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Readers' Letters

Will the future LOSD board be independent?

I am distressed by the cronyism in the school board election and disheartened by the apparent collusion.

In a recent letter emailed around the Lake Grove community, Kevin Robertson makes the following claim, “Running for the Lake Oswego School Board is based on my strong commitment to public service, not to further any pre-conceived special interest agenda or political alliances.”

And yet, under the Word document’s properties, the author is clearly identified as current School Board Member Patti Zebrowski.

I’m curious. If a sitting school board member endorses and authors the program agenda for another candidate, does this relationship suggest a political alliance?

Further, does the public endorsement of Robertson by current board chair and candidate John Wendland suggest another alliance? Read their platforms and hear them speak publically to determine if you can differentiate the two. I cannot.

The community needs independent, critical thinkers, not board members who merely rubber stamp the administration’s recommendations. Tacit agreement with such recommendations is what has led the LOSD to close schools in the name of responsible fiscal stewardship only to waste money on portable classrooms because of faulty analyses.

View the letter at facebook.com/IonLOSD.

Mark Bachman

Lake Oswego

(Editor’s note: Candidate Kevin Robertson responds: “Many people are helping with my campaign and assist me in making factual and informed decisions and statements. I am fortunate to have support and public endorsement from numerous community leaders, including Patti Zebrowski. Patti has always publically endorsed me and has worked with other members of my team to check facts and verify data. It is important to me to be as accurate as possible in all of my statements and materials.

“I encourage voters to focus on issues. The letter is posted on my website, RobertsonForAllKids.com, and the views expressed are mine. I have been committed to public service for all children in Lake Oswego for more than six years on the foundation, including serving on the board and as the president. During that time I have had many important discussions about our schools with all board members and have established excellent working relationships.

“My goal is to run a positive campaign focused on issues and doing what is best for our school district — all of our students and all of our schools.”)

Positive words come to mind about Howell

Leadership, integrity, passion. These words come to mind when we think of Sarah Howell, candidate for the Lake Oswego School Board.

Sarah will make an excellent addition to the LOSD School Board and we are very proud to endorse her candidacy.

Over the four years that we have known Sarah it is clear that she is an individual dedicated to the betterment of our school district. This is evidenced by her three-year tenure as an active board member of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, her knowledge of the issues gained by attendance at most of the LOSD School Board meetings over the last five years and her leadership and advocacy for increased world language education at the elementary and middle school level.

With three young children, Sarah has an interest in ensuring that the future quality of an LOSD education meets the same standard of quality the LOSD has consistently provided its graduates. She will provide the forward-thinking leadership and data driven research to identify the programs, technologies and services that our future graduates will need as they move from kindergarten to graduation and ultimately to college and careers. Join us and vote for Sarah Howell for school board. 

Lara and Dan James 

Lara James serves as Lake Grove Elementary co-captain for the LOS Foundation Drive.

Lake Oswego 

Howell is deserving of school board vote

I am pleased to endorse Sarah Howell for Position 2 on the Lake Oswego School Board.

Her priorities are fiscal challenges and opportunities, programs that attract open enrollment families and gains in achievement for all students.

For five years she has worked tirelessly, traveling at her own expense in comparable college prep districts to bring innovative programs and technologies to Lake Oswego. She was the prime mover behind language immersion after she saw how successful it was in the Minnetonka, Minn., school district. She will apply those same skills to other proven opportunities.

As a mother of three children with two in elementary school and one just turning 3, she made the time to be involved in our schools by participating in nearly 100 school board meetings and is currently serving in her third year on the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation Board.

Sarah will bring practical solutions, openly engage the community in dialog and search out the best courses of action. She will effectively market our schools as the cornerstone of our community to ensure we have vibrant classrooms that support excellent teachers and encourage parental involvement.

Robert Ervin

Lake Oswego

Join me in voting for Karen Delaney

I am thrilled to voice my support of Karen Delaney for Lake Oswego School Board, Position 3.

Karen has been a fixture at school board meetings for years and has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the district. I dare say she is equally, if not more, informed than current members of the board, making her an ideal candidate to serve the children, families and community of Lake Oswego.

Karen is committed to fiscal sustainability, bringing the critical oversight function back to the board, increasing transparency and making decisions that are in the best interest of all students, not just select segments or individual schools. Karen recognizes that our district still faces many difficult decisions that will require innovation, the use of best practices and critical analysis of the effectiveness of existing programs and practices.

