Letters to the Editor: January-February 2020
Public works inefficiency on display
Hi, my name is Ed House. I live on Gleneagle Drive and walk my 15-year-old chocolate lab every morning.
A while back, I left on our walk and saw a "vacuum excavator" run by Potelco I believe. I asked what he was working on and was told he was waiting for PGE to work on a project. I mentioned that PGE had been attempting to fix my neighbors' loss of the neutral on their power drop.
I then continued on my walk, and when I turned the corner onto Century Drive, I saw five or six PGE vehicles parked with some of the crew standing near the trucks, discussing the weather or some other topic, and as I got close, I told them that if they were looking for a vacuum excavator, it was sitting on Gleneagle looking for PGE. Their comment tells the whole story: "What they doing over there, they should be over here."
We continued on our walk, which takes about an hour, and when I turned onto Gleneagle, the vacuum excavator was still sitting idling. I walked up to him and told him about the gaggle of PGE trucks and crews, and he left heading in the direction of Century.
I was and still am amazed by the total lack of initiative by the PGE crew. It is either a lapse in training or supervision.
Ed House, Sherwood
Volunteers make Sherwood schools strong
We have a lot to be thankful for in Sherwood. Foremost among them is our school volunteers. Sherwood is a community of service.
Thanks to our school board members — Patrick Allen, Sue Hekker, Eric Campbell, Jessica Adamson and Mike Hiland — and all who volunteer at the district level serving on the boundary, budget and school transformation committees.
Thanks to our school Parent Advisory Committee parents, Sherwood Education Foundation board members and classroom volunteers. Thanks to those who coach sports. Thanks to our club volunteers: choir, robotics, band, theater, dance, art literacy and more. This service enriches the lives of our students and helps them imagine a future worth striving for.
Thanks to our teachers who are the most important factor in making Sherwood a great place to learn. Thanks to our students who volunteer in the community, learning the value and rewards of service which will help guide them through life. Thanks to the Share Center which helps those families in greatest need and to local groups like Sherwood Helping Hands and Voices for the Performing Arts. This work is an investment in our community and makes Sherwood a better place to live.
Our strength as a community is defined by this service. We all need help sometimes and we all need the rewards that service provides. Service is what makes me proud and grateful to live in this community. There are many ways to get involved both in and out of the schools. Your service builds on the work of others and makes Sherwood a better place for all of us.
Michael Hiland, Sherwood
Support toddler with cancer and his family
Julian Peace Bridges is a 2-year-old Sherwood boy. He loves all things outdoors, likes to ride his little bike and adores his big brother Harrison and sister Kaytlynn.
You can imagine how surprised his parents Shane and Jennifer and friends were to learn in October of 2019 that he had a very rare childhood cancer, neuroblastoma cancer.
Julian is fighting hard for his life and is in and out of the hospital for treatments. Chemo, radiation, surgery, transplant and immunotherapy are just a few of the treatments he will be going through over the course of 18 months. His family looks forward to the day when we can be carefree again on his little mini Sherwood farm with his two goats and chickens.
The 14th Annual Benefit Egg Hunt For Hope is set for Saturday, April 11, at Sherwood High School's track and field. Cost for the benefit egg hunt is only $3 per participant.
There will be four egg hunts: one for the age group of 0 to 2 years, 3 years old through kindergarten, first to fifth grade, and a hunt for the adults too! Bring your cameras as the Easter Bunny will be there too! Rain or shine, fun and festivities will start at around 12:30 p.m. with a quick opening ceremony at 1 p.m. and the egg hunts officially starting right at 1:30 p.m.
Over the past 13 years, the Egg Hunt for Hope has raised closed to $200,000 for local families affected by cancer. Founded in 2007 by Todd and Leslie McCabe, Sherwood residents and co-owners of The McCabe Real Estate Group brokered by eXp Realty LLC, the event has become a fun annual Sherwood tradition that brings the community together while doing good for a local family dealing with cancer.
To learn more about the event, go to egghuntforhope.com or on find us on Facebook at "Egg Hunt For HOPE - Sherwood Oregon Benefit Egg Hunt."
