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Readers' Letters

Our historical buildings have stories to share

Homes, commercial buildings and even industrial remains can be among the few long-lived “residents” who can tell us, our children and future generations the stories of our community. These stories might be about the place where the first city council meetings were held after Oswego incorporated in 1910 (long before a city hall was constructed) or the local midcentury hamburger drive-in.

They vary in architectural importance, but they may have equal significance to the individual memories on which the community’s collective past is built. The stories these buildings tell are critical in communicating our community’s history and values. They can be silently eloquent, and with our help and stewardship, can live long after we, as individuals, are gone.

Demolishing the past and building anew surrounds us with contemporary structures that rob us of our uniqueness and threaten to turn us into Any Town, U.S.A. Diversity of ages, whether it’s people or buildings, makes for a stronger and more interesting community.

Richard Moe, former president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, observed, “There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here and there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody.”

Marylou Colver

President, Lake Oswego Preservation Society

Lake Oswego

‘All for nothing’ doesn’t sound like a good trade

Can you see it? All of America’s scofflaws, criminals and dangerous people are huddled around their TVs anxious about having to comply with new proposed laws to limit their access to guns. They’re shaking in their boots, afraid that they’ll never get the firepower they need to intimidate, threaten and kill. They know if Congress makes a gun or a gun transfer illegal, they’ll have to stop in their tracks.

Bahahahahahahahaha. Not.

Criminals will continue to buy whatever they want on the black market. Think how easy it is to buy illegal drugs. Oh yeah ... I guess a black market would continue to operate just fine.

However, Johnny Paycheck and Brenda Business who are otherwise 100 percent law abiding and never even roll a stop-sign, will feel compelled to obey and disarm themselves (of anything the government says is “too dangerous”), register their arms in a nationwide database and submit to background checks as if they were already a criminal ... just to “keep and bear arms,” a natural right, a human right by the way. At the core, what we have at risk is our personal sovereignty.

Furthermore, our founders rightly recognized that if ultimate power rested in the federal government, then individuals would be powerless to check an out-of-control government. Being disarmed as a people is about as foolish an idea as one could have. Check your history books. If we disarm ourselves, you can consider the Great Experiment of America’s days to be numbered, and our children’s children to be eventual slaves of the state. That’s just the nature of being disarmed.

Granting the federal government these proposed new powers would disarm the wrong people, give away all — our personal sovereignty — and do nothing do reduce gun deaths. Does “all for nothing” sound like a good trade? Not to me.

Mike Hall

Lake Oswego

‘Please join us in supporting Sarah’

We are delighted to learn that Sarah Howell is a candidate for the Lake Oswego School Board.

Lake Oswego is fortunate to have a community leader of Sarah’s caliber, depth of significant volunteer experience, demonstrated conscientiousness and record of effective public service. While active on the Lake Oswego School District Foundation Board and the Lake Grove Elementary SAC, Sarah has generously donated her time, thoughtful attention and hard work to support and advance local educational excellence.

Looking to the future, she has shown a willingness to study and understand the full range of key issues and opportunities that will maintain and enhance the educational offerings and reputation of our local public schools. And, as she and her husband, Andrew, are the parents of elementary school students and a preschool-aged child, Sarah will bring the important and much needed perspective of a parent of young children to our school board.

Please join us in supporting Sarah Howell.

Randy and Katie Arthur

Lake Oswego

Robertson deserves spot on board

We are endorsing Kevin Robertson for Lake Oswego School Board.

Kevin has been an asset to the Lake Oswego schools. He has served on the Lake Oswego School Foundation for six years as both vice president and president. Yet his unique contribution to the foundation was his work on the Lake Oswego School District Endowment. Many volunteers tried to get it off the ground. It was Kevin’s vision and work that helped the endowment become a reality and permanent solution for school funding.

Kevin has a junior and freshman in high school. Both he and his wife, Pam Robertson, have spent endless hours volunteering. Kevin Robertson wants to be a voice for all students in Lake Oswego Schools. It is important for a board member to have an understanding of all levels of schools. He has nine years of grade school experience, four years of junior high and now three years of high school.

As a school board member, he will bring his vast years of knowledge to help our district for all of our students.

Please cast your vote for Kevin Robertson.

Beth and Mitch Taylor

Lake Oswego

‘I refer you to the election results’

Perhaps Curt Finch and his “seven others” haven’t noticed, but the former regimes that included Hoffman, McPeak, Moncrieff and Tierney are no longer members of our city council.