Karen is committed to engaging all constituent bases and soliciting ideas from any and all sources to ensure decisions are made not using a false set of previously decided options, but the full range of available possibilities. Karen brings the fresh perspective and voice of reason that our district urgently needs to effectively maneuver upcoming transitions and the challenging fiscal environment and I encourage all Lake Oswego residents to vote for her in May.

Julie K. Landrum

Lake Oswego

Elect Robertson to the school board

Our school district needs the kind of financial expertise, leadership and experience that Kevin Robertson can bring to the Lake Oswego School Board.

We have known Kevin for more than 10 years, and have had the opportunity to know him as a wonderful friend and father, always involved in his children’s education and interested in and concerned about the education of all children who attend LO schools.

We have been fortunate to have such a dedicated man, in his roles as vice president and president of the Lake Oswego School District Foundation, actively and energetically working toward the financial betterment and solvency of our school district, through such achievements as the creation of the endowment fund.

His vision for the LOSD as a united school district is exactly what we need. That’s why we are so pleased to support Kevin for school board Position 2.

Steve and Jerrie Groman

Lake Oswego

Howell is a great choice for LO School Board

This May, citizens of Lake Oswego have the great honor to elect several new school board members and my support is for Sarah Howell.

Sarah represents a current and longtime void on the board as a parent to elementary-age children. The added diversity on the board of someone looking forward to 15-plus years in our schools is an unmatched strength only Sarah can bring.

In the 22 years Sarah and I have known each other, her honesty, integrity and tenacity for doing what is right has never wavered. She’s attended nearly every single board meeting for the last five years and she knows what it takes.

Further, she is relentless in chasing facts and hard data, as well as listening to multiple points of view in her decision-making process. I witnessed this regularly while working together at a technology-focused communications firm. We’ve both moved on from there — me to Intel and her to OHSU, but her fundamental approach hasn’t changed. This, coupled with her passion for Lake Oswego schools, makes her the ideal candidate.

Please join me in electing Sarah Howell for Lake Oswego School Board, Position 2. Visit SarahForLOSD.com or facebook.com/SarahForLOSD to learn more.

Becky Emmett

Lake Oswego

Robertson’s leadership needed on school board

Our world-class school district needs board members with deep relevant experience and Kevin Robertson is the most qualified candidate for the job.

In the coming months our board will face many critical issues: selecting a new superintendent, approving a new budget in the face of increasing uncertainty, passing a local option levy and securing funding for needed upgrades to facilities and technology.

Kevin has proven his leadership by successfully guiding our foundation as a board member and chairman. He has more than 27 years of experience as a leader in the financial services industry and is uniquely qualified to guide us through these perilous economic times.

He has the invaluable experience of being a Lake Oswego school parent for the past 10 years but more than anything he is a great guy. We are proud supporters of Kevin Robertson and urge you to vote for him on May 21.

Doug Fish and Michelle Decourcy

Lake Oswego

Howell would be good addition to board

I met Sarah Howell when our sons were in kindergarten together at Forest Hills Elementary. It was immediately apparent how passionate Sarah was about education. As I got to know her better, I was not surprised to find out how well known she is within both the schools and the community. She worked very hard to get a language immersion program in our elementary schools.

Sarah was recognized by the city of Lake Oswego with an Unsung Hero award in 2012 for not only her work with that world language program, but also because of the collaborative manner in which she accomplished it.

As a native Oregonian and a nine-year resident of the Lakewood neighborhood, Sarah understands the importance of excellent schools. To ensure her kids had the best opportunities possible, she started attending school board meetings before her children were even old enough for kindergarten. If elected to the Lake Oswego School Board, she will ensure that our schools continue to be among the best in the state.

As a parent to elementary school-aged children, I’m voting for Sarah Howell for Lake Oswego School Board so that my voice can be heard.

Katie Mygrant

Lake Oswego

Support Wendland for school board

We enthusiastically support John Wendland for the Lake Oswego School Board. We have known John for many years and have confidence in his character and his commitment to represent the Lake Oswego community as a returning member of the school board.

At this difficult transitional time, our students need John to provide continuity, leadership and experience on the school board. John is able to make difficult decisions while representing the best interest of all students. He has demonstrated fiscal responsibility and knowledge of the issues facing our district. Vote in favor of our students by re-electing John Wendland to the Lake Oswego School Board.

Mark and Joanna Conan

Lake Oswego

Old utility bill shows how much we’ve changed

I read with great interest (the April 4 Lake Oswego Review) cover story about the rising Lake Owego utility rates.

