Musings about the federal budget

It is a new session at the Capitol in Washington and our legislative leaders are preparing to release their new budget plans. In the Chicken Little atmosphere everyone is focused on the minutia of their local agendas. The hot button topics of taxes and spending cuts, sequester is a bitter pill that we have to swallow.

Where is their vision? If you can save money at the federal level you won’t have to raise taxes.

Republicans in Congress in the defense budget are arguing for the purchase of tanks instead of drones. OMG, go ahead and compare budgets. How much could we save by buying drones instead of tanks? We can use drones to guard all four borders using thermal imaging — that’s billions.

To aid our first responders on Mount Hood and search teams guiding our firefighters lives — priceless.

To aid in search and rescue in natural catastrophic events like Sandy, tornadoes and epic snowfalls — lives — trillions.

To track criminals freeing first and minor offenders saving $X a day for incarceration = trillions.

To track immigration offenders instead of deportation and re-entry = trillions.

To find our beloved pets using chips, etc., etc., a la infinite.

Privacy. And you are concerned about your privacy. There is no fly on the wall. (The CIA doesn’t need that.) There is no one peeking in your window. Drones are high overhead where you can’t see them. Drones are brilliant machine technology that has changed since “Argo” dramatically. How long ago was that awesome escapade?

There is only the same protection that allows President Obama to speak to crowds of 200,000 safely. Tanks are dinosaurs rusting in the desert. Don’t let Congress buy tanks instead of drones!

Marlene Liskay

Lake Oswego

Thanks to the public works department

We would like to express our gratitude to the city of Lake Owsego’s Public Water Works Department. Wayne Benson, the superintendent — it was a true pleasure to work with him and his crew during our sewer problem.

We are in the process of selling our home when it was found out that we had a root clog in the old “orange berg’s” 1950s piping. We were told that we needed to replace it.

We live on Lee Street, but the old pipe went down to Ash Street.

Wayne and his crew installed piping and a manhole from across Lee Street to our side of Lee Street. The crew, consisting of James Cox, Kelly Trussell, Brandon Smith and Scott Cantrell, worked nonstop busting boulders and installing new sewer pipe to our side. They also cleaned up the area when done.

They are such a dedicated team of hard workers who are very professional and made this difficult time for us much easier to deal with.

We, as 14-year residents, are very lucky to live in the city of Lake Oswego. We will miss our wonderful city.

Rod and Cheri Olson

Lake Oswego

What’s in a name ... plenty!

I grew up in Lake Oswego. I went through the Lake Oswego school system, as did my nephew and nieces.

It is where my father, Dale Reynolds, worked as a teacher, principal and coach as well as being the president of Oregon’s Secondary Schools Principals Association. I recently returned to Lake Oswego and drove by the school my dad had organized from the ground up, actively approving the building plans to establishing a professional teaching tradition in order to equip thousands of students with tools for life. I directly witnessed all the time and effort he put into this undertaking. His school was Waluga Junior High School. I was actually in the first complete class of Warriors, who came out of the school. My father, now nearly 92, is justly proud of what he built and established for generations of children to attend.

You can imagine my surprise when I drove by the school building and saw that the district had gone through the needless expense of renaming the facility with a moniker (Lakeridge Junior High School) that holds no history for the location. This was done primarily by the same group of administrators that rebuilt Lake Oswego High School, resulting in countless, unrecovered expenses due to design and material flaws. It’s the very same district that had to rebuild Lakeridge, because the original building was done “on-the-cheap” and they got just what they paid for.

Perhaps it is time that the school district and board re-establish some rather fundamental priorities. Educate children in well-planned and executed facilities. Honor the traditions of excellence, which have existed in the Lake Oswego school system, for the citizens of tomorrow.

Joel Reynolds

New Canaan, Conn.

(Editor’s note: Nancy Duin, director of communications for the Lake Oswego School District, responds:

“The request to change the name of Waluga Junior High School to Lakeridge Junior High School was initiated by the school’s parents and students and was brought to the school board following a survey of south-side school communities. The change was requested so that the junior high could more closely identify with the high school its students will attend.”)

Robertson’s leadership would benefit LOSD

In these challenging economic and social times, it is very important to choose our representatives on the local level as carefully as we do nationally. No position is this more true than the LOSD Board.

