Friday, December 23, 2016

December 2016

Some helpful reminders here. Hope you enjoy this issue of LOve the Game, and Happy Holidays!

Lisa West
lwest@ci.oswego.or.us
503-697-2832 direct
503-635-5550 front desk



Holiday Schedule
The courts are open every day, but our office will be closed from Saturday December 24-Monday December 26, so you'll need your card key for your reservation. We will reopen on Tuesday, December 27.

Card Keys
Forgive me for harping on this for the second month in a row, but I do want to remind you that if you or someone in your group doesn't have a card key, you need to get one. We saw last week with the weather that our staff can't always make it in, even if you can. That doesn't only happen during bad weather--sometimes we're sick, have family emergencies, etc. etc. etc. and there may be times when we would normally be here, but for some reason we're not, and the door is locked. Your card key will allow you to access your reserved court in case something like that happens.

Another note about card keys: if you don't have one, please don't depend on someone else to let you in. Yes, you might be able to get in the door when someone else is coming or going, but please don't go around and bang on the side doors for someone to let you in. This is disruptive to players on the courts. Please be considerate of other players, and be responsible for accessing your court.

Seasonal Renewals
Thanks to all of you, the seasonal renewal process went more smoothly than it ever has, even though we were delayed by the weather for a few days. We really appreciate that you read our emails, asked questions, and helped us get your information updated and in order.

Seasonal Courts
We had very little turnover in our seasonals this time, but if you're interested in a seasonal court, check with us--we may have something that works for you.

Thanks for reading this issue of LOve the Game, and thank you for your continued support and another great year!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 2016

Lots of information here. Hope you enjoy this issue of LOve the Game, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa West
lwest@ci.oswego.or.us
503-697-2832 direct
503-635-5550 front desk


Winter/Spring Registration
Registration for Winter/Spring will open for Lake Oswego Residents on Monday, December 5 at 10am, and it opens for everyone on December 12 at 10am. One of the most common misconceptions about Winter/Spring is that there are two separate registration dates for Winter and Spring. That is not true. On either December 5 or December 12, you'll be able to register for any class in the Winter/Spring catalog.

Many people want to sign up for Winter classes, and then make a decision later about Spring. That's understandable, but be aware that our classes fill up fast and you may not be able to get a spot if you wait. If you sign up for Spring and it turns out that it won't work for you, you can cancel the class at least five business days before it starts and receive a full credit on your account, or a refund minus a $5 fee.

Holiday Hours
The Tennis Center is open every day of the year from 6am-10pm. And because we always get these questions: yes, that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother's Day, and your birthday. However,
the office isn't staffed on major holidays, including the ones we have coming up like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Because of the way the holidays fall this year, and because we want our staff to have some time with their families, the office will be closed on the following days:

Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving)
Friday, November 25 (Day after Thanksgiving, City holiday)
Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day)
Monday, December 26 (Christmas Day observed, City holiday)

We'll let you know about January holidays in the next issue. These dates only apply to office staff. If you have a regular lesson with a pro, it's a good idea to check with them regarding their holiday schedule.

If you have a court reserved on any of these days, including a seasonal reservation, City League practice, etc., you will need a card key (see below) to access the building, because the door will be locked.

Card Keys
You can purchase a card key (they technically aren't cards anymore, but the name stuck) at the office (or by phone, and we will mail you the key) for $10 for a year, or $30 for four years. There is still some confusion about how the dates on the keys work: since we have gone to our new system and the smaller key fob, the keys are good for one year from the date of purchase (or four years, if you go with that option). We don't use the old September-May term anymore.

Access to your reserved court is your responsibility. We know how important your court time is to you, so we recommend that at least one person in your group, on your team, etc. have a card key, even if you play during a time when the office is normally open. There might be holiday closures and, although we certainly always expect the door to be unlocked during normal office hours, it's not an absolute guarantee. We have a small staff and some of us go to school and/or have other jobs, so if someone is sick, has an emergency, or can't get here because of weather, we may not always have someone to fill in. We absolutely will do our best to have someone here, but there may be times when that just isn't possible and the door is locked. If you have a card key, this won't disrupt your scheduled play.

