LO Lions Club says thanks

I would like to thank the many people and businesses that were so helpful in making the Lake Oswego Lions Club’s 65th Fourth of July pancake breakfast such a success:

Gene Wizer and family; Nick Goldsmith with Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market; Mark Bateman,  Crissy Demuth, Erica Strom, Burgandy Moore, Joey Kraxberger and Michelle Crisman, all managers of  Starbucks Coffee Co. in Lake Oswego and around the area of Clackamas County; the West Linn Lions, Lake Oswego Lions, Beaverton Lions, Portland Downtown Lions;  Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department; Bruce and Joyce Anderson and their granddaughter; Canine Companions for Independence; the Pacers coach and baseball team; and all of the wonderful people who came and had breakfast along with a fun time meeting and greeting old and new friends.

A big thank you!

Sally Ford

President, Lake Oswego Lions Club

We need a different vision!

It is amazing that Patrick Kessi, developer for the Wizer Block, still does not get what most of us in Lake Oswego want in our downtown. A development with 207 apartments and only 13-percent retail in a retail location? This still is not in scale to the two blocks on either side.

We would like to reiterate what Ted Ricks said in his letter to the editor (“Scale back the Wizer Block plans,” July 3): “...scale the plans back 50 percent and prove that there will be no more congestion than there is today.” If that were to happen, it could just be feasible.

We cannot even imagine trying to go downtown for the summer farmers market, shopping and restaurants year-round with the future limited parking as currently proposed.

It would be nice if we could all be on the same page and move forward with this project, with more retail and fewer residential units.

Sherry and Ron Kuntz

Lake Oswego

Don’t cut instructional time

Regarding training time for the Common Core standards (“Teachers want more time to train for Common Core,” July 10), I urge the school board and teachers to come to an agreement without further limiting the number of school days.

Next year, my fourth-grader will have 170 school days, but with early release, only 154 full days of school. The junior-high kids will have about twice as many early release dates. In March, a month with 31 calendar days, elementary students will attend school for 14 days.

For high school students, the school district will not meet the state-mandated 130 minimum instructional hours per class. The mandate will be met in the future, when schools can figure it out. I have an idea: Add days to the school calendar.

This is not a Lake Oswego problem, this is a statewide issue. Although Oregon and Washington both spend about $9,500 per pupil, Washington students clearly get the better deal. Their state requires 180 days of school. In addition, Washington students have an advocacy group that sued the state. The Network for Excellence in Washington Schools won an historic victory when the Washington state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state of Washington is violating its constitutional “paramount duty” to amply fund the education of all K-12 students.

I think the state of Oregon is violating its duty as well, even if our constitution does not identify education as paramount.

Our state ranks 40th in academic achievement, according to Education Week. Washington is ninth. Perhaps the extra weeks Washington students spend in school help.

Nancy Smith

Lake Oswego

A Wiser plan for Block 137, please!

Why does the city of Lake Oswego wish to go $5 million deeper into debt to build a monster-sized project which would destroy downtown’s village character?

How deplorable are the “revised plans,” and let me count the ways:

-207 additional apartments would mean 207 or more extra vehicles. The downtown streets are already overcrowded; additional vehicles would result in a quagmire of congestion. And where is the extra parking for the shoppers and employees?

-The design as planned would cut out the morning and late-afternoon sunlight on the sidewalks to which our residents are accustomed.

-Where would the new tenants walk their dogs — in the forbidden railroad easement or in First Addition?

-Would the owners maintain the property or try to receive the biggest bottom line? How long would the high-end apartments remain that way, or would they do a spiral decline?

Why not build a few condominiums above shops, offices and possibly a small hotel? How about creating a park on a portion of the land?

Our town is labeled a “city of trees.” The August 12 issue of Family Circle magazine reported the 10 Best Towns for Families in the United States, and Lake Oswego was selected as one of the highest-rated towns. If downtown were blighted with a block of high-density development, perhaps our fair city would lose its high-ranking status.

If this huge monster becomes a reality, what is to prevent it from spawning others of like kind? Our attractive city would become a grotesque oyster without a Pearl!

Neighbors, let us wake up to the threatening cloud hanging over us, and work to retain the desirable atmosphere and appeal of a small-town village.

Question: Why is the final hearing in the middle of the summer, when many people are out of town on vacations?

