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Readers' Letters

Thank you for supporting our foundation

I am honored to be the incoming superintendent for the Lake Oswego School District, which an NPR reporter called the “primo district of Oregon.” Our schools have been referred to as the “crown jewel” of the city. All superintendents know that a school district’s success has an incredibly strong correlation to the support it receives from the community.

On my first visit to Lake Oswego, I noticed the “Invest in Success” signs. The Lake Oswego Schools Foundation is a critical partner that enhances our students’ academic experiences.

In April, I had the good fortune of learning about the foundation and attending its board meeting. For more than 28 years, it has brought the entire community — parents, community members and businesses — together during its annual campaign. This year, the foundation kicked off its campaign with a luncheon and more than 200 volunteers making calls to ask donors to pledge their support. The campaign has already raised more than $1.4 million.

The Lake Oswego community is fortunate to have such a valuable asset in the foundation, and I encourage you to help us reach the $2 million goal. The impact on our schools and community is clear: 20 additional teachers in our classrooms affording additional opportunities and support for our students. Lake Oswego School District’s reputation is built on our students receiving the best public education because of outstanding teachers in every classroom and community commitment for every school.

As the incoming superintendent, I would like to thank everyone who has ever supported the foundation with a donation. I am proud to welcome first time donors, like myself, to join the list of consistently generous donors. Strong schools ensure strong communities can thrive. Let’s “Invest in Success” together.

Heather Beck

Incoming superintendent for the Lake Oswego School District

Littleton, Colo.

Thanks if you’ve donated; please do if you haven’t

Please consider donating to the Lake Oswego School Foundation and thank you to those who have.

Our schools and teachers are an integral part of our wonderful community and the foundation helps keep it that way with its mission to ensure a world-class education for all students in Lake Oswego. Ninety-five percent of the funds raised through the foundation go directly to fund teaching positions, which keeps class sizes down to deliver the best educational experience for our children.

Last year, in the face of drastic state budget cuts, our district was able to maintain lower class sizes and a diverse offering of electives at the high schools. This year, foundation donations funded 20 teaching positions that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. What a great gift for our children. Every dollars helps, so donate today. (Donate via the foundation’s website at (losfoundation.org).

Erin Preston

Marylhurst

AAUW tea, book sale and auction were a success.

The American Association of University Women Lake Oswego Branch thanks past co-President Penny Hansen for her excellent leadership in organizing and presenting the recent fundraiser Friendship Tea, Book Sale and Silent Auction.

The successful event raised funds for the branch annual scholarship for an outstanding Marylhurst University woman student and other mission-based branch charitable activities. Penny Hansen, a West Linn resident, is a long time board member and officer with AAUW Lake Oswego. Her experience, wisdom and skills are invaluable. AAUW is grateful for Penny Hansen’s contribution to the AAUW mission of advancing equity for women and girls.

Karen Rottink

AAUW Lake Oswego Public Information Officer

Lake Oswego

Lakeridge stadium project shouldn’t be a priority

I understand that families would “like” to have improvements made to the existing Lakeridge stadium. I do not understand the process by which the project is progressing.

First, the lack of priorities is concerning to me as a resident and voter. Recently, the Real Estate Study cited several “priority one” repairs or upgrades. Some of these repairs are necessary for safety.

If they are delayed, the safety risk(s) and money will surely increase. Why pay for a study, if we are not going to abide by the findings? Second, where is the school advisory council in all of this? Were they not appointed to act as communicators between the school board and community? I would like to hear their findings.

Lastly, I think that funding such a project by using operating funds, sets a bad precedent. By what criteria does the next “like to have” project get weighed? Dr. Schiele sums up the debate, in my opinion, by highlighting the basic difference here: need vs like. http://koin.com/2014/04/24/parents-furious-football-stadium-additions/

“I know there are other buildings that also need assistance and we want them to have assistance, but the families that live near Lakeridge High School would like to have a cover and press box just like most 6A high schools have,” said Schiele.

