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Readers' Letters

An Edifice For The Rest Of Us

Whatever comes to the Wizer block,

We’re hoping not to be a shock.

We rightfully deserve a castle

After all the dreadful hassle.

At least, at this final hour,

Not a replica of Trump Tower.

Even if it’s a luxury Hiatt,

No one may want to try it.

The excavation just begun

Is big enough to swallow the sun.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

Buy a brick

As co-chair of Lakewood Center for the Arts Commemorative Brick Walkway, I want to encourage anyone who loves the arts to consider purchasing a brick or paver as a graduation, birthday, anniversary or any-occasion present. Bricks sell for $200 and pavers for $1,000, and your purchase is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

The many bricks and pavers already installed in the sidewalk from the parking lot to the Lakewood Center hint at interesting stories behind the inscriptions. For instance, Ed and Joann Frankel’s brick reads, “I just called to say I love you.” Yes, that’s a song title, but more than that, it commemorates the time Ed hired a three-piece combo to serenade Joann at her office in a bold attempt to convince her to move to Singapore for a few years. Those “few years” became several decades, so clearly Ed’s romantic gesture paid off big time!

Write your own brick story to remember a special person or event. Contact the Lakewood Center for the Arts at 503-635-6338 or order online at Lakewood-center.com. Act soon so your brick can be installed before the Festival of the Arts!

Jan Coulton

Lake Oswego

An appropriate question?

Should Lakeridge Junior High School ask 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds this question: Do you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning (LGBTQ)? Recently it did, as part of a 50-question survey titled “Climate & Culture” that was administered during advisory period.

When did it become acceptable for public officials to collect this data? It clearly crosses the line of essential demographics that we parents typically provide when registering our children, and that we are routinely required to give when requesting public education and other government services. In fact, it is hard to think of another bit of information so pivotal to our sense of privacy and liberty.

LJHS administrators defend their authority to collect this data because parent groups asked it to last year, parents received advance notice this year and the responses are anonymous.

I certainly do not believe that other parents can simply waive my child’s privacy rights and my rights as a parent because they don’t see any violation. I dispute that the notice of the survey was adequate. (Nothing in the survey’s title or description warned me about asking 11-14-year-olds to identify their sexual orientation.) Moreover, it is actually possible with small numbers of minority groups to identify those kids in conjunction with the other demographic data.

The school stated in a weekly newsletter that next year’s Climate & Culture survey would be revised “to address parent concerns,” which sounds like good news. Yet it is so vague and noncommittal that I have no idea what it means for this specific question.

Just as our society condemned NSA collection and monitoring of personal phone records, we should tell the LOSD and our school board that intrusive questioning of our children must stop now.

Karen Delaney

Lake Oswego

Editor’s note: We asked the Lake Oswego School District about the “Climate & Culture” survey. Here’s what Lakeridge Junior High Principal Kurt Schultz told us:

“The description of the survey is accurate but incomplete.

“The survey itself is the same as the climate survey we administered last year at this time, with the exception of two additional questions about technology. It was originally developed with collaboration from our parent School Advisory Committee, parent club, teacher leadership team, student council and counseling team.

“Additionally, the survey was anonymous and allowed any student to skip some or all of the questions, and we allowed for parents to opt their students out of participation in the survey if they so chose. We do not, and cannot, connect survey responses to individual students.

“Planned revisions to the survey for future years will be the subject of a team of stakeholders yet to be determined, hence the general language used to describe what revisions will ultimately be made.”

Greed a criteria?

On the corner of Third Street and C Avenue stand two magnificent red cedar trees. They appear healthy, and I was told that they are over 100 years old. Some varieties of cedar trees live to be 1,000 years old. Both are to be cut down.

The tree -cutting permit asks for public comment. I spoke to Evan Fransted of the Lake Oswego Planning Department. He told me that the owner/developer wants to build houses where the trees stand and that the City Council approved the request.Why even have a tree-cutting policy? I understand that trees need to be removed if the concern is disease or safety. Apparently greed is also one of the criteria.

Jeanette Roberts

Lake Oswego

A limited view

The “Race, Gender and Sexuality” piece done by today’s students (The Review, March 31) really shed a light on how limited a view today’s teens have growing up in our local “bubble.” Life being viewed through social media and TV is not an accurate portrayal of the real world.

I suggest these kids take a ride along with cops in a big city and see what the day-to-day dealings of cops is really like. You’ll find it much different than what is portrayed on social media. Rather than worrying about the fight for LGBTQ rights, how about visiting a veteran’s home to get a true taste of people being neglected in our society who put their lives on the line for us.

Regarding portrayals of different cultures on TV: All you need to do is watch older shows. Everybody on the Andy Griffith show was a dumb, white, country bumpkin. New Yorkers have been trashed by everyone from Archie Bunker to Janice on “Friends” or “The Nanny.” Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and others made race an integral part of their routine, and you know what? It IS comedy; laugh at it and move on.

Lastly, racism on “The Bachelor” is so irrelevant it does not warrant words, and complaining about who gets awards from a bunch of self-promoting, narcissistic Hollywood actors falls in the same category.

I suggest that if you must watch TV, you should turn your focus to the many historical, science-related or nature shows that can actually benefit you.

