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Letters - Jan. 19, 2012

Streetcar conclusion based on financial realities

To the Editor:

I was never sure we could afford to build the streetcar and after months of study and contemplation, I reached the conclusion neither Lake Oswego nor its partners have the financial ability in the near term. The economy has dealt all of us a body blow and now is just not the time. With my change as well as Councilor (Sally) Moncrieff's change, the streetcar is on long-term hold.

As a community, we need to be thoughtful of the city we want to be. I am excited about the vision for Foothills to create a new and dynamic neighborhood that would preserve existing neighborhoods by having density east of State Street, support our downtown economy and directly or indirectly bring school-age kids to town, which is why it was supported by the school board.

Streetcar was an integral part of Foothills so now we need to take the data we already have while working with the dedicated citizens committee to come up with plan B.

We also need to preserve public ownership of the Willamette Shore Line right of way. We and other public entities bought the line more than 20 years ago. It runs through Dunthorpe from Portland to Lake Oswego and to no one's surprise few in this enclave supported streetcar. Streetcar may not be moving forward but it is definitely not the time to reconsider public ownership.

Let me be clear about one thing: We need to always keep our options open for the future. I am not about making it so future city councils cannot re-look at this issue in the future when the economy or circumstances have changed. We need to plan for the future and keep all options in our toolbox.

Bill Tierney

Lake Oswego City Councilor

Go the speed limit on Interstate 205, please

I regularly drive on I-205 to and from the Highway 43 exit. Since the Oregon City arch bridge has been closed, I've been continually frustrated by drivers who use I-205 to cross the river but seem to think that because they're not staying on the freeway, they don't have to come up to freeway speed.

When I'm caught behind a driver doing 30 to 40 miles per hour (mph) on the onramp, it's very difficult to change lanes into traffic traveling at 55.

Similarly, when I'm traveling at 55 on the freeway, and I have to move to the exit lane where cars are going 30 to 40 mph, it creates a situation that is frustrating at best and downright dangerous if the drivers behind me aren't paying close attention.

Today, while trying to enter I-205 from northbound 43 - where the onramp leads you into an exit-only lane - I was stuck behind a driver going 30 mph. Traffic on the freeway was dense and fast and I found no opportunity to safely move out of the exit lane. I had to follow that driver right back off the freeway and circle around to try again.

Please, please, please, if you're just using I-205 to cross the river, even though you're only on the freeway for a fraction of a mile, please come up to freeway speed while you're there. We'll all be safer and happier if you do.

Tasia Markoff

Lake Oswego

Resolution not the same as Moncrieff's

To the Editor:

After reading Sally Moncrieff's New Year's resolution to save water, mine is going to be to get rid of her, (Mayor Jack) Hoffman and the other two council members who are voting to spend our money to triple our water bills.

It's no wonder she's trying to save water.

David J Peterson

Lake Oswego

Thanks for sharing the gift of Christmas with those in need

To the Editor:

Thanks to the generous efforts of Portland-area residents, thousands of hurting children worldwide will have (or have had) the opportunity to experience the joy of Christmas. Portland residents joined Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, to pack 19,365 shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items.

These gift-filled shoe boxes are making their way - or have already made their way - into the hands of needy children in 100 receiving countries.

On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the volunteers at local collection sites and everyone who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift. For many of the children receiving these boxes, the simple shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.

Although the Portland drop-off locations are closed until November 2012, gifts are received throughout the year at Samaritan's Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607. If you would like to get involved year-round in helping children in need through Operation Christmas Child, go online to www.samaritanspurse.org or call 253- 572-1155.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide.

Michael Ishmael

Northwest Regional Director

Operation Christmas Child



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