Thanks to Bonnie Hirshberger, city of Lake Oswego citizen information specialist, and Ann Adrian, manager of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, and five of Lake Oswego's finest police officers (Capt. Dale Jorgensen, Community Service Officer/Evidence Technician Wendy Svaren and Officers Gary Anderson, Earl Hall and Jay Rodgers) and community volunteers: Paul Lyons, Karen Stewart and Keith Dickerson, another successful Drug Take-Back event was concluded,

More than 157 citizens who are concerned about the environment participated and seven large boxes of drugs transported to the only licensed disposal site in Oregon at Covanta Waste-to-Energy Facility in Brooks.

It should be noted that the incineration process also produces energy.

The previous event, held six months ago was also very successful and another will be held in November. A message is clear in this and other events of this type that draw crowds of citizens that are not otherwise heard from in debates, and that is that Lake Oswego residents do believe in the urgency of and need for conservation of natural resources such as reducing hazardous waste generation, avoiding use of health-damaging chemicals when there are alternatives and in reducing water and air pollution.

Powerful economic interests outside of Lake Oswego work to sway public opinion to continue to allow diesel pollution, sales of environmentally damaging systemic insecticides, improper use of indiscriminant herbicides and careless hazardous pharmaceutical and chemical disposal.

The majority of Lake Oswego residents works to conserve natural resources (such as water consumption), to reduce hazardous chemical use and to support designing and building clean transit. We are willing to pay for suitable facilities that will benefit the next generation, but within reason. We do insist on minimum cost and maximum payback.

Working together, as with the Drug Take-Back event, the community and city government produce a better tomorrow. Lake Oswegans can and do resist outside influences and overturn incorrect perceptions to the contrary when the need and methods are made clear and the ridiculous external negative hype is pushed aside.

Craig Stephens is a resident of Lake Oswego

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