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Writer's comments seem 'crass and insensitive'

To the Editor:

Remember Lake Oswego resident Dennis McNish?

He was so outraged by the 'absolutely insulting terms' Gov. Palin used referring to Barrack Obama, that he wrote a letter published in the Sept. 11th Review. In that letter he referred to Gov. Palin with terms including 'dominionist,' 'end-of-time religious ideology' and 'aberrant philosophies'.

In the Oct. 9th Review, we find McNish at it again, with sophisticated and articulate references to: 'insipid, disingenuous smile,', 'Smirking George Bush,' 'Sneering Dick Cheney' and 'Winking Sarah.' Apparently outrage for insulting terms applies only if the target is a Democrat.

Up to this point, I find the liberal ranting of McNish humorous - and perhaps a bit sad. Problem is that at the end of his last letter he decides he is the Palins' moral judge. He pronounces it Gov. Palin's fault she and her husband's youngest child has Down Syndrome - because they chose to have a baby while in their 40's. Can you imagine what kind of a person (no matter what political affiliation) would be so crass and insensitive as to make such a comment?

I find it reprehensible.

Dave Luck

Lake Oswego

Let's vote to send Garrett to Salem to represent us

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Chris Garrett for House District 38.

Chris Garrett is the best candidate to deal with the issues the next Legislature will face. Those issues include the economy and our tax structure, education funding, public safety and our environment.

We need someone with both knowledge of the political process as well as a strong compass with regards to our needs. Chris Garrett has a good heart and strong mind for the job.

He has already proven his ability to work on legislation that positively affects our lives - from protecting our environment, providing ways to obtain more school funds and helping to secure proper health care for Oregonians.

Chris Garrett has already proven that he's capable of improving the lives of residents of District 38. He's a hard worker, and has inspired ideas. I know he will be responsive to his constituents and accomplish a lot as our representative in Salem.

Cynthia Mohiuddin

Lake Oswego

Balance: Livability and affordability

To the Editor:

The upcoming election is an important one for Lake Oswegans. At stake are the livability and affordability of the city we love. But livability and affordability can conflict. We all want more livability, but it's not free. In this catastrophic economic climate, it's clear we need leaders who know the balance.

Fortunately, we have an issue which defines the candidates' ability in doing this - their position on the retention and development of Safeco/WEB property.

The positions of mayoral candidates, Jack Hoffman and John Surrett, are well known.

The position of the other council candidates is more problematic. To answer the question, I polled them via e-mail and to their credit, all responded. I have attended candidate forums, personally met each of them, even had coffee with some candidates whose position needed clarification.

Space limitations do not allow me to detail their individual positions, but here are my conclusions: Russell Jones and Mary Olson support the sale of the property. Jeff Gudman and Sally Moncrieff generally support its retention and development. Justin Luber and Bill Tierney are undecided, but neither favors moving city facilities to the WEB. (Please see a more complete version of this piece posted as a comment to this letter on the Review Web site.)

Their position on Safeco is not the most important factor in choosing a councilor, but consider the candidate's position as the defining indicator of who can best balance livability and affordability. I think we can have both.

Vote for Russell Jones, Mary Olson and Bill Tierney.

Gordon Umaki

Lake Oswego

Comments about Palin were inappropriate

To the Editor:

I have always felt 'letters to the editor' bring out the worst in people.

Dennis McNish stepped out of the political boundary with his impotent comments on Sarah Palin's choices as a woman.

Margaret Gerstlauer

Lake Oswego

Griffith's past speaks well for the future

To the Editor:

It was our good fortune to host a neighborhood gathering last Friday evening for Oregon House of Representatives candidate Steve Griffith. An unexpected bonus was the attendance of Jabah Howard.

Jabah was a high school student at Gboveh High School in Liberia, West Africa when Steve taught as a Peace Corps volunteer some 40 years ago. When he learned about Steve's campaign, he came to Portland for two days of door-to-door canvassing with his former mentor.

