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Readers weigh in on parks ballot measures and the upcoming Lake Oswego school bond vote.

Officials' actions on natural parks don't match words

Do "actions speak louder than words"? Now "misinformation" and "malinformation" are amplified louder.

As an environmental scientist, I respectfully ask my fellow citizens to carefully review the Charter language of both ballot measures on Lake Oswego natural parks.

One, well researched, legally reviewed and written with expert input, prevents developing the remaining 4% of Lake Oswego land, our natural parks (Citizens' Measure 3-568). Of course the measure allows for a Master Plan with fire mitigation, invasive species removal, ADA-compliant access, benches, displays, picnic and sanitary facilities, maintenance and preservation of ecological values so ALL residents can enjoy them.

The other, (City's Measure 3-575) was rushed through a taxpayer funded survey this past July and could result in natural parks reduced into developable pieces using the language "adopt by ordinance a map of the Natural Areas of these park properties" within 60 days AFTER we vote. Sometimes important legalese is buried; the wrong words amplified. Could press on this be greenwashing? Why this sudden competing measure if not to prevent protection?

Historically, numerous official actions to develop natural parks were fought piecemeal because the City's code is not protective enough. (Could the City's Measure be worse?)

Citizens felt compelled to work years prior to and through a pandemic and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against signature collection period extensions to qualify Measure 3-568; purely to protect this land for you and yours.

Efforts to collaborate fell on deaf ears of officials' and the Mayor, not citizens'. Disappointing and worse, citizens' collaborative efforts resulted in tactics opposite of deliberative democracy, not listed here. More disturbing, the City controls both measure titles and descriptions in the Voters' Pamphlet and can confuse you. Surprise.

Please vote YES on Measure 3-568, NO on City's Measure 3-575.

Rosemary DiCandilo

Lake Oswego

A partnership between the land and the people: Yes on 3-575

The land and the people benefit when there is a caring relationship between the two. Lake Oswego's many Friends groups have been caring for our natural areas for years, devoting thousands of hours annually to protecting, preserving and enhancing these unique and special places.

There are nine recognized Friends Groups made up of dedicated citizens whose projects include removing invasive species, planting native species, and creating nature play areas for kids to explore our natural areas and learn through play.

This stewardship ensures the health of our natural areas. Without the work of our Friends groups, our natural areas would soon become unnatural — full of English ivy, English hawthorn, and garlic mustard — all classified as Class B Noxious Weeds because they are injurious to public health, recreation, wildlife or property.

The work of the Friends groups protects the land and the land protects us by providing clean air and water, abundant wildlife and healthy habitats.

Lake Oswego's Friends groups endorse Natural Area Preservation Referendum 3-575. Support the work of our Friends groups. Vote Yes on 3-575 to protect our natural areas.

Mary Solares, chair of Friends of Southwood Park

Lake Oswego

Proud of Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Living! The most exciting thing happened this evening! I went with my son to the Grand Opening of City Hall and enjoyed the festivities. Later in the evening, while my son was working on his homework, and I was reading emails, I heard a surprising knock on my front door. My son and I looked at each other with anxiousness. You wouldn't believe what happened next!

It was a police officer — Lake Oswego's finest — hand-delivering to me my wallet, which unbeknownst to me, I had left down at the City Hall festivities. Can you believe it???? I didn't even know I had lost it and here the police officer, Officer Dungey, was delivering it to me at night in the dark — to my house! Crazy, huh???

This is why we live here! I had just told Jake, my son, that Lake Oswego was voted one of the top 15 cities in the country by Money Magazine. Incredible.

Thank you! Thank you!

https://money.com/collection/best-places-to-live-2021/

Elisabeth Jordan

Lake Oswego

Support the Lake Oswego School Bond

We moved to Lake Oswego in 2015 and feel fortunate that our kids attended Lake Oswego High School. I support the upcoming bond to help build safe, modern and sustainable schools in Lake Oswego. The bond will help pay for replacing Lake Oswego Junior High School and River Grove Elementary. These schools would be built to seismic standards and also provide emergency community shelters. The bond would enable modernization of the science, engineering and computer labs at both high schools. It would fund upgrades to school kitchens, helping LOSD provide fresher and more nutritious food for students. The bond will improve accessibility at walkways, restrooms, playgrounds and gardens throughout the school district. It will also support landscaping with native plants, which require less water and creates biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for birds and wildlife.

Please vote yes on the Lake Oswego School bond.

Kathleen Wiens

Lake Oswego

Support citizens' parks measure

The citizens' Measure 3-568 will provide all our natural parks the same protections that Springbrook has. It does so by clarifying specific parks by name and extending to these parks the same protections citizens created in Chapter X for Springbrook.

The city has historically shown a preference for developed and landscaped parks incongruent with local flora. The city pushing a tennis center into Springbrook park prompted citizens creating Chapter X in the first place. We need Measure 3-568 with all the protections of Chapter X passed to the other natural parks to protect the intent of their inception.

The original Chapter X has always allowed long term planning as Springbrook Park is the only park with a master plan. Measure 3-568 and Chapter X both allow for unpaved ADA paths, fire abatement, removal of diseased and dead trees as well as invasive plants.

