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Letters - April 5, 2012

Have 'sacred conversations about race'

To the Editor:

The following is an open letter to the citizens of Lake Oswego:

Like most of you, we were saddened and disturbed by recent reports of racial intolerance in Lake Oswego and the pain thoughtlessly inflicted on a young student and his family.

The fact that others have come forward to courageously share their personal experiences of racism in our community tells us that this was not an isolated incident. The perspective of some that racist tweets were just an example of the bad judgment and poor impulse control common to adolescents dismisses and dishonors the perspective of the people hurt by racism. Some have said that Lake Oswego is no worse than Portland or other communities, but that is hardly a cause for pride.

Our community needs to engage in honest and respectful dialogue to move forward toward healing for all. We need to hold up a mirror to ourselves, our families, our schools, and our community to examine and eradicate racism in its insidious and systemic forms. Racism diminishes us all.

Our congregation is moved to act by engaging in sacred conversations about race, and we urge our neighbors to do the same.

The Rev. Jennie Ott, Pastor,

Lake Oswego United Church of Christ and the Leadership Council

Lake Oswego

'This is now what our city stands for'

To the Editor:

I was saddened and disturbed by both the fact that this level of racial intolerance existed in a local school and by its intensity. While we don't have adequate facts to determine whether the actions taken by the school are adequate, racial intolerance in any form tears at the roots of our community. This is bullying in its most cowardly form.

What is the source of this intense racial hatred? In what family setting or what schoolroom were these vitriolic opinions allowed to take root and thrive? Somewhere it was encouraged and nourished and supported. Collectively now as a community we need to extinguish it.

We are better than that. Our schools are better than that. Our citizens are better than that. Now we need to show to ourselves and others that this is not what our city stands for. We do not accept bigotry in any form.

John Sather

Lake Oswego

Gridlock has not occurred at Starbucks location

To the Editor:

Last Thursday's paper brought the headline, 'Coffee Clash,' suggesting that the success of the new Starbucks at the corner of Boones Ferry Road and Douglas Way was out-of-hand.

I, too, feared traffic chaos when the KFC left and Starbucks began remodeling. Gridlock has not occurred, principally because Starbucks' ability to move its customers through and Oswegans' willingness to idle in a neat queue on the right side of Douglas Way while they wait to drive through, allowing others, like me and my clients, to pass by to our office and the school.

The largest congesting problem seems to be the big yellow school buses using Douglas Way as an ingress and egress to the elementary school or bus barn, and elementary school parents stopping, forever, to make a left-hand turn from Douglas Way onto Boones Ferry. This school-related traffic could as easily use the signaled intersection at Mercantile Drive and get to and from the school and bus barn by using Hallmark Drive. I would respectfully submit that the Lake Oswego School District might try this to become a larger part of the solution.

John W. 'Jack: Lundeen

Lake Oswego

Building permit is only part of cost

To the Editor:

Editor's note: An error in this letter that appeared in the March 29 Lake Oswego Review changed its meeting. It is being run again this week with the error corrected:

In the March 22 Lake Oswego Review's City Notes entry it is stated that the building permit fee for a new 2,000-square-foot single family home in Lake Oswego costs about $2,670. Well, that's part of the story. Here's the rest. In order to be permitted to build the home one must also pay certain service development charges (SDCs). A building permit is not issued until and unless SDCs and some taxes are paid.

In August 2012, I paid for a building permit for a new single-family home of 2,700 square feet in Lake Oswego. The total price was $29,937.53. The costs in addition to the 'permit fee' included the following SDCs: sewer $2,344; water $5,289; streets $4,195; parks and rec $11,089. Add a schools tax of $2,830 and a Metro excise tax of $318.86 and the resulting total came to nearly $30,000 (other jurisdictions also impose SDCs).

Bill Ward

Lake Oswego

Title should not have been added

To the Editor:

I wrote the opinion piece on the lake (in last week's paper) on my own behalf and not as part of Keep Lake Oswego Great PAC.

The Review added the (tagline), 'Chair of Keep Lake Oswego Great' without my knowledge or approval.

Please make the correction in next week's issue.

Rob LeChevallier

Lake Oswego

'Where has gas tax money gone?'

To the Editor:

Gas was $4.07 on this April Fools Sunday morning.

