A Toast to Lake Oswego’s Water in Honor of World Water Day

waterWhen my daughters used to come home to Lake Oswego from college in California, they would remark on two things—how great the air smelled and how delicious the water tasted.

There are lots of things that go into tap water’s taste. Source is one—whether it’s surface water, like from rivers and streams, or groundwater, coming from wells. Then there are factors like the treatment, the type, age and condition of the treatment infrastructure, the distribution system, and the presence of naturally occurring minerals. I imagine how committed a city is to water quality also plays a role, which may help explain why one of the things my girls missed when left home was a good glass of water.

In honor of World Water Day, I wanted to point out some facts about the water in Lake Oswego Oregon.

1. The source of Lake Oswego’s water is the Clackamas River which receives runoff and snowmelt from a 940 square mile area on the western slopes of Ollalie Butte near Timothy Lake.

2. Water is withdrawn near Gladstone and pumped across the Willamette River to the city’s treatment plant in West Linn before being sent to the city’s distribution system complete with 15 storage reservoirs, 13 pump stations and 210 miles of water mains.

3. Despite how good my daughters think our water tastes, key facilities are in need of expansion and upgrades. With this in mind, the City of Lake Oswego endorsed a partnership agreement with the City of Tigard in 2008 to share the costs in expanding our water capacity and reinvesting in our water treatment facilities.

4. The City of Lake Oswego is serious about conserving this valuable resource and offers free water audits during the spring and summer months to help homeowners learn better ways to manager their water. The auditor looks at lawn watering system, water efficient appliances, conservation tools and leak detection. Citizens who have been through an audit and implemented the recommendations have seen as much as 20% savings in their water bill.

5. Homeowners can also take advantage of the city’s water conservation rebate program, receiving $75 while funding lasts for installing efficient water-conserving washing machines and between $75 to $125 for water efficient toilets.

6. The City of Lake Oswego makes it hard for homeowners to find excuses for not conserving. The Public Works Department also offers free tools/devices to help with conservation like leak detection dye tables for toilets, faucet aerators, high efficiency shower heads, shower timers, hose timers, soil moisture probes, and rain gages. Rain sensors are available for $5 and can prevent sprinkler systems from watering during or after rain.

7. The overall water usage of participants in the City’s water conservation program since 2008 (individual residents, apartments/condos and businesses) has dropped over 25% when usage of 2009-2014 is compared with patterns during 2003 to 2008.

So raise a glass of tap water and join me in making a toast to Lake Oswego’s water!

Another way to celebrate World Water Day is to register for Walk4Water8, a 2-mile walk beginning and ending at Foothills Park in Lake Oswego to simulate the trek Zambian villagers must take to get their water every day. This year’s walk is set for April 11, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

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5 Reasons to Try Footgolf at Lake Oswego’s Golf Course (Not Including That It’s FREE This Thursday)


Footgolf players on a Las Vegas course.

The Lake Oswego Public Golf Course is about to join a growing trend by bringing the new hybrid sport of footgolf to its links with a soft launch this Thursday, March 19. The sport plays by golf-like rules but with soccer-like foot skills. Players try to get a No. 5 soccer ball from the tee box into a 23” diameter hole in the least amount of kicks, while maneuvering around bunkers, trees, water and hills. Holes are shorter than on a typical golf course, with pars averaging 5 or less.

Here are 5 reasons why you should give it a shot.

1. It’s easier to play than either soccer or golf. Don’t get me wrong. There is skill involved as you need to read the course, determine the best path to the hole, and rely on precision as much as power. But chances are the learning curve is a lot shorter than golf and the fitness regimen a lot less demanding than a soccer game. While it’s considered a cross between golf and soccer, I’d say soccer players have the advantage here because ball control (with your foot, not a club) is definitely a predicator of success.

2. Less expensive. You save money on two counts—green fees and equipment. The rates for footgolf at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course are $9 for nine holes; $15 for 18. That’s the same winter season rate to play golf during the weekdays. But weekend rates and warm weather rates for golf go up to as much as $24.50 for 9 holes/ $27.50 for 18, on a summer weekend. Footgolf stays a bargain year-round (especially this Thursday when it’s free); however, at the time, is only available on Thursdays after 3;00 p.m.

All you need to play is a pair of athletic shoes and a No. 5 soccer ball. Leave your expensive clubs at home. And if you don’t have a ball, the golf course will rent you one for $5 per round.

3. Calorie burner. It’s estimated you can burn up to 2,000 calories walking 18 holes on a traditional golf course, so set your step trackers once you get on the greens.

