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Readers' Letters


Block 137 plan ‘is a recipe for disaster’

The Lake Oswego City Council is considering a plan to develop the city’s Block 137 (the Wizer block) into a five-story, 220-unit apartment and shopping complex to accommodate upward of 400 new residents.

This will literally choke our community with more people, dogs, traffic and noise, totally incompatible with the existing three-story residential and commercial development in adjacent Blocks 136 and 138. This is a recipe for disaster.

Adjacent roads and facilities cannot accommodate the traffic on already overcrowded roads and public facilities. Let’s bring some sanity to this plan and scale it down to match the size and character of our community we all hold dear.

Gunnar Sedleniek

Lake Oswego

Downtown plans seem excessive, alarming

We are alarmed at the plans we have seen for the new downtown redevelopment project. The buildings are massive and the density is excessive.

The village feel that we all enjoy in this key core of the city will be destroyed by such a development.

We have a considerable amount of experience in city planning and development through my work as Scottsdale’s city manager and my wife’s work as a professional designer.

We also have a fine sense of respect for a citizen’s right to develop his property but this proposed project needs a strong second look.

Dale and Nancy Carter

Lake Oswego

Scale, size of plan are disturbing

This note is to support the position taken by many of my fellow citizens in Lake Oswego who, while wishing to see Block 137 redeveloped, are disturbed by the scale and size of the structures now proposed to do so.

The problems with this project could be largely solved by scaling it down to comply with the city’s planning code and enforcing our current code’s restriction on buildings to no more than three stories tall, subject in certain exceptions to no more than four stories.

By simply enforcing the city’s planning code, the scale and number of residences in the proposed Wizer block redevelopment would be reduced to a number that would permit economic redevelopment without overburdening our city’s downtown area.

John McMunn

Lake Oswego

Support school levy to keep LO at the top

Last year Family Circle named Lake Oswego one of the nation’s best towns for families. The qualities that put us there include our excellent schools and our beautiful parks and open spaces. These factors were important to us when we moved here in 2003, and we continue to invest our resources ensuring both systems maintain their stellar reputations.

As a member of the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Advisory board, I know how passionate our community is about parks. We plan, we preserve, we play —whatever the involvement, our parks connect us and represent our values.

And so it is too with our schools. Every five years our community has approved the Lake Oswego school levy, a vital funding source that helps keep our class sizes among the lowest in the area and provides rich program offerings for our students.

On Nov. 5 we will be asked to renew our school levy. A yes vote on Measure 4-434 will not increase your taxes. A yes vote will keep our schools strong, support our property values and keep Lake Oswego at the top of the “Best Towns for Families” list for years to come.

Please join us in voting yes.

Sandy and Pat Intraversato

Lake Oswego

‘Failure to renew represents devastation to our district’

Renewal of the local option school levy is the single most important financial issue facing this community.

Considering all of the funding issues identified by the Lake Oswgo City Council and budget committee, that is a bold statement, but it is also an accurate one. The overwhelming majority of citizens in Lake Oswego list the quality of the schools as the No. 1 reason they moved to or chose to stay in Lake Oswego. The local option school levy is the only tax source that comes directly from our citizens and goes directly to our schools. Thus, from a school perspective, this levy gives us better bang for our buck than any other tax option. That is why it has been so effective for more than 10 years.

This levy represents roughly $6 to $7 million of funding to our district. That is equivalent to the total cost per year for every principal and central administration staff member districtwide. Another way to look at it, it is more than 20 percent of our teaching staff.

Since 2010, the LOSD School Board and administration has:

  • Closed 33 percent of elementary schools.
  • Increased junior high population by 50 percent.
  • Shortened the school year.
  • Increased class sizes in all our elementary schools.
  • Reduced building support staff to the bare minimum required to keep school buildings functioning.
  • Almost completely cut spending on technology and curriculum improvements.
  • If this levy is not renewed, LOSD will be forced to close more schools, further increase class sizes and dramatically reduce program offering at all levels of our system. Failure to renew represents devastation to our district, our children’s future and the value of every property in Lake Oswego.

    Renewing means our taxes stay exactly the same as today.

    This choice is simple. We must renew our local option school levy.

    Jeff Carpenter

    Lake Oswego

    ‘Don’t make the mistake of selling it off’

    Regarding the comment on citizen’s view from Sept. 26, “Selling the West End Building is the wrong way to go.”

    I heartily agree with the comments in this citizen’s view. I have lived in this wonderful community of Lake Oswego for more than 25 years. My children have attended our schools.

    It has always been my hope that the Safeco building/WEB site was going to lead to a major (long overdue) development of our community — its library services, its swimming pool, its community center, indoor tennis courts, etc. The location is central, the size can accommodate parking, it is walking distance for many in the residential neighborhoods surrounding it. It is truly “a site that many cities would kill for.”