Recently, while preparing for the Community Shred Day, I found a utility bill, dated Nov. 13, 1996, through Jan. 14, 1997.

At that time, the monthly charge was $25 per month. Today, I pay $95 per month. After the rate increase in July, the monthly rate will be about $101 per month. In annual terms, my bill has gone from $300 per year in 1997 to more than $1,200 per year in July 2013. On a monthly basis, my rates have risen an average of $4.68 per month or $56 per year over the 16-year period.

Although our rates have been affected by infrastructure upgrades, such as the LOIS, perhaps it’s time for the city council and other civic leaders to examine the real costs of progress, development and population growth, particularly as they relate to the expansion of the drinking water system.

Upgrade it, don’t expand it.

Charles Aubin

Mountain Park 

Re-elect Wendland to school board

Mountains inspire leaders, but valleys mature them. For the past four years, current School Board Member John Wendland has successfully guided the Lake Oswego School District through some of the deepest financial valleys our fair state has seen since the implementation of Measure 5.

Although these rocky times are not over, the outlook is very optimistic and our district is on the right path to ensure a healthy, successful future for our children.

John Wendland is a responsible and mature leader with the experience necessary to navigate with integrity, ethical behavior, financial prudence and fairness.

Re-elect John Wendland to Lake Oswego School Board,position 3.

Sara and Steve Ledoux

Lake Oswego residents and parents

Thank you, John Wendland

I wonder if we, in the Lake Oswego community, realize what a treasure John Wendland has been and continues to be for our community and our school board. I suspect we take for granted the fact that his leadership, broad vision and all-encompassing attitudes have helped keep our school district financially stable, our schools viable and our children receiving the best education in the state.

John Wendland is running for school board again, thankfully.

John has done what’s best for our entire community after considered evaluation, enviable listening skills and measured evaluation. He has the perfect personality to lead our school district and keep us strong in challenging economic times.

Given the significant decisions ahead for our school district, we need this talented leader to help keep our entire school district strong. We need John Wendland on our school board as we continue to produce the high caliber of graduates and citizens for which we are proud. I am grateful, exceedingly grateful, that John has stepped up to the plate again for the good of our school district.

We encourage you to vote John Wendland for Lake Oswego School Board.

Michelle and Mark Dorman

Lake Oswego

New tool added to help keep children safe

Oregon added a new tool to help keep children safe this year when it expanded the list of professionals who are required to report suspicions of child abuse. In addition to teachers, medical professionals and other established “mandatory reporters,” the new law increased the list of public and private professionals who must report child abuse, including: all employees of organizations providing child-related services or activities such as Scout groups and summer camps; all employees of higher education institutions; and paid coaches, assistant coaches and trainers of child athletes.

These additions are a step toward increasing child safety. Yet, we must remember that each and every citizen plays a crucial role in keeping children safe.We daily see the devastation of child abuse at Children’s Center. Though we applaud the increased responsibility placed on adults, we don’t believe the Jan. 1 expansion goes far enough. Every citizen needs to notify authorities when he or she suspects a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect. You can make a world of difference to a hurting child by acting on your concerns.

The expanded reporting law means increased education is needed about how to respond, and when to call in suspected cases of abuse. We encourage you to contact Children’s Center if you have questions or would like a presentation about child abuse reporting and other related topics. Call the center at 503-655-7725 or visit childrenscenter.cc today. During Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, make this a community that will protect kids from child abuse.

Call Children’s Center today to learn how you can partner with us to end child abuse in our community. And most importantly, call the Clackamas County Child Abuse Hotline at 971-673-7112 if you are concerned about the safety of a child.

Barbara Peschiera

Executive director, Children’s Center

Oregon City

Cast your vote for John Wendland

We have known John Wendland for 10 years in his capacity as neighbor, home owner association co-president, LOJ PTO president and in his current position as chairman of the Lake Oswego School Board. He is a master strategist and pragmatic problem solver who cares deeply about all of our students and families.

We have lived in Lake Oswego for 15 years and know our leaders must not only make tough decisions, they must lead us into the future and keep our strong schools on course. John’s experience is particularly important as two veteran board members step down and we hire the first new superintendent in 26 years. Please join us in voting for John Wendland as he continues to problem solve and lead our district through this monumental transition.

Michael and Mary Jo Day

Lake Oswego

Students urged to ride the school bus

I appreciate how Lake Oswego residents care about our community and I love living here.

