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Letters

What's the school district policy on safety?

To the Editor:

My husband and I were quite surprised by the article in last week's Review about the school district facing a lawsuit from an incident about a lack of padding behind the basketball hoops in the schools. On March 5th of this year, our 9-year-old son Spencer was injured during a basketball practice at Uplands Elementary. He was knocked into the concrete wall by another player and sustained a head injury. He hit the wall straight on and his forehead had a golf ball-sized swelling on it. Luckily one of the parents was a nurse and she tended to him until we could call our physician. There does not appear to be any internal damage from his injury, but the swelling and bruise lasted for three weeks. The coach's wife went to the principal the next day to tell him of the incident.

Seeing from the article that the lack of proper padding was an issue over two years ago was extremely disappointing to us. We know that the school district has placed padding at Hallinan Elementary due to the previous incident. We would like to know why there has not been a similar solution at Uplands, and how many other schools in the district lack the proper safety equipment. We certainly hope that since children play in these gyms everyday, this issue would be a top priority for the district. We would not want to see another child seriously hurt.

Jacque McLaughlin

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: Nancy Duin, communications coordinator for the Lake Oswego School District, replies: 'A process is under way for installing padding in all elementary gyms inthe district.'

The costs now vs. the costs in 2009

To the Editor:

I welcome the Lake Oswego City Council's response to my letter regarding the city's 'fact sheet' on the proposed Safeco community center.

Council's response quibbles about $300,000 vs. $350,000 as the correct average assessed value. The relevant value is in 2009 when the bonds will be issued. Which assessed value will be closer in 2009?

Council's response further says the fact sheet examples showing bond issues from $30 million to $60 million 'are intended solely for illustration of what a total property tax increase could be based on a certain size general obligation bond issue.' By showing only examples at the $30 to $60 million level of 'what a total property tax increase could be' the clear and misleading implication is that the maximum bond issue amount will be $60 million.

In fact, including a new replacement library and the original Safeco property cost, the Safeco community center is projected to cost over $100 million by BOORA Architects. And council readily admits, 'Nowhere in the fact sheet does it state, or even imply, that there are commitments for any of the funding sources, including the bond issue.' (Hello? Anybody there?) Precisely, my point. There are no committed sources of funds to reduce the cost of the community center bond issue to the taxpayers. Until council can come to a final decision on the library and show legal commitments for reducing the bond issue amount, the cost remains $100 million and the fact sheet remains the council's 'financial wish list'.

Council also says, 'All information in the fact sheet was provided by the Community Center Project Team and the Citizen's Steering Committee - not by the city council.' I need to remind council that both the project team and the steering committee are comprised of either city employees or were appointed by the council. I find council's attempt to distance itself from the project team, steering committee and fact sheet disconcerting and unseemly.

Gordon Umaki

Lake Oswego

Thanks for the support and the signatures

To the Editor:

While we thank (Gordon) Umaki for his support (his statement on the Lake Oswego Review Web site) concerning our petition is not entirely correct.

Ask Lake Oswegans is a citizens group that recently received approval from city officials that the group's filed petition seeking to amend the city charter may be printed and circulated for signatures. Approximately 3,500 signatures from registered Lake Oswego voters will be required to place the charter amendment on the November, 2007 ballot.

Briefly, the charter amendment would require the city to present all purchases of real property in excess of $2 million to the voters before making the purchase. After the amendment is approved, and through a retroactive provision provided in the amendment, the city would then be required to present the Safeco property purchase for voter approval at the next election. If voter approval for the Safeco purchase is not granted, the city must place the property for sale within 180 days following enactment of the amendment.

The amendment addresses real property purchases by the city and not any other pending issues that have received considerable community interest, comment, and debate.

For further information - the full text of the proposed charter amendment, petition signature gathering contacts, and other inquiries, please visit our Web site: www.asklakeo.com

We wish to thank all Lake Oswegans for their support and, most importantly, for their signatures.

John Surrett

Co-Chief Petitioner

Ask Lake Oswegans

Lake Oswego