Jabah obtained a degree in mechanical engineering and now lives in Detroit, Mich., where he is in charge of engineering for the Detroit Public Schools. He was eloquent and sincere in his praise and admiration for his former teacher.

It is easy to understand his loyalty. Steve is bright, thoughtful and articulate about his life choices and his decision to run for elective office. He is passionate about public service and has worked very hard to advance his candidacy on a person-to-person basis. He is well prepared in terms of education and professional life. Jabah's endorsement is one more vote for Steve's ability to educate, inspire, build and maintain strong relationships - all fine qualities to bring to public office.

Margaret Ward

Lake Oswego

Please support Measure 3-305 for schools

To the Editor:

As the Associated Student Body President of Lakeridge High School, I urge the Lake Oswego community to re-energize its commitment to our exceptional Lake Oswego schools by renewing the Local Option, Measure 3-305, this Nov. 4.

As you may know, all 13 Lake Oswego schools were rated exceptional by the annual state Report Card for the second year running. These ratings are important to each of us in light of the general decrease in the number of schools rated exceptional. Of the 1,130 schools in Oregon only 129 received exceptional ratings - Lake Oswego had almost 10 percent of that number!

As a student, I have benefited from your community support in the form of smaller class sizes, outstanding teachers, lower student to teacher ratios, and more comprehensive class options. Each of these benefits individually helps to better prepare your children for their futures. Collectively, these benefits provide for better educated youth, a stronger community, and consistent property values.

Please renew your investment in your student's future by voting yes on the Local Option. This investment will continue to pay dividends to you, your student, and your community.

Brian Ernst

Associated Student Body President of Lakeridge High School

Lake Oswego

Mayor should have

council experience

To the Editor:

Former Mayor C. Herald Campbell hit the nail on the head when he stated:

'It is crucially important that a mayor have had experience on council before assuming the responsibilities of mayor.'

It is not enough to be a passionate and charismatic advocate to become mayor. The office requires a judicial temperament, an ability to build consensus, a commitment to inclusion, and credibility within and outside of our community. Jack has acquired these qualities during eight years of service on city council, and 25 years of service in our community.

A growing list of endorsements provides proof of Jack's ability to build community. The list includes the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Lake Oswego Youth Sports Alliance and the Keep Lake Oswego Great PAC.

Jack has earned these endorsements by building partnerships to improve our city. Jack helped broker new development standards to protect our neighborhoods, acquire open space to keep Lake Oswego green, improve parks and build all-weather fields for year-round recreation, secure reliable funding for street maintenance and stormwater management, launch a successful public art program, and build a regional consensus to protect our natural areas. Learn more at www.hoffman2008.com .

Jack deserves your vote, a vote for a prosperous and sustainable Lake Oswego.

Dan Vizzini

Lake Oswego

Reasonable thinking: Jack Hoffman

To the Editor:

In these times of economic turmoil, reasonable thinkers will best represent our city. Jack Hoffman is the candidate with a reasonable approach to the issues facing our city: The sewer project, a possible new water project, resolution of the West End Building uses to name a few.

I have worked with Jack on soccer events, the park and recreation commission, city council issues, and political campaigns. Jack considers all sides of the discussion, and then thoughtfully makes a decision. This is whom we need as our new mayor.

Please join me in voting for Jack Hoffman.

Debbie Craig

Lake Oswego

Need to elect folks who can get job done

To the Editor:

The gravy train of new construction fueling double digit real estate value increases in our fine city is over and we are in a worldwide recession.

The visionary policies of our city council over the past 10 years have beautified our town, satisfied our 'wants' and given us an attractive core downtown. However, in hindsight it has been at the expense of addressing more serious needs: Our sewer interceptor financing, water upgrade and moving to solve our transportation issues.

In the process, our city has become less affordable for seniors and families with children and we are facing the need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. It is imperative we elect a mayor and three new council members who understand the current economic realities and are willing to break from the visionary, but fiscally dangerous practices of the past 10 years.

