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Readers' Letters

Remember, the levy won’t raise your taxes

Please vote yes on Measure 3-434 to renew the Lake Oswego school levy.

I do not have kids in the district, but I understand that strong schools foster more than a great education. They enhance the value of our residential community, which in turn supports robust local businesses.

As a restaurant owner, I appreciate how heavily we rely on local folks to be guests at our establishments, guests who may not be here but for the fabulous school district. I employ many fine young people from our schools who have clearly received an excellent education. As a business leader through the Lake Grove Business Association and LO Chamber of Commerce, I realize that the strength of each local business depends on the health of all area businesses.

A sum of successful operations attracts more people than a few shining stars surrounded by duds. Such is the same with all elements of our community, and the presence of a financially healthy school district is critical. The levy will not raise your taxes so, do not worry, you’ll still be able to eat out.

Please join me in supporting the continued prosperity of our outstanding community by renewing the school levy.

Joe Buck

Lake Oswego

Owner, Gubanc’s Pub and Babica Hen Café

It would be wise to wait for right redevelopment plan

I have been looking forward to the time when Wizer’s would be renovated or redeveloped. The original plan was for a small hotel or 30 to 75 condominiums. Now, I see that a new plan has been proposed for five-story buildings that would house 228 apartments.

It is hard to image how these buildings with so many new residents and extra traffic could be an improvement to our downtown village or the small-town feel we enjoy so much. Why are we suddenly reversing direction away from our village look to cityscape?

I am deeply disappointed and hope that the city will rethink this plan. It is not the right development for our downtown. It is worth waiting a little longer for the right plan that fits Lake Oswego.

Sharri Waffle

Lake Oswego

Interested ‘in keeping our public schools outstanding’

In this November’s election we Lake Oswegans have the opportunity to renew our school levy. As a parent and homeowner in LO as well as an alumna of Lake Oswego High School (’82), I have a vested interest in keeping our public schools outstanding and our property values intact.  

As a citizen member of the legal budget committee, I have firsthand knowledge and detailed experience with the LOSD budget. I have concluded that not only is the district managing its funds well but also that the financial support garnered by the school levy is very significant (about 10 percent of the revenue). Not renewing the levy would mean highly undesired changes in our schools such as much larger class sizes. In our community it would mean potentially lower property values. 

I have given my support by serving as the treasurer for Friend of Lake Oswego Schools, the political action committee formed to support the levy renewal. Please do your part and join me in supporting the renewal of our school levy to keep Lake Oswego strong. Grab that ballot that came in the mail (last) week, mark it yes for Measure 3-434 and return your ballot today. 

Stephanie Lum

Lake Oswego

‘Tragic to ruin the small-town feel’ of LO

I have been a resident of Lake Oswego since 1990. This is my first letter to the (editor).

That’s how strongly I feel that the proposed development for Block 137 is too massive. I love what was done to the surrounding blocks. It seems like it took forever to get to that stage, but the end result has been fantastic. It actually gave us a real town square feel.

The Wizer block has been an eyesore in the middle of it for years. It would be tragic to ruin the small-town feel of what has already been developed by moving ahead with the current five-story massive project that has been proposed.

What happened to our city code restricting height to three stories? Too many units will just ruin the feel of the area. The current plan is just too big in every aspect. Please don’t ruin what the city worked so hard to establish.

We finally have the chance to finish a lovely project. It has taken years to get the Wizer block. What’s a little longer, if it means getting it right? More is not better. Bigger is not better.

Jan Thede

Lake Oswego

LO ‘will just become another busy suburb’

I am writing to express my concern regarding the proposed development at the site of the existing Wizer building in downtown Lake Oswego.Like many residents, I am pleased with the development on First Street and A Avenue. My family and I enjoy the dining options available at Lake View Village and the opportunity to join friends for coffee at a table with a view of the lake. The architecture and layout is conducive with the village feel that we enjoy in Lake Oswego. (I grew up in this town and remember that feeling years ago; it’s something that makes our lake town so special.)

I was surprised to learn that the proposed changes to the Wizer building would not support the small-town feel that we enjoy. The plan to build a large, five-story complex with hundreds of apartments and parking spaces would alter a big reason why Lake Oswegans love living here.

Add to that the introduction of many tenants, their cars, dogs, traffic and congestion.

If we are not mindful of the village we hold dear, Lake Oswego will just become another busy suburb.

Betsy Michels

Lake Oswego

Vote yes for learning

Why is voting for the renewal of the Lake Oswego school levy so important?

This money will continue to allow a reasonable classroom size for each teacher and to provide the materials and technology that are needed for effective and efficient learning with a teaching calendar adequate to prepare students for college, workplace and life. It is not hard to understand how important classroom size is when you think about how a teacher’s individual interaction time is multiplied by 30 students. Inspiration is tough to convey with a large classroom or without adequate funding for basic tools of modern instruction.

