by Milwaukie Police to catch speeders, and smaller objects such as a 1916 grease gun spring lubricator that was used to release grease into the leaf spring of a Ford Model T.
To see this exhibit and the rest of the Milwaukie Museum collection, please visit us from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays at 3737 S.E. Adams St.
Milwaukie Historical Society
We need comprehensive approaches for homeless shelters to be sited and built. The real problem is NIMBY, that being anyplace but "Not In My Back Yard," requires greater understanding, so we can move ahead and develop more humane solutions.
Not every neighborhood or location is a fit, I agree, but we have to be more creative and open to locations that can be adapted. This may require more of an open mind as well as possible changes in zoning and other codes.
We just can't let people die on our streets; we are better than that.
The average cost to the public sector to support and service the needs of each homeless person is greater than $1,000 per month. This is money that comes from our all-purpose tax dollars that government entities receive from us each year, and it is going up. Without all of these wonderful nonprofits, churches and organizations, the cost in human life and money would be much greater.
My wife and I have personally and wholeheartily supported the Father's Heart Street Ministry and grieve over the loss of Teri Gant, but I cannot say that Father's Heart is in the best location in this neighborhood with its zoning restrictions.
I am on the board of directors of Fort Kennedy, an organization working to find and create solutions for homeless veterans. Let me tell you from what I have learned in the trenches: It is not simple to address the needs of our homeless veterans!
Our Fort Kennedy 501(c)(3) nonprofit has identified, as an element of providing solutions, a need to develop locations and build very affordable tiny houses to achieve very low cost buildings. We need to keep them in one place long enough, to make headway. We envision the clustering of encampments, where within a cluster we can gather those who need a roof, some heat and food, thereby more effectively and affordably creating an environment for counseling and doing something positive.
We as society need to aid these homeless people and help them find a way out of this inhumane world, where too many are in wandering the streets with a negative future. We need to do better and devise more effective and affordable solutions than what we have been doing.
Most of us understand and accept that veterans have special needs and we as a country have obligations to those who served us and now struggle with PTSD, mental illness, addictions and significant physical problems. Their problems are our problems, as I see it. Creating solutions that aids their ability to integrate back into society has proven to be difficult. One of the most difficult problems has been this inability to find a location to site a veteran-targeted homeless shelter where all of our efforts to help can be effective. This is year-round problem, not just when the conditions are bad or unreasonable.
We just need to open up this discussion and face up to the fact that we have to do something. Solutions might well require a conference of all regional parties that have experience in this arena of creating solutions for the greater homeless community.
Responsible pet ownership
As an avid exerciser, I find it really irritating when people don't control their dogs.
I have lived in Milwaukie for 24 years and people continue to leave their dogs out in the snow, run around loose and wild, yet when I try to contact the city and county for help I get the run-around. City refers you to county, county bounces you back to city.
On Martin Luther King holiday (for some), I experienced a fright. Two unleashed dogs jumped a fence and were coming right at me. It's hard enough to walk in the snow and ice.
Please remind people it is the law in Milwaukie to have your dog on a leash. You poop you scoop. What do my property taxes pay for anyway?
Solutions for climate change
I traveled last summer with my family to the Sheep Rock Unit in the John Day National Monument. We hiked up the Flood of Fire trail which terminates in a cliff from which you can view forty million years of history. It was so quiet we could hear ourselves breathe and it was a perfect moment to contemplate the story of our planet; where we have been and where we are going. Many feel that we as humans are standing at a precipice and that unless drastic action is taken, life as we know it will be irrevocably changed.
In light of the recent election, the current vehicle for reducing emissions — the Clean Power Plan — is almost certain to be dismantled. This is because the CPP personified what conservatives hate: a regulation-heavy bureaucratic solution forced down their throats. What if there were a way to reduce carbon emissions without onerous regulations, while simultaneously growing the economy and putting extra money in the pockets of a majority of Americans? There is a simple and elegant solution that can do just that. It is called carbon fee and dividend.
Carbon fee and dividend levies a steadily rising fee on the amount of carbon dioxide that a fuel emits when it is burned. The fee is assessed as far "upstream" as possible at the oil or gas well, coal mine or port of entry. The fee would be passed on to American consumers in the form of higher energy costs. However, families are shielded from the burden of the fee because the revenue would be divided equally among all American households in the form of monthly payments. The policy would also utilize border adjustments on imported and exported goods, thereby maintaining a level playing field for American businesses.
A 2013 study from non-partisan Regional Economic Models, Inc. found that if a carbon fee and dividend was implemented it would pump an additional $1.375 trillion into the GDP over the next 20 years and create 2.8 million jobs, many in the retail, healthcare and service industries. This is because the dividend would provide a majority of Americans more money than needed to pay the higher energy costs. Fossil fuels would be phased out gradually because renewable sources of energy would become more cost effective and knowing about the increase in the fee would encourage consumers to pay more attention to energy use when making purchases. The market would be the driving force behind a reduction in fossil fuels rather than the government. I think the most exciting finding of the report is that carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 52 percent below 1990 levels over those 20 years.
As I was standing on that cliff next to my two young children, I thought about the massive changes that the Earth has seen over the last 40 million years and how our placing of enormous amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere is accelerating changes that used to take thousands of years. I realized that I have a moral obligation to protect their future. We were given this beautiful blue planet but have not given it the respect that it deserves, instead taking its abundant resources and turning them into profit.
