Editor's note: An editing error changed the meaning of a headline in a Jan. 11 letter to the editor from Jan Budden. The headline should have said: 'City needs to be more heterogeneous.'

The Review regrets the error.


Keep the library where it is now

To the Editor:

I was appalled that Cynthia Blanchard (in her letter to the editor on Jan. 11) would prefer the existing library site be turned into more new McMansions

I live just two blocks from the library and am completely baffled by a person so short-sighted that she would oppose a treasure like the Lake Oswego Library just because it's attractive to users. It's perfect just where it is, and a new library isn't needed - simply expand it and it'll serve the community effectively for many years to come, for far cheaper than the Safeco boondoggle.

Robert Hansen

Lake Oswego

Sewage problem is the first priority

To the Editor:

Last winter, as I stood in the center of the laundry room at my son's home, amid the stinking, gushing raw sewage that was backing up through the floor drain, it became apparent: I am not winning the battle.

I had a flash thought - wouldn't it be great if our mayor and her board members forget all this foolish business of trying to accumulate our tax money to fix this entire stinking sewage project and instead look for a nice building like the clean-smelling Safeco property. That would provide me with a retreat from this terrible threat. It occurred to me the sewage entering the laundry room and into the cedar closet up through the drain was entering the room and not exiting from the room!

All bad things must have something good, so I guess the good was sewage must have been exiting someone else's toilet at the top of the hill.

Oh, well, I am 84 and do not need to worry about paying for much more of this foolishness anyway.

It is nice to recall my active days of flying, though, when I was at the top of the hill.

Herb Lee

Lake Oswego

Student criticizes school book choice, contents

To the Editor:

Being a teenager today it is not always easy to make good choices. I am often faced with things I don't like. It is hard when it seems almost everyone around you is doing and saying the things you are trying not to.

I am not perfect but I try my best to make good choices. I wear headphones on the bus so I don't hear bad words. I will go the other way in the hall to avoid things and/or people that I don't want to hear or see. I change the channel if I don't like what I see on TV. I try to make good friends.

I am doing the best I can. I try my hardest to do what is right. I count on my parents and teachers to help me make good choices. Recently, in my eighth grade Language Arts class, I was given an assignment to read a book from a list my teacher gave me. I thought the book I chose from the list was okay because my teacher put it there. I was wrong the book was really bad. It said things that I am never allowed to say in school or at home. In total there were 50+ cuss words and many other crude sayings. It took me weeks to get some of the thoughts out of my head. I am confused why this book was on the reading list anyway.

I hope that any teachers that might read this think about the projects they are giving their students. I don't like to admit it much but I do look up to my teachers and trust their advice. I wish the book never would have been on the list and I never would have read it.

Greg Wall

Lake Oswego Junior High

Editor's note: Lake Oswego Junior High School Principal Ann Gerson responds:

'We certainly understand that it is not easy being a teenager today. The book to which Greg is referring is a piece of literature about group behavior and what can happen when a group of people follow a charismatic leader - in this case a high school student. Knowing that family values differ, and that our students have a range of maturity and ability levels, our 8th grade students were given 8 books from which to choose. The books were previewed to the students and a letter sent home to parents letting them know that some of the books had explicit language in the dialogue. Students were urged to make the choice of a book that would be comfortable for them and their families, and teachers highly encouraged students to discuss their book options with their parents before making a final selection. It is not true that Greg did not know that there would be language in the book that is offensive to him. He actually chose this book as a second book to read (not a requirement of the class) after other students had read and reported on it.

'Students read many books that describe behavior we do not want them to engage in, both in and outside of class. An important aspect of literature for adolescents is allowing them to read about situations that they will be confronted with in the future, so they can think about and discuss what they would do before faced with the situation. They read books where people speak using poor grammar - we do not want or expect them to imitate that grammar. They read books about racism and slavery - we do not condone either practice.

'In a constructive educational setting, students are often empowered to be better citizens by questioning their own beliefs and by discussing the choices they make on a daily basis with their peers. In fact, an overwhelming majority of students report that these book options are the most poignant and relevant books they read all year, thus prompting a high level of student engagement, learning, and future application of acquired skills.'

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