League Friends,

As I write this, I am in Melbourne Australia visiting family. Moving around the city gives lots of time for comparison to how things ‘work’ here compared to home. Granted Melbourne is a huge city compared to Corvallis-the metro area is roughly twice that of Portland-but it is still fun to make comparisons. Getting around in Melbourne via transit is so easy! Of course, there are times when it is challenging, but between the trains, trams, and busses it is easy to move around simply with a pass card. The modes of transportation are all interconnected through the pass. The transit authority actually has a plan to expand the trains to the outer suburbs, and to connect the transit system in a more efficient way to the airport. The multi-use path system for pedestrians and cyclists is nothing short of amazing to me. Areas prone to flooding often have been designated as green space, developed as parks and multi-use paths instead of developed in ways that would create big problems when there is minor flooding.

Melbourne is a big dense city, with an ever-increasing number of very high-rise buildings. This isn’t unusual for the city center, but there are a disconcerting number of high-rise buildings rearing up in suburbs. I’m talking 30 story buildings here. This is partly due to changing immigration demographics, a greater population of people more comfortable living in that setting, and also due to the lack of housing options, particularly closer into the city. The suburbs are ever expanding and (especially) younger people find themselves priced out of the market closer in, if they can find a place to live in the first place. The good news is that the transit authority is moving to expand the system into those newer areas.

Before this develops into some sort of travelogue, one last observation: there is nothing like traveling abroad to make one realize just how much attention the rest of the world pays to what is happening in the US. The media is ALWAYS full of US news and Donald Trump is a constant source of fodder for the media, much the same as in the US!

Now on to league events: We will be holding our annual meeting May 24. We will be having a hybrid meeting! There may be a few minor glitches, but this gives us the opportunity to reach more of our membership and record the proceedings. We have a great speaker tentatively lined up, keep an eye open for more information about that in the newsletter.

Hope to see a great crowd at the annual meeting!

In League,

Connie Bozarth, President LWVC

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