An op-ed piece by Ginger Fitch, Chair, West Linn-Wilsonville School Board and Chelsea Martin, Vice-Chair, West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. Reprinted by permission of the authors.
Voters, you need to know that the Oregon School Boards Association, Oregon Education Association, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers Oregon, Head Start, Oregon PTA and numerous other groups who care about education have all strongly endorsed a “yes” vote on Measure 101.
Why are educators and education advocates for a “yes” on Measure 101? It’s because anyone who works with children knows that our students learn best when they are healthy and have healthcare. Continue reading →
How does an otherwise somewhat disparate community in an unincorporated hamlet in Clackamas County pull together to kill a composting project which would have created a noxious, distracting and possibly toxic odor? Believe it or not, they go the legislature. And organize. And hold rallies. And act like the best interest of the community is at stake in a non-partisan way.
Celebrating their success at 7 p.m. Saturday will be folks in the Stafford Hamlet who helped pass Senate Bill 462 which requires that a composting site not be allowed closer than 1,500 feet from a school. As both Stafford Elementary and Athey Creek Middle School are within that range, the planned development by S & H Logging near the intersection of Stafford Road and I-205 is dead. The Governor signed the bill this week. Continue reading →
Doing their best to draw attention to what they see as a potentially massive problem, residents of the Stafford Hamlet and parents of students at Athey Creek Middle and Stafford Elementary Schools rallied last Saturday morning against a proposal to develop a composting operation at the intersection of I-205 and Stafford Road just west of West Linn.
The S&H Logging firm, a long-time family business in the area, wants to create a composting facility and mining operation (to use the soil in the composting process) near both of those schools, and the approximately 1,500 students would suffer from distracting and potentially unhealthy foul odors, according to the opponents. The unincorporated area already has seen Clackamas County approve the proposal. The State Department of Environmental Quality held a hearing on the plan, and angry residents turned out to object, including West Linn-Wilsonville School Board chair Keith Steele. Continue reading →
Clackamas Democrats are continuing their quiet elation in sweeping every race in which they had a contested candidate in this week’s special district elections. Local Democratic campaigners batted nine-for-nine, including knocking out a major Tea Party incumbent, Jim Knapp, who enjoyed thousands of dollars of support from the Oregon Transformation Project as they hoped to groom him for a county commission race next year.
Larry Skidmore, chair of the Clackamas County Democratic Party, said the Democrats looked at every race in the county and decided to focus on good governance as a first priority. Therefore, if districts were working smoothly and there were no outliers causing trouble and working contrary to the greater good, they didn’t get involved. In other races they recruited candidates and then helped them win with door-to-door canvassing, phoning, mounting lawn signs, and related campaign activity. Overall, it was a big success on the campaign front:
–Ken Humberston and Hugh Kalani were elected to the Clackamas River Water Board, affirming their earlier appointment. In both cases two of the former antagonistic and combative directors failed to hold or regain their seats in a district which has been so frenzied at times as to have its insurance carrier not renew its liability policy.
–Larry Kitchen succeeded in a write-in campaign for a Lake Grove Water Board position.
–Sarah Howell won a seat on the Lake Oswego School Board.
–Christine Roth beat two challengers for a River Grove Water District Seat.
–Jan Smith dumped an incompetent, disruptive incumbent on the Sandy Fire District Board.
–David Gray and Nancy Gibson ousted incumbents on the Oak Lodge Water District board with Ms. Gibson doing the major damage to Knapp, the same guy who, with John Ludlow brought us those ridiculous ballot measures not helping to pay for Sellwood Bridge repairs, on getting rid of urban renewal districts in the county, on demanding a vote before any county money is spent on light rail, and so forth.
–Keith Steele won re-election to the West Linn-Wilsonville School District board where he is chair.
Three other measures were on the ballot. A Metro measure to generate money to pay for parks maintenance failed in the county but passed in the region. A North Clackamas Recreation and Park District measure allowing the district to swap land on the Trolley Trail in Oak Grove with TriMet passed. And the measure Ludlow and Knapp brought us last year calling for a vote before the county can spend money on light rail succeeded. This is a hollow victory, however, as TriMet has already filed suit against the county for reneging on contractual obligations related to the Orange Line under construction to Milwaukie. This put Ludlow in the awkward position of calling for a Yes vote while his Tea Party colleagues successfully campaigned for defeat. They got defeat—for county taxpayers who now have to pay for this suit and perhaps others.
You know a politician is starting to feel frisky when the idea of advancing in the political arena starts to be floated about. The latest on the Clackamas County front — and the most nonsensical — is the thought of State Rep. Julie Parrish, a two-termer representing West Linn and Tualatin, taking on veteran State Senator Richard Devlin, of Tualatin. The differences in these two legislators are massive. Continue reading →