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Exciting school year gets going this week

To the Editor:

As we begin the new school year, I want you all to know how special this year will be.

In today's world, success for students at every grade has never been more important. Oregon's new graduation requirements go into effect for the class of 2012 - that is, this year's ninth graders. I believe the new diploma will better prepare graduates for work, college and life.

Everyone has a role to play in helping students reach this goal. From kindergarten through high school, parents and educators must work together to make sure students stay on course to graduation. If a student falls behind, we need to make every effort to get that child back on track as quickly as possible. For some students, we may need to provide additional class time and support (including tutoring, afterschool programs or summer school). We also need to provide teachers with the support, tools and strategies they need to help students meet the new requirements.

It is essential that we increase our level of support to ensure teachers and schools have the resources they need, and I am working with the governor, legislative leadership and our partners to see that schools have the funds they need at every grade, not just for high school.

The coming school year promises to be a very exciting one, and I encourage you to open up conversations with your teachers and school officials with the goal of making every student and every day a success.

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo

Salem

Support 'courageous' Pacers football

To the Editor:

Lakeridge High School came unbelievably close to not having a football program this fall. After numerous meetings, it was determined that this would be unacceptable for the district and for the kids. With the commitment and determination of a first class athletic director, coaching staff, and 38 courageous young men, Lakeridge will compete on Friday nights this fall.

Last Friday night's game against a very good Sunset team was inspirational. Lakeridge was not only in it, but in the lead for most of three quarters until they ran out of gas.

The school administration, the young men and the coaching staff at Lakeridge have stepped up. Now it is our turn. Regardless of what side of the lake you live on, this program needs your support. Please come to a game and see what these young men are learning about the value of hard work and perseverance.

Wayne and Carolyn Mays

Lake Oswego

Strong support for the GOP ticket

To the Editor:

Sarah Palin's lack of direct foreign policy wonkery is no problem. Our biggest foreign policy problem is our international weakness brought on by our lack of smart energy policies. Those who have denied attempts to increase supplies for decades must be exposed and defeated. Sarah will reassure voters that energy help is on the way.

John McCain, don't forget, was a fighter pilot. He has 'go for the jugular' instincts. He didn't just 'ride around' in a fighter-bomber. He wore it like a suit of armor. He led others into mortal combat. He put his own life on the line with them. He is a fairly old dog now, but he can still deliver sharp bites. He knows where the useless spending is buried in Washington and how to dig it out.

Sarah will help strengthen John's understanding of our energy predicament and how to resolve it. She has lived her life in the closest proximity to the Soviets of any U.S. residents. She has debated some long-term public officials and sent a few corrupt ones packing. Joe Biden will need to be wary of her debating skills about foreign policy. She is not a pushover.

Sarah Palin had the foresight to promote a large natural gas pipeline through Alaska and Canada to the U.S. Midwest. Between her and T. Boone Pickens, big things are getting done in energy.

I and conservatives like me at last have a ticket we can support enthusiastically.

George E. Edens

Lake Oswego

'Vision and mirage' - they're different

To the Editor:

We have a chance to get something right.

The Metro Council approved Milwaukie light rail and wants our thoughts about future high capacity transit. One possible route is from Milwaukie to Tigard/Tualatin through Lake Oswego, presumably using the Portland and Western right-of-way.

Unlike streetcar, this could reduce Highway 43 congestion. 2006 ODOT and Portland traffic counts show about 9,500 Sellwood Bridge crossers going to and from Lake Oswego with thousands more taking Taylors Ferry to points south and west. Direct high capacity transit could be better.

MAX from LO through Milwaukie should be faster than streetcar. Even with the OMSI detour, MAX would have higher speeds, fewer stops, and a Portland transit mall alignment. We also could keep the line 35 bus, which will be quicker and more convenient than either rail option for most riders.

Costs and the railroad will push for WES rather than MAX. This isn't horrible. We'd have much better commute hour transit service to Tigard and Beaverton as well as to Milwaukie and the east side. Lake Grove in particular would benefit.

There are concerns. There'd be more rail trips through residential neighborhoods and pressure for a downtown park- and -ride congestion magnet. With WES, we'd need to upgrade public rail crossings (read: spend tax money) so that engineers wouldn't always be blasting their horns.

The best outcome would be MAX on exclusive right-of-way through LO to Beaverton, but it's not in the cards.

What if we extended both MAX and WES to downtown Lake Oswego? We'd have commute hour service to Beaverton and full time rail to the east side and Portland. This probably would mean another Willamette bridge for transit, cylists, and pedestrians; and substituting MAX for streetcar.

Terminals in LO rather than Milwaukie may be counterintuitive to planners and local officials after the blood spilled for streetcar and Milwaukie MAX. As individuals, we really do need to take Metro's online survey before Sept. 21 and make sure that the new city council knows the difference between vision and a mirage.

R A Fontes

Lake Oswego

Hoffman tied to many positives

To the Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to support Jack Hoffman's campaign for mayor of Lake Oswego.

