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Readers' Letters

‘Kindness has a rippling effect’

When I was shopping for baby clothes at the Glass Butterfly for my friend’s son’s newborn, I got into a conversation with the salesperson, Judy Stafford, about the difficult financial situation of the family. She immediately told me about the Thanksgiving food baskets that Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on Quarry Road were giving out to families in need.

I called the church about this and was told that they’d be happy to help out, but all 50 food baskets had already been delegated to 50 families in need through the Lake Oswego School District. She said to come by anyhow, and they could see what they could do for my friend’s son’s family.

I was really impressed when I got there to see what the church had done to make Thanksgiving truly a special time for 50 Lake Oswego families. Mia and Mark Shepard were the leaders of this project and have been doing this for years. They gave me two big grocery bags for a family of four and a frozen turkey that someone had donated five minutes before I arrived. All the food had been donated.

Those who were coming to pick up their Thanksgiving food baskets were treated with respect, and no questions were asked of them.

The generosity of those at the church and who were helping out really showed what Thanksgiving is all about here: to not only be thankful for what you have, but to extend yourselves and really help others in need to enjoy Thanksgiving Day, too.

Thanksgiving Day will be a special day for my friend’s son and family because of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Kindness has a rippling effect, and this will continue long after Thanksgiving Day.

Cynthia Ruttan

Lake Oswego

Find a way to keep Upper Crust here

I’m a resident of Lake Oswego and have lived here a little over 17 years. I’ve been a customer of Upper Crust Bakery since it opened, and I’m very sad to hear that the bakery will be closing this week. For all my daughter’s school birthday parties while she was attending Westridge Elementary, Upper Crust Bakery provided me with cinnamon rolls for about 26 children at a discount. The bakery is a much loved business in Lake Oswego and at the Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market. A chain store cannot replace Upper Crust Bakery products, which are natural and preservative-free. Nor can a chain store replace the sense of community Alice Seeger and her employees provide.

I know Alice Seeger to be a very kind and very reasonable person. She loves the customers here in Lake Oswego. She would not be leaving without reason.

I am sure she has been treated extremely unfairly and I think that is deplorable.

I urge the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency to find a way to keep Upper Crust Bakery in business here in Lake Oswego.

Mary Ann Dougherty

Lake Oswego 

Coyotes continue to be a problem

Time to do something about the coyotes! Our cherished pets are disappearing. Indoor cats and small dogs who find their way outside for one night are never to be seen again. I am afraid to walk after dark or especially early in the morning as my husband sees them regularly on his way to Lake Grove at 5:30 a.m.We need to appeal to the city to do something about this issue. Our natural areas are becoming hideouts instead of areas to enjoy.

Lynn Turpack

Lake Oswego

(Editor’s note: Diana Smith-Bouwer of the Citizen Information Center for the city of Lake Oswego responds: “Lake Oswego has coyotes, like most communities across the country. These animals are part of the natural landscape, similar to eagles, foxes, raccoons and deer. Coyotes pose little threat to Lake Oswego residents. Though naturally curious, they are also timid and normally will run away when approached, especially if you act big, mean and loud. It is important to keep your pets close at hand while outside and to be mindful that unattended pets, even those in your yard, can be vulnerable to a coyote.

“Attempts to eradicate coyotes across the country have been expensive and ultimately have failed. The city practices three things when it comes to coyotes: (1) education of residents on normal coyote behavior (seeing or hearing a coyote is normal); (2) teaching residents how to reduce coyote interaction and comfort with humans; and (3) instructing residents to promptly report coyotes who appear overly comfortable with humans and exhibit unusual behavior.

“While terribly sad when a pet disappears, eating small animals is not considered to be abnormal coyote behavior. One of the most important things to do to reduce coyote conflicts is to eliminate food options near your home — pet food, garbage, things that attract rodents and also leaving out unattended pets.

“If a situation arises where an animal appears to exhibit threatening behavior toward humans, the city will respond and will also contact the USDA Wildlife Services of Portland to investigate. The city works with Audubon Society of Portland and the USDA Wildlife Services of Portland to understand behavior and ask for help when needed. More information can be found at ci.oswego.or.us/planning/coyotes-and-other-urban-wildlife or call 503-635-0257.

