The Best Playground, Ever

The playground at Hallinan Elementary School is, in my opinion, the best playground that I have experienced with both my kids and with my grand kids. It’s HUGE with so many slides, things to climb on, and a vast array of simple to complex physical challenges for kids.

Before I moved to Lake Oswego, over 20 years ago, I lived in SE Portland. I must have discovered this playground while showing houses in the neighborhood. After I found it, I began driving to Lake Oswego with my children to enjoy it with them.

Along with the playground, there is a huge field that has a walking path around it. When my kids got older, I could bring them there and take a walk while having a visual on them as they played.

Bear in mind that it’s only available when school is not in session. The school is located at 16800 Hawthorne Dr in the Hallinan neighborhood of Lake Oswego.

Get out there and enjoy the fresh air with your kids and your grand kids! And, as always, thanks for reading the blotter.


Notary Services at the Library

Did you know that the Lake Oswego Library offers free notary services the first and third Saturdays of each month? It does, including today. Volunteers provide the notary as a community service. It’s free.

The library is located at 706 4th St in First Addition. For more information click here.

I’ll have the market activity report up shortly. Thank you for your patience.


Tinseltown Trolley

The Lake Oswego Trolley is a favorite of mine. The trolley runs from State Street, along the Willamette River to the South waterfront in Portland. It’s a blast! One year, I packed a picnic and took my Mom for a trolley ride for her birthday.

The scenery is lovely. It meanders along through Dunthorpe ( a gorgeous neighborhood!) and has expansive views of the river. There is also a long tunnel that is pitch dark inside, except for the lights of the trolley.

This year the trolley is offering a Tinseltown experience. The event is December 10, 11, and 12. Departure times vary with 3 rides on Friday the 10th, 6 on Saturday the 11th. and 6 on Sunday the 12th. The cost is $20 for adults and $17 for youth (0-17). The trolley is decorated for the season and there is a special guest on board from the North Pole. For more details, click here.

What a fun holiday event for everyone!

Seasons greetings, and, as always, thanks for reading the blotter.


Worshipping options in and near Lake Oswego

I once worked with a family who was being transferred from another part of the country. One of the first questions that I was asked was, does it matter what church you belong to? It was the one and only time that I’ve ever gotten that question. And it’s a fair question.

My answer was then, and still is today, no. There is no social pressure to be affliated with an organized faith group. However, there are quite a few worship options should you be inclined to want to join one.

Lake Oswego has 25 christian churches, including a Mormon Temple. There is also a Jewish Synagogue. 2 miles South of Lake Oswego is the Cambodian Buddhist Society. Within 5 miles of Lake Oswego there is a Hindu Temple and 3 more Jewish Synagogues.

I hope you find this information helpful, and, as always, thank you for reading the blotter.


Fill a Stocking

For more than 20 years the City of Lake Oswego has participated in Fill a Stocking. This is a county-wide event and the premise is easy.

Christmas stocking and toys over rustic wooden background

A large group of volunteers hand makes stockings that are available at City Hall. Simply drop by 380 A Avenue to collect a stocking. Then fill it up with much-needed items and special gifts. Then return it to City Hall once it is filled. These stockings are distrubuted throughout Clackamas County and are given to families, seniors, teens, and the homeless. For many, it is the only holiday gift that they will receive.

The city is also accepting donations of coats, gloves, food, and new unwrapped toys. For additional information, please call the Public Information Office at 503-635-0257.

I know it is not yet Christmas or Hanukkah, but if you are like me, you’re a planner. The holidays are hectic and I like to get ahead with some proper prior planning.

Thank you for helping those in need,


This Week in Lake Oswego

Here are my picks for things to do this week either online or in person:

Mon, Nov 1, 2021 – 8:00AM-9:00PMStory Line Recordings~ Listen to poetry and short stories anytime! dial 503-636-7628 and press 6 More Info:  CLICK HERE

