A future economic asset
My name is on the wait list for a residence in the new Wizer Block development, so Ive closely followed its progress through hearings, council approval votes and opponents unsuccessful appeal to the Land Use Board of Appeals. With interest I read The Review and its letters. One letter, seemingly complaining about city government contributing taxpayer money to the project, caught my attention.
The one-time City investment of $5.5 million in this project must be put in perspective. Left out in the letter is the $87 million in private money also being invested. Those investments will reap large, long-term rewards for LO taxpayers.
An increase in property tax revenue from Wizer residents like me will pay for priority community services and projects. Lake Oswego will see a net increase of at least $600,000 per year in those property tax revenues. As a Wizer resident, I will shop locally, dine locally, spend money at the farmers market and attend many civic activities. The City will capture millions of dollars in retail spending from Wizer residents that is presently leaking away from local businesses.
Lake View Village was also built with taxpayer money, and it cannot be denied that it is an economic asset to the city as a whole.
Lake Oswego is a forward-thinking city. By putting a little over 5 percent into this project, our local officials know the money is well invested in our future. We should all be grateful that almost 95 percent of funding will come from private business people prepared to contribute to the financial stability of the community.
Since I have to pay taxes anyway, I look forward to becoming a resident of Wizer and a full-time LO taxpayer.
Glenda at the salon cuts my hair.
At one time I would go
To a corner barber shop
Where the striped pole outside
Stood for the medical services
The shop had once offered.
Still, the gleaming razor
And the smell of witch hazel
Carried a hint of those ancient arts
Announced by the bloody arm
Which has always been there turning.
Not safe for bikes
Safe feeder roads are missing for bike lanes on Boones Ferry Road.
The $4 million that the state will pay for bike lanes along Boones Ferry Road (City secures $4 million grant for Boones Ferry Road project, May 28) will bring in bike traffic from narrow feeder streets where bike traffic would be dangerously mingled with car traffic. Lake Grove already has suffered one bike/car collision on a narrow side street that lacked a bike lane, an accident that resulted in death. Also, the remainder of Boones Ferry lacks safe bike lanes.
Portland is dangerous enough for bikes, as rising accidents show. We dont need to imitate them, nor do we need to imitate European cities.
The only bikes we personally have seen so far on Boones Ferry are ones passing through, not stopping to shop. Cars cannot exceed the bikes speed safely because there is rarely room to pass.
Cities invest to become great
There was grumbling in a recent letter in The Review about Lake Oswego City money being invested in the redevelopment of the Wizer Block. Lets put things in perspective.
The City is investing about 5 percent of the total needed for the project, while 95 percent is coming from private funding. The City is investing in this project because we will get extra public parking, but more importantly, the City wisely recognizes the return that the citizens of Lake Oswego as a whole will get from additional business and property taxes.
Cities have to invest in themselves today, so that they build an economy to last. They must think long term. Opportunities like the Wizer project come infrequently to small cities. Lake Oswego is not at the beach, nor in the mountains, nor on a windsurfing river, so tourism will not significantly boost our economy. It is home to a well-educated population with above-average incomes and currently great schools. But our population is aging and we need an influx of new people to invigorate our downtown, feed our small businesses and boost our tax base.
The Wizer project will reap long-term benefits for this city, and we should embrace it. Our city government should be applauded, not criticized, for partnering with private entrepreneurs willing to put up their money so that we have a future.
Dont shoot the messenger
I am writing to object to Jim Prices letter in The Review (Enough is enough, May 28). The letter attacks many citizens and two individuals personally, including my wife, Leslie. Prices letter would have been more effective had he simply stated his frustration with the system, rather than blame people who are exercising their Constitutional right to the legal process.
Price has never met my wife, yet he erroneously asserts that Leslie is self-interested in fighting the Wizer proposal and is gratified in doing so. This is an unjust accusation. First, we do not live in the Evergreen neighborhood, but if we did, it would be a very good reason to oppose the proposed Wizer redevelopment. Second, my wife has donated her time and efforts in many ways.
She is a former PTA president. In another state, she organized a support group for a neighbor, a rape victim, and then was asked by the police chief if she would set up a Neighborhood Watch program for the community, which she did. She was president of the Lake Oswego Womens Club during a year in which they raised nearly $100,000 for Clackamas County women and children in need. She does not take on a project in a half-hearted way.
Finally, many citizens agree and support my wifes position to see Lake Oswego progress with buildings that complement our downtown character. Most believe redeveloping the Wizer Block is good and necessary, but that a smaller redevelopment is worth our time and effort.
Look back at the developers first proposal. If citizens had not fought back and Lita Grigg and Leslie not been involved, we could today be looking at one solid mass of building, no public pathway, five institutional stories with very little retail. It is the proposal that seems self-serving.
People should not be vilified for pursuing a legal, rightful cause. Describing fellow citizens as harassing, frivolous, self-interested and Don Quixotes is attacking the messengers. Dont kill the messenger because you dont like the process.
Transfer law unfair
As responsible, law-abiding firearm owners in Lake Oswego, we are very concerned about how the new firearm transfer law will affect future visits to our friends farm for weekend getaways with our .22-caliber rifle.
The law indicates that safely storing our rifle at our friends rural home for any trip we might take into town would now be a crime. We contacted our representative, Rep. Ann Lininger, and it seems quite clear we would have to temporarily transfer our rifle to our friends in order to safely store it at their home for any short-term trip we might take into town.
The law requires that we go to a firearms dealer with our friends and the rifle, pay a transfer fee determined by the dealer, have the recipient fill out a Federal Form 4473, pay a $10 Oregon State Police background check fee and wait for the background check to clear (which may be delayed) in order to transfer the rifle to our friends every time we visit their farm, so that we can temporarily store it at their home for a trip into town. And we would have to repeat this process to transfer the rifle back to us before we went home.
Our only alternative would be to leave our rifle at home or take it with us whenever we go into town, where it is more likely to be stolen by real criminals. Please think about this, keeping in mind we have known our friends for over 10 years. Why was this law not amended to prevent this sort of abuse?
To anyone with a modicum of common sense and decency, we humbly ask that you contact your representative to complain about this issue. Thank you for your help.
Charlotte and David Kosokowsky