Umaki's research appreciated
To the Editor:
I write in response to the letter which appeared in the May 10 issue of the Review, expressing criticism of Mr. Gordon Umaki's recent letters published in the Review which analyzed the city's financial needs in both the near and long terms.
Personally, I have greatly appreciated Mr. Umaki's research efforts and his letters making available to Lake Oswego property owners the significantly increased financial obligations they will be required to shoulder in the next few years. I am sure I am not alone in applauding Mr. Umaki's efforts and in hoping that he will not be deterred by ill-founded criticism such as appeared in the recent letter.
It is absurd to suggest, as does the letter writer, that somehow Mr. Umaki is disqualified from sharing his findings and expressing his views simply because he apparently has never run for public office.
John B. Crowell Jr.
Holder's letter called offensive
To the Editor:
Rarely have I been as offended by a letter to the editor as I was last Thursday when reading Tom Holder's most recent comments.
On May 3, the Review printed five letters from students who responded to Mr. Holder's initial letter of April 26 regarding the ACLU's challenge of our curfew laws and the role of PAS students in that process. Each and every student's letter was well written and unfailingly polite. That is more than can be said for Mr. Holder's response. Choosing to address two serious young women as 'my dears' was both patronizing and demeaning.
As a parent of two young adults, I have tried hard to teach them civic responsibility. I have told them that if they believe something to be unjust or unreasonable, they should work to change it. (How many of us know adults who complain vociferously about their government but don't even bother to vote?) I am proud of these young people and I think their teachers and parents should be as well. This society desperately needs the next generation to be informed, civic minded and politically active.
Mr. Holder, you may find their issue to be of low priority or even completely without merit. I can say the same of dozens of bills which are introduced to the Legislature every year. That is the nature of democracy. The fact that the ACLU has chosen to take up their cause certainly indicates that there are adults who agree with the students. Frankly, so do I.
In conclusion, I would add that outside its support for academics and organized sports, this community is not particularly teen friendly, a fact which is evidenced, Mr. Holder, by your own attitude.
'Priorities are exactly where they should be'
To the Editor:
An open letter to Tom Holder:
Lake Oswego citizens may treat the education system with kid gloves, but for the kids, the gloves come off.
It is blatantly obvious that all of our classmates are thankful for the privileges we are granted as students; but as human beings, and as Lake Oswego residents, we are robbed of rights and respect. We cannot count how many times we have been glared at in businesses, followed by a police officer while driving at night, and otherwise discriminated against because of age. We are sure that this occurs in every city across the country, but that doesn't make it OK.
Teenagers are second-class citizens. Many claim that children lack the ability for good judgment, yet scientists have proven that the hippocampus, the center of judgment, does not fully mature until the age of 25. Yet, ages 18-25 aren't subjugated to unjust curfew laws. Why? Because 18 year olds can vote. The minors in this community are voiceless, and now we are screaming at the top of our lungs and you are covering your ears, though you say you're 'all for students working towards change.'
And the truth is, fighting hunger and homelessness is important. Nobody can deny that. But can we deny the fact that teenagers are directly under fire by age discrimination, when the clock strikes 10:15 every night? No, we cannot. You preach to us about helping others, but where are you in this ordeal? Sitting back, writing letters, looking down your nose at youth - exactly what you said this community doesn't do. As for 'where are our priorities?' Our priorities are exactly where they should be: On the streets, fighting for a cause.
It may seem small to you, but for us who have negligible representation in our community, it is huge; and you have no place judging those when you are given every freedom.
Alyssa Spiering and Cameron Chen
'No one is forcing you to read' comments
To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Mike Davis's letter in the May 10 edition. I have several points to make:
1. If you are tired of reading Mr Umaki's letters - turn the page. No one is forcing you to read them.
2. Perhaps you are willing to pay a $100/month increase in your property taxes to use a local pool, but are you aware that you would pay a fee to use said facility in addition to your property taxes?
Plus, not everyone who lives here has the income to pay that sort of property tax increase.
3. I would like to see Lake Oswego remain a vibrant city for all ages. At this moment we are teetering on the brink of becoming a city only for the rich and entitled. I would like Lake Oswego to remain affordable for young families. At this time we have a dwindling population of school age children and it is possible that not only will some elementary schools be closed in the near future,but also Lakeridge High School.
4. When one factors in the looming costs of the water and sewer upgrades, the Safeco building is a low priority.
Perhaps Lake Oswego City Council would like to use Lake Oswego High School as a community center and keep Lakeridge as the one high school. It already has pool and gymnasium.
Editor's note: Nancy Duin, communications specialist for the Lake Oswego School District, replies: 'The district is pursuing efforts on several fronts in order to avoid closing schools. If at some future date, however, the district must close schools due to the economics of declining enrollment, the updated facilities at both of the district's high schools would remain in use. If a single high school, single middle school configuration were considered, for example, both high school campuses would be employed in order to provide students with use of the comprehensive facilities available at those sites.'
Couple of key points seem to have been forgotten
To the Editor:
I'm glad to see Mike Davis's response to my commentaries. It also reminds me of a related fact that my new friend Grant Forelle alerted me to last weekend.
Mr. Davis, in supporting his desire to have more swimming and exercise alternatives, says '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.' Mr. Davis obviously uses a pool and is willing to pay for it. But he very conveniently forgets the fact that the vast majority of citizens do not belong to an exercise or swimming club for a variety of reasons, but will be forced to pay an average of $615 per year increase in property tax for 20 years in order to pay for Mr. Davis' pool and exercise facilities.
So if Mr. Davis wants a swimming pool and exercise facility, it would seem fair for him to pay for it himself, and not force others to pay for it for him. Also conveniently forgotten by Mr. Davis is the fact that in addition to the property tax increase, users of the swimming pools and exercise gymnasiums will be charged market users fees.
Grant Forelle noted that non-residents of Lake Oswego will actually pay less to use our proposed community center than residents. Non-resident adults will pay an annual fee of $700 to use the facilities while we Lake Oswegans get to pay $1,090 per year ($475 annual fee plus $615 property tax increase). Makes little sense to me, too, Grant.
And if Mr. Davis finds my commentaries tiresome or objectionable, a wise person might simply choose to ignore them.