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Readers' Letters

Cast your vote for Robertson

I am writing to ask Lake Oswego voters to seriously consider Kevin Robertson for school board.

If you do, you will learn he’s been steeped in our schools and community for 30 years, most recently serving on the foundation board for six years, the last three as either vice president or president. Board officers contribute incredible numbers of hours each week trying to make the foundation a success, and Kevin was no exception. Worth noting however, is Kevin’s leadership on the endowment —both for the challenge it posed and for its long-term potential impact on our school funding. Kevin took the endowment under his wing during the financial crisis when no one thought it would take flight.

Less than five years later, the endowment has more than 150 contributors, and this year it generated $21,000 for our schools. Won’t it be great when the interest generated matches, and then surpasses, what we raise every year via the foundation calling campaign — all while we all sit back and watch?

This is just one example of what you get with Kevin but it shows his intelligent leadership, financial acumen, perseverance and unwavering commitment to our schools. I strongly encourage you to give Kevin Robertson your vote.

Ellen Recko

Former foundation board member

Lake Oswego

Thanks for stepping up on sensitive lands

This is an open letter to Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker and the city council:

Thank you for your professional and balanced approach to governing our sensitive lands during (the March 19) city council meeting.

I appreciate your willingness to do the right thing for our public properties, and propose an approach that is fair, addressing sensitive land issues while respecting the rights of private property owners.

This is an example of government the way it should be.

Michael Mansur

Lake Oswego

Would Safeway consider bringing mosaic back?

In the ’90s I was very active in the arts scene in the city. The then Arts Commission worked hard at locating wonderful art works to enhance the city’s environment and bring “visual talent” to residents both in public and private spaces.

Therefore, I was delighted to see Evie Proctor’s letter and Shirley Graves Orbeck’s citizen’s view regarding the Orbeck mosaic at Safeway on A Avenue. Delighted to know it is still there but just hiding.

I wonder if Safeway would consider bringing this local artwork to life again by unveiling it? Can our arts-supporting city encourage its re-emergence? Those who haven’t seen it would be delighted and those who remember it could greet an old friend.

KarenAlice Jones

Lake Oswego

Use common sense dealing with gun violence

The Clackamas County League of Women Voters urges your support for common-sense solutions to gun violence that is plaguing our nation. The 140,000 League members (nationally and 109 in Clackamas County) share a longstanding position reached by consensus of our members in support of gun safety. Since 1990, we have used this position to lobby in support of the assault weapons ban, legislation requiring all dealers to run criminal background checks at gun shows and in opposition to laws that grant special protections for the gun industry.

The League of Women Voters’ position on gun safety is that the proliferation of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. We support strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety.

The League supports licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identification verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal. The license fee should be adequate to bear the cost of education and verification.

The League supports a ban on “Saturday night specials,” enforcement of strict penalties for the improper possession of and crimes committed with handguns and assault weapons and allocation of resources to better regulate and monitor gun dealers.

If you believe gun safety is important, call, email or write to your senators and representatives (both national and state) to let them know you support measures for gun safety. Common sense gun laws are a matter of public safety and public health.

Board of the League of Women Voters of Clackamas County

(Editor’s note: Because of concerns surfacing in other areas of the country about writers of gun safety pieces sometimes encountering issues as a result, this letter is listed as being from the Board of the League of Women Voters of Clackamas County and not the individual board members.)

‘Oh, if this were only the case’

Gun control — the hysterics of Progressive political talking points. Citizen Burch (Review March 7) correctly identifies the current “gun control” mania as a Democrat Party platform agenda item associated with the Obama presidency. That is, the far left in American politics today. Championed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, America’s admittedly socialist faction, guns are bad and government is benevolent. Oh, if this were only the case.

Citizen Smith (Review Feb. 28) queries, “What well-regulated militia do you belong to?”

As one “in-country Vietnam (combat) veteran” to another, the obvious answer is — you do sir, whether you wish to accept this most noble moniker or not. Just as assuredly as that loosely associated group of rural farmers stood on a green in Colonial America and defied a tyrannical ruler and the most powerful military of its day, so too will we (should the need arise). There are many American organizations that can address this issue better than I.

Progressives seem to believe that our Constitution is but an inconvenient parchment to be reinterpreted in the moment — moral relativism or worse, to be ignored entirely unless it by chance happens to support their position. Wouldn’t it be interesting to discover that the criminally insane that committed recent heinous acts of violence were liberals, nay Democrats or even worked as staff members for the current administration’s re-election campaign? Please, say it isn’t so.

