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Health, education, wealth all linked - help is needed

To the Editor:

On March 22, in an almost straight party line vote, every U.S. Senate Republican (with the exception of Gordon Smith (R-OR)) supported a failed amendment that would have required higher income beneficiaries to pay larger Medicare Part D (prescription) premiums.

Were there any reasons why a 'No vote' would have been a better vote? It is my understanding that people pay into a system that allows equal access to benefits. Is it fair, does it make sense to penalize seniors who are likely to have better health with higher prescription premiums when they become Medicare eligible?

Higher-income Americans are generally better educated, have a higher standard of living and are more likely to have health insurance and good medical care during their pre-retirement years. Hence they would be more likely to have better health when they become eligible for Medicare and be less of a financial burden on the program.

The Oregonian recently reported a 'study (which) links longevity to amount of time spent in school' by the Multnomah County Health Department. 'The study found that people died at a younger age in Multnomah County neighborhoods where the educational level is lower.' (March 20)

Walter F. Brown

Lake Oswego

General Counsel Oregon Consumer League

Retired Oregon State Senator, 1975-87

Dissenters apparently are not welcome at the Lake Corp

To the Editor:

I just read the March 2007 Lake Oswego Corporation Newsletter and noticed proposed Revenue Model Recommendations on page 4.

Since the LOC Web site provides no way for lake homeowners to communicate with each other, the Lake Oswego Review seems an excellent alternative for those of us who might have an opinion.

If there's going to be a $5,000 initiation fee for new homebuyers, then joining the lake community 'club' ought to be as voluntary as joining a country club. It's not.

It's not voluntary at all. At present if you buy a house you're buying into a system that pays lip service to being responsive, but does not listen to its members. The brokers disclose as little as possible. An elite (group) runs the show. Disagreement is frowned upon. Dissenters are shunned. Litigation is not an option.

These revenue increases are cast in 'us versus them' terms. Words like 'revenue neutral' are used. Even with a new 'lake access fee' for those who don't use the lake, there's the promise of a 'reduction in total fees paid by most current shareholders ...' because they, the newcomers, will pay.

Make no mistake. If you sell your house, that $5,000 comes out of what you otherwise would receive. With the housing market turning down, every dollar is going to count.

Think about it.

Karl R. Huber

Lake Oswego

Poisoning of the Willamette River is wrong and shouldn't be allowed

To the Editor:

I've been reading about the 'toxic mixing zone' that is allowed in our local waters - specifically the waters of the Willamette River.

How come agencies think that it is OK for corporations to poison us? How about we think of the costs to our health, the costs to the quality of our lives? How about corporations be required to clean up their acts or quit operations? We deserve to take care of a wonderful environment that we were originally given. We deserve to be able to set an example to our children and grandchildren of being stewards of this our great land.

Rosemary Forester

Lake Oswego

How has Lake Oswego changed? Let me count some of the ways

To the Editor:

How has Lake Oswego changed in 40 years, 1967-2007? Let me count the ways.

1. It went from modest size houses to mini mansions.

2. It went from a small, laid-back little town to a pretentious mini cosmopolitan town.

3. It went from knowing all of the Joneses, to keeping up with all of the Joneses.

4. It went from a town with heart, to a town without pity.

5. It went from Oswego with a lake to a city that has been Carmel-ized, 'Oswego by the Lake.'

Wendy A. Morean

Lake Oswego