On the long drive home to Oregon City we passed by homes which used to be on the edge of the Prineville Resevoir, but were now hundreds of feet from the shore. We passed through forests stricken by drought and compromised by insects. I was saddened knowing it's unlikely new trees will take their place in our changing climate. But worst of all we passed through miles of grass, sagebrush, juniper, and Ponderosa pine that were black and burned due to a recent wildfire caused by a spark from a passing car. All these symptoms of climate change have become commonplace as the temperature increases over time. I still remain hopeful knowing that more people from all around the world are committing to action. As an American, I feel the duty to stand up against special interests and support our U.S. representatives and senators as we build the political will for this solution that will benefit us all.
SB 1573 (Annexation Bill) and Oregon City
Unknown to many Oregon residents, and supported by the Oregon Homebuilders Association, Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill, (SB 1573) on March 15, which attempts to circumvent cities' local vote requirements for annexations. That is SB 1573 would allow any property outside of an Oregon city to be annexed into the nearest city without a vote of that city's citizens, as long as it is on the border of the city limits.
The problem, however, is that at least 34 Oregon cities have a city charter which requires a vote to annex land into the city. Oregon City is one of those, as is Corvallis. SB1573 attempts to invalidate those local voting requirements, taking local control away from the voters.
Corvallis has chosen to sue the state of Oregon for violating their city's charter. Other Oregon cities are also looking at the possibility of suing, as we can in Oregon City. Oregon City's charter states that the citizens of our city have the right to vote on annexations of properties into our city. This should be explored and considered.
As a result of Gov. Brown's decision, some builders have jumped up to accept contracts from property owners who have been eager to sell and develop their property in the city. Just a few of these are located in Oregon City's Beavercreek and Park Place neighborhoods, previously introduced as "concept plans." Some of these properties have been on the ballot for annexation and have been overwhelmingly defeated several times, and for good reason.
So here we are with some of these same properties already voted down for annexation, (in the Beavercreek and Park Place neighborhoods) being annexed now without citizen approval. The citizens living in these areas are displeased with the possible outcomes. Some developers in the past have been eager to propose both low- and high-density development projects without concern for transportation, education, utilities, habitat or other effects of quasi-rural areas.
Recently I attended a Planning Commission meeting, (Jan. 9) where many people submitted public comments opposing the proposed annexations. In addition to the voting rights issues, the citizens presented facts and concerns regarding landslides, traffic, school, habitat and utility issues to name a few. These concerns are not new and are reasons why previous annexation ballots have been voted down in the past 10 years.
Therefore, in light of the local voting rights and SB1573 concerns raised by the public at the meeting, the Planning Commission formally suggested to the City Commission that in deciding on the annexation application, the City Commission should seriously consider the implications to our local right to vote on annexations. Should the City Commission refer the annexation to the voters? Soon the City Commission will decide: yes or no.
The City Commission should defend our charter by referring the annexation to the people for a vote. My concern is the city leans more on the developer's side than on the citizens' side. I understand the more development, the more taxes, the more money. However, we need to stand up for our city and our rights in deciding how we want to see this city continue to develop.
Do we want our city to become Happy Valley? Or Beaverton? Or do we want a more suburban lifestyle for our families and children to grow up in? You decide. Do you prefer children playing in their yards, or playing in the streets? Developers have a way of applying for development with little regard for local parks, habitat or quality of life.
Please pay attention to what is happening and attend or watch Planning Commission and City Commission meetings and take responsibility for your city.
I think the Planning Commission and the City Commission are currently overwhelmed with the fallout of SB 1573. The Park Place Concept Plan if annexed and developed per the original plan, would add over 1,500 homes, and this is not the only annexation or development currently in consideration in Park Place. Once that annexation is developed, the adjacent land that is currently unannexed would be eligible to be sold and developed. The Park Place neighborhood could see upwards of 2,000 homes, all accessed via Holcomb Boulevard in the next few years. Citizens need to step up and defend their right to vote on annexations.
Neighbors helping neighbors
For the 103rd consecutive year, our community has provided holiday food baskets to needy families in the area through donations and efforts of the Oregon City Elks Lodge #1189. Names and addresses of the recipients were provided from county organizations to the Elks Christmas committee co-chairmen, Carl Lane and Clarence Darling, who worked many hours coordinating the event.
The nonperishable foods were donated by families from schools in the area including Jennings Lodge, Candy Lane, John McLoughlin, Gaffney Lane, Redland elementary schools; Gardner and Ogden middle schools and West Linn and Oregon City high schools; as well as from Pacific Medical Corp. Money for the purchase of meat and other perishable goods was made available through generous donations from Clackamas Federal Credit and members of the Elks Lodge.
Each family received two banana boxes filled with perishable and nonperishable foods, giving the families enough food for a generous holiday meal and other meals throughout the holiday season. The food was stored, sorted and delivered from the staging site made available from Serres Farm & Produce. The baskets were delivered to the recipients on Dec. 17.
The Oregon City Lodge Elks Lodge #1189 would like to extend a big thank you to all of you who made this possible. From the donations made by our community members, the 254 volunteers who logged 810 volunteer hours and the 4,691 miles driven, 345 needy families were able to receive a helping hand from their neighbors. Thank you!
Carol De Lair
Oregon City Elks
I am a resident of Clackamas County and deeply distressed over seeing the list of more than 60 Congress people who are boycotting the inauguration of President Trump. The most hurting part are the three names of our own Congress people in Oregon.
My local congressman, Kurt Schrader will not represent Oregon at this historical event, as that is what he was voted into this office for: to represent Oregon. I read his quote that said he had met Donald Trump and was not a big fan.
What kind of comment is that to say about the new president? I find it very unacceptable and very disrespectful of our government. I only hope voters will remember this disrepresentation when voting time comes around again.
Unincorporated Oregon City