Knowing how much we value our great schools and the livability of our city, however, I’m disappointed by one area of behavior of our citizens. Why do so many parents drive their kids to and from school instead of having them ride the school bus? If more kids ride the bus, we’d have fewer cars on the road, which has obvious livability and environmental benefits.

If more kids rode the bus, traffic congestion (Lake Grove and Starbuck’s, for example) would be eased, and the hassles for parents with kids at different schools (Spanish immersion splitting between River Grove and Lake Grove, for example) would be eased.

Most notably, the need for teachers and administrators to act as traffic cops to ensure that kids safely navigate through busy parking lots would be eased. Kids also gain independence and socialization on the bus.

I realize there are some factors that necessitate driving to and from school, but in many cases it’s just a choice — please choose to use the school bus for the livability of Lake Oswego.

Sara Shannon

Lake Oswego

Sarah Howell gets my vote 

Sarah Howell’s passion, experience and perspective will serve the school board well.

Sarah has demonstrated remarkable passion in her efforts to improve our schools. Sarah recently was named an Unsung Hero for her leadership resulting in the school board’s adoption of an elementary language immersion program.

She has attended school board meetings for five years and has served on the schools foundation board and Lake Grove SAC. 

Sarah also has strong marketing experience. A UO journalism graduate, she works in marketing for OHSU. This expertise will help her lead the creation of a marketing strategy to attract additional students and families, which helps our community on two levels. First, students who enroll in our district bring state funding back to Lake Oswego. Second, attracting more families to our area is good for our local commerce and real estate market.

Elementary schools have been particularly hard hit by recent changes (notably, school closures). Thus, it is critical that our schools’ governing body include the perspective of someone experiencing elementary school issues firsthand. Sarah Howell, a parent of elementary-age children, will add that perspective. 

Join me in voting for Sarah Howell for school board.  

Leslie O’Brien

Lake Oswego

Wendland has the experience for the board

Over the next four years, the Lake Oswego School District needs dedicated, thoughtful and introspective members to partner with our administration and community to tackle critical issues facing our schools.

John Wendland brings a solid list of experience and accomplishments to our school board that we cannot afford to lose. Several critical issues loom before the school board in the coming four years including the selection of the new superintendent, a daunting financial gap that will necessitate continued expense reduction, the implementation of common core standards, a continued need for evaluating enrollment balance and, finally, developing a long-term plan for maintaining our facility infrastructure.

During his time on the board, John has been instrumental in maintaining our outstanding educational programs during a period of reduced expenditures. His vision and problem-solving skills helped maintain top achievement scores in all of our schools.

The Lake Oswego School District is fortunate to have a dedicated volunteer in John, who is willing to dedicate his time and energy to ensuring our schools thrive during challenging times.

We need him now more than ever on the Lake Oswego School Board.

Garb and Kay Mechigian

Lake Oswego

‘Lindsay Lohan School of Journalism?’

When was the Lake Oswego Review sold to Playboy?

Reacting to last week’s front-page bunny banner, I felt compelled to investigate. Rapidly reading through the family-friendly section on high school sports, I opened a full-page centerfold piece describing the “charmed life” of a photographer who built a career at the feet of “soft-porn” publisher Hugh Hefner. Was this article a homegrown example of celebrity worship trumping common sense? I began to wonder if our local paper had sold out to the Lindsay Lohan School of Journalism.

I can’t comprehend why the Review would publish such a puffed-up puff piece on “greats and playmates” without any critical analysis. Rather than “revolutionizing sexual mores,” some would say Hefner’s empire normalized the objectification and exploitation of women. Is it possible that the Review missed 50 years of gender education? Or, does our community newspaper have ties to “big bunny”?

All of us, to a certain extent, are blind to our own blindnesses, yet I expect newspapers to know better. In the future, I’d like to read stories of success that are not built at the expense of others. On the bright side, the Review’s article brought me back to William Stafford’s wise words, “Success may not mean you did right.”

Linda Hartling

Lake Oswego

Howell gets this endorsement

We strongly endorse Sarah Howell for the Lake Oswego School Board.

Sarah’s energy and fresh ideas are what this district need to make our schools even more attractive to new families. Sarah has extensively researched financially responsible innovations that other school districts nationwide have successfully applied.

We believe beyond a doubt she will ensure that our schools stay strong and our property values high.

Joe and Brigitte Howley

Lake Oswego

Please vote for Howell for school board

Sarah provides refreshing energy, new insight and open mindedness to move our school district forward. 

