- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
'Imagine the great future' for the city
To the Editor:
I (recently) returned from watching my son participate in a fencing class that was held at the West End Building. The class was wonderful and so was the building. They have turned part of the first floor into a gym/exercise room with a wood floor and mirrors on two of the walls. The south facing wall was glass and I was able to watch the sun set as my son learned a new skill.
The class was held next to the McKenzie Teen Lounge so while my son's class was going on I took the opportunity to slip into the McKenzie Teen Lounge and was happy to see quite a few Lake Oswego teens in the lounge enjoying themselves.
It is easy to envision a community center with many other activities and meeting rooms for neighborhood association or other organizations. There are so many potentials and possibilities from tennis courts to Frisbee fields. Perhaps we can turn the front lawn into a low water use demonstration garden.
Imagine the great future.
Lake Oswego City Councilor
Voters need to know what votes are for
To the Editor:
Joan Moore has fallen for the city council's deceptive line that retention of the Safeco property is a done deal and all we are voting for now is the refinance of the original, questionable loan.
The vote in November was a NON-binding, no-cost-to-voters referendum by a minority of Lake Oswegans. Although 55 percent of those voting did vote to retain the property in November, we have yet to see whether the majority of Oswegans support the permanent financing of the property when their pocketbooks are on the line.
Greg Nelson is absolutely correct that voters need to think twice about agreeing to support the permanent financing of such an expensive property without clear thought of the future use for the facility, all at time when each of us has other major financial issues to consider: declining real estate prices, economic recession, job losses, major investment losses, delayed retirement plans, not to mention, mandatory tax or rate increases for the sewer interceptor replacement and improvements to the Lake Oswego water utility. As Mr. Nelson points out, there are also upcoming measures requesting levies for Portland Community College and Clackamas County libraries, which in the opinion of many, should come before the permanent funding of a property with no known effective use.
Voters should reject the permanent financing of the Safeco loan, Measure 3-295, at least until we know what we are voting for. Asking us to vote for the funding of the property, then having hearings to decide what to do with it, is a fool's proposition.
Fortunate to have heart clinic nearby
To the Editor:
Re: Lucy balances heart with a full life that ran in the Lake Oswego Review last Thursday:
Lucy and her family are fortunate to have an organization like Children's Heart Foundation. A relative of mine had her first surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot back in the pioneering days of open heart surgery (the 1960s).
Support groups like Children's Heart Foundation simply didn't exist. Forty years later, my relative discovered her 1960s 'repair' had developed complications that needed to be repaired. She also discovered that most cardiologists do not have extensive specialized training for adults with complex congenital heart defects. (A congenital heart defect is different than a heart attack. A congenital heart defect is a problem with the heart's structure that is present at birth. A heart attack is caused by blockage of blood flow to the heart.) Fortunately, we have the only clinic in the state specializing in adults with congenital heart defects right nearby at OHSU. The repair of the repair was successful and my relative is back to mountain biking and ski patrol.
According to the Adult Congenital Heart Association Web site, achaheart.org, 'most adults with heart defects have few or no on-going limitations or symptoms,' but those born with complex heart defects face an increased risk of developing new heart problems as they age. They are urged to be seen regularly by congenital heart defect specialists. The hard work of medical professionals, families, friends and the patients themselves is paying off - for the first time in the United States the number of adults with congenital heart disease is greater than the number of children with the disease. This is a true testament to the medical advances in congenital heart disease. Bravo to Lucy and all of those who have faced this challenge.
Measure 3-295 deserves support
To the Editor:
The purpose of this letter is to encourage support of the refinance of the West End/Safeco building, Measure 3-295.
The building was purchased in 2007 on a line of credit. The purpose of Measure 3-295 is economically prudent; to convert short-term, interest-only debt, into a fully amortized general obligation bond of up to $20 million.
The West End/Safeco Building, situated on 14 acres, in the demographic center of Lake Oswego, was a strategic purchase by the Lake Oswego City Council. Immediate needs include a 9-1-1 center, city office and park and recreation facilities, and much needed book storage and library program space complimentary to the main branch. Land to build the long-anticipated, modern swimming pool is another option that may be suggested.
These possibilities are among many that will be studied and planned during a public process in the next 12 to 18 months.
Regardless, this bond measure is just sound business. Refinance, familiar with many Lake Oswego homeowners, will allow citizens of Lake Oswego to capitalize on our AAA bond rating. Securing long-term financing on this significant Lake Oswego asset is in all our interests.
Please vote yes on Measure 3-295 to refinance the West End/Safeco Building.
'See the movie and tell your friends'
To the Editor:
It's coming to Portland, May 5 at Cinema 21! You can learn almost everything you ever wanted to know about our troubled elections, but were afraid to ask, in Uncounted, the Movie. Or you can order it on line.
Although we in Oregon do create a paper trail, the ballots we mail in are counted by an 'optical scanner.' Fortunately we can demand a hand recount if the machine tally gives cause for concern, and we need to be on our toes in that regard.
But for those who vote electronically in other states, there is good cause to worry. Once a machine has 'swallowed a vote,' no one can look inside to see what happened to it. Please tell your friends in other states to demand a paper ballot from their Secretary of State or county election officer.
The machines can be hacked or rigged by their owners and their associates, and technology has even been developed that can flip, or reverse, the machine tally (see the movie).
The incidence of election fraud in our nation has grown apace with the rise of electronic voting machines and their 'proprietary' (secret) softwear.
Even if a Democrat wins in '08, we could still get McCain as president. Though he tries to project a kindly demeanor, he seems to be OK with the idea of a hundred year war in the Middle East, which I consider an extreme cruelty.