In this regard, Kevin Robertson would be a leadership windfall for LOSD. With Kevin the district would receive a person of integrity, dedication and one who possesses the financial prowess to keep the district moving forward despite the challenges we face. Kevin’s background in finance, budgeting, strategic planning and human resources will serve our community well in making the difficult decisions that ensure continued educational excellence in our district.

Throughout Kevin’s extensive community involvement he has proven to be an innovative thinker — being the pioneer of the LOSD Endowment Fund — and an effective leader holding key positions within the LOSD Foundation — driving increased donation revenues. Both of these attributes are vital in a school board member.

Our family has known Kevin since prior to 2003 and throughout he has shown unbiased support for LOSD through time, education levels and school boundaries.

It is our pleasure to support Kevin Robertson in Position 2 for the LOSD Board.

Dan and Kristi Rice

Lake Oswego

Support Robertson for school board

We are happy to endorse Kevin Robertson for LOSD School Board Position 2.

Kevin has shown his commitment to the district through tireless service on the foundation board and many other volunteer activities in support of our schools. Kevin has a solid financial background, which is needed more than ever as we all work to achieve an excellence in education in light of ever shrinking public funding.

As a father of two, Kevin has experienced our district from a parent’s perspective at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Finally, it only takes a few minutes with Kevin to see how his contagious enthusiasm for our schools and our kids will make him an outstanding member of our school board.

Please join us in electing Kevin Robertson for LOSD School Board.

Ward and Polly Hubbell

Lake Oswego

Information on tennis center is challenged

I am writing to correct the information presented last week by Tom Maginnis in his citizen’s view.

I am not sure where he gets his information — his statement that “millions of taxpayers’ money” will be spent on a new tennis center is totally wrong. The funding strategy and financial pro-forma presented to the city council on Oct. 2, 2012, is a combination of:

  • $500,000 tennis reserve fund — fund balance currently is (more than) $696,000
  • $1 million for the sale of the existing tennis center property adjacent to Springbrook Park
  • $1 million in parks and rec system development charges
  • $2.64 million revenue bond — paid by the fees paid by the people using the facility (and) not a cent of taxpayer money. In fact, the city will benefit from bringing the existing tennis center property back into the tax base.
  • Construction costs are low. Bond rates are low. This is a fiscally prudent decision.

    Marianne Conroy

    Lake Oswego

    Cast your vote for Sarah Howell

    This May you have an opportunity to impact the future of our community by electing Sarah Howell to the Lake Oswego School Board. 

    Sarah Howell stands out as a top candidate. Sarah has been tirelessly attending school board meetings for the past five years while educating herself on the latest trends in public school education and becoming familiar with our own district.  Sarah has done much of this before her own children started school. Sarah is passionate about this community and the education of our children.

    Sarah Howell has done her homework. She is a hard worker and she is knowledgeable. She is not just about immersion. Sarah is about our future.

    Please join me in voting for Sarah Howell.

    Trina Soder

    Lake Oswego

    Cast your vote for Karen Delaney

    I am thrilled to learn that Karen Delaney is running for the school board for a variety of reasons.

    Not sure if you have ever had the opportunity to watch her in action; the tenacity in which she approaches things is unparalleled. She is prepared, understands the issues and is willing to ask the tough questions that need to be asked.

    With children in various schools here in Lake Oswego, she has a vested interest in what happens to our schools. We need Karen on our school board to help make better decisions balancing what is fiscally responsible and creating an environment best for helping our children succeed.

    Heidi Littler

    Lake Oswego

    Honored to support Robertson

    As a parent of three students in LOSD, I feel honored to be supporting Kevin Robertson for the school board. I remember meeting Kevin four years ago as a grade school parent.

    We were new to LO. I quickly realized how involved and passionate Kevin was about making a difference in schools and our community.

    Kevin continues to take on endless leadership roles in our community. He is an individual who is committed to make a difference, has the talent, understanding of finance/budget necessary to make a change, and possesses a unique ability to inspire those around him. He is driven by his love and respect for Lake Oswego, the amazing community that we have been blessed with.

