Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

FONT & AUDIO

MORE STORIES


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

LOHS Green Team supports school bond

As members of the Lake Oswego High School Green Team, our main emphasis is to promote sustainability and environmental consciousness in both the high school and broader community through education, hands-on events, and activism.

We support the 2021 Lake Oswego Schools Bond because it will allow new ways for students to become involved in the environment through a wide array of improvements that support both sustainability and learning. For example, this bond can pay for new sidewalks that will encourage students to walk or bike safely rather than driving, helping cement active habits at a young age. It will also promote landscaping with native plants, which supports clean water, clean air and wildlife habitat. The bond will help pay for improvements to school buildings that will lead to lower energy usage, which is better for our climate and our future.

This school bond reflects our community's desire to live more sustainably. It balances environment, equity and economics as a means of creating a more just, resilient and beautiful community for all. Please vote yes on the 2021 school bond.

Lake Oswego High School Green Team members

Lake Oswego

Citizens taking initiative

Springbrook Park, Canal Acres, Bryant Woods, Cooks Butte, and Stevens Meadows are examples of natural habitats within our neighborhoods resulting from grantors' foresight to convey development restrictions and/or decades of citizens' painstaking activism pushing back City development. Could you imagine our beautiful City without these natural sanctuaries and abundant wildlife?

For decades, the City has failed to adopt strong protections; therefore, citizens have taken the initiative. Over the last 24 months, hundreds of LO volunteers dedicated thousands of hours and raised over $64,000 (!) from friends and neighbors to:

- craft a Charter amendment with precise, deliberate and intentional development limitations to protect 16 natural parks

- inform our community going door-to-door (pre-Covid), sending 40,000+ mailings to ~15,250 households (~30,000 voters), and through our website, email, and social media

- collect 4,800+ voter signatures to qualify Measure 3-568

- obtain prominent environment and conservation organization endorsements

Citizen initiatives aren't easy. They require tremendous patience, persistence, and perseverance — then, add a global pandemic, wildfires and ice storms. Nonetheless, we forged ahead ensuring our community could choose to enact proven, sensible legal safeguards protecting these natural treasures. Our only gain, the enjoyment they provide our families and community.

Measure 3-568 — the ONLY citizen-led natural park initiative on the ballot — vote YES!

Scott Handley

Lake Oswego

School buildings need investment

One thing that the last eighteen months has taught our family is that our community's school buildings matter — a lot. While most of us adults have adapted to a remote environment, most children need to learn in person, and they need space designed to help them succeed. I am supporting the 2021 LO School Bonds because that success is on the line.

Three of my children have attended River Grove Elementary. River Grove has an extraordinary group of parents and teachers, but the building is dilapidated and in disrepair. Kindergartners have been in portables for most of a decade. The library is tiny. This bond will replace River Grove and Lake Oswego Junior High.

I would encourage anyone undecided about the LO Schools Bond to compare River Grove and LOJ with the new Lakeridge Middle School campus. Lakeridge Middle is an incredible facility paid for with the last school bond passed in 2017. It provides students and teachers the space they need to thrive. It boosts home values. It demonstrates, for all to see, our common commitment to education and student success. Vote your values. Vote your pocketbook. Vote yes for the LO Schools Bond.

Taylor Murdoch

Lake Oswego

Please vote YES for the school bond

Next month we LO residents can demonstrate our community's support for our children by voting YES on the school bond, Measure 3-577. The bond will rebuild LO Jr. High and River Grove Elementary Schools thereby eliminating portable classrooms, relieving overcrowded classrooms and common areas and immediately provide a safer environment for our students in case of a seismic event. The bond will modernize classrooms to support new and expanded STEM and Career Technical Education programs and replace computers throughout the district. It will enable needed capital repairs to be made and ensure safer, more secure campuses throughout the district.

