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Letters - Oct. 13, 2011

Don't lose the Carman House to redevelopment

To the Editor:

Re: The historic Carman House

According to the real estate listing, 'This gorgeous piece of property with an old farmhouse (as is) is ready for development or imagination for a private home on 1.25. R-5 zoning allows many options.'

The one option it may not allow for is the preservation of what is possibly the oldest and one of the most historic homes in Lake Oswego.

The Carman House was built in the mid-1850s, prior to Oregon becoming a state. Few homes from the territorial period survive in Lake Oswego or even statewide. Carman built it with the help of fellow pioneer, C. W. Bryant. The house was constructed for Carman and his bride, Lucretia Allyn Gurney, the first couple to be married in Oswego. Historian Mary Goodall described it as 'an outstanding structure of the times.'

Carman's full name was 'By the Still Waters Carman.' He was a millwright and is credited with building the first wooden dam on the lake and the first school.

This historic house has been in our community for more than 160 years, the span of five generations. It is one of only 43 homes designated by the city as a landmark; it is a scarce and irreplaceable part of our past. A public hearing is required to alter or demolish a city landmark. Hopefully this safeguard will protect the property as intended.

Carman Drive should not be the only tribute to this pioneer family. Preservation of the home would allow their legacy to continue and would add a new owner's legacy of stewardship. Care of the Carman House, as well as Lake Oswego's built heritage, is an individual and a community responsibility. Let us not allow this irreplaceable resource to be lost.

Marylou Colver

President, Lake Oswego Preservation Society

lakeoswegohistoryonline.com/

Lake Oswego

Fiscal policy concerns raised about city plans

To the Editor:

Hoo-ray … (after reading last week's story on the Foothills District titled 'Big investment, bigger return is envisioned'), I am just thrilled to death that officials believe … private development would generate 33 times the amount the city puts in.

Whoa, that city money comes from my pocket through city taxation ... $8.25 million to pay for (associated) infrastructure projects ... and the city would spend an estimated (additional) $56.1 million in today's dollars (ho-ho-ho).

Ho-kay, it is alluded that this will be accomplished through tax-increment financing and systems development charges. In tax year 2010, I paid the city of Lake Oswego Urban Renewal $100.24 and the county $23.32 and I have not personally identified any specific tangible benefits for that year, nor the urban renewal taxes for all preceding years.

Now the city has found a $2.8 million surplus that is burning a hole in its pocket. Meanwhile, that old albatross, the infamous Safeco building boondoggle, eats away at money that should go to city infrastructure repair or real needs for the citizens of Lake Oswego.

Currently, everyone is concerned and talks about problems of citizen representation and fiscal policy at the national level ... hello all of you taxpayers within the grasp of the city of Lake Oswego.

Robert S. Furrer

Lake Oswego

Measure 3-388 continues local control in Clackamas County

To the Editor:

The Nov. 8 election presents voters in Clackamas County with an important choice where two urban renewal measures will compete.

The one with the most votes wins.

Measure 3-386 would require a countywide vote on a locally supported urban renewal district within unincorporated Clackamas County. For example, the voters in Molalla, Damascus or Lake Oswego would vote on any proposed urban renewal district in Oak Lodge or Beavercreek or Lake Grove. Clearly this undermines 'local control' and deserves a no vote.

Measure 3-388, on the other hand, keeps the decisions regarding urban renewal with the local voters who are affected by the vote. Residents should not have to wage a countywide campaign to make improvements to their own community. Local voters are best equipped to make their own decisions.

Vote Nov. 8. In the interest of local decision-making, please join me and vote no on Measure 3-386. Vote yes on Measure 3-388.

Judie Hammerstad

Former Lake Oswego mayor

Lake Oswego

Another half baked idea in poem form from the city?

To the Editor:

The city government, Big Brother, has produced another half baked idea. Big Brother wants his subjects to participate in the decision making of the different aspects of the community development code. He wants their testimony to be a poem of 14 lines. About 120 words.

The city has had a public hearing on the code. If the testimony of the members of the audience had been restricted to 120 words, no one would have been able to complete their testimony.

The revised edition of the code will put more restrictions on private property, more taxes, more red tape, more of Big Brother intruding into the lives of the citizens.

The mayor and councilors will vote to accept or reject the new code. I believe they have already decided how they will vote. So poems and public hearings are a farce. It just gives the impression that they have an open mind and will accept what the majority recommends.

Big Brother asked 'What do you love about Oswego?'

I hate Big Brother.

Bob Federspiel

Lake Oswego

Reminding us of our true

priorities - well, maybe not

To the Editor:

Thank heaven for moral beacons like Lake Oswego's Noel R. Wolfe who can tidily excoriate our nation's poor and the programs which serve them while ingeniously proposing no solution. (See, 'Take a Hard Look at Nation's Poor,' from Lake Oswego Review of Sept. 29. Without his acute insight how would the rest of us know how diabolical these unwashed masses have been in gaming the bloated emergency food bank system -especially the children. Why just yesterday I read where there were more than 15,000-plus homeless youth (read moral failures) in Oregon alone, a 37 percent increase from two years ago. More 3- and 4-year-old deadbeats eating cheese and laughing at the rest of us.

We now breathlessly await Mr. Wolfe's powers of superior moral guidance and penetrating intellect to take aim at another intractable problem whose target demographic is likewise wasting untold resources - health care for the elderly. How can we continue in good conscience to put money down this rat hole? Let's face it, these folks are not getting any better.

Thanks from all of us, Noel, for taking the time to state your moral principles to remind us all of our true priorities.

Tom Brennan

Lake Oswego

'Send vowels surging through your nose'

To the Editor:

ST. HONORE'S

Our French bakery has little sympathy

For people who don't speak French.

If you took Driver's Ed. in high school

Instead of a romance language,

You're at a disadvantage.

They have a lovely bun, Pain aux Raisins.

If you can manage something close,

They may sell it to you.

It will loosen your tongue

And send vowels surging through your nose.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

Support Measure 3-388 in November

To the Editor:

There will be a couple measures on the November ballot on how future votes will be held to create urban renewal areas. One provides for a vast countrywide vote and the other, more appropriately, for the vote of those in the local community to be affected.

Urban renewal paid for improvements to Millennium Plaza Park and the new Oswego Lake Front Park. It helps communities attract private sector jobs and pay for roads, sidewalks and sewer systems.

Please join me in supporting Measure 3-388 to increase the local control of urban renewal decisions. It just makes good sense to have local communities vote on local issues.

Mike Wells

Lake Oswego