This campaign for mayor presents stark alternatives. Jack has been a leader of a group of Lake Oswego citizens who have spent the last 10 years nurturing the development of Lake Oswego's public domain and livability. The work of this group is being opposed by another faction whose public policy can be defined as 'I'm against it.'

Jack served as a city councilor between 1998 and 2006. He was specifically involved with projects which include, but not limited to:

n Redevelopments of Block 136 and 138, in downtown Lake Oswego.

n Development of Millennium Plaza.

n Development of Foothills Park.

n Development of the Old River Road pathway.

n Purchase of Iron Mountain Road Corridor.

n Rehabilitation of Springbrook Creek.

n Master planning of George Rogers Park.

n Master planning of Bryant Woods.

n The encouragement of the arts in Lake Oswego, specifically initiating the Downtown Public Arts Program.

n The In-fill ordinance.

n Governing a city which was awarded a Triple A bond rating, one of the few in the western United States.

You may not favor every city council action. However, no neutral observer can refute the importance of the investment by the Lake Oswego City Council in the public infrastructure and their commitment to Lake Oswego livability over the last decade. Jack Hoffman is the best candidate for Mayor if judged by experience, temperament and commitment. Please join me in supporting Jack Hoffman for mayor in November.

Steve Dodds

Lake Oswego

'Dig deep' into the pasts of local candidates'

To the Editor:

Our city and neighborhoods need protection ... not from developers, but from the city council, staff and the invasive task forces and boards that are hand picked by council for the purposes of furthering their agendas.

Last week written notices were supposedly mailed to property owners in Lake Oswego to inform them of open houses and a public hearing to adopt new regulations which will affect property rights and values. These new regulations comprise three packets, each an inch thick, for a total of 3 inches for all.

The sheer number of new regulations suggests an obsessive compulsion for control by the city. Adding insult to injury, the letter also contains notice that if citizens want a copy of the information, they must pay $15.

Who are these people we have elected and who are the civil servants who work for us? Each month approximately $100,000 is spent, or wasted, for the Safeco Building and it's maintenance, which serves as the city's new office space. Yet, they can't seem to be able to afford the paper to inform citizens of new regulations strategically designed to rob them of property rights.

It's election time and there are some candidates who have helped set the stage for these current conditions. Disregard what a candidate says (he or she) 'intends' to do and, instead, dig deep to try to discover what they have actually done. Let that be a guide to how you vote!

Carolyne R. Jones

Lake Oswego

Candidate says he's been shut out of local forums

To the Editor:

It appears that some in the community do not want every voice represented in the public debate. Apparently I have been shut out from attending two of the public candidate forums. Those are the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition on Oct. 4 and the annual meeting held by Holly Orchard at the West End Building on Oct. 9.

I would like to thank the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association, and the Palisades Neighborhood Association for their invitation.

Voters of Lake Oswego, please note that not every candidate is being given the opportunity to show you how they differ from the other candidates. I have far less money than my fellow candidates for city council, and now I have less opportunities to express my platform to you.

Please feel free to e-mail me at devin4citycouncil.com if you're interested in knowing who I am. And apparently why some local organizations and associations are afraid of what I have to say.

Devin Holz

Candidate for Lake Oswego City Council

Hoffman is a strong choice for mayor

To the Editor:

Jack Hoffman is our choice for mayor because he's a positive voice, not a negative one, for Lake Oswego.

Jack is fiscally conservative, interested in always improving Lake Oswego but doing so thoughtfully and within our financial means. Jack brings solid experience and a detailed familiarity with city finances, and is committed to openness and transparency in budgeting. He is committed to protecting core city functions - police, fire, library and vital neighborhoods.

We've known Jack Hoffman for over a decade and he's a generous contributor to our community, a smart and talented public servant, and he will serve Lake Oswego well as our next mayor.

We whole-heartedly endorse Jack Hoffman for mayor and encourage you to visit his Web site to learn more about Jack and join us in supporting him: www.hoffman2008.com .

Peter and Cyndie Glazer

Lake Oswego

Hoffman's stands are questioned

To the Editor:

In the citizen's view by Jack Hoffman on Aug. 21, 'Community should participate,' Jack Hoffman proposes a city council (which he hopes to lead as Lake Oswego's next mayor) which 'collaboratively works with the public to find solutions that enjoy broad support.' Further, he believes that 'Public concerns, needs and values must be incorporated into this decision making process.'

Is this the same Jack Hoffman who, as a city council member in 2006, voted to spend $20 million to acquire the Safeco property without citizen involvement and in the face of strong public opposition? The same Jack Hoffman who, along with the other council members, ignored the 'public concerns, needs and values'?

It seems that the two years away from city government have been an eye-opener for him. Suddenly, as a candidate for mayor, he really cares what we think and is concerned for the more than $1 million we are spending annually in interest and operating costs for the West End Building.

I don't know what kind of mayor Mr. Hoffman would make, but I do think he has the makings of a good politician. He has executed a not-so-subtle about-face. He senses which way the wind is blowing and, depending on the direction, he speaks accordingly.

Greg Nelson

Lake Oswego