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Support the foundation, teachers make a difference

When I was in fifth grade at Westridge Elementary, my teacher, Ms. Carter, nominated me for the Junior National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

I attended the five-day conference the next year with 200 students from around the U.S. We had the opportunity to visit the White House, see many monuments and even have an overnight stay at the Maryland Science Museum.

Thanks to Ms. Carter, I made many new friends that I still keep in touch with today. I also learned about our country’s history while visiting different museums. I feel so fortunate for this opportunity. I hope that in the future when I am in college, I am able to go back to D.C. and work as a volunteer leader at the conference.

Please support our Lake Oswego Schools Foundation this year. Our teachers are the best and they make a difference in all their students’ lives.

Caroline Pahl

Lake Oswego

Seventh grade

Lakeridge Junior High School

Is there a ‘doggie poop fairy?’

Am I missing something? Is there a “doggie poop fairy” that has been hired by the city of Lake Oswego?

I take my dog for a walk properly armed with my doggie poop bags, which I use and carry home with me and put in the trash. But as I walk I find these nice, neat little bags carefully rested upon a tree trunk, a hydrangea plant or just tossed carelessly into someone yard (including my own when I return home).

And I see them all carefully stashed in the same spot the next day that I walk. What the heck is going on? Do people think because it’s in a bag, that makes it OK and you can leave it anywhere? Or is there really an LO poop fairy and somehow I didn’t get the memo?

Someone please help me understand!

Lynn Harden

Lake Oswego

Give of your time and money to support schools

Our family moved from Seattle to Lake Oswego just 10 months ago. We moved to Lake Oswego for the topnotch schools and its overwhelmingly supportive community who are fully invested in the success of our kids future, and that clearly starts with education. 

I remember walking into Lake Grove Elementary in April last year, with my fourth- and fifth-graders, Cassidy and Ryan, and we all just felt a sense of joy and happiness throughout the school. This feeling came from the teachers, the staff and children alike.

As I reflect back on why that may have been, I think of the (Lake Oswego Schools) Foundation. The teachers know we, as their community, have their back. The foundation creates a sense of job security for our teachers. We support them by giving our money and by giving our time to volunteer with the foundation. 

Let’s face it, with the state of school budgets dwindling and money coming in smaller amounts, we have to kick in and help keep the level of instruction high and class sizes small. By donating to the foundation, we can keep that high level of hands-on activities and quality instruction. It helps ensure smaller class sizes for these teachers, which means a less stressful classroom environment and creates greater learning opportunities for our kids. The smaller classroom sizes also allow our teachers to be able spend more time getting to know and instructing each of our children in the way that they learn best.

The LOS Foundation has raised nearly $21 million and funded more than 300 teachers since its inception in 1986. It is imperative we keep the momentum going. Please consider giving; giving of your time by volunteering; and giving of your money, to ensure our kids will continue to get this topnotch education. The time is now. We need to invest now for success.

Danielle Miller

Lake Oswego

Did the school board overreach its authority?

The Lake Oswego school board has adopted an extremely intrusive and opaque view of First Amendment protections.

First, the board silenced public criticism of the district administrators who failed to properly supervise the Lakeridge football program. Instead, it advocated censoring negative postings on The Oregonian’s website. “We should probably eliminate oregonlive comments, that would be good,” said John Wendland. “That would be fabulous,” agreed Patti Zebrowski. “It is the wild, wild west out there,” added Bill Korach.

Then at the same Feb. 10 meeting, the board agreed to hold a private session to discuss “rumors” relating to players and coaches. “I want to put out some rumors that I have heard, just for my sake and I don’t want to discuss them here,” explained Wendland.

There is absolutely no statutory justification in Oregon law for an elected governing body to call an executive session to gossip. In fact it would be an unconstitutional breach of privacy to open student records for board inspection — in public or in private — merely to satisfy members’ curiosity. A board member has no right to launch his own inquiry of student conduct behind closed doors.

I encourage all parents, not just those of athletes, to remain vigilant in protecting your students from an overreaching school board.

Karen Delaney

Lake Oswego

(Editor’s note: Nancy Duin, director of communications for the Lake Oswego School District, responds: “The superintendent is responsible to the school board for the oversight and performance of the school district, and the school board has the right to review his performance as chief executive officer in executive session. When anonymous public criticism in online comments sections is not accurate, the board has an obligation to separate fact from fiction when passing judgment on the superintendent’s decisions, actions and management of his staff. This is not synonymous with “an executive session to gossip.” In this case, after reviewing Lakeridge High School Principal Jennifer Schiele’s report on the Lakeridge football season, the board chair determined that an executive session was not desired.”)

