Shared from the 10/27/2021 Lake Oswego Review eEdition


Don’t let politicians exploit parks, natural areas

As a 28 year resident of Lake Oswego, please don’t be confused. Don’t let the Lake Oswego politicians exploit our natural parks.

We need to protect and preserve these natural areas from development. Of the two competing ballot measures, only the citizens’ initiated Measure 3-568 will provide our natural parks with the strong legal protections needed. City Council’s referendum 3-575 opens the door for ever more commercial exploitation and development.

For a detailed comparison of these two ballot measures, please go to-

Then, join me and vote YES on 3-568 and NO on 3-575.

Michael Louaillier

Lake Oswego

Time to step up for schools

We are fortunate to have many wonderful young people actively participating in our community. Many families come here because of our great schools.

As a member of this community, I care about the schools even though I don’t have a child attending them. Through my work with the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network and the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, I am fortunate to interact directly with amazing students from the High School Green Teams.

Their contributions in making the schools and our community more sustainable and dynamic are inspirational.

The school bond that is on the November ballot will provide funds for replacing Lake Oswego Junior High and River Grove Elementary with buildings meeting immediate occupancy seismic standards. These buildings along with the other school buildings constructed in the past couple of years are a core part of our community’s disaster preparedness as they can be quickly converted into emergency community shelters.

We benefit from both the terrific kids and from school campuses that are essential components for our community. Now is the time for the community to step up and support the schools that nurture the students passing through our schools by voting for the 2021 LO School Bond.

Mary Ratcliff

Lake Oswego

Voters deserve the facts

Did you receiving a text on behalf of Measure 3-575 this week asking to support a citizen-guided initiative to preserve our parks?

I experienced a moment of doubt. Of course I believe that the protection of our vulnerable park lands should be decided upon by LO citizens. Our natural parks provide much needed respite to so many of us, yet they remain in jeopardy of future development without stronger protections.

Upon further review, I realized this text was sent to deliberately spawn confusion. I believe in transparency. I believe all LO citizens should have a voice if our natural park lands are to be developed. But Measure 3-575 was NOT a citizen-led initiative. Only Measure 3-568 is the result of a lengthy citizen petition effort. We, as voters, deserve to be provided with factual information to make the best choices for our public parks.

Only Measure 3-368 is endorsed by both the Sierra Club and Oregon Wild, and is the only one of these two disparate initiatives that empowers voters to decide any future development in our public natural parks. Measure 3-575’s misinformation campaign is disrespectful to our community and all who worked hard bringing Measure 3-568 to voters. The truth does and should matter. YES on 3-568.

Nancy Fleming

Lake Oswego

Not confused on measures

My Voters’ Pamphlet and ballot arrived today. I found it surprising the stark contrast between the quality in the explanatory statements, arguments, and endorsements between the two LO natural park measures.

The Citizens’ Measure 3-568 explanatory statement is concise and focused on protections limiting development; the arguments come from citizens with history about past City exploits and a genuine passion to protect nature.

Measure 3-568 is the only measure on the ballot endorsed by leading Oregon environment and conservation organizations: Oregon Wild and Sierra Club — organizations removed from our local politics.

City Council’s Measure 3-575 explanatory statement, on the other hand, is vague and confusing and doesn’t tell me much about what and how it plans to protect natural parks. In fact, it doesn’t even guarantee the “natural areas” that are protected until after we vote — what’s this about?

Would you buy a home only to find the kitchen wasn’t included? And, one can’t help notice this measure’s arguments are all from politicians, many involved in past exploits, and City-affiliated groups; they’re attempting to confuse voters. I’m not confused.

I’m with citizens who worked diligently bringing us Measure 3-568 to protect nature from development.

It’s YES on Measure 3-568 and NO on 3-575!

Kirsty Reilly

Lake Oswego

LOSN backs Measure 3-575

I’m a founding board member of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network (LOSN). LOSN supports the Friends of LO Parks M3-575. We believe it provides the best way to protect our natural areas.

Our world is an interconnected system that is dynamic in response to changing conditions. Locking in today’s approach to manage our natural areas in the city charter is not the best protection from the challenges that we face — especially climate change and biodiversity loss. These existential issues will require innovation and restoration in order for our parks and natural areas to thrive into the future.