4. Takes less time than golf. Eighteen holes of footgolf generally takes between 2-2 ½ hours to play, cutting the commitment that golf requires by at least half.

5. Fun. Footgolf combines the precision and strategizing of golf with the energy and fun of soccer. Golf course officials hope that will widen the appeal of the game beyond diehard golfers to bring in a younger clientele as well as families. I imagine there will be more laughs and less restraint as players use their foot skills to chase the ball into the hole. As one recent player said, “FootGolf is officially the most fun you can have on a golf course.”

Footgolf will be available Thursdays after 3:00 p.m. and manager Tom Mueller has already signed up some tee times. In addition to adult rates, Juniors can play nine holes for $7 and 18 holes for $10. Call for tee times: 503.636.8228.

If there’s something about Lake Oswego you’d like to know more about, let me know in the comments section and I’ll feature it in an upcoming blog.

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Maher’s Pub Kicking Off a Bit of a Hooley to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

maher's logo 2If you’re Irish (and even if you’re not) you’re in luck if you live in Lake Oswego. This year St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday but that doesn’t mean you can’t start celebrating earlier! Maher’s annual festival kicks off on Friday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, March 15, then picks up again on Tuesday, March 17. Here are some of the activities they’ve lined up to ensure you have a whale of a time.

♣Music. When it comes to traditional Celtic music, there are lots of sounds to choose from—wiry like the fiddle, plunky like the banjo, high pitched like the bagpipes. What they all have in common is a direct line to your emotions and your feet as you find yourself wanting to laugh, cry, have another beer and dance. So be prepared to do a little (or a lot) of each as you enjoy the sounds of local talent like the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Pipes and Drums (the Pacific Northwest’s first fire service pipe band), fiddler Tricia Fire Fingers, traditional Irish shanty band Biddy on the Bench, and rock fiddler Tyler Carson. Check the complete schedule online.

♣Dancing. Like I said, the music moves you and it really kicks Irish Step Dancers into high gear. See for yourself as performances will be held each day, including one that invites audience participation on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

♣Family Fun. Maher’s has deemed Sunday as Family Day with all kinds of activities from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to entertain the kids including games, face painting, music, prizes, treats and Irish dance lessons.

♣Whiskey. It has been called the Irish cure for everything—“It may not MAKE you better, but you’ll sure FEEL better.” Maher’s is out to do their part to cure what ails you with a Jameson whiskey tasting and poker tournament on Saturday, March 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Free to enter.

As a 100% Irishman, I’d like to leave you with an Irish blessing–

May the road rise up to meet you
And lead you to our town
Where the quality of life
Will never let you down.

Let us know how you plan on spending St. Patrick’s Day by leaving a comment below. And click the “Sign me up” button to subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.”

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Plan Ahead for Spring Break Fun in Lake Oswego Oregon

Spring BreakSpring break is a few weeks away but here in Lake Oswego we all know the early bird gets the registration! Check out these offerings sure to keep your kids entertained from acting and nature camps to lifeguard training and lacrosse.

COMMUNITY SCHOOL OFFERINGS. Register at their website.
Lifeguard Review Class for ages 15+. Friday, March 27 through Saturday, March 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the District Pool, 2455 SW Country Club Road in Lake Oswego. Class is for currently or recently certified lifeguards and provides skill testing outside a full course setting. Fee: $130
Lifeguard Training for ages 15+. First you must pass a swim test on Saturday, March 21 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at the District Pool. Classes held Monday, March 23 through Thursday, March 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the District Pool, 2455 SW Country Club Road in Lake Oswego. Fee: $230.
Spring Break Boys Lacrosse Clinic, grades 2-8. Get ready to play! Wednesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 26 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Lakeridge High School turf field #2, 1235 Overlook in Lake Oswego. Fee: $75.
Mad Science- Rocket Scientists. Register for one or all three of these camps to satisfy the curiosity of your budding rocket scientist. Monday, March 23: Holy Rocket Ship Batman—build your own rocket. Tuesday, March 24: May the Force Be With You – explore the forces of flight. Wednesday, March 25: Living in Space-learn how astronauts manage in space. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Uplands Elementary. $45/day.
The Acting Club: Theatre Games for grades K-8. Calling all thespians in search of a stage – tap into your creativity through fun and challenging activities. Part of each day will be divided into grade levels. Extended care also available. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Uplands Elementary School, 2055 SW Wembley Park Rd., Lake Oswego. Fee: $155.

