Letters to the Editor
Pooper scoopers not doing their jobs
To the Editor:
We wish to 'air' this 'stink' to the public - we now have a lovely paved path along Lakeview Boulevard between Pilkington and Bryant. This has encouraged more foot and paw traffic than before as it is now allegedly safer to walk.
Unfortunately, there are several repeat offenders of the pooper scooper ordinances requiring pet owners to clean up after their fur children. As we know from first- hand experience, with supporting (information from) our local veterinarian, this canine scatology spreads bacteria - i.e. ecoli - ( and you thought your spinach was dangerous). If you don't believe this, google canine and feline ecoli - they all have it. So at night before you put your pooch to bed, (sometimes the same one you also sleep in) just think about what they might be bringing in on their paws from what your neighbors left behind. I hope this will give us all serious 'pause' to be more diligent in following our friendly ordinances - there's a reason for it.
P.S. to the maintenance department - could we please have some doggie bags on posts along the length of Lakeview and the paths between Lakeview and Rosewood? Right now they are more than 'virtual' toilets.
Rick and Trish Kindberg
Let us work for peace, good will
To the Editor:
The Nuremberg trials were about the murder of 10 to 11 million human beings; be they Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, Slavs or whomever.
The Declaration of Human Rights was meant to prevent a repeat of the Nazi Holocaust but the mostly unopposed horrors in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur, show the weakness of our resolve. Contrary to the nonsense offered in Iran, 11 million human beings were slaughtered under the still too popular banner, 'Because We are Special, We have the moral authority to exterminate the Not-Special.'
In these literally darkest days of the year, the 'return of light' can serve as a symbol to rededicate ourselves to protecting both our home planet and the great human family of which each of us is a part. Let us not just wish for, but actually work for, peace on earth and good will to humanity. Denying the horrific slaughters that we humans have done, and are doing, to each other is not part of that work.
Last-minute gifts via conservancy
To the Editor:
I discovered a wonderful last-minute gift idea for Lake Oswego walkers or those that look forward to walking in the New Year.
Three Rivers Land Conservancy is selling bricks for $100 apiece to complete the construction of the pathway that links Luscher Farm to West Linn. Each brick may be inscribed to include the name of the gift recipient.
Approximately one mile of pathway has been constructed near the farm, and all the engineering work and land acquisition is completed in preparation for the next mile to Marylhurst Drive.
What a great gift and a wonderful way to ensure the completion of the path.
Contact Three Rivers Land Conservancy at 503-699-9825 or www.trlc.org.
City thanked for its storm response
To the Editor:
Thank you to the city of Lake Oswego and especially our City Manager Doug Schmitz for the fast clean-up after the storm last Thursday night. I understand that Mr. Schmitz was out riding along with the fire department and emergency response staff at midnight Thursday to assess damage and initiate the clean-up process. The city also established the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center as a 'way station' for those of us without power and heat.
As a long-time resident, I appreciate the dedication of our city staff to the citizens of Lake Oswego. It's their loyalty to us that maintains our small town feel of neighbors helping neighbors.
Now, If we could just get PGE to bury our power lines!
Fictional account provided by city
To the Editor:
The City Notes from the Community Center (City Notes, Dec. 14, Lake Oswego Review) inaccurately record what happened at the meeting.
1. The city failed to give the requisite notification for the December 6th meeting at Safeco to discuss impacts of the proposed community center on surrounding neighborhoods.
2. The site graphics during the presentation were illegible,
3. The majority of the audience questions went unanswered.
4. No recording, minutes, or even tape-recorded records were kept by officials running the meeting.
The City Notes give the impression that discussion was confined to neighborhood and traffic concerns. That is what the project manager would have preferred, but it is not what happened. It was clear from a number of questions that taxpayers had costs, budgets, and funding on their minds as well. Several questioned the fact that there is no budget for this project. They questioned that the project is being approached in a backward fashion.
We were being asked to discuss details such as neighborhood impacts before city officials have figured out if the community even wants or can afford a community center. The majority of people expressed concerns over cost. The room erupted in applause when an audience member questioned the city's regard for this public concern. She noted that millions are being spent on this project prior to voter approval; however that was missing from the press release like City Notes of last week. One should have to wonder how all this information vanished from the City Notes. Also missing is the fact that only four of the 20 Steering Committee members showed up to hear the neighbors' concerns. City Hall's fictional City Notes account of the meeting leaves the impression that all is well with this project. As a meeting attendee I feel all is far from well.
City officials would do better to provide a forum where the taxpaying public can get some answers to their burning questions, preferably before city employees' start occupying the Safeco building.
Chair, Holly Orchard Neighborhood Association
Gurantee shouldn't have been made
To the Editor:
In the Dec. 14 issue of the Lake Oswego Review, William Barbat penned a responsible piece re: our city leaders' ongoing pursuit of a new community center at the Safeco location. In the piece, Mr. Barbat provided insightful historical perspective on other projects led by another local government, Multnomah County, which ended disastrously for the citizens of Multnomah County because of a lack of upfront 'proper economic analysis.' I thank Mr. Barbat for his useful insight, but I was alarmed by one aspect of Mayor Hammerstad's response.
Ms. Hammerstad's 'assurance' that the interest cost being paid on the loan to procure the Safeco site will be less than the increase in future value of the property is cavalier. This is an outrageous guarantee that no public official should ever make. What crystal ball is our mayor using that she can guarantee the future? Any number of future circumstances outside of the mayor's control could lead to the decrease in some, or all, property values in Lake Oswego.
I would like Mayor Hammerstad to publish in the Lake Oswego Review the details of her analysis, and her assumptions that support her public 'guarantee' to the citizens of Lake Oswego. Furthermore, Mayor Hammerstad makes no mention of other expenditures being made for the Safeco property, i.e., 'redevelopment' costs, that must also be netted against the 'increase in the property value at the Safeco site.'
With all due respect, Mayor Hammerstad, when public officials make public guarantees in the local newspaper, you elevate the requirement for full transparency with your constituents. This citizen looks forward to your transparent response.
Free and open discussion is needed on community center
To the Editor:
Community Center Project Manager Brant Williams called a December 6th public meeting at the Safeco building to discuss traffic and other neighborhood concerns.
As we have come to expect from these meetings, Mr. Williams prescribed the topics for discussion. However, it soon became clear that many taxpayers had off-topic questions and comments. Many expressed concerns over the lack of a budget for this project, which, like the Lake Grove Village Center Plan, is being designed with an open-ended price tag. In a follow-up telephone call, Mr. Williams expressed annoyance that his meeting was 'disrupted' by repeated questions about costs, funding mechanisms and fiscal responsibility. Yet, curiously, no mention of attendees' preoccupation with financial matters appears in the City Notes (Dec. 14).
It's very troubling that the City Notes are not a faithful record of the meeting. They have been sanitized to make them more palatable. Citizen concerns over cost, budget and funding have been expunged as though they never existed. If the city can't be trusted in a simple matter of note keeping, can it be trusted with the public purse? The City Notes need to be rewritten truthfully and accurately.
Mr. Williams tells me that, rather than voice their off-topic questions and comments at public meetings, citizens should write to city hall or attend city council meetings where they may speak for three minutes. That is apparently the extent of public involvement accorded anyone who doesn't embrace the council's vision.
No provision is being made and no separate public forum is planned for free and open discussion regarding the community center.