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Letters batch 2

Obama's voting record is viewed as a concern

To the Editor:

Barack Obama is intelligent, attractive and articulate with a teleprompter, but as the No. 1 liberal in the Senate (by voting record), he is a 1960s liberal beholden to the far left which has been instrumental in his political advancement.

He promises to cut taxes for 95 percent of taxpayers while 40 percent pay no income tax. In 2006, the top one percent of taxpayers paid 40 percent of all income tax. The top 50 percent paid 97.1 percent; numbers reported by the IRS. These numbers would increase under Obama's proposed tax increase, and we would further become a nation of half taxpayers and half tax takers.

The congressional Republicans are bad enough on spending. The Democrats are worse and would continue so if Obama is elected and if his hundreds of billions of spending proposals were to become law.

If elected with a Democrat Congress, the Fairness Doctrine could become law that would probably destroy talk radio with its requirement for 'balanced presentation.' Another law that would likely pass is the one that eliminates private voting in unionization elections; a payoff to the unions, big demo supporters.

The most important job of a president is his leadership in the security of the country and its citizens. Is there any question between McCain and Obama as to who is better qualified for the most vital role?

Joe Stern

Lake Oswego

City council needs some 'real change'

To the Editor:

Last week the Lake Oswego Review revealed that the city council and mayor have changed the location of LOIS for the third time.

But now the council has evoked the threat of property condemnation if they don't get their way. The city has been conducting themselves very much like a playground bully stealing a child's lunch money. Lake Oswego deserves a confident city council, not the erratic and confused one that we have today. It has become more and more apparent that we need change now more than ever before.

I ask the voters of Lake Oswego to be cognizant of who the candidates for city council are endorsed by. Most candidates will be more of the same. They will be hand in hand with the past regime that seems to think the city can bully and threaten its residents.

Last week Judie Hammerstad made some endorsements. This is exactly why we cannot vote for Hoffman, Moncrieff, Tierney, Gudman, and Luber. They will be too much of the old Hammerstad regime. If Lake Oswego wants change, then the only candidates that can bring about real change are Surrett, Jones, Olsen and Holz (myself). Please ask yourselves if you want real change in Lake Oswego. Ask yourselves which candidates can bring about that real change.

We are at a crossroads. It is time to send a message to city hall that we are tired of the … gratuitous spending and elitism that has plagued Lake Oswego for the duration of the Hammerstad regime.

End the Hammerstad era. Vote Surrett, Jones, Olsen and Holz.

Devin Holz

Lake Oswego City Council candidate

Jack Hoffman's land-use

experience will be helpful

To the Editor:

My vote will go to Jack Hoffman for mayor of Lake Oswego for a variety of reasons; first of which is his experience with city government as city councilor.

Moreover there is one over-riding concern that I believe he shares with Lake Oswegans - a desire to see our neighborhoods enjoy affordable housing, retain existing historic properties and reduce inappropriate and out-of-scale developments. Teardowns and over-blown housing, both single and multi-family, have become harmful to Lake Oswego's quality of life. Jack Hoffman land-use experience will be of great benefit to Lake Oswego.

In 1952 when our family came to live in Lake Oswego the population was less than 4,000. It is now projected to become 50,000. Maintenance of a high standard of city services, livability and beauty will require someone with Jack's vision and concern.

Corinna Campbell-Sack

Lake Oswego

Tierney's DRC work would be a good fit for council

To the Editor:

Bill Tierney has been a member of your Development Review Commission for the last seven years. During my 12 years with the DRC, he has been one of the most considered, fair and democratically consistent persons on the commission.

The DRC is a fine proving ground for dealing with the tough and formative issues Lake Oswego has faced and will face in the future. As you may know, the DRC exists to judge the compliance of projects that are presented to the commission with the Lake Oswego Development Code. The code is complex, and the impact on the city can be great.

Representatives of neighborhood organizations are often involved in testimony, as well as diverse professionals, interested citizens, and your next door neighbor. Bill listens deeply to each individual, compares the facts, and weighs in on the issues. As chairperson of the commission, his role is to conduct the meetings, gather applicable information, discuss the disparities, and bring the commission to a consensus.

It was a pleasure to serve with someone who was not only interested in and practiced the democratic process, but made people feel heard and respected, whether or not they liked the outcome.

Bill Tierney has already proved his ability to deal with a wide range of city issues, and Lake Oswego is a better place because of his volunteer participation. He is ready to take his skills to the city council, and we will benefit from his expertise.

