Letters to the Editor
Former councilor missed the mark
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the letter two weeks ago by former city Councilor Jack Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman argues against the upcoming Measure 3-269, which would change the city charter to give citizens a chance to vote on any real property purchase of over $2 million.
He states that the councilors need 'flexibility to efficiently purchase land' and that decisions made by councilors are without question 'wise and timely.' In contrast to the councilors' 'wise and timely' decisions, if we citizens pass Measure 3-269 'these proposed purchases would have to be first approved by the voters.'
Yikes. Obviously, the city council would rather we ordinary citizens not bother our silly little heads about how the city spends our money. He assumes that if such expenditures as Millennium Plaza Park had come to a vote, citizens would not have had the wisdom to vote yes - pretty arrogant of Mr. Hoffman. Just because councilors are elected doesn't mean that every decision they make is gold.
Our nation is founded on the principle of checks and balances and I think Mr. Hoffman's letter perfectly reveals that our current city charter is out of balance. I think Measure 3-269 will provide the necessary balance. Opponents fail to mention that Beaverton, Tigard and Wilsonville all have some kind of checks on their city spending (Beaverton has a $25,000 trigger) and they operate very well. Asking Lake Oswegans to have a say on huge $2 million-plus land purchases and the resulting increases in our property taxes is very reasonable. Yes on Measure 3-269 will give us the chance.
LOHS cheerleaders were wonderful
To the Editor:
Last Sunday was the Race For The Cure. While thousands of people participated in this great cause by walking and running, there were hundreds of others behind the scenes supporting on the event.
The Lake Oswego High School Cheer Squad was asked last summer if they would volunteer to be 'Cure Leaders' the day of the race and they agreed to do so.
In August, two volunteers from the Race For The Cure attended a cheer practice and trained the team for the event. The team was given four different chants to learn and perform on the day of the race.
When race day arrived, the team, along with a great group of parents, were at the event at 6:30 a.m. for a pep rally. The team then started cheering on the runners/walkers. It filled our hearts with pride to see how hard these kids were working as thousands of people raced by smiling, waving and cheering along with the team. They cheered and stunted with an abundance of energy and enthusiasm for three hours.
While cheer teams are asked to encourage all types of sporting events and be ambassadors for their schools, the Lake Oswego High School Cheer team went above and beyond the call of duty by not only representing their school, but also their team and this great cause!
It was a proud moment to be coaches!
Quality of life is not an accident
To the Editor:
The quality of life of a city doesn't happen by accident. We have to take opportunities when they become available. We need to look to the future so others can enjoy the same spirit and livability of Lake Oswego that we do.
The purchase of 14 acres, which includes an 88,872-square-foot office building at the center of Lake Oswego's population is a wise investment. As I walk my dog at Foothills Park, browse the Farmers' market at Millennium Plaza Park and shop at Lake View Village, I am reminded how much I value the opportunities secured by our city's previous wise investments.
Vote yes to retain city ownership of the former Safeco property. To preserve this opportunity I am voting yes on 3-273.
Walk to School day occurs Wednesday
To the Editor:
Wednesday, Oct. 3, is Walk to School day in the United States.
Mark your calendars, talk to your neighbors, and make time to come together as a community. Walking to school, if for one day or as a regular habit, is 'just one thing' parents can do to reduce our carbon footprint and reverse childhood obesity trends. At Hallinan, it is easier and safer than ever to make the trip.
Within the last 18 months, neighborhood associations, the school district, and the city have collaborated to make safe paths a priority. As a result, footpaths into the Hallinan school entrance are now paved and connect Chapin Way with the Marylhurst neighborhood. Traffic-calming stop signs at the intersection of Cherry Lane and Chapin Way are increasing driver awareness of school children in the area. The patchwork of sidewalk segments along Hallinan Street are joined, and four pedestrian crosswalks are striped into the front and rear of the school.
