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Community plan is a work in progress

To the Editor:

Recently, a few citizens have questioned the fiscal prudence of the city's purchase of the Safeco property and the financial viability of a proposed community center. Each of us has chaired the Lake Oswego Citizen's Budget Committee, and is serving on the Community Center Committee.

Sandy Leybold is the current budget chair and vice chair of the community center group. We three are particularly mindful of the need for a fiscally responsible community center proposal.

The community center development process has been dynamic and iterative, with open and vigorous debate. Committee members have identified community needs, using input from public outreach efforts. Preliminary 'conceptual' construction and operating costs have been projected by our consultants and architects. Importantly, we have not yet developed a final program, or final project costs. After our final proposal goes through a formal public hearing process, a financing plan will be developed.

Through consistently excellent fiscal management, Lake Oswego has earned the highest possible bond rating. We have room to borrow money (debt capacity), and we can borrow at very favorable interest rates because of this rating. This does not mean we have an open checkbook. Committee members are acutely aware of financial implications in three areas:

Capital Costs: We expect project funding to come from not just a single source, but from a variety of sources including private/public partnership(s), donations and sponsorships, existing reserves, and a voter approved bond measure.

Operating Costs: Our goal is for recreational operations to be self-sufficient. We are closely scrutinizing projected operating cost projections that are based on experience with similar projects locally and nationally.

Property Costs: For many, the Safeco site acquisition represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The city followed a customary process for property acquisitions, including determining a purchase price using two independent appraisals. The process and purchase were consistent with the prudent financial management that has earned Lake Oswego its top bond rating.

We are 'minding the books' and working diligently to propose a community center that will be a cost-effective asset for our community.

Jeff Gudman - Past Budget Chair

Sandy Leybold - Current Budget Chair

Erin O'Rourke-Meadors - Past Budget Chair

Lake Oswego

Community center would be a plus

To the Editor:

Over the past few weeks, several letters to the Review have expressed concerns about the community center project. Some have even suggested that the city sell the Safeco property before citizens get the chance to vote on it. This is very disappointing. Some of these writers suggest that we do not need a community center and that citizens are not willing to pay for it. Speaking for myself and my family, nothing could be further from the truth.

A community center would be a wonderful and much needed addition to Lake Oswego. This city is very community spirited and friendly. A community center could provide many recreational, educational and social opportunities for all citizens. I would especially love to have a place where parents and children could swim, play games, exercise and be together with friends. I have seen how valuable community / recreation centers are in other cities and how they can increase a sense of overall community connection and pride. Lake Oswego deserves to have one as well. Just as the addition of Millennium Plaza Park created an outdoor place for many wonderful community gatherings, a community center will create a tremendous indoor space for community events and enrichment in Lake Oswego.

I appreciate our city council's efforts in providing us the opportunity to have our own community center one of these days. I just hope it can become a reality in the near future so that Lake Oswego residents can experience the many opportunities it has to offer.

Lelia Deykin Seropian

Lake Oswego

New location for

reycling newspapers

To the Editor:

The Lake Oswego Lions Club newspaper drop box is at a new location. It is located across from Apex Marine by the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant on Foothills Road.

The Lake Oswego Lions Club recycles newspapers and magazines so that funds are available for local organizations and groups. Local support goes to the Oswego Heritage Council, the Lake Oswego Meal Network, Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation for class scholarships, Pacer Junior Baseball, Buddy Walk for Down's Syndrome and other causes when the need arises.

The club also supports Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation as well as the Lions Eye Bank of Oregon.

Newspaper recycling has been a major fundraiser for the Lions Club for about 40 years. The late Art Rossman, a long-time member of the club, was instrumental in developing the project.

According to chair Kat Riley, Lions pick up newspapers at various locations on a weekly basis, but the success of the project over the years has depended on the contributions from citizens who are willing to bring newspapers and magazines to the drop box.

For information, call president Tom Domian, 503-557-1679.

Jan Scott

Lake Oswego Lions Club

Community

center is needed

To the Editor:

Why does every issue of the Lake Oswego Review include a letter or (column) written by Gordon Umaki. Is Mr. Umaki employed by the paper? Is his opinion representative of the paper's position on the purchase of the Safeco property? Is it that no one else has an opinion? The answer is irrelevant.

What is relevant, however, is that Lake Oswego needs a community recreation facility and we need one now. The lack of public support for the conversion of the Safeco property into a community recreation facility, at least in the local media, is frustrating and disappointing.

It's an embarrassment that far less affluent communities in and around Portland offer their residents such amenities but Lake Oswego doesn't. The suggestion that facilities similar to the one proposed at Safeco already exist is flawed and misguided.

