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Letters

Help keep the Lake Oswego Public Library 'great'

To the Editor:

One of the great things about Lake Oswego is the library. Compared with libraries of similar size, the Lake Oswego Public Library is No. 1 in the state in per capita use and eighth in the nation in a variety of measures (e.g. circulation,) according to Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR)

I grew up using a Carnegie library. It was back in the days of card catalogs and shushing from the librarian. Times have changed. Enter the library these days and you'll hear children laughing as they head downstairs to see a puppet show and check out books. Teenagers can be seen visiting, doing homework and browsing the DVD's and CD's before checking out their books. Adults keep busy on the computers doing research and writing.

Libraries have become community centers providing information and enrichment. Lake Oswego Library sees over 1,000 visitors daily. This year reference librarians answered over 42,000 questions from individuals and over 3,500 people enjoyed author talks, music programs and book discussions. More than 7,000 people participated in the library's second annual Lake Oswego Reads program this past February. Helping staff and loading up the stacks are over 450 volunteers who contribute their skills, talents and enthusiasm.

The library is accessible to everyone at no fee. In Lake Oswego we are fortunate because the City provides 70 percent of the needed funds for our library. The other 30 percent comes from the county. In November the county will ask you to approve the creation of a Library District, which will eliminate library funds from the county budget. A Library District would provide dedicated dollars to libraries.

Remember as a community we can keep our library great. For information about how to Keep Lake Oswego Great, go to www.KeepLOGreat.com.

Colleen Bennett

Member of Keep Lake Oswego Great

President of the Friends of the Library

Past Library Board Chair

Gudman would be excellent on the city council

To the Editor:

Great to see Jeff Gudman running for city council.

I have known Jeff for almost a decade and I think he would make an excellent addition to the council. Jeff is highly intelligent and honest. It's rare to see someone of Jeff's quality run for office.

Usually the more accomplished and talented shy away from political office because the media and the campaigns are so brutal. Thank goodness, every once in a while, we are lucky to have a Jeff Gudman run for office.

Jeff is a great guy!

Lake Oswego deserves his expertise.

David Elton

Lakeridge High School

Class of 1984

Spokane, Wash.

Public invited to the DRC hearing

To the Editor:

The following is an open letter to Lake Oswego residents in the Country Club/North Shore Neighborhood Association:

Jeff Parker has asked again to cut 4 more stately Douglas firs and a madrone in front of the house he is building at 1500 North Shore Road next to the Forest Hills Easement.

These trees are in addition to the 25 significant trees that he already has removed from the property that required a tree cutting permit and the many others that did not. Mr. Parker has appealed the city's decision to deny this request to the Development Review Commission (DRC).

Please join us at the DRC public hearing at Lake Oswego City Hall (380 A Ave.) at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17 to show your support for the city's decision to deny this latest tree cutting application by Mr. Parker.

Written testimony for AP-08-02 (TC 08-0349) can be sent in advance to David Odom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail to David Odom, city hall, 380 A Ave., Lake Oswego, OR, 97034. Written testimony must be received no later than Sept.17 at 5 p.m.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you at city hall.

Isaac Quintero

Chair

Country Club/North Shore Neighborhood Association

Lake Oswego

Ask candidates specific questions

To the Editor:

If you watched the preparations for Hurricane Gustav, you saw the facts which put the lie to Ronald Reagan's famous dictum, 'Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.'

It is the arrogant, snide, hypocritical, uncaring, anything-for-a-buck, Cheney-Bush government of the last seven-plus years that is 'the problem.' The still-too-prevalent notion that the government we, the people, choose is bound to be inferior to the rule of private, for-profit, corporations that we don't choose - that's 'the problem.'

We can prevent another four years of, 'You're doing a heck of a job Brownie,' by asking every candidate this question, 'Do you agree that Ronald Regan was right when he said that government is the problem?' If the answer is, 'Yes,' find another candidate! You can't expect good government from people who don't believe that the citizens of this great country collectively cannot take effective action through their elected government.

