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Readers' Letters

‘Let’s continue to provide excellence for our children’

This November, the citizens of Lake Oswego will be voting on Measure 3-434, the school levy. This levy is critical to the vitality of our schools as it provides around 10 percent of the annual operating budget.

With recent closures of (three) elementary schools and the ongoing financial pressures on the district, it is time that we the citizens of Lake Oswego band together in our continuing support of what makes our community unique and desirable — our schools. This is our chance to assure our ongoing commitment to quality education, and to assure that our children are given every opportunity to succeed.

Lake Oswego sets the benchmark for many other school districts as one of the premier districts in Oregon. If we fail as citizens to renew the levy, the district will fall behind our surrounding communities, who continue to invest in their schools. With new schools and facilities being built in the communities all around Lake Oswego, it would be a tragedy if more cuts had to be made.

We implore you to review the ballot measure, understand the facts and engage your neighbors. Let’s continue to provide excellence for our children and community. Vote yes on Measure 3-434.

Dr. Matt and Traci Daskalos

Lake Oswego

‘We urge our city’s leaders to work with Metro’

All religions contain ecological imperatives — the earth has inherent value and humanity is bound collectively to care for and not harm it.

As a faith community on Lake Oswego’s Country Club Road, we take this responsibility seriously. Believing that clean water is the basis for life and that it connects human, plant and animal communities and ecosystems, we already installed a bioswale and rain garden to purify our roof and parking lot runoff before it drains into our community’s Tryon Creek watershed. Additionally, we plan to restore the banks of a stream that runs down our property. We care about our sensitive lands.

A small congregation like ours cannot do these projects alone. We are indebted to the advice, in-kind donations and grants we’ve received from many individuals, organizations and governmental entities, including the city of Lake Oswego and Metro.

We are disappointed that our city’s leaders remain in an adversarial relationship with Metro and feel called to point out that, despite Mayor Studebaker’s recent words in Hello LO, Metro is not a four-letter word. For decades this historic entity has been a major contributor for improving and maintaining the quality of soil, water and air in metropolitan Portland.

We understand that the dispute between the city of Lake Oswego and Metro over the complicated sensitive lands issues has extended over more than one administration. However, we are convinced that a spirit of cooperation now between the two entities would surely serve our community better than becoming embroiled in a lengthy, expensive court battle.

We urge our city’s leaders to work with Metro to maintain the inherent value of our shared piece of earth.

Lake Oswego United Church of Christ Green Team

Ken Gisch, chairman

Carol Bellows

Cindy Ellison

Frank Groznik

Monica Honegger

Barbara Kelley

Sally Weersing, scribe

Jennie Ott, pastor

Lake Oswego

Vote to renew Lake Oswego’s school levy

Seven years ago, we moved to Lake Oswego because of its excellent schools. We chose to pay more for a smaller house in Lake Oswego rather than live in a larger home elsewhere because we wanted our children to have an excellent education. Our two daughters are now both in the Spanish immersion program: one in second grade at Lake Grove and one in kindergarten at River Grove.

We will be voting yes on the school levy this November for two reasons. First, we want our children to continue to receive the best education in order to compete on a global scale when they graduate from high school. Second, we know that the renewal of the levy will keep our schools strong and therefore will sustain our current home values for years to come.

Please join us in voting to renew Lake Oswego’s school levy on Nov. 5.

Brian and Lisa Danna

Lake Oswego

Time is now to keep ‘schools, community strong’

Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. In Lake Oswego we see excellence in our schools because we plan well and support education. This Nov. 5, Lake Oswego residents again have an opportunity to affirm our commitment to our students and community by renewing our school levy.

Like many in this community, my family moved here because we wanted our son to go to the best schools in the state; to grow up in a place where his peers have high expectations of themselves and others. This happens in Lake Oswego because of community, parent, administration and teacher support. A critical part of that support is financial. Renewing the local option school levy will allow our district to continue to provide our students with reasonable class sizes, excellent teachers and a variety of elective options.

As past president of Lake Oswego High School’s Parent Club, and a member of Stand for Children, I’ve seen what other districts statewide have been facing in these challenging economic times and know that we are fortunate. This is a time to take action to keep our schools and community strong. Vote “yes” with me on Nov. 5 to renew our school levy.

Jennifer Curran

Lake Oswego

Financial, personal support key to good education

We support renewal of the Lake Oswego school levy.

Ann served as a teacher at Waluga Junior High School for a number of years, both as a full-time educator and as a substitute teacher. She can testify that the financial and personal support from the community have always been key elements in maintaining the high quality of education throughout the K-12 grades.

Our son and daughter attended Lake Oswego schools before completing their college degrees. They are now leading happy and productive lives with their own families.

It is important to remember the school levy does not increase taxes beyond the current level. Failure to renew the levy would result in the loss of 10 percent of the school district’s 2013-14 budget. That would translate to an approximate loss of $7 million. Our children would be the losers. The teaching staff would be cut, resulting in greatly increased class sizes and a reduction of individualized professional attention.

We encourage every voter to consider carefully the negative impact that the failure to renew the levy would have on our community and our children. Please vote yes on the school levy renewal in November.

Denny and Ann Hageman

Lake Oswego

‘Don’t we have we a long-range city plan?’

The city of Lake Oswego will hold a hearing for surrounding neighborhood associations and property owners on Sept. 17 to present its plan to change the zoning of the West End Building to general commercial “to facilitate the sale of the property.”

This spacious property is very near the center of the city’s population in contrast to the more favored area on the far east side.

The planners would disrupt the office-campus effect of Kruse Way and provide large commercial land to compete with nearby Boones Ferry Road, which has recently seen our treasured lumber/hardware (store) and garden shop succumb to the big box stores. This site can’t hope to compete with the luxurious Bridgeport shopping area across I-5 and the low-cost Walmart being built across I-5 in Tigard.

Will a majority of taxpayers have a say about disposing of this large, modern building and partly undeveloped land at a big loss? Planners should first explain where all the city’s West End employees are to be relocated and where a replacement or spinoff will eventually be built for our overcrowded library. Where are the new police facilities to be located? Is the present city hall to be remodeled and kept or replaced? If so, where?

Don’t we have we a long-range city plan?

William Barbat

Lake Oswego

Pay it forward by voting to renew the school levy

Our children are now almost grown. They attended Our Lady of the Lake elementary school and later graduated from Lake Oswego High School. All five attended public and private colleges in the Northwest and two went on to nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. I have seen firsthand the benefits of our Lake Oswego schools.

Motivated teachers pushed my children to be the best they can be, whether in the classroom, on the playing field or in the theater and the arts. The Saturday Scholars Alliance provided that extra push to help my youngest son prepare for college and consider engineering as a career option.

The renewal of the school levy is a small price to pay for an excellent education that will last a lifetime. Parents whose children have graduated from Lake Oswego schools should pay it forward by voting to renew the school levy.

Rob LeChevallier

Chairman, Keep Lake Oswego Great

Lake Oswego

September

It’s the blowsy end of summer.

Seedy vegetables stalk the garden.

Sunflowers lean on the fence.

Girls have shown all the skin

They’re going to show.

It’s too late to plan on the weather.

Summer sales are stuck with lawn chairs

And awkward folding tables.

We could have made more of it —

The Rhubarb, Garlic and Crawfish Festivals,

Which we say every year

We don’t want to miss.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

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