Measure 49 is wrong way to go
To the Editor:
Land use restrictions and planning are difficult, complex issues that haven't been addressed fully for 35 years here in Oregon. Much is true now that was not 35 years ago when SB 100 was passed. For example, our population has doubled since 1973. Not building doesn't keep the population from increasing. It is naïve to think 'if we don't build it, they won't come!'
Other unforeseen issues have come out of restrictive zoning, notably that large family farms couldn't be divided even among the children and grandchildren because they couldn't meet the income restrictions required: to divide rural land zoned EFU, each parcel (80 acres minimum) must generate $88,000/year in agricultural income for 2 consecutive years. (The inability of these children to pay inheritance taxes solves the problem another way: the state becomes the owner.)
A no vote on Measure 49 would encourage the governor to reinstate The Big Look Task Force to resolve some of these issues. The governor disbanded the Big Look a few months ago, deciding instead to push Measure 49, effectively killing Measure 37. Measure 49 promises three homes to Measure 37 claimants but there is an entire page of soil restrictions that precludes any of the current Measure 37 claimants from building. There is no quick fix, but the Big Look already has 2 years of work, study and public hearings under its belt, so it's not starting from scratch. Much compromise is needed and everyone needs an opportunity for input. The first of which is no on 49.
Lauri S. Hein
Rummage sale was a huge success
To the Editor:
The 12th annual Forest Hills Elementary School Rummage Sale was a huge success breaking even last year's records! The support from school families, alumni and staff was tireless throughout the year as well as during the Rummage Sale week. We were overwhelmed by the community support of our event. Mike from Kinkos, Chuck's Coffee, Michael Earp Photography and Cinematouch provided amazing advertising. Bella Furnishings donated 6 truckloads of new furniture while the Kliks family estate donated a household full of wonderful antiques. Snyder Moving Company donated numerous hours of free moving services. And of course, Chuck's Coffee kept us going throughout the event with their delicious coffee! On behalf of the students of Forest Hills Elementary School, thank you for your support!
School lunches need more nutrition
To the Editor:
I want to write to you about making our school lunches more nutritious. I am a seventh grader at Waluga Junior High School, and recently our math class generated a survey to decide what nutritious foods students would want for lunch.
The survey was set up like this: The class split up into groups of four. Each student in the group was responsible for a food type: Grains, fruit, vegetables or meat and beans. Once we had our food group, each of us had to come up with four possible nutritious foods that met our food group. My food group was grains, and my four possible nutritious foods were whole-wheat pizza, whole-wheat bagels, whole-wheat waffles and brown rice.
After each of us had four foods, we had to survey 50 students to see which food was most preferred. My most popular item was whole-wheat bagels. Once each person in our group had one most popular food, we combined our foods together to make one meal. The meal my group developed was whole-wheat bagels, whole-wheat pizza, broccoli and grapes.
Upon determining the meal, we had to survey 20 students to see what they thought a reasonable price was for our meal. The average of all our prices was $2.75. Once we had all our data we made PowerPoint presentations or posters to display our data.
I think the Lake Oswego School District should have our meal as one of our lunch choices, because using whole wheat increases the natural nutrients we get. Also broccoli and grapes are a wonderful source of vitamins.
In conclusion I hope the Lake Oswego School District will consider our meal and make it a reality.
Alexandra van Alebeek
Seventh grader, Waluga Junior High School in Lake Oswego
'… Who is running the store' here?'
To the Editor:
The city of Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency held a pre-application conference on Oct. 4 on a proposal to construct Oswego Lake Park, including demolishing the U.S. Bank building. I know that some citizen groups have tried to book a meeting place at the bank building, but the city said, no, no, no, the building is coming down.
It is sad but comical that the city wants citizens to pay for the West End Building, yet demolishes a good building they paid $2 million for just a few years ago. This is all happening because the City has a master plan for a new park. Lake Oswego has more parks than we know what to do with. Throw away the Park Master Plan and save the building. If the city cannot use the building, sell it.