Tues, Nov 2, 2021 **Daily Through Nov 30th, 2021 – 10:00AM-7:00PMNative American Heritage STEM Kit Giveaway! ~ Explore traditional Native American technologies, visit with an archaeologist, and try out hands-on engineering challenges! Come to the Children’s Library to pick up a take-and-make activity kit while supplies last.- More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Wed, Nov 3, 2021 – 10:00AMThe Waldo Project~ “The Waldo Project” is a collaboration between the Lake Oswego Public Library, the Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego(link is external) and Hunger Fighters Oregon. Serve your community by getting books out into it, and have some fun! When a child finds Waldo in his hiding spot, they go straight to a vintage gumball machine filled with wooden tokens. After turning the crank and retrieving a token, they drop it into a jar which designates how many books will be distributed. – More Info & Registration + Agenda Links:  CLICK HERE

Thurs, Nov 4, 2021 – 10:00AM-2:00PMPMBob Ross Oil Painting – Aurora Borealis ~ Easy step by step beginners class from concept to completion! All supplies provided. – More Info & Registration:  CLICK HERE

Fri, Nov 5, 2021 – 7:00-8:30PM – How to Help Your Garden Soil Feed You ~ This online program helps you understand how to work the soil in your garden even in off months to better prepare for a fantastic new growing season in the spring!  More Info: CLICK HERE

Sat, Nov 6, 2021 – 9:00-11:00AMStewardship Work Party at Springbrook Park –  Help clear forest debris and remove invasive species. Friends of Springbrook Park will lead this work party. No experience needed. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring water.- More Info :  CLICK HERE

Sun, Nov 7, 2021 – 10:00AM-12:00PMStewardship Work Party at Freepons Park~ Help clear storm debris from the February ice storms. Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods will lead the group to help restore the habitat. No experience needed. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. More Info : CLICK HERE

Lake Oswego is getting an Aquatics Center!

In all of the years that I have been writing this blog, I’ve had a dirty little secret. I’ve been driving into Portland to the SW Community Center at Gabriel Park to swim. I don’t swim daily, or even monthly, but when I am in the swimming mood, I love it. I was an aqua-aerobics instructor for about 8 years and I once taught swimming to small children. So being in a pool is something that I really enjoy.

When I moved to Lake Oswego in 1998 I tried to use the pool at Lake Oswego High School. I really did try. But the pool is old and dingy. There is not enough chlorine in the world to make the water look inviting. It’s also just a lap pool, built to benefit the school’s swim team. This also meant that the public use hours were very limited.

The new pool will be part of a large (60,000 square feet) aquatics and recreation facility. It will be located adjacent the the Municipal Golf Course at the corner of Overlook and Stafford Roads. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2022.

Amenities will include:

  • A competition pool with spectator seating for 300 people
  • A lap pool
  • A recreation pool
  • A spa
  • A basketball court
  • A weight room with cardio equipment
  • 2 multi-purpose rooms for classes and group excercise
  • Locker rooms

Yep, I’m pretty stoked. The one thing that this town has been missing is being rectified and I am really excited. See you at the pool!


What’s in a Name?

A bit of trivia about the Property Blotter. Linda and I started our blog many years ago. Blogging was new to real estate and we had the good fortune of working with someone who was in the know about how to do it. Ron Ares, the son of our principal broker was a new agent who was interviewed by the New York Times because of the blog he had for Portland real estate. I was like “What?!” At that point I had a couple of decades in the business and realized that the power of the blog was pretty incredible for the recognition that Ron got as a result of his efforts. So Linda and I were on board.

Then it was time to choose a name. We knew we wanted to have a name that was uniquely LO. We brainstormed lots of options and came up with the Property Blotter. The name comes from the Police Blotter that was published weekly in the Lake Oswego Review. The Lake Oswego Police have 100% response policy. If you call them, they show up. The police calls are then reported in the local newspaper. What they respond to can be pretty funny. So the local blotter has been a source of local entertainment for many years.

Here is a sampling of what was reported in the August 12th edition of the LO Review:

7/31 9:43 A.M.

A dead squirrel was seen near the 18400 block of Deerbrush Avenue

7/31 12:54 P.M.

A man was seen laying sideways on a step near Boones Ferry Road and Kruse Way Place

7/31 1:19 P.M.

A caller believed someone was selling dogs our of cages in a truck near the 40 block of McNary Parkway. It turned out to be a part of an adoption program.

7/31 9:34 P.M.

Someone was seen walking in the middle of the street near SW Lesser Road and Jefferson Parkway

8/1 7:00 P. M.

