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Readers' letters


In the wake of Fourth of July we turn

Back to the course it set us on.

Can we build a country on words

We still dispute the meaning of

But go to war to defend,


On the money we spend?

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

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

(“The Testament of Trees,” June 30): Most citizens are good stewards and are responsible. To place onerous restrictions and controls on all property owners is an abuse of power. The Tree Code and Sensitive Lands issues are both examples of planned diminution of the rights of property owners to maintain control over their own domain.

Constantly citing the value of codes and ordinances to advance the common good has become hackneyed when those codes and ordinances surpass what is necessary. In addition, time has shown that it has become expensive, both in terms of time and money, to adhere to controls that are force-fed to all of us.

The City Council has been asked repeatedly to ease up and make life easier for LO residents. Instead, we are subjected to more committees

who ignore the majority to enforce their own agendas.

— Gary Gipson

I am constantly struck by people who deny a property owner’s ownership of his/her own trees. According to Mike Buck, trees are public “infrastructure,” and owners are “managers” of these “assets.”

Most cities use the term “urban forest” to refer to trees residing on public property, including the right-of-way along city roads. Lake Oswego currently claims control over all private trees within its jurisdiction. “Allowing” a few trees per year to be cut is an affront to our rights as property — and tree — owners, and our sense of responsibility as citizens and neighbors. Property owners like trees and want to preserve as many as they feel they can. An abundance of trees is one of the charms and blessings of living in Lake Oswego. We don’t need the heavy hand of government telling us how to behave responsibly — or reducing our ownership role to that of mid-level managers.

Each year, 98 percent of tree-removal permits are approved. This indicates that perhaps having no code would not be much different than doing what we do now, except that it will result in much less government oversight, lower costs of code administration, less or no spying on neighbors for violations and an improved trust relationship between citizens and City Hall.

— Dianne Cassidy

(“City Council considers creating Youth Leadership Council,” June 30): I think engaging our youth in city government is a great idea. This is way more than volunteer hours — it is about encouraging the leaders of tomorrow and connecting them with their city.

— Don Iska

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). All submissions must include the writer’s name, local address and telephone number — the latter two for verification purposes only — and should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline is 3 p.m. on the Monday before publication.