Readers weigh in on the school board race, the Learning Levy, the parks bond and more

Calabria has what it takes

As a mom of three daughters who attended LO schools, long time teacher, mother of a teacher and new grandma, education is a top priority. I raised my girls to dream big and serve others and that is exactly what I am observing in Kelly Calabria as she runs for LO School Board.

It takes courage to run a campaign. And it takes the ability to listen, the desire to serve and a commitment to ethics and transparency in order to volunteer on school board. Kelly has shown all these qualities in her roles as mom, small business owner, LO Budget Committee volunteer and longtime resident and public servant.

Join me in voting Kelly Calabria for LO School Board.

Tammy Ellis

Lake Oswego

Calabria has stellar reputation

Though many people may talk about values, seeing the way someone raises their kids and how they approach solving tough situations is a true testimony to their belief system.

I have known Kelly Calabria for many years and have seen her model hard work, honesty, kindness and integrity for her daughters. She rolls her sleeves up, brings people together and gets things done. She truly wants to do what is best for all. My husband and I have said many times that Kelly is hands down the hardest working and most pragmatic person we know.

If you look at her endorsement list, you will see people of all backgrounds, beliefs, political leanings and neighborhoods who are in support of Kelly Calabria for LO School Board. Her reputation is stellar.

With young children of my own who will be in our LO school system soon, my vote will go to Kelly Calabria for LO School Board position one. I know I can count on her to do what is best for all children and our entire community.

Anna Curtis

Lake Oswego

Diversity, compassion and commitment

It is a pleasure for me to write in support of reelecting John Wallin to the Lake Oswego School Board. I often see John at Lake Oswego's Respond to Racism meetings where he listens and is open to a variety of perspectives. I first met John at church and I find him a kindhearted and deeply caring man who has demonstrated again and again his commitment to students of Lake Oswego schools and our community.

From diversity initiatives, supporting the equity of all our students, to engaging local advocacy groups within our schools, John has shown he has the values of the community and listens to the needs of all students and families

Above all, John is a dad. He has two Lake Oswego district grads now in college and one in the district. John coached their sports teams, volunteered in their classrooms and served on the School Foundation Board. Our school board has momentum with an innovative vision, plan and budget. Keep the progression and efficacy of our school board by voting for John Wallin.

Jan Standlea

Lake Oswego

Experience, expertise and advocacy

It is such a pleasure for me to write in support of John Wallin. The amazing school system we have in Lake Oswego is in part why I chose to live here. As the daughter and granddaughter of educators, a practicing immigration attorney and longtime family advocate, I know living in a community that rallies around all of its students is fundamental.

John's example as a student advocate gives our kids stewardship in their education, allows the community to get behind the needs of every student and creates an opportunity for everyone to thrive. John has bold goals like achieving a 100% graduation rate, enacting and adopting equity and diversity best practices, and encouraging the enhancement of the arts and STEM curriculum. We have the opportunity to vote for experience and collaboration in John Wallin and I would encourage everyone to see his reflection of leadership in the amazing group of young people throughout Lake Oswego.

Experience, expertise and advocacy is what John brings to the table, and he will ensure the fabric of our community and school district continues to thrive.

Diane Grover

Lake Oswego

Ask your lawmakers to vote no on House Bill 3063

The current measles outbreak was not spread in a school setting. So why are Oregon lawmakers currently pushing a law that would permanently ban unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children from daycare and schools? Healthy unvaccinated children do not harbor illness or viruses, they cannot spread what they do not have. I thought that education was important to Oregon's elected officials. In Oregon there is already law that unvaccinated children must be excluded from school during an actual outbreak of a contagious disease such as the measles. Why would anyone want to make the quarantine permanent? What is the point of denying perfectly healthy kids an education or after school activities? This is segregation. I thought we were done with segregation in schools. Please ask your representative to vote no on House Bill 3063.

Holly Garland


Wallin supports student success

I am writing in support of reelecting John Wallin to the Lake Oswego School Board. My family and I moved to Oregon in 2012. We decided in no uncertain terms to move to LO because of the exemplary schools. I have experienced first-hand how John's support of student success has increased student outcomes and has empowered families to become more engaged at every level.

With two kids in LO public schools, I have seen opportunities for students increase in curriculum options, and I directly attribute that to the board John has served on. The direction from a "sweep it under the rug" attitude once prevalent in our district has been transformed to one striving to enact policies to be more open and inclusive even when it isn't the easy way. I appreciate this change and want to see growth and continued development of these best practices.

John has shown that he is present, attends all the meetings, shows up when concerns arise and actively participates in all school board activities; he is not a passive actor with vague ideas and goals. As a community member, mother and an LO classified staff member in special education, there is no one I trust more to advocate for student success than John Wallin.

Kira When

Lake Oswego

Keep our Lake Oswego School Board nonpartisan

I'm a lifelong Democrat and almost always vote Democrat in partisan races. Our LO School Board race, however, is not a partisan race. We simply need to elect people we trust to support our superintendent and work to continuously improve our schools. Party affiliation is absolutely irrelevant. In fact, many of us are sick and tired of partisan politics at a time when our country is so divided. Let's keep partisan politics out of our local nonpartisan school board race!