Women's City League
Our women's City League teams are looking for a few players from the 2.5-3.5 level. If you're interested, please email president@lotccityleague.org for more information.

Seasonal (Lottery) Courts
If you have a seasonal court, the last day of the first half is Wednesday, January 18, 2017. We will be renewing courts for the second half on December 15. If you want to renew, you don't need to do anything, and we will charge the second half to the same card we used for the first half.  If you don't want to renew, please let us know before December 15. We will send a reminder email to seasonal holders. And because this is a very common question: The second half runs from January 19-May 31.

If you don't currently have a seasonal court, and you're interested in buying one for the second half, we will know what's available after December 15. Just give us a call at 503-635-5550 and we'll see if we can find something for you.

USTA League Play
The deadline for teams in the 18+ USTA league (men's or women's, not mixed) is December 7. We still have room for a few more teams, but expect those slots to be filled before the deadline. If you're thinking about captaining a team this year, contact us at 503-635-5550. You don't need any experience to be a captain--just a willingness to take it on, and enough people to make it work.

We get a lot of questions about playing USTA and how it works, so here are some basic answers. Captains organize their own teams, so the best way to get on a team is to ask around (or at the front desk) to find our who's captaining at your level. If you know that person or someone who will put you in touch with them, you can contact them to find out if they have openings on their team. This is probably the most efficient way to go about it. Otherwise, you can call the front desk and let us know you're interested in playing. We will ask you for some information, like your level, your contact info, and your age (don't be offended by this; some leagues are for certain age ranges like 40+ or 65+, and we want to keep you in mind for as many opportunities as you're eligible for). Then, if a captain comes to us looking for a player, and it looks like you're a fit, we'll pass your info along to them.

The cost for USTA play is basically the cost of a USTA membership, if you don't have on, plus the cost of registering for the team, which also goes to the USTA. Your team also pays for the court time for your home matches. Your captain decides how that will be split up, but generally you could expect to pay around $40 for the season.

That's it for this issue. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 2016

Happy fall! Hope you enjoy this issue of LOve the Game!

Lisa West
lwest@ci.oswego.or.us
503-697-2832 direct
503-635-5550 front desk


Special Olympics Campaign
You probably know by now that the Tennis Center runs the only Special Olympics tennis program in the Pacific Northwest, but do you know what that means? For an hour on Saturdays during the fall, winter and spring, all four courts are filled with athletes learning tennis skills and volunteers helping out however they're needed. Longtime instructor Gerri Allen does an amazing job the program. The athletes do not pay to participate. The Tennis Center covers the cost of the program, which includes equipment, court time, staff time, prizes for the participants at season's end, and a volunteer appreciation lunch once a year.

Whenever we publicize our Special Olympics program, we get a lot of inquiries from people who want to volunteer. We love our volunteers, but we realize this isn't an option for everyone, for a number of reasons. So we've come up with another way you can help: a donation campaign. This will help defray our costs, keep the equipment in good condition (we use a lot of foam balls and while their life expectancy is much better than that of regular pressurized balls, they do start to come apart after a while), and allow us to provide more and better prizes at season's end. Every donation we receive stays in the Special Olympics program.

If you'd like to help, here's how:

Go  here to make your donation. You'll see this page:


Just enter your donation amount, and check out (you will need to create an account with Parks and Rec if you don't have one). That's all there is to it! Your donation will help this important program, and make you feel good, too!

Recycling
In case you missed it, there was an article in The New York Times on Saturday about efforts to make tennis more green, especially in terms of tennis ball recycling. We made a commitment in 2013 that we wouldn't send even one more ball to a landfill and we have kept that commitment. Not only do we donate all of our used lesson balls, but we take in your used tennis balls and donate them as well. I would estimate that we donate over 10,000 balls a year to all kinds of organizations and individuals. We have worked with both ReBounces and Retour Tennis., companies mentioned in the article. Maybe one day we'll resurface our courts with used tennis balls!

One other note: This fall we made the switch to Penn balls for our classes and for sale in the office. We believe the ball itself is very similar to what we used before. We made this change solely because the Penn can is 100% recyclable.

