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Readers' Letters

Thank you for supporting our children

The Lake Oswego School Board would like to express our deep appreciation to the voters of Lake Oswego for renewing our Local Option School Levy.Your support of this measure provides our local schools critical funding and ensures we can continue to provide a strong education to the children of our district.

We would like to thank the many citizens who volunteered on the campaign and donated both time and resources including the chair of the Friends of Lake Oswego Schools, Audrey Monroe. Audrey organized a strong, talented group of citizen volunteers who worked tirelessly campaigning for the levy.

Many groups in our city came together in support of the measure. We are very thankful to our mayor and city councilors, the chamber of commerce, our local realtor community and the many political advocacy groups who assisted in passing the measure.

We are very proud to live in a city that truly values education and invests in the future of its youngest citizens. Thank you for supporting the school levy.

Patti Zebrowski

Chairman, Lake Oswego School Board

Lake Oswego

‘I think it is worth waiting for a better vision’

I have been a longtime resident of Lake Oswego, more than 25 years now, and can point with pride to the redevelopment of our downtown core over the last decade. I have told out-of-town guests that there may be a destination boutique hotel, condominiums, some additional retail. Usually this update is met with surprise. “How’s all that going to fit? It’s nice now, but pushing it, traffic-wise.”

Imagine my surprise to read that the redevelopment arm of the city has advanced construction plans for Block 137, the Wizer block, with four to five stories of 228 rental units looming over the rest of the village, three buildings that style-wise don’t talk to each other and a bottom floor on each devoted to more retail and too few parking spots.

There will also be a change in light that is bound to occur with the uber development of this wonderful area of our downtown.

The push for financial maximizing does not translate well for our citizens who love and enjoy this part of our downtown. In addition, I hear there is some form of tax abatement to help the developer build this. I think it is worth waiting for a better vision. This core area of our city is the jewel in the crown and worth careful consideration.

Susan Hereford

Lake Oswego

Happy Halloween, you ‘jerk’

Our 12-year-old went trick-or-treating with a group of his soccer buddies on Thursday for what most likely is their last year of door to door. They canvased the Westridge Heights neighborhood and (I) kid you not ... one of the people asked them:

1. How old they were (they are average-sized kids);

2. What elementary school they went to;

3. If they knew a certain kid or not.

Did she plan to withhold candy if they failed the inquisition? I just wanted to say, shame on you, lady — you are a jerk with a warped sense of community and I have a suggestion on where you can stick your full-sized candy bars.

Gwen Freeman

Lake Oswego

Please reconsider Wizer block proposal

I am a lifelong resident of Lake Oswego and urge the council and the Wizer family to reconsider the proposal for the Wizer block.

A five-story apartment/condo complex would ruin the nature of the area and cause severe traffic congestion with the number of units and people proposed. I am not against having housing there, but I would hope you would look at other options that would not put such a burden on travel to and from the area.

Many of us would choose to avoid it rather than deal with yet another traffic jam in our daily lives.

Donna Schaefer Sooter

Lake Oswego

Wrong place for high-density living

Yes, Lake Oswego should allow higher density apartments to be built but not across from Millennium Plaza Park in what is a very approachable, enjoyable and accommodating part of our city.

Resident and guest parking, employee parking for retail and restaurant spaces, deliveries, garbage collection, moving van and truck entry should all be examined as the area in which they are proposed will not accommodate them without jeopardizing it.

Also, a five-story structure will cast quite a shadow on First and Second streets, even on a sunny day.

Please consider how you would feel if this project is completed as planned. If you have input or concerns, please let them be known now.

Whitney Braden

Lake Oswego

Wizer plan shows thoughtful vision

Each Thursday I read with increasing amazement the emotion-charged letters that fill the pages of the Review against the planned development of the Wizer property.

As is generally the case where emotion overrides debating the issue honestly, these letters are filled with bad information and convey the sense that absolutely no benefits arise from the proposed project.