Please join me in supporting Kelly Calabria, the true nonpartisan candidate, for Lake Oswego School Board. Kelly is not a registered Republican or Democrat, so you won't see her listing any Salem special interests or partisan politicians among her supporters. She does, however, have an overwhelming amount of support from Lake Oswego parents and small business owners. You can see her hundreds of local supporters listed at

Please vote for the candidate with the overwhelming support of LO parents. Please vote for Kelly Calabria!

Danielle Miller

Lake Oswego

City Hall, hotel plans disappoint

At a recent meeting of the North Shore Country Club Neighborhood Association, the plans for the new City Hall and the boutique hotel were shown and discussed. The group had a shared disappointment. Although, we understand the proposals have been approved, we would still like to voice our concern that the City has lost its vision for the development of the East End. The "village character" that so many of us worked to establish seems to be pushed aside for bigger buildings reflecting a sense of place more like Bellevue, Washington than Lake Oswego.

Millennium Park and the Lake View Village complex were taking the community in a direction that defined Lake Oswego as unique. A boutique hotel sounds charming and small but the hotel that is being proposed is large and ordinary looking.

North Shore Country Club District Neighborhood Association

Vote yes for parks

Many people ask me if I moved to Lake Oswego for the schools. I didn't. I moved here for the parks — specifically, the natural areas.

I have loved nature all of my life. I grew up along a small river where I was allowed to roam. I discovered cranes, dead moles, spores on ferns and the peace that comes when you sit alone in nature and just listen and watch. It made me a lifelong lover of nature.

When I had children, I got tired of schlepping to natural areas on the weekends. What if my walk to the store was longer, but I could walk to a trail? Or the river? Or the woods. In Lake Oswego, I can, and so can my children.

This privilege does not come easily or cheaply. If we conserve it, nature will be here for us. But in urban and suburban areas, we have to invest in parks if we want them to continue to exist for our enjoyment and for future generations. I urge you to vote yes this May to renew the existing parks bond at the current tax rate — for our parks, for our families and for our community.

Natalie Bennon

Lake Oswego

LO parks shaped me

My childhood was embedded in Lake Oswego parks. I've slowly metabolized this truth since joining the parks board. Some of my fondest memories are of playing hide-and-seek in Millennium Park, watching the Fourth of July fireworks at the lake and enjoying groovy summer nights with music and movies in the park.

As a student athlete, I'm constantly using parks or park facilities. For example, I play water polo at the Lake Oswego Community Pool nearly five days a week. I mention this because I am leaving for college in two years and want to ensure these facilities will be as nice, if not nicer, for future citizens and families moving to our community.

On May 21 there is a vote to renew Lake Oswego's existing parks bonds, which will generate $30 million for open space, parks and park facilities, at a tax rate the same or slightly below current rates. There's no question in my mind about whether or not to support it. In order to maintain and improve our lush natural parks, recreational centers and parks facilities, we must vote "yes" to reinstate this bond.

Cameron Iizuka

Lake Oswego

Support the parks bond

As a major user and supportive volunteer of our natural and open spaces, I recommend voting yes on the upcoming bond for Open Space, Parks and Recreation.

This will allow acquisition of real property for open spaces and parks, renovation of facilities, and developing new parks and recreation facilities. This includes acquiring badly needed space for sports fields. Youth sports represents one of the largest users of our parks and Lake Oswego lags behind surrounding communities in this investment.

Also heavily utilized are our natural areas. This bond will be used to protect and enhance wildlife habitat, improve water quality, conserve open space and provide walking trails (for us and our dogs). For example, Metro has plans for a trail linking George Rogers Park to the Tualatin River Greenway.

This bond replaces the current parks bonds on our property taxes as they sunset, with no increase in rate. One of the major advantages of living in this city is its access to recreation, and based on the level of use and volunteer support of those parks, sports fields and other recreational facilities, we need to ensure their development in the future.

Ginny Haines

Board Member of Friends of Springbrook Park

Save Hallinan Woods

I've lived in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and value natural areas and parks. I chose to live adjacent to one, West Waluga natural area. Although I'm on the opposite side of town, I agree with the March 21 op-ed from all our neighborhood association chairs: "Hallinan Woods is for all of us."

Natural areas serve important functions for water quality and wildlife habitat as well as education and recreation. This is a rare opportunity for the city to expand our natural resources area adjacent to an already well-established one. Citizens from throughout the city already use and volunteer in the area.

The area provides important water quality services in our watershed. Hallinan Woods also provides educational opportunities for the Hallinan elementary school students to carry on our important community value of stewardship. I'm hopeful that our city leaders will purchase this property with our parks bond funds for the benefit of all of us now as well as future generations.

Dorothy Atwood

Lake Oswego

Quality education requires investment

I was once told that a thriving community is one that serves the needs of its youngest and oldest residents very well. My experience as a parent, resident and realtor here in Lake Oswego tells me this is true. Families move here for the schools and stay through their retirement years. Part of making LO thrive for our youngest residents is ensuring the high quality of education in the LOSD. That requires continued investment. The Learning Levy, which LO voters have consistently approved since 2000, is a critical component of school success. The levy provides 12% of the school district's total budget and pays for 80 teachers. In May, the LOSD is asking voters to vote YES on a slight increase to the levy to expand STEM programming, add more reading specialists and invest in secondary counselors. This will deliver more hands-on science lessons, better literacy outcomes and improved access to mental health support. Please join me in casting a YES vote for the LO Learning Levy!

Lara James

Lake Oswego

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.