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Readers' Letters

The Tualatin Library’s Mastodon

It’s the elephant in the room

We step around like a touchy subject,

Bones reconstructed as a lesson

In the products of evolution.

It looks at ease in this bookish place,

A guide to embedded history.

Children, on their own, recognize

Its connection to their lives.

The reference dictionary says,

“A large prehistoric mammal

Resembling the elephant, but larger.”

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

Bus service is ‘awesome’

Not everyone is having a problem with the First Student bus drivers. Bus 12 at Hallinan Elementary School is the best bus I have had during my bus experience.

During the past two years — fourth and fifth grade — it has been awesome because I have gotten to school before the doors open, which is at 8:55, and I get home at 3:46, briefly after school ends at 3:25, with departure at 3:35.

The bus broke down once when coming from the bus barn and our bus driver, Luke, had to get a new bus and he still got to the school as the first bus!

Not every day kids follow the rules and bus driver Luke enforces the law like a policeman. If kids stand, talk too loud or are bullies, the principal will be notified. There has bound to be a time once or twice when I have been warned for talking too loud.

On a special occasion such as Halloween, Valentines Day, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day and many more, Luke will give out candy.

Substitute bus drivers are sometimes needed, and they will have known the route many days earlier. If Luke is sick, then he would choose someone who has done this route sometime before.

Overall I have an opinion that is positive about First Student bus drivers, and my Route 12 bus driver named Luke is the best.

Nick Simons, age 10

Lake Oswego

Brightening seniors’ lives

I was delighted to read Helen Mahle’s essay, “Applying Art to Everyday Life,” in the Oct. 30 Jottings from Fifth and G column. As a board member and over 20-year volunteer with the Northwest Pilot Project, I am so appreciative of Mrs. Mahle’s generous decision to share her paintings with the NWPP’s Art in the Lobby program, donating her watercolors to NWPP clients. They will brighten their lives.

NWPP depends on the donations and volunteer efforts of many to serve those 55 and over in Portland who are poor and homeless or at high risk of homelessness. We work with clients individually to help them find safe, affordable rental apartments. The housing stock in the metro area is extremely limited for people with no or low incomes.

After finding apartments, NWPP provides people with new bedding, kitchen, cleaning and personal hygiene kits. Those are donated by many individuals and groups. Our clients often comment that the bedding we provide is the first time they have ever had new bedding in their lives.

I want to particularly recognize and thank the Lake Oswego chapter of the National Charity League, an organization of mothers and daughters volunteering together to serve community programs and agencies. NWPP was fortunate to be designated as one of the chapter’s official philanthropy beneficiaries in September 2013.

Since that time, Lake Oswego National Charity League members have worked more than 386 philanthropic hours on behalf of NWPP clients. They have provided 250 client care kits and have brightened seniors’ holidays with stockings and party favors. Many in Lake Oswego are blessed with much and are willing to share their talents and treasures with those who are poor and homeless.

If you would like to learn more about the Northwest Pilot Project and help contribute to the well-being of struggling seniors, contact volunteer coordinator Dena Chilikos at dena@nwpilotproject.org.

Ann Middleton

Lake Oswego

Who benefits from Wizer?

In the November 2014 issue of “Hello L.O.,” Mayor Kent Studebaker attributes his support of the Wizer development and approval by the LO City Council to simply following our laws and not letting subjective feelings about design influence the decision.

Then he adds this statement: “The Redevelopment Agency has committed to pay $749,000 toward construction, and up to $5.2 million toward development fees (most of which will go to the City) in order to have additional public parking together with the pedestrian walkway across the property.”

OK, just who is this “Redevelopment Agency?” The city website says in part: “The Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency (LORA) Board is made up of Members of the Lake Oswego City Council and the City Manager serves as the Director.”

So let’s not try to kid one another. A sidewalk and a few parking spaces? The members of the LO City Council are the responsible individuals who subjectively prioritized and approved this decision to gift $5.2 million to a private developer to build more than 200 apartments. That’s a gift of $26,000 per unit.

In 2012, the population of Lake Oswego was about 37,250, with an average of 2.2 members per household. So $5.2 million comes to $140 per person living in our city. But since 22 percent (8,200) are 18 years old or younger, each adult resident’s gift to the Wizer complex is closer to $180, or about $400 per household. Then, too, about 28.3 percent of Lake Oswego’s residents are renters and do not pay property taxes directly, making the cost to each adult homeowner about $230, or about $500 per household.

In what way does every household in Lake Oswego receive a $500 benefit from the LO City Council’s gift of a sidewalk and a few parking places? Or how much do landlords benefit when they are paying their tenants’ share of taxes to a competing private enterprise?

William Murphey

Lake Oswego

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