We are strongly committed to using the well-established process involving citizen stakeholders during planning. Measure 3-575 requires that any changes to a future master plan for parks be approved by citizens. This process will provide better outcomes than having a citywide election to change the city charter for each problem that does not fit into today’s proposed box.

LOSN urges you to vote yes on Ballot Measure 3-575 and to vote no on 3-568.

Dorothy Atwood

Lake Oswego

Why we buy local

Frequently we say “buy local” and I believe many citizens do just that. We have purchased floral arrangements and gifts from Lake Oswego’s R.BLOOM for years. However, this latest just reminded me WHY we continue to utilize R. Bloom’s for floral arrangements! I smile every time I walk by our Halloween arrangement.

Carolyn Arnston

Lake Oswego

Voting yes on 3-575 in support of natural areas

For the past five years I have worked with the Coalition for Hallinan Woods Nature Park to advocate for the expansion of Hallinan Woods.

During this time, I have had the honor to get to know and work with community leaders and organizations that have dedicated years to the stewardship of Lake Oswego’s natural spaces. I am proud to join with these local leaders and stewards to recommend that you vote YES on 3-575 and no on 3-568.

Meaure 3-575 is endorsed by the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, the Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods, the Friends of Springbrook Park, the Friends of Iron Mountain Park and the Friends of Woodmont Park. These are our neighbors who volunteer their time to remove invasives and trash from our city’s natural spaces, who coordinate native plantings with city staff, and who passionately believe in preserving our natural spaces. 3-575 also has the endorsement of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, an organization that is a constant advocate in our community for local action on climate mitigation and adaptation.

It’s unsurprising that these local organizations support 3-575 — 3-575 offers additional protections to our natural areas while allowing the city to prepare for climate change. The competing measure, 3-568, does not protect all of our natural parks, restricts the city’s ability to prepare for climate change and wildfire risks, and restricts options for access to our natural parks.

For Hallinan Woods, the passage of the competing measure, 3-568, would mean that options for a trail at the new Yates Street entrance would be restricted. A hard-surface trail — the best option for a trail through a wet woodland area that sees year-round use by children walking to school — would be forbidden.

See LETTERS / Page A6 ■ From Page A5

For the sake of our natural areas, I am voting YES on 3-575 and no on 3-568.

Sarah Ellison

Lake Oswego

Right process — YES on Measure 3-575

Lake Oswego citizens, most being nature lovers, are urged to vote YES on ballot Measure 3-575 and NO on Measure 3-568.

As former chair of LO’s Parks and Natural Resources Advisory Board, it’s been gratifying to me to see that Measure 3-575 is the spot-on strategic result of strong cooperation between dedicated citizen leaders (including Friends of Parks members, Parks and Natural Resources Advisory Board members, Watershed Council members and Sustainability Network members) and the City (led by our Parks and Rec Dept).

Measure 3-575 is the poster child of how the process should work. So, let’s pass the Measure that was thoughtfully developed the right way — YES on 3-575.

Bill Gordon

Lake Oswego

Not the time for another school bond

As you know, there is another Lake Oswego bond measure 3-577 for $180 million out to the voters for the November 2nd special election. This measure is projected to raise property taxes $0.92/$1,000 of assessed value.

Four short years ago, we approved bond measure 3-515 for $187 million that raised property taxes $1.25/$1,000 of assessed value.

Add that our property tax is up again from 2020 to 2021, just as it does every year. And it’s worthy to note 42.96% of your property tax dollar collected by Clackamas County already goes to K-12 schools.

For the 12 months ending September 2021, the U.S. Labor Department is reporting the annual inflation rate of 5.4%. Last year it was 1.4% and hasn’t been over 3% the last decade (2011). Gasoline is up 42.1%, energy up 24.8%, fuel oil up 42.8%, used vehicles (cars and trucks) up 24.4%, food up 4.6%, clothing up 3.4% and transportation services up 4.4%. And the Federal Reserve is most certainly going to raise interest rates.

Is education important to our future? Sure it is! But I do not think now is the time to pass another school bond measure adding the additional cost to our tax bill. We personally need to prioritize our needs and wants. It is not unacceptable to expect our schools to do the same and continue with what they have for the time being.

We passed the $187 million bond measure in 2017 to provide the schools what they need.

Ridge Taylor

Lake Oswego

All parks should be protected

I love Lake Oswego, the people and our natural areas. I love that we care so much we have two initiatives on the ballot regarding the best way to love our nature parks.

