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Readers' Letters

Unwanted service

For the past couple of weeks, residents in Lake Oswego have been receiving compost pails. I am quite angry that the City Council approved this project without our having the chance to cast our vote. Personally, we use a garbage disposal, thereby not having to worry about rats and other unwelcome pests attracted by compost.

We are to pay a monthly fee for this unnecessary service, but we had no choice in this decision. They can come pick up the compost pails and keep our rates as they are currently.

I have watched and read what this sustainability bunch and “greenies” have been doing to control our lives, take away our private property rights and push their agendas more and more on us. For those who don’t understand what this is all about, I will tell you: It is about controlling your everyday lives. They are way over their boundaries.

I dislike paying a fee for something that is on someone’s agenda in City Hall, passing services we don’t want or need. How presumptuous of all of them. As we have been telling you repeatedly, we do not want to be like Portland. If you like Portland so much, move there. You have already done enough damage to Lake Oswego. By the way, Portland did not increase their rates when their pails were provided.

In response to my complaint to the City Council, Mayor Studebaker replied, “After the pails are paid for, the fees will most likely be reduced.” Can anyone recall a fee increase being lowered once established? He also said, “No one is being forced to compost. It is strictly voluntary.” He did not say that the increased rates were voluntary, only the composting. We have not been told any way to opt out.

I saw nothing planned in Lake Oswego on Memorial Day honoring our men and women who have fought and died for our country. I guess it is more important to have compost pails.

I thought City Hall was to provide necessary services to residents. It is time that we look very carefully at the incumbent candidates in November, when we have the chance to clean out City Hall once again.

Gale Gipson

Lake Oswego

Thank you, Chamber

The Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection would like to say a big thank-you to the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce for recommending that we receive a Clackamas County Tourism Community Partnership Grant for $3,500.

We will use the grant funds to increase awareness of the Rogerson Clematis Garden at Luscher Farm to draw visitors from outside the local community and encourage them to spend time in Lake Oswego and Clackamas County and to support our hotels, restaurants and local merchants and businesses when they visit the garden.

The Rogerson Clematis Garden has been developed over the last 10 years to save one of North America’s most comprehensive collections of the genus Clematis, amassed by a gentleman named Brewster Rogerson. The collection holds over 700 taxa and more than 1,600 plants, displayed in a one-acre botanical garden around the Luscher farmhouse.

Our all-volunteer efforts to replace an overgrown field of thistles have resulted in a botanical and horticultural oasis for all who visit.

Having a garden like this in Lake Oswego improves our quality of life and creates more conditions for business success in our community. The Rogerson Clematis Garden helps ensure that the City of Lake Oswego remains a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Thank you, Chamber.

Nancy Gronowski

president, Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection

What binds us all

Many thanks for your wonderful article featuring United by Music (“United by a desire to challenge assumptions,” June 2). It is simply amazing to read about the good that is being expressed in the world.

It is especially heartening to know that those with challenges are the ones reaching out to share what binds them and all of us: MUSIC!

Glyndon Ruth Kimbrough

Lake Oswego

Job well done

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County would like to thank the Ad Hoc Tree Committee for its year-long dedication to the task of helping implement the City Council’s goal “to identify better ways to meet the intent of the Tree Code while responding to residents’ desire for less-stringent regulation.”

The process has been an excellent example of citizen involvement and open meetings, as well as providing an appreciation of hard-working City staff.

While adhering to the original concept of the importance of trees to our community, the modifications the committee is proposing to the Council, all supported by at least two-thirds of the committee, streamline the process and bring it into modern times with online information and applications.

The proposed amendments also reduce staff time and hence administrative costs.

Judi Umaki

board member, League of Women Voters of Clackamas County

Wonderful coverage

As a retired journalist who did numerous articles and photos for The Review years ago, I enjoyed the article about the group of young musicians and singers with various challenges (“United by a desire to challenge assumptions,” June 2). I found it well written, informative and quite understanding and compassionate about

people with various “disabilities.”

Hats off to writer Andrew Bantly and photographer Vern Uyetake, who brought this story to us. Both words and photos blended with a wonderful coverage of an event that has meaning. It is nice to drop in on an old client newspaper and see the high quality I have always seen.

Keep up the good work, Review staff.

Neil Heilpern

Salem

None of us need pity

It is so refreshing to read an article about the strengths and gifts of people with developmental disabilities (“United by a desire to challenge assumptions,” June 2).  We are indeed more alike than different.  All people need the individuality of each of us celebrated.  None of us need pity.

Writer Andrew Bantly reflected this wonderfully well, as he also gave information about an exciting group I had not heard of before — United by Music North America.  Thank you for an informative and well-written article.

Sandra McClennen

Oberlin, Ohio

Important steps

It is high school graduation week. 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

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

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.