A resident said she was being followed by two people at a store near the 90 block of B Avenue. Police made sure she got home safely. (I love this one. Who doesn’t want a police escort if you feel unsafe?)

8/2 12:55 A.M.

Intermittent “constuction-type noises” were heard near the 1000 block of Westward Ho Road

As you can see, it can be amusing. There is actually a book that was written about the blotter. It’s a good read that I highly recommend.

I feel very fortunate to live in a community with relatively low crime and whose police department is 100% there to serve and protect. It’s one of the many things I value in my community.

My best to you,


EcoHome LO

The City of Lake Oswego is starting a brand new program to help residents learn to live a more sustainable life by reducing their carbon footprint, engaging as good citizens, and recycling. At you can sign up to partcipate and learn details of the program.

The program is administered on line. You’ll find check lists that address:

Reduce Reuse and Recycle

Energy Conservation

Water Conservation


Social Equity

Ecological Conservation

Civic Engagement

Emergency Preparedness

Construction & Renovation

Apartments and Rental Housing

& Encouraging Others to Participate

Upon accomplishng a preset number of goals, the house will be awarded a lawn sign that states that it is an EcoHome.

I suspect that we will start to see these signs popping up in our neighborhoods, and now you know what they are all about. I also think it’s a terrific program because of what it encourages, but also because it is so comprehensive.

As always, thanks for reading the blotter,


Trends from the 2021 Street of Dreams

As you saw from last week’s post that Linda wrote, she and I attended the Street of Dreams. Running until August 22nd, it is currently happening in Happy Valley on the East side of the metro area.

When I go through the street of dreams, I like to look for trends. What we see at the Street of Dreams, we also start to see in new construction and in remodeling.

This year’s event was entirely different because they have two locations. On location has million dollar homes and high-end finishes. The other location has homes that are $500,000 to the low $600’s. The trends I am going to talk about here are from the more expensive houses.

Beamed ceilings

I’ve always liked the look of beamed ceilings. They just make a house feel more substantial. I did find my self questioning how structural they actually are. Or if they are simply decorative. In any case, I like this trend.

Outdoor living areas

The outdoor living areas in the 3 expensive houses are just gorgeous. I feel like every home, even condos and apartments, should have nice outdoor spaces to relax and socialize. All of the areas on these homes had fireplaces, plenty of room for seating, and usually kitchen equipment like BBQs, sinks, and refrigerators. They are lovely.

Lots of gray and white

The gray is a deep, dark, gun-metal shade. It was painted over entire rooms, used for kitchen cabinets, and for built-ins. It’s a classic shade. It goes well with pops of color of pretty much any shade that you like, but it is mostly paired with white. I feel like this is a color that you could live with and enjoy for many, many years. While being a trend, it’s a timeless one.

Chunky light fixtures

The last Street of Dreams I attended, in 2019, the light fixtures were also a stand out. At that event they seemed very stream-lined and modern looking. At this year’s event, they’re just the opposite. I’m not so sure I like this trend. Frankly, the fixture posted here looks like a fire hazard.

The housing village

I actually think that this was my favorite part of the show. Made with at least 2, and possibly 3, shipping containers, it just looks like a brilliant solution for our housing shortage. The main container has a very nice bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and small living room. This structure also had 2 bedrooms. Then a second structure, that is clearly a full shipping container, had 3 bedrooms, each with it’s own entrance. Having your own bedroom/living space allows some autonomy. I don’t know the cost of contruction, but I imagine it’s substantially less than traditional construction. Brilliant.

Pleasant Valley Village

The 3 houses featured at the second location are much more affordable. Priced in the 500 and 600 thousand range, these houses will sell quickly. I really like the idea of having the two price ranges. It is the Street of Dreams, and for nearly everyone, the dream is of owning a home. While the expensive homes are fun to look at, they are way outside of most people’s budgets. So having some affordable homes is a great idea. Having said that, I do wish there had been more than one builder represented. The 3 houses that are on the tour are all built by Holt Homes. They are essentially the model homes for a new subdivision. It felt a bit like just one huge advertisement for this builder.

I hope you have the ability to check out this year’s street of dreams. For more information, click here.

As always, thank you for reading The Blotter.