After attending several town hall presentations of the candidates recently, I have arrived at the conclusion that only John Surrett (mayoral candidate), Bill Tierney, Mary Olson, Jeff Gudman, and Russell Jones (council candidates) have the experience and business backgrounds to deal with the daunting, complex issues facing our beloved city.

In my opinion, the other candidates seem too content to carry on with 'business as usual.'

Peter Sweet

Lake Oswego

Surrett understands issues facing city

To the Editor:

'Trust' is one of the political buzzwords this election year. 'Change' is another word which is often bandied about. The same could be said about 'fiscal responsibility.'

Anyone who has been paying attention to the inner workings of Lake Oswego during the past two years knows that we need a change. The city council has eroded the trust of its citizens with many of their closed-minded resolutions, including the purchase of the Safeco building. It will take a major change in the leadership of the city council to repair this damage.

The city's leader for the next four years must have commitment and strong skills in prudent financial management. John Surrett represents those qualities and will work toward keeping our community affordable and preserving our quality of life.

In terms of commitment, John has attended more than 90 percent of the city council meetings over the past two years to keep abreast of ongoing issues.

He has extensive experience in heavy construction and small business management, environmental policy setting and community and governmental activities.

This city is confronting huge challenges with the sewer interceptor replacement, the upgrade of the water system, evaluation and maintenance of building assets and resolution of the West End Building issue. John Surrett will work with the new city council and city administration in meeting those challenges. He will ensure that any change brought to the management of the city is balanced between the maintenance of our quality of life and the affordability for all who live here.

Steve C. Hart

Lake Oswego

Garrett is the right choice in House 38 race

To the Editor:

I have never been more interested in reading the news than I am these days. As soon as I have the kids safely tucked in bed, I race to my computer to see what has been going on. Whatever has happened that day, it's sure to be jaw-dropping. Clearly, we have come to the end of an era.

I am writing to endorse a candidate for state representative who embodies the changes we need as we head into an uncertain future - a candidate who has great integrity, intelligence and ingenuity. When I look around at the world today, I know that we need politicians who are not self-interested or narrow in their views. This is not the time for business as usual.

Chris Garrett is the person we need to represent us in Salem. I have known Chris all of his life, and when he decided to run for office, I threw my hat in the air. Chris has a fine mind, clear values and a deep sense of purpose.

He sees a future for Oregon that includes economic prosperity, affordable health care, excellent schools, and a carefully protected environment. Chris sees a future that I want for my children and grandchildren. And, lucky for us, Chris has the gifts, the skills, and the experience to help make that future a reality.

Vote for Chris Garrett.

Lisa Boynton

Lake Oswego

PAC doesn't limit its

supporters' actions

To the Editor:

Keep Lake Oswego Great does not limit its supporters from making individual endorsements. Our interviews of the mayoral candidates were completed on Sept. 9, 2008.

We decided to hold our PAC endorsement until we completed the interviews of all the candidates and had an opportunity to see them in action at the candidate forums.

We also explored new ideas for Lake Oswego with the candidates which we found very fruitful for the future of our community. We appreciate (the) desire of all of the candidates running for mayor and city council to improve our community.

Rob LeChevallier

Chair, Keep Lake Oswego Great

Lake Oswego

Hoffman has background to be LO's mayor

To the Editor:

Our leadership has been inspiring over the last eight years and it is exciting that Jack Hoffman, the city councilor who initiated the beautiful art we have downtown, championed open space purchases for recreation, a candidate who has significant endorsements and who cares deeply about continuing the downtown's continued revitalization, is our candidate for mayor.

In selecting our next mayor I would caution Lake Oswego to not pick a candidate who is a one-issue candidate but one who has been part of a successful administration, one that has a track record and an endorsement from the best mayor we have had and to pick a mayor who really cares about the people, our direction, the budgets and our resources. Jack's background as an attorney in land use law with a master's in environmental science may be well suited for the upcoming sewer project.

