Foundation efforts are worthwhile supporting

To the Editor:

Just like the blossoms showing on the trees, hope grows out in Lake Oswego. The fundraising efforts for the Lake Oswego School Foundation are now under way. For the past two weeks, volunteers in all of our elementary schools have been calling other parents, asking them to renew their support. As a caller, I'm happy to say most parents are enthusiastic about giving. Now, most of them know what the foundation does.

We've all seen what a difference our donations make. For many of us, this marks the first year since our children started school that we've seen some items added back to our classrooms. There have been more electives at the high school for our oldest child. Our kindergartner has reading specialists to help him learn his A-B-C's.

I have no doubt we'll reach our goal of raising more than $2 million. Even with the possibility of more money from Salem, our community has grown to understand that to have the kind of schools we want, the foundation is a perfect vehicle.

It's great to see how many people are getting in the act. For example, during the Lake Oswego Junior High School Play, more than $900 was raised by giving the proceeds from snack sales to the Foundation. At Oak Creek Elementary school, we brought in $22,000 in donations by hosting a Mary Poppins Movie night. And recently, real estate agents have begun to purchase signs, showing that they have contributed to the campaign.

It's easy to be dismayed about school funding, but we've proven with hard work and creativity, something can be done. I feel fortunate to raise my children in a community where caring people have put their heads, hearts and minds together to make sure our children receive the best. My wish is more areas could be as lucky.

Teresa Luce Spangler

Lake Oswego

Rebutted points on HFCS 'are incorrect'

To The Editor:

(In last week's Lake Oswego Review,) Audrae Erickson rebuts my opinions about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS); as president of the Corn Refiners Association she has an industry to protect and promote.

However, the points she rebuts are incorrect. I do not suggest HFCS is a 'unique' contributor to obesity. I am advocating for parents to read food labels and help limit consumption where HFCS is listed as a primary ingredient. From Ms. Erickson's own forwarded literature, Americans consumed 27.4 pounds of the sweetener in 1980-1984. That figure had risen to 62.7 pounds by 2000.

Ms. Erickson points out that HFCS is a natural product because the FDA has not established a formal definition for food ingredients. It therefore meets the current guidelines of 'natural.' This is a point specifically addressed in my guest opinion piece, laying blame with the FDA and not the Corn Refiners Association, but clearly I hit a nerve.

I can rest easier knowing that the 'enzymatic process using xylose isomerase to produce HFCS with 42 percent fructose and the fructose enrichment system with a strong-acid, cation-exchange resin resulting in even sweeter HFCS with 55 percent fructose' produce natural products. Any why does the Corn Refiners Association need to note that these processed sweeteners pass the FDA's definition of 'Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)'?

Fortunately our local legislators get it. They are currently debating House Bill 2650: Healthy Foods for Healthy Students. The bill has bi-partisan support and strives to establish guidelines to restrict sugary sodas and high fat, high sugar foods sold in schools. Call or write to them to show your support. And be sure to read what's in your food when you grab that 'all natural' treat for your kid's lunch bag.

Carolyn J. Heymann

Lake Oswego

Lake Oswegans urged to sign the petition

To the Editor:

In last week's Citizen's View column, Dennis Elliott and Sandy Leybold write about how they 'listened carefully (to Lake Oswego citizens) and 'spent the winter reshaping (their) priorities for the project.'

Elliott and Leybold are, of course, members of the 'Lake Oswego Center Steering Committee.' I guess if members of this 'committee' and the city council tell us they have been listening to the citizens enough they think we will somehow believe it. If anyone involved in this monumental fiasco had really been listening, they would not have squandered $20 million of our money on the Safeco property.

Thankfully, the same edition of the Review notes that the group 'Ask Lake Oswegans' will be using the initiative process to put the whole deal on the ballot (something the city council and 'steering committee' have avoided).

Having the future community center/library/

aquatic center/senior center/tennis center/whatever put to a vote should be something everyone wants (regardless on your position on it). I urge every voter of Lake Oswego to look for the petitions for this initiative and to sign one. If Elliott and Leybold (and the city council) are correct that they are following the wishes of the majority of folks here in LO, a vote will confirm it.

In the meantime, all should remember that the interest cost only on the money spend by the city Council (on their own) is costing Lake Oswego taxpayers something close to $3,000 per day.

Dave Luck

Lake Oswego

Vote yes on the

Mountain Park plan

To the Editor:

The Mountain Park Homeowners Association is at a crossroads. All dues increases must be approved by two thirds of residents voting. The current dues were set four years ago by the members. Unfortunately, inflation continues its upward march. The association has not set aside enough reserves over the years to fix worn-out assets. The board of directors has proposed a $4 increase in the limit of dues for each of the years 2008-2012. Two dollars of this increase will be needed for inflation. The other $2 will be put into reserves so that the association can begin to replace worn-out assets. Unfortunately, the pool was closed last year because we had no reserves to fix it.

The board asked for volunteers to form a Recreation Center Renovation Committee which is now well on its way to analyzing the issues with the 45,000-square-foot center and will soon be asking its members exactly how they want the building renovated, if at all. If we don't have the funds, we can't implement the members' wishes. Approval of this proposal is critical, because doing nothing means that the association will be faced with ever-increasing expenses and uncertainty in what services it can provide.

