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Readers' Letters

Young family for Hutson

As a mother of a current second-grader and a kindergartner, the long-term stability of our schools is of great importance to me. Recently when reading The Review, I was particularly struck by some of the comments made by Steve Coury (“Open minds will calm the waters,” April 16.)

Coury mentioned the importance of having open minds and not putting a time limit on someone being a leader in our community. I couldn’t agree more, especially in a closely connected community like Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego is a fantastic place, but it can be difficult to have newer voices heard because we have so many longstanding families in our district. This is a challenge and an opportunity for us. We need to encourage fresh voices to balance and complement our longstanding school board members.

Ed Hutson will be a fresh voice and a balancing asset to our school board. He is a current middle-school parent with first-hand knowledge who can represent the influx of newer families that have lived in our great community for a handful of years.

It is clear to me that Ed, with his leadership experience, professional background, objectiveness and fresh perspective, is the right choice for our school board.

Hilary Smith

Lake Oswego

Barman committed to excellence

Bob Barman has a demonstrated commitment to excellence in our schools and has been a voice for positive and balanced change over the past four years on the board of the Lake Oswego School District.

Drawing on over 30 years of leadership and volunteerism in this community, he made affordable ACT prep classes and Honors English classes available to all students. He pushed to add a Spanish immersion program for elementary students and was successful in adding Spanish and French classes in the middle schools. He is interested in implementing a “Blueprint for Success” program that helps students chart activities and classes from grades 7-12, thereby enabling them to achieve their ultimate goals.

He is passionate about updating the technology, curriculum and facilities in all the schools to the highest standards so that our children will be able to compete in the global economy. He has traveled extensively, at his own expense, to successful school districts around the country to evaluate their programs and to bring home new ideas and new approaches to our schools.

Please join me in supporting Bob Barman for a second term on the board of the LOSD.

Joyce Stephens

Lake Oswego

District needs Hutson

The school board makes decisions that have long-term consequences for the district and the community. This district is challenged with meeting demands for excellence with increasingly restricted resources. As those challenges are met, an ideal school board member must successfully collaborate with fellow board members, with the superintendent and with community stakeholders.

As community members, we will look to the board to model how we can achieve cohesiveness as a community — a community that, regardless of the side of the lake on which we live, we all love. We have 10 outstanding schools in this district. The successes that come out of each of these are the community’s successes, not the North’s successes or the South’s.

Ed Hutson resides in this city because he loves this city and he wanted his children to attend school here.  He wants to be on the school board because he wants the success of this district to continue. He has the demeanor, the sense of collaboration and the spirit of impartiality that would make him successful, and the school board successful, in meeting the challenges of our district.

Vote for Ed Hutson for school board.

Elizabeth Domagalski

Lake Oswego

Barman believes in inclusion

Here’s a CliffsNotes version of my life with respect to the education of my children: In the recent past, LOSD would educate some students (like mine) with intellectual disabilities outside of this city. We are residents of Lake Oswego, but our kids received their education from another school district.

I met Bob Barman during an LOSD board meeting. I gave testimony requesting that my children receive their education here in LO.  Bob was kind enough to introduce himself to me and offered his help. I’m happy to write that both kids have now returned to the Lake Oswego School District.

This shift was due in large part to Bob’s action in helping create changes that would allow my children to be educated here. Bob believes in inclusion and acceptance. He obligates himself into action to ensure inclusion is more than just a word.

Indeed, my personal experience offers proof of his own good integrity. That’s why I am voting for Bob for Lake Oswego School Board.

Isabel Sturman

Lake Oswego

Passion for excellence

I’m writing to encourage your support for Bob Barman in his re-election bid for the LOSD board. Over the years, Bob has consistently impressed me with his passion for excellence in education. His enthusiasm, dedication and focus on the needs of all children in the district is something which I most admire.

As many others have mentioned, Bob is the board member who asks the tough questions and challenges the status quo to think differently rather than follow conventional wisdom or take the easy way out. Bob’s ability to ask the tough questions is a key ingredient to avoid the pitfalls of “groupthink” and ensure that board decisions are thoroughly vetted.

Given the issues facing the district, it is most important that Position 5 be filled with someone with the experience, energy and passion to ensure the continued improvement of K-12 education in the district. I am convinced Bob Barman is that person.

I urge you to vote for Bob Barman.

Steve Sharman

Lake Oswego

Hutson’s experience matters

We moved to Lake Oswego in 2012 at the encouragement of family and friends. We have never had children in the school system. We are residents who take great pride in our strong community.

