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Readers' Letters

Important steps

It is high school graduation season. Here’s a hint from Krusslaw: Once a child turns 18, parents lose the legal ability to make decisions for their child or even to find out basic information.

Learning you cannot see your college student’s grades without his/her permission can be mildly frustrating. But a medical emergency can take this frustration to a completely different level. Parents may have to go to court and ask for permission to obtain information about the student’s medical condition, be able to make decisions about treatment and have access to the student’s financial records and accounts, if there are any.

The following legal documents allow anyone, including a young adult, to name another person to make medical and financial decisions if they are unable to make them for themselves: Power of Attorney, Hipaa and Advance Directive.

Parents may want to set an appointment with their attorney just after their child’s 18th birthday (and before they leave for college) and encourage other parents to do the same for their young adults. Having these documents in place does not mean anyone expects to use them, but everyone will be glad to have them should they be needed.

Michelle-Shari Kruss

Lake Oswego

All Things Considered

Consider what seems real in your life,

Is it memory of a past long gone,

Or events not yet done,

Or a dream floating on air or drifting in wind

And dissolving in dust...?

Ponder on thoughts as beliefs.

Are they rock hard solid and dark

Or deep with Light and Joy,

Fire red heat enflamed,

Or waves of a cool emerald blue?

Consider all things as they are.

And inhale the meaning of Truth,

Ephemeral and illusive they are

Like gossamer blurring the seen.

Silence remains to be heard.

Rosalyn Kliot

Lake Oswego

Put safety first

The derailment in the Columbia River Gorge of a Union Pacific train carrying Bakken crude oil is an unprecedented event that needs to be seen as a wake-up call. We need state and local leadership to resolve the concerns of the community about fire and life safety caused by oil train derailments. This is a public safety problem that cannot be ignored.

When the train derailed and caught fire on Friday, June 3, near Mosier, the surrounding neighborhood, including an elementary school, was evacuated; oil spilled into the Columbia River; and the fire burned into the night.

Questions are as follows:

-- Who pays for this? Oregon taxpayers in rural communities cannot be expected to have the resources to respond to this type of event. Should we revise our state and local statutes to transfer the clean-up cost burden to the corporate level? This is important to resolve immediately.

-- What is the benefit to the communities that are asked to shoulder the risk of any of the life-threatening impacts of exporting oil?

We must remain clear in our resolve to put safety of our citizens first.

Kate Miller

Lake Oswego

A positive perspective

Thank you for the great article about United By Music (“United by a desire to challenge assumptions,” June 2). It’s wonderful to see your paper convey this positive, strength-based perspective. Nicely done!

Cathy Zheutlin

Portland

‘Cool’ to be positive

A few in our city seem bent on publicly and negatively criticizing Mayor Kent Studebaker and his team of councilors. To them I say that it is actually “cool” to be among the many positive Oswegans who feel good about the future direction of Lake Oswego and who laud Studebaker’s steady leadership.

Purpose, integrity and discipline are three assets which define good leaders. In over three years, with purpose and integrity, Mayor Studebaker has shown great fiscal discipline and righted a City budget ship that was in danger of capsizing. Now, with his hand at the helm and with positive energy from most in the community, we can look forward to meeting future challenges. And we can look forward to a vigorous Lake Oswego that sets the standard for a well-run ship.

Criticism and the sky-is-falling approach from candidates who want the job of mayor will not take us forward. Negative energy is not part of Oswego’s DNA. It’s “cool” to be positive and to meet challenges head on. It’s “cool” to offer solutions rather than criticism. It’s “cool” to live in Lake Oswego with a great team of elected officials and Studebaker’s hand at the helm.

Victor Nelson

Lake Oswego

Remember to remember

On May 30, my husband and I drove through Lake Oswego and West Linn to I-205 and then to Willamette National Cemetery, where young Boy Scouts had planted flags on all the gravesites in respectful remembrance of the fallen. It was a most beautiful, though solemn, sight.  Even late on that third day of the long weekend, a stream of cars drove through the cemetery.