Sometimes I wonder who is running the store!
Measure 49 is a 'stall tactic'
To the Editor:
Measure 37 is a Band-Aid to force politicians to fix some very unfair land use policy. Measure 49 is a government stall tactic to avoid this.
Altering current land use regulations is unattractive to our leaders: someone will be angry whatever solution is devised. The politicians have been unwilling to open that can of worms, forcing the people to come up with initiatives: Measure 7 and subsequently Measure 37.
Legislative attempts to stop the initiative process altogether have been tried. Their efforts to deflect the inevitable claimants, as happened with Measure 37, drives our leaders full throttle. Claimants seeing the likelihood their property rights window would close again tried to make the most of it while they could. Thus, they filed for massive subdivisions in some cases, because someday it might actually be feasible to build. They wished to preserve that option for their children.
The willful stalling by government on this issue is reason enough to vote no on 49. We need to force our leaders to be accountable to the will of the people who have twice voted to help a small group of Oregon farmers avoid losing their family's heritage.
Springbrook vs. Safeco: Compare
To the Editor:
Please compare the Safeco building to Springbrook Park in my Uplands neighborhood, and say yes to 3-273. NO to 3-269.
In 1969, our city purchased 28+ acres for a park. In 1973, 23+ adjacent acres were destined for development. Neighbors didn't agree. Despite vigorous opposition, a special election was held with voters saying 'Yes' for city funds being used to purchase these acres- a gem, a point of community pride.
Imagine today's cost of Springbrook Park. Would our community forever lose this open space because city council hands were financially tied if 3-269 were to pass?
As unusual an opportunity as Springbrook Park was yesterday, so is Safeco today. Does this community really want to squander and forever relinquish this opportunity to explore what this gem of commercial property can mean to us?
Approving 3-273 allows all of us this option.
Former city councilor
'It's time for us to be mature adults'
To the Editor:
I found it very distressing when I opened the Lake Oswego Review and read the letter from Mr. Hesselman accusing me, my family, and my neighborhood of being selfish, snotty, self-absorbed and arrogant. Had Mr. Hesselman or the small number of unhappy members of our community who accuse us of these personality traits actually met my neighbors, or me they would be quite surprised to find out otherwise. I find it even more disheartening to hear that my son has apparently inherited my obvious faults as well for having such a heinous desire as to want to play football at his own high school.
I have tried to raise my child to be a thoughtful, considerate, compassionate person and to respect his community. I'm sorry that he has been labeled otherwise, even though I am quite sure Mr. Hesselman has never met my son. I'm pretty sure my son would agree that I have never elevated his status to a 'god-like level'.
I believe the Lake Oswego School District, the city of Lake Oswego, Lakeridge High School and the Palisades Neighborhood Association have gone above and beyond to try to accommodate the minority of the community surrounding Lakeridge High School with regard to the football stadium. I understand that some neighbors of the school might not like the noise and traffic that might be felt approximately five nights out of the entire year during home games. The majority of this community consists of considerate, respectful citizens who support a stadium at Lakeridge. If I was that unhappy living near a school, perhaps I might not have bought a house near it, or if I lived there before the school was built, perhaps I might have moved by now.
I think it is time for us to be mature adults, stop the name-calling, and rule in favor of the majority. (Is this not a democracy?) Also, an apology to me, my son, and my neighbors would be lovely.
Acrimony over Safeco is sad
To the Editor:
It has saddened me over the past months to to witness the acrimony that has arisen over the cty's purchase of the Safeco building.
One would always hope that members of a civilized community could disagree without being disagreeable about it. How does it support any argument, pro or con, regarding an issue, to impugn the intelligence or integrity of those with whom you disagree? No issue, no amount of money, is worth sacrificing our sense of community; and that sense of community is based on good will and mutual respect toward one another.