Then there is Burl Ross (Review Feb. 28) who writes in his typical cryptic style, denigrating citizen Hall for expressing his opinion on this subject. Remember, Burl never offers facts, he only wishes to factcheck other’s opinions with his “pesky progressive” slant. In bygone years, Burl would have been known as a Tory. A caution to Mr. Hall, not satisfied by the Review’s (citizen’s view) policy, you may expect to receive unsolicited emails at your place of employment from Burl.

Noel R. Wolfe

Lake Oswego

Sarah Howell for Lake Oswego School Board

As grandparents of four young children in Lake Oswego who are not yet school age, we strongly endorse Sarah Howell for Lake Oswego School Board, Position 2.

Terry worked with Sarah more than a decade ago at OHSU. We know she is a talented marketing professional who can bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to the school board.

Sarah is the parent of three young children who has a vested interest in seeing our school district stay strong for the decades to come. She has been instrumental in expanding new programs in our schools that will attract young families to our community. Sarah has been a tireless worker on many community and educational projects over the past few years.

The future of our community and country depends on strong schools. We proudly endorse Sarah and hope you will vote for her on May 21.

Bob and Terry Erb

Lake Oswego

‘This is still the land of the free’

What a welcome decision on sensitive lands by a rational mayor and majority of the council.

I have long held that the city owns so much land that it seemed punitive to property owners to be burdened with the responsibility of paying for land that they cannot use nor derive any benefit from it. My property has a trickle of water on it and yet the previous “bunch” chose to ignore city-owned properties for this ruling. We property owners who care for, pay taxes on and otherwise tend our land as “private property” should not be subjected to the administration’s coming in and taking it.

This is still the “land of the free,” I believe.

Mary Franklin

Lake Oswego

Sensitive lands decision was the right move for city

We applaud the new Lake Oswego City Council for its commitment to removing the sensitive lands overlays from already developed private properties, once and for all. Sensitive lands is a misleading name that suggests a meaningful environmental program, which it is not. Our city already has numerous code protections in place for trees and actual water resources on all properties.

We agree with the council that it unfairly and randomly burdens 10 percent (and increasing) of private property owners. These “SL” overlays of private property allow for new development in areas that are more financially lucrative to our city where development gets a pass on environmental protections. Real environmental benefits could come from undeveloped public property.

The previous council went through the motions of working toward making “de minimis” (meaningless) changes to sensitive lands. They even brought in environmental advocates to testify to validate this program. When the same council pushed forward with development in the floodplain of Foothills and the wetlands of the tennis complex site of the Rassekh property, the environmental advocates were suspiciously and consistently absent.

Not surprisingly, the previous mayors, councilors and city staff who supported these restrictive overlays have never had their properties included even though (many) qualified. Highly respected local real estate agents have testified before council and have experienced how financially devastating the “SL” designation is to properties with lost sales and vastly lower selling prices.

We don’t own a property designated with a sensitive lands overlay and we absolutely do not want to be included. In addition to the financial loss it would cause, it would also minimize the use of our backyard.Thank you Mayor Studebaker and Councilors Bowerman, Gudman, Kehoe and O’Neill (5-2 vote) for your integrity and support for the citizens of our community and for doing the right thing.

Ralph and Cheryl Salamie

Lake Oswego

Sensitive lands decision fair to LO citizens

The city of Lake Oswego has done the right thing in regards to its sensitive lands program. Earlier it had designated sensitive lands that arbitrarily included private property residences, representing approximately 10 percent of Lake Oswego’s total residents.

The sensitive lands restrictions are very onerous and restrict/prevent homeowners from developing and enjoying their owned gardens, play areas and structures that do meet city building codes. Property values with sensitive lands restrictions were severely depressed. Accordingly, 10 percent of Lake Oswego residents were being treated unfairly, when compared to the remaining 90 percent without the sensitive lands designation. 

On March 19, the Lake Oswego City Council voted five to two (Mayor Studebaker, councilors Kehoe, Gudman, Bowerman and O’Neill for, Jordan and Gustafson against) to exempt private properties from the sensitive lands designations, and instead concentrate on the development and upkeep of Lake Oswego public areas and parks. The mayor and council members voting for the private property exemption from sensitive lands designation are to be commended for this action.

Mayor Studebaker and Councilor Kehoe will be meeting with Metro to present Lake Oswego’s position, and in fairness to all Lake Oswego citizens, should prevail.

Robert B. Campbell

Lake Oswego

Support Sarah Howell for position 2 on school board

When we moved to Oregon 45 years ago, we chose Lake Oswego for the great school system for our four children, and we were not disappointed.

We want to see our schools maintain their quality reputation. For that reason we support Sarah Howell for position 2 in the next board election.

It appears that we have two good candidates for position 2; however, we believe that Sarah is the better of the two.

Sarah will offer a fresh perspective not currently available on the board. She studied and visited other good school systems to learn how they approach and solve their problems, many the same as ours. She has attended school board meetings for several years before her children were in school, and she has been active on the school foundation.