Rather than a barrage of false alarms about dog excrement or unsavory characters invading our city, why can’t there be a meaningful conversation about the pros and cons of the project? I do support the development plan because it represents a thoughtful vision of how to sustain the economic viability and beauty of our community in the future.

I trust those involved to listen to reasonable conditions that must be met in order to make the project succeed.

Andrew Apter

Lake Oswego

Give this wonderful town what it deserves

The following is an open letter to the citizens of Lake Oswego:

I was privileged to have grown up in Lake Oswego in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It is a place I look forward to coming back to each year to visit family and friends. Year after year, as I return, I have seen the beautiful development of the downtown area, and you are to be commended on doing such a splendid job.

Though I live in Southern California, I receive the Lake Oswego Review and have been quite shocked to read what is being proposed for the Wizer block. I can’t imagine anything more inappropriate going in there. What could the city council be thinking?

As I looked out from the balcony of the Lakeshore Inn just last month, I envisioned this five-story building and its impact on this area. The amount of units in such a small area is preposterous. You are creating something that will, in my opinion, ruin the beautiful and peaceful environment, which you have already created.

If this goes through it will not be able to be reversed. Please rethink and amend this project and don’t ruin “our” beautiful and lovely downtown. Your legacy and judgment seem to be clouded by something that is not being driven for the good of the community.

With respect for an amazing and unique community, keep the area special by retaining the charm by amending this proposal.

Give this wonderful town the kind of development it deserves.

Gayle Frey Welsh

Former Lake Oswego resident

San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Wizer redevelopment is too large

I live near the heart of Lake Oswego and am concerned about the excess stories and design of the Wizer redevelopment. I feel that the developers’ entire concept is overwhelming in relation to our village and surrounding neighborhoods.

The scale of these buildings is too large; they do not fit the scale of downtown Lake Oswego. These buildings are too tall, appear to loom over the streets and lack the inviting appeal of Lake View Village and the surrounding neighborhood.

I am clearly in favor of redeveloping Wizer’s. I know that change is inherent, but it must be done in a way that respects our history and setting. These buildings simply are not in keeping with the general village atmosphere that so many of us love! I support Save Our Village and its efforts to help maintain our village integrity.

Jan Koenig

Lake Oswego

‘A beholden community’ to Dorothy Stafford

Regretfully I knew Dorothy Stafford only in passing.

But just her smiling presence emanated a restorative acceptance in even the most casual of settings.

May this peaceful, fearless spirit, so facilely gifted from a soul’s depth, imbue the William Stafford Birth Centennial 2014 with a remembered grace to a beholden community.

Grateful that histories have touched,

Michael Buck

Lake Oswego

Looking forward to the downtown development

We are looking forward to the Wizer development to provide housing in our senior years.

The Wizer site is within walking distance to medical and dental offices and approximately 10 appetite-appeasing restaurants.

Current senior housing exists in out-of-way places that require a car or public transport. Walking to these places at any time without dealing with a schedule will be a delight. We hope the completion date will soon arrive.

Bob and Barbara Balen

Lake Oswego

Wizer block redevelopment could be our opportunity

To a local business owner like me, the proposed Wizer Block 137 development is a welcome addition to Lake Oswego. We have been anticipating this development for more than 20 years through Gene Wizer’s discussions with multiple developers.

Timing and economics have kept the vision from fruition. In the meantime, we can see and are enjoying the amenities of the high-quality development around Block 137: Lake View Village, Millennium Plaza Park, A Street Station and the Third Street condominiums — all of which were controversial projects prior to their completion. They have helped add some of the character and diversity to our downtown that were missing.

Our town is surrounded by an ever-increasing number of places to go for shopping, services and a village feel. The only way our downtown can continue its success is for us to continually grow the relevance of our community center.

We need to add high- quality retail, unique food and needed service businesses to what we have. We especially need to add housing to downtown to encourage walking and shopping here. This could be our opportunity.

The proposed development may not be perfect at this point. We need to continue to voice our concerns but also listen to how those concerns have been addressed by the developer.