Spring Break Farm Camp for ages 5-12 includes arts and crafts, songs and games. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road, West Linn. Class #10650. Fee: $155/resident; $178/non-resident.
Eureka! The Inventor’s Camp for ages 7-12. Challenges presented to encourage campers to use the resources at hand, including their minds. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way in Lake Oswego. Class 11050. Fee: $159/resident; $183/non-resident.
Imagination Academy for ages 5-7. Campers put on their junior naturalist hats before switching gears to become junior astronauts. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way in Lake Oswego. Class #11051. Fee: $159/resident; $183/non-resident.
Pre-Engineering Camp Using LEGO® for ages 5-7 offers a chance to build boats, bridges, mazes and motorized cars. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p..m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way in Lake Oswego. Class #11052. Fee: $155/resident; $178/non-resident.
Bashem Bots Using LEGO® for ages 8-12 is an advanced engineering camp where students transform regular LEGO® vehicles into mechanized machines. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way in Lake Oswego. Class #11053. Fee: $155/resident; $178/non-resident.
Recording and Music Technology Camp for ages 8-12 provides rock star wannabes with the opportunity to experiment with synthesizers, effects pedals and other music technology to record music on their computers. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way in Lake Oswego. Class #11054. Fee: $140/resident; $161/non-resident.
Spring Break Junior Golf Camp for ages 6-17 gives kids a chance to brush up on their game with lessons, activities, and practice. Lunch included. Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, March 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course, 17525 Stafford Road in Lake Oswego. Class #11114. Fee: $130.

MOUNTAIN PARK KIDZONE. Register in person at Mountain Park Clubhouse, 2 Mt. Jefferson Terrace in Lake Oswego. 503.635.3561
Spring Break Camp for ages 5-12 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 includes sports, arts and crafts, games and more at Mountain Park Rec Center, 2 Mt. Jefferson Terrace. Full Week Fee: $250/ Mt. Park residents; $300/non-members (discount for siblings). Full Day Fee: $55/members; $65/non-members (sibling discount). Register at front desk.

TRYON CREEK NATURE DAY CAMPS. 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR. 503.636.4398. Register online.
Half Day Camp for Explorers: Wonderful Wings for ages 4-kindergarten. Kids learn about the wonderful world of wings both in their feathered friends as well as through objects they create. Tuesday, March 24 through Thursday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. $105/members;$130/non-members.
Full Day for Rangers: Spring is Nature’s Way of Saying “Let’s Party” for grades 1-5. Campers celebrate spring by discovering the new life it ushers in as they look for amphibian eggs, insects and plants that are emerging. Includes scavenger hunts and fort building. Before and after care available (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Tuesday, March 24 through Thursday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. $155/members; $180/non-members.

LAKE OSWEGO PUBLIC LIBRARY. 706 Fourth Street. 503.636.7628.
Puppet show: The Fisherman and His Daughter with Penny’s Puppet Productions on Wednesday, March 25 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Free.

PLAY BOUTIQUE. 464 First Street. 503.675.7529. Register on their website.
Spring Break Camps with daily themes provide cooking and action filled fun from Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. Half and full day options available as well as single day or weekly participation. Sibling discounts as well as extended day options.
●1-2 year olds from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fee: $42 for half day; $72 for full day until 3:30.
●3-7 year olds from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fee: $30 for half day/$135 for the week; $50 for full day until 3:30/$210 for the week.
●8-12 year olds from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fee: $30 for half day/$135 for the week; $50 for full day until 3:30/$210 for the week.

If you’re considering moving to or moving within Lake Oswego and are here for Spring Break, I’d be happy to show you around. Just give me a call at 503.939.9801.

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7 Things to Watch for During Lake Oswego High School’s Windjammer Variety Show

2015 Variety Show Poster-pagereducedThe popular Lake Oswego High School show choir, Windjammer, is staging its annual Variety Show this coming weekend, Thursday, February 26 through Saturday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium, 2501 Country Club Road. Here are seven things you don’t want to miss.

1. The Opening Song. This year’s Variety Show theme is, “Lean on Me,” with songs that speak to friendship and relationships. So it’s fitting that the show kicks off with Bill Withers’ hit, “Lean on Me,” which just happens to be Windjammer Vice-President, Julia Porter’s, favorite number in the lineup.

2. Variety. As new Choir/Windjammer Director, Megan Perdue explains, this is a variety show so expect to see just that—classical pieces, musical theater, as well as pop numbers with a few more surprises thrown in along the way.

3. The Sing-off Connection. Perdue is moving the Windjammers into contemporary a cappella—a music genre featured on the NBC singing competition, The Sing-Off. “That genre in our country is having a moment,” she says and has to point no further than the recent Grammy award for Sing-Off Season 3 winner, Pentatonix—a group that also managed to sell more than 1 million copies of its album, That’s Christmas. As a nod to this trend, Windjammers will be performing a couple arrangements from Season 2. See if you can spot them. One happens to be Windjammer member Thomas Curran’s favorite number, complete with beatboxing and all kinds of background sounds generated by very talented human voices.

