DACA changes shouldn't affect local schools; rent increases; Altamont disingenuous; help Canemah

Recently, our federal government took action to potentially change the legal status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). For our students and families impacted by this recent announcement, it will undoubtedly raise questions and concerns about their future in our community.

In a variety of forums, I have spoken on the importance of each child in our district feeling safe, nurtured and loved. It is this fundamental belief that informs North Clackamas Schools' response to the potential changes to DACA. You have our commitment to protect students; we will interrupt discriminatory acts in our schools. To that end, we expect each staff member, family, student and community member to stand for respect in our schools and to create safe places where each child can reach their full potential.

Schools in North Clackamas remain a place where each student and family is welcomed and their identities affirmed regardless of immigration status. This stance is consistent with the Equity Policy adopted by the Board of Directors in April 2015. Furthermore, this perspective reflects our belief that students thrive in environments where educators advocate for and love them for their unique talents and contributions.

North Clackamas' mission is unwavering as we prepare graduates who are inspired and empowered to strengthen the quality of life in our local and global communities.

Matthew Utterback

North Clackamas School District superintendent

Rent increases hit hard

I have lived in the Giadanj Estates manufactured home park since 2003. I, like many others that live here, am on a fixed income.

When I moved in, I was told by management and my neighbors that "most years" our rent would be raised, but usually only by $10 a month. Not many would complaint about that amount. The problem is that last year our monthly rent was raised by $20 a month, and next year it will go up $25 a month.

My income won't be going up by $25 a month. I love where I live. It is a quiet and safe neighborhood that is well kept up. But there are 300 homes at about $650 a month.

Maintenance can't have gone up that much. The estates are run by a couple, a two-person staff. We maintain our own yards. There are no perks, like a pool, rec room and such. No one I talked with considers the man-made lake in the middle with a metal fence around it a perk. In fact, we complain of the bird noise and the feces. Sadly, the lake is protected because some birds decided to call it home; nothing will change that.

It is unfair that our property owners are increasing our rents so quickly. We are average people trying to live the best we can. We all get along and most try to keep our homes and yards looking nice and follow the Giadanj rules. Maybe one reason our rent was increased so much was because one of the homes had to be replaced from neglect. But we shouldn't have to pay for that.

Higher rent can take away from other things, like our ability to put money into yards that keep Giadanj Estates looking so nice.

N. Carroll

Unincorporated Milwaukie

Altamont disingenuous, audacious

Jeffrey Albelo's letter in the Sept. 20 Clackamas Review complaining about the senior-living community at the center of the Nov. 7 annexation vote is a study in disingenuous language.

While claiming great concern about Happy Valley's values and mission statement, and listing his home as "Happy Valley," Mr. Albelo neglects to mention that he is the past president and vice president of the Altamont Homeowner's Association. The Altamont neighborhood has a Happy Valley zip code, but is in unincorporated Clackamas County, and has never been part of the city of Happy Valley.

What is more, the Altamont neighborhood has made clear they want NO commercial development, which means while Mr. Albelo claims the planned senior-living facility would "unfairly and unsafely" impact traffic in surrounding communities, the entire Altamont neighborhood does exactly that for all the communities surrounding it. They are not able to access stores or services of any kind in their neighborhood. They have to travel to other communities — like the city of Happy Valley — for ALL of their basic commercial necessities.

Living in a community that by definition requires impact to the traffic in surrounding communities, Mr. Albelo has the audacity to use that same argument against senior citizens living in a retirement community.

NIMBY is too kind a term to describe it.

Jerry Schofield

Actual resident of the city of Happy Valley

Help city, Canemah neighborhood

Friends of Canemah, a nonprofit 501(c)3 stepping in for the Canemah Neighborhood Association (which lacks a land-use committee or process), is appealing the notice of decision on the Cottage Home Development in the Canemah National Register Historic District, with a hearing date scheduled for Oct. 18 before the Oregon City's City Commission.

We would like all who are concerned with the appropriateness of what was approved by the Oregon City Historic Review Board to join in, as we want your help, advice and comment.

Anyone who appeared at any of the HRB meetings or has legal status, please aid us and provide formal comment in support of reversing this notice of decision.

It is everyone's hope to not stop development in Historic Canemah, but to get new appropriate infill that does not detract from why Canemah was nominated and accepted to have National Register Historic Places status.

Oregon City's Historic Review Board approved this development without accurate final drawings of the site and final rendering of each of the designs of each of the buildings. It allowed preservation incentives without merit and reasoned justification.

They placed city code for the Cottage Home Development in non-Historic Districts to where it overrides OCMC 17.40 Historic District Building Guidelines that, for example, prohibit more than one house per 5,000-square-foot lot.

This decision even puts two houses only 10 feet apart and right on the property line of Miller Street with no setbacks in this planned development.

They even allowed parking lots and high walls as the result of massive re-contouring. Exterior steps would be for people to go between levels. Some of the lots (the one facing Miller Street) appear to have maybe 70 percent of the lot surface covered with buildings, walkways and parking lots.

There is a delineated wetland at this site, and city code requires setbacks with vegetative corridors. What was approved does not consider the needs of responsible environmental setbacks from these perennial bodies of water.

In extreme conditions in the immediate past, this site flooded to where water flowed up and across Miller Street and was so deep that it flooded basements of houses on Fourth Avenue.

It will be our intent to spell out point by point where this notice of decision violates Oregon City's Municipal Code 17.40 and is therefore not appropriate and needs to be reversed.

Paul Edgar

Friends of Canemah land-use chair

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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