Neighborhood fireworks — must you?

In case you don’t know, fireworks take a great toll on our pets. Dogs suffer severely from the impact of fireworks. Their hearing is 10 times that of humans. They are tuned for sight, as well. Bangs and flashes are incredibly frightening to many, if not most, dogs.

Every year during the Fourth (of July) many dogs are lost due to sheer panic at the impact of fireworks. Countless more suffer extreme anxiety requiring all manner of care including medication, sequestering and other solutions. The terror lasts for hours after the actual event. Dogs don’t get that it is done — they just worry that another event might be coming.

I get that we want to have the community-based big fireworks displays that occur on the Fouth and last about an hour. They are in locations that usually require that you go there to see them. These can be planned for.

The problem lies with neighborhood fireworks — people who shoot off fireworks from their homes. These loud bangs and the aerial shots with flashes and loud reports occur at unscheduled times. From around July 1 until July 5 they occur in random locations and at random times in all of our neighborhoods.

Anytime you shoot in a neighborhood you can be sure that you are terrorizing your neighbor’s pets and any local birds. Your neighborhood shots always come as a surprise. No one can plan for them.

So, you do have the freedom to shoot in neighborhoods. With freedom comes responsibility. When you shoot you are responsible for terrorizing your neighbors’ pets.

Please consider your choice to shoot in neighborhoods. (In the future), let’s focus on enjoying the community shoots that happen only on the evening of the Fourth.

Roger Hokanson

Lake Oswego

‘Please, no apartments on Block 137’

After reading the report in the Review and attending a presentation on the apartment development planned for the Wizer property (Block 137), we must speak out against this large and very inappropriate proposal.

The size and density, 217 apartments (down from the 240 presented to LORA) are totally out of proportion for the very heart of Lake Oswego, and the architect’s drawings and plans as presented at the meeting are industrial-looking, walled off from the village setting (five stories on Evergreen) and will not enhance downtown at all. The whole idea seems very strange considering the fact that new houses built in the First Addition are priced at $800,000 and up and the condos surrounding Second Street all the way up to C Avenue start at (more than) $350,000 on up to $1 million.

Why would a developer believe that 1,000-square-foot apartments rented at about $1,500 a month would be the best addition to our community and the best way to make money in this environment? This is before we even get started on the traffic problem this giant development would cause downtown. We’ll surely have gridlock every Friday afternoon and shudder to think what the Saturday market would be like.

Imagine moving vans every weekend trying to park on A or First as the renters of these units move in and out.

This is just an awful idea. Contact the mayor and your city councilor to say, “Please, no apartments on Block 137.”

Pam and Paul Hooper

Lake Oswego

Financial concerns are facing Lake Oswego

We rely on the Citizens Budget Committee to ensure that Lake Oswego maintains adequate reserves. As was pointed out by Finance Director Ursula Euler, our large reserves in the past, six months equivalent, served us well in obtaining the lowest possible interest rate in financing the LOIS project. As anyone who has had a mortgage knows, a fraction of a percentage in interest rate changes the total payout significantly. We will be seeking financing of $101 million for the water project and ratepayers want the rate increase spiral stopped as quickly as possible.

The mention that our reserves have been reduced to three months equivalent is a concern as is the notion that we should spend more than the standard allocation for increasing the pavement score while postponing neighborhood pedestrian safety concerns and considering reduction of quality of life programs because they address special interests or are forward-looking and attract young families.

Increasing property values are associated with two things: The quality of the schools and family-friendly neighborhoods. Messing with that equation because of quirks in demographic tea-leaf-reading that indicates we seniors are taking over is what Nate Silver (“The Signal and the Noise”) calls “over-predicting.”

We do want to preserve our community character for the maturing population as was suggested by Dave Berg in his citizen’s view, “Demographics Should Prioritize Funding Requirements.” Our community character is one of providing an excellent quality of life and safety to all, families and vulnerable segments of the population, young and old. Most seniors that I know are actively volunteering toward that end. The budget should focus on maintaining our reserves and efficiently directing services and programs so that volunteers can be leveraged and ratepayers are not gouged.

Craig Stephens

Lake Oswego

Stephens is on the steering committee of KLOG, co-chair of NRAB (also serving on the subcommittee for the Parks 2025 Master Plan and the Luscher Area Master Plan) and on the Old Town Neighborhood Board. He submits this as a private citizen.

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