Rosalie Justen

Lake Oswego

Stagnation is not a future

It was Franklin Roosevelt who said that there are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still, and our Lake Oswego community epitomizes that sentiment. As a community, we have to be willing to move forward and at the same time preserve and protect the best of what has so far been achieved.

Lake View Village was the start of something good, and the Wizer Block redevelopment is the continuance. We need a future with a more energetic downtown. We need people who contribute to the economic viability of the downtown core. We need more retail so that shoppers choose to stay here.

Yes, I’ve listened to opponents, but as I have dug deeper into their arguments against the development, I find a lot of misconceptions and misinformation. Let’s not focus on arguments designed to stop the Block 137 project. Let’s work with the developer, as many of us have, to preserve and protect the best of Lake Oswego while at the same time creating a community that will stand the test of time. Stagnation is not a future.

Ralph Tahran

Lake Oswego

How much worse will traffic be?

I pulled over to use the ATM at Wells Fargo on A Avenue on Friday afternoon, July 11, at 5;45 p.m. The traffic lined up to turn south onto State Street came all the way up to Sixth Street, making it tricky to pull out and get back on the road. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be with another 200+ cars trying to make it home to First and A.

We have to stop this madness before it’s too late.

B Brody

Lake Oswego

Enforce a No Pets rule

The big issue with the development of the Wizer Block — and rightfully so — has been the concern about too many animals and animal waste. There is a very simple solution to this problem: No Pets Allowed.

I own a condominium in Hawaii (10 buildings, 440 apartments) where this rule applies. The project is 30 years old and the No Pets rule works. It may reduce slightly the pool of potential buyers/renters, but the payback is well worth the price. It removes one of the major objections with no cost to anyone.

I agree with the other features of the project and it should proceed as presented.

George C. Kent

Lake Oswego

From bottleneck to gridlock?

My husband and I are 36-year residents of lovely Lake Oswego. We are appalled that the city is considering the approval of the massive apartment and retail development on the Wizer site.

That is only one block from the overburdened intersection of Highway 43 and A Avenue. This is already a tight bottleneck for Lake Oswego residents trying to drive to parts of the city, as well as for the users of Highway 43, which is a heavily travelled artery connecting Lake Oswego, Portland, West Linn and beyond.

The proposed 207 apartments could easily add 400 cars to that intersection multiple times per day. That does not even count the additional traffic the businesses would attract. Do we want gridlock to replace the bottleneck?

The proposed construction would deteriorate our quality of life here in Lake Oswego. Plus, parking would be a problem for Lake Oswego residents who wish to access Millennium Plaza Park and nearby shops. It is already difficult to find parking in the area.

This huge increase in traffic and parking is only one objection to the proposed massive development. Aesthetics are another. Our “village feel” would be destroyed by the overshadowing, large complex. And what about the waste from the estimated 100 additional dogs that would need to be walked and toileted? The development only has a proposed tiny green courtyard. Millennium Plaza Park would be very heavily utilized by the many new residents with their dogs.

We believe that there should be development allowed on the Wizer site. We do not believe the current proposal for such a massive development should be allowed. We ask the decision makers to please deny approval for this proposal.

Karen L. Rottink

Bruce A. Rottink

Lake Oswego

Kessi listened carefully to us

When an initial design for revitalizing the Wizer Block was presented to our community and to the Development Review Commission after nearly two years of planning, the developer was asked to go back to the drawing board. Developer Patrick Kessi did that.

Instead of turning away in frustration, Mr. Kessi listened carefully to us and then worked with his team to make his project over. The redesign of Block 137 is a true collaborative effort between the Lake Oswego community, the City and the developer. It is now more than worthy of our support and enthusiasm. This project will now be an architectural landmark in our village for generations to come.

I’m a great believer in not just listening to what people say, but also watching what they do. What Mr. Kessi did was to decide with us that there was a better way. His commitment to a high-quality development responsive to community interests is rare and exceptional. The revitalization of the Wizer Block is the next exciting chapter in the life of downtown Lake Oswego and I am thrilled that I will be part of that future.

Mary Bosch

Lake Oswego

Wizer: The short answer

Too big. Build it, but build it smaller.

