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Vote yes for local option levy for schools

My husband and I are voting yes to renew our local (option levy for schools).

We moved to Lake Oswego for the schools and the community. We have two kids at Westridge Elementary School and want their education to continue at the same fabulous level we have become accustomed to. We love the smaller schools, enrichment activities, field trips and art programs they have been exposed to in our schools.

Voting yes to renew our existing school levy will not increase our taxes; it will keep them at the same level and continue to give the monetary assistance our schools need. Our city benefits from the outstanding rankings of our schools by the increase in our economy and property values from people wanting to live here in this wonderful community and to educate their children.

Please join us in voting yes to renew our school levy for a strong Lake Oswego.

Cindy and Kelly Stelk

Lake Oswego

Plan built ‘on irresponsibility and incompetency’

Thank you to Lita Grigg and Roger Rollins for their (Aug. 15) letters of concern about the Wizer block redevelopment plan. I agree with them completely.

Obviously, city planners and the developers want to maximize profits at the expense of Lake Oswego citizens and to the loss of the beauty of downtown Lake Oswego.

Three four-to five-story buildings, no matter the design or quality, will block views of Mount Hood and loom, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere, over Millennium Plaza Park and the people seated at sidewalk tables outside Peet’s coffee, Zeppo restaurant and St. Honoré bakery. Adding 215 to 228 apartments will most likely add 430 to 456 more cars. How can A Avenue possibly handle the traffic?

Instead of Lake Oswego downtown being a place where people want to visit, shop and eat, this redevelopment plan will make the downtown area a place people will want to avoid.

It appears the Lake Oswego (Redevelopment) Agency’s plan is built on irresponsibility and incompetency.

Mary Ann Dougherty

Lake Oswego

No joy in riding a bike on this leg of Highway 43

I write to share my frustration commuting by bicycle on Highway 43 between McVey and Terwilliger in Lake Oswego.

I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate my round-trip bicycle commute from West Linn to OHSU — all except for this stretch in Lake Oswego. In fact, I dread this stretch, especially the afternoon leg. I know that some cyclists ride the sidewalk while others take up a lane so not to get hit by a car turning right — and a few people I know just won’t ride because of this short stretch. Frankly, it’s currently a no-win situation for both cyclists and motorists with no effective way to avoid it when traveling north from Oregon City or West Linn.

Bicycle commuting has so many perks. Not to mention that obesity is now recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association, climate change is real, gas is expensive and our mental and physical health benefits hugely by exercise. Progressive towns and cities seek ways to help communities become more healthy — through what we eat, what we do and how we get to work.

Lake Oswego needs to address bicycle travel through this critical stretch. I urge our community stakeholders and those experienced in city planning to come up with a safe solution for this situation. In the meantime, fellow bicyclists follow the rules of the road, and motorists — have a bit of patience and consider the benefits of cycling to the greater public and environment. And, by the way, I, too, imagine we can come up with a good, working compromise for cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the new Rosemont Trail connecting West Linn to Lake Oswego.

Dede Montgomery

West Linn

‘Doesn’t make much sense to me’

(Last week’s) Review had a citizen’s view recommending we do away with leaf blowers.

Give me a break. To return to the days of push brooms, rakes and hosing down driveways is like going back to the dark ages.

If the noise bothers them, use ear plugs. I can just see all of the gardeners in Lake Oswego raising their prices to compensate for all that extra labor.

Doesn’t make much sense to me.

James Walz

Lake Oswego

‘Pry my leaf blower from my cold dead hands’

The last place on earth I want Lake Oswego compared to is Carmel-by-the Sea, Calif. First ban leaf blowers, then what, charge people a fee for driving around the lake and elect Clint Eastwood mayor?

A real Oregonian would never ever want his city compared to one in California. Oregon Gov. Tom McCall must be rolling over in his grave.

You will have to pry my leaf blower from my cold dead hands. (I have been a) Lake Oswego resident for 60 years.

David Keller

Lake Oswego

All reap benefits from school levy

This November vote “yes” to renew the Lake Oswego school levy.