Nan Binkley

Member of the Development Review Commission 1996-2008

Lake Oswego

'A winning season' and many thanks to coaches

To the Editor:

I have never been much of a youth football fan - until now. The coaches of my son's LOYF 3-4 Red team made me a convert.

It has been a remarkable experience to watch these men develop a team of young boys and girls over the season. They taught every member of the team important game skills and life lessons. They taught them to work hard and play hard. They instilled the importance of working as a team and respecting one another. They taught them to help the other player up when he is down. They taught them to win, as well as lose, gracefully.

These amazing men were tough and expected a lot, but never used an unkind word. They treated the girls and the boys equally and always respectfully - a great example for our youngsters. They cheered each player's successes, and made sure they appreciated their teammates who made their performance possible. They celebrated the team's successes and found positive lessons in setbacks. They taught the kids that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and that you never, never, never give up. They taught the kids that sometimes you lose even when you do your very best.

My son was one of the smallest players on the team and could have been lost in the shadows of the bigger, better players. Instead, the coaches made him feel a part of the team and helped him grow in ability and confidence. I hope my son will carry the lessons learned this season into everything he does.

Thank you, thank you, Head Coach Meskel and Coaches Allen, Herbst, Tolar, Jensen, Traxton and Kilpatrick. It was a winning season in every sense of the word.

Shelley A. Lorenzen

Liam's Mom

Lake Oswego

Safeco building's value is listed as of today

To the Editor:

A recent appraisal of the Safeco property (Oct. 8, 2008) puts the value at the following amounts:

1) Capitalization rate value $21.64 million, but this is based on rents of $17.50 per square foot which would not be attainable in its current condition and previous use (a class B building), and does not allow for common areas or halls and other non-usable space. It should also be noted that a four percent expense deduction is used. Usually an eight percent expense deduction is used for similar rental situations.

2) Clackamas County Tax assessment is $10,794,416.

3) Improvement value for a new user would be approximately $40 to $50 sq. ft. or $4,400,000, which would reduce a buyer's value.

4) The 14 acres is reduced to 8.2 net buildable space because of wetlands and other constraints.

The following is a more accurate future market value to a new user.

1) Land value, 8.2 acres or 357,192 sq. ft. @ $22.00 per square foot equals $7,858,224.

2) 88,872 square foot building @ $100 square foot as is to a new tenant equals $8,872,200 for a total value of $16,730,424.

The property was purchased for $20 million. The interest payments are $1 million per year and maintenance costs are $300,000 per year.

Our city needs fresh thinking on how to spend taxpayer's money. John Surrett has the ability to analyze large spending projects.

John Mills Woodworth

Lake Oswego

Hoffman is the right choice for mayor

To the Editor:

OK. It's a fair bet most Review readers have read a few letters about Jack Hoffman. Yes.

We all know, even in Lake Oswego, these are hard, if not about to be brutal economic times. But, this is just the point. Jack is the kind of leader you want heading up this city in tough times. He's a veteran city council member, an accomplished Oregon land use lawyer and an expert on regional government and transportation planning, to mention a few key skills.

No surprise here. Jack doesn't require a lot of on-the-job mayor training. With eight years learning how to run Lake Oswego's city with Mayor Judie, by listening to this community get worked up over public expenditures, whether they be the Safeco Building or the proposed new sewer interceptor line, Jack gets it. Jack knows the angst Lake Oswego citizens have about how their dollars are or might be spent. City leaders are, or should be, elected to lead with a vision.

They should offer a process that secures strong community consensus about many issues, including the Safeco Building. Jack is not afraid to lead. But, he also knows how to listen, well.

I have seen Jack in action. He can and will lead. Elect him as mayor and watch.

Please support Jack Hoffman for mayor.

Will Denecke

Lake Oswego

One person's vision is another's day dream

To the Editor:

Have you noticed that some candidates, their supporters and others have 'visions' for Lake Oswego? Having a vision is fine, but the vision must have a purpose, otherwise it is merely day dreaming. In addition, the purpose must have means for accomplishment.

The best example of failure of vision was the purchase of the Safeco building (the West End Building). The only stated purpose for its purchase was to scoop up the last piece of like property in Lake Oswego according to the mayor and councilors. Purported to be a $20 million bargain, it had no purpose.

Then came the worthy idea for a community center. What about the means to accomplish this? A city survey found over half of those responding were not interested or flatly opposed.

Where was the financial analysis on total costs and tax consequences for the additional $80 million build out? The community center was dropped.