Lottery Winner
Well, hes not THAT kind of lottery winner, but Jim DeWeese was the #1 pick in this year's seasonal lottery, so that's close enough for us! As such, we thought it would be fun to learn a little more about Jim.

Jim is the Regional Developer for Oregon for Massage Envy, and he and his wife, Rita, own two clinics.

Jim has been playing at the Tennis Center for about 15 years. He plays on his lottery court with his wife Rita DeWeese, Calvin Chen, Kristi Vargas. Brian Madden, Karie Richardson, and Kathy Budnick. Additionally, he's played on USTA teams and taken classes at the Tennis Center. His daughter, Sarah, is part of the Special Olympics program, and Jim and Rita have both volunteered for that over the years.

Tennis isn't Jim's only sport. "I still play a lot of basketball and still compete in national and international basketball tournaments at my advanced age," he says. "It's very important to stay active and have a social network, which tennis and basketball provide." He adds that although he and Rita are members at the MAC, they prefer to play with their LO Tennis friends!

Lottery Courts
We still have some lottery courts available. Please give us a call at the front desk at 503-635-5550 for information about available times. We can pro-rate the court for you since the season has already started.



New Addition

Our customers are very excited about our new vending machine! If you haven't noticed it yet, it's in the walkway, near courts 2 and 3. The machine takes debit and credit cards (and cash, of course), and there is a range of more healthy and less healthy items, so there should be something for you if you miss breakfast, or if you need some sugar after a match! We do ask that you please respect our facility and be thoughtful about what you take onto the courts. Most of all we, hope you enjoy the convenience of having the machine!




 
 
Shout Outs
Congratulations to our USTA teams who represented us at sectionals last month! Captains were Ann Skoog, Barb Lipscomb, and Tennis Center instructor Brian Hughes.

 
Enjoy the rest of the good weather!









Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 2016

This is going to be a short one. We're about halfway through summer classes, and the LED lighting has taken a lot of my time and brain space since the last newsletter. As always, I enjoy hearing from you.

Lisa West
email
503-697-2832 direct
503-635-5550 front desk

Lottery Closes Tomorrow, July 15, at Noon
If you haven't entered the seasonal lottery yet, time is running out. The lottery closes at noon tomorrow, July 15. Learn everything there is to know about the lottery here.

LED Project is Complete
The LED lights are installed and they are beautiful! We've received raves from our players, players at other facilities, and representatives of other facilities who have come by to take a look! If you haven't seen them yet, stop by and check them out or, better yet, make a reservation and play under them. We think you'll love them as much as we do. We love the way they resemble skylights and follow the contour of the ceiling, which makes the courts feel much more open. And that's not even mentioning the dramatically increased light levels! We know we already had some of the best lighting in the Portland area, and now it's so much better.

Here are a couple of iPhone photos that don't do them justice, but do give you an idea of how they look.

We know some other facilities in this area are interested in this same system, so you may see these lights more and more as you play at other clubs. #trendsetters



Fall Registration: August 8
Registration for fall classes is August 8 at 10 a.m. for residents, and August 15 for everyone. If you have a player in the Jr. Competitive Program, you'll be hearing from me soon so we'll have everything set for registration on August 8.

Maintenance Closure
We will be closed for annual maintenance from August 19-31. We will reopen on September 1, which is also the first day of seasonal reservations.



Monday, June 13, 2016

June 2016

Thank you so much for all the positive feedback on the first issue of LOve the Game! I really enjoyed hearing from so many of you, and I'm glad the newsletter gave you information you didn't have before. I'm especially happy that the newsletter made some of you feel more like LOTC is a community. I know it's a community, and I'm hoping that this will be one of the ways we can strengthen our connection. I have more ideas about that, which you'll hear about later.

If there's anything you have questions about, please feel free to email me or give me a call. I can't promise every question will make it to the newsletter, but I'm certainly happy to talk to you. Also, if there's a person or feature of the Tennis Center that you'd like to see featured in the newsletter, please let me know. I'm working on a list of features, so it may take a while to get to yours.

Lisa West
email
503-697-2832 direct
503-635-5550 front desk

On to the newsletter!