    Don’t make the mistake of selling it off.

    Zarina Khorasanee

    Lake Oswego

    Supporting levy ‘is the right thing to do’

    Arriving in Lake Oswego in 1970, four young children in tow, our family found a home we loved in a great neighborhood. Best of all, we hit the jackpot when it came to our kids’ schools. They received the finest public school education we could have hoped for; one we’d wish for every child. Two granddaughters now benefit from the stellar education offered here, largely because of generous monetary support from the community.

    Though the days of our personal connection to Lake Oswego schools are nearing an end, our strong support of them will continue, not just because of the increased property values strong schools bring or bragging rights. We will vote yes to renew the Lake Oswego school levy (Measure 3-434) this November because it is the right thing to do for all children. We urge you to do the same.

    Lynne and Warren Bacon

    Lake Oswego

    Yes levy vote is wise investment, best bargain

    Voting to renew the Lake Oswego school levy in the November election is one of the wisest investments we can choose and one of the best bargains around.

    It’s like tossing a pebble into water — from one small action, the benefits spread like waves on the surface. With the levy renewal, not only will our children continue to receive an exceptionally fine education, but our communities will benefit peripherally as well. We’ve seen firsthand how the strength of our local school district directly influences property values and economic well-being. In turn, thriving communities can offer residents the amenities that we in the Lake Oswego School District have come to enjoy.

    Thank you, LOSD, for giving our children and grandchildren (mine included) outstanding educational advantages! I’ll gladly vote yes when my ballot arrives. Renewing the Lake Oswego school levy will keep our schools strong and will continue to benefit all of us.

    Heather Kibbey

    Mayor, city of Rivergrove

    Yes on levy ‘easy way to show your support for education’

    As a hardworking Realtor in Lake Oswego, I am reminded every day that our real estate market depends on our excellent schools to attract families to our community.We at Keller Williams support the renewal of the school levy. We enjoy the Lake Oswego lifestyle and look forward to our town getting better every year.We encourage all Lake Oswego families to get involved in the school activities. Voting yes on the school levy is a very easy way to show your support for education and your understanding of the extreme need our schools have for stable funding.Congratulations to the teachers and students for your achievements, and we applaud your success.

    John DeCosta

    Lake Oswego

    Perhaps Putin should weigh in on shutdown?

    In his press conference of Sept. 30, President Obama stated a government shutdown would affect “women and children” adversely and have dire consequences across the board. I thought I was listening to a February replay of President Obama’s prognostications concerning sequestration.

    I offer President Obama a solution to this crisis with the Republicans. Recently, President Obama outsourced and subcontracted saving the Syrian women and children to Russia. In short order and without much hype, President Putin saved the Syrian children. 

    President Obama should consider outsourcing saving American women and children to the new go-to guys, President Putin and Russia. Let’s give President Putin a chance to negotiate a deal with Congress. “Mission accomplished.” 

    John Bogdan

    Lake Oswego

    Don’t cut the ‘means’ — direct the ‘how’

    My message to all living in Lake Oswego School District: Don’t cut the “means” — direct the “how.”

    By not supporting the Lake Oswego school levy you will be cutting the “means” by 11 percent. This action, as stated in many letters, will have a huge impact on the school district and our community. As a former member/chairman of the Lake Oswego Citizens Budget Committee (CBC), I can say that dollars are tight everywhere — now and in the foreseeable future. Keep the current dollar flow.

    Direct “how” is it used. Everyone living in the district with or without kids in school should be involved in how the levy dollars are spent. Attend school board meetings. Be heard. The CBC is a good example of how you can make a difference in how your dollars are spent.

    Vote yes on the Lake Oswego school levy. Get involved!

    Ron Smith

    Lake Oswego

    Community thanked for supporting schools

    As a parent of school-aged children, I want to express my gratitude to all community members for supporting Lake Oswego schools.

    The entire community keeps my daughters’ classes under 30 students. The entire community provides my second-grader with the gift of learning another language. The entire community provides an environment in which education is a priority.

    I thank every person in our community who votes to renew our school levy this November. Without everyone’s support, Lake Oswego schools would not be what they are today and what they will be tomorrow.

    Carey Blem

    Lake Oswego

    Former educator suggests supporting school levy

    Our family recently relocated to Lake Oswego from Pennsylvania. Our first priority was to find the very best school for our two children. I am a former educator and not only looked at raw data but did extensive interviews at various school districts.

    Our discussions with the administrators and teachers in the Lake Oswego School District illustrated perfectly why the district has such great results. The funds provided by the Lake Oswego school levy are imperative to making the district strong.

    Please vote yes to renew our school levy so that the Lake Oswego School District can continue to provide a topnotch education.

    Ultimately, a premium school district is the foundation of a premium quality community like Lake Oswego.

    Kimberly Santangelo

    Lake Oswego