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In The Review's mailbox this week: Allow short-term rentals in LO; Common-sense approach; Positive experience; Stay philanthropic; Walk in the park; Support Savas; Power of love; Moving county forward; Wrong style; Dig safely

SUBMITTED PHOTO: PAUL LYONS - Discovery Buckets in hand, youngsters learn about how trees grow during a Preschool Nature Walk last week in Springbrook Park.

Walk in the park

About 30 preschoolers and their parents experienced nature in Springbrook Park on April 6 and two dozen more explored the park on April 13. Thanks to leaders Anne Lider, Laura Tanz, Sue Thomas and Megan Big John for having them find what's in the ground — like worms, slugs, moss and more — and learn about how trees grow. Some of the children were from Oswego Playschool and Community Arts Preschool; all were local residents.

Nature education is so important for our children.

Paul Lyons

Friends of Springbrook Park

Allow short-term rentals in LO

I am an RN and area clinical operations manager for a national corporate home health company. I am currently working in Lake Oswego from March to May. You have a wonderful community, and my spouse and I are enjoying our visit. I am writing to encourage the City to change its existing restriction on short-term rentals (STRs).

During my work here, my husband and I are fortunate to be staying in a delightful AirBnB in a quiet Lake Oswego neighborhood. The "in-law apartment" meets our needs perfectly with a private entrance, king-size bed, full kitchen and appliances, full-size washer and dryer, spacious living room and a beautiful yard. It's homey, comfortable and relaxing.

However, we wouldn't have been able to stay here had my assignment been for less than a month, which is the more typical length of stay for me and my colleagues who travel here for short-term assignments. In that case, our alternative is a hotel, which is neither desirable nor adequate when we are here for more than a few days.

I imagine a majority of visitors to Lake Oswego, who would benefit from a change in the STR ordinance, are here to visit family and friends. However, there are also professionals, such as me, who work in town for several weeks at a time and need a quiet, homelike environment while they are here. We don't want to be stuck in a hotel, particularly when it's near the freeway. I know we use STRs when we visit family in Tennessee and spend Thanksgiving in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, which is both convenient for all our family members and provides the comfort of feeling at home.

I would urge Lake Oswego to allow STRs for less than 30 days. I believe it would be good for your community and local businesses, and I know it would be welcomed by any number of traveling professionals such as me.

Teresa Bryan

Payson, Arizona

Common-sense approach

I have been a Paul Savas supporter since I first met him over 20 years ago. At that time, he was an elected official of the Oak Lodge Water District and then the Oak Lodge Sanitary District. I have watched him mature over those 20 years, but one thing has never changed — his common-sense approach to any issue he takes on.

The attention to detail that made Paul successful in his automotive business is evident in his approach to issues that daily face the County Commission position he now holds. That is the kind of person I want to see continue in that position. Paul not only thoroughly does his homework on every issue he faces, he also does it with honesty and integrity.

I sit in on most County Commission policy sessions and closely observe the five commissioners at work. I see and hear the variety of issues they face daily and observe the kind of restraints they are under in their attempts to accomplish even minor changes to the bureaucratic system they must operate within. Paul, with his common-sense approach to issues, works well with others to come up with innovative solutions to most of their major roadblocks to success.

He knows and understands the restraints that daily face an elected official. He regularly questions the soundness of issues that come before the commissioners and has managed to work to accomplish solutions to the multitude of societal problems the commissioners face daily. He is not a one-issue person, but rather approaches all problems with equal fervor.

I will be voting for Paul Savas for Clackamas County commissioner, and I urge you to join me.

Thelma Haggenmiller

Oak Grove

Positive experience

In November 2016 and February 2017, I came to Lake Oswego from Norway to receive treatment for a concussion at Northwestern Functional Neurology with Dr. Glen Zielinski. I stayed with Ryan Avery in Lake Oswego during both visits. This happened through Airbnb.

I was very well taken care of. Ryan offered information about Lake Oswego and even let me use his car to get groceries and to go to the gym. A very pleasant and helpful host who contributed to making my stay in Lake Oswego a very positive experience.

