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Readers' Letters

Many thanks to Wizers for years of service

Lake Oswego has been blessed to have been served by three generations of Wizers. It is sad that our city will not see this third generation continue to operate the truly unique establishment (not just a grocery store) as Wizer’s.

Where else have generations been able to find gefilte fish, lignonberries, specialty jams, caviar, mango chutney from India, Basque fish sauce to name a few of the hundreds of specialty items you and your children will never see again in the Portland area?

The story is much bigger than a grocery store. It is about a family’s service to the community. Most every corner of our city has benefited from the generosity of Jim and Gene Wizer. Ask the Lion’s Club whose Fourth of July Breakfast will suffer without the extremely generous annual contribution of supplies from Wizer’s. Ask the Rotary Club whose annual food box drive and the (Rotary Club of Lake Oswego) Lobster Feed benefit from Wizer’s donations. Ask many of the local retirement facilities that have received delivery of orders to them even when all other grocery stores stopped this practice.

While the grocery store is not going to be a part of the fabric of LO, we are lucky that Gene has worked long and hard in a tough environment to bring a quality development to LO. We are hopeful that the city will continue forward with their participation. I know that it will help the continued restoration in downtown LO that will make our city the place to live for our next generation.

Thank you Jim, Gene, Jan, Sarah, Suzanne and Kim.

Rob Fallow

Lake Oswego

‘Move architectural design bar from mediocre to great’

Years ago discussions in city government centered on leveraging the legacy of Richard Sundeleaf in order to give the city an architectural focus.

Discussions followed suggesting we should take the lead from the cities of Carmel and Los Gatos, Calif., that have honed their style and attractiveness.

In contrast, Lake Oswego developers and planners seem to be satisfied with mediocre designs that while functional, fail to inspire. An example is the Gramor development in downtown. Although it is better than what it replaced, and is functional, it represents a lost opportunity to do something really great, worthy of being the central focus in the community. Compelling or quaint it isn’t. The resulting multiple materials and surfaces fail the authenticity test of the styles they are trying to emulate.

Another lost opportunity is the recent development at Bryant and Boones Ferry. This development, besides failing the attractiveness/quaintness test, has marginally adequate parking given the tenant mix.

In still another example, Gramor intends to make another “lost opportunity” development by building a uninspiring, development on historic Kruse Way farmland. One might have hoped that they would have taken a page from the Barnyard Village shopping center in Carmel Valley, Calif., that provides a charming mix of retail establishments and offices, yet still retains a rural barnyard quaintness that makes it a draw for thousands.

Making the extra effort to move the architectural design bar from mediocre to great, with artful, site appropriate, emotionally inspiring, designs can pay lasting benefits. It can remind us of our past, provide long-term attractiveness and enhance the economic viability of our beloved city.

Roger Rollins

Lake Oswego

Citizens have benefited from Wizer’s generosity

We’ve been involved with Mr. Wizer for more than 35 years.

He has been an extremely valuable citizen to our community by being giving of himself and his assets to Lake Oswego, Our Lady of the Lake, La Salle High School, St. Agatha’s, University of Portland, etc.

If a shopper needed a product and he did not carry it, it would be ordered and delivered. The same for his charities.

We, the people of LO, have become beneficiaries of his warm generosity.

T and P Ebert

Lake Oswego

City should be more supportive of Wizers

We have known Gene and Jan Wizer for many decades and they are extremely upstanding citizens of Lake Oswego.

The city government should be supportive of their desire to provide urban renewal on their property in downtown Lake Oswego, This is a key block for the revitalization of the downtown area and deserves the financial support of the city.

Bob Bonney

Lake Oswego

Things change for a variety of reasons

Forty-five years ago I came to live here in Lake Oswego and Wizer’s became a reliable source of supply then and up until the announcement of the closure.

It is unfortunate that some things we enjoy should change but it has happened before for a wide variety of reasons including the current economy and the wide variety of new and some would say redundant competition.

Right now it is Wizer’s, but before that were anchors like the Don Elton, Newton’s Ice Cream Parlor, the Dairy Queen on State Street and the list grows on as the years pass. Each location sparked a memory for someone who wishes that they were still here.

But, that is the nature of progress and why we make footnotes of times past. Only time will measure the judgment of decisions made and the benefit for the community’s needs.

Jim Price

Lake Oswego

Wizer wished happiness for future endeavors

The closing of Wizer’s Foods signals the loss of a very kind and generous grocer. His contributions to his community were numerous.

We wish him much happiness in future endeavors.

Robert Balen

Lake Oswego

TriMet’s actions on parking don’t seem very fair

Despite being publicly funded, TriMet is taking money out of the pockets of low wage workers and hurting small business by enforcing parking rules in park-and-ride lots on the weekends.

Hello, my name is Ryan Sweeney and my family owns the Village Inn Restaurant in Tualatin. We have been doing business in Tualatin for more than 30 years. Our restaurant is located next door to the 72nd Avenue park-and-ride lot in Tualatin.

We have been in this location ever since we were relocated to make room for Bridgeport Village in 2005. Since that time we have had our employees utilize the park-and-ride lot on Saturday and Sunday mornings as we do not have room for them in our lot as it is full of customer cars. You see, our lot is relatively small and if our employees parked in our lot we wouldn’t have any room for our customers, thus taking money out of our pockets and tips out of our employees’ pockets.