Holding public office is not a picnic; and those who have chosen that route deserve appreciation and respect from all of us regardless of whether or not we agree with their decisions. Lake Oswego is the community it is because it has not been afraid to reach beyond the ordinary.
Working together, we may surprise ourselves of just how very much we are capable.
LHS student cheers were inappropriate
To the Editor:
Congratulations Joe Bushman for a win against your former team Lakeridge this past Thursday: It was apparent to me that the best team both on, but especially off, the field took home the victory.
I was positively giddy that Clackamas walked away winners after the disgusting and despicable display of unsportsmanlike conduct from the Lakeridge student cheering section.
As a sports fan, an educator, a member of the community, I was appalled at the language the student cheering section was using during their chants - I have never heard more four-letter words used in organized cheering and cannot fathom how no member of the administration stepped in to put a stop to it.
I teach high school and several years ago my school was playing their rivals in basketball. Our students started a cheer toward the officials that was vastly vulgar. The principal stopped the game, went to the fans and said that they would escort all of them out of the building if they did not change the content of the yelling and their conduct. The inappropriate language ceased, the students found constructive ways to root for our team, and the game went on without incident.
To see so many teachers, adults, parents, and especially the administrators stand idly by … with little kids playing on the track and sitting up in the stands, what does this teach our students? They are not entitled to behave however they would like to behave - this is a public school, an institute of education: the bar should be higher. Hypothetically aren't we trying to raise thoughtful members of society? It is a show of disrespect by the students, but it is especially a show of disrespect by the people in charge. That is the real eye opener.
The Lakeridge fans were crass, rude, offensive and should have been quieted. To turn away or smirk and say, 'Ah, they're just being kids at a football game' is irresponsible and negligent.
Joe Bushman: Doesn't it feel good to know you made the right move? I wouldn't want anything to do with that kind of community either.
Editor's note: Lakeridge Principal Mike Lehman responds: 'The Lakeridge High School administrators, staff, and student leaders are committed to promoting and expecting good sportsmanship and positive fan involvement at interscholastic events. We are pleased that Lakeridge student attendance at games and events has increased dramatically this year, presenting a greater opportunity for teaching good sportsmanship.
'During the Lakeridge homecoming game on Thursday, October 11, there were two instances of student chants that fell short of our standards. On one occasion students inappropriately expressed their displeasure by yelling 'bulls__' following several controversial calls by the officials. On a second occasion, students used the same 's__' word in their cheer, encouraging a blocked kick. While I would characterize these chants as inappropriate, I would not characterize them as a 'disgusting and despicable display.'
'A team of Lakeridge administrators stationed in front of the student fan section did not ignore this behavior, but corrected individuals in the crowd on both occasions. I regret the fan behavior that did not meet our expectations.'
Support increase to county commission
To the Editor:
As a member of the West Linn Chamber of Commerce, I am encouraging local voters to vote yes on Measure 3-272. Simply put, this measure will make the county commission more accountable to voters and more responsive to our county's needs.
One of the most significant components of the measure is making the county commission non-partisan. Certainly, our political parties play a role in government. However, often things get tied up in partisanship and nothing gets done. At the county level, I believe a commission is more effective when it is non-partisan.
The measure will also allow county voters to select the commission chair. Presently, fellow commissioners choose a chair from among themselves. By allowing voters to choose the chair, that person will be required to tell all voters where they want to lead the county. This regular conversation with voters will be great for the county as it moves forward.
I encourage you to vote yes on Measure 3-272!
Many homes move up and down in clay
To the Editor:
I chuckled as I read the story about the Riggs family discovering that their home on Woodside Circle moved up and down with the seasons, and that an inspector had not caught the problem.
Their attorney was investigating to see what caused it, and who was responsible.
As a Bryant Woods homeowner for eight years, I can tell you that many of the homes in that area, built on an oak bog of nearly solid clay, move up and down with the seasons. Not much research will be needed to discover that many of their neighbors have the same problem, and have a bedroom door that doesn't close from November to May, (the wet season), or a sliding door that sticks from June to October. We used to console ourselves with the thought that at least fertile farmland had not been wasted to create our development. I'm sure that most local inspectors and realtors are aware of the situation, but perhaps they don't wish to bring it up.
