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Beavercreek couple brings home healthy baby after kitchen delivery

By Abby Sewell
Molalla Pioneer

Karen and Brian Hanners returned from the hospital to their Beavercreek home today, bearing a healthy baby son who was delivered by paramedics in the couple's kitchen on Tuesday morning.

The Hanners were both at home at about 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday when little Elijah Hanners made an unexpected arrival, four weeks before his due date.

Karen said her husband, a former police officer, used to joke that he was trained to perform a home delivery if necessary.

"I can tell you I've always been really adamant about not having a home birth," Karen said.

But her husband's joke fulfilled itself on Tuesday. Karen said she was sitting on the couch when her water broke and immediately knew she would not have time to get to the hospital.

"This is my fourth baby, and with the last one, as soon as the water broke, the baby just came," she said. "I was on the couch and I said, 'I am not having a baby on the new carpet.'"

She quickly relocated to the kitchen while paramedics were en route from the Clackamas County Fire District #1 station, just a few doors down from the Hanner's home on Beavercreek Road.

Within minutes, with the assistance of two CCFD #1 paramedics and one firefighter, Elijah was born, weighing in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and measuring 20 inches.

Mother and child were then transported to Willamette Falls Birth Place for postnatal care. They had a reunion with the firefighters on Tuesday afternoon at the hospital to thank them for their help.

CCFD #1 spokesperson Lt. John Hopkins said that both of the paramedics on scene had performed home deliveries before, but not in about fifteen years. Elijah's delivery, however, went without a hitch.

"He's a strong, happy boy," Karen said.

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Two steps in the right direction

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An improvement across the board

Decisions, decisions. Everyone loves to make them, everyone hates to make them and everyone makes them just a little bit differently than the next guy.

For example, when you shop for a car, you get to choose the options. Air? Stereo? Power steering? Lighted, color-changing cup holders?

Fortunately or unfortunately, the world of politics doesn’t work like that. Take the proposal to expand the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to five members.

We have listened to supporters and opponents of this proposal.

We have seen the debates in the newspapers, on the radio and on the Internet. Remarkably, most folks had little trouble agreeing they want five commissioners. The options are the sticking point.

Should there be an elected chairperson chosen directly by the people? Should the commission be partisan or not? Should the elected commissioners be part time or full time? Should they be elected countywide, or by district?

We all have our preferences, but there is only one proposal on the table to reshape the county commission for the future. That’s Measure 3-272, the proposal that was crafted by a BOC-appointed task force, including Molalla City Councilor Glen Boreth. We’re very glad that Mr. Boreth was there representing us.

The group has proposed a five-member commission with a separately elected chairperson, four other full-time commissioners, countywide elections, and no partisan labels.

Voters must decide if this is better than what we already have. Our answer? Yes.

Clackamas County is overdue for the five commissioner format. Most counties our size have it, and for good reason. The job entails too many meetings, and too much interaction with other agencies, for three commissioners to handle.

We realize salaried department heads can also go to meetings and speak for the county, but there’s no substitute for having elected commissioners at the table. It simply carries more weight. Only elected officials can say they have a franchise with voters.

We also believe that having five commissioners would improve the give-and-take at BOC meetings.

Right now issues tend to quickly crystallize into a two-on-one stalemate, often without a lot of discussion of the options and impacts. We think it’s a good idea to strike party labels from commission candidates, as the task force has recommended.

As well, it would give voters a final choice between the strongest two candidates, not the strongest from each party.

Did all task force members love everything about this proposal? No, and neither do we.

The biggest objection raised by some is that this new proposal fails to divide the county into districts. They say districts would provide better regional representation while lowering the prodigious cost barrier of running for office. Are they right? We believe so, especially when it comes to the Molalla area.

Our own community has, at times, been seen as an isolated southern outpost. It would be wonderful to have one commissioner representing the views and people of Molalla and nearby communities like Colton, Mulino and the other unincorporated areas outside of town.

