Care for the generation before us

I am a 17-year-old senior at La Salle in Milwaukie. I’m writing to you today because I would like to express ideas on caring for the elderly of our community.

We need to take care of those who took care of us. The federal government plays a large role in the lives of the elderly as they deal with Social Security, federal assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. Changes should be made within these programs so that the elderly of our nation can easily obtain health care and support.

The Older Americans Act was introduced in 1965 and has been since altered to focus on providing long-term care services for the memory-impaired, disabled or poor elders of America. The act attempts to keep people out of elder care institutions, which can be costly and not always the best care. This is just one way that our government has helped out and made a difference in the lives of the elderly.

The most important place where elders can be helped is right here at the local level. It is way easier to make a difference locally than nationally. Simply volunteering at an elderly home for a couple hours can make a difference. I had the opportunity of being able to spend time at an elder’s home and perform service and I loved it. I realized that the elders of our community are lonely. Sometimes all they need is someone to sit and talk with them, and that should not be so much to ask for.

Someday we’ll grow old and want someone who will care for us, and that is important to keep in mind. We are responsible for caring for the generation before us and we must take action now and care for those who cared for us.

Kenna Murphy


Let’s make the county safe for all children

Children’s Center stands in awe of the loyalty of our donors and volunteers who are committed to helping our community’s most vulnerable young citizens.

You continue to stand up on behalf of children who have suffered from abuse and neglect — children who cannot stand up for themselves.

It is only because of the support of our neighbors and friends that Children’s Center was able to provide nearly 450 medical evaluations in 2013 alone for children who were suspected victims of abuse or neglect.

More than a third of the children referred were also seen for concerns of drug exposure — a rising problem in our community.

There will be many resolutions made and broken at the start of a new year. But I want you to know, that because of Clackamas County’s commitment, Children’s Center is resolved to shine the light on child abuse as a first step in keeping kids safe. Hope will continue to live at Children’s Center bolstered by the care and compassion our community shows for vulnerable children.

We are honored to stand beside each of you — friends, advocates, donors and volunteers — as we invest in the safety, healing and justice of our children.

As Nelson Mandela stated: “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in being part of our 2014 initiatives to make Clackamas County safe for all children. You can also learn more on our website at

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center executive director

Oregon City

Bang the drum for background checks

Almost a year ago I tried to visit my state representatives in Salem to discuss more stringent background checks for gun purchasers.

Both were gone, but their staffers assured me that one was still wrestling with the issue: Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City. The other had heard from no constituents supporting expanded background checks but had been contacted by numerous people against further gun control measures: Alan Olsen, R-Canby.

Having written him previously in support of stricter background checks and knowing at least one other acquaintance who had also, I pointed this out, but the staff members were unimpressed with this fact. I was told no Republican would support any gun control legislation.

Sen. Olsen is known as a transparency advocate, believing that bill sponsors should be identified so the public knows who is behind them. Let’s go a little further and advocate for voting on important measures so constituents will know how their representatives feel and act on issues.

Universal background-check legislation will be considered again in the Oregon Senate in February. If you have ever wondered what small thing you might do to help slow the violence in our society and are one of the more than 80 percent of Oregonians who support universal background checks, take the time to contact your state representatives and let them know how you feel about this important issue.

Gail Cordell


Contract Publishing

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