Even Bryant Elementary School shifts with the changing months.
If any of the original soil remains on their lot when their renovation is completed, their grandchildren can make really wonderful pots from the clay.
Democracy isn't a tough concept
To the Editor:
Why is the concept of democracy so difficult for the politicians and their supporters to accept?
Ask Lake Oswegans believes that not all decisions by the politicians are always right, and that a check and balance is appropriate in a democracy. And, since it is the citizens/people of Lake Oswego that will be taxed, they should be given the consideration of a vote on some important and taxing questions.
While some of the residents of Lake Oswego believe no limit of taxes should be imposed, there are others (retired, young families, single parent families, and limited income families, etc.) who would be greatly impacted by the huge increase if all the proposed bonding should become a reality.
Someone must speak for those who may not be politically active but will be paying the bill.
That is the purpose of a yes vote on 3-269 and is intended to prevent 'Taxation without Representation.'
John Mills Woodworth
'Little dog lost' story struck a chord
To the Editor:
In this time of unsettled decisions over the Safeco building, I found it so very refreshing to read such a 'feel good' article, 'Little dog lost- and found 10 months later,' written by Cliff Newell, in the Oct. 11th issue of the Lake Oswego Review. It was not only very well written, but I actually felt the pain of losing a beloved pet, and the frantic trials of trying to save her.
Might I say from my heart, I applaud Monica Geyer for having rescued Gracie in the first place, and giving her the home and love she deserved. Then reading on in the article, there was another 'Saint', by the name of Christy Fischer, who is the caretaker of Luscher Farm, who played the role of Guardian Angel for five months as she watched the scared pup roam the property of the Farm. Trying to capture the dog was obviously a task for more than one person, thus, in comes a Good Samaritan neighbor, Claudia Salzar! My heart leapt with joy at the outcome of this beautiful love story between man, and 'her' best friend. And I will look forward to a follow up article as little Gracie's health improves.
Thank you Mr. Newell for the beautifully uplifting article! And a special thanks to the three women who are definitely on my list of heroines, and truly walk in the shoes of Saint Francis of Assisi.
What do we gain from forcing a sale?
To the Editor:
I'm sorry. I don't get it.
The citizens of Lake Oswego already own the former Safeco Insurance property known as the West End Building. We purchased the 14 acres, which included the 88,872-square-foot office building, for $20 million in 2006.
The final determination of how the property will be used has not yet occurred and will not occur until a bond measure or tax levy is put before the voters for approval at a future date - after our citizens have come to a consensus on the best use of the property.
Until that time, the cost to the average property owner in Lake Oswego will be about $9 a month.
What do we as a community gain by forcing a distress sale of this valuable property?
The question you should ask yourself, before you vote on Measure 3-273, is, 'what do we as a community lose by forcing a distress sale of this property?'
The answer is: We lose the ability to make any decisions on it at all. It will not be available for a community center, a park, a library or to sell at a profit at some later date. We will not own it.
Don't let a group of citizens who are angry at what they perceive as a flawed process convince us to make a stupid decision for our community and our future.
Vote to keep the West End Building. Vote yes on Measure 3-273.
Do you want a voice or not?
To the Editor:
It's ironic that the detractors of Charter Amendment 3-269 characterize it as 'a bureaucratic nightmare' since that is the very thing that spurred the movement to put it on the ballot. Yes, a bureaucratic nightmare created by politicians who decided their 'superior' judgment should overrule the will of the majority. Attempts to characterize this grassroots effort as a 'special interest group' are laughable. Unless, of course, you consider neighbors especially interested in looking out for the community's best interest by curtailing bigger government tax and spend excess as special.