Like many of you, we work hard to care for our home and appreciate the strong property values that our schools create. We need a school board that provides hands-on care for our school buildings, like many of us provide for our homes. That is why we are voting for Ed Hutson.

A point that has stuck with us is how Mr. Hutson must care for and protect the construction equipment in his business because it’s his company’s greatest asset. Unlike some businessmen, Ed is hands-on and actively involved in maintaining the quality of his company’s assets. He knows the importance of this first-hand. After years of neglect, many of our schools desperately need this hands-on attention. Our schools are community assets that we all benefit from, whether we have children in the district or not.

Ed Hutson has the industry experience our schools need and will roll up his sleeves and get to work. Join us and vote Ed Hutson for school board.

Mike and Darcie Smith

Lake Oswego

Barman advocates for kids

Bob Barman is a passionate advocate for our kids because he fights for what he believes in. I met him 15 years ago, when he was fighting Big Oil for defrauding him. At great personal risk, Bob refused to be bullied, persevering until the jury agreed with him. Since then, Bob has used his tenacity to improve our schools.

He has cajoled people to get involved in their community and to volunteer in the schools. He has scrutinized district programs, compared them to other schools and advocated for change when necessary.

My son Charlie is an example. During Charlie’s first English class at UCLA, the professor asked everyone who had been in AP English to raise their hands. Everyone did. But without Bob, Charlie would have kept his hand down. Bob had fought for a fairer application process for Honors English, despite decades of inertia. Charlie was a beneficiary of that change, “opting in” to the class, getting an A and getting into UCLA.

Bob did not do it for Charlie, or Lakeridge, or the district. He did it for all of our kids. It is his passion to advocate for our kids and to give everyone an equal opportunity.

Matt Levin

Lake Oswego

UnitED for Education

As a 17-year resident of Mountain Park in Lake Oswego, I value strong schools and a united community. That’s why I support Ed Hutson for school board.

Ed has a strong sense of community, having been involved in youth athletics and building a non-profit to support access to athletics for youth of all abilities. Ed will bring to the school board a desire for all students to succeed, regardless of their neighborhood school or individual abilities, and he will do this by bringing people together as a community.

Ed is a proven leader. Not only does he own and run a small business, but he has experience as the president of the American Rental Association of Oregon and started a volunteer organization from the ground up. In all these roles, he has demonstrated how important keeping an eye on the bottom line is to financial health.

We all want strong schools, a community that cares for our kids and one another, sound fiscal accountability and leadership that pulls us together for the good of all. Ed Hutson is the best person for the job, and I have already cast my ballot for him for school board position 5.

Jennifer Curran

Lake Oswego

Barman gets results

Over his past four years on the Lake Oswego School Board, Bob Barman has impressed me with the way he really listens to people and cares about ALL the families in Lake Oswego. Bob was a breath of fresh air coming onto the board. He has continued to work tirelessly against the “status quo” leadership that beleaguered the school board and administration for many years.

Bob is results-oriented, and his contributions to the district over the past four years are tangible. Both of my sons have benefitted from his leadership: My oldest is registered for seventh-grade Spanish next fall and will earn high school credit for taking the class; my youngest, who is in Special Education, is being educated in a classroom at Oak Creek rather than in a school in Milwaukie or Oregon City. Both situations are a direct result of Bob’s passionate leadership and ability to create change when it is needed.

Bob is collaborative, open-minded, thoughtful, passionate, engaged, knowledgeable about the district and fair when considering the issues before the board. He has my appreciation for what he has accomplished so far, and my utmost support for another four years of results-oriented leadership!

Becky Owens

Lake Oswego

Vote for Hutson

We are writing in full support of Ed Hutson for Lake Oswego School Board.

In our community, we are all passionate about our children, our schools, our teams, our neighborhoods and our city. This is a blessing and is one of the many qualities that make Lake Oswego great. However, with this wealth of passion there is a need for objective and practical oversight. That is why we are voting Ed Hutson for school board.

Over the next four years, our school board will be making decisions that will have a lasting impact on the future of our community. Sports should not be at the top of this list. Our elementary schools, our middle schools, all of our students and all of our teachers should be our sole motive.

Ed Hutson will bring his experience and a fresh perspective to our school board. His background and resume will add value to the strengths of our current board members. Ed Hutson will work to spend our taxpayer dollars strategically, logically and in areas that undoubtedly require the financial support. Vote Ed Hutson for school board.

Steve and Nancy Coury

Lake Oswego

Barman initiates action

I am honored to share with my community the deep respect and admiration I have for Bob Barman. I have been blessed with Bob and Katy’s friendship since 1988, and personally witnessed their untiring dedication to our community and our children.