“If at any time a person feels in danger from any animal, domestic or wild, call 9-1-1.”

Concerns raised about mayor-elect article

Like Helen Lundeen, whose (Nov. 15) letter lamenting the end of Upper Crust refers to her long connection to Lake Oswego, I have been reading the Review since the Blizzard family owned it many years ago.

How disappointing it was to read Kara Hansen Murphey’s featured above-the-fold article with the headline about Kent Studebaker’s recent election as Lake Oswego’s new mayor. Interested in hearing more about our new mayor-elect, I followed the story to its conclusion.

How odd that it was mostly a piece about his vanquished opponent, Greg Macpherson, whose resume was provided in full detail. Mr. Studebaker was simply referred to as a former Marine. It left me with the distinct impression that the Review’s staff might not have wanted us to know that Mr. Studebaker is himself an attorney with an extensive professional resume, and not just merely a “fiscally conservative” candidate.

Following the city’s recent spending history, fiscal conservatism might be a concept worth embracing. Congratulations, Mr. Studebaker, and thank you for tackling some of our most sacred cows!

Mignon Ervin

Lake Oswego

Upper Crust — a gracious donor for the needy

It was with great sadness we read of Upper Crust Bakery’s recent decision to shut down operations in Lake Oswego.  Upper Crust is not only a joyful presence at the (farmers market) in the summer, and a loyal employer to many, but also a very generous donor of bread and baked goods for the homeless and disadvantaged of our local communities. Over the past three years, they have graciously donated hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pounds of bread and pastries to our Manna Ministry, which in turn has helped to feed the people at the senior residences, Holyfield Village and Oakridge Park in Lake Oswego, the Tualatin Food Pantry and the Department of Human Services. 

Their humility and willingness to feed the hungry is exemplary and a model for us all. We want to thank them for their long and faithful partnership and pray they will find a new home for their business.

Libby Boatwright

Associate pastor,Lake Grove Presbyterian Church

Build in more suitable areas of Lake Oswego

The message is clear. Stop building what people don’t want in downtown Lake Oswego. McMansions are just one thing that are making many of us upset and with books going away in the not too distant future, thank goodness not a new expensive library.

Make do with what we have; it is perfect for the small-town feel some of us are trying to keep. As for the McMansions, is it even possible that we can stop people from building the monstrously large homes in downtown Lake Oswego? Typically and sadly they are built next to or at the removal of some classic older home.

In fact, these ugly McMansions are destroying the charm the “village” has. As in many small towns across the U.S., it is the quaintness, the cottages, the smaller homes and shops that attract tourists and others to visit. It is that feel and look that welcomes others to stop to eat and shop and enjoy.

Lake Oswego is a great little town, keep Lake Oswego’s charm, it will bring in the money if we encourage small shops to continue to serve our uniqueness. This will protect what means so much to many who have lived here all their lives and of which their children want to do the same.

Build your McMansions, large stores and libraries in other more suitable areas. How about Siberia?

Victoria Bramley

Lake Oswego

An insurance policy for great community

The city of Lake Oswego’s support of businesses and partnership with private developers helps create the vitality that provides jobs, connects neighborhoods and attracts new residents. That, in turn, supports a healthy tax base that can provide the core services that make our lives safe, secure and comfortable: community policing, an outstanding fire department, public works and utility departments that make everything run as smoothly as possible, a creative parks and recreation department and adult community center that offer services for citizens of all ages.

Additionally we have planning, building codes and ordinances that lay a framework for our town.

Businesses, both locally owned and national chains, create a retail mix that supports our local economy, provides jobs and weaves that “sense of place” that makes people feel connected. Those businesses then complete the cycle by supporting our local school foundation and sponsoring cultural events as well as local charities and individual school auctions.

The results of these dynamic partnerships are evident all around: Lake View Village and Millennium Plaza Park, the Headlee Walkway, public art, the Iron Furnace restoration project, the hanging flower basket program with the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, Boones Ferry Road improvements, I could go on and on.

Is it all peaches and cream? Is anything? The recession has forced every business, the city and individuals to re-evaluate how they spend money, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to work creative strategies to invest in our community.

Our city is fortunate to have an economic development department dedicated to this pursuit.