I am concerned that Measure 3-568 only includes some nature areas and excludes others, for example the woods in Freepons Park.

Another concern I have is that we are limiting the ability of our Parks Department to fully engage in their job. They are professionals that are experts in maintaining our natural areas.

As a member of the Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods, I see firsthand how much the Parks Department cares for our natural areas and supports us in our efforts to maintain and manage them. I rely on their expertise. The work they have done to keep the balance in our natural areas after last winter’s extreme storms is a great example.

I am also concerned that 3-568 restricts too much. I want to see ALL of our nature areas protected. Measure 3-575 protects all our natural areas and works to keep them properly maintained. I’m voting Yes for 3-575, and on No 3-568.

Christy Clark,

Lead of the Friends of z

Hallinan Heights Woods

Lake Oswego

Don’t develop — Vote yes on 3-575

There is a great deal of misinformation and willful misreading of ballot measure 3-575 inferring that if it passes, it is open season on our natural areas, that developers are going to descend on them, and that developers helped write this measure. None of this is true. 3-575 was initiated and written by local leaders in our natural resource community in early 2020 in response to 3-568 to ensure that our natural areas are protected and available to all. Developers were not remotely involved.

It is absurd to think that the many Friends groups and others who have endorsed 3-575 would let them be developed or compromised in any way. It is also absurd to think that the city would let them be developed or compromised since these lands were purchased or acquired expressly for their natural resource values.

Don’t be fooled by scare tactics that are being employed for a cynical political advantage. Our natural resource groups and our citizens are fierce defenders of our natural areas, with a deep appreciation for them. We will not let them be exploited for commercial gain.

Vote Yes on 3-575.

Dan Anderson

Lake Oswego

Join me in voting yes on Measure 3-575

This November, LO voters have the opportunity to further protect our natural areas while also keeping them accessible to people with limited mobility.

To do this, I encourage you to vote YES on measure 3-575, the city’s measure. And vote NO on measure 3-568, a competing measure.

Measure 3-568 is a well-meaning measure from well-meaning people. But it’s too strict and narrow minded because it will prohibit paved trails in our natural areas. It’s the equivalent of setting up small wilderness areas in our city, making it nearly impossible for people with limited mobility to enter our natural areas.

Everyone deserves to experience nature in our city. People in wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and more. And to do that, we need to be able to have some areas with safe, flat, paved trails.

Measure 3-575 is the solution. It will protect natural areas and prevent development, but allow paved trails where they are sensible.

So I urge you to vote YES on 3-575 and NO on 3-568 — because everyone in LO deserves nature.

Natalie Bennon

Lake Oswego

Measure 3-568 is gift for the future

“Don’t it always seem to go ... You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone ...”

The notion of “improvements” means “development”, and loosing forever the tiny plots, the hidden places, the realm of other creatures, to short-sighted human requests. Cherished places, landscapes without the mark of contemporary man can be known and appreciated in our community only because efforts were made to preserve.

The most “conservative” action toward our natural places is to do nothing ... to leave it and allow just a bit of wild to remain.

By now you have your ballots, please give the wild places protection, and vote YES on Measure 3-568; vote NO on Measure 3-575.

Developer money is behind the city’s Measure 3-575; volunteers and a grassroot effort by neighbors initiated Measure 3-568 ... Preservation and protection can offer so many benefits to our quality of life. Passing Ballot Measure 3-568 is a gift to the future; a legacy for children, for trees, for animals and for Lake Oswego.

We can’t do better with the land by developing parking, or ball fields, or playgrounds. Improvements mean desecration of unique and all too rare places.

YES on 3-568! Thank you.

Mark Chambers

Lake Oswego

City can be trusted with natural areas

As one considers the measures to alter the city charter, it appears the question is, who do you trust with our natural areas?

Side by side, both measures are hard to distinguish. The messaging from the petition supporters is that you can’t trust the City and the only answer is their citizen’s initiative.

Lake Oswego has a history of citizens working with the City and Parks Department to preserve, protect and enhance natural areas. Paul Lyons, Mike Buck, Nancy Gronkowski, Heidi Schrimsher, Stephanie Wagner and scores of dedicated citizens have been working within the current system and partnering with the City. Their voices and wisdom are in Measure 3-575.

I appreciate that the Save Our Parks authors have elevated the conversation about natural area protection. They were asked to team-up with our storied group of preservationists but declined. They’ve now harnessed our political climate of mistrust to signal that we can no longer trust the City.