In 1987, I joined our district as a special education teacher and professionally observed and experienced the ongoing operations within our schools. Through the years, when children and school programs needed support, I, as well as other teachers, turned to administrators and board members for understanding and help. Bob was the one who listened, empathized and initiated action. In my profession, I have admired parents who advocated for their children, and Bob possesses these same qualities.

When Bob enters our classrooms, children can tell he is there to see them, listen to them and care about their futures. He has been a parent volunteer in the classroom since his twin boys entered kindergarten.  He knows the curriculum and desires special attention be given to the early grades, so all children can learn to read and feel successful and confident.

Bob listens, researches and initiates action. Please re-elect Bob Barman to the Lake Oswego School Board.

Margaret Zuercher

Lake Oswego

New leadership needed

Please join us in supporting Ed Hutson for the Lake Oswego School Board.

The next four years are going to be a pivotal time for the district. It is imperative that the right leadership be in place as the district decides how to allocate funds to fix outdated and dilapidated elementary school buildings, upgrade our school’s inadequate technology and oversee the implementation of Common Core and Smarter Balanced tests.

Ed Hutson is the person to help lead our district during this very important time. In getting to know Ed, we have found him to be a genuine, humble and generous man. Ed will take the time to listen to all sides involved and make informed decisions based on facts, rather than on personal agendas. We are fully convinced that Ed’s only agenda is to do what is best for all kids in the district.

The infighting and finger pointing of the last four years has distracted the district from its main goal and has divided our community. While we have spent time bickering over petty differences, surrounding districts have surpassed us in many areas. New leadership is needed on the school board, and Ed Hutson is the person for the job.

Chris and Kati Hubley

Lake Oswego

Barman works tirelessly

Bob Barman is a dedicated and energetic leader worthy of our vote for re-election during the upcoming school board election.

In the past four years, I have personally witnessed Bob Barman listening to families with education-related concerns and then working tirelessly for resolution. I have seen him actively cheer for our students in the arts, theater and athletics.

Our family has benefited directly from his explanation of the manner in which AP coursework and corresponding AP testing can translate into thousands of dollars in savings in college tuition. His commitment to ensuring educational opportunities for all students in the district, regardless of ability or address, make him my choice for Lake Oswego School Board.

With Bob Barman’s unflagging efforts on behalf of our students and educational excellence in our district, our community is a stronger place.

Ilene Gaekwad

Lake Oswego

Hutson is needed

The best school boards operate on a few key tenants: high expectations for student achievement, strong shared beliefs, less time spent on operational issues and more on policies that encourage broad student excellence.

Board members should play a minimal role in day-to-day operations, individual school issues and staffing. Collaboration to define goals and priorities, as well as a keen eye on the financial picture, are vital. Those results set the action plan for the superintendent to carry out.

Ed Hutson understands the role he can play on the five-person board. That is why I am voting for Ed Hutson.

Lisa Shaw-Ryan

Lake Oswego

Barman the clear choice

One of the first times I crossed paths with Bob Barman, he was volunteering in the office at our sons’ junior high school. As he pecked away at a computer keyboard, I thought, “How lucky are we to have a parent like this dad who cares so much about our schools?” Eight years later, we are all fortunate to have Bob’s voice on the Lake Oswego School Board.

There is no denying our district is doing a better job for our kids while charting a more sustainable path forward for us taxpayers. Bob Barman is a big reason why. Whether it is Spanish immersion for elementary kids or more access to college prep courses for high school students, Bob Barman’s fingerprints are all over nearly every key initiative of the past four years. Time and again, he asks the right questions and gets results.

There are tough decisions in life, but this school board race is not one of them. Endorsed by The Review last week, Bob Barman is the clear choice. Please join me in exercising your right to vote this next week and in making sure the best candidate for the job wins. That candidate is Bob Barman!

Katy Brown Troftgruben

Lake Oswego

We need Barman

We would like to thank Bob Barman for his dedication to our schools and our community. During the past 15 years, his list of school and community volunteer positions is extensive (including school board position 5), and all of this involvement has allowed him to personally see what works and what doesn’t work.

Volunteering has also given him the opportunity to forge longstanding relationships with parents, students and staff from every single school in our district. It’s really something when so many people can be so comfortable going to their school board member and freely sharing their concerns and suggestions. That’s not always the case.

This is why Bob has been such a great school board member. He knows our schools inside and out, he knows the people and the community, and he’s ready to work with the new superintendent and fellow board members to fix what needs fixing, expand what’s working well, spend our tax dollars wisely and keep Lake Oswego schools the best in the state.

For us the choice is crystal clear: We need Bob Barman for another four years!