The current fiscal outlook may be rocky ahead and it makes sense to choose someone who has spent many years understanding what needs to be done and how to do it.

He has the experience, background, endorsements and support of so many in this community and we need to do whatever it takes to help Jack Hoffman fill Judie Hammerstad's rather large shoes.

Nick and Susan Stier

Lake Oswego

Local Option measure pays big dividends

To the Editor:

You get what you pay for - Lake Oswego has made the investment to strongly support its schools since 2000 by approving the original Local Option, then renewing that investment in 2004.

Now, it is time again to renew the Local Option on Nov. 4 (Measure 3-305).

Our children have matriculated through the Lake Oswego schools, including Hallinan Elementary, Waluga Junior High and Lakeridge High School. We strongly believe that our children have so far received an exceptional education in the Lake Oswego schools and should continue to receive the same high quality of learning for the years to come. When moving back from Germany in recent years we specifically chose to enroll our children in the Lake Oswego School District because of its stellar reputation.

Lake Oswego has the finest public schools in the state. All 13 of the Lake Oswego Schools were rated exceptional in the latest state report cards. In comparison, West Linn-Wilsonville schools only scored four exceptional ratings out of 14 schools. We (and our children) are getting a great return on our tax dollars through the school system - not to mention great property values. By voting yes to renew the Local Option, Measure 3-305, in November you will get what you are paying for many times in return.

This is an investment in our (future) and our children's future that has an outstanding return and that we can't afford not to make. Please join us in voting yes on Ballot Measure 3-305.

Friedrich and Annette Baumann

Lake Oswego

Hoffman's 'positive approach' works

To the Editor:

I have noticed comments in support of various candidates for mayor. I wanted to talk about my experience with Jack Hoffman. I got to know Jack from (work) that he and his partners did for me in resolving a construction problem.

Several years later when an adjacent property in Lake Oswego was being demolished and a new luxury condo development built, we were at first very positive and excited, then, after being notified about the plans to work Saturdays and Sundays, starting very early and working late, residents became concerned and very upset about the noise and indicated they might leave.

Our property is residential, but in a commercial zone. Jack suggested that the council might enact rules for construction in commercial zones which include and are near to residential properties. Even with those changes our residents were not 'Happy' about the construction noise, but it was much better than it might have been. Jack's support was instrumental in creating very positive results for all parties and our community.

Jack has had a very positive approach toward the future of Lake Oswego. He is very honest and willing to help resolve issues in a positive way. We need ethical and thoughtful leadership to continue in Lake Oswego by electing Jack Hoffman as mayor.

Brian and Debbie Bjornson

Lake Oswego

Library support will keep the system afloat

To the Editor:

Your recent article about ballot measures implied library funding from the county would be restored with the return of the federal timber revenue.

This is not the case.

The federal timber revenue is a nicotine patch - a way to wean Oregon counties off federal revenues over the next four years. The timber money never was and never will be the solution for funding libraries.

The county made the decision last year not to be in the library business due to a compressed general fund. The county has not and will not be able to provide a stable funding source for partnering with the cities. Clackamas County started cutting funds to libraries five years ago and began planning for a better way to support these services over 10 years ago.

Measure 3-310 on the November ballot provides a stable, dedicated source of funding for all the public libraries in Clackamas County. The library district being proposed will provide for better services in Lake Oswego, West Linn and throughout the county, and is the most cost effective way to ensure that our libraries continue to operate and stay open. Patrons of the Lake Oswego and West Linn libraries borrow heavily from the other county libraries, so it is essential that we keep all these libraries strong.

More importantly, instead of revenue sharing with the entire county as in the past, this ballot measure specifies that the revenue raised in each city, stays in each city. Lake Oswego and West Linn will no longer subsidize the rest of the library system.

If the Measure 3-310 does not pass, there is no Plan B. The county will continue on course to zero funding of libraries by 2012.

