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letters - March 31

Let Lake Oswego residents vote on the streetcar

To the Editor:

I would like to see the streetcar issue put to a vote by all of the citizens of Lake Oswego.

Thank you.

Teresa Delaney

Lake Oswego

Many are thanked for the success of LO Reads

To The Editor:

During February, Lake Oswego enjoyed a month full of activities related to Lake Oswego Reads with the choice of 'Cutting for Stone,' by Abraham Verghese.

With 32 events in 28 days, the variety offered something for everyone.

Thanks go to Cyndie Glazer and the steering committee, the sponsors, and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this year's program so special. Dr Verghese had the following to say in an e-mail, 'This was an absolutely fantastic visit, a dream from an author's point of view. Having this extremely well-read, literate and engaged community pick my book, 'Cutting for Stone,' and then discuss it and aspects of it in a month-long celebration culminating with my visit - what more can one ask?'

Our city is very lucky to have a library whose staff works extremely hard under less-than-optimum conditions to make a variety of programs available to the citizens of Lake Oswego.

Thanks also to the dedicated volunteers who work at The Booktique, The Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library's used bookstore, whose proceeds allow The Friends to sponsor LO Reads as well as many other programs at the library.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank you, the citizens of Lake Oswego. Your book donations to The Booktique and purchases from the store allow us to support the wonderful programs available at the library. Without your involvement, we would be unable to help the library with the programs you enjoy.

I think this is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when people work together.

Terry Huber

President,

The Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library

Don't let federal money drive decision on streetcar

To the Editor:

I have been reading, with great interest, all the articles related to the streetcar.

It is glaringly apparent that an enhanced bus option has been given only a cursory review. It seems as if our politicians are just trying to be polite (and not always even that) to the segment of our citizenry that this option appeals to.

I see the big names attached to the streetcar and, unfortunately, they are the same names that have hung the West End Building on us.

Please give the enhanced bus option the review it deserves. Don't let federal money be what drives your decisions.

Lynn Guzie

Lake Oswego

Is it fact spinning and legacy building for the city of LO?

To the Editor:

Mayor Hoffman's comments in his recent State of the City address about the affordability of living in Lake Oswego are illustrative of why many residents of Lake Oswego have lost their faith with our city government.

In his speech, per the Review's March 24th article, Mayor Hoffman cites a study ranking Lake Oswego seventh out of 11 cities in property taxes, which shows that 'Lake Oswego is affordable.'

This is an interesting argument for the mayor to make, since four years ago one of the city's priority initiatives was to address the perception that most people working at service-type jobs (teachers/firemen, etc.) and young families could no longer afford to live in the city. The city was going to force in-fill housing developments and other 'affordable housing' initiatives due to this concern.

In the past few years that issue seems to have been (fortunately) dropped, however the city has done a 180 in its thinking and now cannot find enough projects on which to spend taxpayer's money. How massive spending projects and debt can improve affordability escapes me, however the leadership of this town can spin any fact they want if it helps them in building their own legacies.

Perry Packard

Lake Oswego

We need Audrey Monroe for Lake Oswego School Board

To the Editor:

If dedication, communication and seeking to understand all of the points of view before making a decision are the most important factors to determine the best candidate for Position 5 of the Lake Oswego School Board, then I suggest you vote for Audrey Monroe.

Audrey has consistently demonstrated these skills in her roles as a volunteer with the school system and in all of the interactions on leadership projects with other parents and with administrators.

Audrey has a demonstrated commitment to helping the school system and has experience from the point of view of a parent, business owner and resident of Lake Oswego who cares about her neighbor's concerns. She knows that maximum efficiency must be maintained while still providing the spectrum of educational, arts, science, civic and socialization skills necessary for our children to be prepared for the future.

Audrey also has the innate skill and drive to lead and to form a consensus by shear dedication and tenacity to hear all points of view and to obtain all information leading to an informed decision. That is what we need.