The citizens of Lake Oswego voted to change the direction of our city to be more fiscally responsible. The November election campaign was a refreshing grassroots effort driven by concerned citizens. Judging by the results of the election, it is clear that the majority of our citizenry did not want more of the same out-of-control spending practices.

Mr. Finch’s letter makes reference to the openness of the former council members. Please, give me a break. Isn’t it obvious yet that the citizens didn’t want a streetcar, the West End Building, Foothills development paid for with city funds, the North End development project, etc.?

Well, once again, I refer you to the election results.

Of course our city will move forward with new projects, but it must be done without incurring an undue amount of debt. Thanks to all the citizens who voted to move our city in a new direction, with new leaders. Now it’s time to support our new city council.

Rick Moulton

Lake Oswego

Rationale for removing sign doesn’t track

Regarding “Shouldn’t the political sign come down” (Feb. 14), Mr. Richard Bach opines Kevin Kerwin should take his store window sign down because it “does nothing to beautify downtown LO or further any of our community values.”

I didn’t realize that in support of Mr. Kerwin’s constitutional right of “free speech,” I would run afoul of “our (LO) community values.” I never imagined myself a dissident. I now anticipate a tour in a LO re-education camp where I will be shown the error of my ways, publicly confess thinking incorrectly and a denunciation of Mr. Kerwin’s “free speech rights.”

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Mr. Kerwin or his store.

John Bogdan

Lake Oswego

New council reflects majority of citizens

Regarding the Feb. 14 citizen’s view letter submitted by Mr. Finch and seven other past Lake Oswego City Council members criticizing the newly elected council’s action regarding the Foothills project, Mr. Finch and cronies (Mr. Tierney’s terminology) seemingly fail to recognize that:

  • If past council actions (e.g., West End Building, streetcar, Foothills, North Anchor, etc.) had been truly as open and transparent as they claim, they would not now be finding it necessary to criticize the actions of current members.
  • One can only plunge ahead for just so long, while denying the public the right to vote on risky, high cost, special inte rest projects, before the public reacts. In a democracy, what goes around comes around.

    Thankfully the new council members are doing what they promised and what their constituents elected them to do. The majority of the council now reflects the wishes of the majority of the citizens of Lake Oswego, as it should, and it is certainly a welcome breath of fresh and wholesome air (despite the sour grapes).

    George L. Page

    Lake Oswego

    Thanks in advance for answering phones

    Every year, a new team of parents and Lake Oswego School Foundation board members take on the daunting task of calling Lake Oswego citizens to ask if they will help support the great schools of Lake Oswego.

    This year, the calling begins Feb. 26 at the district office and continues through March 7. Parents and students are gathering at the school district offices to make calls. It is fun, it is tiring and it is rewarding.

    On behalf of our 10 schools, 30 foundation board members and 16 school co-captains, thank you in advance for taking the call. Thank you for your courtesy to our callers. And thank you for supporting the Lake Oswego School Foundation. We can make an impact on an LOSD education through the foundation.

    Liz Hartman

    2013 phonathon captain

    Lake Oswego

    ‘Refreshing’ to have council do what it says

    Last week’s (Feb. 14) Lake Oswego Review opinion piece, “New council does injustice on Foothills” would have been a hilarious and a welcome comedic piece if it weren’t so ridiculous. It’s like the emperor insisting he is wearing beautiful clothes when in reality we all know he hasn’t a stitch on. These co-signers of this opinion piece are hypocrites to say the least.

    Let’s go back in time to July of 2006 when Jack Hoffman and Ellie McPeak voted along with the rest of the 2006 city council to purchase the Safeco Building without the residents of this city having a say in it let alone a vote. That was the beginning of the schism that still remains in our city. That purchase created a divisiveness that has divided Lake Oswego into two camps. There are people like Judie Hammerstad and Jack Hoffman who thought that they should be allowed to spend our money making poor financial decisions. They believed that they knew better than us what we needed to have.

    We still have no plan for the mostly empty Safeco Building and other projects have been set aside such as the maintenance center and the South Shore Fire Station. Meanwhile they entered into a business relationship with a questionable developer. If Foothills is such a desirable piece of property to develop let the developers come and do it — but not with urban renewal funding.

    Now we have a new city council that was elected to prioritize local needs, restore fiscal responsibility, focus on essential city services, preserve our local community character and to respect all citizens and their rights. By dissolving the Foothills urban renewal district this city council is doing the job (it was) elected to do. It’s refreshing to have a city council that actually does what (it says it’s) going to do.

    Kathe Worsley

    Weed, Calif.

    Former Lake Oswego resident



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