Two of my grandchildren attended LO schools even though they lived outside the district because their parents wanted them to have the high-quality education they could receive here. Let's keep that high quality going forward and give all our children the best education we can provide them. Please join me in supporting the school bond by voting YES on Measure 3-577.

Esther Schwartz

Lake Oswego

Community should invest in education

One thing is clear from the "year that wasn't": Our students desperately need our brick-and-mortar schools. We learned that students need in-person learning environments, which are shaped by our school buildings and classrooms.

This November, we have an opportunity to invest in this future by voting YES on the LO School Bond Measure 3-577, which advances a thoughtful and conservative approach to needed maintenance and repairs in our School District. It is phase two in a three-part plan.

The first phase, a bond passed in May 2017, was well managed with public oversight. Projects were completed on time and under budget. The centerpiece was a new Lakeridge Middle School. The second phase, Measure 3-577, will rebuild Lake Oswego Junior High and River Grove Elementary.

Our students deserve innovative, intentional learning spaces with their peers, not over-crowded classrooms in rundown buildings that were built in the 50s and 60s. Students deserve updated security and capital improvements that will make our schools more habitable, sustainable, and energy efficient.

Education for our youth is a valuable community investment, so whether you have a student in the district or not, please join me. Vote 'YES' for LO School Bond Measure 3-577.

Elizabeth Welsh

Lake Oswego

Don't let politicians exploit parks

As a 28 year resident of Lake Oswego, please don't be confused. Don't let the Lake Oswego politicians exploit our natural parks. We need to protect and preserve these natural areas from development. Of the two competing ballot measures, only the citizens' initiated Measure 3-568 will provide our natural parks with the strong legal protections needed. City Council's referendum 3-575 opens the door for ever more commercial exploitation and development. For a detailed comparison of these two ballot measures, please go to- https://loveloparks.org/compare

Then, join me and vote YES on 3-568 and NO on 3-575.

Michael Louaillier

Lake Oswego

Time to step up for schools

We are fortunate to have many wonderful young people actively participating in our community. Many families come here because of our great schools. As a member of this community, I care about the schools even though I don't have a child attending them. Through my work with the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network and the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, I am fortunate to interact directly with amazing students from the High School Green Teams. Their contributions in making the schools and our community more sustainable and dynamic are inspirational. The school bond that is on the November ballot will provide funds for replacing Lake Oswego Junior High and River Grove Elementary with buildings meeting immediate occupancy seismic standards. These buildings along with the other school buildings constructed in the past couple of years are a core part of our community's disaster preparedness as they can be quickly converted into emergency community shelters. We benefit from both the terrific kids and from school campuses that are essential components for our community. Now is the time for the community to step up and support the schools that nurture the students passing through our schools by voting for the 2021 LO School Bond.

Mary Ratcliff

Lake Oswego

Voters deserve the facts

Did you receiving a text on behalf of Measure 3-575 this week asking to support a citizen-guided initiative to preserve our parks? I experienced a moment of doubt. Of course I believe that the protection of our vulnerable park lands should be decided upon by LO citizens. Our natural parks provide much needed respite to so many of us, yet they remain in jeopardy of future development without stronger protections.

Upon further review, I realized this text was sent to deliberately spawn confusion. I believe in transparency. I believe all LO citizens should have a voice if our natural park lands are to be developed. But Measure 3-575 was NOT a citizen-led initiative. Only Measure 3-568 is the result of a lengthy citizen petition effort. We, as voters, deserve to be provided with factual information to make the best choices for our public parks.

Only Measure 3-368 is endorsed by both the Sierra Club and Oregon Wild, and is the only one of these two disparate initiatives that empowers voters to decide any future development in our public natural parks. Measure 3-575's misinformation campaign is disrespectful to our community and all who worked hard bringing Measure 3-568 to voters. The truth does and should matter. YES on 3-568.

