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Letters

Hallinan playground is definitely safe and fun

To the Editor:

I read with interest and enjoyment the ratings given by the 'youth board members' to the various playgrounds in Lake Oswego.

While I am pleased they gave an A+ to Hallinan's playground I am concerned about the D for safety. Each structure on our playground has been rated by national playground standards as safe and appropriate.

Having a playground that was fun, but also safe was the primary charge of the committee and one they took very seriously. We looked at height restrictions, cushions and ground surfaces, climbing issues and virtually every other safety parameter there was to consider.

The result, I hope, is that balance between engagement and safety that makes the Hallinan playground such a special place.

Steve Mauritz

Principal, Hallinan Elementary School

Hoffman is a strong choice for mayor

To the Editor:

With the focus on national politics and a struggling economy, there is an important race in our hometown - Lake Oswego Mayor.

I support the election of Jack Hoffman to be our next mayor. Over several years, I have observed Jack's steady, thoughtful and consistent approach to addressing the needs and issues of Lake Oswego. I find Jack to be an astute listener as he engages in feedback and dialog with members of the community. When I have inquired about an issue, he has taken the time to provide a thorough and balanced answer to my question.

Jack has a balanced approach to growing the livability of Lake Oswego. He's creative and strategic in planning actions now for a long-term, lasting solution. Jack has been instrumental in expanding our public art. He understands the vitalization of downtown Lake Oswego and Lake Grove. He reaches out to local businesses, neighborhoods, and residents to find that balance of meeting their needs. Jack understands how to run a local government while partnering with adjacent cities and regional government.

Lake Oswego needs a steady hand and intelligent mind to guide our city through our short-term challenges of sewer infrastructure, the West End property and regional growth over the next decade. A steady hand and a long-term perspective is what we need in our mayor. Jack Hoffman is that person!

Paul Lyons

Lake Oswego

Offshore drilling must be on the table to discuss

To the Editor:

Count me as one of the people hoping Congress opens up new offshore energy resources. If you want to know why, just go to a grocery store. The fingerprints of rising energy costs are all over the runaway prices of everything on the store shelves.

The groceries and products we all need come to our local markets by truck. Increasing gas and diesel prices make it more expensive to drive the trucks, and as a result the items those trucks deliver become more expensive too. As well as affecting the cost of transportation and consumer goods, natural gas is the basis for many fertilizers. That impacts the meat, dairy and produce industries which all rely directly or indirectly on fertilizer as a staple of production. Products dependent on transportation and fertilizer take a twofold financial hit creating more expense for both the industry and the consumer.

It has probably been a long time since our senators and representatives have had to manage a family food budget, but my parents, neighbors and fellow Americans struggle daily with the cost of necessities outgrowing the family income. Regardless of party affiliation, we are all victims of the effect of high energy prices on consumer goods each time we enter a store. Congress must increase our domestic energy supply by expanding offshore exploration to drive these costs back down.

Rasmussen polling firm conducted a survey dated June 17 of this year that stated nearly 68 percent of U.S. citizens support looking for alternative energy sources including off shore drilling. The same poll reported that when asked if offshore drilling would lower energy prices, 64 percent responded that offshore drilling would bring energy prices down. People from all parts of the political spectrum are clearly applauding the idea of offshore drilling. It should and must be an American issue not a partisan issue, because as citizens of this country it affects us all.

Amos J. Rothstein

Lake Oswego

Wall Street bailout is wrong way to go

To the Editor:

I'm in opposition to the proposed Bush/Paulson/Bernanke $700 billion to $1 trillion bailout of Wall Street financial institutions. The American taxpayers shouldn't have to rescue these multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Let the free market work. The U.S. and world economy will survive this crisis as (they) survived the credit crises of the past.

I don't think the multi-millionaires and billionaires who brought this crisis upon us should benefit from the tax dollars of hardworking Americans and drive the U.S. government deeper and deeper in debt.

Betsy Deich

Lake Oswego

Vote for Mary Olson for city council position

To the Editor:

It is my pleasure to recommend Mary Olson for Lake Oswego City Council.

Mary has excellent credentials: A BA in accounting as well as an MBA degree.

And she has done extensive volunteer work with the city and schools.

Mary will take a business-like approach to city operations and budgeting.

