Shared from the 9/22/2021 Lake Oswego Review eEdition


City referendum is attack on citizen initiative

I am disturbed by the city’s referendum which would strip away Springbrook Park’s charter protection — and preclude this protection to the remaining parks — while professing to be “protecting” natural areas. This is double talk.

Over the years, Springbrook has been maintained and has had trails wide enough for emergency vehicles to drive through, whether for wildfire suppression or extra water. As is, it has worked even with the overused-for-the-space tennis center inappropriately placed there decades ago. The ADA applies there and an accommodation was made at the first of 2021 for a little more parking as opposed to the excessive parking the Parks and Rec had wanted. So just what problem does it have that the city now frantically wants to fix by snatching away its charter protection?

Springbrook is what has existed and been appreciated since 1978. If you haven’t been there, do go. It is a wonderful place to walk through. The citizen’s initiative merely brings the remaining undeveloped parks into this protected status. The city’s referendum did not spring up spontaneously. It was a calculated attack against a true citizen’s initiative to limit development. The overwhelming embrace by the various allied/advisory groups for the city’s referendum is not a sign that it will benefit the land or the regular citizens. It only benefits them. Answering the question “Who decides” clears up a lot of confusion.

Finally, in order to save Springbrook, and to extend the same charter protection to the remaining parks, you need to vote yes on the citizen’s initiative, measure 3-568, but you also have to vote no on the city’s competing referendum. Whichever of the two gets the greater number of affirmative votes will win.

Theresa Kohlhoff

Lake Oswego

Trees over greed

Yet another huge tree in Southeast Portland, a gigantically tall fir, on the edge of a property acquired by Renaissance Custom Homes LLC, is about to be demolished so that this Lake Oswego-based home development corporation can, once again, maximize profits. In June, Renaissance took down all the trees on another SE property, including two huge, healthy cedars, also at the property’s edge, despite Renaissance putting up fencing encircling the largest trees with signs, “Do not disturb root systems,” misleading neighbors and the caring public into thinking the trees would be saved, only to have them removed, both above-ground and their root balls below ground. Similar fencing and signage surrounds the fir.

Such large, mature trees are beings of magnificent beauty. They are of inestimable value for reducing CO2 and adding oxygen to our atmosphere; they enhance the water table. Huge trees are also known to provide a sense of wellbeing and a sign of thriving neighborhoods. They provide cooling in hot weather and protection from extreme weather events. They provide sanctuary for birds, pollinators and wildlife.

Neighbors have reached out to Renaissance untold times. Yet its leaders ignore the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of trees on their acquired properties. Renaissance then “landscapes” the tiny yards of their new homes with small, young trees that will take 75-100 years to reach the size and benefits of the huge trees they remove. What is to be done?

Perhaps it is time to inform the public. It is time to call for conscience and accountability for Renaissance. It is long past time to call for trees over greed.

Roberta Badger-Cain


Increased jobless benefits would hurt businesses

It was very interesting to read in the Lake Oswego Review last week about Senator Ron Wyden’s plans to “work hard” to increase unemployment benefits. He has always seemed to take pride in how much of other people’s money (actually, our money) he can give away.

But in the very same newspaper was a detailed report about the impact of very lucrative unemployment benefits granted in the name of COVID (and written into law primarily through Wyden’s influence). All of this while congress contemplates a spending bill larger than most of the large expenditure bills of the last several years ... combined. Our Senator wants to proudly display this as helping the American worker while forgetting he would give this money by stepping down and crushing small businesses and average taxpayers. Please don’t present his promises as some kind of welcome news. It’s a disaster.

Harold Rust

Lake Oswego

School bond will help build a sustainable future

I have had the pleasure of working with exceptional students and teachers at all of the schools in the Lake Oswego School District. We have worked together to support development of a school gardens curriculum, protect natural resources on school grounds, develop a food waste curriculum and support the inclusion of a sustainability goal in the school board’s current strategic plan. All of this work is dependent on having well-planned and functional facilities that support both students and staff. We have the opportunity on Nov. 2 to pass a new school bond that will allow our community to continue the amazing work being done to improve our schools. This bond will make LOSD a much more sustainable district by upgrading school buildings to reduce energy use and dependence on fossil fuels, modernize kitchens to allow inclusion of local and school-raised foods in the lunch program, and to allow students to use their school buildings as examples of sustainable practices as they develop the critical thinking skills that will guide our community in the future.

I hope you will join me in voting for the 2021 Lake Oswego School Bond and providing our students and staff with a sustainable future.

Stephanie Wagner

Lake Oswego

School bond vote will bolster education, property values

Much has been said and written about the Lake Oswego school bond on which residents are about to vote. I add my endorsement. We all know the quality and reputation of our schools and it only stands to reason that we would want to continue to enjoy the superior education that our schools provide. Something that might escape the understanding of residents, and that bears mentioning, is the indisputable link that exists between a quality school system and property values. LO property values are in the top 4% of residential property values in the state. Anyone who owns property in LO can expect their property to increase in value as property values continue to rise generally, except that LO properties outpace those of other communities in the state. That is a direct consequence of the quality education children in LO receive. Vote yes on the Lake Oswego School Bond.

Steven A. Stupak

Lake Oswego

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