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letters - Batch 2, Aug. 4, 2011

'Working together' makes LO a better place

To the Editor:

The courage of the Lake Oswego City Council and in particular the four councilors who finalized the $2 million package for the school district should be applauded. That decision was not an easy one to make.

By doing so the council has made it possible to save 21 teaching positions and to give the school district more time to plan for the best possible outcome for school closures.

It is one thing to say we all support education but,when difficult choices have to be made,it is another thing to actually do it.

We are a community that always strives to be the best. Our schools have not let us down. Every school in the district has earned the highest state rating. The reputation of our schools enhances our property values and makes us a highly desirable place to live.

Our community needs to work together as a whole as it has in the past, especially in financially challenging times. We are all beneficiaries of our strong schools. We need to appreciate the leadership of both the city and the school district who have established a working relationship that recognizes that working together will help keep Lake Oswego a great place to live.

George Benson

Lake Oswego

Focus on the long term for Lake Oswego

To the Editor:

The update of the Lake Oswego Comprehensive Plan to continue to meet the universally accepted and agreed Oregon goals for community planning while incorporating changes in the community by acquisition and building is challenging and expensive.

Fortunately this community is blessed with people willing to serve in the capacity of the Citizens Advisory Committee for this three- year project. Fifteen citizens of Lake Oswego accepted the challenge of doing more with less as volunteers dedicated to building a healthier, more affordable and livable community that reflects the core values of our community.

The council representative and chair of the CAC is Sally Moncrieff. She is the council champion for this critical and time-demanding process that is the first real update in over a decade despite significant deviations in policy and plans from the Comprehensive Plan in the interim.

The aim of the Citizens Advisory Committee, including that of the professional facilitator that is intimately familiar with the Oregon Goals, and that of the dedicated and diligent staff coordinators, is to tailor the Lake Oswego Comprehensive Plan to build a roadmap consistent with the Oregon Goals. The volunteer citizens and councilperson are working in your behalf, with your input solicited at each phase, to document the way we will build a better tomorrow for Lake Oswego and serve as a lodestar.

Consider insisting that all proposals, yours included, be measured against the plan and that the plan is reviewed and updated annually. Think about this before questioning the decisions of your neighbors who are working to Keep Lake Oswego Great. Avoid creating 'unintended consequences' of deviation from the Comprehensive Plan for transient benefit. Focus on what is important for long-term success as a community in an increasingly difficult financial environment. Support the effort to make it happen.

Craig Stephens

Lake Oswego

Streetcar/Foothills juggernaut rolls on

To the Editor:

This just gets better.

Our Lake Oswego mayor decides that the promised citizens' streetcar / Foothills survey should be delayed so we can be better informed?

Naaahhh, I don't think so. Let's call it what it is, A Strategic Retrenchment. He knew his pet project was in deep (trouble).

And sure enough, a four-page color flyer showed up pitching Foothills (at our expense - wonder what that bill was…?). The streetcar project manager announced that he was just kidding about the $484 million cost and he would get us better numbers. So the Draft Environmental Impact Study (that cost us a fortune) was hooey?

Look at the artist renderings of Foothills - what happened to our Lake Oswego village? Six-story glass and brick South Waterfront / Pearl District generic garbage? I thought the sky bridge was over the top and now it seems we have an elevator!

I have had the privilege to live in Washington, D.C. and New Canaan Conn. Both are great examples of how things can be done. Rock Creek Park runs north/south through D.C. itself. They had an unused railroad right of way, also. D.C. turned it into a pedestrian/bike pathway called the C and O Towpath that is enjoyed everyday by thousands. New Canaan's citizens have fought to keep the village look of the town and you know what? They have!

To our mayor and city council (not all of you - you know whom this is for): With WEB, Foothills, streetcar, Twin Cinema remodel and now a new library (or sure, another bond issue - is everyone nuts??), I for one am going to need a Walmart within walking distance. So don't hold up permitting!

Trey Chanter

Lake Oswego

Getting value while shopping is important

To the Editor:

This is in response to Elena King's letter of July 21 in the Lake Oswego Review.

Seriously, really Elena?

Elena states that 'West Linn and Lake Oswego have residents that enjoy shopping in high-end stores with a reputation for quality products …' As a 30-year Lake Oswego resident, I actually enjoy shopping at places that give me more value for my money than some 'high-end' stores. I would rather drive to Winco (as many of my well-educated friends do), bag my own groceries and have more money in my pocket than shopping at a boutique store where I have to shell out more money for the same product. Walmart carries brand-name products at better prices than many other retailers.

I actually have a picture of a Maserati, (which last time I checked is a high-end car), parked in the lot of Winco during one of my visits there. On any given day, there are many Mercedes, SUVs and other 'high-end' cars there - so obviously the rich stay rich because of smart money decisions.

I'm sure there are some unemployed, well-educated residents of Lake Oswego and West Linn who might jump at the chance to work at Walmart in order to have a job and put food on the table for their families. Don't you think our local high school teens and college students home for the summer, would love to have a job at Walmart with a possible future in management?

Lake Oswego and West Linn are 'upscale' communities, but are not isolated from the reality today's economy is having on our population.

Linda Hilgart

Lake Oswego

Anti-Walmart letter doesn't reflect area

To the Editor:

To determine choices for others or to single handedly represent two communities is a most extravagant, narrow-minded and self-serving endeavor. Clearly I am appalled by the article titled 'Walmart is not what we need in Lake Oswego, West Linn,' (Lake Oswego Review, July 21). It may be true that residents of Lake Oswego choose to shop at high-end stores and are not in need of 'affordable convenience.' But is this true of all residents of Lake Oswego? I don't believe it is true of all residents in West Linn.

In my experience the residents of West Linn represent a wonderful variety of people. As a resident of West Linn for many years, I have experienced a mix in age groups, professions, levels of education, interests and hobbies, ethnic diversity, religious and spiritual practices … ad infinitum. Walmart may appeal to some of our residents. Some residents may choose to be employed there. Traffic is already massive. Why would we not welcome people from Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton, Sherwood and Wilsonville? I don't believe that West Linn is a non-welcoming community in any respect. I don't believe we are not conscientious of our safety or blind to the possibility of crimes, and we also have an incredible police department.

I most humbly confess I would not make judgments of or predictions about my community of West Linn as a whole. Alas, I further confess I am highly educated (B.S., Ed.M., PhD), am a senior who has lost much of my retirement savings, am partially dependent on Social Security; and I will probably check out costs at Walmart. It is my choice.

Angela R. Dreher

West Linn