Hank Robb

Lake Oswego

County plan ticks off local resident

To the Editor:

If you have ever called a Clackamas County office for service, then you know how rare it is to get a 'live' person on the other end of the phone line.

Well, think of what it's going to be like when county politicians and bureaucrats vacate their shiny new office buildings on the fifth day of that which most of the rest of us consider as part of the work week.

Who's sustaining whom or what?

Rick Newton

Lake Grove

Continue to support the Local Option for our schools

To the Editor:

When my family returned to Oregon in 2003 from Lake Forest, Ill., we chose to live in Lake Oswego because of its exceptional schools. Lake Oswego was an easy choice. We wanted elementary and junior high schools that expected high student achievement (94 percent of elementary students meet/exceed state reading standards). We wanted a high school that focused on college preparation (94 percent of graduates attend college). And, we wanted a community that embraced and supported its exceptional schools. We have not been disappointed with the schools or with the community support for the schools.

Once again we have the opportunity to sustain the exceptional qualities of our schools. The first Local Option was approved in 2000; it was renewed in 2004. The current Local Option, Measure 3-305, sunsets after the 2009-2010 school year. It is up for renewal Nov. 4, and would be in effect for five years from 2010-2015. The Local Option supplements the state funding each district receives per student ($7,112/year). Local Option monies are used for instructional programs and operations. Currently, the Local Option provides approximately 12 percent of the LOSD school budget. A yes vote for Measure 3-305 will help the LOSD continue to provide programs and services exceeding what could be provided with state funding alone. A yes vote for the measure would continue the current property tax rate of $1.39/$1000 of assessed value. Please join my family in voting to renew Measure 3-305 to sustain Lake Oswego's exceptional schools.

Mark and Carolyn Pihl

Lake Oswego

Palin's beliefs don't link completely with science

To the Editor:

Sarah 'Hockey Mom' Palin's acceptance speech for her party's vice presidential nomination was divided into three main parts: Telling the world how absolutely wonderful she is, telling the world how absolutely wonderful John McCain is and telling the world how absolutely horrible Obama and Biden are, and doing it in absolutely insulting terms. Beyond that there was little if anything of interest or import to anyone but a committed far-right Republican.

But the thing that is scary about the lady is her long association with dominionist and end-of-time religious ideology. The thought of having another person with influence in matters of foreign policy, having a mindset that Armageddon and the end of the world is good, is foolhardy, if not insane.

Her denial of anything resembling real science, whether it concerns climate change, women's choice issues, sex education or stem cell research fits right in with BushScience.

I defend Ms. Palin's right, as well as that of anyone, to hold any beliefs they want. However a nation that entrusts its survival to those with aberrant philosophies, is sentencing itself to death.

Dennis McNish

Lake Oswego

'God speed worthwhile friend and opponent'

To the Editor:

As I sat in the midst of a saddened community last Sunday for Rich Sowers memorial service, I was reminded of an event.

One time when our Lakeridge eighth grade varsity was scrimmaging against the LO eighth grade varsity at Waluga Junior High School, Rich, (after yelling and screaming that his team wasn't playing hard enough) asked me why three of our kids weren't playing and I said we were waiting for some helmet pieces to come through our equipment guy.

He ran to his big pickup truck, pulled out new helmet parts and gave them to us. I was floored.

Just the year before I admitted to assistant coach Jeff Harden that I really didn't want to talk to the guy. Jeff told me to go over and talk to him, that it was all a front. Jeff Harden was the only coach I had coached with that was bigger than Rich Sowers. I told Jeff 'that's easy for you to say.'

Each year as we would face off in the eighth grade Civil War game, our practices became farther apart on the giant Waluga field and we spoke less.

One year we lost 6-0 and as we shook hands at the 50, he told me that it was one of the best eighth grade games he had ever seen (winning coaches always tell losing coaches that I have found out). Four years later as those seniors left the big boy senior varsity field with their first win over LO in that class's football history. He took some of those same young men aside and congratulated them.

At first a perceived force in front of you, in reality a force with you. God speed worthwhile friend and opponent.