Is this a fatal flaw in the proposal? No, because the current system also lacks districting. No matter how this vote turns out, there will be no district-based commission seats for the time being. Maybe — hopefully — later.

For now, Measure 3-272 may not make things perfect, but it certainly makes them better.

We recommend voting yes.

Measure 49 offers a better balance

So far, the campaigns for and against Measure 49 — presented as an attempt to “fix” property rights Measure 37, which voters approved in 2004 — have been a tangled conflagration of hype, exaggerations and distortions.

Certain supporters of Measure 49 would have you believe that if it fails, then all of Oregon will be covered in subdivisions and pavement as far as the eye can see. Let’s calm down. This obviously hasn’t happened, and we feel confident in saying it won’t anytime soon.

Certain opponents, meanwhile, want you to think that if Measure 49 passes, government officials may be on your front porch the very next day, demanding that you sign your property deed over to the government. They will “take your house and property,” in other words. Let’s get real.

It takes some study, and a good deal of reasoned thought, to set aside all the bunk being broadcast on television screens, from both sides, and figure out what Measure 49 is really all about.

We’ll start with the obvious. Property rights are a cornerstone of American freedom and the American economy. Capitalism depends on the right to invest in property, improve it, and combine resources and labor to make products and services. But property rights cannot be absolute, and they should not exist in a vacuum.

People sometimes tend to forget that principle until something they don’t want is proposed around the corner or down the street. Then they realize that the right of one to live in a peaceful neighborhood may conflict with another’s right to construct, say, a distribution center.

Soon, all the talk begins about property values going down if such-and-such is allowed to locate nearby.

The plain fact is, land-use proposals often stir conflict. Historically, zoning laws have existed to sort out competing and conflicting interests.

Measure 37 arose because of the overzealous application of zoning laws intended to protect neighborhoods, farmlands and forests. Until it passed, for example, some people who wanted to build a home on their agricultural property were denied that right.

Measure 37 restored it. Unfortunately, it opened the door for all sorts of other land uses that are neither desirable nor reasonable.

There’s been a lot of debate as to which creates the best balance between rights and responsibilities — Measure 37 as originally passed, or Measure 49 in the way it modifies Measure 37. We believe it’s the latter.

The intent of Measure 49 is clear. It is to allow reasonable claims so that between one to 10 homes can be built on claim-eligible resource lands, depending on the circumstances.

At the same time, it rules out the larger, more unreasonable claims that are speculative in nature and based on high-impact changes in land use.

Those who want to upzone and develop their resource land still have that option, but they need to persuade governing bodies, and probably their neighbors as well, that a change is constructive and appropriate.

They may need to modify their proposal or make concessions. There’s no guarantee everyone will feel good with the outcome, but the chances are better.

We believe Measure 49 most closely represents what voters thought they were getting with Measure 37. It won’t let government officials capriciously block small and harmless amounts of homebuilding. It also won’t allow willy-nilly development that’s out of character with communities or surrounding lands.

We endorse a yes vote on Measure 49.

It may not be simple, and it may not get things perfect, but it gets them basically right.

Further complications ensue in Snowball case

By Abby Sewell
Molalla Pioneer

State attorneys representing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife filed an appeal yesterday protesting Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Eve L. Miller's order to return the deer confiscated from Jim Filipetti and Francesca Mantei on Sept. 12.

ODFW spokesperson Rick Hargrave said the agency does not plan to return the doe, Snowball, until the appeal process is finished or the Oregon Department of Justice tells it to do so.

"By filing the notice of appeal that effectively also puts a stay on the judge's order," Oregon DOJ spokesperson Stephanie Soden said.

Geordie Duckler, the attorney representing Filipetti and Mantei, believes otherwise and filed a motion today charging that the ODFW is in contempt of court for refusing to return Snowball by 5 p.m. today, as Judge Miller ordered. Duckler says the fact that an appeal has been filed does not automatically give the ODFW the right to keep the deer in their custody.

The ODFW should have filed a motion with the Court of Appeals asking for a stay on the Clackamas County court's order to return Snowball, Duckler said.