Greg and Cathy Shroyer

Lake Oswego

Support Barman, Wallin

Lucky us! We can vote for Bob Barman AND John Wallin, who are running for separate Lake Oswego School Board seats.

The success of our schools requires decision-makers who are never content with the status quo, who will resolutely seek new options for LOSD that reflect the demands of a changing world and who are committed to curriculum and teaching support that includes opportunities for all of our students.

Barman and Wallin are the right choices for that job.

Paul Kachel and Mary Ann Kunkel

Lake Oswego

Making LO better

I have never so completely agreed with an endorsement in any newspaper as the one written by the Lake Oswego Review last week in support of Bob Barman. You explained why it is so critical that we re-elect Bob, who has spent 30 years working to make our community better in many different organizations.

Bob and his wife, Katy, have worked as a team to make Lake Oswego a better community. I have seen their volunteer efforts in person over the past two decades. They have been PTO presidents and co-auction chairs. Katy served as president of the Junior Women’s Club; Bob has been a neighborhood association representative as well as vice president and treasurer of the Lake Corp. They both volunteered multiple times per month in their children’s schools, and they volunteered in several other schools in need.

And it doesn’t stop there.  Katy was president of the Schools Foundation and Bob was a leader of the last three local option campaigns, including serving as finance co-chair. They roll up their sleeves to make this community a better place to live and raise a family. 

This community has many great families, but in my book, the Barmans are at the top. They have demonstrated exceptional leadership and earned our support and your vote.  I urge you to vote for Bob!

Michelle Holman

Lake Oswego

One appeal too many

It’s unfortunate that the Evergreen Neighborhood Association (ENA) board — by a fairly close vote — and Save Our Village (SOV) decided to further appeal the Wizer project to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

At this point, it seems most citizens feel that the ENA board and SOV should have followed Barry Cain’s lead by not pursuing further litigation against our city and the project. The LUBA decision denying the appeal to that body was so strong that it left no doubt, in LUBA’s mind, that the appeal was baseless.

The same result is almost certainly coming from the Court of Appeals. ENA’s board and SOV must know this, despite the “Hail Mary” rhetoric coming from their attorney. But apparently even a frivolous appeal must be worth the cost and loss of community goodwill, just to try to create more project roadblocks and delays — particularly when one ENA board member has publicly committed to pay all of ENA’s legal fees.

Had the ENA board bothered to ask its neighborhood residents about the wisdom of suing the city yet again, the board likely would have received different feedback. After much discussion and debate and so many meetings, hearings and appeals, even many of the original project opponents are saying this is one appeal too many.

Bill Gordon

ENA board member

Lake Oswego

Did you find DVDs?

I was visiting my daughter and her family in Lake Oswego on Saturday, May 9, when I inadvertently left a black case of DVDs on the hood of my car. I drove from Sarah Hill Lane to Bryant Road, Lakeview Boulevard and South Shore Drive, and ended in the parking lot of Palisades Marketplace. Somewhere along that route, the case fell off the car, and the DVDs were lost.

The case is approximately 12-inches-by-5-inches and is made of black fabric. There were about 50 children’s DVDs inside it.

If you found the case, my grandchildren would be so pleased to have their movies returned. The best place to return them would be Lake Oswego Family Dentistry at 454 A Ave. (across from the Safeway store.)  If that is inconvenient, a message could be left on my cell phone, and I will be happy to pick the case up.  The number is 541-915-0557.

Thank you from a grandma in trouble!

Linda Bullock


Long odds

It is with great interest that I have followed the debate, the code and the law in connection with the Wizer Block redevelopment. As a partner in a Lake Oswego business and someone who is seriously contemplating living in the community, I have watched closely the passion of opponents, the transparency of the City Council decision in favor of the project and then the Land Use Board of Appeals’ strong affirmation of the council decision.

Until now, this has been democracy taking its course, even though the opponents’ appeal to LUBA had long odds. But the standard of review for overturning or remanding a land-use decision narrows and becomes much more difficult as the case goes up the appeals ladder. At the Court of Appeals, the review is limited to the record at LUBA. No new arguments can be raised on any new evidence not already before LUBA or argued at LUBA. The odds of the opponents winning get even longer at the Court of Appeals.

Democracy has worked well in LO until now. Debate has been lively, the developer has hung in and most of the community seems ready to move forward with a project that meets code criteria and that, when built, will be another downtown landmark.

With such long odds, this weak legal case brought by a few seems more about delay, and that’s not what our court system was intended for. The process to date has worked and should be respected. Let healing and constructions begin!

Jamieson Grabenhorst

Lake Oswego


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