Better see the movie, and tell your friends!
Vote for Brown for state Representative
To the Editor:
I'm voting for Linda Brown for State Representative because Linda has proven that she listens to citizens, then takes what she hears and gets things done, both locally and in Salem.
Linda has experience not only from working on the Lake Oswego School Board but also from the many years she has spent in Salem with the Oregon School Board Association, fighting for better education for every child in the state of Oregon.
Linda will work for full and stable funding for all of Oregon's schools.
Linda Brown will work to make sure that all Oregonians, young and old, get the heath care they need by working for access to preventive care for young children and expansion of Oregon's Project Independence to help seniors live healthy independent lives.
Linda believes in balancing growth and development while protecting sensitive lands. She shares the goal of having Oregon generate at least 25 percent of its electricity from renewable fuels by 2025.
Linda will fight to strengthen privacy protections so credit, banking and medical information is secure.
Linda has proven, during her years on the Lake Oswego School Board and with the Oregon Association of School Boards, that she listens to citizens' concerns and priorities and she knows how to get things done locally and in Salem. Please join me in voting for Linda Brown for State Representative.
Brown 'walks the talk' for District 38
To the Editor:
As parents of Lake Oswego students, we support Linda Brown in her bid to represent House District 38 in Salem.
Ms. Brown has proven herself to be a thoughtful and effective member of the Lake Oswego school board for many years. She has managed complex and contentious situations (such as budget cuts and contract negotiations) all the while maintaining the respect of the community she serves.
She has had to 'walk the talk,' doing difficult things for the good of our schools and our kids. She has taken principled, sometimes unpopular, stands when it was the right thing to do. She has demonstrated a depth of knowledge and commitment that has helped to make Lake Oswego arguably one of the best school districts in the state, even in the face of inadequate and unstable funding. She can do this in the Legislature.
We urge you to cast your vote for Linda Brown to represent District 38.
Diana Antoniskis and Mark Rarick
Why are 2 crosswalks so close together?
To the Editor:
Good grief, the beatings shall continue until morale improves!
In the case of the crosswalk at Fifth Steet rand A Avenue, it has been riskily placed without safe sight distance for drivers approaching from the west. Furthermore, the driver's eye is properly engaged on the upcoming traffic signal at Fourth Street.
Why do we need two crosswalks within 40 or so feet from each other?
Keep the safest of the two - the walk with the controlled signal at 4th and A and eliminate the problematic and dangerous walk at 5th . In truth with four lanes involved, the driver doesn't easily see the pedestrian(s) until they reach the edge of the center lane.
If the city is unwilling to eliminate this crosswalk then it needs to invest in flashing lights and signage well in advance of the crosswalk and also paint stripes in the lanes focusing the driver for some advanced distance on the upcoming crosswalk.
Terry Usina Boyer
Point was to caution voters about situation
To the Editor:
Joan Moore is correct: I am confused (letter, April 24: 'Vote isn't about keeping building'). I am confused as to how someone could read my April 17 Citizen's View about Measure 3-295 and come to the conclusion that I believe this measure is about keeping the West End Building.
My (column) clearly states that Measure 3-295 is '… to secure permanent financing for the West End Building' and it refers to the approval of '… Measure 3-273 last November recommending keeping the Safeco property.' Measure 3-295 contains the financial commitment that advisory Measure 3-273 did not. Rather than an honest commentary on my (column), her letter reads more like a press release from the mayor's office touting the features of the property and the reasons for the ballot measure.
She obviously missed the point of the (column), which was to caution voters about approving permanent financing for the West End Building without knowing what it will ultimately look like and cost. The city council could alter their process and determine what the citizens want to use the property for, calculate the cost, gain public approval, and then ask for permanent financing. I believe that prudence is called for in this situation, and voters will make their opinion known in May. Approval of Measure 3-295 will validate Measure 3-273; defeat will send the city council back to the drawing board.
Ms. Moore's confusion and incorrect conclusion are understandable. She was so caught up in writing her elaborate description of the property that she lost sight the (column's) intent. Either that or she was in such a hurry to have her property taxes increased for an ill-defined project that she failed to realize that not everyone is as enthusiastic about this as she is.
Here's a thought about downtown crosswalk
To the Editor:
A Avenue and 5th:
Why doesn't the city install a push button lighted crosswalk signal at dangerous intersections without stop lights?
When trucks are parked along A Street, it's difficult to see pedestrians approaching the intersection.
If there were a walk signal, it would also be great when it's night time.
City should anwer measure questions
To the Editor:
I have a list of questions for the mayor and city councilors regarding the May Ballot Measure 3-295.
1. Why not put this measure to the voters when the other tax measures are before us? (the Lake Oswego Schools Local Option, the tax to pay for our new sewer/water treatment facilities, the community colleges tax, the upcoming library improvements tax)
2. At the end of the day what will Lake Oswego residents end up paying for this building? What will the annual operating costs be?
3. The city has owned the US Bank Building on the lake for five years or so, why hasn't the upstairs space in that building been offered to the public for meeting rooms, as the Safeco Building meeting rooms are so offered?
4. Given that our city is in such great financial shape and can buy big land parcels such as this, why not buy land near the new Foothills Park on the river, build a community center there and give the entire town something more centrally located, walking distance to the new exciting retail, and truly a community center.
5. How much revenue would the city generate if we were to sell this Safeco land and then reap the taxes from the new owner(s)?
There are so many unanswered questions that I do not want to pay for this Measure 3-295.
It seems to me that the priority really should be schools, sewer, and water facilities first 'for our City and our future.'