As a parent of a fifth- and a seventh-grader and former PTA president at Oak Creek Elementary, I know the deep impact this levy has on the education of Lake Oswego students. It accounts for approximately 11 percent of the school district’s funding and generates $6 million per year specifically for Lake Oswego schools. Most importantly, this is only a renewal of the current levy rate of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value, a rate that hasn’t changed since 2004. Even with increased state K-12 funding for the 2013-15 biennium and the school district’s efforts to curtail expenses, there will still be a revenue shortfall. That’s why renewing our local option school levy is absolutely essential to keeping class sizes low and providing the breadth of programs we want for our students. You should vote “yes” even if you don’t have children in the school district. Communities that spend money on local classrooms reap the benefit by attracting new families to the area, creating higher home values and protecting community livability.

Renew our school levy for a strong Lake Oswego.

Lisa Kolve

Lake Oswego

Leaf-blower free?

I’d like to respond to the Syd Kamitz Aug. 15 citizen’s view piece. I, too, am very annoyed at times with the disturbance powered leaf blowers make. My home is my sanctuary from my workday in Portland and I like to be able to relax and entertain in quiet. That being said, Lake Oswego is beautiful because of its many large trees, which produce a variety of organic debris year around. I could not survive without my leaf blower. However, I exercised consideration for my neighbors and purchased a low-noise professional model. Many manufacturers make gas models rated at 64-65 dBa employing mufflers in the tube or encapsulated motor or both.My view is a phased-in ban on blowers without noise controls is more realistic in our community than the outright ban Kamitz proposes.

Greg Williams

Lake Oswego

Dennis Richardson misused public office

In your Aug. 8 issue, Republican governor candidate Dennis Richardson wrote as if he is the champion of education and of improving the conditions of Oregon’s seniors and working people. Unfortunately for Richardson, his writing is not at all consistent with his voting record as a legislator.

Richardson has consistently voted against increasing school funding and services for Oregon’s seniors while trying to create tax loopholes for his rich cronies. 

Unlike such Republicans in Oregon’s distant past, Sen. Mark Hatfield and Gov. Tom McCall, Richardson has also misused his public office: He created email mailings to citizens to further his ambition to be governor at taxpayers’ expense.

Richardson was nationally derided for his nutty suggestion — following the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting — that if the theater-goers had only all been armed, the killer would himself have been shot: Can you imagine how many more would have been killed if everyone began shooting in the dark movie theater?

We need — and currently have — a governor who is grounded in reality, not fantasy.

Robert Stoll

Portland

Babica Hen is new local favorite

Inside of a few short months Babica Hen Cafe in Lake Grove has quickly established itself as a new local favorite. It is no wonder because their food, ambiance and service are outstanding.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Cora Buck and her amazing staff to plan a private cocktail hour to celebrate a business milestone. I am happy to say that everything from beginning to end was perfectly executed.

If you are thinking of hosting a private catered event, I encourage you to consider Babica Hen Cafe. Their space is ideal for a private dinner or cocktail hour and their attention to detail is spot-on.

I want to use this opportunity to say thank you to Cora and Joe Buck for opening this great new breakfast and lunch establishment in Lake Grove. You’ve added to our community and you deserve great success in your inaugural year and beyond.

Lara James

Lake Oswego

Why stop at banning leaf blowers?

Why, Syd, a good “progressive” never stops with simply banning leaf blowing.

While you are at it, why not ban those pesky noisy V-8 boats on the river and on the lake — end their water polluting, air polluting and ear polluting noise. Not to mention they get 4 miles to the gallon.

You should also ban motorcycles that are ridden by anyone under 85 — very noisy as they roar thru downtown.

And, heaven’s sakes, let’s get rid of those Maseratis, V-10 Audis, any Mercedes with more than 6 cylinders, Corvettes, Ferraris and any other car that is not electric or a hybrid.

And, don’t forget any cars or trucks older than say ... 2010. ... They are polluting the air too.

And, by the way, landscapers aren’t saying they will go out of business. They are saying you and I, and the city, and your neighbors will all pay a lot more for yard work. You should spend an afternoon raking leaves by hand to see how long it takes.

Come on Syd, “progressive” is another word for the few know what is best for the many.

Thomas S Clements

Lake Oswego 

Get involved in cancer research

What if we could personally participate in research that might help determine factors that cause or prevent cancer?

What if our involvement, and that research, ultimately leads to the elimination of cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations?

What if we could make it so just one family never has to hear the words “you have cancer”?

