Lake Oswego is the town with no cheer.

Do not walk, you will be run over. Do not be poor, you will leave on a rail. Do not be gay, you will be shamed. Do not be a minority unless you mow a lawn. Do not speak unless you can afford valet parking.

Lake Oswego is the town with no cheer.

Cary Gatewood

Lake Oswego

Funding foundation should be high priority

Lake Oswego is a special town and I feel lucky to live here with such amazing beauty, people, businesses and schools. The schools are especially near and dear to my heart as I have three children in the Lake Oswego School District.

We have amazing schools — the elementary schools are great and we are one of the few districts in the country to keep the excellence going at the middle and high school levels.

It is no accident we have excellent schools, our district has done an amazing job managing our children’s education. The mantra of our district for a long time has been: Time in the classroom between teachers and students is what makes the biggest impact. One of the ways we make that happen is through foundation support of teachers and staff in the classroom.

At Lake Grove Elementary, where I am fortunate enough to be PTA president this year, we are shifting our focus from raising money for PTA programs and enrichment dollars to raising money for the foundation to keep teachers and staff in the classroom. I hope other parents and parent clubs will do the same as their fundraising efforts come to an end.

Whitney Woolf

Lake Grove Elementary PTA president

Lake Oswego

‘Wondering what might really be going on behind the scenes’

I am sure all the citizens of Lake Oswego are getting tired of reading opinions regarding Block 137.

Having said that, here I go ... I want to see a project like the one that is proposed. But I have been opposed to the size of this project from the beginning. When I read about the project in the Review, several key things keep appearing, in almost every article. 1.) “Redevelopment plans for the site would require some exceptions to city code.” 2.) “The buildings would have more height than typically allowed.” There are some very important words in those two sentences, “exceptions to city code” and “typically allowed.”

I hope all the citizens have been reading what I have and wonder what might really be going on behind the scenes. If this goes through and variances are given, I’m going to cut down that tree in my yard that I don’t like anymore and I’m not going to get a permit.

Lynn Guzie

Lake Oswego

School board thanked for language changes

Kudos to the Lake Oswego School Board for the policy change of adding Spanish I to the seventh grade.

I wish they had this policy when my children were in junior high because the current Spanish offering for seventh-graders was not very comprehensive. Most colleges require a minimum of two years of a language. This policy will give students an opportunity to take an additional AP class or elective while in high school.

Thank you Patti Zebrowski, John Wendland, Liz Hartman, Sarah Howell and Bob Barman for making this important change.

Michelle Holman

Lake Oswego

‘Let’s keep this good thing going’

Recent opinion letters link the high performance of our students to the quality of our district’s teachers as foundation board members make the case to support this year’s annual fundraising campaign.

My family and I moved to Lake Oswego unaware that the foundation existed, but we are now annual contributors — for good reason.

Our move to LO in the summer of 2007 was hectic to say the least. It took two states and two months for our family — including twin 2-year olds, an 80-pound dog and a bun in the oven — to “settle” in corporate housing in West Linn. It was a blur.

Fresh to Oregon and eager to find a new, permanent home we engaged a Realtor with the goal of landing in a “family-friendly neighborhood with good schools.” In the next two months our Realtor showed us almost everything in almost every corner of the Portland MSA, but nothing we saw felt quite right. So we cut to the chase and refined our criteria from good schools to “the best schools.” And LO it was.

We soon began to appreciate that in fact we had landed in the place with the best schools. It started by noticing how smart, pleasant and successful our neighbors’ older kids were. We became more aware of our school district’s ranking in the annual reports, the list of our seniors’ colleges, anecdotes comparing LO classroom sizes to other districts, the relative stability of our home’s value.

Now with three kids in elementary school, we, too, link their scholastic achievement to their teachers. And since the foundation’s simple mission is all about teachers, it’s with good reason that we support the LO Schools Foundation each year.

Please join us and let’s keep this good thing going.

Kirk Olsen

Lake Oswego

LO Schools Foundation board member

Foundation is worthy of our support

We wanted to write a letter in support of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation.

