A dangerous risk
What's the upside of not protecting your skull? Regarding Jack Bennett's letter to the editor ("Wear a helmet," May 18), I have managed to dent a couple of helmets over my last 50,000 bike miles, and I appreciate their worth.
But think of the value non-helmet-wearers offer to society. I usually thank the helmetless, in passing, for being potential organ donors.
Think about it.
Peter Goodkin, M.D.
I find the recent school bond measure very troubling, partly that it passed — $187 million for 10 schools. That's $18.7 million per school. Are they going to get it in $1 bills and use it to heat the schools? But mostly, I'm troubled by how it was passed.
Have you ever noticed how large school bond measures are not put to the public under standard election cycles, but under special elections in May? That's because they won't pass in a general election. But voter turnout for special elections is always very, very low. They are viewed by most voters as unimportant. The proponents are certain to vote. The result is a very small percentage of registered voters determine huge costs in property taxes. Mine will go up 8-9 percent. Hardly a democratic process. More like a special-interest process.
Secondly, I think the distortion of the financial impact presented in the voters pamphlet is criminal. The $1.25 per $1,000 of valuation may be accurate. But the median Lake Oswego house value of $340,000 is a big fat lie. You can't buy a lot in LO for this sum, let alone a house. The median value is more like $600,000-$700,000. So it won't be $425 per year, but more like twice that amount.
I'm all for what the majority of the people want. But I think it is criminal when issues representing such significant cost to homeowners are deceptively and covertly put in place. Such bond measures should be determined under standard election cycles, period!
Editor's note: Measure 3-515 allocates funds not only to the school district's 10 schools, but also to the pool and other facilities. The bond approved by voters creates a tax rate of $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That means a tax of $425 per year for a home with an assessed value of $340,000, the median in the school district, according to Clackamas County. Assessed value equals about two-thirds of a typical home's real market value.
Think of others
It is wonderful to have our Lake Oswego Farmers Market back for the season!
We come to buy food for our table, or to enjoy treats from the vendors. But there is one person we walk past who is selling Street Roots, a newspaper that tells of those who are not so privileged.
Once in a while, it would give you a warm feeling to think about those others. Buy a copy and maybe make a small difference for someone else.
("The critical challenge of calling out racism," May 18): Thank you so much for this article, Paul T Miller. It seems so many people hear the words "white privilege" or "racism" and jump to defensive mode without ever looking at what these terms are actually talking about. (Of course we are all polite to each other, of course we believe everyone is equal!) It would be awesome if you could write an article each week getting to the bottom of what these words are really saying, from an approach that is accessible to everyone. Then Lake Oswegans can learn what we can do besides being polite and equal to lose our racist reputation.
— Christy Clark
("Voters OK school bond, elect Pocklington," May 18): Thank you, John Wallin and Sarah Howell and Bob Barman and Liz Hartman for all your work on this bond. Also John and Kate Nelson Stirek, Katy Barman, Tamara Green DiVergilio and Audrey Monroe and all the other bond leaders. Bravo!
— Derrith Lambka