Don Clarke

Lake Oswego

Hoffman is a 'trustworthy' choice for mayor

To the Editor:

I have observed many brave citizens help govern our city over the past four decades. Many arrive on boards, commissions and the council with a leadership style and a plan to implement. Sometimes they experience shock and frustration before realizing that leadership requires letting go of our agendas.

Jack Hoffman began his eight years on the Lake Oswego City Council with that self-assurance and singular focus that one must have to get through an election campaign designed to impress us voters, qualities that are not so well appreciated once the campaigning turns to governing.

To his credit, Jack spent eight years learning and unlearning about the realities of the community governing process. Jack learned to listen, stay open to opinions and options and then, using his sound judgment, his clear, bright mind and his creative sensibility, Jack helped move Lake Oswego toward the truly beautiful, sustainable, workable city it is and can continue to be in the future.

It is a privilege for me to look back, nearly 3/4 of a century, at the transitions and processes that have created our community -appreciating and applauding the efforts of all citizen leaders. For me, the greatest gifts of time, funding and good governing are our preservation of public land and actions for sustainability. They are gifts to future generations and take sensitive, creative thought and insight to happen. Jack Hoffman has those qualities and will be a natural and trustworthy choice for mayor of Lake Oswego.

Norma Heyser

Lake Oswego

Gudman understands the role that the city plays

To the Editor:

Jeff Gudman would bring a financially conservative position to the Lake Oswego City Council and I wish for the local citizens to embrace his candidacy and elect him to the post.

I have been very frustrated by the frenzy of new regulations and laws that have been handed down as 'planning' and I fear that the growing size of city government needs some balance (and fewer checks as well).

We have a wonderful community, filled with creative, expressive people. It is simply not essential that the city council and other agencies continually refine our 'vision' with new commitments requiring lockstep participation of local businesses and city folk for literally everything that can be seen.

I would like to see a council that embraces 'freedom' as an important benefit and is willing to consider the potential harm that over-regulation can cause. There are simply too many layers of government, and yet the council continues to vote for additional limits on construction and vegetation while appearing less concerned with keeping our budgets 'sustainable.'

If we do not find some fiscally responsible managers, I fear we will destroy the coolest aspect of our community, the diversity of lifestyles that exists here. I hope Oswegans will elect Jeff Gudman and other council members who understand the important, less visible, roles that the city plays.

Warren Dexter

Lake Oswego

'Ask yourself what your priorities are'

To the Editor:

Lake Oswego is poised at a critical crossroad. This crossroad is the upcoming Lake Oswego City Council and mayoral elections in November. This is not a popularity contest and it's not who knows who.

It is who is best suited and has the education, skills and ability to lead and direct the city through complicated construction projects, who can make critical decisions based on priorities, who can make astute financial decisions based on facts and who will bring our city back to fiscal responsibility and affordable livability for all families.

The sewer interceptor and the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Agreement Plan will cost the Lake Oswego residents at least $157 million. Over the next 7 years, we can expect to see our utility bills double to pay for these projects.

Which brings me to this point: As you sit down to vote, read your voters pamphlets carefully and weigh in on who says they want to keep the WEB. Jack Hoffman, Sally Moncrieff and Jeff Gudman all endorsed keeping the WEB during November 2007 elections. and they supported the defeated WEB bond measure in May 2008 regardless of other priority expenses facing Lake Oswego residents.

Ask yourself what your priorities are. What is more important to you? Is it unnecessary projects like the WEB or is it the well being and financial health of our schools, our neighbors and our city?

Ask yourself who is it we really need on the next city council to keep Lake Oswego great?

Kathe Worsley

Lake Oswego

Hoffman is a key to our community's success

To the Editor:

This past Saturday I was having breakfast at Noah's with some of my best friends Phil and Debbie who were visiting from the San Diego area. Phil turned the conversation to our town and said he just loves it here. Phil and Debbie have been visiting every single year since we moved here in 1985. I asked why after 20-plus years and over 20 visits would he make that strong statement? Phil said Lake Oswego feels like a community.

