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Thanks for finding space for everyone

To the Editor:

A big 'Thank you and Woof' to the city.

Several weeks ago 'Spot' and I made our usual walk to Luscher Farm to enjoy a romp in the field, but we were so disappointed to see bulldozers and trucks ripping up our beloved field. Knowing it would be several months before it would reopen we hung our heads low and returned home. We want to send a 'Thank you' and a 'Woof' to the city and the parks department for setting up a temporary off leash park until completion of the new one. Many friendships are forged by both strangers and dogs at these parks; thanks for finding temporary space for us all.

Cindy Gilbert and Spot

Lake Oswego

'See Body Worlds and reform'

To the Editor:

Last Saturday evening, after attending the Community Theater's uproariously funny play we went out looking for our own fun in Lake Oswego late Saturday night. That should not have been a mistake.

Few establishments beckon late on Saturday night but we saw one open on State Street. It looked inviting and promised the particular reward we were interested in. Our order was taken right away and the refreshment tasted fine. But sadly a can of worms opened on the bar in front of us when my wife asked the barkeep if she knew when the anti-smoking ban would go into effect. That was the mistake.

The bar atmosphere offered plenty of evidence that smoking was OK there. A 'discussion' became one sided - a defense of smoking in light of the persecution against the smoking minority. My hopes for a nice quiet, anonymous drink evaporated quickly as I listened to the ostensible logic for smoking in bars. My 'I've heard everything now' quotient grew rapidly as I listened to fallacious reasoning for the freedom of choice to smoke in public establishments. And I was assuredly told that the Oregon Legislature had in its wisdom voted against the law to end smoking in bars.

I asked for the bill before my wife and the barkeep could start swinging at each other and I know who would have needed the stretcher. Much silence followed my questioning about appropriateness of such a question in that place at that time.

But by the way, when did patronizing a bar become an invitation for interrupting the customer's privacy?

There is good news and relief however - the Legislature did pass the ban and it will take effect Jan. 1, 2009. Yes! That's when we're going back to that bar.

Furthermore, when those who smoke offer to pay the full cost of treatment for their emphysema or lung cancer, I will not consider that they are unfairly preying on the health care system and increasing health care insurance costs. Smokers, ignorance is not a cure. See Body Worlds and reform! We will all breath easier.

Jeff and Terri Simons

Eugene

'Let's not mislead the

public on costs'

To the Editor:

In Allan Solares' citizen's view proposing a more modest community center, he says, 'A $40 million bond to fund a modest community center would reduce the property tax cost to less than $12 per month for the average Lake Oswego house with a tax assessment of $600,000.'

As a member of the Steering Committee on the community center, I would hope he could use truthful numbers to sell his project.

According to the city finance department, a 20-year $40 million general obligation bond issue at 5 percent interest would cost the homeowner with $600,000 assessed value approximately $35 per month, not $12. Not significant, you say? At $35 per month for 20 years, that taxpayer will pay $8,400 for his 'modest community center' before he pays for any daily user fees for the exercise rooms, meeting rooms, class rooms, etc.

Let's not mislead the public on costs.

Gordon Umaki

Lake Oswego

Proposed streetcar covers wide swatch into Portland

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Sandy Stallcup's letter about travel times for the proposed streetcar between Lake Oswego and Portland. I feel compelled to respond to this letter in order to clarify the issue of transfers on the proposed streetcar line.

Her statement that 'the streetcar is planned to go only to Portland State University' is incorrect. In fact, a streetcar line extended to Lake Oswego from Portland would link seamlessly with the existing streetcar system. In other words, someone could get on a streetcar in Lake Oswego and travel north into and through downtown, past PSU, to the Pearl and 10th and 11th Avenues and eventually over the Broadway Bridge to the eastside without a transfer. To transfer to MAX, a rider would simply get off the streetcar on 10th and get on MAX headed east at 10th and Morrison or west at 10th and Yamhill.

PSU is used to measure travel time simply because it is a location where the proposed streetcar and the proposed Bus Rapid Transit both go, allowing travel time comparisons over an equal distance. And the comparison clearly tells us that streetcar is faster than bus.

Regarding riders who start their trip in West Linn, travel time still improves. Even with a transfer and the short wait associated with that, streetcar, operating on a dedicated right of way and out of auto traffic, saves a significant amount of travel time. And, riders will no longer be required to do a loop through Lake Oswego like the bus does now.

The public process for this study has been ongoing for about two years now. Hundreds of people have participated and thousands have received project newsletters by mail. Additional thousands get project information via email and several hundred have attended design workshops, project advisory committee meetings, open houses and a public hearing. No decisions will be made without full consideration of the community discussion. Public comment is being taken through Sept. 7, so if you have thoughts please email them to transmetro-region.org or mail to LOAA, 600 N.E. Grand Ave., Portland, OR 97232.

Brian Newman

Lake Oswego

Metro Councilor District 2

Steering Committee Chair, Lake Oswego to Portland Alternative Analysis

Oliver's Restaurant was not a welcoming place to all

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the recent Gipson letter to the editor regarding the closure of Oliver's Restaurant in Westlake.

I also walk my dog in Westlake and bought coffee almost every day. When Oliver's was Talarico and Pasta Rico, it was a welcoming place to relax with a cup of coffee, meet friends or clients, read the paper, etc. On Sunday morning, the cinnamon twists sold out early.

But once the new owners started Oliver's Restaurant it soon became impossible to find a barista to make an espresso. Even before Oliver's door closed, I stopped trying to get coffee. The Oregonian and USA Today were moved to outdoor machines so any attempt to sit inside and linger over a cup of coffee and a leftover newspaper was discouraged.

The focus was the restaurant and eventually to make money on liquor sales. Westlake is a family neighborhood. I'm sure that Oliver's served fine food. But, for years Talarico's was a small, general grocery store, perfect for picking up sandwiches, salads, quick deli items. Talarico's had been a catalyst for 'a place to sit with friends and have coffee.' I believe that Oliver's, the restaurant, no longer fits those criteria in the Westlake community.

Phil Pirrotta

Lake Oswego