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Letters: Hobby Lobby decision; CCC Bond; canine fundraiser

I am pro-choice. The soapbox piece, “High court ruling infringes on women’s rights,” July 23, is a bold statement that I find at odds with the actual ruling which is quite narrow in scope. What it fails to mention is that it allows the Hobby Lobby litigants not to fund only four of the 20 approved methods of birth control.

It is an overreach when the piece states that the decision “allows bosses... reach... into their employees’ bedrooms.” The choice to engage in an activity is in no way compromised. Prior to Roe vs. Wade, the battle cry was keep government out of the situation. Times have certainly changed. Now government involvement is desired. The one infringed right is the right to compel others to subsidize all 20 methods of contraception. Economics may have an adverse effect on access to the four methods excluded but access is not patently denied.

The piece surmises a slippery-slope danger. A slippery slope can just as well be applied to the progressive trends in reproductive rights. The case may eventually compel all private insurers (employer-paid and/or sponsored); all state exchanges under the ACA; as well as Medicaid to cover the procedures that terminate pregnancy absent a signed faith-based affidavit. While this may be welcomed by some, it may strike those with divergent opinions as: going down a slippery slope. Usage of slippery-slope language invariably is invoked by those whose “ox is being gored.”

What was ostensibly an issue-driven commentary was far more effective at championing the candidacy of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), than shedding light on the factual-versus-speculative effects of the Hobby Lobby case. The sky is not falling.

Randy Hunt

Milwaukie

Invest in our community, job market

The November election will include a bond measure for Clackamas Community College. The CCC Board of Education referred the measure to the ballot at a special meeting July 16.

Our board strongly believes the projects supported by this bond measure would bring tremendous value to our community by allowing the college to expand job training and educational opportunities for students. We have worked hard to develop a proposal that responds to what the community and business need.

Through our two-year community-engagement process, Imagine Clackamas, we asked students, community members, business owners and staff for input on current and long-term education and workforce needs. We tested the responses we received in a scientific survey of our community.

The primary goal of this bond is to provide the services our students need to get job training or continue their education. This plan will allow us to do that without increasing the current bond tax rate. In addition, the college has secured $16 million in state matching grants that will support two projects, leveraging bond resources.

More than 30,000 students enroll in CCC courses each year. Many of these courses have a waiting list, which means that some students may face delays to classes they need. This bond measure would expand facilities and labs, allowing the college to add courses to meet student and workforce demands.

Meeting those needs — affordable education that allows students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities and train for today’s job market — is a priority us and our community. We believe that this is a good plan that will invest in our community and allow us to offer more programs without increasing tax rates.

Chris Groener

Oregon City

CCC Board of Education, Zone 4

Police canine fundraiser declared a success

Yet again, we’d like to thank all the folks who showed up, those that entered and those that just came around to share the fun at the Milwaukie 9-K For K-9 Walk held July 19.

There were lots of dogs and lots of generous people who all turned out to make the event a smashing success; the best K-9 Walk event held to date to support Milwaukie’s Police K-9 Unit. Especial thanks should go to all of the businesses, both large and small, that sponsored the event, donated funds, items or services or turned up to show support with a booth and other participation, including the Milwaukie Police Cadets, Clackamas County’s Sheriff’s Office and Clackamas Fire District No. 1.

Also, special mention should be given to Chief Steve Bartol and K-9 Handler Billy Wells for subjecting themselves to the cold water of the dunk tank. Brave lads!

In fact, the only disappointment of the entire day was that none of the current Milwaukie City Council, except Councilor Dave Hedges, felt that such a huge community-based event warranted them showing up, and none of our city staff were present that weren’t directly affiliated with the police department. Perhaps not having the event in downtown Milwaukie didn’t appeal to those folks?

The vast community support for our police department was highly evident and perhaps the City Council and the decision-makers in Milwaukie need to revisit the drawing board and determine what is really of high priority to the Milwaukie citizens and taxpayers?

One would think that since this widely supported community event was scheduled several months in advance, some of each would at least put in an appearance, but in any case, many thanks to the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation volunteers, and the volunteers from the devoted 9K For K-9 Walk committee, and also, especially Milwaukie Marketplace for use of the donated the space, the Industrial Way businesses that provided wading pools, drinking bowls and the like and those around town and in the county, as well as a cast of hundreds, both residents and non-residents, that worked so hard to make this event such a rousing success.

It was a great event, and hopefully will continue into coming years with ever higher achievement and greater success. Thanks to all again for a great event in 2014!

D.I. Macken-Hambright

Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation, treasurer



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