Nancy Fleming

Lake Oswego

Not confused on measures

My Voters' Pamphlet and ballot arrived today. I found it surprising the stark contrast between the quality in the explanatory statements, arguments, and endorsements between the two LO natural park measures.

The Citizens' Measure 3-568 explanatory statement is concise and focused on protections limiting development; the arguments come from citizens with history about past City exploits and a genuine passion to protect nature. Measure 3-568 is the only measure on the ballot endorsed by leading Oregon environment and conservation organizations: Oregon Wild and Sierra Club — organizations removed from our local politics.

City Council's Measure 3-575 explanatory statement, on the other hand, is vague and confusing and doesn't tell me much about what and how it plans to protect natural parks. In fact, it doesn't even guarantee the "natural areas" that are protected until after we vote — what's this about? Would you buy a home only to find the kitchen wasn't included? And, one can't help notice this measure's arguments are all from politicians, many involved in past exploits, and City-affiliated groups; they're attempting to confuse voters. I'm not confused.

I'm with citizens who worked diligently bringing us Measure 3-568 to protect nature from development.

It's YES on Measure 3-568 and NO on 3-575!

Kirsty Reilly

Lake Oswego

Why we buy local

Frequently we say "buy local" and I believe many citizens do just that. We have purchased floral arrangements and gifts from Lake Oswego's R.BLOOM for years. However, this latest just reminded me WHY we continue to utilize R. Bloom's for floral arrangements! I smile every time I walk by our Halloween arrangement.

Carolyn Arnston

Lake Oswego

LOSN supports Measure 3-575

I'm a founding board member of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network (LOSN). LOSN supports the Friends of LO Parks M3-575. We believe it provides the best way to protect our natural areas.

Our world is an interconnected system that is dynamic in response to changing conditions. Locking in today's approach to manage our natural areas in the city charter is not the best protection from the challenges that we face — especially climate change and biodiversity loss. These existential issues will require innovation and restoration in order for our parks and natural areas to thrive into the future.

We are strongly committed to using the well-established process involving citizen stakeholders during planning. Measure 3-575 requires that any changes to a future master plan for parks be approved by citizens. This process will provide better outcomes than having a city-wide election to change the city charter for each problem that does not fit into today's proposed box.

LOSN urges you to vote yes on Ballot Measure 3-575 and to vote no on 3-568.

Dorothy Atwood

Lake Oswego

Voting yes on 3-575, for our natural areas

For the past five years I have worked with the Coalition for Hallinan Woods Nature Park to advocate for the expansion of Hallinan Woods. During this time, I have had the honor to get to know and work with community leaders and organizations that have dedicated years to the stewardship of Lake Oswego's natural spaces. I am proud to join with these local leaders and stewards to recommend that you vote YES on 3-575 and no on 3-568.

3-575 is endorsed by the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, the Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods, the Friends of Springbrook Park, the Friends of Iron Mountain Park and the Friends of Woodmont Park. These are our neighbors who volunteer their time to remove invasives and trash from our city's natural spaces, who coordinate native plantings with city staff, and who passionately believe in preserving our natural spaces. 3-575 also has the endorsement of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, an organization that is a constant advocate in our community for local action on climate mitigation and adaptation. It's unsurprising that these local organizations support 3-575 — 3-575 offers additional protections to our natural areas while allowing the city to prepare for climate change. The competing measure, 3-568, does not protect all of our natural parks, restricts the city's ability to prepare for climate change and wildfire risks, and restricts options for access to our natural parks.

For Hallinan Woods, the passage of the competing measure, 3-568, would mean that options for a trail at the new Yates Street entrance would be restricted. A hard-surface trail — the best option for a trail through a wet woodland area that sees year-round use by children walking to school — would be forbidden.

For the sake of our natural areas, I am voting YES on 3-575 and no on 3-568.

Sarah Ellison

Lake Oswego

Right process - YES on 3-575

Lake Oswego citizens, most being nature lovers, are urged to vote YES on ballot Measure 3-575 and NO on Measure 3-568.

