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Readers' Letters


‘There must be something better to do’

As a teen living in LO, I’ve encountered the Lake Oswego Police Department multiple times in my life.

I’ve been licensed four months and have been pulled over multiple times for pointless things. My personal favorite was “improper use of lights” while driving with my fog lights on in the fog. Taking the sobriety test also was fun, especially since I was coming home from UU with my church leaders and going home to watch (“Saturday Night Live”) with my mom.

I get nervous going to the smallest gatherings in fear of getting an MIP while being completely sober because (of what the) LOPD would do if they found any evidence of booze, no matter what the circumstances were.

My advice as a high school student (is) lay off. You have successfully terrified the community, I’m sure you are proud of having the town scared of you. Please find a better way to spend your job other than pulling teenagers over and trying to find every party in this town. There must be something better to do.

Allison Smith

Lake Oswego

Where would LO be without the foundation?

What would our community be like without the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation? Picture the classes overflowing with students, the desks and tables jammed in, the stressed-out classroom teachers. The students who attend the public schools in Lake Oswego are so grateful for the community support of the schools foundation.

Thanks to all who attended the annual campaign kickoff luncheon this Monday at the Oswego Lake Country Club to hear guest speaker ECONorthwest President John Tapogna.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Because it cannot be said enough, “All donations are used to pay for teachers’ salaries, reducing class sizes and enriching program offerings.” (For more information, visit the website at) losdfoundation.com or call 503-534-2302.

Rhonda Cohen

Stacy Yost

Lake Oswego Schools Foundation board members

Lake Oswego

Shooters vs. well regulated militia

As an in-country Vietnam veteran and a supporter of the Second Amendment, I have a question that has yet to be answered by strong defenders of that amendment. Of all the daily shootings of our citizens, how many shooters belong to a “well regulated militia?”

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Therefore, one question that has yet to be answered by strong defenders of the Second Amendment: Of all the daily shootings of our citizens, how many shooters belong to a well regulated militia?

I do understand that law enforcement, in its role to protect the public, does use weapons daily in the line of duty.

On the other hand, when I ask many gun owners, “What well regulated militia do you belong to?,” I often get blank stares.

When you strongly support a constitutional amendment, is it correct or legal to support only part of it?

GH Smith

Lake Oswego

Friends of the library celebrates 60 years

This year, the Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library is celebrating 60 years of support for our library.

In the spring of 1953 a small group of citizens got together “to help publicize the library, to raise funds to augment the budget and to organize a long-range plan for expansion and building.”

In 1955, as a more formally organized group, their plan was to “paint and furnish one room at the old city hall.”

From a small group in 1953 to the present with our combined individual and family memberships, the Friends now number (more than) 600.

In the beginning, money was raised by annual book sales. Today our primary source of income comes from our used bookstore, the Booktique, located in the Mercantile Plaza at the corner of Kruse and Boones Ferry.

We have come a long way from “painting and furnishing a room” to enriching the library’s collections (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) and supporting library programs and events for children, teens and adults. This includes our support of the popular, award-winning Lake Oswego Reads (program).

Sixty years of support for our Lake Oswego library is a milestone of which the Friends can be proud and is something we will be celebrating all year. To help us make this successful, we need past member names, historical information and pictures, which will allow us to compile a complete record of the Friends’ activities and accomplishments over the past 60 years.

For example, we are looking for the person with the oldest membership date (the 1950s anyone?) and for the person who has the longest continuous membership.

Please contact us to share your memories and/or pictures of fhe Friends or if you would like to volunteer to help us with our 60th anniversary celebration. You can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on the Friends website at friendslol.org.

Terry Huber

President, the Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library

Lake Oswego

Take part in the Tour of Remodeled Homes

I wanted to encourage residents to attend the 2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes on March 9 and 10 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

It’s a fantastic way to spend part or all of a day or two seeing gorgeous homes, get ideas for what might look good in your home or meet the best remodelers in the Portland area.

Growing families will appreciate a basement remodel highlighting a game room, creative types will find serenity in a detached studio addition and purists will respect a historically sound remodel in Irvington — famous for its strict review process.

The home tour will be scattered in communities throughout the greater Portland area, including: Southwest Portland, Tigard, Oregon City, Lake Oswego and Northeast Portland’s Irvington and Rose City neighborhoods. A site map is provided with the tickets — two full days of touring ensures that a home will not be missed.

The ticket price is $17.50 and is good for both days. Tickets are available at remodeltourportland.com.

The tour is put on by the Home Builders Association’s Professional Remodelers Organization. I’ve had the opportunity to see and/or photograph homes done by most of the remodelers in this tour and their capabilities are stunning.

To learn more (visit the website) remodeltourportland.com to see some images and buy tickets. I hope you’ll mark your calendars and hit the tour.