I urge a yes vote on Measure 3-310 to restore our library system to a place where all adults can educate themselves, school kids can get the skills necessary to do research and all children can learn how fun it is to read.

Lynn Peterson

Lake Oswego

Chair, Clackamas County Commission

Editor's note: The story Peterson refers to in last Thursday's Lake Oswego Review doesn't 'imply library funding will be restored with the return of four years of federal timber payments.' Instead, the story indicates 'county commissioners have blamed the loss of timber payments for cutbacks in road paving and other services, and used it to help justify the creation of special tax districts to fund Extension Services and the county library system, both of which are on the November ballot.' The story says nothing about restoring funding to libraries.

Vote for PCC's bond measure

To the Editor:

We urge our Lake Oswego neighbors to vote 'yes' for Portland Community College's bond measure No. 26-95.

Why support the bond measure in rough economic times? Because PCC and community colleges are in the business of training our workforce for jobs that pay well, jobs that let people buy homes and raise families. Jobs such as nurses, teachers, welders, machinists, dental hygienists and auto mechanics.

PCC is a very large community college and will get even larger as PCC already outstrips the move into this region. The demand for technical training at PCC already outstrips the college's current classrooms, labs and buildings. Today, thousands of PCC students are put on waiting lists to get into the classes they need. And many are training for jobs with classroom technology that is outdated.

The PCC bond will cost the owner of a home in the district 32.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed value per year. For the average homeowner, that's about $8 per month or $96 per year. If this bond passes, we get a solution to the workforce shortages that plague this region.

In tough economic times, a community college is an economic engine, helping to push the region toward stability by providing job training and high quality education. That's a formula for Oregon's future.

Please join us in voting yes for Portland Community College's bond measure 26-95.

Henry and Norma Jean Germond

Lake Oswego

Vote for Erickson for Congress

To the Editor:

I'm sure I am like many voters in Oregon, I get increasingly worried about my retirement as I watch the stock market tumble further every day.

That is why I believe we need a businessman like Mike Erickson to represent us in congress. With our economy facing the worst crisis since the great depression, we can't afford to risk sending more career politicians to Washington.

We need to be sending people who understand the economy, like Mike Erickson, to Congress. As a businessman, Mr. Erickson understands how to create jobs and grow the economy. He has the background and experience we need to pull ourselves out of the economic tailspin we are currently in.

The stakes are just too high to risk sending anyone else.

Robert St John

Lake Oswego

Moncrieff has the skills for taking the city council job

To the Editor:

A strong city council, representing the variety of points of view we have in the Lake Oswego community, is vitally important. Candidates who come with an agenda do not serve the common good. A candidate who can bring everyone to the table, respectfully listening to all, truly representing the community, is the kind of person we need on our city council. Sally Moncrieff is such a candidate.

Sally does her homework - she researches issues, seeking input from many sources and people. Sally creates an atmosphere in which people are comfortable getting involved. Her work with the Palisades Neighborhood Association, Lake Oswego's largest, is an example of how she is able to work through issues, always for the common good. In the PNA, we have had disagreements and, under Sally's leadership, we have resolved them.

She consistently encourages all points of view and creates an environment in which solutions are crafted. Sally finds common ground, increases community participation, and leaves people feeling they were heard.

Sally Moncrieff will bring to the Lake Oswego City Council the leadership, fairness, and problem-solving skills she has brought to the PNA.

Brigitte Howley

Lake Oswego

Komarek is a professional

employee for the city

To the Editor:

What a great job (Lake Oswego Interceptor Sewer) project manager Joel Komarek has done for the city.

I have been so impressed with his professionalism and that of his staff having attended his open house on the Interceptor project design. I have no reservations that this is the right design and in the long run the least costly for the city and the taxpayers.

Joel is a good example of the fine, dedicated employees the city has.

I have met a number of them, and have never ceased to be impressed with their professionalism and their willingness to be of service.

Judi Umaki

Lake Oswego