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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Feet In the Clouds

Yesterday morning, one of the main plaintiffs in the Strunk et al case, and my friend, Martha Sartain, passed away from complications related to lung cancer. Martha was the "face and soul" of "window retirees" as she agreed to have her name and her life explored in relentless detail during the proceedings leading up to the Sartain v PERB case in 2004. This case, sponsored by OPRI, involved the COLA freeze issue for window retirees and it still stands front and center as the Arken case wends its way through the courts, and the fee reimbursement issue remains before the Oregon Supreme Court.

I will remember Martha as a smart, savvy, and keen observer of the goings on at PERS, and an impossible person to put something over on. I'll remember Martha's companionship through endless hearings in Strunk, in Arken, and in the final days of the hearings related to fee reimbursements of lawyers in the Strunk cases. I'll also remember her generosity in sharing copies of court transcripts and her persistence in getting audio documents of important hearings for me to use in writing my blog. Without her assistance, many of my posts would have been impossible to write.

Martha was a tireless advocate for "window retirees". She served on the OPRI Board with distinction and should be credited with getting the Board to recognize "window retiree" issues and for pursuing an agenda of openness and use of modern technology.

Martha's memorial service will be held on Thursday July 12th [NOTE: corrected date] at Belcrest Memorial Park Cemetary in South Salem at 2:00. Martha's family asked that in lieu of flowers or charitable gifts, please "instead treat your family or a close friend to meal out .... and remember friends".

Godspeed Martha. We will all miss you.

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