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Strong schools bring many benefits

Lake Oswego citizens again have the opportunity to renew the existing school levy, which directly supports the Lake Oswego School District’s continuing legacy of academic excellence. Our children, neighbors, friends and family all benefit from strong schools. Strong schools ultimately translate to superior property values and appreciation.

Please join me in renewing your support for the school levy by voting yes on Nov. 5.

Lois Moll

Lake Oswego

Thanks for all the support on the Buddy Walk

Once again, we are reminded of why our town is the one of the jewels of Oregon.

Our annual 2013 DSNO Buddy Walk was an amazing success due to all of the support from friends and neighbors, students, business owners and local agencies that have “had our back” for the last 11 years.

An incredible sunshiny day, Millennium Plaza Park filled with joyful, thankful, loving united hearts, made the families of DSNO feel the empowering love that all of you gave us.

When we say empowering, we mean it ... “to endow with ability” ... that definition says it all.

Many, many thanks from all of the families that you endowed with ability that wonderful, beautiful, sunshiny day.

Renee Kerr and Paula Schiedler

On behalf of Down Syndrome Network Oregon board and DSNO families (dsno.org)

Lake Oswego

Support our strong Lake Oswego schools

I graduated from Lake Oswego High School the year Measure 5 passed and moved back to Lake Oswego to provide my four children an excellent education.

Despite Oregon’s funding challenges — one thing has remained consistent — Lake Oswego residents support our local schools. We have always understood the fundamental connection between our property values and the strength of our education system.

Working at Portland Community College, I see firsthand the impact of quality education at elementary and secondary levels and the desire of local businesses to have students prepared to thrive and compete in a global economy.

Here are two things you can do to help. First, please get your blue or black pen, find your favorite writing nook and fill in the yes box in support of the Lake Oswego school levy. Mail or drop off your ballot.

This doesn’t raise taxes, but provides critical funding for our children and maintains the strength of our community. Second, volunteer — we need folks willing to get the word out, plant a lawn sign and talk with neighbors about the importance of this vote. Information here: lakeoswegoschoollevy.com.

Rob Wagner

Director of government relations, Portland Community College

Lake Oswego

Help maintain the quality of local schools

It is no accident that Lake Oswego schools are ranked among the highest in the state.

Yes, our schools have excellent leadership. Yes, our schools have outstanding teachers. Yes, our schools offer the programs that continually prepare students for the next steps in their young lives.

Did this happen by accident in years with decreasing state funding? No. It happened because concerned Lake Oswego residents supported the schools with their dollars, be it through levies or through the foundation. And this support of which I speak comes from not just parents of school-aged children, but scores of other Lake Oswego residents who not only see the value of excellent education, but how that translates to an economically vibrant city.

Of course I want my children to receive the best education possible. What parent wouldn’t? But I also want property values to stay strong, local businesses to thrive and the city of Lake Oswego to maintain its quality and integrity. A vote of yes to renew the Lake Oswego school levy will help maintain the quality that we have come to expect from our outstanding school district as well as provide other positive ripple effects throughout the city.

Sheri Richards

Lake Oswego

When the WEB is gone it will be gone forever

How sad, the city council bean counters managed to divest the city of the West End Building property, the only large, publicly owned land suitable for multipurpose use.

When the WEB property is gone, that size property is gone forever. Ten or 20 years from now Lake Oswego citizens will scratch their heads and wonder what in the world city council was thinking of in selling that great property.

The public golf course is not fully used. Watch out golfers, it may soon be sold to a developer. Aha, Waluga Park seems to be mostly used by outside groups. City council may decide to sell that for low-income housing. George Rogers Park would be a great place for a grand hotel and would bring in revenue.

Poor placid, residential Lake Grove with Boones Ferry development, and two new Kruse Way developments, we’ll soon look like Beaverton. Good job of “selling Lake Grove down the river,” city council.

Clifford D. Mansley Sr.

Lake Oswego

Maintain existing levy funding — vote to renew

Lake Oswego schools are the lynchpin of our community; we must renew our school levy to maintain existing funding and prevent further cuts to teachers. High quality public education drew me and my children to the community, just as it did many of my neighbors, old and young. The desirability of our schools has contributed to high property values in our community, in past, present and, I hope, future.

Your vote for the levy is essential to maintain current funding — more than 10 percent of the LOSD budget. The levy ensures we continue to have a low student-to-teacher ratio and more individualized attention as levy monies fund roughly 60 to 70 teaching positions. Levy funds contribute to enrich core and elective classes, specialists to help students with reading and math — all contributing to scores that outperform others statewide and are among the highest ACT and SAT scores nationwide.

