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Lake Oswego: No doubt youve got super brains

National magazine lists city among 'brainiest places to retire in the U.S.
by: ,

Lake Oswego has made a top 10 list, and it's a good one, too.

U.S. News and World Report last week listed Lake Oswego as one of the 10 Brainiest Places to Retire in the USA.

Some cities on the list are no surprise, such as Ann Arbor, Mich. Other places are a big surprise, like Hoboken, N.J.

But despite its relatively small size, the glow from LO's brainpower was impossible to hide. It now makes a person feel smarter just to live here.

'It certainly makes a great deal of sense,' said Dr. Bill Korach, superintendent of the Lake Oswego School District, when informed of the report. 'The school district does its part, but in all the organizations you see highly qualified people who are dedicated to this city.

'All of the role models around the community make us have extremely high expectations. (The listing) is one of the indicators that make people realize this is a special community.'

Jerry Wheeler, executive director of the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, seemed to be happily shocked about the news, although initially he wasn't quite sure how to express his reaction.

'How do you talk about this without sounding like an elitist?' Wheeler joked.

But the chamber leader was gratified to have a little more firepower with which to promote Lake Oswego.

'We're within 5 miles of four colleges - Marylhurst, PCC, Lewis and Clark and Portland State is downtown,' Wheeler said. 'This community is so education-based we can market our schools. There is so much corporate brainpower here, too. This gives us unique opportunities that you don't find everywhere.

'We should feel honored that people look at us this way.'

Key factors cited in the U.S. News story included the 15 libraries and 11 museums in the immediate area, plus the fact that 40 percent of the residents have a college degree.

Jodi Heintz, director of public relations for Lewis and Clark College, said, 'We're thrilled to see Lake Oswego recognized as an intellectually stimulating place to retire and we appreciate it if people see Lewis and Clark contributing to that distinction.

'We offer remarkable events where our neighbors can learn about and discuss critical social issues, enjoy the arts and hear from outstanding local, national and international speakers.'

Truly it helps to have Portland so nearby, but the magazine stated: 'Out west, Lake Oswego, Ore., hugs the city of Portland but also offers culture and beauty of its own, making the most of its 405-acre lake.'

While the list focused on cities that are brainy places for retirees, Korach noted that the atmosphere in Lake Oswego helps people who are a lot younger.

'Lake Oswego is a great community to work in if you're a school superintendent,' Korach said. 'This city is very educated and savvy.'

Top 10 cities

* Ann Arbor, Mich.

* Berkeley, Calif.

* Boulder, Colo.

* Brookline, Mass.

* Chapel Hill, N.C.

* Hoboken, N.J.

* Lake Oswego, OR.

* Reston, Va.

* Upper St. Clair, Pa.

* West Lafayette, Ind.