Leslie McCabe, Sherwood
Article about sewers missed key points
I am a resident of the King City Garden Villa Association. Your article about the plight of the Garden Villa sewer issue was a big disappointment. Here are some points you chose not to use:
n The plat maps show the lines to be public, but Clean Water Services chose not to acknowledge them because they are not as "handy" as the rest of the King City dwellings, those being ones CWS has chosen to acknowledge. Also, an original plat was signed by 13 people and stated the easement was public. That cannot be ignored.
n You did not point out that CWS has been charging the Garden Villa owners for service of these sewers since they were originally built back in 1969 or thereabouts. We pay the same fees as those homes that have service from CWS, which we do not have. So they take our monthly fees but deny any responsibility or ownership, and have not ever provided a single day of those services for which they charge us.
n You also printed that the plaintiffs contend these streets were originally built as golf cart paths. That is belied by the fact that all the residences are built with one- or two-car garages. It's also absurd because how would senior citizens conduct their lives if they didn't have their cars readily available?
n One item you printed was blatantly untrue. CWS claimed that we specifically asked for a study of the sewer in our Garden Villa area, as if we were wanting new sewers. Not so. We wanted our streets repaired — they are badly in need of paving — and we were told that if a new sewer were built out under the streets instead of the under the houses, then the street repairs would have to wait for the sewer first. Since we knew little or nothing about a sewer, we signed a request for more information. The title of that request for information said nothing about an LID or a new sewer. It simply asked for further information. Many have since signed a request that their names be removed from that sign-up sheet, since their signatures were being misused.
n The amount of $21,000 per unit is also misleading. That is a low-ball guess on the part of CWS. On a 10-year loan, that ends up as $25,327. Then each unit would also have to pay its own hookup to the sewer, which would be roughly $4,000 or $5,000. So the total is more like $30,000 per villa. We are not rich people. We would live elsewhere if we could afford costs like these. This would break most of the Garden Villa households, and elderly people don't have a lot of options of where they can go.
I am only highlighting a few of the discrepancies of this whole sewer issue. The Millers have given us hope of being treated fairly. I wish your article had also done so.
Mac Chapple, King City
Senior citizens hurt by utility's actions
With regard to your Garden Villa sewer article, Mr. Scott Keith was selective in relaying Lisa Miller's information and concerns, significantly less so in presenting Clean Water Services' position.
It's my understanding that the initial contact with CWS was made by one individual and was not the result of a consensus of the owners. The subsequent CWS survey was misleading. The intent of those I've spoken with who signed it was not to agree to an action but to be given information.
I've reviewed the plats and the lines are designated public, as are all lines surrounding Garden Villa. CWS has been charging Garden Villa residents the same fee they've charged everyone else, and for the same services. The money was taken, the services were never rendered.
CWS contends that sewer pipes were placed under our homes because our streets were intended for golf carts only. Our homes have attached, oversized garages. Are we to believe that garages large enough for vehicles, storage and appliances were meant to house golf carts, not cars? That a development designated as senior citizen living was designed to require the elderly to use some location outside their community to get to and from their vehicles and didn't allow emergency vehicle access to the homes of elderly owners?
All of my neighbors are over 55, several are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. The fearmongering by CWS and the small group who support its position has been intense. We've been told that the cast-iron sewer pipes have so exceeded their life span, failure is imminent. When that happens, our homes will be swamped with sewage from every home uphill, and will be condemned and torn down at our expense.
Most of us are retired and living on a fixed income. By the time we had our first community meeting with CWS, the total assessment per household was close to $30,000. Conservatively.
There are people in my neighborhood who are just getting by and their homes are the only investment they have. They worry, many to the extent they've lost sleep. Some felt forced to sell homes they thought they'd be living in until they were no longer capable of independent living. They left friends, their community. Some had to reduce the asking price to reflect this assessment.
Is it warranted? Nobody knows. Nobody knows the condition of the pipes, though several recent sewer scopes showed no blockages or problems.
It's unconscionable that CWS proceeded without first determining the condition of the pipes, unconscionable that it denies ownership despite plat designation of public easements and having charged maintenance fees from Garden Villa residents for more than 40 years, and unconscionable that so much emotional and financial damage has been inflicted on so many vulnerable senior citizens.
Cathlene Sloan, King City
City, utility to blame for Garden Villas sewers
Your article was very good showing how Clean Water Services passed the fault of why the sewer lines were not placed in the streets where they could be maintained.
The permits need to be looked at. Who approved the location of sewer mains? Clean Water Services would have had to approve the permits for the location of the sewer lines. Putting them under residents' homes was wrong, and calling them private to hide their incompetent planning.
King City is also at fault for not putting the sewer lines in a serviceable location and should never be allowed to build or expand more homes. They show no skills in planning or know-how. "Oops" should have been their comment. Trying to pass the fault and cost to the homeowners is wrong and needs to be corrected.
King City is not a good place to live.
Fred Hood, King City
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