Lisa Shaw-Ryan

Lake Oswego

Co-owner of Chuck’s Place

Change of seasons

Autumn winds in the air,

Say goodbye to the bear,

Everyone now starts to wear

Woolen hats upon their hair.

Leaves start falling on the ground,

Ants keep crawling all around,

There are no bees which can be found,

The people are all winter bound.

Not long from now the snow will fall,

And cover the land with a winter’s pall.

The birds will get their southern call,

This is the season we call fall.

We now shall gather for the feast

Make sure to use up all the yeast

Get a bird from the southeast,

Cut it up and now it’s pieced.

We passed the stuffing all around,

We served up taters by the pound.

I ate so much I’m a chowhound.

After today I’ll be so round.

Now I feel so stuffed with food,

I think tomorrow I will protrude.

Like the bear, I must seclude,

So here this poem will now conclude.

Kenny Meyer

Lakeridge Junior High School

Thanks for the memories, Nicole DeCosta

I’d like to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Nicole DeCosta over the years. She is an amazingly talented woman, with a sense of humor and an eye for what her readers want.

My very first encounter with her was when she called to see if I could set up a Fourth of July vignette for the Lake Oswego Review. I had just launched my interior design business and of course, said yes. I “borrowed” a friend’s pool, brought in a ton of props and Nicole made it all look fabulous!

I love her genuine enthusiasm and how she can bring a story to life. She is truly a pro and a wonderful woman! I wish her the very best.

Ava Johnson

Ava Interiors Inc. and ReDesigns Northwest

West Linn

Editor’s note: Nicole DeCosta, is the former editor of the West Linn Tidings and current editor of LO, the monthly special publication in the Lake Oswego Review. She is resigning as associate editor for the Central Design Desk for Community Newspapers on Friday.)

DeCosta’s mother gives her a shout-out

I remember a dedicated reporter, walking through deep blowing snow, to reach the Tidings/Review office to get the paper out.

I remember a tear-filled reporter sharing sad, touching stories she had to cover.

I remember laughing at her humor, like when she posted my family holiday photo, including Gene Simons from the band Kiss.

I remember the amazing number of writing and editing awards she received over the last eight years.

Most of all, I remember her positive impact on everyone she connected with through her talented writing style and uplifting personality.

I will miss her stories in print, however I am lucky, I still get to experience her dedication, emotions, humor and positive attitude in my everyday life as her proud mom.

Johnyne Donnelly

Sherwood

Mother of Nicole DeCosta

DeCosta praises sung by her husband

I have been fortunate to get the “behind the scenes” look at what Nicole DeCosta has been able to do within communities during her time at the West Linn Tidings and other Pamplin publications.

I witnessed not only an incredible work ethic and will to succeed, but also a huge sense of pride and the development of leadership.

I know the Pamplin Media Company, and everyone who has had the privilege of working alongside her will not only miss her efforts, but also the smiles and positive energy she brings everyday.

Travis Hendricks

Tigard

Project manager at Ovation Design Build in Lake Oswego

Husband of Nicole DeCosta

Former DeCosta editor waxes nostalgic

During my time as editor of the West Linn Tidings, I was honored to work with Nicole DeCosta, who this week is leaving her position at Community Newspapers for new professional horizons.

Nicole joined the Tidings/Review staff as an intern in the summer of 2005, and we threw her right into a difficult and emotional story, the impending closing of Willamette Cove mobile home park. She covered the story well and with compassion, and she showed dedication and a tremendous work ethic all throughout her time at the Tidings.

She absolutely made the Homes section her own, in addition to writing so many “fun feature stories” that not only showcased the best of West Linn, but also won several journalistic awards. I still remember laughing about her foiled attempt to find some “desperate housewives” on Wisteria Road to interview, and she always offered a fresh take on stories that recurred year after year.

I loved working with Nicole. Her energy and enthusiasm was contagious, and she was an asset to the staff, the company and the community. We remain great friends, and I look forward to seeing where her next adventure takes her.

Best of luck to Nicole — I know she’ll be missed at Community Newspapers, but I know she’ll be successful in whatever career she chooses to pursue. To be sure, you haven’t seen the last of this talented lady!

Tracy Stepp

Portland

Former West Linn Tidings editor



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