Paul Sivley


Council should review project before using bonds

The Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership had its genesis in 2005. Key facts and assumptions related to the project were assembled in 2007 and the partnership was established in 2008.

Last Friday, the city council voted against a $5,000 cost-benefit study of the project to be conducted by March 5. Because an independent review of this project is essential before construction is committed to, I with others have undertaken to retain qualified professional assistance to evaluate the project’s impact on the ratepayers of Lake Oswego. What will happen to our water bills given the changes to the project since its inception? We deserve to know.

The key assumptions behind the project, particularly financial, have not had an independent public review in some time. The project cost has ballooned but we citizens have not been informed as to the impact on the rates we will pay. Clearly when the costs of the project have almost doubled since its initial approval, it merits independent review before committing to construction contracts.

It is our objective to present the results of this work to the council at its meeting on March 5. We hope that in the spirit of their fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Lake Oswego the council will conduct a comprehensive review of the project including the information we will present to them.

Citizens have never voted on a bond issue to support the project because the project uses revenue bonds. Those revenue bonds will in a large part “set” our water rates and the city stands behind those bonds should revenue fall short.

We citizens want the city council to review this project before committing to construction contracts. It is the largest project the city has ever undertaken. It deserves careful independent review now and as it progresses.

Gerald Good

Lake Oswego

‘Gun control is a failure and falsity’

I read the opinion piece by Mike Hall titled “All for nothing doesn’t sound like a good trade.” I agree with the substance of the article.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution secures the natural right of the people to bear arms and shall not be infringed. Its purpose, which most people correctly believe to be is hunting, self protection, protection of the home and others, is true. However, the primary purpose in framing the right to bear arms is to confront a tyrannical government with force, deadly force, to defend life and liberty. The colonists remembered all too well the tyranny of King George III.  It’s not limited to a select group, such as a police force or citizens or “green card” holders or farmers, etc. It is the right of all the people.

Lake Oswego Reads book selection this year is “Running the Rift” by Naomi Benaron, an excellent book that everyone should read. Aside from the central theme of a young African boy in the country of Rwanda and his unshakeable conviction that he will become an Olympic 800 meter runner champion, there is the author’s insightful rendering of the Rwanda genocide in the 1990s. 

Two groups of indigenous peoples comprise the dominant population mix, the Hutu and the Tutsi, ruled by a tyrant. He was assassinated and the Hutu were incited to establish responsibility on the Tutsi. 

This tribal animosity boiled under the surface for years. The government decided to identify the names of every Tutsi school child and adult. The storm broke and the Hutu mob, aided by the soldiers armed with weapons proceeded to kill. The Tutsi were unarmed and were slaughtered.

It can happen here. No one should be denied the possession of automatic weapons. Gun control is a failure and falsity.  Only the innocent suffer and die.

“When seconds count the police are only minutes away.”

John F. Beau

Lake Oswego

Gun defender’s vision strikes a chord

In his fanatically pro-gun letter last week, “personal sovereignty” defender Mike Hall quotes Mahatma Gandhi, I think, when he says, “To keep and bear arms is a natural right, a human right.” Maybe it was Martin Luther King Jr. Darwin? Ted Nugent?

Anyway, gun control laws would not control guns, Mike states with absolute, self-endowed authority, because just look at how drug laws do not control drugs. Exactly, and like how traffic laws do not control traffic. Furthermore, says Mike, continuing to pull pseudo facts directly from a reality existing exclusively within his own mind, disarming law-abiding citizens would “do nothing to reduce gun deaths.” This will greatly console the hundreds of American parents every year who mourn the accidental shooting deaths of their children, like 4-year-old Jaiden Pratt in Houston last Sunday.

Not your fault, Mr. Pratt. Ask Mike, Jaiden would have shot himself with the loaded gun you left on the couch — even if it wasn’t there.

Another triumph of personal sovereignty and gun rights logic over cosmological laws governing time and space.

Finally, using his most-excellent Charlton Heston biblical-epic voice, Mike warns, “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.” (Cue thunderclap.)

So, to recap: Gun control laws that don’t in any way control guns will take away all our guns, thereby destroying America and enslaving our grandchildren — excepting, I’m guessing, those of our grandchildren who work in cushy state-run government jobs as slave drivers, presumably the only public sector employment opportunity remaining in the future gun-free hellscape of Mike’s post-America vision.

Not joking, Mike concludes, “Being disarmed as a people is about as foolish an idea as one could have.” Oh, not even close, Mike. Please reread your letter.

Burl Ross

Lake Oswego

Robertson is worthy of our support

We proudly support and endorse Kevin Robertson for Lake Oswego School Board.

Living in Lake Oswego my entire life and now raising my own family here in our community, I know the importance of having someone with experience and knowledge to serve on the school board. Not only do we need someone with experience, but someone who will bring an objective and fair approach to the board. We feel that Kevin Robertson is that person.

