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Umaki's views are proving tiresome to keep reading

To the Editor:

I have had enough of Gordon Umaki. It is time for him to take three giant steps backward from his self-appointed post as the voice of fiscal responsibility for the city of Lake Oswego.

In my 16 years as a registered voter in this city, I have never seen his name appear as a candidate for any office. If Mr. Umaki needs a forum for his views and wishes to contribute to the betterment of our community, run for office and truly receive a mandate from Lake Oswego voters.

I commend our mayor and city council for having the foresight to look to the future for Lake Oswego. Without their vision, downtown Lake Oswego would not be the hub of community activity it has become. The acquisition of the Safeco property represents the same type of opportunity to look to a bold future for our city that may never occur again.

The reality is our library is too small for the current population of our city. Try to find a parking place on the weekends for those of us not lucky enough to be First Addition residents. As Mr. Umaki states, there are private sector alternatives to the Safeco Building as a community center. Personally, I would prefer a $100 monthly increase in my property taxes for a pool open to all residents to the same amount spent at ClubSport or any of the local private clubs.

Gordon, when you're polling local residents, stop by the Lake Oswego School District Pool any morning and ask the senior citizen water aerobics class how they feel about being stuffed into two lanes at the end of the pool. These are but two of the many uses this building and property can be put to.

In closing, I do agree with Mr. Umaki on one point. Whatever shape the plans for the West End community center take need to be financially prudent and in the best interests of the residents of Lake Oswego.

Mike Davis

Lake Oswego

Appreciate the gift of mural from the Grahams

To the Editor:

As we are wrapping up this year of Art Literacy at River Grove School and looking forward to our next year, we are excited to have a wonderful contribution from Graham's Stationery.

The Grahams generously gave of their time and energy to conserve the enormous mural of cave art from their store, which was a part of the Lake Oswego Reads program. We have added this to our collection of materials for the Stone Age art section of our Art Literacy unit for 2007-2008 and it will be a permanent part of the block so all of the elementary schools will benefit from this wonderful contribution as the blocks rotate from school to school.

We are very fortunate to have Graham's Stationery in Lake Oswego and grateful for their contribution of art that all Lake Oswego elementary students will eventually have the opportunity to see and appreciate.

Sheri Richards

Lake Oswego

Les would be gratified at tribute

A copy of this letter was also sent to Lake Oswego High School principal Bruce Plato.

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Darby family, I want to thank Lake Oswego High School and the entire Lake Oswego community for honoring my late brother, Les Darby, by naming the new high school baseball field after him. The ceremony to dedicate Les Darby Field, held on Friday, April 27, was an upbeat and touching event, and the family members present felt it was a perfect tribute to Les.

Les loved sports for all the right reasons. He recognized that athletics teaches invaluable lessons about sacrifice, teamwork, cooperation and competition. Les participated actively in youth sports programs in Lake Oswego, as a coach and fund raiser, and I know he would be deeply gratified to be remembered through this association with your magnificent new baseball facility.

The Les Darby Foundation, which offers scholarships each year to graduating seniors from Lake Oswego High School, bases its awards on participation in athletics, but also on academic accomplishments and, above all, on the demonstration of citizenship and character. As we describe it, the award is given not to the person who is the best player on a sports team, but to the player on a sports team who is the best person. Fortunately, Lake Oswego has produced many fine candidates each year, making our decision pleasingly difficult and we expect that trend to continue far into the future.

In recent years the Les Darby Foundation has given out four scholarships annually, but beginning this spring we plan to give out two additional scholarships, and we hope that at least one of these will go to a deserving member of the Lake Oswego baseball team. We anticipate that Les Darby Field will enjoy active and continuous use for many years to come and we look forward to honoring many more deserving graduates of Lake Oswego High School.

Joseph B. Darby III

Boston

'Don't hide behind' the ACLU skirts

To the Editor:

Based on the responses in last Thursday's Lake Oswego Review, the two letters and my Citizen's View of April 26 must have really struck a student nerve.

To Mr. Anderson: Of course you students have the right to fight the curfew laws. If, in your view, suggesting that there are nobler causes to pursue than the curfew law is somehow un-American, then I plead 'guilty.' But if removing the curfew law is viewed as an important first step toward the preservation of your constitutional rights, I suggest there are other causes that can push your pursuit farther, faster.