Lottery
The seasonal court lottery is underway. You can sign up here. Entries close at noon on July 15.
For more information about the lottery, see the lottery edition of our newsletter!

Coming Soon: LED Lighting

Later this month, we will be installing a new LED lighting system at the Tennis Center.
 In terms of City facilities, the Tennis Center uses less energy than only the water treatment plant and City Hall (though their recent conversion to LED should knock them way down on the list). The Tennis Center uses about the same amount of energy as the library.

LEDs 4 Sports will be installing their AllCourt Lighting System™ by the end of this month. We don't know the exact installation dates yet, but barring anything unforeseen, the new system will be up and running by July 1.

Check out this fun video introducing the system. Also, there are a few video reviews on the LEDs 4 Sports site.

This system, at full brightness, uses 6.0 kW of power, and almost always reduces energy use by at least 50%. Additionally, lighting levels will increase by more than 100% when run at full brightness. There is no maintenance required on the new system, which results in more savings for us. LEDs 4 Sports also projects that our energy savings will be more than $450,000 over 10 years!

Converting to LED lighting is in line with the Parks and Recreation plan to eventually upgrade all facilities to LED. Also, City Hall and the main fire station have recently upgraded to LED.

Here is some general information about LED lighting. This mainly addresses residential lighting, but the principles are the same.

We're very excited about this upgrade, and we know that when you see it, you will be, too!
Coming Soon: Ad-In Bins
This month, we will be putting Ad-In Bins at our outdoor tennis courts. Ad-In Bins are specialized recycling bins for tennis balls. Now you won't need to carry old balls around in your bag until you can recycle them at the Tennis Center; you'll be able to leave them in the bin when you're done playing outside. The bins hold 200 balls, and Tennis Center staff will be emptying them regularly and bringing the balls to the Tennis Center for recycling.
Project Green Ball estimates that 300 million tennis balls are manufactured each year, and 125 million of those are in the US. You probably know that the Tennis Center never puts even one ball into a landfill. We collect used/dead balls from our teaching carts and players, and will donate them to anyone who wants them. We give them to teachers, artists, sports teams...this morning we gave about 225 balls to a dog rescue. We also will be happy to give you some tennis balls for your dog or for any other reason--you don't have to be part of a group. No matter how many or how few you need, please feel free to call and ask. We don't always have them on hand, but we usually do. We'd also love to know what creative uses you come up with for old tennis balls!
On a related note, if you have any need for tennis ball cans, we can help you out there, too.
We've received the bins, and as soon as we have our custom decals, we'll be placing the bins at Westlake Park, George Rogers Park, and the South Shore tennis court. So be on the lookout for them, please use them, and spread the word!
Adult Tennis Classes
I've you've been meaning to sign up for our evening adult classes this summer, there's still room. We've discounted the price for this summer, so this is a great opportunity to brush up on your skills, meet some new people, or just play some tennis. Call the Tennis Center at 503-635-5550 to register. 
Racquet Madness Camp
We're offering a fun camp for kids ages 8-12 at the end of the summer. Racquet Madness is a four-day camp that will include tennis, pickleball, and table tennis. Come and have fun with all three of these great sports at George Rogers Park from 9a-12p, August 22-25, Activity # 13909, $105 for Lake Oswego residents and $121 for non-residents. Register at loparks.org or call the Tennis Center at 503-635-5550.
Congratulations
Congratulations to our 65+ Women's 4.0 team captained by Linn Wofford and Tennis Center Instructor Ellen MacPherson. They won the local playoffs and will be representing LOTC at sectionals in Beaverton at the end of this month!

Congratulations to our 4.0 men's USTA team, captained by Tennis Center instructor Brian Hughes. They won the local playoffs, and will be representing LOTC at sectionals in Spokane in August!

Also, congratulations to our Women's City League D team, who won their division and will be playing at the C level next year!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Jr. Competitive Program

Hello, Jr. Competitive parents and players!

It's time to sign up for summer tennis!

As we did last summer, we have the Jr. Competitive Program running on a weekly basis this summer. All classes will be Monday-Thursday, except the week of July 4 (Week 3), which will be Tuesday-Thursday. Just choose the weeks you're available!

