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Home arrow Opinion arrow Driven to distraction


Driven to distraction

Wind farms, library noise, careless motorists bemoaned

I don’t get out of town much these days. Maybe I’m getting older, a lack of ambition, a lack of funds.

When I do, I like to take the two-laners out: Foothill Road to the freeway, Highway 30 from North Powder to Baker, perhaps 237 back from Powder through Union and home.

The view of our valley from La Grande is pretty hum-drum. From the sheep-sheared face of Glass Hill to the single tree countable ridge up to Emily to a scalped Mt. Harris, you could lose a little faith in the quality of the environs. But leave the small city behind and the beauty of the big valley reveals itself in the spring green-up, the powder blue skies, the
rolling ridges, the snowy backs of the Wallowas, the great expanse of land and sky merging at the far ends.

Now, I have no scientific reasons for this or explanations to submit to commissions or anything but why would anyone want to further ruin this really nice place with propellers on stalks covering our hills from Pyles to the Oregon Trail?

It makes no sense to me but it could be just a money thing.

Now, when I drive, I create a lot of noise pollution. It’s probably good that I’m mostly by myself because I’m liable to play the same song over and over and over and at volume.

But you don’t expect volume at a library, a refuge of peace and quiet, study and contemplation where once, if you even whispered to a companion or committed loud flatus, you would earn a tap on the shoulder from the librarian.

However, the Cook library is starting to sound like the aisles of the supermarket where cell phone discussions of sex lives, advice to prisoners and shopping lists is rampant.

I don’t mind occasionally eavesdropping on these conversations but at our library it’s not unreasonable to expect that librarians reading to children and the interactions between them be way toned down or moved to a quiet room so the rest of us can indulge our quiet pursuits.

Pursuits. There needs to be some police pursuits in my neighborhood because either drivers have forgotten the yield right-of-way laws or maybe they’re not being taught in driver’s ed.

I don’t understand why vehicles blow through these unmarked intersections at speed.

I’m not going to point a finger but these mostly high school age drivers are going to wreck one of these days and maybe wreck me.

It would be nice to have some morning police patrols on the side streets near La Grande High.

Then drivers like me could perhaps more enjoy the small city in the big valley.


Michael “Swede” Rosenbaum is a resident of La Grande.


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