Loss of levy funds would devastate our schools. The renewal will not raise your taxes. Citizens who value our community should vote yes to support the levy and continue this vital source of funding.

Andrea Platt

Lake Oswego

Devlin, Garrett, Parrish thanked for support

The Lake Oswego Chapter of Stand for Children, on behalf of public school students in our district, would like to thank our state legislators, Sen. Richard Devlin and Reps. Chris Garrett and Julie Parrish, for their work on the compromise package that was passed during the special session earlier this month.

The additional funding from the revenue and PERS reforms will help increase instruction time and protect class sizes in our district.

We know this compromise was not an easy one. We appreciate that they took the critical step toward improved funding for public education and for proving that kids do in fact come before politics.

Our legislators demonstrated that Oregonians from both sides of the aisle can work together to solve the challenges facing our state. We at Stand for Children look forward to continuing to work with them on behalf of all of Oregon’s students.

Courtney Clements

Stand for Children, Lake Oswego chapter

Lake Oswego

What’s next? A strip mall for Oswego Lake?

After reading the headlines in the Review about the sale of the West End building, it reminded me of what my father once told me: “To buy real estate high is a mistake, but to sell low is an disaster.”

Sometimes I wonder if the mayor and councils’ next plan is to find a private developer to build a strip mall in the middle of Oswego Lake? My wife and I moved to Lake Oswego more than 25 years ago. A big reason was for the outstanding land use planning.

It is sad to see it unravel in just a few years.

G.H. Smith

Lake Oswego

‘This (school) levy is a win for all’

Once again Lake Oswego schools have received outstanding ratings from the state.

This excellence is due, in part, to the financial support our schools receive from the community. In November we have the opportunity to renew the Lake Oswego school levy. As a parent of a daughter in Lake Oswego schools, I encourage all Lake Oswegans to vote yes on this measure.

The levy will continue the current property tax rate — it is not an increase. This money makes up 10 percent of the school district’s operating budget. If not continued, our public schools will experience a devastating blow — loss of teachers and programs and increased class sizes.

Strong schools increase the possibility that our children and our neighbors’ children will thrive. Smaller class sizes particularly benefit younger children. Art and music programs keep children engaged.

The recent economic downtown underscores the benefits of education; the unemployment rate among college graduates is substantially lower than among high school graduates. Lake Oswego’s reputation in preparing students for college is exemplary. Our district’s reputation encourages families to move here and supports strong property values. Ultimately, whether or not one has a child in the district, this levy is a win for all.

Linda Ganzini

Past president, Lake Oswego Schools Foundation

Lake Oswego

‘Size of (downtown) project is overwhelming’

I have lived outside of Lake Oswego for 50 years and have loved the village feel of downtown Oswego.

It is an easy place to shop and everything is handy and the traffic has never been a problem. I feel that the present plan is far too overdone for the size of the community with too many apartments and condos and a crowded garage.

I think that the size of the planned project is overwhelming and I would like to see a scaled-down version.

Susan Black

Lake Oswego

Renew the Lake Oswego school levy

I’m writing on behalf of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, AFL-CIO that represents more than 85 affiliated unions, including, but not limited to, the Oregon School Employees Association, Oregon Nurses Association and teachers who live and work in your community.

We support this levy because renewing the school levy provides vital funding to allow Lake Oswego schools to continue the stellar reputation they have built over the years.

It’s important to note that this is a renewal of an existing levy, not an increase, and does not increase your tax rate.

The voters of this community have a history of supporting education and this is a chance to continue that support by voting to renew the school levy.

In the wake of unstable funding from the state in recent years and the fact that costs have continued to rise, a yes vote to renew this levy will continue the tradition of great schools and great communities in Lake Oswego.

Bob Tackett

Southwest Portland

Council at odds with code over downtown plan

How does a five-story, 228-apartment complex on the corner of First and A Avenue fit into “a community of small scale structures that appears and operates like a tradition small town?” (1)  

Answer: It does not!

How does a five-story, 228-apartment complex on the corner of First and A Avenue fit into “new buildings shall be no greater than three-stories tall”? (2) 

Answer: It does not!

Foot notes:  (1) Lake Oswego’s own city code; (2) Lake Oswego’s own city code

Then how did a five-story, 228-apartment complex on the corner of First and A Avenue get there?

Answer: Lake Oswego’s own city council.

Lake Oswego doesn’t need or want a new five-story, 228-apartment on the corner of First and A Avenue. Lake Oswego needs a new city council that can comprehend and understand the meaning of (1) “a community of small structures that appears and operates like a traditional small town” and (2) “new buildings shall be no greater than three-stories tall.”

R.L. Riggs

Oregon City