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Its OK to call it the Christmas Tree

Lake Oswego letters

To the Editor:

The Lake Oswego Review came today with the lighting of the 'holiday tree' on the front page.

The determination to be 'politically correct' and rename the traditional Christmas Tree came a few years ago when folks were all concerned about being sued. Since the initial big scare, lawyers have assured folks that they can legally say 'Merry Christmas' - we can call them Christmas decorations - they are Christmas trees.

This foolishness of bending over backwards to deny Christian tradition is actually very much more serious than just annoying. If we truly are inclusive as a society, Jews, Hindi, Muslim and all facets of 'religious' family as well as their customs should be welcomed and recognized.

This does not mean to erase all Christian tradition, which for years was welcomed by almost all of our citizens.

Circulating on the Internet is the following that seems appropriate to the situation:

'This is a Christmas tree.

It is not a Hanukkah bush,

It is not an Allah plant,

It is not a Kawanza shrub

It is not a Holiday hedge.

It is a Christmas tree.

Yes. Christmas - celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.'

Charlotte J. Kolzow

Lake Oswego

Thanks for support of Laker football

To the Editor:

On behalf of Lake Oswego High School, I would like to thank our entire community for the tremendous support at our State Championship football game in Corvallis last Saturday. Though the outcome of the game was not what we were hoping for, I was so proud of the positive energy and spirit exhibited by our enthusiastic student section, pep band, cheer squad, dance team, teachers, support staff, parents, alumni, and the thousands of community members who were at Reser Stadium supporting our school and team.

I would also like to thank the Lake Oswego Police and Fire department for their assistance during Saturday's 'team send-off' and parade along Country Club Road and Kruse Way. Seeing the hundreds of parents and 'future Lakers' lining the route was inspiring and very much appreciated by our team and coaches.

Certainly our Head Coach Steve Coury, his assistants and the members of our football team deserve special thanks for always representing our school with integrity and class. Thank you for providing so much excitement and positive energy during this exciting season and play-off run. It is a great time to be a Laker!

Bruce Plato

Principal

Lake Oswego High School

Disrespectful to fly flag upside down

To the Editor:

On the corner of Country Club Drive and Iron Mountain is a flag pole flying the U.S. flag above the Marine flag.

The U.S. flag is flying upside down. I assume since the fire department is not at the house, and there is no life-threatening distress, it's upside down in protest.

First, according to the U.S. flag code: 'The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.'

Second, this flag is flying upside down above a Marine flag. Is the purpose of the upside down flag to disrespect those (who) fought under it?

Third, since this flag is flying upside down now, one can assume that it is flying that way because of the recent election. This was a election in which we democratically elected a new president. Is it the purpose to protest democracy?

Flying the flag upside down in protest is a display of ignorance and disrespect for our county, not protest. Flying it upside down above the Marine flag also disrespects the brave heroes who fought under it.

Sonya Petrakis

Lake Oswego

'Be smart, efficient' with your giving

To the Editor:

I was pleased to see last week's editorial in the Review reminding people not to overlook charitable giving in these difficult times. Those that are able to give should take a few extra minutes to make sure all their contributions get to the causes they wish to support by giving directly to those causes.

The lazy way out is to write a check to United Way and let them decide who to give the money to. If you make that mistake, not only will you give up your right to choose where your money goes, but over 16 percent of your money will never reach people in need. Based on local United Way financial reports, in 2007 16.2 percent of contributions never made it past the United Way - that is almost $3 million that could have gone to good causes.

Find a way to give this year, but be smart and efficient about it. Also, select a cause that provides for truly deserving people (some are very questionable). For several years we have given to Fisher House (fisherhouse.org ).

Merry Christmas to all.

Dave Luck

Lake Oswego

Water audit is free, can save you money

To the Editor:

With Lake Oswego water rates due to increase, we want to let residents know about the value of receiving a free water audit by the city of Lake Oswego.

We had already installed low flow water heads on our faucets and showers but could see that the biggest usage of water occurred when we watered our yard during the summer. Short of a major redesign of our sprinkler system, the best we knew to do was to cut back on our sprinkling cycles and hand water those plants that seemed to need water more frequently.

Looking for better solutions we requested an audit by city water specialist Kevin McCaleb, and were quite impressed by his suggestions. Not only were there things we could affordably do to modify our sprinkling system but we also learned more about how to care for our plants to make them more hardy and need less watering.

The overall water savings look to be significant and well worth the cost in light of the upcoming rate increases. The city is quite fortunate to have someone as knowledgeable as Kevin. Given that there is no cost for the audit we would strongly recommend his services to any Lake Oswego resident. Kevin can be reached at 503-675-3747.

Jan and Duke Castle

Lake Oswego

'Grateful' that someone is trying to fix the educational system

To the Editor:

Thank you for running the story about the family fighting for its child's right to an education. They have the will, strength and resources to help fix the system.