It is clear why the Safeco purchase was a failure. There was scant evidence that anyone would use the facilities and the significant increase in taxes for this $100 million project is strongly opposed, as evidence by the failed city bond measure. The mayor and councilors were day dreaming.

Jack Hoffman and Mayor Judie Hammerstad strongly supported this fiasco and neither show any regret. Mr. Hoffman still speaks of 'vision' in his recent 'citizen's view' and Mayor Hammerstad urged voting for a slate who we must assume reflect her views. God help the taxpayers.

John Beau

Lake Oswego

Surrett is the 'best choice for mayor' for our city

To the Editor:

I am supporting John Surrett for mayor of Lake Oswego because I believe that he has the qualities which our city needs. What do we need in our next mayor? I submit that we need the following:

Clear sense of purpose - John Surrett has stated repeatedly that his vision is to keep Lake Oswego great while protecting affordability for all citizens.

Prior leadership - He's led by example in forming Ask Lake Oswegans to provide a voice to the city from those who have felt disenfranchised about the city's back-room spending decisions.

Dedication - He's attended over 90 percent of the city council meetings the past three years to become knowledgeable about the important issues facing our city.

Integrity - He's never veered from his commitment to achieve open government, avoid conflict of interest and restore trust in our city government.

Change the status quo - He's shown that he will break from the past and work full-time for our future.

Openness - His platform is based on open-door leadership and balanced decision-making while asking for early citizen input.

Creativity - He's constantly questioned the status quo and looked for different ways to do things.

Mental toughness - He's prevailed in the face of criticism from those who want to continue business as usual.

Technical skills - His extensive background in heavy construction will be sorely needed as we face extensive improvements to our city's infrastructure.

These qualities plus his analytical, results-oriented approach make him the best choice for mayor.

Greg Nelson

Lake Oswego

Report the news rather than campaign for policy

To the Editor:

I was disturbed to see a front-page article favorable to Sen. Obama last week, with the election only days away.

There was no article alongside showing support for Sen. McCain. Unfortunately, when you run such a prominent one-sided article you verify the allegations of extreme media bias for Sen. Obama.

The Pew Research group recently reported that the media has printed four times as much negative information about Sen. McCain as Sen. Obama.

You have perpetuated this media campaign of working on behalf of Sen. Obama. I hope that some day the media, the Lake Oswego Review included, will return to reporting news rather than campaigning for liberal politicians.

Mike Kehoe

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: They story Mr. Kehoe references was about Virginia Campbell, 98, the wife of former Lake Oswego Mayor C. Herald Campbell, and her passion for writing political limericks. A life-long Republican, she was planning to vote Democratic this election.

Mayor's job should be a full-time position

To the Editor:

Jack Hoffman is a full-time lawyer and member of a law firm.

And he also wants to be a part-time mayor. Of course he won't describe his commitment to the job in the manner but consider the facts. I have listened to him carefully and I have not heard him commit to full-time mayor and part-time lawyer.

Jack has experienced difficulty with conflict of interest. I suspect it is difficult not to with the reach of his practice coupled with that of his sizeable law firm.

If he could find a way to honor 'conflict' directly, indirectly and overtly it seems likely he would find himself frequently 'sitting this one out.'

What is the good of that? Lake Oswego doesn't need a part-time mayor.

Alan E. Schlosser

Lake Oswego

Send information about area to help with trip

To the Editor:

To whom it may concern:

There will be four of us traveling to the Portland area from Nov. 6th to 10th.

We are two couples (ages 30-39) from Canada who randomly picked a weekend trip to your area. We are looking for information about the Portland area and suggestions of what we should do and perhaps a list of 'must see' sites.

Here is our story of how we ended up booking a trip to Portland. On (a recent) Saturday night while having dinner and a few bottles of wine, we decided to book a weekend getaway in November. We each wrote down six places in the United States that we have never been to and would never go to.We then placed the names in a hat and began taking them out. The last name in the hat was the 'winner' and the destination was Portland, Oregon.

Before we could have second thoughts or change our minds, we booked our plane tickets, and now we find ourselves looking for ideas.

We would like to get some ideas and information on (your area). We will arrive on Nov. 6 and depart on Nov. 10.

If anyone is interested in helping us plan our 'weekend in Portland,' we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thank you for your time.

Ritch and Bev Nally

Don and Lindsey Ross

Lac Du Bonnet,

Manitoba, Canada

A vote for Ryegrass might be the right way to go

To the Editor:

Who says political signs don't pay off? While returning from Salem yesterday I made up my mind. I'm voting for Ryegrass.

Bill Warner

Lake Oswego