Karin Brewington

Lake Oswego

Lakeridge deserves covered seating

When we moved to Lake Oswego in 1979, we began enjoying activities and events at both Lakeridge and Lake Oswego high schools. Our two daughters graduated from Lakeridge, and we now have grandkids at both LO and Lakeridge high schools.

Every year we attend several football and lacrosse games as well as track meets at both our high schools and around the league, and the difference is striking and inappropriate: We sit under ponchos in the rain at Lakeridge events and under cover at events at all the other high schools.

We support the modest investment being considered by the school board to add a cover to a portion of the seating and a press box at Lakeridge, and we know that all who consider the project objectively will do so too.

Phil and Sally Robinson

Lake Oswego

Lakeridge only school in Three Rivers League with no canopy

As a parent of a Lakeridge High School student, I have spent four years watching my child compete on the sports field while sitting in the pouring, freezing rain. Lakeridge High School is the only school in the Three Rivers League without a canopy and a proper stadium.

By proper, I mean a stadium with permanent fencing where people pay to get into the games. Lakeridge High School is a community asset that is shared by many sports teams in our city, state and country. I’ve watched Lacrosse teams from Canada, Texas, Washington and California play on the field. I’ve also witnessed many adult league soccer teams play on the weekend. The field is used by young, old, men, women, children and most importantly, students.

You may be asking yourself, why should I support this project?

A stadium is an important asset for a complete high school. As Bill Korach stated at the last school board meeting, “There are three important components for a great high school, academics, arts and sports.”

Lakeridge has a beautiful auditorium where we celebrate the arts, it has spacious classrooms where we celebrate academics, but we have a substandard stadium with no canopy. Let’s move this project forward now.

Alex Schwarz

Lake Oswego

Safety issues also part of Lakeridge decision

When we read in the Lake Oswego Review that there may be some second thoughts as to redirecting the funds that have been part of a 2002 bond, I felt the need to express my concerns. I believe the board needs to weigh all the factors here. There are a few safety issues that need to be considered.

1. Our coaches have to use a scissor lift to watch the games. They are not protected from the wind and rain.

2. The field is not easily accessible for elderly, handicapped or younger people.

3. We are the only 6A School in the Three Rivers League without a covered sports facility, our opponents are not prepared during the rain. Many think we have at least one side of our stadium covered.

4. Band members do not have a dry area for their instruments.

At this point we have a bond from 2002 that had this project identified and the community voted and approved it by passing the bond. It has been on the school board’s agenda for the last two years. We have proposed money from a construction excise tax and feature fund raising from Lakeridge families to cover some of the costs. The remainder of the money could be financed and paid back when the LOSD uses the real estate study to determine which schools it would sell.

Updating the sports facility at Lakeridge would also create more revenue for LOSD. We would be able to rent the sports facility to adult clubs and host events for track meets and state championship games.

The city of Lake Oswego’s planning commission has approved this project. All we need now is for LOSD to give its yes vote.

Kevin and Debbie Diamond

Lake Oswego

Hopefully, Lakeridge senior gift won’t be ‘for nothing’

I am a senior at Lakeridge High School. I would like the LOSD to know that our senior gift to the school is going towards the new stadium.

Now I feel like our time spent designing our gift may be for nothing. We have put a lot of thought and time into this.

It will be sad if we are not able to leave our legacy for future students and parents to see.

Karrine Gilbert

Lake Oswego

School board chair’s actions called into question

Lake Oswego School Board Chair Patti’s Zebrowski’s campaign this week against the Lakeridge Stadium project is reprehensible and unethical.

Not only was she elected by this citizens to represent all students in the district, but she is also using misinformation about funding to aid her cause.

We should not stand by and watch an elected official use her bully pulpit to help half of the electorate that put her in office.

The Lakeridge stadium is an important asset to the entire community. Not only is it used by more than 600 students in seven Lakeridge sports but by youth organizations, college programs and tournaments throughout the year. Our community should not have the only high school stadium in the area that subjects our citizens and visitors to weather conditions that are unsafe and unsavory.