When I think of the many amenities our HOA offers, I see a tremendous value: 185 acres of common area and trails, a 45,000- square-foot recreation center with basketball, weight rooms, fitness studio, childcare, massage therapy, banquet room, sauna, steam, tennis courts, exercise classes, community meeting rooms, library, and community fairs just to name a few. Our association also picks up unlimited yard debris weekly, which is unique to Lake Oswego. All of these activities support our neighborhood. Not everyone in the association uses these services, but they are available to all. It's what community is all about. We all are owners of this association and its assets. It's our responsibility to maintain them. I urge everyone in Mountain Park to vote yes for the proposal. It's our best chance of moving forward in a positive, proactive way.

Tim Warren

Lake Oswego

The feds give and the feds take

To the Editor:

I presume you did not intend your Feb. 22 editorial to be funny. However, the headline 'If federal funds dry up, all of Oregon will lose' certainly made me chuckle.

What do you think federal funds are, except money that Oregon taxpayers send to Washington, D.C.? Then the dear old federal government takes its cut and sends back what is left over. Depending on the way the feds divvy up that money, we may not even get all our money back; some of it may be going to other states with more pull in Washington than we have.

If Oregon has needs, it would be more efficient to ask the Oregonians to pay for those needs directly, rather than sending the money to the federal government and hoping to get some back.

Robert C. St. John

Lake Oswego

Need for community

center is outdated now

To the Editor:

To me, the proposal for developing the Safeco property for a new community center is a great idea, circa 1957. Much has changed in our society since then, which greatly diminishes the demand for 'a new multi-use, multi-generational community center' as so described by the city. Let us count the ways.

There are fewer stay-at-home wives and moms looking for daytime activities; television offers much more entertaining and educational programming. Then there are computers, computer games and the Internet. These all keep (us) closer to home. And there are more privately run fitness clubs. Also, many of the new condo, town home and apartment complexes have swimming pools and fitness facilities. Although I wasn't here in 1957, I imagine that youth sports activities have expanded greatly since then, both in the schools and in the sponsored leagues. Lastly, Lake Oswego's school-age population is declining, an important segment of the market for the proposed center.

And before moving the library, consider adding floor space by extending the building on the grounds behind the newspaper section, drastically reducing the back issues of magazines other than those of some research value with information on the Internet or by adding floor space over part of the parking lot. As for parking, by removing the foliage between the lot and E Avenue, maybe eight or so head-on spaces could be added on E Avenue.

A recent letter to the Review spoke of the proposed center as a 'vision' for the city. My vision for Lake Oswego is that the mayor and the council devote the efforts and our money to solving the sewer and water supply problems and shelve the center and the Lake Grove development.

Joe Stern

Lake Oswego

Guitar playing could

have been better

To the Editor:

The 'Star Spangled Banner' has never been a favorite of mine. Musically it has a rather terrible and difficult old English melody, and lyrically it is more bombastic and bellicose than suits my fancy.

However, for the past 76 years it has been our National Anthem and as such deserves to be performed with decorum and dignity. The two young ladies who have performed it as a duet at recent games have done an admirable job, singing it straight (as it should be) and within their very pleasant voices.

It has become the rage for vocalists to warble through it as though they were improvising a scat piece. Then, of course, who can forget the excruciating rendition by Roseanne Barr several years ago.

But even worse was the amplified guitar offering by a young man at the basketball playoff game this past Saturday evening at Lake Oswego High School. It was an embarrassment. I watched as our guests from Gresham stood there with looks of utter disbelief at what they were hearing. It was one of the longest and most excruciating two or three minutes of musical (?) debauchery I have ever experienced and, from the reactions of those sitting near me, was doubtless the same for many of them.

I suggest that those chosen to perform the National Anthem in the future be aware that the anthem, Lake Oswego High School, the sports fans and the city of Lake Oswego deserve a lot more respect than they were afforded last Saturday evening.

Dennis McNish

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: Dave Matthys, Lake Oswego High School Band Director, responds:

'I had many parents write and talk to me about the national anthem played at last Saturday's game. There was not one negative response. In fact, it was just the opposite. 'Terrific,' 'expressive,' and 'fantastic' were only a few of the words that showed their support of the national anthem's rendition. Nothing was ever said about 'musical debauchery' as Mr. McNish states.

'Musicians have historically created public controversy with their music. Jimi Hendrix's famous rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner' was the foundation for the solo that my guitar player used at the basketball game on March 3. This was not just a rock rendition; in fact, the guitarist used several different styles that included blues and jazz as well. If you listened carefully, you would have heard a very well thought-out, and musically stirring rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner.' This was not someone making fun of the national anthem, (as Roseanne Barr did at a baseball game); it was the spirit and intellect of a very bright and talented young man who dared to do something creative.

'I also enjoyed the girls' version that was sung at the other basketball game Mr. McNish referred to. But I disagree that singing it straight is 'as it should be.' Whitney Houston changed the way pop was sung when she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991 using a melismatic technique. She did not sing it 'straight,' but instead added her personal style. That version went on to be a big hit.

'If you noticed Lake Oswego's and Gresham's student responses, they thoroughly enjoyed the national anthem that night. I spoke to Gresham's band director, who said his students were amazed at the musicianship that was displayed. In fact, he used this solo as part of his music theory and history discussion in his A.P. music class on Monday.

'During my 28 years of teaching, (and 10 years with the Portland Trailblazers,) I have listened to many variations of the national anthem - some of which I found hard to listen to. But the solo I heard last Saturday night showed the musicality, insight and intelligence of a brilliant young musician of whom I am very proud.'

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