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LETTERS BATCH 2

Health lectures worth taking in

To the Editor:

My husband and I had the pleasure this week of attending the first of four free health lectures at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.

This first presentation was by Richard Rosenbaum, MD, who is a neurologist with Providence and he spoke on Parkinson's disease. His talk was excellent! He shared with us details on current research being done on the brain, past approaches, and future directions being pursued. Dr. Rosenbaum is quite an authority in this area, and he did a terrific job of providing information that was both educational and engaging.

Although there was a good turnout, there were still plenty of available seats, so I want to encourage other members of our community to take advantage of these wonderful presentations. Coming up later this month on May 16, 17, and 24, the topics will include heart health, cancer and orthopedics. We're very grateful for the organizations making this all possible: The Lakewood Center, Providence Health Services, the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center and The Bank of Oswego.

There is also a special art exhibit to see this month in the hallways presented by Medline that helps promote breast cancer awareness.

Tickets for the remaining events are free, but you need to pick them up in advance by phoning the Lakewood Center at 503-635-3901.

Joan Freed

Lake Oswego

A poetic look at the Lake Oswego furnace

To the Editor:

The following poem is submitted by James Fleming:

FURNACE

A town monument anchors

One age to another.

Ours is a stone furnace that rises

Like a medieval tower

At the edge of Rogers Park.

Two tons of ore made a ton of iron.

Our inheritance is the honesty

Of one stone on another,

The grace of the Gothic arch,

A small, high window

That framed the hellish fire.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

Continue roll out of immersion program

To the Editor:

We strongly urge the Lake Oswego School Board to continue the roll out of the elementary language immersion program.

Under the leadership of Sarah Howell, the group of 186 families known as the 'Friends of Language Immersion' has worked diligently to support the budding program which will be cost neutral when fully implemented. If the school board decides at its May 23rd meeting to offer language immersion only through kindergarten, it may effectively end the program. Parents are unlikely to choose to enroll their children in a separate immersion program in kindergarten only to have to reintegrate them into the standard curriculum beginning in first grade.

Portland and Beaverton school districts already have successful immersion programs in place. A number of local private schools offer language immersion as well. If the school board does not demonstrate commitment to elementary language immersion, even more families will be lost to surrounding districts and private schools with viable programs. These lost families represent lost revenue for our school district and lost vibrancy for our aging community. The school board should take the opportunity at its May 23rd meeting to innovate and stay competitive in the regional educational landscape by voting to continue the roll out of the elementary language immersion program.

Jennifer and Todd Prager

Lake Oswego

While Todd Prager is a member of the Lake Oswego Planning Commission, the views expressed are those of the Pragers alone.

LOSD asked to support language immersion

To the Editor:

I am a Lake Oswego parent of two, with my oldest entering the Spanish Kindergarten at Lake Grove this fall. We established ourselves in Lake Oswego because of the excellent schools - the best in the state.

The Spanish language immersion program is a dream for our children. There are countless studies that indicate learning and communicating in more than one language improves cognition and develops better citizens. We are so committed to this program, that if the program ceases to exist, we will look at private schools offering language immersion.

A language immersion program is cost neutral. As teachers are retiring, new teachers with a bi-lingual background can be hired to replace them. With the restructuring of the current schools, what better time to implement this program?

About 70 percent of the Lake Oswego population does not have school-aged children. Our schools are only partially full. The district isn't closing schools only to have bigger classrooms, they are condensing schools. Now that homes are more affordable, why aren't we drawing young families to move to this wonderful city? Shouldn't our schools be an incentive? Wouldn't a language immersion program help that?

I implore that the Lake Oswego School Board do what is best for our students and for our future bi-lingual residents. We dearly hope that the LOSD will implement a program beyond Pre-K and kindergarten.

Suzanna Rogstad

Lake Oswego

Vocal minority/silent majority are stirring

To the Editor:

Enough already! In Lake Oswego there exists a cadre of the usual suspects. You know them because they are your neighbors. Yes, they are joiners-the chamber, Rotary, clubs, committees, associations and all manner of quasi-political affiliates. They are predominately liberal/progressives and they virtually control this community. This observation is neither good nor bad, it simply is.

And, yes, they have an agenda. An agenda which seems to desire that Lake Oswego look, feel, and be indebted like anywhere plastic, tiltup - Mexifornia. Oops - not PC!

We are a wealthy community and can afford anything we truly want. But, should we want the extensive changes being proposed by the current city council? Lake Oswego Review (opinion writers) voices of reason like that of Charles Collins and Gordon Umaki are all but drowned out by the usual suspects' 'political' banter.

The myth is that the so-called vocal minority is, in fact, the silent majority who, after seeing caution and reason cast to the wind, are continuing to stir. We heard them speak during the past election cycle and we are likely to hear them again in 2012.

Some advice from the silent majority. Just because we can afford a project doesn't mean we should, but more importantly, all major issues - streetcar, WEB, Foothills project, etc. - should be put to a vote of the people both vocal and silent. Do not commit this community to progress it does not want and is unwilling to afford.

Noel R. Wolfe

Lake Oswego

Thanks for supporting Walk4Water

To the Editor:

On Saturday April 30, 400 men, women and children participated in the fourth annual Walk4Water.

In the process, they raised $40,000, enough to end the long walks for water and provide the dignity of sanitation to more than 850 villagers in Zambia. Walk sponsors covered all expenses.

World Vision Executive Bwalya Melu, from Zambia, and Lake Oswego Mayor Jack Hoffman led the walk on a beautiful warm dry morning. Walkers left Foothills Park and walked to the Water Sports Center to fill their buckets. Then they walked up to State Street before winding back down to Foothills Park to dump their buckets. Along the way, signs and displays provided information about water and life in Zambia.

Besides the walk, the festive atmosphere included the Lewis and Clark Marimba Band, refreshments, the sale of handmade merchandise, and information tables on WaterAfrica, Women of Vision, Sherwood's Running Water event on May 22, water bottles and water diseases. Thank you to all who made this a rich experience.

Speaking for the 850 people in Zambia whose lives will be changed because of the generosity of all these donors, a big thank you. If you would like to help, please go towww.waterafrica.org.

Bill Savage

President

WaterAfrica

Lake Oswego

'Seize the window of

opportunity' with languages

To the Editor:

The Lake Oswego School Board has another landmark decision to make at the upcoming meeting on May 23. Is it important to have a language immersion program in LOSD? Do we want to prepare our children to be competitive in the global economy?

When I enrolled our preschooler in the tuition-based Mandarin Chinese program I was curious to see what she might really learn as a 3 year old. She has amazed me. She sings songs and uses her friends' 'Chinese names.' But most amazingly, I have seen her understand and follow her teacher's instructions given to her in Mandarin. (Hey maybe if I could speak Mandarin she would listen to her Mom a little better). But seriously, if she can already understand and follow instructions in Mandarin, what will she be able to do at the completion of an elementary immersion program?

What about program costs? The language immersion program can be implemented as a cost neutral program if enrollment is adequate. Adequate enrollment will happen if our school board commits to expanding language immersion beyond preschool and into an elementary program. Language immersion programs are not only attractive to current families within our district, but will attract new families to move here specifically for the program. It will also garner families that are willing to pay and attend from out of the district. This will only occur if the school board is willing to build and fully support the language immersion program.

The school board needs to cease discovery activity to determine if immersion is 'right' for our district, and instead take action to expand it. There is demand for this program. We must seize the window of opportunity to provide our children with the tools they will need to be leaders in the global economy of the future.

Barbara Griffin

Lake Oswego