Measure 3-575 is endorsed by Lake Oswego’s Friends groups, the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, current and former mayors and city councilors, and many Neighborhood Associations. They understand who can be trusted.

I urge a Yes on 3-575.

Sandy Intraversato

Lake Oswego

LO grad supports 2021 schools bond

Growing up in Oswego, I was fortunate to be able to attend Lake Grove Elementary School, LO Junior High and LO High. I received a great education that has benefited me and my family ever since.

I strongly support the proposed 2021 Schools Bond to ensure our community continues to have safe, modern and exceptional schools for our students today and into the future.

The bond will enable us to provide safe buildings constructed to earthquake standards with new HVAC systems so important for the health of our students, teachers and staff. It will allow us to offer modern, high-quality science, engineering and computer labs so that our kids can thrive in the 21st century.

Our schools have always been the backbone of our community enabling us to attract young families who support our local businesses, parks, and cultural institutions that help make Lake Oswego a great place to live.

Please join me in voting YES on this important school bond.

Tom O’Connor

Lake Oswego

Don’t miss chance to protect parks

I am a research scientist with over 25 years of experience examining the many factors that affect water quality.

I enthusiastically support ballot measure 3-568 because it places sensible limits on the development of our natural parks while allowing important exceptions to maintain existing facilities, add new trails, remove invasive species and prevent fires.

Protections provided by Measure 3-568 can only be removed by the voters while the protection provided by competing Measure 3-575 is weaker and can be completely negated by a simple majority vote of the city council.

Measure 3-575 does not even provide a map of the protected areas until after we vote. So, it is not surprising that the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club and Oregon Wild support Measure 3-568, while people in the real estate business are some of the major contributors to Measure 3-575.

Putting Measure 3-568 on the ballot required a major effort by many volunteers to gather over 4,000 signatures. This was a monumental task so you may never get this chance again.

Please support Measure 3-568 and oppose Measure 3-575 to preserve the few natural spaces we have left for current and future generations to enjoy.

Anthony Tesoriero

Lake Oswego

Facts and the future

I’ve had several interesting conversations with my young granddaughter where we’ve talked about the upcoming election and the two competing ballot measures regarding Lake Oswego’s natural parks.

Recently, after talking about the issues once again, she looked up at me and said, “Grandpa, it’s really about the planet you guys are leaving me, and just what kind of future all my friends and I are really going to have.”

You could go round and round about the facts all day, but in the end, after all the smoke clears and you come up out of the weeds, you need to look around and ask yourselves why both the Sierra Club and Oregon Wild endorsed the citizen sponsored measure and not the city’s. Or to put it another way, why did one of the area’s biggest developers, Renaissance Homes — someone you wouldn’t want to be around if you were a tree, contribute $10,000 to the city’s campaign, but not a single penny to help get the citizen measure on the ballot?”

When you think about it that way you start wondering if a vote for the city’s measure is kind of like giving them the key to the tool shed where all the chainsaws are locked up.

I’m not willing to give them the key. That’s why I’m voting yes on Measure 3-568 and no on Measure 3-575.

Pierre Zubrinsky

Lake Oswego

Springbrook Park and BM 3-575

Our community is being divided by fanciful rhetoric disparaging Ballot Measure 3-575, including speculation that, if 3-575 passed, Springbrook Park would lose its legal protection and be developed.

That’s nonsense.

Ballot Measure 3-575 prohibits construction of athletic facilities, commercial logging, construction of public streets and roads, and installation of telecommunication facilities in the park.

Unlike the competing measure, 3-575 requires the city:

to manage the park “to preserve and enhance the biological, hydrological, ecological and environmental functions and promote a healthy ecosystem,” and to manage the park “in a way that protects their scenic and aesthetic qualities and provides access to nature for the public, consistent with their environmental values and ecological function.”

I’ve volunteered in Spring-brook Park for over 15 years, spending hundreds of hours restoring this beautiful natural area.

I’ve studied measure 3-575 and the competing measure. Both are well-intentioned, but 3-575 will give us a superior framework for protecting and managing Springbrook Park and, for the first time, 17 other natural areas.

Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. Vote YES on Ballot Measure 3-575.