Craig Stephen

Lake Oswego

'Raise the bar with Bob Barman'

To the Editor:

In the next four years, the school board will be making very important decisions that will impact the reputation of our community. We need leaders who will ensure we don't inch backwards and instead strive to raise the bar so our schools are recognized as among the best in the nation. That means figuring out how to do more with less.

Bob Barman has our vote. He is an innovative and proven leader who rallies others to come together to get the important things done, usually rather quickly. He listens, seeks out the expertise from the community, leads with enthusiasm and vision, encourages debate and gets traction and action to help people reach consensus and move forward to get things done!

Bob will give his all to this role on the school board and the entire community will benefit from that, like we have from his work fundraising for the foundation and school auctions, initiating and leading the Waluga parent program on drug and alcohol awareness, helping get the local levy passed, leading the committee to bring home games back to Lakeridge and as PTO President at Waluga.

Raise the bar with Bob Barman for school board.

Derrith and Evan Lambka

Lake Oswego

'Schools are foundation of our city'

To the Editor:

My husband and I currently have one child in the Lake Oswego school system. We sent a check to the Lake Oswego School Foundation to cover two kids. We would have sent the same check if we had no children in the school system.

Have you sent your check? Our schools are the foundation of our city.

Scarlett Chanter

Lake Oswego

Monroe would be a great addition

To the Editor:

Audrey Monroe would be an excellent school board member. As a result of escalating budget challenges, our school board members are being asked to make extremely difficult decisions. It is vital that we elect members who are well qualified to make such decisions.

Audrey Monroe offers a unique blend of experiences and skills which make her the perfect fit to serve as a board member. She has the perspective of being a parent, a business owner, a former PTO president, chair of LOSD Coordinating Council, a School Advisory Committee (SAC) member, and a former chair of a Preschool Advisory Committee. Additionally, she brings a strong set of communication skills, which she has successfully applied in her previous career roles in pharmaceutical sales and as a grassroots consultant.

I am impressed with Audrey's commitment to stay current with all the information relevant to our current crisis. She has made it her business to not only stay informed, but also to be involved in doing the difficult work to evaluate all possible solutions. She has proven that she can approach difficult issues objectively and I would like to see her continue this work as a board member.

Tonya Bunick

Lake Oswego

Monroe deserves our support for LOSD post

To the Editor:

I'm writing in favor of Audrey Monroe serving on the Lake Oswego School District Board. She is exceptionally well qualified to serve in this capacity.

As co-owner of a successful business, Audrey understands the need to be fiscally responsible without sacrificing quality. As PTO president, she reorganized the PTO calendar to improve the success of fundraising efforts and demonstrated a firm commitment to operating within a balanced budget.

Audrey is objective and approaches issues and decisions with a 'greatest good' mentality. She is a good listener and a careful decision maker. She has a thorough approach to decision making, which includes the analysis of all relevant information, including short- and long-term impacts.

A board member does not act alone, but rather is one of five. Audrey is a collaborative worker and I am confident that she has the right skill set and temperament to function very well in a board setting.

Given the seriousness of the issues our district is facing, it is more important than ever that we send well-qualified candidates to serve on the school board. Please join me in voting for Audrey Monroe for Position 5.

Shannon Huggins

Lake Oswego

Join in supporting Audrey Monroe

To the Editor:

I am happy to be supporting Audrey Monroe for Lake Oswego School Board Position 5. Audrey is exceptionally well qualified to serve the community in this capacity. I have known Audrey for several years and have noticed that she is always quick to take on volunteer and leadership roles in a variety of settings.

Over the years Audrey and I have often discussed issues of mutual interest. I always trust that Audrey has done her homework and due diligence before reaching conclusions. These critical thinking skills are important qualifications for her candidacy as we must be able to trust school board members to be thoughtful and meticulous in their decision making.

When Audrey served as PTO president, I appreciated her disciplined approach to managing the budget.