‘Invest in success’ by supporting foundation

We believe there are three reasons why we have the best school district in the state:

1. Our local option levy that contributes $30 million

2. Our committed and engaged parents, teachers, administrators and students

3. Our LO Schools Foundation which pays for additional teachers

If any one of the above are weakened, our schools will lose their luster and our community will suffer. It’s no secret that property values in LO are among the best in the state. Ask any Realtor and he or she will tell you this is simply a reflection of supply and demand — people want to move here for the quality of life.

What’s the No. 1 factor in our quality of life for families? Our excellent schools.

The foundation pays for 20 teachers per year — roughly one elementary school. Please invest in success by supporting your foundation’s annual campaign.

Doug Fish and Michelle DeCourcy

Lake Oswego parents

‘What “Is” is’ in Lake Oswego

This past month I spent more than nine hours listening to citizen comment regarding the Wizer project — Block 137. As a result I strongly encourage, no, make that “strongly request” the city of Lake Oswego adopt a height pole and netting policy for additions and new construction similar to the one in Los Gatos, Calif. — see town.los-gatos.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=733.

This policy establishes a process that ensures all stakeholders in a development project share the same sense of mass, volume and community impact. Additionally, it will reduce the number of hours (read cost and frustration) attributed to defining what “Is” is.

Ron Smith

Lake Oswego

‘City council should be an advocate with TriMet’

According to its representatives, TriMet serves 300,000 riders a day in its transportation system. TriMet picks up or drops off in Lake Oswego more than 500,000 riders a year.

Seceding from TriMet would hurt seniors, employees, the disabled and others who depend on public transportation. Lake Oswego is not an island to itself in the metropolitan area. The Lake Oswego City Council should be an advocate with TriMet for improved transit service from downtown Portland to the Kruse Way corridor to serve the approximately 6,000 employees who work here.

Rob LeChevallier

Lake Oswego

Help make a wish come true for a little boy with leukemia

I am writing this to help a little boy with leukemia in the hopes of having his wish for his seventh (March 6) birthday come true.Tyler Seddon

He would like as many birthday cards as he can get from first responders, both fire and police as he is an avid admirer of both.

He lives here on the East Coast and his story aired on WCVB. I am a mother and grandmother and mom of a firefighter and his story touched me. His name is Tyler Seddon and he lives at 96 S. Main St., Pascoag, RI 02859. I have tried contacting as many as possible on the West Coast as I thought what a lovely surprise for this young man to receive cards from so far away.

However, contacting them directly is a daunting task and some do not have email.

Therefore, I thought it would help to put the word out through newspapers. Imagine the smile on that young boy’s face when he gets them.

Thank you.

Catherine Rondeau

Southbridge, Mass.

(Editor’s note: According to news reports, Tyler Seddon was admitted to a hospital Feb. 20. He is in need of a bone marrow transplant and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. To make a donation to offset the family’s medical costs, visit gofundme.com/TylersTroops.)

Put country back on right path

Every time I go with someone to get gas for their car, I am shocked at how much gas costs. You never leave without spending $50 to $75, and many times it is more.

Now someone from Congress wants to double the tax on gasoline as they are running out of our money to spend.

It’s about time those in Congress get a taste of what the real world is like and they take a 25 percent cut in pay, have their staff of assistants cut in half, eliminate all first-class airplane trips, hotels, resorts, vacations unless they want to spend their own money for those things.

We send those people to Washington, D.C., to run our country while we, the taxpayers, earn the money to pay the bills. We did not send them to Congress to become millionaires, to pass bills favorable to the lobbyists, to the drug companies or to the conglomerates. They were elected to protect, persevere and run the country for the citizens — the citizens — of this country.

They are not Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. They are Americans taking their turn at running this country in an honest, honorable way. Loading citizens with unbearable taxes is not the way to do it.

I do not understand how a citizen of American can get up and face the already strapped citizens and tell them their tax on gasoline will be doubled. Those are the most inhumane words I have ever heard. May he be forgiven for even asking that of his constituents as well as those of the other 49 states’ constituents.

It is time America to stand up and put our country back on the right path. Hopefully, it is not too late.

Mary Lord