As former chair of LO's Parks and Natural Resources Advisory Board, it's been gratifying to me to see that Measure 3-575 is the spot-on strategic result of strong cooperation between dedicated citizen leaders (including Friends of Parks members, Parks and Natural Resources Advisory Board members, Watershed Council members and Sustainability Network members) and the City (led by our Parks and Rec Dept).

Measure 3-575 is the poster child of how the process should work. So, let's pass the Measure that was thoughtfully developed the right way — YES on 3-575.

Bill Gordon

Lake Oswego

Not the time for another school bond

As you know, there is another Lake Oswego bond measure 3-577 for $180 million out to the voters for the November 2nd special election. This measure is projected to raise property taxes $0.92/$1,000 of assessed value.

Four short years ago, we approved bond measure 3-515 for $187 million that raised property taxes $1.25/$1,000 of assessed value.

Add that our property tax is up again from 2020 to 2021, just as it does every year. And it's worthy to note 42.96% of your property tax dollar collected by Clackamas County already goes to K-12 schools.

For the 12 months ending September 2021, the U.S. Labor Department is reporting the annual inflation rate of 5.4%. Last year it was 1.4% and hasn't been over 3% the last decade (2011). Gasoline is up 42.1%, energy up 24.8%, fuel oil up 42.8%, used vehicles (cars and trucks) up 24.4%, food up 4.6%, clothing up 3.4% and transportation services up 4.4%. And the Federal Reserve is most certainly going to raise interest rates.

Is education important to our future? Sure it is! But I do not think now is the time to pass another school bond measure adding the additional cost to our tax bill. We personally need to prioritize our needs and wants. It is not unacceptable to expect our schools to do the same and continue with what they have for the time being. We passed the $187 million bond measure in 2017 to provide the schools what they need.

Ridge Taylor

Lake Oswego

All parks should be protected

I love Lake Oswego, the people and our natural areas. I love that we care so much we have two initiatives on the ballot regarding the best way to love our nature parks. I am concerned that Measure 3-568 only includes some nature areas and excludes others, for example the woods in Freepons Park. Another concern I have is that we are limiting the ability of our Parks Department to fully engage in their job. They are professionals that are experts in maintaining our natural areas. As a member of the Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods, I see firsthand how much the Parks Department cares for our natural areas and supports us in our efforts to maintain and manage them. I rely on their expertise. The work they have done to keep the balance in our natural areas after last winter's extreme storms is a great example. I am also concerned that 3-568 restricts too much. I want to see ALL of our nature areas protected. Measure 3-575 protects all our natural areas and works to keep them properly maintained. I'm voting Yes for 3-575, and on No 3-568.

Christy Clark, Lead of the Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods

Lake Oswego

City can be trusted with natural areas

As one considers the measures to alter the city charter, it appears the question is, who do you trust with our natural areas? Side by side, both measures are hard to distinguish. The messaging from the petition supporters is that you can't trust the City and the only answer is their citizen's initiative.

Lake Oswego has a history of citizens working with the City and Parks Department to preserve, protect and enhance natural areas. Paul Lyons, Mike Buck, Nancy Gronkowski, Heidi Schrimsher, Stephanie Wagner and scores of dedicated citizens have been working within the current system and partnering with the City. Their voices and wisdom are in Measure 3-575.

I appreciate that the Save Our Parks authors have elevated the conversation about natural area protection. They were asked to team-up with our storied group of preservationists but declined. They've now harnessed our political climate of mistrust to signal that we can no longer trust the City.

Measure 3-575 is endorsed by Lake Oswego's Friends groups, the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, current and former mayors and city councilors, and many Neighborhood Associations. They understand who can be trusted.

I urge a Yes on 3-575.

Sandy Intraversato

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.

Go to top
JSN Time 2 is designed by JoomlaShine.com | powered by JSN Sun Framework