Mary is intelligent and has a deep interest in governance. I feel that we are lucky to have people of Mary Olson's talents willing to work for Lake Oswego.

Christina West

Lake Oswego

We need to maintain our communal household

To the Editor:

Our communal home …

We've all seen the old photographs of Lake Oswego's early years of passengers disembarking the train along State Street. They remind us of our beginnings and upon examination they tell us how we have grown into another era.

Like our individual homes our communal home has changed over the years. It has been expanded, renovated, repaired and beautified. And, it needs continuous maintenance for its functionality.

Our forbearers and we have created a beautiful community estate. The infrastructures of it are the utilities, parks, streets and our public buildings. All of these parts are necessary to keep us functioning as a healthy, vibrant and attractive place to live.

So, how do we budget for our communal home? It is similar to how we budget for our individual homes - yearly savings and long term loans. Some items you pay for in cash, others you dip into savings and for larger expenditures we might get a loan or in municipal jargon - sell bonds.

What are our current infrastructure challenges? Obviously, our pipes (sewer interceptor) are in need of expansion and upgrade. Fifty years ago our current sewer system was installed to meet the needs of a growing community. It is now time to upgrade and meet our current and future community needs. Other maintenance issues include our streets, buildings, landscaping, parks and buildings. Maintaining our communal household is a high priority but it should not preclude thinking or dreaming about other wonderful possibilities that can enhance our community. We enjoy an exceptional community - the results of the vision our forbearers and it is our responsibility to make sure that we continue the vision to Keep Lake Oswego Great!

Mary Puskas

Director of the Lake Oswego School Foundation and a member of Keep Lake Oswego Great

Hoffman doesn't want Safeco association?

To the Editor:

After reviewing Jack Hoffman's mayoral Web site, city council minutes and recent (columns), the facts just don't seem to add up. He was a council member and a player in the purchase of the Safeco property, hesitant to hold public hearings after adopting the resolution to purchase. (Lake Oswego Council Minutes 12/13/05) He also stated that if the public did not want the property, a resell was not necessarily the answer, as the purchase was in the public interest. Despite all his efforts, the purchase of Safeco was not among his accomplishments in his Web site. A recent (column) in the Lake Oswego Review would have us believe that he is all about public inclusion, when the above action shows that he certainly is not.

The sewer interceptor was the first of three issues awaiting the mayor according to Mr. Hoffman. The sewer interceptor has been handled as poorly as the Safeco building, all while Mr. Hoffman was on the council. Cost estimates for the interceptor, past and present, make Safeco look like a bargain. Safeco is not mentioned as one of the other issues, nor is it mentioned anywhere in his Web site. Do you mean that a non-essential, $20 million property that is bleeding a million bucks a year with no intended purpose in sight is not an issue? Mr. Hoffman obviously does not want to be associated with the Safeco purchase in any way, shape or form.

This is not the kind of leadership that the majority of Lake Oswego residents can afford.

Vote Surrett.

Steve Bittner

Lake Oswego

Please 'Vote yes on Measure 3-305'

To the Editor:

I am a 2008 graduate of Lakeridge High School who strongly supports our public schools. I am also grateful for the amazing community support that helps keep our public schools as good as or better than the private schools in the area. The Lake Oswego community has consistently opened its checkbooks to provide the schools with the funding needed to maintain the exceptional quality of our schools. The Lake Oswego Schools have low student-teacher ratios, small classes and have scored exceptionally well on both state and federal test results.

Rather than attend one of the local private high schools, I attended Lakeridge. My parents always told me that I would get out of school what I put in to it. I worked hard and was graduated with over a 3.5 average GPA. My parents were correct, as were many other parents - some 94 percent of my classmates will be attending university this fall. Even more important, I think that parents and the community get out of the schools what they put in to them.

In Lake Oswego, the parents and community have supported the Local Option since its inception in 2000. In 2004, the community renewed its commitment to its exceptional schools. The Local Option, Measure 3-305, is up for renewal on our ballots this November. By supporting the Local Option your property taxes do not increase! Supporting Measure 3-305 simply renews the current tax rate. Now, once again, our community has the opportunity to support its schools, support its children and support the incredible Lake Oswego educational system. I urge you to please vote yes on Measure 3-305.

