For the first time in several years La Grande will soon have a new
mayor. Mayor Colleen Johnson has decided to step down from the city’s
top elected spot and seek a seat on the council. Former city councilors
Daniel Pokorney and Doyle Slater are vying for the mayor’s position.
In the county commissioner’s race between Steve McClure and Michael
O’Connor, there is but one sensible choice for voters to make. And that
choice is Steve McClure.
Voters in La Grande have an important choice to make Nov. 2 regarding
city services. A five-year option levy for public safety would ensure
that services continue at current levels. Rejection of the levy would
mean the city will have to cut back more than it already has.
OK, folks. School and the university are back in session. More cars are
on the streets leading to and from the high school and EOU — and so are
more walkers, runners and bicyclists. It’s time to think safety and
For the second time this decade we have bid adieu to our local National
Guard unit as the soldiers head off for a year-long stint in Iraq.
About 4,000 people turned out at Community Stadium for the deployment
ceremony, followed by the soldiers’ departure in multiple buses along a
yellow ribbon-decorated Adams Avenue. Though the war in Iraq and the
United States’ role in it have changed dramatically since the 3/116th’s
first deployment, the soldiers are still headed into harm’s way and our
thoughts, hopes and prayers will be with them for the coming year.
The day was Sept. 17, 1787. A group of men gathered in Philadelphia to
ratify what was to become the foundation for the greatest form of
government the world had — and has — ever known. They signed the
Constitution of the then-fledgling United States of America.
Voters in the Imbler School District have an opportunity this month to
do something positive for their community and the community’s future —
approve a bond for new school buildings. Never will the cost be lower
than what is being presented in a Sept. 21 special election.
The opportunity, though, is even more significant than helping to
ensure adequate school buildings for years to come. The school district
has received approval of a Qualified School Construction Bond that
translates to zero percent interest on the building bond. The estimated
tax rate will be $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed value. That compares to a
rate of $4.49 per $1,000 for a $4.25 million bond that was rejected by
voters in 2003. Too, deduct the $1.18 per $1,000 that Imbler property
owners were paying for the ag building through 2008, and the net tax
increase for this bond will be $1.17. That’s a bargain by anyone’s
Union County voters will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed
Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in the Nov. 2 election. The Union County Board
of Commissioners this week, by a vote of 2-1, approved putting a vote
on the ballot to gauge how the public feels about the project.
Forest Capital Partners, owner of two-thirds of the timber in the
county-owned Mount Emily Recreation Area, is in the process of logging
the Trails Unit of the recreation area. Forest Capital appears to be
doing a superb job in the way it is going about the logging operation.
Oregon State University is in the process of reconfiguring itself. Not
only are the programs on campus part of the transformation process, but
outreach programs, like the Extension Service, are undergoing review.
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