4. Jazz Band. The Windjammers’ collaboration with the Jazz Band is one of the things that distinguishes this variety show from similar high school productions Perdue has been involved with. This event is an opportunity to embrace the phrase, “the more the merrier,” with 29 Windjammers joined by 15 jazz band members as well as five tech crew students making sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.

5. Loop Station. Like I said in point 2, this is a variety show, so one number features a loop station which records short snippets of sound (voice, clapping, instrument) and then repeats it over and over again to allow an individual performer to create his or her own accompaniment. Check out Imogen Heap for a good example. And then check out the Windjammer Variety Show for a live example!

6. The Pitch Perfect Connection. Perdue has a wide-ranging musical background, including a stint with University of Oregon’s award winning all female a cappella group, Divisi which provided inspiration for the popular movie, Pitch Perfect.

7. Future Windjammers of America. Both Friday and Saturday nights feature what the Windjammers hope are aspiring vocalists. On Friday evening, Windjammer Camp participants (grades K-8) will join in the opening number followed by choral students from Lake Oswego Junior High School on Saturday night.

Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for students, children and seniors; and $15 at the door.

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5 Reasons Why George Washington Would Have Liked Lake Oswego, Oregon

president's day

I sometimes wonder how our history might have played out if the colonists landed on the West Coast instead of the East. One thing that could have happened is that George Washington would have settled in Lake Oswego. Here’s why.

1. He was an excellent horseman. Thomas Jefferson called Washington “the best horseman of his age,” and he was known to sometimes clock in 60 miles on horseback while he was making his rounds. As his Realtor, I would have pointed out that the Lake Oswego Hunt Club is the Portland area’s only urban equestrian facility. It offers an historic open truss indoor arena, outdoor arenas, a polo field, ¼ mile galloping track, cross country and show jumps, and miles of trails along Iron Mountain.
2. Word has it he was an excellent dancer. Washington loved to hit the dance floor—rumor has it he was the first to kick off the Birthnight Balls held in his honor and one of the last to take off his dancing shoes. I’d be sure to point out Step It Up Studios right in downtown Lake Oswego. As a member he could take individual and group lessons and take part in social events like a New Year’s Eve gala.
3. Washington was a theater lover. Our first president enjoyed live theater and would often purchase tickets for his friends to join. His writings were filled with references to Shakespeare as he not only took theater for its entertainment value but also for the lessons it conveyed. One of our stops on the real estate tour would be the Lakewood Center for the Arts, home of the Lakewood Theatre Company. He could catch the last performance of The Seven Wonders of Ballyknock today or plan to catch the side door performance of What Makes Sammy Run next weekend.
4. He valued education. Although Washington’s own schooling was cut short due to the death of his father when he was a child, he made sure his wife’s children and grandchildren were educated and paid for the children of his siblings and friends to go to school. He also bequeathed money to a couple schools when he passed away. I’d be sure to point out to him the strong reputation that the Lake Oswego School District has, including the face that Lake Oswego remains the only school district in Oregon that has had all its schools receive the state’s highest rating—and seven years in a row, at that.
5. He loved a beautiful location. I’ve been to Mount Vernon where Washington lived. Situated on the banks of the Potomac River, it’s an incredibly scenic place. Give Washington a guided boat tour of Lake Oswego, and I’m sure he’d agree that there are few more picturesque spots in the country. If he wanted a view, I could show him waterfront property, Willamette River view spots as well as homes that look out at Mt. Hood.

So you see—George could have his horses, ballroom dancing, theater and good schools all within a short ride from his home with a view. Happy President’s Day!

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Photo credit: Image courtesy of Keerati at freedigitalphotos.net.

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More Neighborhoods to Consider in Lake Oswego, Oregon

NeighborsWhen I meet with prospective clients considering a move to Lake Oswego, I do my best to get to know their priorities–what’s important to them in a home as well as what’s important to them in terms of location. Although Lake Oswego is only 11.35 square miles, there are 26 neighborhoods to choose from, each offering their own unique blend of features from lake views to Mt. Hood views, walking distance to downtown to easy freeway access.

Today I’m highlighting four neighborhoods in the east end of town that feature views, lake easement, downtown accessibility, larger lots and a treed setting—take your pick!

Neighborhoods 3If you’d like to explore these or any other neighborhoods in Lake Oswego, give me a call. I’d love to show you around.

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Photo winnond @ freedigitalphotos.net


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