These clubs (Club Sport, 24 Hour Fitness, etc.) are not remotely family friendly, they offer no meeting or community space, and the cost of admission is quite high and beyond the reach of many local residents.

Anyone who believes Lake Oswego is defined by the strong sense of community shared by residents here should be supportive of the building of a facility where we can all have equal access to public recreation and fitness opportunities. Let's develop Safeco now!

Terry Scalzo

Lake Grove

Editor's note: Gordon Umaki is a private resident of Lake Oswego. He is not employed by the Lake Oswego Review nor is his position representative of the newspaper's opinion. He is one of many area residents who chooses to write letters and citizen's views to the Review. All opinion pieces coming into the Review - both pro and con - regarding the community center have been printed.

Amerigo's a nice addition locally

To the Editor:

My husband and I think Amerigo's on Mercantile Drive near Kruse Way is a wonderful addition to the Lake Oswego restaurant scene.

From the delicious homemade breads to the scrumptious entrees, this is enjoyable dining. The dining room offers a warm and inviting ambience, with friendly, knowledgeable servers and reservations accepted.

Elizabeth Stern

Lake Oswego

Buy a bracelet for a good cause

To the Editor:

My name is Shaena Behbahany and I graduated from Lakeridge High School in the class of 2006. I now attend Oregon State University and am part of the Delta Gamma Sorority.

Almost three months ago, I lost my big sister in my sorority Quinn Truong and her boyfriend Jeffery Schmidt in a car accident (into a river).

It has been very difficult the past three months because the search and rescue crews have still not found (Schmidt) due to dangerous weather conditions. After becoming so involved in the sorority this accident was an eye opener to myself and the rest of the Greek Community at Oregon State. It brought our sorority so close together and I felt that we needed a way to remember them both.

I have started a fundraiser for both of them here in Corvallis and want to branch out to the Portland Metro area where my big sister was from. I am selling bracelets for $4 each that are similar to the

Livestrong type bracelets. Half the money will be going to the search and rescue crews of Douglas and Jackson counties and for the continuation of the search. The other half of the money will be supporting a scholarship that our sorority is creating in honor of my big sister.

I am not sure if you have heard much about this accident since it was in Southern Oregon, but I would really like to get the Lake Oswego community and other areas as well to understand the bonds of Greek life and how important these two people were to me and how important this fundraiser is to me and my fellow sorority sisters.

For information on how to order the bracelets, e-mail Shaena Behbahany at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Shaena Behbahany

Corvallis

Including Safeco is a 'no-brainer'

To the Editor:

Did anyone notice that the revised estimate on the new Safeco community center has been 'scaled back' from $100 million in the October 2006 plan to $102 million in the latest plan?

As Lee van der Voo points out, the latest community center plan estimate of $57.3 million does not include the original Safeco property purchase of $20.7 million or the new 66,000-(square)-foot library at $24 million. New math gives us $102 million.

Including the cost of the Safeco property is a no-brainer.

The council asked the community center steering committee to exclude the cost of the library until it decides whether to close the current library and build a large replacement library at the Safeco site or retain the current library and build a sister library at the Safeco site. Obviously, a new library must be part of the project for the Safeco community center bond issue to have any chance of passage.

No one is likely to vote for a $78 million athletic facility with swimming pools and 'gathering places.'

Gordon Umaki

Lake Oswego

City needs place to preserve its history

To the Editor:

Editor's note: The following letter appeared in the Lake Oswego Review on June 4, 1964:

'I am writing for the third grades of Forest Hills Elementary School who are so very much interested in the early history of our locality that they want an historical museum here. Already one boy has started a museum fund with the gift of a dollar.

'We have heard that plans are being made for a Civic Center to be built some time in the future. These enthusiastic children ask, 'Won't you please include a room for an historical museum in your plans?'

'In the meantime, the children want to begin to collect momentoes and pictures of the early days. What shall be done with this fine enthusiasm and this beginning of a museum fund and where can the children's collection be kept till the civic center is built?

'The children eagerly await your answer and advice. You may write to the third grades, Forest Hills School, if you wish.'

'Sincerely,

Theresa Truchot

Note: 'The mayor replied that there is no definite plan for a civic center as yet but he hoped there would be a room set aside for an historical museum when the plan materializes.' T.T.

The letter above was published in the Lake Oswego Review on June 4, 1964. Forty-three years is long enough for the community to wait for a museum. Newcomers and others may not realize that Lake Oswego is rich in history. The lands surrounding the river and the lake are some of the oldest inhabited areas in the Willamette Valley. In 1850, nine years before Oregon became a state, Lake Oswego was platted. Whether is it at the Safeco site or elsewhere, a museum or dedicated display space is needed to preserve the city's past for the future. As Joni Mitchell sings, ' Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?'