Bill Cavanaugh

Lake Oswego

Is it legal?

We moved to Lake Oswego in the summer of 2012. As all cross-country moves with three children and two dogs likely do, our move felt quite hectic. We knew that the school district was very strong and that Lake Oswego would be a great place for us to raise our three active sons, but we had not researched much below the surface.

Shortly after two of our sons started school at Forest Hills Elementary, we received a welcome-to-the-school-district phone call from John Saefke, a board member of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation. John was welcoming, gracious and answered our questions. We had never heard of a school foundation, didn’t know how private donations funded teaching salaries and were not even sure if such an organization was actually legal.

We researched it and what we found surprised and impressed us. Not only is it legal, but strong community support for the school district is a cornerstone of Lake Oswego. I began to volunteer and later joined the board.

For 29 years, our visionary Schools Foundation and the local community have supported our public schools. This benefits our schools and our entire community. Through generous community donations, the Foundation raises money to directly fund teacher salaries that put additional teachers in our schools.

The 2016 campaign goal is to raise $2 million, funding approximately two teaching positions at each elementary school and positions that instruct math, science, PE, band, health, English, social studies, language arts, ecology and marketing in our middle and high schools.

Please join our family this year in supporting the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation.

Ezra Merrill

Lake Oswego

A stronger community

My family and I moved from Colorado to Lake Oswego 10 years ago. One of the things that drew us to this fabulous community is the schools. We have not been disappointed!

Our oldest son graduated from Lakeridge High School and is now a sophomore in the engineering program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I also have two kids currently attending Westridge Elementary. Both are thriving and are receiving a top-level education. I attribute much of their success to the teachers that they have had over the years. Those of you who have students in the Lake Oswego School District know that our teachers go above and beyond what is required of them.

I firmly believe the level of education our children receive is due, in large part, to the amount that the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation contributes to the school district every year. The Foundation has consistently raised approximately $1.5 million every year for the past few years. The district uses that money to hire and retain teachers for our schools. That equates to the equivalent of approximately 18 teacher positions throughout the district.

This is a reflection of the strong community that we live in. It is like a three-legged stool — the City, our healthy businesses and our schools are each a leg that forms a healthy, vibrant community, creating an even stronger educational foundation. Without one of the legs, the stool is not sturdy and is unstable.

Please join my family in supporting Lake Oswego schools by contributing to the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation and help create an even stronger community.

John Goerges

Lake Oswego

Arbor Week condolences

Celebrating Arbor Week in Lake Oswego is complicated. I’m honoring the week by taking pictures of the yellow plastic “ribbons” that foreshadow the execution of trees in First Addition (including the magnificent western red cedars on Third Street and D Avenue). I’m also sending condolences to the forest of 181 trees at the Oswego Lake Country Club that will be cut down for convenience, as approved by City planners.

In particular, I grieve the great evergreens that are unceremoniously awarded death sentences after decades of silent service. Their primary crime is having roots and branches that get in the way of profit-driven developers (and, less often, unsympathetic homeowners). These giants loyally provide our community with beauty, shade, noise mitigation, pollution control, animal habitat and privacy 365 days a year. Yet Douglas firs, for example, are not the preferred choice of landscapers or developers, making their gradual disappearance a man-made urban extinction in progress. Once our remaining giant conifers are gone, our children will never see these magnificent silent sentinels in our neighborhoods again.

In the true spirit of Arbor Week, please join me in seeking new leadership in our community. Lake Oswego’s green infrastructure is rapidly being degraded by shades of grey and greed. Let’s find the courageous leaders we need to continue our history as a City of Trees.

This year, I’m writing an Arbor Week memorial letter. Next year, I hope we have an Arbor Week to celebrate.

Linda Hartling, Ph.D.

Lake Oswego

Support equal pay

Equal Pay Day is April 12. It represents how long women must work into the current year to earn what men earned in the previous year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, in 2013 women who worked full-time only earned 78 cents on average for every dollar men earned. The inequity is far worse for African American women and Latinas. According to the White House Press Office, today the median wage of a woman working full-time year-round in the U.S. is approximately $39,600. This is only 79 percent of a man’s median earnings of $50,400.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. Overall, the law prohibits employers from paying different rates of pay based on the employee’s gender. Unfortunately, although 53 years have passed since that law was established, there has not been gender equity in pay. Further legislation is necessary to provide more effective enforcement tools and adequate remedies to close this gender pay gap.

On March 25, 2015, fair pay champions Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that the American Association of University Women strongly supports. This bill, when enacted into law, will help bring pay equity to women. In part, it will prohibit retaliation against workers who disclose their own wages or inquire about their employer’s wage practices. It will also help employers collect wage-related data and will require employers to show that wage discrepancies are based on factors other than gender.

Fifty-three years is far too long to wait for fairness! Please contact your U.S. representatives and senators and urge them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Also urge your Oregon state legislators to enact paycheck fairness legislation at the state level, which several states have already done.

Equal Pay Day reminds all of us that we need fair pay now!

Karen Rottink,

American Association of University Women, Lake Oswego Branch

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). All submissions must include the writer’s name, local address and telephone number — the latter two for verification purposes only — and should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline is 3 p.m. on the Monday before publication.