In the increasingly insular world of e-mail and the blogsphere, we're talking more and communicating less. Walking to school is a daily chance to tap into what's happening in the neighborhood. Kids talk, friends re-connect - it recreates the dynamic of the first day of school. And the trip to and from school is the chance to notice an elderly resident's papers piling up, a 'For Sale' sign changing to 'Sold', or if Tucker the Labrador retriever has escaped his enclosure again.
Walk to School (or bike, scooter, stroller, skip) with your kids on Wednesday, Oct. 3; it's a perfect excuse to do 'just one thing.'
Carolyn J. Heymann
Use kicker to help school foundation
To the Editor:
This fall Lake Oswegans will receive the first state of Oregon 'Kicker' Tax refund in several years, which, because of the improved economy, will amount to 18.6 percent of the state tax paid in 2006. This added cash offers a chance for families to meet special needs and to enhance the quality of their lives. There is also the opportunity to share a portion of the kicker with one of the many nonprofit organizations that improve our community.
For Lake Oswegans, one nonprofit organization, which stands out in its central role in our city, is the Lake Oswego School District Foundation. After several years of raising money to backfill for decreasing revenue from the state, last year the foundation was able to add back by raising $2.1 million, which funded 31 teachers across the district. The result was smaller class sizes, bolstered counseling positions and added electives in the junior and senior high schools.
The Lake Oswego School District Foundation will soon launch its fund-raising drive for 2008-2009. I urge you to jump start the foundation effort by donating a portion of your kicker this fall. For some this is an opportunity to be a first-time donor; for others a chance to increase their annual gift.
Your donation for the 2008-9 school year will be deductible in 2007 if received by Dec. 31 of this year. For further information, go to http://www.losdfoundation.org.
Board member of
the Lake Oswego School District Foundation
There's 'nothing simple' about
the city's ballot measure
To the Editor:
After attending the Sept. 18 Lake Oswego City Council meeting, certain thoughts keep coming back to me. In particular, Councilor (Ellie) McPeak's explanation that with the city's Measure 3-273, 'we allow, we ask the voter to tell us on the simple, non-complicated question of whether we should keep the property or not?' But what may look like a simple vote on whether or not to keep the Safeco building, the vote is really a modern day Trojan Horse - open it up, and out pours a staggering bundle of expensive new plans - the $80 million community center/library, a new home for city hall, parks and recreation and the adult community center, a teen center, swimming pools, lap pools and therapy pools, oh my - the list goes on and on.
Fellow citizens, the city council relies on voters' short memories. Their plan is first to secure the building, then within 'two years' according to Councilor McPeak come back with a whopping bond measure for their grandiose and expensive new community center. But I think we should see the Safeco building for the Trojan Horse that it is. It may look like a 'visionary and bold' gift as described by the mayor, until it opens up and reveals millions of dollars of new debt load on citizens already overburdened with, to quote The Oregonian, 'the costliest public works project in Lake Oswego's history'!
So the vote on Measure 3-273 isn't really so simple after all. What may look like a $20 million piece of property really masks a more than doubling of the debt burden increase for taxpayers! Let us not be fooled by the Safeco Trojan Horse. There is nothing simple about Measure 3-273. Please vote no.
America can't wait for the feds to take action on illegal immigration
To the Editor:
The editorial opinion in last week's Review suggested we should wait for action from Washington, D. C. rather than take action to protect our communities from further ravages of illegal immigration.
I find this position astounding given that through Democrat and Republican presidents, and change of control of the House and Senate between both parties, Washington has failed to even enforce the laws on the books. When the federal politicians did recently come up with a scheme to 'fix' the issue, the proposal was to waive a magic wand over 15-plus million lawbreakers and declare them no longer lawbreakers: For obvious reasons, the huge majority of legal citizens were outraged.