It’s also imperative to understand the facts and the changes that have already been made as a response to citizen input. This week a new website is available to provide answers to questions and information about the project: buildourvillage.com. There is also a section on which you can ask questions, comment and get answers.

Our opportunity is to collaborate to make this work, rather than shoot it down and bemoan what is left in its place.

Paul Graham

Owner, Graham’s Book and Stationery

Lake Oswego

Angkor I added to collection, thanks to donors

As the director of a nonprofit organization, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing people join together to support a vision.

More than 40 generous art patrons have joined to successfully raise the $55,000 necessary to acquire Angkor I by legendary Oregon artist Lee Kelly. The 14-foot-tall, 1,000-pound stainless-steel sculpture sits prominently in Millennium Plaza and provides a gateway to the lake.

Board member Bonnie Schlieman first approached the artist and the Elizabeth Leach Gallery to see if they’d be willing to loan the work for public display. Since that time, it has been the hope of the Arts Council of Lake Oswego to make the work a permanent centerpiece of the city’s collection. 

With deep gratitude, we wish to acknowledge the following foundations, families and individuals for their support:

Ford Family Foundation / Oregon Arts Commission; Elizabeth Leach Gallery; artist Lee Kelly; Drs. Robert Bastian and Barbara Wagner; Robert and Bonnie Schlieman; Richard and Janet Geary; Lance and Kristin Lechner; John and Judie Hammerstad; Dan Heine and the Bank of Oswego; Paul and Teri Graham; Jack and Agnes Hoffman; Katherine Immerman and Tony Melaragno; Donna Larson; Mrs. Georgia Marshall; Jon and Pat Vessely; Corinna Campbell-Sack; Richard Benoit and Margaret Snow Benoit; Mr. and Mrs. Gene Wizer; Rich and Liane Cabot; the Meyer Memorial Trust; Sara Ogle Lea; Roger and Mary Beth Burpee; Kevin and Katharine Mead; Dr. Alan and Shari Newman; Lois Schnitzer; Dr. Mark Wagner; Chris Brien; Bonnie and Ted Halton; David and Debbie Craig; Vicci Martinazzi; Larry and Marilyn Reiling; Anne-Marie Simpson; Ted and Marilyn Depew; Ken and Susan Hornung; Chris Utterback; Richard S. Testut Jr. and Marilyn L. Rudin; Marilyn Nycum; Curtis Schade and Jacquie Siewert-Schade; Kathy Kremer; Max and Elizabeth Greenwood; and Mary Bosch.

Nancy Nye

Director, Arts Council of Lake Oswego

Wizer block: A visitor’s warning

The Wizer project is like a bad marriage choice: You are 40 years old and you think this is your last chance to get married — so you grab the offer. The truth is: There are better offers out there, if you just look around and wait.

I am a 76-year-old woman who visits LO almost weekly — many times bringing friends from Beaverton for lunch. Your town has a unique “European” village feel, which I appreciate from years living in Germany.

Why would your mayor and council spoil this (by) allowing a “high density” dormitory-like building? Aim to start over with something better — please. Mr. Wizer, don’t let the developers and their investors use you in this most untimely fashion. You want your town to continue to love you, not begrudge your name in years to come.

Surely your merchants must oppose this. I know we won’t be shopping at Graham’s Stationery store anymore — I’ll avoid the traffic.

Years ago, Fred Meyer planned a large shopping center across the two-lane road from the entrance into Oak Hills where I live. We “used our voices” and forced him to relocate to a far more appropriate site. As it turned out, it was the best possible thing for all. Citizens are smart.

You, too, can speak up and drive this project elsewhere.

This is not a dress rehearsal. This is a final performance that will change your downtown culture for the worse permanently. Take it from a wise, old woman. Don’t be so impatient. You have learned from this mistake, now backtrack and start over with something that keeps your village intact. LO is one of the last special places in the state. Protect it with all your might.

I urge you to follow my advice, and email your city council and planning (department) immediately before it is too late (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Marie Ann Hanes

Beaverton



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