Catch Luscher Farm Scarecrows Through Halloween

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There are many reasons to visit Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego but one of my favorite is the scarecrows.

Fashioned out of empty milk jugs, wigs, costume jewelry, second-hand clothes and garden tools, they are more likely to make the crows come in for a closer look than fly away.

Checking out the scarecrows isn’t just something your young kids will enjoy. My two young adult daughters played, “Name that Doppelgänger” on our tour, dredging up names of old teachers or relatives as they came up with look-alikes for much of the garden art.

Here’s a preview of what you’ll see. Scarecrows are up through Halloween so get over there soon!

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Treat Yourself to One of Lake Oswego’s Halloween Activities

HalloweenLake Oswego has all kinds of special events planned to help you count down the days until Halloween. You’ll find something for everyone from spider web crafts for preschoolers at the library to Halloween wine tasting for the 21 and over set. I’d say in most cases, you’re in for a treat!

Lakewood Theatre Company Costume Sale. Take advantage of the Lakewood Theatre’s “fall cleaning” and pick up some costumes from old shows or all the ingredients to create your own. In the past my wife found such gems as an adult size blue gingham dress from a Wizard of Oz production and a drum major hat. Saturday, October 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 19 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Lakewood Center for the Arts Community Room, 368 S. State Street.

Harvest Celebration. Help celebrate another successful season at Luscher Farm with wagon rides, trick or treating in the milking parlor, plant sale, live music, petting zoo, and kids’ activities. Wear your costumes and pose with the farm’s scarecrows. Saturday, October 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. $5-$15 suggested donation. Please walk, bike or park at C3 Church at 17979 W. Stafford Road and take the shuttle. Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Rd. 503.534.5284

Dennis’ 7 Dees Lake Oswego Garden Center October Kids’ Club: How Cover Crops and Scarecrows Help Farmers. Learn about cover crops and help make a scarecrow for the garden center’s fall display. Sunday, October 19 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Garden Center, 1090 McVey Avenue. $5/pre-registration.

Legends and Lore. Sign up for this inaugural haunted historic tour of Lake Oswego. The family-friendly evening will be filled with folklore, antique sites, spirits and storytelling. Friday, October 24, 5:30 p.m. Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue. 503.675.2549. $13 fee. Register for Class 10470 through Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation.

No Carve Pumpkin Decorating. Make your pumpkin spooky or stylish. Materials provided. Saturday, October 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Rd. Register for Class #10227 through Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation. $10/Resident; $15 Non-Resident. 503.675.2549.

Get Crafty with Pumpkins. Use natural materials to decorate your un-cut pumpkins. All ages welcome. Saturday, October 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dennis’ 7 Dees Lake Oswego Garden Center. 1090 McVey Avenue. $5/pre-registration.

Spider Web Craft for Ages 3-5. Tuesday, October 28 and Wednesday, October 29 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street. Pre-registration required: 503.697.6580.

Costume Party for kids in grades 6 and up. Enjoy snacks, crafts and pumpkin bowling. Thursday, October 30 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street. 503.636.7628.

Halloween Wine Tasting. The folks at World Class Wines have some special wines in store, all of which promise to be juicy and blood-red including “Bone Shaker” – a Zinfandel with a glow-in-the-dark label. 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $15 for 6 wines; $5 bonus pour, 269 A Avenue, 503.974.9841.

Trick-or-Treating. Check out my blog on best trick-or-treat neighborhoods in Lake Oswego.

If you want a real treat, sign up to be notified of when a new 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego comes out by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

Photo Credit: samarttiw

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Vote for Your Favorite Photo of Lake Oswego

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Vote for “Group Jump” in Lake Oswego’s photo contest at

The City of Lake Oswego is holding its annual Lake Oswego Photo Contest and you can place your votes for your favorite between September 29 and October 15. Ballots will be enclosed with the October issue of HelloLO or you can vote online.

Now comes the commercial–one of my family’s photos is in the running so vote for “Group Jump” in the “Life in Lake Oswego” category.

My son has made these jump pictures his trademark, taking them in front of Mt. Rushmore, the Dalmatian coast on the island of Hvar, the Golden Gate bridge, a Hawaiian sunset, a beach in Zanzibar….and yes on a cabana dock on Lakewood Bay right here in Lake Oswego. In this one, he managed to corral his sisters and cousins to time their jumps perfectly with a result that I think is pretty amazing.

I have some other photo favorites that didn’t make the photo contest cut and thought I’d post them here to conduct my own voting poll. You’ll notice most of them capture summer moments—what can I say? It’s my favorite season here in Lake Oswego. While the rest of the year has things to offer as well, summer is the time my kids choose to come home for long weekends so it’s no wonder I’m camera happy when they’re around.

Take a look and cast your vote for your favorite glimpse into Lake Oswego living. And then go to the City’s site and vote for “Group Jump.”

Which picture of Lake Oswego is your favorite?

Photo credit: Stuart Miles

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9 Home-Buying Choices for Enjoying Oswego Lake in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Oswego Canal entry

Canal front homes are just one home-buying option that lets you enjoy Oswego Lake. If you’d like to see one that is currently on the market, give me a call at 503.939.9801.