My wife and I have known Kevin for more than 10 years. In the time that we have known Kevin he has dedicated countless hours to our schools and community. Serving on the Lake Oswego School District Foundation for six years as both vice president and president shows a level of commitment and experience that will make him a tremendous asset to the Lake Oswego School Board.

Please join us in voting for Kevin Robertson.

John and Buffy Mercep

Lake Oswego

Doernbecher group seeks more LO members

Call for new Lake Oswego members. Please join us on March 5 for an open house discussion on how you can support Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and become a member of Oswego Friends, a chapter of the Friends Foundation of Doernbecher. RSVP or contact Kathi at 503-939-8558 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Please visit our website: oswegofriends.com. We hope to see you there.

Oswego Friends of Doernbecher was formed in September of 1991 to honor a Lake Oswego child who was at the old hospital receiving treatment for leukemia. The chapter held fundraising events to raise funds for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, which was opened in 1998. In the past we’ve raised funds for the medical care endowment, research grants and the resource library.

Friends of Doernbecher is a “friend-raising” and fundraising group whose goal is to educate and fundraise for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. There are five active Friends of Doernbecher chapters chartered throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The major fundraising events for Oswego Friends of Doernbecher are our annual movie night/silent auction held at the Lake Twin Cinema and our Shopping Extravanganza in the fall.

Dian Goldsmith

Oswego Friends of Doernbecher


CRC editorial ‘confuses two very different situations’

In comparing Gov. (John) Kitzhaber’s PERS reform to the Columbia River Crossing legislation, your editorial confuses two very different situations. The CRC project is being opposed not merely because Washington state has not, as yet, committed to the project or to light rail. It is being opposed because the bridge, as currently planned: (1) will not significantly ease traffic in part because of the I-5 choke down to two lanes through the Rose Quarter area, (2) it will effectively cut off upriver ports to shipping because it has been designed too low to the water and (3) it will replace an efficient, rapid and relatively cost-effective express bus service with a very slow and costly light rail. It will do all this while sucking up almost all our gas tax money and driving TriMet even more deeply into debt. 

If we build the CRC there will no money for other desperately needed road maintenance and rising TriMet taxes will further hobble businesses in the tri-county area.

Three questions should be asked of every massive government funded project. Is there a compelling need? Will this project meet that need? And will it do so in a cost-effective way? Not only will the CRC, as currently planned, be prohibitively expensive, it will not meet the compelling need to relieve traffic congestion on I-5.

The Lake Oswego City Council should be asking if the proposed water treatment plant would pass any of these three tests.

Chana B. Cox

Lewis & Clark, emerita

North Plains

Angels help with car mishap

This is the story of my two angels (recently). It was 9:30 at night, a slight drizzle in the air. I knew most of my friends were in bed (they turn into pumpkins at 9 p.m.) and I had not renewed my AAA roadside assistance.

On the way home, my car’s “check engine” light came on. I pulled off the freeway at Rite Aid and sure enough, oil was a little low. As I replaced the cap, I gave it a spin and instead of screwing on tight, it zinged off into the engine ... ding-ding- tink...

My bright yellow cap was now stuck somewhere inside the engine. As I searched with my flashlight, hoping to catch a glimpse of yellow, two girls came out of the store. Without hesitating, their arms got greasy as they felt for the cap. Both of them spent time under my car, on the wet asphalt ... searching.Finally, the bright yellow cap was returned to its rightful place and I was able to drive home.

Sharon Murphy

West Linn

Reduce tobacco use, save lives

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, signed by Oregon and 45 other states in 1998, is supposed to help Oregon recover from tobacco-related health care issues and the financial burden tobacco use has placed o n our state. But the monies have never been used for their intended purpose. For the past decade, they have filled budget gaps.

Currently, $120 million of the TMSA funds are available to be allocated this biennium. A proposal by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other leading health advocacy organizations suggests that the funds be invested as follows: $73 million for Oregon’s health care transformation and community care organizations, $35 million to children’s health and wellness and $12 million for reducing smoking.

Though all three aspects of the proposal are significant and would lead to health care savings and improved health outcomes for Oregonians, I would like to specifically applaud the organizations for championing investment in reducing tobacco use. My wife and I worked 11 years ago in state-supported, county-based programs to educate children and adults about the grave risks from smoking and tobacco use. My hero did this as a laryngectomee with no vocal cords (breathing through a hole in her neck). I lost Patty in 2003 to smoking-caused lung cancer. I know firsthand the devastation tobacco use has upon individuals and families. It has to stop! During this legislative session, our elected officials have the opportunity to pass legislation that would reinvigorate our state’s efforts to reduce tobacco use, save lives and money, and fulfill the intent of the TMSA. I hope you will join me in supporting a healthier future for all Oregonians and let our local legislators know of your support for this lifesaving effort.

Eric Jones

West Linn

Vision Lead volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network