In 1971 a new principal had just been selected for the new high school, Lakeridge. My father and his friends worked for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, and were taking him golfing to welcome him to the neighborhood. When he arrived, his brand new personalized plates said 'PACERS.'
I asked, 'What's a Pacer?' He said, 'You are son.'
While the older kids in the neighborhood were dealing with their class - friendships being divided (something they referred to as 'Mistakeridge') - I may have become the first person to experience Pacer Pride.
NWREL was one of four such regional 'thinktanks' in the nation. Several NWREL families lived in the neighborhood, including the Mathews family that lived in one of the three houses that existed on what would become Cloverleaf. More than once in 1971-72 someone referred to the 'open' aspects of Lakeridge. I can't speak to how much influence NWREL had in the shaping of Lakeridge. I do know they believed in it. They all sent their kids to Lakeridge. The large windows, the carpets we could lounge upon and the independent study periods were all part of an 'open' theme. It was an open campus we could leave during IS or lunch. The park-like setting that existed for so long along Cloverleaf was part of that theme. No chain-link fence would separate Lakeridge from the neighborhood. The 'field issue' has grown and I am concerned that others have taken my silence as agreement.
Others may have remained silent to keep the peace across fences in the neighborhood. It may be time (past time) to speak:
n New stadium opportunity exists with Luscher Farm in development. I don't think it's realistic. The budget gap probably can't be covered with a telethon ala 'fill in the blank.' It's on my wish list too, along with a pool.
n Facilities. Finally being resolved. With nephews and nieces from Canby, Oregon City and West Linn, I'm part of the 'visitor' crowd, usually. The mixture of bewilderment, silence and laughter is always interesting when I point to the Port-a-potty, under the tree, 200 yards away. We had maybe the worst facilities in the state 6A ect.
n Parking. Lake Oswego has LOJHS/Uplands/ the church. Lakeridge has Palisades, the church, and whatever is coming at Luscher Farms.
n Garbage. A problem in many neighborhood pockets. I picked up garbage for 10 years at the 'skateboarders corner' in our neighborhood. Imagine the pile of garbage the neighbors around LOHS could bury us in after 35 years of not one, but two, 6A programs being run through their neighborhood. Enough trash talk.
n Property values. I would encourage people to look at Tualatin. Are the houses closest to the field adversely affected?
n I was here first. I don't claim this as a right. It's just a simple fact. If (whose first) is a valid point to you, ask yourself two questions. Who was here first, you or Lakeridge? Are 'they' trying to impose their will on me, or am I trying to impose my will on the entire Lakeridge community? Whose first is an argument that would not serve our neighborhood well (think Measure 37).
n They pomised us. Apparently a promise was made that there would never be a permanent football facility along Cloverleaf. That is a major issue ... Superintendents come and go. I don't think that's something you should bank on at face value. Many people are now working on the 'field issue,' principal (Mike) Lehman chief among them. I don't know him. I do see a man that's trying to resolve this. Homecoming 08 might be a good first step. A new 'Lakeridge experiment.' Would it lead to all home games at Lakeridge? Maybe. Would it lead to more people realizing they don't want that size event at Lakeridge? Maybe. Let's find out. The entire Lakeridge community deserves at least that much after 35 years.
Michael Hagans is a resident of Lake Oswego.