Caitlin Pihl

Lake Oswego

Join us in voting for the local school option

To the Editor:

My wife and I are some of the many people who do not want new taxes, especially in these uncertain economic times. However, we are savvy enough to recognize that the Local Option, Measure 3-305 on Lake Oswego's November ballot, is a renewal of an ongoing 5-year levy - and we heartily support it. Our children are halfway through their public school careers. A significant slash in the LOSD budget will affect them immediately if the Local Option is rejected. Several years ago the Portland Public Schools closed for five days to save $800,000 - what would it take to save $12 million (the Local Option provides 12 percent or about 7 million dollars of the LOSD budget)?

We moved to Lake Oswego for the exceptional schools. This is one of the few communities where we daily see our tax dollars at work. The parks are great, the library system is fantastic and the school system (and its community support) exceeds our expectations.

We know education is a public investment for the future of our children and our society. For us it is a private investment as well. To all of you in Lake Oswego voting for the Local Option, Ballot Measure 3-305, my daughter thanks you, my son thanks you and most of all, we thank you for keeping our schools exceptional.

Bruce and Carolyn Mullen

Lake Oswego

Partnering together will keep LO great

To the Editor:

Keep Lake Oswego great!

One of the great things about Lake Oswego is the collaborative partnerships between our community organizations. Some recent partnering examples include the Oswego Heritage Council and the Lake Corporation working together to host the popular Wooden Boat show, the Lakewood Center for the Arts and Rotary partnering together to produce our annual Lobster Feed and the City of Lake Oswego and the Lake Corporation co-hosting our Fourth of July Fireworks.

The Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce recognized the value of partnerships and in 2003 formed an organization called Fusion. Fusion is made up of the boards and governing bodies of nine organizations: The Chamber of Commerce, the City of Lake Oswego, the Lake Corporation, the Lake Oswego School District, the Oswego Heritage Council, the Lakewood Center for the Arts, the Downtown Business District Association, the Lake Grove Business Association and the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition.

Fusion's vision is based on the premise that if we are going to continue to sustain our outstanding quality of life and make this community everything it can be, then we need to continue to strengthen our community partnerships and find new and better ways to communicate, cooperate and collaborate with each other.

There is so much to be proud of as a resident of Lake Oswego. I am especially impressed with so many organizations working in solidarity to improve our quality of life.

Remember … partnering together as a community will Keep Lake Oswego Great!

For more information on how to keep Lake Oswego Great go to www.KeepLOGreat.com .

Linda Kerl

Member of Keep Lake Oswego Great, Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce board of directors, past vice-president Lake Corporation, past president Lake Oswego Junior Womens Club

Lake Oswego

Hallinan play structure is safe; story 'irresponsible'

To the Editor:

I am a parent volunteer at Hallinan Elementary, and I read with great interest your recent review of the playgrounds in Lake Oswego. I found it highly irresponsible of the Lake Oswego Review to publish a review of the play structure at Hallinan that implies that safety was not the first and foremost thing considered.

I am an advocate of every school having a play structure that will provide safe and interesting activities, as well as adequate coordination and upper arm exercise. A new parent to the district might perceive that their children are at risk if they use this play structure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Naturally, it is expected that children be monitored by their parents while using this play structure. This play structure was designed with a wider range of children's abilities, more universally accessible for children who are differently abled, as well as to allow boomer parents easier access. I am concerned that the wrong message will be conveyed about the safety and thought of which this structure is comprised.

The beloved (former) play structure … was replaced after it became too old to be safe for use any longer. There was a yearly review of the condition of the play structure and its risks. So does that sound like a school that would build something that was not safe?

The school worked very closely with a national playground manufacturer to design a play structure that addressed a number of issues: 1) That the structure be as impressive as the one that was replaced. 2) That the structure provide exercise to the upper body and allow for development of balance. 3) The old beloved play structure had six discreet activities and the new one has 32 discreet activities. 4) Finally, the structure had safety in mind from the beginning to the end.

It seems that the Review was looking for something sensational to trigger conversation. I thought that there was greater journalistic responsibility at the Review.

Ben Connelly

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: Since the Lake Oswego Review launched the youth board program about five years ago, we have included the opinions of youth board members from time to time in our Education section. Their comments reflect their opinions, much in the sense of letter writers to the Review. There was no intent to pursue a 'sensational' story angle.