This same group is trying to play the 'vision' card, inferring that somehow the amendment supporters lack it. On the contrary I believe we have a vision of great clarity: one where basic necessities such as an effective sewer system that doesn't spill raw waste into the streets or our namesake lake is given priority over 'nice to haves.' I don't buy this baloney that the Safeco property … is the last opportunity for the city to acquire such a location. Talk about limited vision!
This amendment really boils down to this: Do you want a voice in major spending initiatives or do you want to empower your elected officials to make those decisions? All this amendment does is add a reasonable check and balance to ensure that the will of the voters is heeded. I for one have faith in those voters; as for our elected officials, not so much.
Vote 'yes' for Charter Amendment 3-269.
Save money and preserve greenspace
To the Editor:
Measure 3-269 isn't what it seems.
Consider the following:
Approval of the measure will cost you money and jeopardize the addition and/or expansion of city parks, ball fields, and greenspaces we all enjoy. Read the measure carefully. It not only restricts future purchases, but is retroactive!
Under measure 3-269, land transactions become very public. At best, it means higher purchase prices due to outside competition. At worst, it means failed negotiations.
If measure 3-269 passes the citizens will be required to vote on almost every potential land acquisition. Such ballot measures are time encumbering and cost the city $15,000 to $20,000 each.
Research in child development shows kids thrive best in communities with sufficient green space. By stifling the ability of our elected officials to purchase greenspace for the welfare of our children, we are being shortsighted.
Adjacent pieces of property that total over $2 million and acquired within two years of each other would require a vote. If any of the properties receives a 'no' vote, all the pieces would have to be forfeited. Many parks and greenspaces are purchased in this fashion. If you look at the value of land parcels purchased in the past by the city almost all of them have current values well over 2 million. With measure 3-269 the city wouldn't be able to purchase these properties today.
Save money and preserve greenspace for future generations by voting 'NO' on measure 3-269!
Janet Nagele and Rick Pross
Council should have tried listening earlier
To the Editor:
It is amazing how far those that want to keep the Safeco building for a community center will reach in an effort to justify retaining the property. A couple of letters published in the Review recently have compared the acquisition to be as visionary as territory purchases that added land to the United States in our early history. Those acquisitions provided land for citizens to live, work, and pay taxes; not to take land that was generating taxes, remove it from the tax roles, then charge the 'owners' more to use it than the 'non-owners.'
Other letters mention the 'outstanding' condition of the Safeco building and that passing 3-269 could mean that 'Safeco could be lost forever'. The plan for the Safeco building is to completely remodel it, so the current condition is not relevant other than illustrating the waste of taking it off the tax rolls. What we are 'losing forever' is the $700,000 or more in property taxes this prime commercial site previously generated annually.
Finally, the services generated by the proposed community center are already available privately through businesses such as Players, 24 Hour Fitness, Club Sport, and Bally's, which pay taxes and would find it difficult to compete against a tax subsidized center.
My own feeling is no responsible entity should acquire property without having a thorough market analysis and exploring all site options. Instead of throwing the equivalent of a tantrum over citizen involvement, maybe the cCouncil should have tried listening earlier.
Commissioner slots should increase
To the Editor:
Increasing the number of county commissioners from three to five will return a substantial profit to Clackamas County.
Please vote 'yes' on a five-member commission. Clackamas County is no longer the 'little brother or sister' in the Portland metropolitan area. We now have a population of 350,000 people. We are competing for attention at every level of government: Metro, state and federal. We are competing to maintain and improve our agricultural resources and grow the agricultural economy.
The county also has major industrial and retail businesses to grow. If we have five commissioners rather than three we will have 66 percent more effort to better protect and grow our agriculture; 66 percent more effort to compete for federal and state tax money; and 66 percent more support for the businesses and quality jobs in Clackamas County.
I currently serve on the Clackamas County Economic Development Commission. As a voter and longterm Clackamas County resident I certainly believe that 66 percent more effort by the board of commissioners will result in more profit and benefits for all the citizens of our county.
William T. Buckley