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Letters: Global warming; Deborah Barnes; Paul Savas; OC's TriMet opt-out

Thank you, Cristina Case-Gabbard, for expressing what many of us feel ("Let's clean up some industrial-age detritus," Letters, March 19).

The Willamette Falls Visioning revealed that 82 percent of us want redevelopment of Blue Heron to take place away from the riverfront, preferring habitat restoration and public access near the river and the waterfall. Seems like a sensible approach, since we've had severe flooding below the falls seven times in the past 150 years. You can count on it happening again. Yet the Master Plan does allow redevelopment within the floodplain.

Unfortunately, nature may not conform to the flood lines we've drawn on our maps. The hydrologic cycle is global in scale, and it's speeding up, as it's fed by more moisture in a warmer atmosphere. This means we can expect high magnitude rainfall events more frequently. In 2013 alone, there was massive flooding across Europe and India. The most expensive flooding hit Germany in May and June, causing more than $16 billion in damage. The catastrophic floods in Alberta, Canada, resulted from 36 hours of constant heavy rain, and far exceeded any on record in the province. Authorities admit that damage from flooding was exacerbated by the extent of floodplain development. Here in the U.S., 21 inches of rain fell in Colorado in one week in September, leading to what experts are calling a "1,000-year flood." These types of storms may be the new normal.

The reality of global climate change calls for "a new relationship between humankind and the natural environment." The U.N. has urged countries to make management plans to adapt to the growing risk of extreme weather. The rezoning of the Blue Heron site presents us with an opportunity to do the right thing, and minimize risks to life and property from inevitable future floods. The first Planning Commission hearing concerning the rezoning is scheduled for 7 .m. Monday, April 21, at City Hall, and will be open for public comment. This unique and sacred site deserves to be honored and restored to a more natural state within the floodplain.

Janine Offutt

Oregon City

Barnes for state rep

We are lucky to have great educators here in North Clackamas, there is one that gets special recognition from our family. Deborah Barnes is my daughter's Digital Broadcast and Media teacher at Sabin-Schellenburg.

For two years, Deborah has challenged and encouraged Katie to step outside her comfort zone and reach for heights I couldn't imagine. Her class finished a full-length remake of "The Breakfast Club" this year, a tremendous feat taken on by the students and only accomplished with such professionalism that Deborah helped them develop.

Every parent wants to see their kids' dreams come true, but Deborah really goes above and beyond to help them realize those dreams by pushing them to work smarter not harder. When Katie got an email from one of the colleges she applied to, saying a piece of her application was missing after the deadline, Deborah immediately got on the phone to the university to help calm her nerves. She makes every student feel special and understand their skills and strengths, understanding what makes each one tick, she magically gets to a place and motivates them in ways parents wish we could emulate.

If every student had a teacher like Deborah Barnes once in their life, this world would be a different place. We can use people like her in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Kristin Yates

Oak Grove

Re-elect Savas

Once again we would like to thank County Commissioner Paul Savas for his outstanding work for the citizens of Clackamas County.

Just about one year ago, several concerned citizens of Clackamas County signed a thank you honoring him.

Commissioner Savas was presented a plaque for his offfice by Shirley Soderberg one of those concerned citizens.

Commissioner Savas serves all people equally in Clackamas County, and that's why he is so respected.

Because of all this, it is vitally important to keep this man in office. So please join me in re-electing Paul Savas for county commissioner.

Ginny Davidson

Milwaukie

OC could opt out of TriMet

l want to make it perfectly clear that my opinions expressed in this letter do not represent the opinion of any groups, committees or associations l belong to. These are strictly my personal opinions.

Recently the Oregon City Commission tasked the City Manager David Frasher to look into an alternate public transportation system than TriMet. Several other cities have opted out of TriMet and have formed their own transit systems such as Canby, Sandy, Wilsonville and Molalla.

On March 5, Mr. Frasher reported that this subject was discussed at the recent Regional City Managers Meeting. Most of those in attendance considered their transit systems to be more efficient and offer better service than TriMet had. For example: TriMet charges employers $7.237 per every $1,000 of payroll. Sandy and Canby charge $6 per $1,000 of payroll, and Wilsonville and Molalla charge $5 per $1,000 of payroll. This amounts to a considerable saving for the employers in those cities.

The construction and operation of TriMet’s Westside Express Service is a good example of TriMet continuing to operate a very expensive system with low ridership. WES had a pre-opening expected daily ridership of 2,400 in February 2010. The actual ridership averaged 1,260, and even in by June of 2012 only averaged 1,639 riders per day. TriMet even had to financially bail out the manufacturer of the rail cars they bought for WES before they could even take delivery. lf TriMet can offer that losing operation to the west side, why can’t it offer Oregon City better

bus service?

TriMet says ridership is important in establishing routes. That puts everyone in a Catch 22: Without the riders TriMet won’t provide the service. Without the service, the citizens can’t provide the ridership.

Considering the terrible lack of service which TriMet offers to the citizens of Oregon City in comparison to theamount of taxes the employers pay, wouldn’t a more comprehensive study of opting out of TriMet be appropriate? in Mr. Frasher's words, it was a consensus to take a "wait and see" attitude to see what TriMet might come up with, in spite of the concerns of their long-term financial situation. l, for one, like the idea of better service for less money and think the citizens deserve a better look, and the City Commission deserves to be able to look at some hard figures and alternatives. Rarely do you get an opportunity for a win-win for both citizens and businesses alike.

Bob La Salle

Oregon City

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 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 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.



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