Letters to the editor
As a master's student in water policy and management, I have learned that citizen engagement is often the key to keeping watersheds healthy and communities resilient. When a broad range of people participate in both water decision-making and conservation efforts on the ground, they are able to find solutions even in times of crises.
Our Oregon rivers need unique solutions. These waters are home to beautiful salmon and trout, but they are facing challenges. Warmer summer temperatures and lower streamflows make juvenile fish survival difficult and also impact water quality. There is a lot to balance within the Willamette Basin and its tributaries, like our local Pudding River.
Here in the Pudding-Molalla river system, we have a rich agricultural tradition alongside vibrant natural environments. With all these natural gifts to collectively protect, we are lucky to have a community forum that is dedicated to bringing different groups and diverse voices together. The Pudding River Watershed Council (PRWC) is an essential link between the civil, governmental and private sectors.
Currently, the PRWC is working with the Marion and Clackamas Counties' Soil & Water Conservation districts to improve water quality and restore habitats.
The Adopt-a-Tree Project is a good example of the teamwork going on now. The tree giveaway and planting is a collaboration that will help ensure environmental quality and build relationships. In total, the Adopt-a-Tree Project will give away 2,300 trees to local families, schools and businesses. There are many partners who are making this happen: KJ Farms, Kraemer's Nursery, One Tree Planted, PRT Hubbard and Weyerhaeuser.
Melissa Skye Steritz
Court of Appeals rules in favor of Oregonians for Immigration Reform
We — Oregonians for Immigration Reform — have just learned from our attorneys that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the lawsuit against our stunning victory in 2014 to overturn driver cards for illegal aliens, known as Measure 88.
Five self-identified illegal aliens filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Oregon for allowing the will of Oregon voters to overturn the bill giving an official Oregon driver card to illegal aliens. The bill that Measure 88 overturned was Senate Bill 833 which had passed both chambers of the State Legislature and was signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber with great fanfare on the steps of the Capitol before a large crowd on May Day, May 1, 2013.
The vast majority of voters understood the implications of giving an official state-issued driver card to individuals who could not prove they are legally in the country, and DEFEATED Measure 88, expressing their disapproval of SB 833.
For the record, Measure 88 was defeated by 66 percent of Oregon voters. Close to 1 million Oregonians voted against driver cards. Thirty-five of Oregon's 36 counties voted it down. Eighteen counties voted by over 80 percent against it. Measure 88 lost in all five of Oregon's congressional districts. A majority of Oregon Democrats, Republicans and Independents voted against issuing driver cards to illegal aliens.
Our opponents outspent us roughly 10 to one. One Hollywood TV star gave a $50,000 donation to the pro driver card measure, almost as much money as our campaign had in total.
Measure 88 was debated in public forums, in newspapers, on the radio, in the voter's pamphlet and on TV. Voters had a clear understanding of the issue.
It's not often we praise the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — but, this time they deserve it!
Oregonians for Immigration Reform