Sarah is dedicated, energetic and capable. We urge you to support her for the school board.

Martin and Phyllis Jacobs

Lake Oswego

Join in supporting Delaney for school board

I support Karen Delaney for the LOSD board. She is a passionate defender of our childrens’ right to an excellent education.

Karen identified the flaws in the district’s consolidation plan very early on in the school closure process. She tirelessly spoke out against poor decisions based on thoughtless assumptions and inaccurate data. She understood the “glitches” and the ramifications well ahead of the vote to close schools. She was on the right side of the school consolidation decision from the beginning.

She is smart and strongly analytical. You will not see Karen rubberstamping critical decisions. She will scrutinize data and proposals, ask tough questions and lead the district to a better way of educating our children.

Karen has a long record of volunteering in the schools, in the classrooms, and with LOSD youth programs. She understands what is going on in the schools. With three children ranging from elementary to high school, she will bring a breadth of understanding to the school board. She will be an excellent voice for the entire district.

Please join me to support Karen Delaney for LOSD Position 2.

Lynn Schroder

Lake Oswego

Support John Wendland for school board

John Wendland is a champion for our children and our schools. John’s unique combination of business sense, compassion and detailed knowledge of all school issues makes him a school board member we cannot afford to lose.

These are difficult times for our schools. Finances are strained, our superintendent is retiring and we have outspoken special interest groups clouding issues. We cannot afford to have school board members that are single issue driven and we must use every cent wisely to get the best outcome possible for our children. John can do this.

John Wendland will create the best outcome for our schools. We had three sons educated through the LO schools and we have known John for most of those years. His fiscal IQ is tremendous. His people skills are outstanding. And his passion for improving our schools is limitless.

Please join us in voting for John Wendland for school board.

Charlie and Shawn Engelberg

Lake Oswego

Wendland is the right choice

We encourage you to join us in our enthusiastic support of John Wendland for re-election to the Lake Oswego School Board.

As neighbors and friends, we have witnessed the passion John has for our schools and for our children. We are truly fortunate to have his skilled and innovative leadership on our school board. His fiscal responsibility and solid business skills enabled us to successfully navigate through some challenging economic years.

John is extremely thorough and puts in the long hours necessary to consider all sides of a complex issue. As a Lake Oswego native, John has devoted years of volunteer leadership at the grade school, junior high and high school levels. His depth of knowledge and experience in our community paired with his gift of bringing people together is invaluable and will continue to afford us the highest possible standard of leadership. Please join us in voting for John Wendland for re-election to the Lake Oswego School Board. We need his enthusiasm and dedication to ensure the continued excellence of our schools.

Mary and Dan Sholian

Lake Oswego

Former sensitive lands policy was ‘insensitive’

On Tuesday, March 19, the mayor and four council members approved the removal of the sensitive lands environmental protection overlays that have been placed on citizens’ private properties.

The intent is to pursue a different approach with Metro to have the existing private property overlays moved to city-owned properties that are currently unencumbered.

I applaud the action the mayor and city council members have chosen to take.

This condition has been allowed to exist far too long in our city and it is time that one of the most insensitive, divisive issues be removed once and for all.

Lake Oswego has traditionally taken it upon itself to ensure the protection of its environment both at the private and public levels. Just look at the tree and environmental codes that exist in this city. Prior to sensitive lands being implemented, such codes have essentially had majority support and have worked.

With sensitive lands, our previous city leaders went far beyond the necessary protections we have enjoyed in the past. When a “protection” becomes a wholly unfair burden on private citizens’ lives, the time for a major change has arrived.

Fortunately, we now have a majority council and mayor who recognize the detrimental impact the sensitive lands policies have had on private property values and property utilization rights.

We should all be submitting our encouragement to Mayor Kent Studebaker and to the four council members who voted to support the approach with Metro.

The removal of sensitive lands overlays on private properties will help the residents recognize that we now have a city government that is truly interested in their needs and the real environmental needs of the city.

Dennis Hageman

Lake Oswego

Council made right decision about sensitive lands

I was delighted to read in last week’s Review about the Lake Oswego City Council’s decision to move forward with a proposal to correct the injustice of the current sensitive lands ordinance.

This council has the ability and sense of decency necessary to correct this egregious transgression against its citizens, and I fully support its efforts to do so.

Too many people have seen their property rights appropriated by previous councils. This change of policy will restore the property rights of many citizens and still allow the city to protect parks and natural areas, which are truly “sensitive.” This decision is also a win for the environment because resources of higher value than homeowners’ backyards will be protected.

Thanks and kudos to the members of the council who voted for this change.