    I see Kevin as the messenger for something serious and important for our school district. This is reflected in his constant involvement in schools, LOSD Foundation and this community. It is important more than ever we elect a school board member like Kevin. We know he will continue to do exactly what needs to be done, should be done, can be done for LOSD school district. Vote on May 21 for Kevin Robertson for Position 2.

    Jennifer and Greg Cheetham

    Lake Oswego

    ‘An angel in the drive-thru’

    Today there was an angel in the drive-thru at Starbucks.

    I had been digging through my purse for loose change for a coffee, knowing my budget should not allow for a coffee. Tired and sick on my way to a long workday, it sounded intriguing.

    Then when I got to the window, the barista said, “the driver in front of you just paid for your coffee!”

    A white SUV drove off before I could say “thank you.”

    Hope he is reading this. ... You are an angel.

    Collette Vale

    Lake Grove

    Gratitude expressed for LO Reads sponsors

    The Lake Oswego Reads program for 2013, activities based around the book, “Running the Rift,” was a resounding success this year, pulling in record-breaking attendance of 12,114 participants. I’m sure any of you that keep up with library and community news are aware of all that has gone into the LO Reads events.

    However, I’m not as sure that you are aware that this and many other library-based programs are not funded by the city, but by the Friends of the Library and many other community organizations. I’d like to express my gratitude as a citizen of Lake Oswego and as a Library Advisory Board member to the corporate and community sponsors, and most especially to the Friends of the Library, for making these exceptional events possible for our residents.

    We’d be a very different type of town without their support of these free community-building gatherings.

    Maria Meneghin

    Lake Oswego

    Delaney will get our vote

    We support Karen Delaney for Lake Oswego School Board.

    Karen is an intelligent and educated parent of three children in the LOSD. We are confident that she will make data-driven decisions in the pursuit of the very best educational system for the children in the LOSD.

    We are particularly impressed with her ideas to improve the offerings for the youngest students, as well as for students about to apply to colleges. Additionally, we welcome her pledge to increase the transparency of the school board’s decision-making process.

    Please join us in supporting her in the May election.

    Nicole and Andrew Seawright

    Lake Oswego

    Say no to legalizing marijuana

    As a mother, educator and counselor I care deeply about our children.

    As an individual I am personally committed to doing everything possible to keep young people safe and to support and encourage them to find their own power. That is why I am totally perplexed and terrified by watching a movement sweep across Oregon to legalize marijuana.

    Research shows that marijuana is indeed a gateway drug, is a substance that stunts emotional growth and alters brain chemistry. Research within the past 12 months indicates that an individual’s IQ can be permanently lowered by 10 points if one indulges in this habit during his or her teenage years.

    Unfortunately, intelligence, self motivation, optimism and a sense of responsibility frequently fade away as one experiments with this substance. Hopefully, Oregonians will take a firm stand in the fight against legalizing marijuana. We must be vigilant in protecting our children.

    Patti Moir

    Lake Oswego

    From Muslims to Catholics: Congratulations

    As a member of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community, I would like to sincerely congratulate the new head of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis I, on his recent election.

    This is not a sentiment unique to me or even new to Islam. In fact, Prophet Muhammad taught that Islam respects all faiths, and particularly respects those who dedicate themselves in God’s service. He also encouraged the freedom of adherents of other faiths to enter and even pray in places of worship erected by Muslims, to emphasize that we all worship the same God.

    It is in this spirit that we regularly host Catholic students in our Portland Mosque to engage them in dialogue. It is our hope that we can strengthen the Catholic and Muslim ties in Portland. With Pope Francis’ election, we hope to increase our efforts worldwide.

    Khalid Luqman

    Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya Muslims Community,

    Portland Chapter Portland

    by: SUBMITTED PHOTO -  Uplands neighbors Melissa Cadish and Laura Evans plant native trees in Springbrook Park last Saturday as part of a clean-up and planting effort by park supporters.

    Thanks to supporters of Springbrook Park

    A special thanks to our neighbors who worked in Springbrook Park this past Saturday. Eight volunteers planted 250 native trees and other plants in just two hours. These plantings help restore areas of the park where invasive species, especially English ivy, have been removed.