Due to low ridership on the weekends, both Tualatin TriMet lots are nearly empty, so for the last eight years we have had our employees park in the park-and-ride lot from about 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. We haven’t had a problem until recently.

Over the last three weeks a TriMet employee has been intercepting my employees as they walk to their cars. The employee is warning them that they will get a parking ticket for parking in the lot. Today he actually gave one of my employees a $60 ticket.

We pay payroll taxes bi-weekly to TriMet. On average we pay TriMet $575 a month, which is why it is disheartening to tolerate the harassment. Even though we pay TriMet, (its employees) are still ticketing my employees who are just trying to get to work.

I can understand TriMet wanting to protect its lots for TriMet customers, however, we are not hindering this process. I have photos that show that 95 percent of the parking lot is still available.

Several of my employees ride TriMet during the week but due to limited service on the weekends they are forced to drive to work.

Ryan Sweeney

Tualatin

Let public decide Blue Heron site’s fate

Now that California’s Eclipse Development Group has bid $4.1 million for the Blue Heron site in Oregon City adjacent to Willamette Falls, I’m wondering what has become of the public visioning process?

A design firm was hired to involve us in shaping the future of the 23 acres, in collaboration with Oregon City, Metro, Clackamas County and the state. When will this take place?

We’ve been told that national leaders also are working with us “to realize a shared vision of public access, economic development, historic preservation and environmental stewardship for the area.” All worthy goals, but can we realize them with private ownership?

Recently, the Legislature approved $5 million in funding for the Willamette Falls’ revitalization project. Perhaps the state should use this money to purchase the former industrial site. I’d love to see the property turned into the “crown jewel” of the state parks system.

Sometimes, as Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

With climate change, around the world we see that melting ice and rising temperatures means there’s more moisture in the air to feed larger storms. Can you imagine a particularly wet spring combined with rapid snowmelt? What would happen to businesses perched by the river’s edge when the Willamette is swollen with the runoff from a dozen rivers, big and small, churning over the falls with storm debris and downed trees? The land is in a floodplain.

In modern times we have elevated the economy over the environment, but ultimately, the laws of nature dictate the bottom line. Let’s use the precautionary principle and prioritize habitat restoration along the river.

Make your voice heard. It would be a shame to allow a corporation to decide the fate of Willamette Falls.

Janine Offutt

Oregon City

‘Comeback stories worth appreciating’ on salmon

A good idea never gets old. Sixty-thousand Oregon school kids over the years and the Portland-based World Salmon Council can attest to that.

Under the Oregon-originated Salmon Watch program, students in Portland and the Mid-Columbia Gorge witness the yearly cycle of salmon returning to spawn in local streams. Ironically, both salmon and Salmon Watch are comeback stories worth appreciating.

Salmon Watch began in 1993, created by Oregon Trout with ambitious goals: to show the interdependence of humans and the ecosystem, helping young people better understand the value of native fish populations and how healthy spawning runs indicate healthy watersheds. Students also work on projects aimed at protecting native fish and their streams. Along the way, salmon watchers learn about the important connection between salmon and Northwest tribal culture.

Despite two decades of visibility and public/private support Salmon Watch nearly went extinct. Oregon Trout transformed into the Freshwater Trust and Salmon Watch no longer fit the organizational mission. Happily, the program still held meaning for volunteers and staffers who managed Salmon Watch. In response, they created a 501(c)(3) nonprofit solution: The World Salmon Council now continues this effort.

Gov. Kitzhaber thinks so highly of Salmon Watch he just renewed the public endorsement he issued in 1997. Partners in the private and public sectors are back. They include Portland General Electric, the federal Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Clackamas River chapter of Trout Unlimited. Volunteers this year will accompany Oregon students on several dozen trips to the water’s edge. Salmon Watch has been reinvigorated, as it should be.

Twenty years on, Salmon Watch offers a comeback story that proves the point: A good idea never gets old.

Mark Sanchez

Portland

Welcome back KISN as a Web station

I really enjoyed the feature “goodguyradio.com: KISN finds new life as a Web station” (BOOM! July edition insert in the Lake Oswego Review Aug. 1.)

They were at the top of the radio station charts when I was growing up here in Portland. Every night, a bunch of us would go downtown to stand on the corner of Southwest 10th and Burnside Street and watch “Tiger” Tom Murphy spin the 45s on his show. It was a great time to be alive.

At Christmas time we would go and watch the KISN “carol tree” from our cars, which was set up every Christmas and whose lights changed colors with the octaves of the music while listening to KISN on our car radio.

Now, we can listen to the same great music and some of the original DJs online by typing in goodguyradio.com. It brings back lots of wonderful memories.

As your article pointed out, morning guy Roger W. Morgan is on from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays, “Tiger” Tom Murphy is in the 9 to noon slot, Roger Hart from noon to 3 p.m., Dave “Records” Stone 3 to 7 p.m. and night guy Pat Pattee, midnight to 6 a.m.

We were all very disappointed when the FCC took KISN off the air, leaving a big void in radio broadcasting in the Portland market. KGW radio picked up the listeners after a period and now we can once again enjoy great music and great memories on the Web.

Louis H. Bowerman

Southeast Portland




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