Doug and I were both raised in Lake Oswego and graduated from Lakeridge High School. When our oldest son, Michael, now 18, was ready for first grade we knew we needed to move back to our hometown. Michael graduated from Lakeridge last year where the education, support and preparation he received have been invaluable in helping him identify a great school, obtain a scholarship and successfully adapt to college life at Gonzaga.

Our youngest son, Jack, is in kindergarten at Westridge, and we would not choose to have him in any other school, nor would we choose to live anyplace else. The foundation’s support of funding new teaching positions is instrumental to our kids and to keeping our communities great. Please join us in supporting Lake Oswego — the schools and the community — by supporting the foundation.

Doug and Cari Thomas

Lake Oswego

School board thanked for language decision

Thank you Lake Oswego School District board members for the time you put forth in making decisions that will affect our students.

A couple I’d like to mention is maintaining at the forefront of their priority low class sizes and offering Spanish 1 in seventh grade. Reading in the Oregonian (recently) about all of our neighboring high schools and their large class sizes, makes me appreciate the leadership here in Lake Oswego. I also appreciate the offering Spanish 1 down to the seventh grade level.

I had the pleasure in the past years to tutor both struggling Spanish students and AP Spanish students in both of our high schools.

In my humble opinion, the board made a great decision that will help both high-achieving students and the struggling student. How? The student that struggles with a second language will be able to take Spanish 1 in seventh grade when he or she has a lighter workload both academically and with extracurricular activities. If the struggling student gets a grade that could damage his or her GPA, he or she can take the Spanish 1 again in eighth grade, hopefully gaining a better grade due to exposure of the academics of the language.

The high-achieving and academically inclined student who is on a path to take many AP classes in high school can get Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 out of the way in middle school. One of the most difficult years for Spanish students is Spanish 3, which these students could take as freshman before their other class load gets heavy along with their extracurricular demands.

It is a win-win. I can go on and on about other decisions the board has made, but all I really want to say is thank you, gracias.

Patty Ashworth

Lake Oswego

Bird feeder

A bit of winter charity

Suspended from the eves —

Pine siskins, juncos, finches

Pick quarrels, scatter the loot,

Thud in panic against the glass.

A seed at a time measures the days.

What’s gone is gone,

And March is another matter.

These, we say, are better times.

Nature will provide.

With the same divided mind,

We take it down, reclaim the lawn,

Spade up a corner where

We expect to turn a profit.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

‘Savas understands our community, values’

Commissioner Paul Savas is one of us.

He has been involved in our community for the past 25 years. This has given him an in-depth understanding of the issues that matter most to the people of Clackamas County. Paul has raised his family here and realizes the importance of enhancing public safety to keep our loved ones and all communities safe.

As a business owner, he is keenly aware of the need for a business-friendly environment and sound economic policies. They will help create much needed family wage jobs and fill the job deficit.

Commissioner Savas understands our community and our values. I ask you to join me in voting for Paul Savas for Clackamas County Commissioner in May.

Jeanne Freeman

West Linn

‘Democracy hangs in the balance’

State Rep. Julie Parish, R-West Linn, fell from grace for one reason alone: She’s a loyal party member.

But it’s not the Republican Party she’s loyal to. Parrish pledges allegiance to the Tea Party, and made the mistake of recruiting radical candidates to run against more moderate Republicans in the May primary.

District 27 voters knew of Parrish’s Tea Party affiliation prior to the last election, but chose to ignore it, as did the editorial boards of both the West Linn Tidings and The Oregonian.

She boasted of being a Sarah Palin “Mama Grizzly.” Her campaign contributors include the Koch brothers. She was caught instigating illegal robocalls aimed at disenfranchising Democratic voters and admitted her guilt.The Koch brothers have billions to burn. They will doubtless buy their Mama Grizzly another term in Salem by bombarding voters with lies, half-truths and innuendoes.

People, wake up. Democracy hangs in the balance.

David Hedges

West Linn

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