Remember the fence voted for in Washington a year or so ago? About 2 percent has been built - talk is cheap, but action is required. It is clearly up to local communities to take all actions necessary to reduce the extremely negative impact illegals have. Naive option would be to wait for politicians (most heavily dependent on campaign contributions from farmers and companies who benefit from cheap illegal labor) to act. In any case, most of the impacts illegals have are of a local nature - increased crime and drugs, drains on human services, increased loads on limited school resources.
This is not an issue of immigration - it is an issue of illegal entry into a sovereign country. Immigration is entry into a country in conformance with the laws related to that activity.
Plenty to be thankful for in city
To the Editor:
This is an open letter to the residents of Lake Oswego.
Lake Oswego is indeed a great place to live. My family and I relocated to the Lake Grove portion of Lake Oswego, July 200, and have never looked back. In a very positive way, we feel we've landed in a modern day 'Mayberry, RFD' - with outgoing friendly neighbors, a pro-active government, wonderful city staff and certainly no shortage of healthy, vibrant debate on local topics.
It is obvious to anyone getting involved, that this community cares about the past, present and future of our fair city.
I'd like to point out a few folks that deserve some atta-boys/girls we've come across in our short journey here, thus far:
n Massoud Saberian - city of Lake Oswego, traffic engineer - compassionate, common sense, results-oriented city employee.
n Mike Buck (owner of Gubanc's Pub) - tireless advocate for our city.
n Kathy Kern - city of Lake Oswego, Parks and Rec - plans our events with a smile.
n Jonna Papaefthmilou and Russ Chevrette, (Lake Oswego city employees) and David Powell (Lake Oswego city attorney) - for helpful, real world, friendly advice as we purchased our new home here.
n Mayor Judie Hammerstad and Councilor Donna Jordan for their honest, tell it like it is, contributions to our future.
n Everyone that helped to put on the 2007 Lake Grove Village Day.
n Lake Grove Neighborhood Association and Friends of Brookside board members for improving our day-to-day lives.
n The Lake Grove Elementary School PTA members for really showing what stepping up means to a community!
n Lt. Douglas Treat - LO Police - an outstanding, positive friend and face representing our city out on the streets.
LGNA, FOB board member
Lakegrove Elementary PTA member
2007 Lakegrove Village Day Chair
President of IndiependenceMusic.net and SmileyNote Studios
Turn down Ballot Measure 3-269
To the Editor:
Ballot Measure 3-269, which seeks to revise the Lake Oswego City Charter, requiring voter approval for property purchases exceeding $2 million, retroactive to April 1, 2006, is a bad idea.
Lake Oswego is fortunate to have a group of city councilors who are smart, dedicated and well-informed. They take their job seriously and work diligently to meet the needs of the community. It is their job to look out for the interests of our citizens. They are charged with seeing the big picture, moving beyond individual self-interest and planning for liveability in Lake Oswego, now and into the future.
This measure is an effort to micromanage our elected officials, hardly a good idea and hardly in the spirit of our time-tested representative government.
We need to be able to take advantage of opportunities for our city. But more importantly, we need to allow our elected officials to do their job, which they continue to do well.
Please join me in defeating Ballot Measure 3-269 this November.
Anne K. Woodbury
Ballot measure would be harmful
To the Editor:
Vote no on Ballot Measure 3-269!
The supporters of this measure are telling you that you will be voting for responsible, representative, accountable government. We ask that you look again to see that this is simply not true.
Is it really representative to govern a community by initiative petitions and ballot measures? Is this the way we want to be governed, by the will of some shrill people out-shouting reason and using misleading, false information to gain their narrow way via a ballot measure?
Responsible, accountable government looks to the future and asks, 'What are the unforeseen consequences of our decision today?' On the surface, this measure may look responsible, but it is not. If this were to pass and our community is asked to vote on each and every purchase beyond a set dollar limit, please imagine (1) the cost incurred just for each vote and (2) the potential for incredible divisiveness over just what the purpose should be for a particular piece of real estate. Will we witness yet more shrillness from those who have one myopic goal who cannot and will not look to the benefit for our entire community?
