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Readers' Letters

Chaos? Didn’t happen

Months ago in the Hallinan Heights neighborhood, there was a group of folks who tried in vain to convince the City Council and anyone else who might listen that the construction of 15 new homes, planned in two phases, was going to bring hellfire upon us all.

Homes were going to burn to the ground and garbage was going to pile up taller than a fourth grader because the cul-de-sac was not large enough for fire and garbage trucks. Children playing in the street (where they belong, obviously) were to be killed by vast numbers of cars on a European Rally course along Cedar Street.

Livability was surely to be thrown to the pack of coyotes roaming the hills. Search parties were going to be needed to find the lost souls falling into the potholes on Cedar Street. It was going to just be chaos like the world has never seen. Chaos, I tell you!

Right.

As I write this, Cedar Street is being paved with a fresh, smooth layer of asphalt. No homes have burned to the ground. The refuse dude can still easily make his weekly scheduled rounds. No children have been hit, pummeled, squashed, flattened or left for dead. And the livability, well, that has actually increased as new families have moved in, allowing for folks to create new friendships.

True, there is a bit of a racket while the other homes are being finished, but that is a temporary thing. In all, beautiful new homes with families and great neighbors have replaced the shabby shacks that littered the area before. Hellfire and chaos missed the bus, and progress has improved our neighborhood.

One only needs to be an optimist to see it.

Brian Toye

Lake Oswego

A questionable idea

It is a fool’s errand for the city to even consider operating a fiber-optic network.

Most people seem satisfied with their current ISP and services from the providers serving us. We already have 150 mbps available from Comcast/Xfinity, and higher speeds are coming. At the current speeds, we have no trouble operating multiple devices at one time. I can download a 135-megabyte file in 12 seconds. Plenty fast enough for most people.

Is the city not capable of understanding how consumers feel about their current service and what they want in a provider? Do they not understand we left dial-up and DSL long ago?

Why is staff wasting time and energy on something we do not need to invest in? Why didn’t the City Council follow Councilor Jeff Gudman’s lead and stop this now? Staff admitted that this would require more people. But aren’t we committed to a downward glide path on head count?

Does the city have the skills to manage a demanding 24/7 business? Internet service is NOT like the water department. And how will the city compete with the marketing skills and resources of Comcast? Comcast has already announced plans to increase Internet speeds here and has already done so in other places.

Can’t staff read up on what the competition is doing and planning? If they cannot, they are in for a big surprise and the city is in for a big financial hit.

Sounds like another WEB situation to me. We don’t know what we will do with it. We don’t know what citizens think. But we should do it anyway.

What a way to run a railroad, as they say.

Gerry Good

Lake Oswego

Common Sense, data agree

In “On guns and violence,” an Oct. 22 letter from Ridge Taylor, reference is made to a 2007 article by two authors in the Harvard Journal of Public Policy that attempts to dissociate the availability of guns in the U.S. and gun deaths (“murder and suicide”). This article has unfortunately been completely discredited by gun violence in the U.S. since that article was written.

To investigate the validity of the predictions, a study was conducted by two cardiologists in New York City (Drs. Sripal Bangalore and Franz Messerli) and reported by ABC News (abcnews.go com) in a story titled “U.S. Has More Guns — And Gun Deaths — Than Any Other Country, Study Finds.” The article on Sept. 19, 2013, was written by Sidney Lupkin.

This study provides actual data from credible sources. The U.S. has far more guns per person and far more deaths per 100,000 people than the other countries studied, including the United Kingdom. David Hemenway at the Harvard School of Public Health, considered a top gun violence researcher, says, “It shouldn’t really be a surprise to people.”

The data from Australia indicate that voluntary gun take-back programs significantly reduce suicide deaths, with the effect being proportional to the number of guns taken back. Thousands of lives have been saved by this compassionate measure on the part of Australians after the school massacre that prompted strict gun regulation there.

I suggest that The Review do a better job of investigating the validity of inflammatory statements published in the letters to the editor. The Harvard Journal article has been consistently discredited for the better part of a decade.

Craig Stephens

Lake Oswego

Hot topics

Here’s what community members are talking about online. Join the conversation at lakeoswegoreview.com:

• ("Should LO create its own Internet service network?" Oct. 22): LO needs to be very careful! Without sufficient market demand, the citizens will be paying for this through increased taxes for decades to come. And demand is very hard to predict, given the comptitive alternatives and the lack of a major ISP commiting to buy service on this network for resale.

— Jim Smith

(SiFi Networks' Scott) Bradshaw's open comment was that the Sunstone proposal was in direct violation of City Ordinance 2579. I have quickly looked up this ordinance and he is right: All "new" utilities must be underground, so the Sunstone proposal should not even have been on the table. I find this very concerning. He even says SiFi Networks' model always has money in the bank for the city and the Sunstone model will put the city into a financial deficit for the first 22 years if they try to compete with the SiFi model, where the city offers an Internet product at the same retail price. Does this mean city councilors are going to rewrite the rules to push the Sunstone deal through? Is that even legal?

— Laura Bowfoot

• ("Few thorns mar Rose's first year at Marylhurst," Oct. 22): My program was abruptly cancelled at the beginning of the term. Longtime, excellent professors have resigned. There are changes, yes. However, not all of them are positive and are directly affecting the students and staff. I chose to attend Marylhurst two years ago because of the small, close-knit, family-like atmosphere. Slowly, that is going away.

— Melissa Anne Strasbaugh-Herndo

• ("In a time of outspoken hatred, we need the courage to be Americans," Oct. 22): While there are certainly idiots who dislike Obama only because he is black, the vast majority of his detractors simply don't like the direction he is taking the country we love. Like most, I have no problem with a black person (I would support Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice) or with a woman being president. The problem is extreme intolerance from both political spectrums.

— LO Resident

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