Helge Syversen

Sigdal, Norway

Stay philanthropic

The 2017 tax filing season is wrapping up, leaving many philanthropic-minded people looking ahead to next year and figuring out what changes the 2017 federal tax reform will make toward their donations.

There are misconceptions that donations don't count anymore, or that making a donation could hurt you financially. For the households that previously itemized their deductions, using a donor-advised fund can help families continue their charitable giving on the schedule they prefer.

Donors can establish a donor-advised fund with a large, one-time donation that would meet the minimum $12,000 deduction needed for individuals or $24,000 for couples to qualify for itemization on 2018 taxes. Once the fund is established, it can then distribute the funds over several years' time. This scenario provides a tax deduction for the individual/family, but there is also a potential additional benefit for the charities. Money in a donor-advised fund is invested and has the potential to grow in value with interest. This may allow you to increase your total donation without having to pay extra money. Deductions made from donor-advised funds can go to any qualified charity (501(c)(3), such as the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation. Donors have the power to recommend which charities receive the funds.

As you consider your philanthropic plans this year, consider making one large donation to take advantage of the deduction on your 2018 taxes, and using a donor-advised fund to continue your giving program over several years. It is a great opportunity to ensure your continued support of charities like the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation that count on your contributions.

Ben Tamburro

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: Ben Tamburro is a private wealth advisor with U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management in Portland and a board member for Lake Oswego Schools Foundation. U.S. Bank is not affiliated with the companies or organizations mentioned above. U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Each individual's tax and financial situation is unique. Individuals should consult their tax and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning their particular situation.

Support Savas

As a longtime resident and activist who has most recently been involved with the library settlement between the county and Gladstone, I know I speak for many others when I say that if you care about libraries, there is no better candidate for county commissioner than Paul Savas. If it weren't for his efforts, I have no doubt that the Oak Lodge community would have lost its library instead of beginning the community involvement process to design and build a new one.

But Commissioner Savas is effective and caring about many more issues than the library. Rather than "failing too many people," as his opponent claims, Commissioner Savas has been the one working hardest for the under-represented people of Clackamas County, from victims of domestic violence to homeless veterans. He has spent countless hours of his own time attending Community Planning Organization meetings throughout the county, making sure unincorporated citizens are heard.

Paul listens, he does his research and he persists in the face of opposition from other board members, so that issues important to his constituents are given the attention they need to be resolved. We can count on him to move issues from discussion to action.

It's easy to criticize a standing commissioner. I don't agree with all of Paul's positions, but I do trust in his process of learning the facts, evaluating the issues based on evidence, his commitment to do the necessary work and his dedication to our county, where he has a long record of community involvement and service. I urge my neighbors to give Paul their support.

Leslie Shirk

Oak Grove

Power of love

I have read with interest the recent articles about and by students on participation in the March for Our Lives and the March for EquALLity, as well as the role of friends and family and the power of love. These students naturally respond with love and kindness when faced with challenging and violent situations, and are vocal and active in encouraging others to practice that better way.

This is not just positive thinking, since love has proven again and again to be the only reliable solution to hatred and violence.

A talk on "Healing Violence Through Divine Love" by Maryl Walters at the Vancouver Community Library (901 C St.) will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21. Walters will discuss ideas about the power of love and how to practice it effectively in our communities. I am interested in how this love actually heals violence, which is the result the students are seeking in their protests.

This timely talk will contribute to fulfilling these hopes we all share, and which the students eloquently pursue with their words and lives.

Catherine Edge

Lake Oswego

Moving county forward

Having spent 26 years living, working and volunteering in Clackamas County, I know the realities of the issues we face — homelessness, congestion, a need for more family-wage jobs, increasing demand for social services. I also know what county commissioners can and cannot achieve on the job.

I appreciate the highly optimistic points of view expressed by Commissioner Paul Savas' opponent, but I'm concerned that he does not understand what a commissioner really does or how to move the county forward in a realistic fashion.