Greg Nelson

Lake Oswego

‘Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ and guns

In the debate today about gun violence with AR-15 type assault weapons and extended clip handguns, no one is talking about everyone’s “... unalienable rights to ... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

When someone’s freedom to own and use a gun threatens another’s “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,” why is that not illegal? John Stuart Mill, in his book, “On Liberty,” stated that that the actions of individuals should ... be limited to prevent harm to other individuals, called the “harm principle.”

When the Newtown, Conn., children died, the students in Blacksburg, Va., were shot, the movie goers in Aurora, Colo., murdered, and the shoppers at the Clackamas mall perished all at the hands of AR-15 assault rifles and extended clip handguns, were not their rights harmed?

Why is this so hard to understand and prevent?

Ted Ricks

Lake Oswego

Finally the city gets it right with sensitive lands

Lake Oswego has finally come to its senses on sensitive lands after years of being under the thumb of city employees, managers and a city council without a backbone.  he new city council, which took years to finally vote in a majority, has finally proposed adopting a sensitive lands compliance for Metro through using public land and removing all privately held landowners from falling under these restrictions. 

Please support them as they continue to stand up for the silent majority of people who want to have control over the land they purchased and paid for in order to do so.

Dustin Miller

Lake Oswego

Individual health plans being terminated

I am a licensed health broker and have been following closely the act ivies of Cover Oregon, which is the private company that will run the Oregon Exchange. I am shocked that more Oregonians are not paying attention to what is happening to individual health plans in Oregon. The Oregon Insurance Division, under the directive of Cover Oregon, issued a bulletin on Feb. 22 (Bulletin 2013-1) that states that all individual plans in the state must be terminated no later than March 31, 2014.So much for “If you like your plan you can keep it.”

Monica Cox

West Linn

LOT’s tree cutting strikes a nerve

It sickens me to hear about the recent reports of tree destruction allowed in Mapleton for LOT’s sake.

People need to pay close attention to upcoming state and local legislation that also threatens to cut down the citizens’ right to know. In West Linn, staff hope to abolish “de-novo hearings” and decrease notice requirements, among other things.

West Linn’s problems with LOT began, in my opinion, in 2005 when a former city manager named Scott Burgess got himself elected to the city council. It appeared his main mission was to fund a new Water Master Plan process despite the one already updated in 2004 by (former West Linn) Mayor Dodd’s Council. Lake Oswego’s Chris Jordan was brought in as city manager and soon the 2008 Master Plan set the score for LOT.

In my experience as a (former) West Linn City Councilor, this city manager form of government is nothing but a farce of Democracy.

Responsibility passes from council to staff and back again, a never-ending swirl dashing all hope of (accountability) or change. Transparency (is) a useful slogan. No one, especially not decision makers, can reasonably expect well-informed decisions under this opaque system. I couldn’t tolerate it any longer without some hope of change.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters; anger and courage, anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

— Augustine of Hippo

Sometimes people blame themselves or each other when feeling threatened. Better to name this “lateral aggression” and turn to the source. Protecting our right to know requires all the collective strength possible while keeping a keen eye on preventing similar problems. It takes courage to change, but despite an imperfect Democracy, we collectively own the power to put our votes to good use.

Teri Cummings

Former West Linn City Councilor

West Linn

Hopefully, coal permit will be denied

After the Oregon Department of State Lands extended the deadline for granting or denying Morrow Pacific’s permit to export coal to China last week, the company’s spokeswoman was quoted as saying, “We’ve stressed time and again that every commodity should be treated the same.”

Powder River Basin coal is not a commodity like milk or wheat. It is flammable, explosive and extremely brittle once it is shoveled out of the ground and loaded into coal cars for its long dusty ride.

Once coal dust is breathed into a child’s lung, it will stay there for the rest of that child’s life.

This commodity has the potential to contaminate our water, kill salmon, blight sustainable industries and blacken the quality of life Oregon is known for worldwide.

DSL was right to delay its permit. Hopefully, on Sept. 1 it will deny it.

Dennis Williams

Portland

Oregon could do more with solar power

As a recent arrival from California, I always thought of Oregon as an environmental leader.

And in so many ways it already is. But when it comes to solar power, we’re far behind. In fact, right now we get less than 1 percent of our energy from the sun. Luckily, this spring our state legislators have the opportunity to put us in front on this issue.

By passing strong solar policies, leaders in Salem can re-power our state with pollution-free energy from the sun that never runs out and is only going to get cheaper. I urge leaders in Salem to stand up for our health and environment and make Oregon a leader on solar power.

Ibolya Mandoki

Portland



Local Weather

Fair

90°F

Lake Oswego

Fair

Humidity: 29%

Wind: 13 mph

  • 20 Sep 2014

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  • 21 Sep 2014

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