Residents of our community have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in cancer research this year. Enrollment for the American Cancer Society’s third Cancer Prevention Study will be taking place at several locations in the greater Portland metro area in partnership with Bridgeport Village, the city of Hillsboro, Sherwood YMCA and the Wilsonville Fred Meyer store.

Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study are encouraged to sign up. Those who choose to enroll will simply fill out a comprehensive survey packet about health history, provide a small blood sample (to be collected by trained phlebotomists) and provide a waist measure. Participants will periodically be sent a follow-up questionnaire for the next 20 to 30 years.

If you aren’t eligible to participate, you can still make a difference by telling everyone you know about Cancer Prevention Study-3.

For more information, visit cancer.org/cps3, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

Gretchen Groves

Portland

OSU made the right choice

As a business leader and employer in the Portland area and long-time Oregonian, I think Oregon State’s move to create an independent institutional board is a smart choice.

Oregon State actively works to support and advance a culture of strength and vitality in Oregon from its work on the environment to its commitment to healthy people and a strong economy.  

OSU understands the things that are the foundation of a vibrant and thriving community.  

While OSU is already deeply connected in every county in the state, the new board will create the space to deepen relationships, expand networks and advance the education of members of our communities, inside the classroom and through OSU’s extension and experiment stations.

I’m energized by the potential I see here and applaud OSU’s choice to take this thoughtful step forward.

Joth Ricci

Beaverton

Sustainable Life story flawed

Your recent article about forest certification (Pulp fiction?, Sustainable Life, Aug. 15) missed important facts about the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

First, SFI is an independent organization governed with equal representation from conservation, economic and social stakeholders. You cited Forest Stewardship Council’s supporters, but did not report that SFI’s board of directors includes representatives of The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Bird Studies Canada, the Manomet Center for Conservation Studies, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, several academic foresters and the state forester of Maryland.

Second, the notion that an FSC-labeled product indicates the product comes from land in which clear-cuts have been restricted to “6 acres” is inaccurate. FSC actually has no clear-cutting restrictions over at least 45 percent of the land certified to that standard, including in Russia, Sweden, Brazil and parts of Canada.

On conversion of forestland to other uses, there is no significant difference between SFI and FSC. Both require participants to exclude lands slated for development from certified areas.

On chemical use, the SFI Standard requires use of chemicals to be the least toxic and narrowest spectrum pesticides and herbicides to achieve forest management objectives and to use integrated pest management wherever feasible. Meanwhile, FSC has granted at least 74 exemptions for companies to use “FSC-banned” chemicals, which leaves consumers in doubt about the veracity of FSC claims to forbid these chemicals.

SFI also promotes responsible forestry in many ways other than through the standard: through our Chain of Custody and certified sourcing labels; by investing in conservation research; by working directly with communities to promote sustainable practices; and through the innovative Forest Partners program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of State Foresters and other authorities have said the SFI, FSC and other credible certification programs all can be accepted as evidence of sustainable forestry. The reason that “academics and government foresters are avoiding the fight,” as your article put it, is that they know that the differences between SFI and FSC are insignificant compared with the need to promote responsible, science-based forest practices, regardless of the specific approach.

Kathy Abusow

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

president and CEO

Washington, D.C., and Ottawa, Ontario

Protest cuts that hurt kidney patients

As a dialysis facility administrator treating Portland’s kidney failure patients, I’m fortunate to be able to be part of a team that provides a range of kidney care services and support to patients who require ongoing dialysis treatments to live full and active lives.

It’s troubling to me, and I hope it will be to your readers, that my patients soon will suffer because of a 12 percent cut to Medicare’s ESRD program recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Considering that Medicare reimbursement currently fails to cover the cost of dialysis, further cuts will be devastating to the hundreds of thousands of patients on dialysis who depend on Medicare — and the caregivers who treat them.

Without adequate reimbursement, facilities may not have the staff or resources necessary to provide patients with the care they need, and some may be forced to close their doors.

It’s important for lawmakers to understand that without ready access to dialysis care and ancillary services, patients with kidney failure will die.

I urge readers to contact U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and urge him to support the funding necessary to care for the more than 80 percent of Americans with kidney failure who rely on Medicare and depend on us, including 3,367 here in Oregon.

We can’t afford to let them down.

Noreen Leyden

Northeast Portland Renal Center facility

administrator




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