Removing invasives; more money for soccer, musical discord; fighting Alzheimer's; wear a helmet

SUBMITTED PHOTO: PAUL LYONS - Volunteers work to clear an invasive species known as 'Stinky Bob' from Springbrook Park.

Removing invasives

Thanks to a dozen neighbors and five girls who helped remove Herb Robert from Springbrook Park on May 5. The girls were working on a public service project and they worked hard.

Over the years, Herb Robert escaped from ornamental plantings and thrives in forested communities as the dominant ground cover, displacing native and beneficial plants. A major invasion sprung to life in the park and it was removed.

Herb Robert's five-petaled flowers are in all shades of pink and sometimes white. Overall, the plant is covered with short glandular hairs, giving the plant a sticky feel and a distinct odor. This invasive is also known as "Stinky Bob."

Thanks again, neighbors. We can smell the fresh air.

Paul Lyons

Friends of Springbrook Park

More money for soccer

My name is George Kohnstamm; I am a freshman at Lakeridge High School this year.

As many people know, the Lakeridge varsity soccer team won the 6A state championship last year. I was playing on JV, but I am hoping to make the varsity team next year as a sophomore.

I do have a big issue with the funding going into soccer. Lake Oswego always is sending all its funding for sports to football, basketball and baseball, when those teams haven't gotten close to winning a state title for years. It is just my opinion that we should not put all our money into those programs.

I highly encourage anyone who reads this to reason with me so we don't give all our sports money away to a select few programs.

George Kohnstamm

Lake Oswego

Musical discord

From being a fourth-grader in the beginning strings program at Lake Grove Elementary to being a freshmen in the Lake Oswego High School Orchestra, orchestra and music have been a huge part of my life. However, the program has seen a decline in the past year that has had a negative effect on our orchestra family.

In past years, the program has had multiple orchestras with multiple skill levels that support the needs of individuals who strive to better themselves as musicians. But recently, the program has been cut down to one orchestra at Lake Oswego High School, a class with an astounding number of about 60 students.

Although there are benefits to this class of freshmen to seniors, the cons outweigh the pros.We all enjoy being together, but the different skill levels do not create an environment in which we can all learn. Seniors with about three more years of experience than freshmen, for example, generally have higher levels of technique and play at a higher level of difficulty than freshmen. But as one orchestra, we all play the same parts and at the same skill level when performing certain songs.

It may be nice for freshmen, such as myself, to learn harder parts to challenge ourselves, but overall it creates discord between the whole orchestra that really doesn't help anyone. With such a large gap in capabilities between musicians, the orchestra suffers. And with this large number of students trying to find harmony in collaboration, it is even harder.

What our school needs is at least two orchestras at different skill levels to have an overall better sound and a better learning environment. Lakeridge has two orchestras, but Lake Oswego does not. And that needs to change for the betterment of the strings community.

Mitchell Weiss

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: We reached out to LOHS Orchestra Director Darian Douglas for some background information. He said there was only one orchestra this year because of some scheduling limitations, but it will be split into two again next fall. Douglas said the program is not declining; in fact, it's growing, with 75 students already signed up for it next year and a few more that he expects to inquire about joining.

Fighting Alzheimer's

This year, the annual cost of caring for individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementias will reach $259 billion, $175 billion of which comes in direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Yet in 2016, for every $100 the U.S. government spent on Alzheimer's research, $16,000 was spent by Medicare and Medicaid to care for those living with the disease.

Thankfully, Congress is taking action. Just recently, a $400 million increase in Alzheimer's research funding was approved. I am proud that Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Rep. Kurt Schrader and the entire Oregon Congressional delegation voted for this historic increase.

Today, there are more than 5 million Americans living with this disease — the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. Barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure Alzheimer's, the number of Americans with the disease is set to triple over the next 35 years, and the cost of care will increase to $1.1 trillion in 2050.

It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025. Please join me in thanking our senators and representatives for their commitment in the fight to end Alzheimer's.

Sara Kofman

Alzheimer's Association

Oregon Chapter

Wear a helmet

Bicycling weather has finally arrived and it's great to see more people out and about on their bicycles. But I'm mystified that I sometimes see adults and kids out riding together when the kids have helmets on and the adults don't. It seems clear that the message these adults are sending is, "You only need to wear a helmet when you're a kid."

I also all too often see older kids riding without helmets, and I think there's a connection. As soon as kids are old enough to ride without their bare-headed parents, off go the helmets. And why not? That's what they've been implicitly taught — when you're old enough, don't worry about it.

Please, parents, go out and invest just $25 for a basic helmet. Even if you just ride on sidewalks and quiet neighborhood streets, you're setting an example.

Jack Bennett

Lake Oswego

The Review welcomes three categories of opinion from our readers: letters to the editor (300 words or less), political letters to the editor (200 words or less) and Citizen's Views (550 words or less). Submissions must include the writer's name, local address and phone number — the latter two for verification only — and should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Deadline is 3 p.m. on the Monday before publication.

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