Marylou Colver

Lake Oswego

Lamb's thanked for its support of schools

To the Editor:

I would like to commend the Lamb's Thriftway stores for their continuous support of the community, especially schools.

I have been involved in school fundraising (in one aspect or another) in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District for 12 years. Almost every time I have asked the Lamb's stores for support or a donation they have happily helped.

I think it is amazing in this day and age that a local business would support our children like this. We should all express our thanks to them, shop there and keep this wonderful cycle alive.

Thanks to Lamb's Thriftways!

Deborah McGuire

West Linn

Local basketball player's actions deplorable

To the Editor:

This is and open letter to Lake Oswego High School Principal Bruce Plato, Athletic Director Dave Lovelin and others:

Yesterday, Sunday, Feb. 4, my family and I flew back from Anaheim, Calif., with your team, coaches and chaperones. There were numerous Oregon families returning back from Disneyland so there were many children on this flight. Alaska Airlines even announced that the Lake Oswego High School basketball team was aboard.

As we all were waiting for our baggage in the claims area, one of your players (shorter than most) starting yelling (various expletives) to his teammates from 40 feet away and closer. We all turned to watch this incident. This happened three times until I stepped in and requested that the adults with your team get this player under control. I also reminded them that their team represents Lake Oswego, Portland and the state of Oregon.

At one point this player that was swearing was face to face with a mother, who had young children next to her, who was requesting that he quiet down. His comment back to her in front of the whole group was that 'she must have a problem with Lake Oswego and she needed to deal with it on her own time.'

Not once did the adults from Lake Oswego intervene. They were wearing matching Lake Oswego basketball-related T-shirts so obviously they were with the team. A mother with the team just looked and stared without saying anything.

I can understand a high school boy acting without sense, however, we (the other parents in the baggage claim area) found it difficult to understand why the adults did not step in and restrain the Lake Oswego High School's student actions. This was a very negative incident for Lake Oswego High School.

Hopefully this letter reminds you that your basketball students are not 'in charge' and that the coaches and chaperones need to take their jobs more seriously, especially when your team is in public.

Tim Carr

Portland

Editor's note: Nancy Duin, communications coordinator for the Lake Oswego School District, replies: 'The coaches had not yet arrived in the baggage claim area when this incident occurred, but were informed by parents who witnessed the incident. Coach Mark Shoff informed high school administrators on Monday morning, and disciplinary action is being taken with the player involved. While not representative of the team or the student body, it is unfortunate that the behavior of one individual can detract from the otherwise positive actions of his teammates, and reflect poorly on the school he represents.'

Children need to be monitored while using the Internet

To the Editor:

Recently I went to the Lake Oswego Library with my young son. As we walked by a row of computers sitting in a very open and highly trafficked area, a boy about 9 years old was viewing graphic video pornography. I politely spoke to him and let him know that he needed to close the browser.

I walked by about 5 minutes later and he was again viewing the same type of material. I asked him to close the browser and inquired as to where his parent was.

Apparently the boy and his friend were dropped off. In the not so distant past, this was a relatively safe thing to do. Today, it can be the gateway to the world's largest pornographic viewing station.

I spoke to the librarian who informed me that children were not 'supposed' to view porn at the library (adult viewing of porn with children just over their shoulder is completely acceptable - and any kind of porn goes). After she talked to the boy she let me know that he 'accidentally' stumbled upon the Web sites. After checking the browser history, I learned the boy accidentally stumbled onto about 20 similar Web sites.

I don't blame the librarian although I'm confident she knew how to check viewing history. My frustration is with parents who are clueless as to what is accessible to their young children on the Internet. I am also frustrated with those who, in the abused name of the first amendment, cry foul when any discussion of Internet filtering is presented. Technology has provided many good filtering options that would prevent kids from directly accessing porn at the public library - yet still allow adults open and unfettered pornographic access. I agree, what an oxymoron.

Sal Parisi

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: Jane Heisler, public affairs director for the city of Lake Oswego, responds: 'The Internet contains a vast amount of material and has changed the way we communicate, educate and entertain. Because of the immense amount of material available, we strongly agree with the letter writer that parents and guardians must carefully monitor their children's use of the Internet. In this instance, the librarian immediately confronted the child and he ceased viewing the sites the writer deemed inappropriate. As mentioned in the library's Internet policy and as part of our library practice, we follow up with patrons when we have a report that someone is engaged in an activity that is disrupting or harassing another library user. The library will continue to provide Internet filtering while protecting people's right to privacy and uncensored access to information. The library strongly encourages parents to discuss Internet safety with their children. For more information and tips on how to do this we recommend the following Web site:

http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/foryoungpeople/youngpeopleparents/especiallyyoungpeople.htm.'