There have been reasoned letters submitted in opposition to this measure. We add our concerns to theirs, and ask that you vote no on Ballot Measure 3-269.
Gay Graham and Ron Hanson
'Let's keep it the way it is'
To the Editor:
You do the math. Figure this one out.
Lakeridge High School has 350 parking spaces. They make space for 700 to 800 fans if there are two to three people per car. Regularly, LHS football games draw 2,000 to 2,500 fans, so by my math, that leaves about 1,200 people with no place to park.
That's about 400 to 500 cars that would be parking in the neighborhoods around the school.
We have narrow streets as it is and adding that many cars to our streets would make it extremely difficult for emergency equipment to respond to calls for help.
In contrast, our district stadium has parking plus the use of the junior high and the Lutheran church as well for all home games.
So … let's keep it the way it is now the district stadium for both schools as was decided by our school board long ago and has worked well all these years.
Vote yes on Measure 49
To the Editor:
A civic responsibility it seems to me is also a moral responsibility, and a part of our code of ethics.
Most of us love Oregon. Why? We love our trees, parks, forests, the scampering squirrel or soaring hawk, the rivers, mountains, ocean - all the glorious places that make up creature habitat. We are only one species, but we keep driving all the others into extinction, by some 20,000 species per year now. (Tucker and Grim, 'Daring to Dream, Religion and the Future of the Earth,' Reflections, Yale University, Spring 2007)
Two years ago, Oregonians voted for Measure 37, which seemed at the time, to most, a reasonable protection of property rights, or the right to build another home or two on their own property. What they did not foresee was its potential for exploitation by developers. In the words of Gov. (Ted) Kulongoski:
'There are Measure 37 claims to build two Walmarts, several rock quarries and rock blasting operations, a mine, and expanded garbage landfills next to rivers and neighborhoods.
'There are plans for massive housing subdivisions in areas without adequate water supplies.
'Overall, there are over 7,500 claims covering over 750,000 acres, much of it for sprawling development on irreplaceable farmlands and forests - with a documented potential cost of over $15 billion.'
In response to this dilemma, which would essentially abandon Oregon's environment to reckless development, Measure 49 will appear on our ballot. Although it is not a complete solution to Measure 37 crises, it will be a huge improvement. It will help protect our farms, forests, and areas with lmited water supplies. When your Voters' Booklet arrives in the mail, do study this extremely important measure. See who is for it and who is against it (always very 'telling.') Then I urge you to vote yes on 49, yes for families, yes for those other species, yes for Oregon and yes for future generations.
District stadium can serve both schools
To the Editor:
My name is Ann Powers. I live at 1840 S.W. Cloverleaf Road. We have lived in our home for 47 years - 11 years before Lakeridge High School was built. We do like living by the school - this is not the point of my letter.
I would like to address the taxpayers of our city, Lake Oswego, regarding the push by sports parents for a stadium at Lakeridge High School.
When Lakeridge was built it was stated that a stadium would not be built because there was not enough land to handle one. The Lakeridge football games would be played at the District Stadium located at Lake Oswego High School.
Now we have a large group of people from the Palisades Neighborhood Association working hard to change everything. People who are not affected by what goes on near and around the school because they don't live close to the school.
At a recent meeting with Lakeridge Principal Dr. Mike Lehman he stated his desire to have football for the Pacers on the Pacer field. I asked Dr. Lehman just how would a new stadium be financed? He said a bond would probably have to be floated.
That led me to think about the money-raising campaign that is now in progress. This campaign to raise money for teachers is more important than raising money for a new stadium at Lakeridge High School.
To Lake Oswego taxpayers, don't forget that in the near future we will be facing additional taxes to pay for new sewer and water facilities.
Think about all these taxes to come. The district stadium has served the school district well and can continue to do so.