Oswego Lake adds to the quality of living in Lake Oswego. Whether it’s looking at it, boating or swimming in it, paddle boarding on it, or dining on its shores, the lake is one of the things that makes living in Lake Oswego great.

But you don’t have to own a million dollar lakefront home to enjoy it. There are other home-buying options in Lake Oswego that give you access to the lake. Here they are.

VIEW. Homes with a lake view. Perched on streets like Upper or Summit Drives, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Oswego Lake without paying waterfront prices. Some of these homes also offer you the opportunity to belong to an easement which affords you water access as well. Right now you can purchase a lake view home for anywhere between $849,000 and $3,895,500.

LAKEFRONT. These homes give you everything—view and access, but at a price. Currently there are 18 lakefront homes for sale ranging in price from $1,200,000 to $10,500,000. In addition, you are responsible for paying Lake Corporation fees that are based on your water frontage.

CANALS. Oswego Lake has two canals: Blue Heron and Oswego Canal. Both offer a water view, albeit of the more narrow canals rather than the lake, as well as access. Homes have boat houses, and depending how far down the canal you live, feature boat rides anywhere from one to seven minutes to get to the main lake. What you get with many of the canal front homes that lakefront homes lack, is a sizeable yard. Many of the lots, particularly on Lake Haven Drive and Kelok are deep, and some contain swimming pools as well as yards large enough to entertain over a hundred guests. They are also situated in neighborhoods that add to the community feel for residents. There are six canal front homes for sale at this time ranging between $849,000 and $1,999,000 (now pending). Lake Corporation fees also apply.

CABANAS. Ten cabanas are situated on Lakewood Bay, at the end of Third Street in the Oswego Lake Sailing Club. Originally designed by Richard Sundeleaf as exclusive rental properties in 1936, these home sites range from the original footprint of 915 square feet to 3,319 square feet in new construction. The location is perfect not only for enjoying the more peaceful Lakewood Bay but also for walking to downtown Lake Oswego and taking in special events like the 4th of July ski show and the Oswego Heritage Council wooden boat parade. Prices range from $900,000 to $1,750,000. Lake Corporation and association fees are extra.

BAYS. There are three bays on Oswego Lake: West Bay and Blue Heron on the southwest end and Lakewood Bay on the northeast end. Homes here offer scenic views of quieter water than the main lake as well as water access. A “no wake zone” is enforced in both West Bay and Blue Heron, so residents don’t have to deal with the noise of high speed boats or the wakes created by ski bobbing or wake boarding. Currently there are six homes for sale on the bays ranging from $900,000 to $2,595,000 with annual Lake Corporation fees extra.

EASEMENTS. Twenty easements located around the lake give 3,000 non-waterfront homeowners the opportunity to live the lake lifestyle without paying waterfront prices. Each easement only has a limited number of boat slips for which there can be a waiting list. Once a boat slip is secured there is an annual easement fee as well as Lake Oswego Corporation fees, an annual meeting and usually a maintenance workday. Some easements also hold socials.

LAKE GROVE SWIMPARK BOUNDARY. The Lake Grove Swim Park is run by the Lake Oswego School District and is open to residents who live within the boundaries of the former Lake Grove School District according to the original deed spelled out by Oregon Iron & Steel Company. (Check to see what houses reside within the boundary). While that district is now part of the LOSD, residents within those original boundaries still pay an additional property tax to support the park. Ask anyone who uses it, and they’ll tell you it’s well worth it. The park opens the first weekend after school lets out and stays open seven days a week from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. through Labor Day. Lifeguards are on hand at all times ensuring kids stay safe, enforcing rules and administering swim tests which allow children to swim in roped off areas of different depths. Picnic tables, barbecues, a play structure, concession stand and games round out a summer afternoon for most families.

CONDOMINIUMS. In 2006, 60 condominium conversion units went on the market in what is now The Villas on Lake Oswego (formerly part of the Bay Roc apartments). Many units afford lake views and balconies as well as boat slips and a common dock. These one-to-three bedroom units offer a more affordable way to get lake access with sales this past year ranging from $116,000 to $360,000.

The Edgewater Garden Court Condominiums at 55 N. Shore Road and the Lakewood Lofts and Condominiums at the end of Third Street both offer lake views but no access. Most recent sales at The Edgewater in the 2011-2012 ranged from $257,000 to $275,000. Prices are higher at the Lakewood Lofts and Condominiums with sales of $239,000 and $430,000 in 2011.

ANY LAKE OSWEGO HOME. Any resident of Lake Oswego can use the Lake Oswego Swim Park located at 250 Ridgeway Road. It is usually open through July and August in the summer from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If you’d like to check out some of these Lake Oswego homes, please give me a call at 503.939.9801. I can show you around and help you decide which home-buying option is best for you.

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Top 50 List Is More Proof That Lake Oswego, Oregon Takes Its Education Seriously

schoolLake Oswego has done it again. Made a Top 10 list.

Well, in this case, it’s more like a Top 50 list. Business Insider named Lake Oswego the most educated town in the state of Oregon with 66.5 percent of adults holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Results were based on Census Bureau data gathered between 2008-2012 in its American Community Survey.

