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Readers' Letters

Teachers change lives

Please invest in the education of our community’s most precious resource: the children and young adults of Lake Oswego and our schools. Make your annual donation to the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, either to its annual campaign or to the Endowment Fund.

Your donation is used exclusively to hire additional teachers in our Lake Oswego School District classrooms, which provides teachers and specialists to the elementary grades and adds greater class selection and challenging electives for the high schools. Why? Because teachers change the lives of students, they inspire and push students to greater achievements and students need attention. Great teachers help prepare our students to be successful in college and to be wonderful adults.

Our community is special. I do not believe you can find a better place to live and raise children and find friends. Part of the special sauce of Lake Oswego centers around our schools and how they are valued and supported. Public education here in Lake Oswego is a cornerstone of the community, and your donation to the Foundation and to our students for great teachers is so very important. Please take the call, write the check and include the education of children in Lake Oswego in your gifting plans.

Kevin Robertson

Lake Oswego

Fund the pool

Discussions of Title IX violations within Lake Oswego School District athletics should include the larger issues of stability and access to programs without regard to gender or disabilities. While the district rushes to redress disparities between Lake Oswego High School baseball and softball facilities, structural issues closed the pool for a month of the varsity swimming season this year (“Making waves: Popular pool in ‘critical condition,’” Jan. 7).

High school swimming is a no-cut, co-educational sport, open equally to able-bodied and adaptive athletes. Both Lakeridge and Lake Oswego also have men’s and women’s water polo teams, making a total of eight teams and roughly 150 high school students who rely on the stability of and access to the pool to ensure participation.

Rain renders a natural field only temporarily unplayable; cracked ceiling beams from a decade of deferred maintenance rendered the entire pool facility unusable.

The district’s bond development committee seeks to produce a preliminary bond project list by June. Where the pool falls on this list depends upon your view about stability and access. The long-range facilities plan lists guiding principles like safety, seismic stability and capacity.

The month-long pool closure — and the existing lack of pool capacity within the Portland metro area — required all four swim teams to move their practices and meets to off hours and smaller pools.

The Jan. 28 LO swim meet vs. West Linn/St.Mary’s moved from 4 p.m. in our eight-lane district pool to available water in the six-lane Tigard pool at 7 p.m. Because swimming guarantees participation, every athlete — male and female, adaptive or otherwise — raced that weeknight, and the meet didn’t wrap up until 10 p.m.

The bond development committee must include pool funding in the preliminary bond project list; our athletes and coaches deserve better than another “dry run” next season.

Carolyn Heymann

Lake Oswego

On equality in sports

Editor’s Note: Stories about the filing of a federal Title IX lawsuit by members of the Lake Oswego High School softball team (“LOHS softball players file Title IX lawsuit,” April 7; “The generation that made it better,” April 14) generated a flurry of activity on The Review’s website and Facebook page. Here’s a sampling:

Clearly, the situations are unequal. This is what happens now that sports are having to pay for themselves through fundraising vs. support from the district. The boys’ teams (to my knowledge) have done substantially more fundraising over the years and thus have better facilities.

It will be interesting to see what happens in this case. Will fundraising now be spread equally across all sports/activities, or will teams get to keep what they raise (current situation)? Before you answer, think about this: Would you donate as much to your kids’ sport, school, team, etc., if you knew it was going to be shared everywhere, and not just to benefit your child? A lot of people will not. Is it fair if one team does all the work, and everyone benefits equally?

Parents and community members need to send the message that girls’ sports are equally important, and support their fundraising accordingly.

— LO Mom

The “demand” is for nothing less than EQUITY from the public education system of our community. Why would a community such as ours settle for anything less? Over half of our students are female. Why would we accept less for them than we do for the males?

The solution to this issue will require creative, committed thinking. It is achievable without sacrificing the participatory qualitites of any existing program, but rather improving the opportunity offered to the existing programs that have been held back.

These Lake Oswego students should be admired and supported. I am in awe of their courage and fully agree with the concept they are willingly putting forth.

— MOBIUS

As the father of a daughter who played softball, it is my opinion that the majority of the failure is on the part of the softball community in Lake Oswego for not consistently going out into the community and raising money like other programs do. In all the years we were involved, it has been rarely that much of any fundraising activity occured.

The only egregious issue that I see is that an athletic trainer and first aid supplies are not available to the team. To be fair, most schools only have one trainer who has to move between athletic activities, so it is not possible to have a trainer available at every game site throughout the entire game. It would also make sense to have the hitting facility available to the softball team providing they equip it with the machinery they need.

As far as facility equality, if you turf the LOHS softball field, at the minimum you will have to do the same for the Lakeridge softball field. And if the argument is you can’t get outside to practice on the dirt fields, you will also need to turf the Lakeridge baseball field to provide equality on both sides of the lake.

— Softball Dad

This is exactly why Title IX exists, so there’s really no point in arguing whether or not the girls’ softball teams should be supported equally. It’s the law that they should.

The real question to be asked is why in the world we are spending so much money on team sports that a handful of students participate in. And at a time when the LO school infrastructure is suffering its well-publicized maintenance and safety issues, its classes are increasingly overcrowded and on and on.

Sports are great, but they are a personal pursuit for some that has somehow become enmeshed as a ‘Fourth R’ in our schools. A good education in a good learning environment should be the primary mission of our schools.

— Thismarty

‘Violently poisonous’

For years, I’ve watched an amazing group of plants that grow in and around a small drainage creek near our home, admiring their ability to thrive in boggy soil and deep shade.  Recently, I looked them up in several wildflower field guides and found astonishing news.

These plants are so toxic (or as one author put it, “violently poisonous”) that consuming a small portion will result in loss of consciousness, followed by death. The plants are variously called Indian Hellebore, Green False Hellebore, Corn Lily and “Skookum” Root, the latter being Chinook jargon for “strong” or “monstrous.”

The plants grow alongside a trail that gives passage to nearby homes and that is used regularly by children going to and from the neighborhood grammar school.  One can only hope the children are not curious enough to take a bite.

Geranna Fleming

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.