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Clackson Newsletter

January 2017

In this Issue:

January General Meeting
Member Discussion on Civil Discourse and League’s Areas of Focus for 2017
All members urged to attend!


When: Thursday, January 19, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Where: Oswego Pointe Club House, 5065 Foothills Drive, Lake Oswego

You won’t want to miss our two-part January General Meeting. The first half will be devoted to the timely topic of the League’s role in promoting civil discourse. The tumultuous 2016 election season may be over, but emotions are still raw, and many citizens have fears about our country’s future. Given the extremely polarized and volatile nature of rhetoric today, what can we as League members do to encourage civil discourse among citizens, elected officials, and the media? Action Chair Marge Easley will share what other Leagues and organizations have done, gather your input, and suggest steps we might take to submit a civil discourse concurrence position to the LWVOR Convention in May.

During the second half of the meeting, Program Chair Libby Medley will take us through state and local League positions, spurring us to discuss what governmental issues are most important to us today, both in terms of increasing our knowledge and using this knowledge through advocacy. This “Program Planning” exercise for 2017-19 is a foundational League process and a powerful tool to influence the future of our communities, our state, and our entire organization. Your participation is essential to keeping us on track. Don’t miss your chance to add your experiences and insights to the decision-making question: how can we best respond to the demands our government faces in the coming months and years? For program planning grids for local and state League positions use the following links.

LWVCC Positions

LWVOR Positions 

DIRECTIONS: Take State Street in downtown Lake Oswego to Foothills Road; follow Foothills Road to a 3-way stop; keep right; go downhill to the left-turn lane; turn left onto Foothills Drive; the building straight ahead is the Club House.

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Proposed Biogas Facility in Wilsonville

Hilly Alexander
The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a hearing on November 17 to receive public comments on the proposed Sustainable Organics Recycling Technology (SORT) Bioenergy, LLC facility in Wilsonville. The DEQ proposes to issue the food waste to biogas facility air quality and solid waste permits.

Overview:
Food waste from commercial and industrial sources (restaurants, cafeterias, bakeries, breweries, grocery stores) in Portland would be trucked daily to the SORT Bioenergy, LLC facility in northwest Wilsonville. The facility will have a closed negative air flow receiving building where up to 20 trucks a day will unload their (I guess smelly) cargo. The wastes will be treated in two anaerobic digesters (using bacteria, not chemicals) producing methane gas for combustion. This biogas will supply fuel for two generators. The electricity will be sold to PGE. The composting process also produces fiber solids and effluent liquids which will be separated and sent off-site for further processing.

Per DEQ engineers the facility will use a state of the art odor control system and complies with DEQ and Wilsonville’s additional odor control requirements. The DEQ mandates a protocol for monitoring and self reporting and schedules inspections.I asked about the facility’s ability to withstand a major earthquake and associated risks. Paul Woods, SORT Bioenergy, LLC President, assured us that there was no risk of explosions or major spills.The DEQ opened the public hearing… and closed it immediately since there were no public comments. That was an interesting experience.

What’s next?
Metro has pre-approved SORT Bioenergy, LLC and eight other firms. Metro will authorize only one facility in the Metro area. I guess we’ll have to wait for Metro to announce the winner. I forgot to ask where the other firms propose to locate their facilities.

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Who will serve in Position 5 of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners?

Jim Bernard, newly elected Chair of the Board of Commissioners, moves to Position 1. Jim has two years remaining of his four-year term in Position 5. Who will complete his term? That’s for the 4 current Commissioners to decide. We may not know until February when Commissioners announce their selection.

The filing deadline for applications was midnight on January 3. Minimum qualifications for the position are U.S. citizenship, age 18 or older, Clackamas County residence for at least 12 months, and Clackamas County voter registration.

Commissioners will start interviews of top applicants on January 23. Interviews with finalists start the week of January 30 in public meetings. If a second round is necessary, interviews continue the week of February 6.

In Memoria: Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes was a longtime member of the League of Women Voters. She worked for over 40 years as microbiologist. The last 16 years of her career she worked at Oregon Health and Science University as the Supervisor for the Pediatric Microbiology. She was a founder in the OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care. She moved to Mary's Woods in 2003. She is survived by her 3 children, Susan Tolle, Marjorie Willis, and Ronald Willis.

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Library News

Joan Batten, former Library Study Chair

When Katie Lu delivered Voter Service information to county libraries, she discovered that Canby has opened their new library that was on the drawing board when we completed our Library study. She also found that the new addition to the historic Carnegie Library in Oregon City was opened in October. These projects were supported by the League, and we are delighted that they are both open. If you are in Oregon City or Canby, take a look at these projects.

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January Lunch & Learn

Join us for LWVCC’s first Lunch and Learn for 2017 at 11:30 on Friday, January 27 at Szechuan Kitchen, 15450 Boones Ferry Rd., Lake Oswego. Sandy Carter, local League member and member of the Willamette Falls Taskforce, will speak about the Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks. To make a reservation contact Sonja Kollias (503-636-2187, vskollias@aol.com) by Wednesday, January 25.

LWVOR Action Team Priorities

The LWVOR Legislative Action Team prioritized four key areas for the 2017 session:

REVENUE AND TAX REFORM by adopting stable and fair revenue policies and tax reforms toadequately fund services and functions critical to the well-being of Oregonians.
PROTECTING DEMOCRACY by minimizing the influence of money in politics and promotingmore representative elections systems.
ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE by supporting legislation to reduce net greenhouse gasemissions fast enough to avoid serious damage to the global climate ecosystem.
ANTI-POVERTY PROGRAMS to help low income citizens move toward financial stability.

Coming Events

LWVOR Legislative Process Day: January 10: 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Oregon State Library, Salem.

General Meeting: Civil Discourse Discussion and Program Planning: Thursday, January 19, 1:30 pm, Oswego Pointe Club House, 5065 Foothills Rd in Lake Oswego.

LWVCC Board Meeting: Tuesday, January 24: 9:30 am Social, 9:45 AM Meeting, Pacific West Bank, West Linn

Lunch and Learn: Friday, January 27: LWVCC member, Sandy Carter will update us on the Willamette Falls area. 11:30 am, Szechuan Kitchen, 15450 Boones Ferry Rd., Lake Oswego

Unit Meetings: Public Postsecondary Education Consensus: February 20-24, 2017
Members should receive a printed copy of the report from LWVOR in January. The February Clackson will include consensus questions and an Executive Summary.