She was very cognizant of the economic uncertainty that was settling over the state and was careful to plan accordingly without sacrificing any of the valuable programs offered by the PTO.

Please join me in supporting this excellent candidate and vote for Audrey Monroe.

Richard Peters

Lake Oswego

Have the schools already failed us?

To the Editor:

Everywhere I look there are signs that say 'don't fail our schools.'

I can make a case that our schools have already failed us.

Alan Schlosser

Lake Oswego

Barman is right person for board

To the Editor:

Bob Barman is the right person for the school board. He has consistently shown how much he truly cares for the schools in this district and its students and how competent he is when facing difficult issues.

I had the privilege to work with Bob as co-chairs of a committee to bring back home games to Lakeridge. Until the fall of 2008, the football games, soccer and lacrosse play-off games could only be played at Lake Oswego High School, depriving Lakeridge of any home field advantage and impairing the school's sense of community. With great sensitivity to the demands and needs of the neighbors, Bob manifested a willingness to listen to all parties and to accommodate the requests of the city and the school board. Bob has a true gift in leading people to work together and in finding the best solution to any problem.

His knowledge of the schools, his experience and success in the business world, his 25 years living in Lake Oswego, his hard work and dedication will be valuable assets to the school board in these challenging financial times.

I ask you to join me in voting for Bob Barman.

Brigitte Howley

Lake Oswego

Our dogs are too fat to be healthy

To the Editor:

Just as for humans, obesity is a growing and costly problem for the 77 million-plus pet dogs in America; a study in 2010 by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that over 50 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. As we come out of winter hibernation with our pets, spring is a perfect time to reevaluate our dogs' health and make a change together.

Perception is part of the problem; a dog that looks healthy to us, or even 'cute' with rolls of fat, is often suffering from excess weight. To the average human, five extra pounds may not seem like a big deal, but for a medium-size dog whose ideal weight is 30 pounds, for example, this extra weight can be life threatening. Obesity in dogs can result in arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and other conditions that are not only painful, but also require expensive medical attention.

The best thing dog owners can do is to consult their veterinarian on what a healthy weight is for their dog and then put a plan of action into place.

Switch your dog to a well-balanced, appropriately portioned canine diet. Look for foods containing only high-quality ingredients, with no extras like protein fillers, unspecified animal by-products or chemical preservatives. Get some exercise. Walk your dog, take him to the dog park, or just toss a ball for him to fetch around the yard. And make time to train your dog regularly using a method that doesn't rely on sugar- and fat-loaded treats.

Excess weight in pets can decrease their life expectancy by up to 2.5 years; you can increase both your dog's quality and quantity of life by keeping him at a healthy weight.

Al Holzer

Bark Busters Home Dog Training

West Linn

WEB refinance plan is bothersome

To the Editor:

It's spring and baseball is in the air.

The West End Building Work Group's modifications to WEB strategy (that was scheduled to be considered at the March 29) council meeting delays the decision on WEB once again. By recommending new 10-year financing for WEB, including principal and interest payments, the group is also recommending burdening the city with estimated annual payments of $2.6 million assuming 5 percent financing and a 10-year term. This is more than four times the amount the city is currently paying in interest alone. How do we afford that, especially as the council pays lip service to financially aiding our schools (which I support)?

It's been nearly 5 years since we acquired WEB. Surely, 5 years is long enough to decide on WEB and its financing. The city Council has already missed commitments to refinance WEB twice before (July 2009 and May 2010), and now we have the March 2011 commitment. Strike 3?

It's time to put the retention of WEB together with its recommended development plan and projected costs to a vote now. If it is rejected by the voters, sell WEB. Yes, even at a $10 million loss which we will have to pay for out of General Fund revenues. At least we don't add to the loss every year with interest and support costs which get us nothing.

And maybe we will stop talking about how it is a good thing to pay $458 million for a cute Lake Oswego streetcar running 8 miles downtown only being pushed by developers, their supporters and city council.

Gordon Umaki

Lake Oswego