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Lake Oswego Sustainability Network will look back on a busy year with guest speakers and a film on Jan. 22

REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Claudia Jakim checks out the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S at an Electric Vehicle Fair co-sponsored last summer by the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network.The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network wants you, your friends, family members and neighbors to join in celebrating all of the strides made over the past year to improve sustainability in the city.

The third-annual LOSN Sustainability Celebration will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Lake Oswego United Methodist Church (1855 South Shore Blvd.). The event will feature a variety of guest speakers on a number of sustainability-related topics, ranging from tree planting and affordable housing to plastic bags and electric vehicles.

REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - George Denison of Lake Oswego works on a microwave oven during last year's Fixit Fair in Lake Oswego.Following the presentations, the group will screen "London Connection," a short film written, produced and directed by LOSN co-founder Duke Castle and inspired by a story Castle wrote for the Lake Oswego Story Project.

The film is a story of unwavering British resolve during the Nazi bombardment of London in 1940 and how that inspired future generations to carry on, to strive forward and to continue fighting in the face of uncertainty.

"I've always been impressed with how the British people didn't give up, even in their darkest hour," Castle says. "I think there's a lesson for all of us there. I hope it helps to address the despair that many are feeling about climate change. The basic message is, it's never too late."

Although speakers at the Sustainability Celebration will be limited to only a few minutes each, they've all been asked to delve into steps that local organizations and community members have taken over the past year to improve their commitment to sustainability and thinking green.

Speakers scheduled to present at the Sustainability Celebration include:

-- Lake Oswego Watershed Council Chair Stephanie Wagner;

-- LOSN School Action Team member Courtney Clements;

-- City Councilor Theresa Kohlhoff;

-- LOSN Transportation Action Team member Gerald Fox;

-- Lake Oswego United Methodist Church Pastor Michelle McKinnon-Young;

-- LOSN Food Action Team member Natalie Bennon;

-- Lake Oswego Review Editor Gary Stein;

-- Former City Councilor and restaurateur Joe Buck;

-- Clackamas County Sustainability Analyst Stacey Luddington;

-- City Facilities Manager Rachel Peterson;

-- Christ Episcopal Church Youth Director Kristina Peterson; and

-- LOSN steering committee member Duke Castle.

The first half-hour of the event will be dedicated to meeting new people, networking and eating some great food.

"The idea is to acknowledge the great things happening around sustainability within the past year," Castle says. "It's about networking, introducing people and show-

casing what they have going on."

For Castle, one of the biggest steps forward this past year came when the City Council formally approved the Climate Action Plan that LOSN submitted to the City in 2017. It's a monumental act, he says, which will guide the City's decisions and operations for years to come.

Other milestones reached in 2018, according to Castle:

-- An Electric Vehicle Fair in August with 120-150 people attending;

-- The City's purchase of two Chevy Bolt EVs as a start toward converting the City's fleet;

-- A FixIt Fair in June with 75 attending;

-- Passage in December of a ban on single-use plastic bags; and

-- Approval by the School Board of a final design for Lakeridge Junior High with a goal of it being net-zero energy ready. The LOSD will break ground later this year.

Castle says the LOSN's steering committee will hold a strategic planning session on Friday, Jan. 25, to debrief and take into consideration the material presented at the celebration, which will be used to create new goals and next steps.

"We had so much stuff going on this year. There's an energy (around sustainability) that is very infectious," Castle says. "But there's so much that flies under the radar."

Contact Lake Oswego Review reporter Sam Stites at 503-479-2375 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

IF YOU GO

What: Lake Oswego Sustainability Network's third-annual Sustainability Celebration

Where: United Methodist Church, 1855 South Shore Blvd., Lake Oswego

When: 5:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22

Note: A $10 donation for food is suggested.


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