To Ms. Spiering and Ms. Nielsen: 'The general outcry from the public against teenagers' is a gross generalization on your parts, my dears. This same public is currently raising over $2 million for Lake Oswego schools (for you). The same public is donating thousands of hours volunteering in the schools and the community (for you). Does that sound like the general public is looking 'down their noses at adolescents?' I'm all for 'students working towards change.' Isn't solving homelessness or hunger more important than removing a curfew law? Where are your priorities?

To Mr. Hayes and Mr. Trompke: To summarily reject my skateboard analogy proves to me you did not understand my point. Your platform is based upon 'the right to peaceably assemble.' Are you suggesting that a group of kids assembling to skateboard is somehow inherently not peaceful? Are they immediately assumed in your minds to be criminals? Look, you can't have it both ways.

Leave your pranks and stunts to Mayfete. If you want to get involved in solving real problems in a real world, choose a meaningful issue and put some real skin in the game. Don't hide behind the skirts of the ACLU.

Thomas N. Holder

Lake Oswego

Petition will show ' preference

To the Editor:

The name West End Building really is not a fit title for the gleaming, grandiose monument that formerly served as Safeco's offices. I propose a name with more appeal for this beautiful, expensive white edifice surrounded by acres of paved parking and beautiful lawn, 'Tajma Hall.'

Never in the history of Lake Oswego has such a building captured the hearts and minds of our elected leaders. Their devotion to making it into extremely expensive meeting rooms, playrooms and recreation areas is to be admired. We can only guess that they will find an imaginative way to overcome citizen indifference and taxpayer disgust if the pending ballot measure might otherwise force them to sell this wonderful property to become a dull office building on the tax rolls once more. This ballot petition is only starting to circulate, but it has found surprising popularity.

Our wise leaders may still find a way to circumvent this movement and make this glorious building a permanent tribute to an intrenched bureaucracy by moving the police department into the building, along with a fire truck and a nurse or two. This would enable them to declare that this is a necessary purchase for the health and safety of the community. Then this once-in-a-lifetime purchase could also serve as the headquarters for the city Water Rationing Board to control the use of our limited water supply so that the high cost of increasing the water services for the thirsty new residences being built can continue to be deferred indefinitely in order to preserve our city's high bond rating.

William Barbat

Lake Oswego

Do they see what the problem is?

To the Editor:

Oh the irony.

Last week the Review published a letter by Marty J. Anderson, a Lake Oswego High School student, complaining that it's 'un-American' to not allow our youth to roam around late at night without supervision and called the actions of his peers to abolish curfew laws 'valiant.'

Late Friday night of the same week, a clan of drunken adolescents defaced one of our schools, started fires on the property and sent the community into a tailspin with a bomb threat scrawled on a school window.

Do Marty and his peers see the problem?

Amy Haroldson

Lake Oswego

Protest dismantling of EPA library network

To the Editor:

The Environmental Protection Agency, whose mission is to protect human health and the environment, has begun dismantling its network of 27 nationwide libraries that provide critical environmental health and science data to EPA and outside scientists.

EPA has taken this step without consulting Congress, its own scientists or the public. EPA's actions, which have been criticized by its own Office of Enforcement and Compliance, will affect scientists, policy makers and indeed anyone seeking information regarding the state of our environment. This issue carries special relevance for Oregonians, given recent concerns over water quality in Lake Oswego and elsewhere in the state.

EPA has already closed or reduced services at nearly one-third of its 27 libraries. According to newspaper reports, scientific journals and data, acquired at taxpayer expense, have been literally tossed into Dumpsters.

EPA administrators claim they are merely 'consolidating facilities' and that 'materials will eventually be made available on-line.' However, no needs assessment has been performed and funds don't exist to carry out this expensive and time-consuming project, almost guaranteeing that important information will be lost forever. In fact, less than 0.5 percent of EPA materials are currently available on-line, and Web sites from the closed libraries have been partially or completely shut down. Ironically, a 2004 internal EPA analysis showed that the library network saved over 214,000 hours of staff time annually, a cost savings of $7.5 million.

EPA's policy comes during dark days for U.S. science, when federal appointments have been made based on political connections rather than expertise and when agency scientists have been muzzled and critical reports censored. To protest the EPA's callous disregard for science and public health, call EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson at 202-564-4700 or submit a comment at www.epa.gov.

Martin Donohoe, MD

Lake Oswego