On the drive through Lake Oswego, though, I only counted three flags displayed between Boones Ferry Road and State Street, plus two permanent ones at the Firestone tire store.  On South State Street, there were only two permanently displayed flags on the doorstep of an apartment. West Linn displayed one, plus a permanent one on the fire station.

This is the exact same deplorable count as last year — a repeated count to be even more ashamed of. As Gale Gipson observed in her letter to the editor (“Unwanted service,” June 9), even our City Hall “forgot” to honor the fallen, be grateful and respectful.

Does Lake Oswego not have any resident veterans, veteran’s families or affiliated groups? Are we this disconnected from the general populace?  Are these special Memorial Days now just “paid holidays” for fun and excess? Is everyone so caught up in enjoying the freedoms of our hard-fought democracy that they can’t take time to show the respect due to those who won this for us?

This is no way to honor those who have made lifelong sacrifices, or those who have  given their lives that we may live this  peaceful life.

I suggest we all, each one of us as individuals, make a conscious, visible and immediate effort to remedy this crass oversight going forward. The Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day are not just annual “holidays.” Don’t assume someone else will be grateful for you. Buy a flag!  Wave one! Hang one! Hang it high! Wear red, white and blue! Be respectful! Be grateful!  Endorse patriotism! VOTE!

The only kind of American to be is one who is proud to be an American. Please mark your calendars, and remember to remember.

Margaret Harkson

Lake Oswego

Protect our heritage

Historic preservation may not readily tug at one’s heartstrings in the way that worthy causes championing children, puppies and kittens do, but reflect for a moment about why one visits foreign countries? Is it to visit these vulnerable populations?

Our presumption is that one strong motivation is to experience their architecture — their manifest record of human thought and existence — as evidenced by the built structures which housed them and which have survived the ravages of time, greed, wars and other powerfully destructive forces.

Some of these buildings have been transformed into hotels, restaurants or other uses, but they continue to serve the place that created them even after the forces that shaped their original creation have changed or no longer exist. Creative reuse not only saves buildings, it’s a measure of success proven to be a win-win for communities on multiple levels.

The obvious question is: Why is Lake Oswego, not unlike other cities, so quick to voluntarily sacrifice our built heritage to the short-term avarice of those who will not even be remembered in our community, except perhaps for the notorious, wanton destruction of our local landmarks and our neighborhood character? Should we allow our local culture to be destroyed with an ISIS-like fervor, which celebrates bulldozing heritage?

Historic buildings are the precious gifts our city has the unique opportunity to give to the future, they are our legacy. We need to protect these fragile, threatened resources for Lake Oswego residents now and those who come after us and for those who come after them.

Please join the Lake Oswego Preservation Society’s efforts to save the best of our built heritage for the sake of our future. As John Steinbeck wrote, “How will we know it’s us without our past?”

Visit www.lakeoswegopreservationsociety.org for membership and additional information.

Marylou Colver

Lake Oswego

Hot Topics

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

(“Keeping Lake Oswego’s playgrounds safe,” June 9): This article doesn’t explicitly state that these inspections are for City-owned playgrounds only and not LOSD playgrounds. Some readers might think that the references to Westridge are to the large structures by the school building. That is incorrect; a few small structures in the southwest corner of the City-owned park adjacent to the school are under Parks jurisdiction. The distinction is important, as the school district under the former superintendent neglected playgrounds and left each PTA/PTSO to self-fund maintenance and improvements. Thus there is a wide variation in the safety of LOSD playgrounds, depending on the wealth and population size of contributing families.

— Karen Delaney

(“Oswego Village to Starbucks: No Parking,” June 9): This situation is silly. Admittedly, the Lake Grove Shopping Center has a parking problem, but I like the way they’ve (gently) divided up the parking with different-color striping for Zupan’s, signs for Rite Aid and monitors during heavy parking times in order to balance the needs of all tenants. The approach Oswego Village owners are using is heavy-handed and unnecessary, and they’re ignoring the value of the traffic Starbucks customers bring to their center. It sounds like some corporate decision-making from thousands of miles distant.

— Rick Parfrey

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.