Even though we often read about the great school we have here it's a naïve, Pollyanna-ish viewpoint. I wonder, do we just have a better, thicker façade here of holding out the picture of 'perfection' and less ability or willingness to see through it? I think so, and the problem with that is, you can't correct the problems that you can't or won't let yourself see.

The school system that would put a child with 'sensory issues' into the classroom for behavior issues will soon have a child with behavior problems, and eventually that will be a community problem.

As a parent who wasn't even successful getting her child with an IEP enrolled in our 'oh-so-exceptional' public school and without the drive to fight the system I am grateful someone is doing it. Our effort to enroll our child included phone calls, tracking down the correct staff, hand delivering prior school records, sending in enrollment forms - twice. All to no avail, just completely ignored.

I know firsthand that it is a unique family that has the will, stamina and resources to do what that family is doing with their efforts for their child. For some, Lake Oswego is a beautiful place to live despite its public schools. Although you don't hear much about them, there are many happy home schooled and private schooled families here. Their choices need our support, too.

It is obvious that school administrators are not the best people to be making family child development choices when they can do what they want or even do nothing at all. We need school choice.

Editor's note: Name of Lake Oswego letter writer has been withheld by the Review to protect the privacy of her child.

Expect to see a lot of money going to Detroit automakers

To the Editor:

The scenes in Washington these days are surreal. It's pretty clear that incapable people are in control of powerful and dangerous levers. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd sitting in judgment of the auto company executives are not at all inspiring. Ben Bernanke still pumps out the cheap money at the Federal Reserve. Trillion-dollar deficits extend beyond the horizon.

What we have are the results of decades of government interference in the auto business. The companies pretty well know what their customers want. They have responded with high-quality vehicles. There are large vehicles for families and businesses, and there are comfortable medium-sized vehicles for smaller loads. Ford and GM now make numerous 4- and 5- passenger models that can exceed fuel economies of 30 mpg. They don't sell well against the U.S.-based foreign cars for two reasons. First, the foreign makers have a cachet making them more acceptable. Second, the U.S. makers have a cost disadvantage due to layers of UAW and U.S .government rules laid on during decades of interference. Our U.S. guys can make small cars; they just can't make money on them.

Lately we have heard what the companies need to do. We haven't heard what the bureaucrats and the UAW need to do. The UAW offers a one or two-year postponement of pension funding. The government offers advice to build 'alternative energy' cars. Politicians are loath to wait while the economy adapts to hybrid and all-electric cars. They are in too great haste to eliminate carbon.

Presently business has no confidence in the future. They cannot plan new investments. They instead wait to see what the government will do.

Given the Democrats' obligations to the union movement the present impasse could resolve itself in unexpected ways. What if the 'card check' organizing method is legalized? The foreign implants could quickly become unionized. That would level the playing field for Detroit.

The Democrats are beholden to the UAW, big time. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama will see that huge federal bucks go to the auto companies.

George E. Edens

Lake Oswego

Here's a local deli that is worth trying

To the Editor:

Have you ever paid attention to the freeway signs as you approach Kruse Way and Highway 217 on I-5?

These signs highlight gas stations and food attractions available at the next exit. For years I have seen 'Mac's Deli' printed on these signs, but never gave it much thought as I came and went past the advertisements. About a year ago I decided to stop someplace for lunch before arriving home and I happened to choose this local deli. What a surprise! The menu selections were enormous and the sandwich that I ordered was wonderful. Now I understood why there was a line of customers out the door!

Parking in the Kruse Woods shopping area can be a challenge at the lunch hour, but it doesn't deter regular customers who have other food options in the center but keep coming back to Mac's. The food is high quality and the staff is more than courteous and friendly - they can make you feel like family!

Now that I've been there I can't help but notice the Mac's Deli van traveling all around Lake Oswego and the surrounding area delivering catered lunches to various businesses. It seems like others had discovered this little gem long before I wandered in for lunch. Many local small businesses work hard to compete with the big chains - I feel good when I can support them.

Mac's provides good food and a welcome smile. If you haven't tried Mac's Deli in Kruse Woods, I highly recommend it.

Larry G. Baker

Lake Oswego

Angels are hard at work in Lake Oswego

To the Editor:

This fall I was the recipient of help from some angels from the city of Lake Oswego's Neighbors Helping Neighbors program.

Dawn, Kevin, Nancy and Nilla came to my house and trimmed bushes, cleaned off the walkway and porch, removed moss and did other chores for over 3½ hours. They hauled away two loads of yard debris. They did work that would have taken me months to do (if ever!) And then, they left with only my thanks and a small bag of fresh cookies, saying 'See you in the spring!'

At this time of year I just wanted to say how much I appreciated their kindness and hard work. May God bless them!

Jane Watson

Lake Oswego