Doug McKean

Lake Oswego

Measure 3-568 is too restrictive

Vote yes on Measure 3-575 and no on 3-568. 3-568 is too restrictive. I have lived here over 40 years, served on the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association many years, been to many ivy pulls, worked hard to save our trees and support the environment.

In my experience I have found our City government to be supportive and willing to listen to citizen input. I was among the citizens involved with designing Iron Mt Park in cooperation with Parks and Rec. It is a beautiful park that would not exist under 3-568

Jerry Nierengarten

Lake Oswego

See LETTERS / Page A7 ■ From Page A7

Watershed Council supports 3-575

Oswego Lake Watershed Council endorses Measure 3-575. The Council has worked with other natural areas Friends groups for almost two years to counter the competing measure put forth by Scott Handley. From the beginning we were concerned about the language in Measure 3-568 and how it could affect the long term protection of City natural spaces. As we face the challenges of climate change (particularly drought and wildfire) we need to be able to make thoughtful plans. That planning capability will be limited by Measure 3-568,

We also need to guarantee all of our natural areas are accessible to residents with a variety of disabilities. All ability trails need to be designed to encourage use by people with vision disability as well as mobility challenges. Hard surface trails are the best alternative for the blind who are dependent on a white cane for guidance. These trails can be designed to allow users to independently experience nature and identify interpretive information in braille. This sort of notification cannot be incorporated into a gravel trail that may be accessible to people with mobility impairments.

Oswego Lake Watershed Council encourages you to vote yes on Measure 3-575 and no on Measure 3-568.

Stephanie Wagner

Lake Oswego

Let’s keep our promises

As 32+ year residents of Lake Oswego, it pains us to think that we can’t trust Lake Oswego City Council. Rather than work with the community they represent, City Council chose to place a competing Parks Measure on the November ballot that confuses and misdirects Lake Oswego voters.

Please don’t be fooled by City Council’s attempt to re-frame the Citizen’s Measure as a verbiage issue. It’s much more than that — it’s a power issue. Look no further than the history of Cooks Butte Park.

In 1975, the Emery Family granted the 42-acre Cook’s Butte portion of their property to the people of Lake Oswego. The city received this grant under the stipulation that it “be preserved in as close to a natural state as possible.”

Three times — in 1993, 2002, and 2019, City Council violated the Emery Family wishes by approving large communications towers in Cook’s Butte Park. Three times the Emery Family unanimously signed notarized documents expressing their firm opposition. Three times there was loud public outcry from Lake Oswego citizens. Three times over 26 years City Council backed down.

It begs the question: “What does it take to protect our natural parks from each new version of City Council?”

It takes the hard work of a grassroots citizen initiative. So in 2019, Lake Oswego citizens held collaborative public meetings, collected donations, hired competent attorneys, wrote a well-crafted ballot measure, signed petitions, verified signatures and finally placed Measure 3-568 on the November 2021 ballot.

What did City Council do? They rushed a competing Measure onto the ballot. Interestingly, their measure does NOT limit the City’s ability to place a communications tower on park property. If City Council can’t be trusted to limit commercial activity in one natural park, how can we trust them with the rest?

We believe that 26 years of broken promises is enough. Let’s act with honor and do what City Council won’t do. Please vote NO on Measure 3-575. Then join us in asking the City of Lake Oswego to keep its promise. Please vote YES on Measure 3-568. Do it for yourself, your community and the next generation.

Mike and Debbie Wilkins

Lake Oswego

What would Marjorie do?

In 1993 I purchased the farmstead from Marjorie and John Emery that bordered the 42 acre Cooks Butte Park that they deeded to the City of Lake Oswego in 1975 as a wilderness park.

In 1994 there was a Palisades neighborhood meeting about a cellphone tower being built in Cooks Butte. When the company representative was told Mrs. Emery would be contacted about this blatant violation of her agreement, he responded she was dead. Not true, Marjorie Emery was very much alive and incensed by the City’s action. I drove her to sign an affidavit that further stated her previous intention for a wilderness park with no development.

The City was at it again in 2002 to put a cell tower in Cooks Butte. And a third time in 2019. Each time a group of concerned citizens have successfully fought back. The Emerys had hoped the City of Lake Oswego would be good guardians of the park they created, but they have shown not to be.

Please join those of us who have fought the City for almost 30 years to safeguard Cooks Butte, and now other wilderness parks. Vote Yes on Measure 3-568.

Jan Holibaugh

Lake Oswego

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