Survey aside, it doesn’t take long to realize that Lake Oswego takes education seriously.

Consider this:

●The Lake Oswego Foundation was started in 1986 and has raised nearly $21 million with the express purpose of funding teachers in order to keep class sizes low.

●The Foundation Endowment Fund is currently at $1.5 million in cash and bequests with plans to reach $100 million by 2030, contributing $4 million to the annual fund-raising campaign.

●Lake Oswego voters have approved five-year local option levies to supplement state educational funding four times beginning in 2000, with 78 percent of voters supporting the latest renewal in the 2013 special election.

●Even the City of Lake Oswego got in the act, making one-time contributions to the school district in 2010-11 ($150,000) and 2011-2012 ($2 million).

●Class sizes are among the lowest in the area, with an average of 23.3 at the elementary level, 25.9 in junior high and 27.2 in high school.

●High school students score 12% higher on the SAT and 21% higher on the ACT than their peers statewide.

●ACT composite scores of Lake Oswego School District high school students are higher than the national average as well, with a score of 26.6 compared to 21 (out of a possible 36).

●At the lower levels, student performance is outstanding too. Eighth graders meet or exceed state standards at a rate of 37% higher in math, 32% higher in science, and 25% higher in reading. Fifth graders do the same at a rate of 45% higher in math, 36% higher in science, and 33% higher in reading.

●In 2011, Forbes named Lake Oswego the #5 city nationally in terms of getting the most educational value for your housing buck when compared to other cities with comparably priced real estate.

Keep up-to-date on reasons to love Lake Oswego by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

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The Season is Still Going Strong at Luscher Farm Highlighted by Campfire Evening This Friday

Luscher Farm signWhile you may be putting your garden to rest for the winter, Lake Oswego’s Luscher Farm is still open for business at 125 Rosemont Rd.

Check out some of these upcoming events which you can register for on the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation website.

Campfire Evening for all ages. Enjoy s’mores, camp songs and ghost stories without having to pack up the tent, tarps and lanterns. All children must be accompanied by a parent. Friday, September 19, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Children’s Garden. $10 Resident/$15 Non-Resident. Class #10228

Kids in the Kitchen classes encourage your children, ages 6-15, to develop culinary skills preparing healthy meals with fresh produce from the Children’s Garden. Classes include Garden Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese (September 20 #10232), Handmade Bagels with Garden Spreads (October 25 #10235), Vegetable Sushi and Vanilla Ice Cream (November 22 #10236) and Blueberry Crepes and Lemon Curd (December 13 #10237). $30 Resident/$45 Non-Resident.

Garden Babies for ages 0-3. Get their green thumb started early with fun garden based activities. While the FREE class is drop-in, pre-registration is requested. Mondays, September 22 through October 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. in the Bunkhouse Classroom. #10325

Free Barnyard Tales for ages 3-8. Enjoy storytime in a farm setting that comes with a tour of the Children’s Garden. While the FREE class is drop-in, pre-registration is requested. Wednesdays, September 24 through October 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. #10325.

All About Tractors for ages 3-8. What kid isn’t fascinated with tractors? Let them climb on the Farmall tractor, learn about tractors and make a tractor out of recycled materials.Saturday, September 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Bunkhouse Classroom. $10 Resident/$15 Non-Resident. #10207.

Harvest Celebration. To everything there is a season, so celebrate another successful harvest at Luscher Farm complete with food vendors, live music, kid activities and informational booths. It’s a perfect Halloween picture taking opportunity complete with the resident scarecrows. Saturday, October 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. $5-$15 suggested donation at the door.

There is more where these came from. Check out the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Fall Catalog.

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Seats are Free at Lake Oswego’s Eco Film Fest

The Lake Theater Cafe at 106 N. State Street is the venue for Lake Oswego's Eco Film Fest beginning today, September 7 at 5:00 p.m.

The Lake Theater Cafe at 106 N. State Street is the venue for Lake Oswego’s Eco Film Fest beginning today, September 7 at 5:00 p.m.

What’s better than a $1 movie? How about a free one?

The City of Lake Oswego is hosting its first ever Lake Oswego Eco Film Fest over four consecutive Sundays featuring films that are designed to raise questions and suggest solutions while they entertain.

Grab your seat at the Lake Theater Café at 106 N. State Street. Here’s a rundown of the lineup.

Sunday, September 7, Water Blues, Green Solutions, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Water is close to Lake Oswegans hearts so this film should hold a special appeal as it examines how people in different communities (including Portland) are finding green solutions to our water issues.

Sunday, September 14, FernGully, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This animated fantasy film takes the good guys/bad guys formula and gives it an environmental twist.

Sunday, September 21, Chasing Ice, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. An award winning documentary featuring footage taken from time-lapsed cameras poised to chronicle the changing landscape of the world’s glaciers.

Sunday, September 28. Vanishing of the Bees, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Another documentary that takes a piercing look at the impact of the disappearance of honeybees seen around the world.

You know what else is free? Let me do a free market appraisal on your home to help you decide whether to stay put, remodel, or move on. Just give me a call at 503.939.9801.

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