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Readers' Letters

Tree huggers, developers and Metro ... oh, my

If you have been in the land of “Oz” and have not yet realized that a “mapping” of the Stafford Hamlet has been underway since January 2013, it’s time to get out of the storm cellar, talk to Auntie Em and see what our vision is beginning to look like.

“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!”

The time to act is now.

The Hamlet Planning Committee, along with the 10 Hamlet neighborhoods, have been working to represent what we would like to see in the future.

The “wizard’s” hot air balloon is getting ready to sail.

Opportunities to give your input are down to a few dates:

• Saturday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to noon, Stafford Primary School

• Monday, Oct. 14, 7 to 9 p.m., Stafford Primary School

A panel of area experts will be there to answer questions and take feedback.

From our “hearts,” find your “courage” and use your “brain” and follow the yellow brick road to a meeting, visit your neighbors. Don’t let the Munchkins do all the work!

The “flying monkeys” are waiting to take your ideas away.

“Somewhere over the Hamlet,

Dreams really can come true!”

For further information, contact Mike Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

Molly Ellis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

RJ Cook

Stafford

‘Our children have thrived in Lake Oswego schools’

Our family moved to Lake Oswego in 2000 because we wanted to give our children the best education possible. Our children have thrived in Lake Oswego schools.

Our oldest just graduated from Lakeridge and credits her inspiring teachers and small classes for her ease in transitioning to college work. As the president of National Charity League Inc., Lake Oswego chapter, I can attest to the high caliber of students with whom I work. Their families are also here because of our schools.

The renewal of the school levy is not an additional tax, but a renewal of a commitment our citizens make every five years to help LOSD to bridge the gap between rising educational costs and falling state revenue.

The levy now provides 10 percent of the district’s budget. This money, combined with the Lake Oswego School Foundation’s contributions, has enabled Lake Oswego schools to rank among the highest in Oregon. We will be voting yes on the school levy this November because we want to maintain our community’s premier teachers, small class sizes and the high property values that result from our excellent schools.

Beth Swanson

Lake Oswego

Keep Lake Oswego strong, support school levy

This town takes great pride in its school system and rightly so.

The stellar reputation of the Lake Oswego Public Schools is the reason most often cited by people who choose to move here, live here and raise their families here. The people who make decisions about lifestyle and community based on the well-being of and educational advantages for their children are the productive and concerned kinds of people we want as neighbors and as citizens. This community strength is self-perpetuating.

The Lake Oswego school levy is an important component of the district’s budget and our schools are a huge draw for the neighbors and businesses we have and for those whom we want to attract. Support the school levy renewal; keep Lake Oswego strong.

Rick Hendon

Gone to the Dogs Inc.

Lake Oswego

Some thoughts on city properties and costs

Here are some ideas for hopefully unifying the community and reducing city expenditures:

1. Move the city hall to the spacious West End Building at practically no cost. The downtown merchants will be losing very little existing traffic, the office/campus zoning is preserved and the city will have more land for growth. A bond measure at a lower interest rate can replace the bank loan.

2. Move the library to the present city hall site, saving the interior of the building and replacing the deteriorated outsides. The building can be expanded and still have ample parking. Downtown merchants will have much more traffic than now, and nearby residents can still walk to the library.

3. Maybe some developer can turn the existing library building into apartments or condos. Any monetary gain for the city can go toward remodeling the new library.

William Barbat

Lake Oswego

There needs to be a clear plan for the WEB

The front page story in the Sept. 26 edition of The Review (Council delays vote on selling the WEB) raised more questions than it answered.

Retired council member Mary Olson said, “Tthe citizens have never been willing to put the money up. ...” One request involved a complete community center and the other had no plan for the property. We need a long-term plan, which will go a long way in convincing voters this is a valuable property for the city and we need to pay for it.

The redevelopment director, Brant Williams, said, “There is no clear plan. ...” Why not? See above.

And along this line does our very new city manager really know about other options for moving the current programs using the WEB?

Robert Jensen of Kensington Investment Group said, “what is best for the community” and “what makes financial sense.” I don’t believe the group may know what is best for the community. It does know what makes sense for the group.