"I'm pretty sure (the ODFW) can not just magically give themselves a stay," Duckler said.

The ODFW must appear in Judge Miller's courtroom for a contempt of court hearing on Nov. 14. The court hearing comes one day after a Nov. 13 hearing scheduled before the Oregon House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, where the ODFW will be required to present an accounting of the state money that has been spent so far on the battle over Snowball.

"It's hilarious that the very next day they'll walk into the courtroom (for a contempt of court hearing) to possibly be sanctioned and spend even more money," Duckler said.

Judge Miller told the ODFW last Wednesday that it cannot hold the deer as evidence of a crime -- keeping wildlife without a permit -- that was never prosecuted. The ODFW argued that all wildlife is the property of the State of Oregon, and the deer is illegal for Filipetti to keep, regardless of whether or not he is charged with a crime.

In the meantime, Hargrave said, Snowball remains in the same ODFW wildlife facility where she has been housed since September.

"Our position is we're kind of in a holding pattern until the legal issues get resolved," he said. "Right now we're working on the myriad of other wildlife management issues we have to deal with, outside of this deer in Molalla."

Update: Judge grants family's request to return deer

Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Eve L. Miller released a decision this morning granting the petition filed by the family Jim Filipetti to have the doe named Snowball, currently in the custody of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, returned to Filipetti.

According to a statement released by the office of Filipetti's attorney Geordie Duckler, the ODFW will have to return the deer within 48 hours once the order is released. Duckler's office will be responsible for drafting the order and the ODFW will have three business days to object to any content within it.

At the latest, Duckler's office said, the doe would have to be returned by Friday, Nov. 2.

ODFW spokesperson Meg Kenagy said the agency will be meeting with attorneys from the Oregon Department of Justice today in order to develop a response.

"Right now we're just considering the legal options available," she said.

- Abby Sewell

Judge considers Snowball case but makes no decision

By Abby Sewell
Molalla Pioneer

Can a deer fall in the same category as a sawed-off shotgun, an unlicensed pack of cigarettes or a bottle of moonshine?

That was the question of the day in the Clackamas County courthouse, where attorneys for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the family of Jim Filipetti and Francesca Mantei argued over whether the ODFW should return a doe that was seized from Filipetti's home near Molalla.

After three hours of testimony, Judge Eve L. Miller said she needed more time to study the case. She expected to make a decision by tomorrow morning.

Filipetti's attorney Geordie Duckler filed a complaint last Monday, arguing that the ODFW seized the deer, Snowball, as evidence of a crime that was never prosecuted. The warrant issued for Snowball's seizure on Sept. 12 was for the purpose of gathering evidence that the Filipetti family was illegally holding wildlife without a permit.

However, the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office never pressed charges in the matter, and the ODFW has held the doe in custody ever since, along with her yearling son Bucky, which was released into the wild earlier this month.

Duckler said that Snowball is no longer needed as evidence and legally must be returned to her former custodians.

However, Oregon Department of Justice attorney Matthew Donohue, representing the ODFW, said the deer falls into the category of contraband, items that are not legal for the public to possess at all, and that all wildlife in Oregon belongs to the state.

Even if the deer is returned to Filipetti, Duckler acknowledged, the family could still run into legal troubles for possessing her without a permit. But that issue was not the focus of today's hearing.

"Even though, technically, we could get the deer back and the very next minute, they could get a warrant to charge us with the crime of unlawful possession of wildlife, they'll have to convince a district attorney to prosecute it," he said.

Filipetti said he was feeling optimistic at the end of the day in court.

"I just want Snowball back -- I think that's the best place for her," he said. "... They can prosecute me all day, but I just want Snowball back."

Ron Anglin, ODFW's wildlife division adminstrator, could not say what the agency's next step would be but did not rule out the possibility of attempting to press charges against Filipetti and Mantei in the future.