The weeks are as follows:

Week 1: 6/20-6/23
Week 2: 6/27-6/30
Week 3: 7/5-7/7
Week 4: 7/11-7/14
Week 5: 7/18-7/21
Week 6: 7/25-7/28
Week 7: 8/1-8/4
Week 8: 8/8-8/11
Week 9: 8/15-8/18

The cost is $80 per week for Lake Oswego residents, and $100 for non-residents. Week 3 is prorated because of the July 4 holiday: $60 for residents, and $75 for non-residents.

The program is divided into two levels for summer. Here is the best way to sum it up for you, since you've been in the program during the school year: if you were in Mon/Wed 4pm, or Tu/Th 4:30pm, you should most likely be in Level 1. If you are in (or just finished) elementary school, you should be in Level 1. If you played for a high school team (either JV or Varsity), or if you were in the Mon/Wed 3p, Mon/Wed 5:30p, or Tue/Thu 3p, you should be in Level 2. If you aren't sure where you should be, please call the Tennis Center at 503-635-5550 and clarify. We'll be glad to help.

Level 1 is from 12-1:30p, and Level 2 is from 1:30-3p.

To summarize:

You should be in Level 1 if:
  1. You were in Mon/Wed 4p
  2. You were in Tue/Thu 3:30p
  3. You are in, or just finished, elementary school

You should be in Level 2 if:
  1. You were in Mon/Wed 3p
  2. You were in Mon/Wed 5:30p
  3. You were in Tue/Thu 3p
  4. You played JV or Varsity tennis for a high school team
You can register online at loparks.org (search for Jr. Competitive), or call us at the Tennis Center at 503-635-5550. We're happy to help you find the right class!

If you have any questions, please email me or call the Tennis Center at 503-635-5550.

Thanks,

Lisa West
Tennis Coordinator
 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lottery Edition

Seasonal Reservations
Current seasonal reservations will end on May 31. The lottery for the 2016-2017 season will open on June 1, and close on July 15. If you’re on the email list for this newsletter, you’ll receive notification on June 1 that the lottery signups are open. If you're not subscribed to this newsletter and you'd like to receive the seasonal email, please send a request to tennis@ci.oswego.or.us.

What is the Lottery?
The bad news: there’s no cash prize. The good news is: you won’t get stoned to death like in that Shirley Jackson story you read in high school. The other good news is that the lottery is your opportunity to purchase a standing court reservation for approximately 20 weeks, from September 1-January 18. You have the option to renew your time from January 19-May 31.

 How Does it Work?
While the lottery is open, between June 1 and July 15, fill out the signup form. The form will not be available until June 1. You will be asked for the names of two people who will be available to receive a phone call on July 20-21. One of those people can be you, if you’re available. The other person could be your spouse, playing partner, someone in your group, or anyone who can make the decision about which time slot you’d like. When you submit the form, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

When the lottery closes on July 15, we draw names and the phone calls begin on July 20. If yours is the first name drawn, you (or your designated person) will receive the first call and have first pick of available times. Then the second name will be called. You get the idea. It’s very important that you and/or your designee(s) are available to take the call. Once you select your time, you provide a credit card and we charge you the normal hourly rate ($20) for the reservation. You pay for the 20-ish weeks up front.

FAQ
A few things to note:

1.      We don’t refund seasonal reservations, but we will work with you to find a new time if it turns out the one you chose won’t work after all.

2.      Your seasonal reservation includes holidays. If you purchase a seasonal on Sundays, that includes Christmas Day in 2016. You don’t have to use the court, obviously, but that day is included in the reservation, and you are certainly welcome to use it if you choose.

3.      You are responsible for accessing your reserved court. If your reservation falls on a holiday and the Tennis Center office is closed, or if it’s outside normal office hours, you will definitely need a card key. It’s a good idea for at least one person in your group to have a card key, anyway, because the door could be locked due to staff illness, inclement weather, or other unforeseeable events.

The lottery is by far our most popular offering. This is your opportunity to guarantee yourself a court in those dark, rainy months when indoor court time is hard to come by.

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