Many of us interact directly with Lake Oswego schoolchildren, as parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbors. We love to see the sparkle in the eyes of these children when they explain what their teacher did today and how they interacted and experienced what we recognize as “learning.”

We are amazed at the level of detail that children remember and think back to a time when we were learning and how important those details would be to our later life.

Join with us in voting yes on the school levy.

Craig and Rosie Stephens

Lake Oswego

‘A project this size will overwhelm the park'

I have lived in the Evergreen Neighborhood for the past 18 years. In fact, just a few short blocks from the Wizer block. I am extremely concerned that the proposed development of the Wizer block with five stories and 228 apartments will have detrimental effect on the park and the neighborhood.

A project this size will overwhelm the park and have a negative effect on the neighborhood with the increased traffic and related parking issues. Even now, during Saturday market, cars are parked to our driveway, which is a few blocks away.

I hope that the city council and the development review committee realize that the magnitude of the project as proposed is not a good fit for the neighborhood.

Robert Mogentale

Lake Oswego

Downtown ‘more of a village than a city’

I am very concerned with the development plans for the Wizer block. A four- or five-story building comprised of apartments on top and shops below is much too large for the character of our downtown.

I live close to the Wizer block and I can tell that a building that size would ruin the current atmosphere of our downtown, which is lovely because of the openness, light and trees around the area. In addition to the large scale of this project, I am also very concerned about the amount of traffic this new building will bring to our small downtown area.

Traffic and parking are already a big problem in downtown Lake Oswego. Anyone who has driven down State Street during the afternoon rush hour knows this — it is complete gridlock.

I am not against developing the Wizer block into some sort of apartment/condo/shop development, but please, let’s be smart about this and build something that fits into our current downtown feel, which is more of a village than a city.

Lisa Lombard

Lake Oswego

League suggests voters approve school levy

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas urges Lake Oswego voters to vote yes on Measure 3-434, the local school levy renewal.

In 1999, the state Legislature allowed local communities to augment state funding. In 2000, voters approved a five-year school levy, which was again approved in 2004 and 2008. The time has come to renew it once more. Because this is a renewal, your taxes will not go up.

The levy allows adding teachers and lowering class sizes.

Renewal of the levy would enable the Lake Oswego School District to continue to provide the resources it needs to continue a high level of programming and to ensure that our schools continue to maintain excellent standards.

Luana Luther

President, League of Women Voters of Clackamas County

Lake Oswego

Project is ‘first step toward mediocrity’

I am writing to express my very deep concern about the redevelopment of Wizer’s. The proposed buildings are much too massive for the block and the height of these buildings overshadows every other building in downtown. The design of this development appears out of character with Lake Oswego’s award-winning cottage neighborhood and the small-town atmosphere we love. This project will be just the first step toward mediocrity and a distinct and unwelcome change in the character of our town. Please scale down this development so that it blends with the neighborhood and our Lake Oswego way of life.

Deanna Glanville

Lake Oswego

‘Scrap them and start over’

Wake up Lake Oswegans.

The plans for Block 137 in your downtown are too big and too dense. They are out of character with the surrounding community. Further, the architecture is mundane and below the high standards of our community.

I am not sure where the forces (money) originate to push this monstrosity through, but the outcome will be a permanent catastrophic change to our downtown, bringing in density and associated traffic akin to Tanasbourne or Sunnyside. Most of us live here to avoid that. Must we let the conventional mall/urban developers run this show to their profit, making another development which maximizes profit and minimizes aesthetic and function?

This property could be tremendously successful, and tremendously profitable, without this bulk and density. It’s time to think a little harder and get out of the box. The current Wizer building, tired as it is now, was a cutting-edge, post-modern beauty when it was built. Where is that kind of ingenuity now? Where are the architects who will pay some homage to this LO landmark when they redesign our city living room?

The current redevelopment plans for Block 137 are poorly considered. They do not warrant our city’s participation nor our tax dollars. Scrap them and start over.

Jim Craven

Lake Oswego

‘School district is at a critical juncture’

As an educational consultant who consults with more than 60 Oregon school districts, I see firsthand the connection that school funding has to solid outcomes for students. Even more critical to school success is how districts prioritize and use funds.

As a parent of a kindergartener in Lake Oswego, I am pleased to see that the district uses a large portion of its levy funds to support instructional practices. Without levy monies, schools would have to reallocate funds away from a critical component of increased school achievement — supporting instructional practices.

Our school district is at a critical juncture with its levy up for renewal. These funds are critical to enable our teachers to provide high quality education to our children. I implore all Lake Oswego residents to vote yes for the levy so that our schools can maintain and continue to provide best practice educational strategies for our children.

Lisa Bates, Ph.D.

Oregon Response to Intervention Project

Lake Oswego




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