    In addition, we donated 150 native plants to Greg Mylet, a science teacher at Lake Oswego Junior High School. Greg has an outdoor classroom for learning about nature and conservation of our natural resources. In early April, Lake Oswego High School track team members will be finishing some park trails with ¼-inch gravel where there is a solid base of ¾-inch gravel. This follows the recommendations of Oregon State Parks for trail maintenance.

    Thanks again, and join us at future work day events. Check out (our website at)

    Doug McKean

    Board president, Friends of Springbrook Park

    Lake Oswego

    Foundation needs your support right now

    This year I am the Lake Grove Elementary School co-captain for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation’s annual campaign. Over the last two weeks, parent volunteers from every school have come together to kick off the roundation phone-a-thon and begin the task of reaching out to every family in the district.

    We need, however, broader support to succeed. I’d like to challenge every member of our Lake Oswego community to participate and make a donation to the LOSD Foundation. Funds raised are used to support teacher salaries across the district.

    State funding for our schools is inadequate. The LOSD Foundation allows our community to bridge the gap between the funding provided by the state of Oregon and the funding required to deliver a top-notch education to our students. This year the foundation must raise $2 million in order for our district to avoid reductions in teaching staff and increases to class sizes.

    Our schools are a cornerstone of our community and consistently receive the state’s highest rating. It’s no surprise that families choose to come to Lake Oswego for the schools and choose to stay long after because of our strong and supportive community. I encourage everyone who calls Lake Oswego home to answer the call and support the LOSD Foundation.

    As a real estate professional I know that our great schools maintain higher property values. Donate now by contributing at or by calling 503-534-2106.

    Lara James

    Lake Grove

    Howell has hands-on experience

    I wholeheartedly endorse Sarah Howell for Position No. 2 on the Lake Oswego School Board.

    Sarah has hands-on experience, regularly attending school board meetings, visiting other successful school districts, lobbying in Salem, meeting with students and educators at our schools and at universities. At this pivotal time, the position should be filled by someone with Sarah’s depth of understanding about the future of education in this district. That only comes with personally seeking answers.

    Like her opponent, Sarah’s years on the LOSD Foundation board attest to her commitment toward our financial stability as a continual goal, both long term and short term. But Sarah takes a critical step beyond that by scrutinizing how our education dollars are spent in a way that addresses the realities of 2013. A top school district does not remain at the top without looking ahead.

    Please join me in supporting Sarah Howell’s informed vision for LOSD.

    Paul Kachel

    Lake Oswego

    Delaney deserves your support for school board

    The choice for Lake Oswego School Board Position No. 3 could not be more clear. We must elect Karen Delaney.

    During the last four years John Wendland has rubber stamped every poor decision the district has made. There has been no critical thinking to the outcomes of these poor decisions. Unfortunately, the elementary school children and parents have borne the brunt of Mr. Wendland’s (decisions) for the past four years.

    Karen Delaney is a hard working, dedicated and intelligent leader who will bring a much needed critical eye to the decisions facing our children. This is one election we can’t simply close our eyes and hope for the best.

    Mr. Wendland has not earned the right to be re-elected. Please join me in proudly supporting Karen Delaney.

    Jeff Ahrend

    Lake Oswego

    Delaney right choice for school board

    I support Karen Delaney for LOSD school board because she has proven to be on the right side of all the tough decisions, unlike her opponent.

    When Scenario B was being analyzed, Karen was adamant the data being used to analyze enrollment was incorrect and would lead to closing the wrong schools, predicting capacity issues and overstated financial benefit. John Wendland voted to close schools with the wrong information and then added portables to deal with capacity issues. He called these errors in enrollment and financial data “glitches.”

    Karen supports a strong relationship between city and district, but recognizes the need for separation of government entities. As a board member, John Wendland supported Foothills expansion, even when it included the streetcar. He then accepted $2 million from the city to save teacher jobs and keep schools open before voting to close schools and allow district expenditures to increase, then took credit for strategically banking city money.

    Karen brings needed stewardship for taxpayers and donors. Responsible planning and management of scarce resources is essential as district expenses under the current regime continue to grow at twice the rate of revenues.

    We need change. Karen Delaney is the right choice.

    Melanie Kelly

    Lake Oswego