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Readers' Letters

Yes on 100

I strongly support YES on 100, the Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act on the November ballot that would protect 12 critically endangered animals by banning sales of their body parts such as elephant ivory, tiger skins, rhino horns, shark fins and turtle shells.

My daughter and I volunteer for this campaign because without more strict laws, our elementary school children, including my daughter, may grow up in a world with no wild elephants, rhinos, tigers or pangolins. Yes, climate change, habitat loss and pollution push these imperiled animals toward extinction, but poaching is by far the deadliest contributor, putting many of these animals on the fast track.

Oregonians will have a chance in November to say no to poachers and dealers profiting from the trade in body parts of 12 iconic endangered animals. As evidenced in recent media stories, the trafficking of animal parts from around the world is prevalent in Oregon. The primary beneficiaries in the killing of these animals and the sale of their body parts are violent thugs and cartels.

More than 100 elephants are slaughtered every day for their tusks, millions of sharks are killed every year, pangolins are one of the world’s most poached and trafficked animals, rhinos’ numbers are in the single digits.

Oregonians can join Washington and California by voting YES on 100. For the animals and for our children, it’s the least we can do.

Andrea Kozil

Lake Oswego

Prioritize foster care

Tonight, too many Oregon foster kids will sleep on cots in government offices, or in motel rooms supervised by caseworkers. For some, this will last weeks. Oregon has far too few foster homes and therapeutic placements for traumatized children. As juvenile court judges, we entreat state, county and local governments to aid our foster children in this crisis. We also ask all willing Oregonians to become foster parents.

Last year, nearly 400 foster home beds and 100 residential placements were cut from Oregon’s foster care resources. Now, some children with significant mental health needs — who belong in structured, skilled psychiatric care — spend days or weeks in government offices or motel rooms. Only critical mental health emergencies receive triage psychiatric care. There is no continuing treatment, only the office or motel room bed where the child awaits another crisis.

Judges rarely sound a public alarm on any issue. But today, we are compelled to speak for vulnerable children under our protection. Only immediate aid from state, county and local authorities can ensure that every child has a proper bed in a place that meets the child’s most pressing needs. We entreat our public officials to prioritize this crisis.

On Aug. 8, juvenile court judges throughout Oregon signed a resolution calling for emergency action to procure funding for more beds. Oregon has many dedicated foster parents and caseworkers, but we need more Oregonians to open their homes to foster children. We also need improved coordination between dependency, delinquency and mental health systems to create a meaningful safety net for traumatized foster children.

All children deserve the promise of a better life. We Oregonians must act now to fulfill that promise.

Hon. Susie Norby, Douglas VanDyk, Kathie Steele, Michael Wetzel and Heather Karabeika

Clackamas County Circuit Court

Olympic coverage

I applaud Matt Sherman's article on NBC's incredibly bad coverage of the Rio Olympics ("Historic Olympics hindered by poor primetime coverage," Aug. 18).

Imagine if they covered football this way — the quarterback throws the ball and, before the receiver can catch it, an ad comes in. And then instead of returning to the game, the network switches to diving!

How bad can it get?

George Kent

Lake Oswego

'Pay attention!'

I read a few comments last week in the letters section about the pedestrian crossings on State Street in Lake Oswego. I’ve had situations on State and Northshore Road, State and the Oswego Pointe entrance and State at both A and B streets.

I don’t believe this is an LOPD issue, but an issue with public awareness of pedestrian crossings. Dang it, drivers, pay attention! I don’t stand a chance against your SUV. Why do I have to jump out of the way when I’ve got the crosswalk signal?

I’ve talked to several people who have the same opinion that the crosswalk at State and A is an accident waiting to happen. When a vehicle is turning left on State from A, who has the right of way? Both pedestrian and vehicle lights engage simultaneously, and the two paths intersect. Is it the driver’s discretion to proceed?

My opinion: When crossing east to west on State, go anywhere other than State and A.

Jack Whaley

Lake Oswego

Editor's note: The Review asked LOPD Lt. Doug Treat to explain the rules regarding right-of-way at crosswalks. Here's what he told us: "The pedestrian always has the right-of-way in the crosswalk. A vehicle cannot pass a pedestrian in a crosswalk unless there is a buffer distance of at least a one lane between the two.  Also, a vehicle cannot pass another vehicle stopped at a crosswalk.  The bottom line is, drivers always need to be mindful of pedestrians and yield to pedestrians." 

Keep waterways clean

People have been dumping forms of pollution into storm drains that lead directly to Oswego Lake. For my Eagle Scout project, I am working this summer to help the city by raising awareness of this problem. Others are also helping, and anybody can help by doing the same as us, or even by simply being more aware of what they are doing to harm the environment.

When chemicals are dumped down storm drains, many people do not realize that they are polluting. They could be washing their car and not seeing excess soap traveling down the street. Some may purposely release chemicals into the drainage system, believing that it leads to a treatment facility. Everything that goes through the storm drains end up untreated in a body of water. It could be Oswego Lake, the Willamette River or even Tryon Creek.

This summer, I am working to raise awareness. I have recruited a group of people to help me. We are placing drain markers on storm drains leading to Oswego Lake that will catch people’s attention, causing them to be more aware. We are also hanging door hangers on residents’ doors, giving information about the project and tips on how to help. We are working with the City of Lake Oswego, as we both wish to keep our lakes, rivers and other bodies of waters clean.

My group of volunteers and I can only mark so many drains, so we are asking others to help as well. If you would like to help preserve the bodies of water in Lake Oswego, contact Anne MacDonald at 503-675-3999 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I am sure the city would be grateful for any volunteers that come their way.

Will Firmin

Troop 432 Boy Scout

Lake Oswego

For a better Lake Oswego

We have a unique candidate for mayor this election. Dave Berg is committed to Lake Oswego. He is a long-term resident who cares about all our citizens and will defend their individual property rights.

Dave will not listen only to the developers, realtors or business owners who live elsewhere than Lake Oswego. He will stem the tide of the urbanization of Lake Oswego. He will not roll over for those city planners whose self-interest is their primary motivation.

Dave has been actively engaged in our community for years, trying to ensure Lake Oswego remains a wonderful place to live. We’ve had enough of the “going along to get along” that we’ve seen these last few years.

Citizens who want to help Dave can donate to “Friends of Dave Berg” or through his web site davebergformayor.com. He supports improving the quality of life for everyone: longtime residents, seniors, young families and those struggling to afford the higher cost of living in LO. Dave wants to improve our community in all the right areas while making sure all of us can continue to afford to live here for the long term.

Remember to contribute at davebergformayor.com.

Gale Gipson

Lake Oswego

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.