As a Democrat and neighborhood leader who knocks on lots of Democratic doors in my local precincts, I am concerned. How can someone with no government or volunteer service, with a vague resume and who has lived and worked out of Clackamas County and Oregon for most of

the past decade, win the tacit en-

dorsement of other Democrats simply by dint of party label? County

commissioner is a non-partisan position.

I may lean to the left, but I will not support the unseating of a commissioner as dedicated, smart and hard-working for our county as Paul Savas simply to follow the party line. We need commissioners who understand the realities of what can be achieved at the county level, not someone who appears fixated on national and state issues but doesn't know where else to begin.

Grover Jeffrey Bornefeld

Jennings Lodge

Wrong style

The latest proposal by CenterCal Properties LLC and Trammell Crow Company to build a residential/commercial complex in the Mercantile Plaza property in an Italian Renaissance style may be appropriate for a city like Portland, but not for a small town that wants to retain a village feeling.

Downtown Lake Oswego has accomplished a fine example of that village feeling — fresh and contemporary, yet keeping the small and intimate feel, even with growth and change. In Lake Grove, we want a sense of unity in design as well.

We feel we are not given the same consideration in the case of improving the Boones Ferry Road-Kruse Way-Mercantile Road area with a boxy, flat-roofed design, crowding in as many living units and business spaces as possible into massive container-like buildings.

For example, the development on Lower Boones Ferry Road called Eddyline at Bridgeport gives a village feeling, using diverse roof designs like hip roofs, pitched roofs, dormers, etc., with businesses up front and the residences set back from the noise of the road, protected by those small businesses.

Examples on Boones Ferry Road south of Mercantile Road — like First Citizens Bank, the Avery Building, the Lake Grove Building, Bank of the West and the Renaissance Building — give a warm village feeling. All have varied examples of roofs. Materials such as brick and mortar and glass seem to be the theme throughout Meadows Road and Boones Ferry Road, giving a sense of unity.

Other structures that add to the village feeling are the vintage buildings like Naomi's, Babica Hen and the Oswego Mortgage building. There seems to be no sense in having flat-roofed, massive rectangles in the Italian Renaissance style, which does not compliment the Lake Grove village ambience.

We would like to see a high-end anchor store or restaurant in a redeveloped Mercantile Plaza, much like what is found at Bridgeport Village and in downtown Lake Oswego, and boutiques and small eateries rounding out the commercial space. There are already several pharmacies on Boones Ferry: Rite Aid, Walgreens and pharmacies inside Albertsons and Safeway.

Several traffic and parking concerns were brought up at an initial neighborhood meeting, but the impact on businesses on the other side of Mercantile Road as well as the surrounding neighborhoods has not been addressed. Will it be? Or will we have issues with more cut-throughs in the Lake Grove area?

We look forward to a response to this letter, and to receiving notice for the next meeting regarding this project.

Diane Sandt and Lilo Sermol

Lake Oswego

Dig safely

Residents of the Pacific Northwest are eager for sunshine and yard and garden projects. Unfortunately, more outdoor work can also mean damage to underground utility lines.

April is National Safe Digging Month, and NW Natural reminds anyone who plans to dig to call 811 to have underground utilities located first.

Reaching utility notification centers in Oregon and Washington is simple and free. Two days before the start of a project call 811, register online or use NW Natural's new safety app to have underground lines marked. Read more at nwnatural.com or digsafelyoregon.com.

Always report line damages — no matter how small — even a nick or gouge could affect a pipeline. If a natural gas line is accidentally hit and there's a smell of rotten eggs, or the sound of gas escaping, be sure to leave the area immediately and then call NW Natural's 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Enjoy the sunshine and spring flowers, and remember to call 811.

Daphne Mathew

NW Natural

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). Editors reserve the right to respond to any letter or Citizen's View that contains inaccuracies or allegations, or to seek a response from persons who are the targets of misstatements or accusations. All submissions must include the writer's name, local address and phone number — the latter two for verification only.

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