Kate Christy

Lake Oswego

You, too, can save a life

I was having lunch recently with a long-time friend at Nicoletta’s Table. We were chatting and eating the lovely food when, without warning and in a split second, I couldn’t breathe.  A piece of bread had lodged in my throat, and nothing helped — not coughing, not drinking water.

Over came our server, Elysse, who calmly said, “Do you need the Heimlich?” I nodded yes. Quickly, she put her arms around my ribs and with one gentle-but-firm upward thrust, out pops the bread and I could breathe again!  It happened in a flash.

I, of course, am grateful to Elysse, and as I was thanking her for saving me she said, “I am so happy I took that first aid class.”

I am, too.  

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue offers first aid classes. Lake Oswego Fire and Police departments also offer ‘Hands-Only’ CPR training classes; the next one is scheduled for 6:30-8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, during the Sounds of Summer concert in Foothills Park.

Beverly Burks

Lake Oswego

Watch for deer crossing

We are so blessed to live in a beautiful community that supports nature and habitat for both people and animals. This is just a friendly reminder that it is “baby deer” season in our community. We have a number of deer families with fawns who cross Child’s Road frequently to get to our pastures, hills and river.

Please keep this is mind as you drive down Child’s and Stafford roads and be cautious toward our deer as well as for the safety of you and your automobile.

Child’s Road also hosts many runners and cyclists and I know they will appreciate your caution as well.

Thank you for your consideration for all members of our community, including our four-legged friends.

Judy Schrader and Carol Yamada

Lake Oswego

Change is always difficult

As a resident of Lake Oswego for over two decades, I have benefited from many changes which were unpopular when they were originally proposed. I can recall the eyesore of ramshackle stores that fronted the entrance to downtown at Hwy. 43 that people were content to let stand, and which is now Lake View Village. A development scorned when it was proposed is now the envy of downtowns across the nation.

The Wizer Block design is consistent with a visionary approach for Lake Oswego. Twenty years from now, people will celebrate this wise development plan and wonder what the fuss was all about.

Change is always difficult, but the thoughtfulness that has gone into this design process has resulted in a project which will ensure the ongoing prosperity of our amazing city.

Andrew Apter

Lake Oswego

Knock down Wizer’s already!

I’m not sure where I can get a “Let’s Knock Down Wizer’s” yard sign, but I hope I can get one soon.

As a young family with two small children, we don’t understand the opposition to the Wizer’s Block development plan. Lake View Village was actually one of the things that first drew us to the area — a revitalized downtown was very attractive to us. Going to the Saturday farmers market and shopping at the bakery and stores there is one of our favorite weekly family rituals, and I would love more local businesses to support.

It’s a myth that high-density housing adds more traffic — people who live in it own fewer cars and drive less. Plus, it helps preserve the beautiful, rural farmland that we all enjoy being surrounded by here in Oregon.

The new plan is a brilliant compromise, especially the fact that it adds more parking and commercial space. Not to mention, the design is gorgeous. Let’s get going on it — let’s get going on attracting more families and businesses to our city, increasing our property values, and further beautifying our downtown for all.

It’s easy for a small, vocal minority to hijack the conversation. If you support the beautification of downtown — and don’t want to be looking at an eyesore of a building and a useless parking lot for the next 40 years — then let your opinion be known.

Tracy Saelinger

Lake Oswego

Donate at Lamb’s to Meals on Wheels

Lamb’s Markets has donated more than $100,000 over the years to local schools when customers bring their recyclable bottles and cans to the store. Recently, Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market in Lake Oswego started a new program to help local charitable organizations called “Take It Or Leave It Thursday.”

When you spend $25 or more at the store on Thursdays, you can choose between taking 10-percent discount or donating the 10 percent to a specific cause, such as Relay for Life, an animal rescue group, a high school drama club or the Lake Oswego Respite Group. On July 24 and Aug. 28, you can donate to the Lake Oswego Meals On Wheels program.

Lake Oswego Meals On Wheels is totally independent of any other Meals On Wheels program and is dependent on individual donations to fund meals for local seniors and disabled individuals who are unable to prepare meals for themselves.

This is a great opportunity to purchase your groceries and help the community. I hope you can be there on July 24 and Aug. 28.

And thanks to Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market for helping the Lake Oswego community.

Lynn Brokaw

Board member

Lake Oswego Meal Network

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