State, schools discuss Native American mascot issue

By Abby Sewell
Molalla Pioneer

School superintendents and principals from 13 school districts – including Molalla – that use sports team names like the Indians, the Warriors and the Braves, sat down around a table with members of the Oregon Department of Education’s Native American Mascot Advisory Committee on Tuesday.

At issue was a recommendation by the advisory group that all public schools in Oregon should be required to phase out Native American mascots by Sept. 1, 2011.

School district representatives complained that they felt they had been asked for input too late in a process that could directly affect their communities.

ODE chief policy officer Pat Burk said the state will take no immediate action on the mascot issue.

“The (State Board of Education) has absolutely no expectations in terms of a timeline,” he said. “Especially from what I’ve heard today, rushing a decision could be harmful.”

The process began in Molalla two years ago, when Che Butler, then a junior at Taft High School, was playing a varsity basketball game against Molalla High School. Butler, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz, was disturbed by what he saw as a racist display purporting to be entertainment.

“They had a mascot dressed up in fake turkey feathers dancing around during the halftime show,” he said.

Butler’s younger brother reported seeing another boy acting as the mascot’s “sidekick” who was walking around with his shirt off and a target painted on his torso. Butler was disturbed by the whole scenario.

“I had seen (Native American mascots) before, but that pushed it a little too far, and I felt I needed to change it,” he said.

Butler and his sister Luhui Whitebear, a member of the Comanche tribe and employee of the Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes in Oregon, put together a presentation entitled “I am not your mascot” and brought it to the Oregon State Board of Education last December.

Following the presentation, an advisory committee made up of groups like the Oregon Indian Education Association and state agencies including the state board of education and Oregon School Activities Association met three times over the summer. None of the affected school districts were invited to participate. The nine Native American tribal clusters of Oregon were invited, but none sent a representative.

The advisory group came back with recommendations that the state school board school eliminate the use of Native American mascots and logos by all Oregon public schools, educate students about the negative effects of stereotyping Native Americans, and adopt culturally accurate educational materials.

MRSD superintendent Wayne Kostur, like many of the other school district representatives present at Tuesday’s meeting, said he wished the state had included the local districts in the process.

“We were disappointed that we were not invited to be at the table right up front,” he said. “And we were also concerned about where this discussion will stop.”

Molalla’s current cost estimate is $694,000 if the state mandates that the district change all school materials that bear the Indian logo.

There are a total of 15 or 16 public schools in Oregon with Native American logos, according to ODE communications director Gene Evans, depending on whether you count Aloha High School, which claims that its Warriors are Polynesian, not Native American.

In some schools, that means having a mascot dressed as a Native American who parades around during half time.

But in many, including Molalla, where the controversy started, the mascot has been phased out although the logo remains on team gear and the gym floor.

Athletic director Steve Boyton said in the year and a half since he came to work at Molalla High School, there has never been a mascot present at the games.

“I would never let that happen, and I’ve never seen it used,” he said.

In Molalla, many people see the Indians logo as a way of honoring the history of the town and the Molala tribe that once lived in the area.

But Butler said not just the mascot but the images that are used, and the word “Indians” can be offensive.

“It’s demeaning and it hurts me because racism is always there when the mascot is there,” he said.

Trees fall, damage house in Mulino

High winds toppled three trees on Buckner Creek Road in Mulino today, knocking down power lines and crashing onto the roof of one house.
According to neighbors, the top of one Douglas fir tree broke off and fell, blocking the road and knocking power lines down, at about noon. Two more 60-year-old trees fell around 1 p.m., with one of them landing on the roof of the adjacent house.
The residents, Jane and Nino Salera, were not at home when the tree fell.
According to PGE spokesperson Elaina Medina, 23 customers were affected by the outage, and power was restored by 4:45 p.m.
- Abby Sewell

Molalla family files claim for Snowball

By Abby Sewell
Molalla Pioneer

Jim Filipetti and Francesca Mantei, the former custodians of a congenitally deformed blacktail deer named Snowball, filed a claim in the Clackamas County Circuit Court on Monday, asking the court to order the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to return the doe to them.

