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Readers' Letters

Protect children’s dignity

I write in response to the article regarding the hazing of girls on the Lakeridge dance team (“Dancer’s mom confirms details of alleged hazing,” Jan. 8). The article describes a summary of the events, plus points out that some girls recount different versions of what happened at the Bikini River Night March and the Tell All Retreat. Some parents are appalled and some say the story has been blown out of proportion.

Count me in the appalled category. I understand that this is not 1950 and that our culture has changed. We live in an age where nothing is subtle; everything is right in front of your face. Our kids see that this is the new normal, which the hazing exemplifies.

But I still believe some things are timeless. Our kids have to understand that each of them is born with inherent dignity and no one should take that away from them — not peers and especially not trusted coaches.

We teach them from a young age at each of our elementary schools to be safe, kind and responsible. All of these values protect the dignity of each child. Let’s not throw out these values when our 14-year-olds enter high school.

Mary Bresnahan

Lake Oswego

Shoff was helpful

I’m writing this letter in response to the recent firing of Lake Oswego High School boys basketball coach Mark Shoff (“LO High dismisses basketball coach,” Jan. 8) over an alleged physical altercation with a player.

I had Mr. Shoff as a PE teacher during the 1989-90 school year, and I never had any problems with him. I found him to be very nice and helpful, since I was a student with special needs. He never hollered at me or displayed any abusive behavior toward me.

One memory that stands out for me is that during a PE basketball game on Halloween of 1989, I was accidentally hit in the head by a basketball, breaking one of the stems off my glasses. Since I’m nearsighted, Mr. Shoff had one of the students escort me to the office so I could call my mom and get spare glasses brought down to the school.

Since I never played on a sports team at LOHS, I can’t really comment on how he was as a coach. But I can tell you about the positive experience I had with him as a P.E. teacher.

Bill Muir

Lake Oswego

Sale features Stafford’s books

I would like to let the public know of a special book sale that will take place at the Lake Oswego Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 20, starting at 6 p.m. The books are from Dorothy Stafford’s personal library and were donated to The Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library by the Stafford family to be used in our support of the library.

This sale will take place before the start of the annual William Stafford Birthday Celebration at the LO Library. The public will have the unique opportunity to own books that were in the private library of Dorothy Stafford.

The Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library are grateful to the Stafford family for their donation of these books, which give us a peek into the many facets of this interesting lady. Come see for yourself and stay to enjoy the annual William Stafford Birthday Celebration.

Terry Huber, president

The Friends of Lake Oswego Public Library

A lot of pressure

As taxpaying citizens, we put a lot of pressure on our elected officials to live within a budget and still provide essential services and fund our favorite programs. All of this, of course, must be done without raising our taxes. So how ironic that some self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives are taking their case to the state Land Use Board of Appeals because they disagree with the majority Council vote on redevelopment of the Wizer Block.

Taxpayer resources will be used to defend that Council decision because a group of citizens and another developer do not like the outcome of a vote by councilors who were elected to make those decisions.

The Wizer debate was a great lesson in democracy, but we have had our say. Council listened to hours of pro-and-con testimony, weighed that testimony in light of city code, and five of seven councilors made the judgment that the project should be built.

City government is doing its best to live within its means and give the quality of life everyone here wants. Appealing the Wizer decision to LUBA seems frivolous and counterproductive. The City will have to defend against the appeal. The groups appealing will have to pay lawyers. Surely that money can be better spent. There have to be more needy people than attorneys.

Karen Wheeler

Lake Oswego

Input for the Council

The January issue of Hello L.O. discusses City Council goals and invites public input.

  • The Lake Grove “community facility,” including library services, meeting rooms and police presence, would fit well in the West End Building’s 88,000 square feet, 18,000 of which is currently unused.

  • The police/LOCOM center (dispatch and police operations) should be moved to a seismically sound building to be located on a portion of the 14-acre WEB property. This would get it out of the very traffic-restricted downtown.

  • A portion of the WEB property can be sold to offset some of the debt and the remainder owed on the property could be presented to the voters as a bond issue. This would involve a well-thought-out plan, of course.

    Sandra Jackson

    Lake Oswego

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