She has demonstrated her relentless energy and effort in research, leadership and development as she drove the adoption of the elementary world language program. She also has the desire to push forward the expansion of science, technology, engineering, arts and math to ensure the graduates from our district will achieve a top college preparatory education.

With the district’s future needs of a new superintendent, balancing the budget and expanding the quality programs in our district, we need the energy, devotion and dedication that Sarah Howell offers.

She will have children in the district for the next 15 years and is committed to listening to members of the community, gathering information from successful programs in other public schools and serving to create the best education for our children.

Thank you for joining me and voting for Sarah Howell.

Jim Souers

Lake Oswego

Join us in supporting Kevin Robertson

We have known Kevin Robertson for more than 10 years, and are so pleased to be supporting him for a position on the school board.

Kevin and his wife, Pamela, have always been willing to step up when there is a need for leadership in the schools and in the community. His daughters have attended elementary, junior high and high school in Lake Oswego, and over the years, Kevin has always been an actively engaged parent. He is intelligent, analytical and fair.

With a background in finance and management, Kevin will bring valuable skills to deal with the district budget and with the hiring of a new superintendent.

If you want an example of the kind of leader Kevin is, just look to his record of service on the LOSD Foundation Board. Kevin has served on the board for several years, and in that time he has been in leadership roles, including a term as president. He was also a key player in the establishment of the foundation endowment fund.

Please join us in electing him to the school board.

Bob and Diane Landgraf

Lake Oswego

Howell has a ‘passion for LOSD’

I would like to say thank you to Sarah Howell for her vision and passion for LOSD. Thank you for being at the ground level of what is going on in the district by attending hundreds of hours of school board meetings and work sessions over the past five years. Thank you for loving this district for all its wonderful strengths, but knowing that to stay on top we need to continue to improve. Thank you for always being so respectful to everyone you meet. Thank you for running a campaign founded on making this district better for all students.

Thank you for always promoting accurate and true data in your campaign. Thank you for working on the foundation campaign but also for recognizing that the foundation cannot be our only tool to help the district financially. Thank you for exploring innovative programs to bring more students to LOSD at the elementary, middle and high school level.

Please join me in supporting Sarah Howell for school board.

Carey Blem

Lake Oswego

‘We are lucky to have’ Robertson as a candidate

We’re excited to have this opportunity to show our support for Kevin Robertson for LOSD School Board, Position 2.

We’re so lucky to have such an outstanding, qualified candidate.

We’ve been friends with Kevin for 12 years, so we’ve had the pleasure to watch him firsthand, develop his deep understanding of LO schools. He’s developed his understanding through many ways of involvement. He has kids who have been in our school system from elementary to high school. At each of the schools, he’s always been involved in many kinds of hands-on school activities and leadership for them.

In addition, he has been actively involved in the “big picture” of our school district, where he served as an innovative, very effective president for our LOSD Foundation.

We’ve known Kevin in so many roles over the years: schools, neighborhood, sports, coaching, church, husband, father and friend. Whatever his role, he’s always intelligent, devoted and caring.

To know Kevin is to know his motivation genuinely comes from a place of care and concern for all kids and to make our schools as a whole, the most outstanding in every aspect! Please support your children and ours and vote for Kevin Robertson.

Sharon Peddie and family

Lake Oswego

Howell will neither battle nor defer

For almost 20 years, I have worked with tremendous advocates for our schools and children: Marcia Donnelly, thoughtful; Rich Akerman, generous and with a heart for all children; Susie Halberg, hardworking; Brigitte Howley, savvy and with a heart for kids who need special help. I also worked with the very best, Linda Brown.

I will vote for Sarah Howell for school board. She is already in this stellar rank.

When I was on the board, Sarah always advocated intelligently, respectfully and diligently. I was impressed over the years to watch her assertively, yet civilly, promote her agenda. While representing the crucial work of the foundation, she has maintained cordial relations with the district administration, Dr. Korach and the board members.

She works in the classroom, the focus of all of the efforts of those who advocate for our children.

The school board members’ charge is administrative oversight. They are neither staff accounting managers nor curriculum micromanagers. Sarah’s interaction with the administration shows she will not defer to a superintendent when she disagrees with that person, but she is not there to do battle either. Sarah will provide vigorous but sensible management — just what the LO School Board needs at this critical time.

Vote for Sarah. She is the astute, independent leader we need.

Deborah Lopardo

Lake Oswego



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