Phil's feelings crystallize why I support Jack Hoffman for mayor. We have a strong community because of all the tireless hours people like Jack Hoffman have given this wonderful place we all call home … Lake Oswego.

Jack has been a never-ending volunteer for our community. He worked on soccer fields and keeping kids engaged when his kids were younger. He ran and was re-elected to the city council, working on livability and community issues like Lake View Village. He supported the Millennium Plaza Park and helped make it happen.

Now you might say well everyone wanted Millennium Plaza Park and Lake View Village so what's the big deal? A few vocal folks fought those projects for years and slowed progress. It took decades to get those projects off the ground and brought to life. Jack Hoffman was a major workhorse along with a host of other community members.

I hope you join me in supporting a thoughtful, dedicated and trusted leader … Jack Hoffman.

Bob Barman

Lake Oswego

Library for Kenya 'is well on its way'

To the Editor:

It all started when a little boy came to my door. I was sitting on the step of my cinder block hut, writing in my journal. It was like any morning in Kenya, hot, muggy, the sun up at 6:30 a.m. sharp. I greeted the little boy and then he sat down by me. It was clear he wanted to ask me something. When he finally got up the courage to do so, I was most surprised. He didn't want food. He didn't want money. He asked if I had a book he could read.

How children, and adults as well, long for the access to the books that we take so for granted. How they cherish, savor and respect such treasures. In a world without electricity or access to information, people long for books like their dry, parched land longs for rain.

In the month of August, the patrons of the Lake Oswego Library and over 40 volunteers helped make the dream of a regional library in Kenya become a reality. All totaled, they gave up more than 550 hours of their last month of summer! Kids of all ages helped, from making posters to manning the display. Over 15 Lake Oswego businesses matched donations on given days, turning small donations into bigger ones. The goal of $15,000 was achieved, meaning half of the total money needed has been raised. The Willamette Writers Books for Kids program has donated 50 pounds of books. The library is well on its way.

Many thanks to all the volunteers that manned the display through heat waves and rain!

Our heartfelt appreciation goes to Lake Oswego business supporters:

Dr. Jon Robinson, Vandenburgh Jewelers, The Kiwanda Group, Dr. Jeffery Sessions, Dischinger Orthodontics, Sumner Financial, Mainlander Property Management, Accessories of the Heart, Dr. James Kilgore, Lambs Palisades Market, Antiques - Frederick Squires III, Graham's Book and Stationery , Calbag Metals, Broadway Medical Clinic and The Bank of Oswego.

Efforts to raise the remaining $15,000 will continue through other venues. Thank you Lake Oswego for sharing the light of learning.

Rinda T. Hayes

Samburu Director

Koins for Kenya

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Make 20 both the voting and the drinking age

To the Editor:

The 'age of majority' was established in our country when the life expectancy of a man was 42, so at 21 a man had reached the halfway mark, thus it was called the 'age of majority.'

At the halfway mark a man was considered mature enough to vote, drink alcohol, and do other things that younger men could not do. Otherwise, there is nothing magic about the 21st year.

Science tells us that the last third of the brain cells develop between ages 2 and 20. I have long been an advocate of 20 as the time when adulthood should begin. At 20 a person is no longer considered a teenager, he/she has been out of high school for two years, and should have started taking on adult responsibilities as a worker, a college student or as a member of the armed forces.

Drinking alcohol requires some judgment, and teenagers are currently notorious for lacking it. To me, it would make sense to have the voting age and the drinking age at 20, and between 18 and 20 we need to do a lot of education about how to be a responsible adult, including a responsible voter and a responsible consumer of alcohol.

The colleges and universities are perfect places to do this education program. It could be a required course in the freshman year and include how to drink responsibility, personal finance and credit card use, some nutrition information (to prevent the freshman 15 pounds gained) and drug abuse. Not only these subjects, but somewhere we need to teach young people to obey laws because they are laws, and not think that what is wrong is getting caught! It's called 'conscience.'

Margaret Anderson

Lake Oswego