The petition does not ask for any monetary settlement to be awarded but asks the court to rule that the deer should be returned to the Filipetti home.

“It’s not about money – we don’t want one red dime,” Mantei said. “We just want Snowball.”
ODFW spokesperson Rick Hargrave said the court action will not alter the ODFW’s plans.

“From our perspective, we were aware there was going to be a lawsuit filed,” he said. “Our plan is to continue pushing forward with our normal day-to-day wildlife management activities and let the attorneys deal with this. Right now, the deer is being taken care of, and she’s just fine.”

Oregon Department of Justice spokesperson Stephanie Soden said that, not having actually received the complaint as of press time, the department could not comment on the case.

The Sept. 12 Clackamas County warrant that allowed the Oregon State Police to enter the property and seize the deer called for seizure of “evidence of the crime of Unlawful Holding of Wildlife (deer) and Unlawful Possession of Cervid to include any live deer (native or non-native) held in captivity.”

The Clackamas County District Attorney’s office, however, elected not to press charges against the family for holding the deer in captivity.

In the complaint filed by Filipetti and Mantei, attorney Geordie Duckler argued that Snowball was seized as evidence, and that, being no longer required for that purpose, she should be returned to the family.

“Now, over a month after her removal, no further retention or examination of Snowball could result in any relevant evidence for the (ODFW) to use in any prosecution against the petitioners,” the complaint says.

The ODFW announced last week that the doe will be placed at the Rosse Posse Acres elk farm in Molalla, a facility that is licensed to keep cervids, including deer.

Mantei said she has no issue with Rosse Posse or its owners but she still believes the doe belongs with the family that raised her.

“I know these are nice people,” she said. “We just want (Snowball) in our yard, not theirs.”

She declined to comment on how the family might proceed if the court rules in the ODFW’s favor.

The hearing is set for Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City.

Snowball to be placed at Molalla elk farm

By Abby Sewell
Molalla Pioneer

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that Snowball, the doe confiscated from a Molalla family on Sept. 12, will be placed at Rosse Posse Acres, a commercial elk farm in Molalla.

Rosse Posse, a 52-acre farm with 80 head of elk, is one of the 24 facilities in the state of Oregon licensed to keep cervids like elk and deer in captivity. Sixteen of those permits are reserved for commercial elk farms.

The family of Jim Filipetti and Francesca Mantei, who raised Snowball from a fawn, did not hold a license to keep wildlife. And although Mantei said they would have been willing to fall in line with any requirements necessary to get a permit, there are no more cervid permits available in the state.

Rosse Posse Acres co-owner Brenda Ross said that she sees the resolution as a best-case scenario.

"I think it's a win-win situation for everyone involved," she said. "The (Filipetti) family can be close to (Snowball) and can visit her often, the ODFW gets her placed in a licensed facility and we can educate the public about piebald deer."

Snowball's coloring -- mottled white and brown -- is identified as piebald, a coloration often associated with physical disabilities, Ross said. The doe has hoof and leg deformities that make her unable to run or jump.

ODFW spokesperson Rick Hargrave said that the agency will work with the Brenda and Alan Ross to develop a long term plan for Snowball's medical care. The doe will likely be placed with them in about three weeks, he said.

Hargrave said that, although the agency has been in discussions with Rosse Posse for several weeks, the final decision to place Snowball there was made today.

"Primarily, the decision was made because we believe the doe is going to a facility where she can have the constant medical care she needs for the rest of her life," he said. "And part of the decision was that it's consistent with Oregon wildlife law."

But Mantei said she still feels the best place for Snowball would have been with the family that raised her.

"You had a willing couple here with five acres, willing to do anything (the ODFW) wanted," She said. "We were ready to do it with our money and their oversight ... They turned us down to make an example of us."

Earlier this week, attorney Geordie Duckler issued a letter threatening to file a civil suit if the ODFW did not return the doe to the Filipetti family by Saturday. Mantei declined to comment on whether the suit will go forward now.

Duckler was in trial and could not be reached for comment.

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