The Lakeridge community has committed to raising a minimum of $500,000 to go along with funding from construction excise tax that is already in place for this project. The Lakeridge stadium roof has been on the district’s priority list since 2012 and was packaged into the 2002 bond.

Chair Zebrowski’s bias is widely recognized and speaks for itself but the school board needs to follow its plan and do what is fair for the entire community.

Shon DeVries

River Grove

Many reasons to support covering LHS stadium

(I am) writing today in support of covering the stands at Lakeridge High School. Here are a few reasons why:

1) Lakeridge High School is the only school in the Three Rivers League to have an uncovered sports facility.

2) Lakeridge High School does not have a press box tall enough for coaching staffs to see games from a covered area. If you were a coach, would you want to be elevated in a scissor lift during a blowing rain storm? An accident using one of these scissor lifts would impact the school district in a negative way.

3) The fact that our schools need repairs or upgrades is not in dispute. What is in dispute is what needs to be done at each school. That comprehensive plan of what to do with our schools is not ready and we are unable to move forward with school repairs until this plan has been completed. The cover at Lakeridge is a separate project that is ready to go and can be completed this summer.

4) Our school administration and school board have planned for this stadium project for more than two years based on our review of previous school board meetings. As a matter of fact, this project was originally part of the 2002 district bond. Why stop this valuable project that has been planned for so long?

5) There are many that believe teaching positions are in jeopardy due to this project. This is simply not the case. Contrary to what some people assume, this project will not use operating funds. We understand that the project will use a combination of construction excise taxes (that can only be used for capital projects), community donations and other resources from the school district such as a loan.

Jared Holum

Lake Oswego

Cover the Lakeridge High School Stadium

Covering the Lakeridge High School stadium is an important topic which deserves informed consideration. I’d encourage fellow citizens to help by asking the Lake Oswego School Board to take the time to seek additional solutions and look for the funding necessary to proceed with the project.

This is not a topic exclusive to those families with high school aged children. I’m a mom to three young children (8, 7, 4 years) who will eventually attend Lakeridge High School and I want this community to come together to find a solution for the needed improvements.

I’m stunned that discussions on this topic have become disrespectful to the point that a vocal few are calling “south side” families “whiners.” We live in a district where we need to equally support all sides and the fact is, LOHS has an incredible stadium and Lakeridge does not.

I’ve heard the analogy that the district has two kids (LOHS and LHS). Are we comfortable giving one of those children an umbrella and saying the other is a “whiner” for asking to get out of the rain?

I’m also very aware that many of our schools are in dire need of repair and I’d remind everyone that the real estate study was just completed and those details will be worked through soon. The stadium cover is a more near-term project where action can be taken more quickly.

Please join me in asking the school board to continue the conversation and explore solutions to improve the stadium at LHS.

Becky Emmett

Lake Oswego

‘Please support this project and put a roof over our heads’

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

Dear citizens of Lake Oswego, please support the addition of a canopy to partially cover the Lakeridge High School seating area at the main sports field.

There currently is no canopy to cover this area and spectators must huddle together in the rain to watch sporting events.  Lakeridge is currently the only 6A high school in the Three Rivers League without any protection from the rain.

The school board recently voted to move ahead with this project.  The estimated cost of the project is $2.2 million (the bulk of funds to come from construction excise taxes, and the community is actively raising funds expected to pay $500,000 of this cost).

After the school board voted to proceed with this project, the issue of repairs needed for some of the elementary school facilities was raised by the dissenting board member as a potentially higher priority.

The repairs to elementary schools have not been contracted to determine the full needs and costs.  The board will need to evaluate these costs and develop a full facilities plan for the district.  This will take time and there is no reason that the canopy project cannot move forward in the meantime. 