How do we know the current value of the property? We have no current official professional appraisal.

On page A8, the citizen’s view by another retired city council member (Dean A. Marquis) points out many valid reasons for maintaining ownership of the WEB property.

Sandra Jackson

Lake Oswego

‘Why are we selling out on our lovely little downtown and park?’

A while back, we were walking our dog and stopped at Millennium Plaza Park as we often do to sit on the benches with our coffee. Even though we carry our own doggie refuse bags, we noticed that no plastic bags were available on posts at Millennium Plaza Park, as in other Lake Oswego parks. So, we asked one of the city workers who was maintaining the park, why? The man replied that the city does not want to encourage people to bring their dogs to Millennium Plaza Park. Millennium Park was designed as our town’s public “square.”

Now, city council is advancing a massive five-story development next to Millennium Plaza Park with 228 apartments, including up to 150 or more dogs, by exempting Lake Oswego’s current community development code, chapter 50. The code stipulates, among other characteristics, downtown redevelopment — village character “a community of smaller mixed use structures often centered on a square ..., body of water, etc.” perfectly describing our lake and Millennium Plaza Park. But if this development goes through, Millennium Plaza Park will instead become the backyard for hundreds of new dogs living in those apartments. How sad that our gem of a downtown is going to the dogs in more ways than one.  

It’s not too late for the design review commission and city council to realize the long-term negative impact these three tall out-of-context buildings will have on our picturesque small-town community. Please rethink and step up to save our village from this massive urban redevelopment because it will irreversibly damage our aesthetic appeal. Why are we selling out on our lovely little downtown and park?

Leslie Pirrotta

Lake Oswego

Downtown plans seem short-sighted, should be rejected

The planned development for a 228-unit apartment building in the core of Lake Oswego seems to me to be ill-conceived and inappropriate.

I grew up in Lake Oswego, went to school here and have a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of our city. Like many others, I attend the farmers market, frequent the restaurants by Millennium Plaza Park and appreciate the beauty and care that have gone into making the area one that so many people can use and enjoy. The ambience is truly unique. It is an important part of why Lake Oswego has such an enviable reputation as a desirable place to live.

So I am puzzled. If that (the above) is true, and I believe it is, why would the planning commission want to plunk down a 228-unit apartment in this unique spot in the heart of the city? It seems to me that if the city wants to increase revenue, there are many other places within the city limits that would be much more appropriate for a development of this kind. Choosing to allow a five-story apartment building in such a unique space with the increased traffic and overcrowding it would generate seems to be short-sighted. I urge you to preserve the unique character of Lake Oswego and reject this plan.

Gina Almquist Coshow

Lake Oswego High School grad

Newberg

Metro president candidate discusses TriMet

My name is Jeremiah Johnson, and I declared on Sept. 9 to become a candidate for Metro president.

Part of my candidacy platform is to once and for all rein in TriMet. Metro has suddenly had a handful of press releases declaring how to make TriMet a better agency. The two biggest ones are plans to finally improve westside service and to form a volunteer citizen oversight committee of appointed applicants. They have been asked and have said they have had plans to improve westside service for 30 years, and other than the Blue Line MAX to Hillsboro, little has actually been done. We know from the failure of past citizen oversight committees, two in a row in Portland put in place to watch over the Portland police, that they simply do not work. They do studies and give input, but have no power and are often ignored out right, while still being a talking point for those in power to make you feel like you have a voice when you do not.

I still propose a complete overhaul of TriMet: The corruption is still there and there is no guarantee that any oversight committee will make any improvements. Don’t fall for empty promises and sleight of hand. Whether you vote for me in May or not, remember to hold Metro accountable for actually improving TriMet as an agency. They have their own legal code, their own police and they are supported by taxes, yet they are a private corporation with no elected representation.

The most dangerous point is the committee will be appointed by Metro itself, meaning they will cherry pick those who will make the least waves and agree with the council and tell everyone they are doing a good job.

Jeremiah Johnson

Portland



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