letters - Nov. 10, 2011
Four of the oldest homes in Lake Oswego are at risk
To the Editor:
Lake Oswego's built heritage is a very precious community resource. Less than one-half of a percent of the more than 15,000 homes in Lake Oswego have been designated as an historic landmark by the city. Out of this small group, four of the 43 residential properties are currently threatened by major alterations or possible demolition for redevelopment. Three of these homes were designed by prominent Oregon architects and are worthy examples of their work. The fourth is thought to be the oldest house in the city.
The Lake Oswego Preservation Society is the only local organization actively working on promoting both the positive historical, environmental and economic impact of preservation. As the community works toward greater sustainability, preservation is key. Does it make sense to recycle Coke cans, yet throw away buildings?
Donovan Rypkema, an internationally recognized authority on the economics of preservation, summarized the basic sustainability concepts as follows:
1. Sustainable development is crucial for economic competitiveness.
2. Sustainable development has more elements than just environmental responsibility.
3. 'Green buildings' and sustainable development are not synonyms.
4. Historic preservation is, in and of itself, sustainable development.
5. Development without a historic preservation component is not sustainable.
There is only one chance to make the decision to demolish an historic structure and we make that decision, not only for ourselves, but for all who come after us. Preserving historic properties retains the wide range of options for rehabilitation and reuse.
Retention and stewardship of Lake Oswego's unique built heritage is a win-win decision. It's today's most sustainable choice and it preserves Lake Oswego's unique historic fabric for future generations.
For more information, visit http://lakeoswegohistoryonline.com .
President, Lake Oswego Preservation Society
Pay attention to growing number of veterans with ALS
To the Editor:
The 2012 Presidential campaign is in full swing. We read about it in this newspaper every day. Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and of course, President Obama. They all are fighting for their political lives. But with Veterans Day approaching on Nov. 11, what the American public needs to hear about is the campaign our nation's veterans are waging against Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Yes, the disease that took the life of baseball legend Lou Gehrig is striking our military veterans at an alarming rate. In fact, studies show that vets are twice as likely to die from ALS as the general public. And it doesn't matter when or where they served in the military - home or abroad, peace or war, from World War I to Afghanistan. There is no treatment. No cure. Only death in an average of two to five years.
We don't know why vets are more likely to develop ALS. But we do know that greater awareness of this campaign will help in the fight to find the cause, treatment and cure for this horrible disease. On Veterans Day, I hope this newspaper honors these American heroes and tells their story, which largely has been ignored by the media.
I urge your readers to visit the Wall of Honor at www.alsa.org/. There they will see the faces and read the stories of the veterans who are fighting ALS and those we already have lost to the disease. There they will see the campaign that has not been written about by the press. They will see the stories of people not simply engaged in a political fight, but in a fight for their lives.
Please donate to Lakeridge High School's canned food drive
To the Editor:
We should all be very disturbed and motivated to help fight hunger in our community with the recent news that Oregon has the highest rate of child hunger in the country.
The 2009 Feeding America report states that 29 percent of Oregon children (representing more than 85,000 in 2011, according to the Oregon Food Bank) face food insecurity each day.
These kids are not sure where their next meal is going to come from. This may mean that they are skipping meals, eating less than is needed to stay healthy or eating filling but non-nutritious foods.
The Lakeridge High canned food drive kicked off Nov. 7 and runs through Nov. 18. There will be marked OFB barrels to receive food donations from the community at (many) Lake Oswego grocery stores (Albertsons State Street and Boones Ferry Road, Palisades Market, New Seasons) and at the entry to Lakeridge High School.
Please get the word out and make this food drive most successful.
Students don't always need to be expelled over so-called 'weapons'
To the Editor:
I am horrified, but not surprised to learn that a student was expelled last year for having a penknife left over from cutting apples over the weekend in his backpack.
Several years ago, my own son in junior high was suspended for four days for holding in his hand a handmade, 4-inch-long, pioneer-style wooden toy sling shot purchased at a country store in North Carolina. It was considered a replica weapon by the school and he lost four days of his schooling over a ridiculous zero tolerance rule that has taken away any common sense on the part of administrators. And certainly his ADHD disability was not taken into any consideration for the 'behavior.'
Four days lost with no makeup possibility was almost impossible for him to overcome. For the student expelled this year, I'm sure his education was permanently disrupted as he now had to attend a lesser quality 'alternative' school in another school district.
As a teacher, I have seen students bring real guns and bullets to middle school in much 'rougher' school environments, and I didn't have any problem with those students being expelled. But these replica/kitchen utensil 'weapons' certainly don't demand that the students be suspended or expelled.
Editor's note: Nancy Duin, director of communications for the Lake Oswego School District, responds: 'State law requires expulsion for one year for possession of a weapon at school. By definition, knives are considered weapons. However, the superintendent or his designee has the authority to modify weapons expulsions based on individual circumstances.'