Prometheus is a 'superb' production at Lakewood

To the Editor:

So much for (The Oregonian's) critics' reviews!

We saw Prometheus this weekend (at the Lakewood Theatre) and it was superb.

The performers were excellent, the music was beautiful, sets and lighting wonderful. We are always impressed at the quality and professionalism at the Lakewood Theater, and this new show only confirms our continuing attendance.

Barbara Buckley

Lake Oswego

Gudman is the right

person for city council

To the Editor:

I am writing to recommend Jeff Gudman for the Lake Oswego City Council.

I have known Jeff for more than 20 years, both personally and professionally. We first met serving together on a committee at the Multnomah Athletic Club. I was impressed with Jeff's dedication to that committee, his integrity and his ability to help all the board members work together as a team. For the next two decades I have watched Jeff continue to volunteer his time to a variety of community efforts and bring those same skills and enthusiasm to all his work.

Jeff is an independent thinker and a team player. Both these skills will be needed on the council the next few years as a number of challenging issues need to be solved, including the in-lake sewer interceptor project and what to do with the Safeco building. Both of these issues will have a significant financial impact on our community. With Jeff's proven financial expertise, his strong background in accounting, and his experience on Lake Oswego's Budget Committee, Jeff is totally prepared to analyze these issues and help implement the best solution for our city.

Please join me in supporting Jeff Gudman for the Lake Oswego City Council.

Dave Moffenbeier

Lake Oswego

Tierney would be strong addition to the council

To the Editor:

We're writing to encourage Lake Oswego voters to support Bill Tierney for city council. For anyone who was present at the emotion-charged city hall hearings on the conditional use permit for the Lakeridge High School field, Bill's abilities were on display as he chaired the sessions.

It was apparent that his deft management of a rather heated issue was crucial to the constructive debate that filled several hours. He remained on task and guided the hearing to ensure that the focus stayed on the subject at hand rather than succumb to the vented frustrations typical for such a divisive subject.

Bill Tierney's background and experience are just the right combination to see Lake Oswego through our next chapter. He works at PGE, previously worked in regional cable, began his career in local government in 1974, has been on the Development Review Commission since 2001, chairing it for the past five years, earning him a deep understanding of the city's development code and development plan.

In the issues that find their way before our city council, from the polarizing to the mundane, we need the experienced touch of an efficient consensus builder. Local elections are deserving of our sharpest focus.

We urge you to elect someone with the character and experience to oversee the issues that will directly affect Oswegans for the next several years, the sewer project, the streetcar to Portland and the future of the West End Building to name a few on the horizon. Bill Tierney is that someone.

Mary Ann Kunkel

Paul Kachel

Lake Oswego

School option should be renewed

To the Editor:

I graduated in 2008 from Lakeridge High School.

I worked hard and earned over a 3.5 GPA as did about 50 percent of my class! I am heading to the University of Oregon this fall, and some 94 percent of my classmates also will be attending university. But it was not only our hard work that kept us going - we had exceptional teachers and fantastic resources available to help us in our drive to do well. My school career has been in Lake Oswego as I also attended Lake Oswego elementary and junior high schools I strongly support our public schools and I believe that our public schools are as good as or better than the private schools in the area. The schools need your support; the students need you to renew the Local Option, Measure 3-305, on No. 4.

Over the years I noticed that state funding of education has dropped. Many area schools have had budget crises. We have been very fortunate in Lake Oswego because our schools have not only remained opened, but they have become better. Lake Oswego test scores continue to either improve or surpass local, state and national averages. This year, all of the Lake Oswego Schools were rated exceptional on the State Report Card. And, all our schools and the district met the federal yearly progress standards.

I am grateful for the amazing Lake Oswego community support that has helped provide the funding the schools needed to maintain their exceptional quality. Your past support of the Local Option, since 2000, has benefitted each of the 13 Lake Oswego schools. Before I go off to university, I ask you to support the schools, support the children, and support the incredible Lake Oswego educational system. I urge you to please vote yes on Measure 3-305 this Nov. 4.

Cam Gerson

Lake Oswego

Hoffman is the right choice for mayor