Letters - Sept. 1, 2011
'Please don't let our history slip away'
To the Editor:
To save the Lake Oswego Hunt, in its present location, is to save an irreplaceable part of Lake Oswego's history.
Paul C. Murphy joined the Ladd Estate Company in 1923 after his successful role in developing Laurelhurst. Murphy had the vision of transforming Oswego, as it was then called, into '… an incomparable residential-recreational community,' which was touted in a myriad of real estate marketing brochures. The Oswego Lake Country Club and the Lake Oswego Hunt were the 'crown jewels' that attracted homebuyers in the late 1920s and the 1930s. It would be unthinkable to have one of these assets become just another housing development.
If we lose the Lake Oswego Hunt, we would lose a site with both local and national significance. It is one of a small number of properties in Lake Oswego listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that recognizes architectural treasures of importance to the country's history.
We would also lose a key component of Murphy's original vision and the legacy of the built environment that makes Lake Oswego unique. If you haven't seen the magnificent, soaring bowstring arch trusses of the wooden arena, I urge you to visit the Lake Oswego Hunt and see this building because it's the only one of its kind on the West Coast.
To quote Mary Goodall, who was a Lake Oswego historian, city councilor and preservationist, 'Please don't let our history slip away.'
President, Lake Oswego Preservation Society
Prologue to my John Deere farewell
To the Editor:
The Briggs and Stratton lawnmower was very serviceable and adequate for the job of mowing my small front and back yards. I had no complaints with it. The ground in our area can be wet because of all the precipitation we receive. Yes, we live in a heavenly rainforest and green is our favorite color.
I had just finished the job of mowing and was headed to the storage building. Pushing it up a small hill, my feet slipped on the muddy ground. My feet went backwards and my head forwards. My mouth hit the handle of the mower, and it knocked the corner of my front tooth out. Fortunately my dentist was working that day. It was the fifth of July. Since people often have accidents on the fourth, their office is usually open on the fifth. So I took my bloody mouth to my dentist. He matched and patched the tooth and skillfully sewed some stitches inside and outside of my mouth. I was grateful for his and his assistant's expertise.
The lawnmower would not work after that. Evidently it did not like our encounter any better than I did. Hence, the mower got disposed of. That was when I met my dear John Deere. (See citizen's view in Aug. 25 Review.)
Neighbors Helping Neighbors stymied?
To the Editor:
Lake Oswego's elderly population has hit an unfortunate 'road block' at the hands of some individuals within city hall. Let me explain:
Neighbors Helping Neighbors was started in 2008 by my wife, Dawn. It's a successful program designed to help the city's aging population keep their yard maintained. I, like many other volunteers, have contributed a good share of sweat into the program over the years. It is an incredibly rewarding event, and we have seen many tears of joy from those who receive assistance.
A large part of the process involves pulling weeds and removing overgrown plant materials from their yards, which must then be hauled away. For the upcoming event in September, Allied Waste had generously agreed to donate pickup services for much of the debris. However, when some at city hall heard of this altruistic arrangement, they insisted that Allied Waste charge for these services - at the tune of up to $2,000 for all of the houses.
It is both shocking and disappointing to see some individuals within city hall hinder the efforts to help the aged. Regardless, the event will go on. This 'elderly tax' will be shouldered by the very people it was intended to help, and we will have to pick up the extra costs from personal savings or donations. But it is a shameful act for city hall to charge for what was already being donated.
This fall, the organizing of Neighbors Helping Neighbors is in the hands of Lake Oswego citizens. This is where the heart of the program belongs. I only wish some in city hall could set politics aside and see its value. Let's hope that when they soon reach their 'golden years,' others treat them with more respect.
You can find out more about the program at www.nhn-lo.com .
Former Lake Oswego resident