It should be noted that the canopy project was originally raised with the school board and bundled in the 2002 bond.  For the past 12 years, Lakeridge families have been waiting for protection from the rain.  Nearly 500 students use this field annually and their families and friends and the families of opposing teams deserve the protection that is simply expected of a high school of this caliber. 

Please support this project and put a roof over our heads.

Laura Miller

Lakeridge parent

Lake Oswego

Move ahead with Lakeridge stadium project

As Oak Creek parents, parents with children attending schools on both sides of the lake, SAC Committee members, former PTO president and LOHS alumni, we are very aware of the financial challenges our district face.

We are also aware of the much-needed school repairs. How our district’s money is spent is always a passionate topic; one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

That being said, we are asking the board for full support to move forward with the stadium project. It has been on the board’s agenda for years and action needs to happen now.

The entire Lake Oswego community benefits from proposed improvements: boys and girls youth sports, community events, soccer, track, lacrosse, football, club teams, and countless other activities. The potential is endless for additional state, district and community events which would generate more revenue for our community by making these necessary improvements.

Lakeridge is the only high school within our league that does not have a canopy. Many visiting teams and family members have come to the facility unaware it lacks protection from the weather, thus ending up soaked, or they simply leave.

Grandparents, elders and other spectators are not attending events due to being exposed to inclement weather or for fear of slipping due to safety concerns.

Although necessary, action on the required school repairs is not ready yet. Full needs and costs have not been completed. This stadium project is ready to be implemented now, it is needed now and the time to act is now.

Please support moving forward with the proposed Lakeridge stadium project so we may provide our community what they lack and need in order to truly be a better functioning facility for our local sporting and community events.

Dusty and Joel Johnson

Lake Oswego

LHS ‘project is the only “shovel-ready” project in the district’

The lack of covered stands at Lakeridge has been an embarrassment to the school district for many years.

People are often stunned when they get there and find out that they have to sit in the rain if they are able to navigate to the bleachers, which is not easy for many grandparents. This is a huge issue for all athletics, not just for Lakeridge but for the many community events held on the field.

I wish I had a nickel for every soccer game or track meet where we sat out in the rain and listened to parents from opposing teams comment about how sub-par the facilities are and wondering why it is so very different than at LOHS.

Given that all other TRL schools have covered facilities, many spectators are not prepared for sitting exposed to the elements during athletic events. This is a poor reflection on the Lake Oswego School District as a whole.

The equity/parity policy between LOHS and Lakeridge is given lip-service at best. Only when LO forfeited pole vault two weeks ago, due to unsafe conditions at Lakeridge, did that situation get addressed.

Lakeridge had asked repeatedly to have the safety issue addressed but it took action by the LOHS track coach before the district would do anything about it?

Let’s correct the stadium situation ASAP. This project is the only “shovel-ready” project in the district right now. Let’s keep it moving. It’s long overdue.

Steve and Kay Hopkins

Parents of 2009 graduate, 2012 graduate and class of 2017 student

Lake Oswego

There are many reasons to support Relay for Life

I’ve been involved in Relay for Life since I was an eighth grader living in Lake Oswego. Why do I relay?

I relay to celebrate the life of my sister who was diagnosed with cancer when I was in fifth grade. I relay because my sister’s friends were so moved by my sister’s life that they first started the team for her. I relay because even though I didn’t get to spend as much time with my sister as I would’ve wanted, other people still have time to spend with their loved ones.

And I relay because I want to celebrate the life of my sister, the lives of people who have passed and the lives of people who are currently fighting cancer. I relay because I want them to know that they aren’t alone in the fight.

Relay for Life.

Clayton Dirkse

Lake Oswego

West End

At the time it seemed a marvelous buy.

We just can’t now remember why.

For a building so expansively white,

No use has seemed exactly right.

Before rain and taxes could eat it away,

We posted it for sale on e-Bay.

Someone’s knocking at the door,

But deals have fallen through before.

Now it sits as a monument

To money rather unwisely spent.

We really wish we had the knack

For making Safeco take it back.

James Fleming

Lake Oswego



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