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letters - Nov. 17, 2011

Please give what you can to help those in very real need

To the Editor:

I started receiving requests for grocery store gift cards for needy families this week. Every year there are more and more families in need of assistance. We have a few who are homeless and living at Motel 6 with between two and five kids, some who are still living in their homes but without electricity because they can't pay bills and others who have been out of work for long enough that their savings have run out and they simply don't have money for food.

I have connected every family I've been in contact with, with area food pantries, health care services and emergency shelters and there are a lot of good resources around Lake Oswego but they just can't provide enough.

So if you can help in any way, in any amount, would you please purchase and take grocery store gift cards (Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Target) to the secretary at any Lake Oswego school? These donations can be anonymous or you can ask for a receipt for tax purposes. Just tell the secretary that you have a donation for needy families.

Thank you.

Katie Levin

Lake Oswego School District nurse and Lake Oswego resident

Thanks to those who are serving the city

To the Editor:

I attended the Nov. 8 Lake Oswego City Council meeting where Williams, Dame and White presented the Draft Foothills Framework plan.

The citizen's advisory committee gave an extensive report on its deliberations, and I was extremely impressed by their diligence in bringing citizen concerns to the process. Representatives from the adjacent neighborhoods brought their concerns, and the whole committee had apparently heard the public concerns about the size and type of development, because at every juncture, their mantra was 'This is not South Waterfront!'

Williams, Dame and White principals Christe White and Matt Brown took the CAC members on several field trips to different areas to study which architectural elements caused people to want to hang out in favorite places, such as First Street in front of Lake View Village in Lake Oswego. The CAC members' responses are what drove the design process, which specified proportions and relationships of buildings to streets and sidewalks, not specific building designs.

I don't know what will happen with this project - the city council will drill deeply into the financial considerations - but I do know that residents can have confidence that their concerns were honored and carefully addressed by their fellow citizens on the CAC. At this season of Thanksgiving, I am very grateful to all the citizens who give their time to our advisory committees and boards.

Thank you.

Jan Castle

Lake Oswego

Get involved in 'Keep Lake Oswego Great'

To the Editor:

I am a relative newcomer to Lake Oswego. I moved here two years ago - from Portland - and am slowly getting to know the community. I find it very livable; it is easy to get around and I love walking around the 'duck pond' area of the lake, the small downtown filled with businesses, the farmers market, the library and more. Clearly the Lake Oswego community has done a lot of things right.

Last Sunday a friend invited me to attend a neat gathering at the Heritage House. It was an event sponsored by a group called Keep Lake Oswego Great. The purpose is to promote ways to continue to make the community hum - how can we keep building on the successes - great schools, great central city and great business community? What are the needs of our community as some citizens grow older and we want to attract new young families? How do we keep traffic at bay and find ways to encourage walking and fitness?

Keep Lake Oswego Great is a group that explores those issues and will work to promote them. For a newcomer like me, it provides a wonderful way to get involved and meet my new community.

This group meets regularly - please look at the website and learn how to get involved at http://keeplogreat.com .

Lisa Adatto

Lake Oswego

Sensitive lands killed this real estate deal

To the Editor:

My parents have been looking for a home for about six months in Lake Oswego.

They want a home on a larger lot and finally found one they loved. They were thrilled. Until the listing agent disclosed that the property fell within the proposed sensitive lands map from the city. Sadly, this was a deal-breaker for them. Even worse, this property has been on the market for many, many months and this is not the first time the sensitive lands issue killed a deal. Or the second.

If anyone is wondering whether or not the sensitive lands zoning affects real estate values, they need only ask someone who is listing one. Or, someone who is trying to buy one. Or, the agent who is trying to sell one. Or, the agent who is trying to buy one.

Or ...

Jennifer Carter Pahl

Lake Oswego

Hope for private revitalization of downtown

To the Editor:

The headline in the Lake Oswego Review was 'Launching a downtown revival.' Can such a revival, if it makes sense, be accomplished by private interest without the city and taxpayers being involved? My guess is that the majority of Lake Oswego citizens shop, dine and seek entertaiment among Lake Grove Town Center, I-5 and Boones Ferry, Bridgeport and Washington Square and rarely visit downtown Lake Oswego.

A consultant hired by the city to lead revival discussion programs was quoted in the Review article, 'downtown is the place you come to experience the community fabric and human experience of being part of Lake Oswego.' My hope is that some private developer(s) understand this and will revive downtown Lake Oswego.

Joe Stern

Lake Oswego

'Please be thoughtful about our monies' in Lake Oswego

To the Editor:

An open letter to the Lake Oswego City Council:

Please consider those of us who are not mad about anything nor mad at anyone but really want to have a new library before a streetcar.

Actually, my favorite expenditures in this city are schools and great teachers, library, teen center, adult community center and a streetcar to take all of us around to these places and the parks.

Please consider the taxes and the affordability of this city for young families. My husband's parents came here for the schools, we stayed here for the schools and, to our delight, our son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren are here for the schools. Please be thoughtful about our monies.

Suzanne Chisholm

Lake Oswego