Measure 3-575 does not do this. Measure 3-575 is purposely vague and leaves decisions up to a rotating cast of city officials and employees. The people who wrote the measure will only be making decisions during their terms of office, or their current employment. In a few years new people with different ideas will make the decisions.

Intentions change, case in point: the buildings on First Street. The City had an idea that new construction in town should look like a village. Four years later a different group decided on a different look for the new City Hall. Drive by yourself, do they match?

Vote against allowing fickle and vague intentions in Measure 3-575, and vote YES on solidified protections and planning in Measure 3-568.

Jean Eves

Lake Oswego

Peaceful Oregon City crowd demands Schrader stop obstruction

Indivisible Clackamas CD-5 hosted its most successful effort yet, in front of Rep. Kurt Schrader's office in Oregon City on Sept. 22.

A crowd of 50 people filled the small High Street corner to oppose Schrader's obstruction of President Biden's Medicare drug price negotiation plan. The crowd included Indivisible Clackamas CD-5, Healthcare for All, American Federation of Teachers, Rhythm Nation, Our Revolution, Democratic Party of Oregon Health Care Caucus and other local leaders.

Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba was emphatic: "He's selling his own grandchildren down the road! The reconciliation package is the best chance we've had to address some of America's most serious needs."

Milwaukie neighbor Connie Coquillette was dismayed: "we've got our own Joe Manchin! Can you believe what we pay for drugs? It's crazy!"

Rhythm Nation's Peter Marks agreed. "100,000 people a year go into medical bankruptcy. We need health care reform in this country, not more corporate profits."

Gary Sinnen of HCAO noted how Schrader's family wealth derived from the pharmaceutical industry, which helped fund his career: "it's time to put what your constituents need you to do, first."

These issues worried an articulate nine-year-old boy named Alexander, who impressed the crowd: "I read the newspaper every day. I feel like I have to be here and speak out. This is not something I can find to be relaxing about."

Many of the activists also stressed the climate crisis. Gail Cordell of Indivisible Clackamas warned "the Middle East used to be forested. The cedars of Lebanon used to be the dominant tree. Not anymore. You have to take care of these precious resources or we aren't going to have them anymore."

Wednesday's rally follows weeks of calls, letters, tweets and emails from constituents. As one of the most popular protest signs urged: "Be a Runway, NOT a Roadblock."

Mary Lyon

Lake Oswego

City measure would truly protect LO's beauty

600 acres of parkland, 460 acres of natural and open space areas, and our homes surrounded by tall fir trees are leading reasons Money.com cites Lake Oswego as

#14 Best Places to Live in the U.S in 2021-22!! So special. We're surrounded by an abundance of beauty!!

It's exactly that … the nature, the parklands and the majestic beauty all year round that made my family choose Lake Oswego four years ago. With climate change upon us, it's what we do locally, city-by-city that'll make a difference. My heart is in Lake Oswego because of our community's love for nature.

I'm thrilled Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter, a prominent state environment and conservation organization, endorsed the citizen-initiated Measure 3-568 over the City's referendum. That's telling!!

My major concerns with the city's referendum is the lack of explicit park definitions and boundaries and broad misleading terms which leaves gaping holes — ultimately allowing the city to continue developing our natural spaces. And, it moves park definitions and development of "other uses and facilities" out of charter protection and into ordinances that can be changed by any future City Council, not voters.

Let's make top 10 next year, lead by example, as citizens embrace this only opportunity to preserve our natural beauty. YES on Measure 3-568.

Megan Busbee

Lake Oswego

Support the LO school bond

Our Lake Oswego School District does an outstanding job providing a supportive environment for students to learn and grow, setting them up for successful careers and lives. Like many of our neighbors, the strong reputation of Lake Oswego schools was a determining factor in our moving here over 20 years ago. Our two children thrived attending schools in the district and have now moved on to careers of their own.

We urge you to support LOSD School Bond Measure 3-577 to help assure that future generations of children will have access to the same (perhaps better!) experience. Bond funds will be used to replace two of our older schools (Lake Oswego Junior High and River Grove Elementary). In addition, bond funds will allow LSD to make repairs, improve accessibility, enhance safety and security, and modernize classrooms throughout the district. Please see buildinggreatloschools.com to learn more the bond and how the funds will be used.

Our school buildings average 51 years old. They are becoming outdated, overcrowded, and inefficient. Now is the time to reinvest in these community assets.

Please join us in supporting Bond Measure 3-577.

Alan and Davina Doby

Lake Oswego

Continue excellent work of school bond

This November, we have the opportunity to continue the excellent work of our last school bond. Lake Oswego is highly regarded for its high-quality public education and school facilities. The upcoming bond will help ensure the long-term health of our existing school facilities and replace two of our schools, which have become obsolete and are at the end of their practical lives. As a member of the previous Bond Accountability Committee, I observed the expenditure of the last bond firsthand. I am impressed with the team LOSD has in place to manage and utilize bond funds effectively and efficiently. I urge Lake Oswego voters to support the new bond and vote yes in November. Let's all work to ensure we have 21st century schools to meet the education, technological, and environment demands of the coming decades.

Bruce Brown

Lake Oswego


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