I am the chair of the Birdshill CPO / NA, a joint neighborhood in both Clackamas County and northeast Lake Oswego. We have a road Clackamas County will not fix. Using it will break a school bus axel.

Where has gas tax money gone?

Road finance ain't simple in Oregon today.

A 'grande' cup of coffee in 2008 introduced me to road tolling by financial grade GPS (Global Position Satellite) and a bill for road use sent to your mail box monthly. I learned that in 2009 the 75th Oregon Legislature (via HB 2001) told ODOT to produce a pilot project report on road tolling by Nov. 1, 2012.

In response, Birdshill CPO / NA has organized a panel: 'The Proper Use of Road Tolling in Oregon' at Lake Oswego City Hall council chambers on April 18 at 7 p.m. You are invited. Briefing videos at youtube.com/user/bhrdtolls. Reports at sites.google.com/site/bhrdtolls/home/briefrpts.

Send an e-mail with panel questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Charles 'Skip' Ormsby

Chair - Birdshill CPO / NA

Large number of people insulted

To the Editor:

Are you kidding? 'Lake Ego' was unintentional? Either someone there considers the people in this community to be stupid or your editors are incredibly naive.

That headline (which read, 'Will Oswego Lake be occupied?') was a slap in the face by a newspaper that purports to be a part of the same community it serves.

You've insulted a large number of people who've worked very hard to achieve something and never asked to be given anything.

Don't think that the feelings I've expressed here are confined to a few lake dwellers, many are outraged by your thoughtless action and you have damaged your reputation more than you can know.

Mike Richardson

Lake Oswego

'To speak a common language'

To the Editor:

We need public art,

Something solid to the touch

In a soft-sell universe.

The wrought-metal figure

That anchors the plaza

Wants only an open space

To speak the common language

Of our being here.

Spring rain slants through it

And falls like the quality of mercy

Upon rich and poor alike.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

City may listen if voiced loudly

To the Editor:

I am writing this to once more bring attention to the Lake Oswego/Tigard water project. Many West Linn citizens may think this doesn't affect them and will only impact those living in the area of the plant. I would encourage folks to think again.

This project affects all of us who live in West Linn. Highway 43 will be a mess from Mapleton to Lake Oswego for who knows how long. This will include night construction, which creates another impact for those whose homes are on the 43 corridor.

Then there is the issue of the violation of Mary S. Young Park. The proposed conditional permit would mean machines, noise and chaos in what is normally a peaceful and much-used sanctuary.

Consider also that West Linn is taking the brunt of the negative effects with virtually no positive return from the project. Lake Oswego will be minimally affected and Tigard just gets the gravy.

Do we in West Linn really want to subsidize these other entities?

I'm not sure what can be done to stop this, but I would encourage all neighborhood associations to make public comment in opposition to this project. Maybe the West Linn City Council and planning commission will listen if the voice is loud enough.

Scott Gerber

West Linn

John Ludlow is a straight shooter

To the Editor:

From the first time we met John Ludlow, we knew he was a 'straight shooter' and we have appreciated his openness and frankness. We consider John to be 'Mr. Wilsonville' incarnate and we would be proud to have him represent us at a county level. His civic pride and participation leaves no doubt that his heart is truly in public service.

John is a leader: Intelligent, down to earth and a fantastic listener. He is unafraid to tackle controversial issues. He is fiscally conservative and believes big projects should be put to a vote of the people.

It is high time for Clackamas County to have a leader who understands that most of its constituents do not want this county to turn into Multnomah County. If we wanted to live in a place like that we'd move to Portland. We love Clackamas County because it is different. Join us in voting for John Ludlow for Clackamas County chair.

Rob and Michele Dempsey

Wilsonville

Support Ludlow to lead Clackamas County

To the Editor:

I am delighted John Ludlow is running for Clackamas County chair.

This is our chance to elect a man who has demonstrated his commitment to building strong communities through his thousands of volunteer hours. West Linn-Wilsonville School District, American Cancer Society, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Wilsonville Sister City Association, Rotary Club - and many more organizations - have all benefitted from John's leadership and hard work.

I know John best as a real estate broker. I chose him because of all the agents I interviewed, he was the most ethical, honest and straight talking. He helped me sell a home, buy a condo and a house. His professionalism and his high level of customer service is unmatched in my experience.

We can trust him to bring that work ethic and value system to the Clackamas County chair position.

Janet Cobb

Wilsonville




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