Letters and Comments for January 22, 2010
Editor’s note: Leslie Graham’s fourth-grade class at Central School
visits Ladd Marsh several times a year to learn about wetlands.
Students were shocked when they read about recent vandalism at Ladd
Marsh, Graham said. They decided to write letters to the editor to let
everyone know their view about the vandalism. Four of the letters
Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity Inc. is seeking applications from families that wish to build a home in Elgin.
If your present living arrangements are inadequate and your family
income is below the mean for Union County, you may be selected to
partner with Habitat to build a home that would carry an interest-free
loan. Your family would be expected to commit 500 hours of time toward
the build. Your time plus the efforts of many volunteers and donated
materials make this an outstanding value for you and the community.
Applications may be obtained by calling 541-963-3879. The deadline for
applications is Jan. 15.
Each Thanksgiving, I reflect on the age-old question of what I am
thankful for. It’s difficult to go beyond the traditional, surface
items such as family and good health. With effort, I realize it is the
more specific and smaller kindnesses that I appreciate most, like an
employer and acquaintance that arrived at a moment’s notice to relocate
me when I was in a dangerous, domestic violence situation.
They didn’t ask questions, they just came. Someone showed up with a
mattress when he discovered that I was sleeping on the floor with only
a blanket. A landlord lowered the rent, eliminated the deposit and
worked to find me a place on the same day I fled, and another who
didn’t evict me when the rent was late. The pixie who left occasional
$20 bills in my mailbox and a dentist who made a house call after he
removed my wisdom teeth; who showed up with a bag of groceries from
time to time just because he “saw this stuff and thought you might be
able to use it.’’
Bravo to Joe Davis, Dennis Wilkinson and other residents of Union
County for voicing their concerns about the proposed Antelope Ridge
Wake up, Union County! Horizon Wind is proposing to erect up to 182
windmills atop Craig Mountain. That’s three times the number of
turbines that now dot the once pristine landscape near Telocaset.
The new windmills, according to Project Manager Valerie Franklin,
would tower at least 365 feet into the air, some over 500 feet. That is
higher than a football field is long — twice the height of those in
Telocaset. That means no matter how hard Horizon Wind tries otherwise,
the windmills will be both visible and offensive from just about
anywhere in the Grande Ronde Valley.
With the recent wolf activity in Northeast Oregon, we have heard
repeated calls from the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, and some
ranchers, for the authority to shoot wolves. Ironically, it’s the
cattlemen’s association itself that has blocked such a measure taking
When the Oregon Wolf Plan was drafted in 2005, conservation groups,
including Hells Canyon Preservation Council and Defenders of Wildlife,
agreed to give ranchers the authority to shoot wolves caught in the act
of attacking their livestock. Since giving this authority to ranchers
would weaken Endangered Species Act standards, it required legislative
approval. Yet every time it has come up for approval in the Oregon
Legislature, the Cattlemen have assured the death of the legislation by
pushing for even broader authority to shoot wolves.
Scottish author Samuel Smiles once said, “We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he that never made a mistake never made a discovery.” So true!
Michael Jordan, recently inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, was cut from his high school basketball team. Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity yet flunked his university entrance exam. We often become stronger through adversity.
My friends and I have stayed in Union on several occasions and have
undeniably had quite enjoyable experiences. The historic Union Hotel is
one of my personal favorites with its theme rooms, whispers of the
possibilities of ghostly encounters, fabulous cuisine and the
delightful gentleman owners. The other business owners and residents of
the community have always been pleasant and cordial.
So recently, when attending the motorcycle rally in Joseph, the
choice of accommodations was clear. To stay in Union. That apparently
was a mistake, as two of my dear friends had an unfortunate and quite
honestly archaic reception at one of the Union eateries.
The dedicated staff at the city of La Grande has been very busy over
the past several months with initiatives that will provide almost $2
million in benefit to our citizens with almost $1.4 million coming from
successful grant applications.
I wanted to take a few minutes to acknowledge those involved and to
let everyone know what they can expect to see in the way of
improvements. What follows is a list of major grant projects or
purchases that are planned for construction or have been completed.
The city received a grant from the Oregon Economic & Community
Development Department (now known as Business Oregon) in early July in
the amount of $7,143 for downtown historic building renovations. La
Grande received the funds due to our active participation as a selected
Oregon Main Street community.
John Deal has printed two editorials containing false information,
thus we felt it was important that the general public be properly
informed. The district has been diligent about making the 2009/10
budget cuts and resulting adopted budget transparent to all, thus we
are providing the following information.
While building the budget for 2009/10 the district made it very
clear that it intended to fund a position to support plant and
operations, the position now held by Jim MacKay. This intent was
discussed in an Observer article dated April 10, 2009, and titled
“School district faces mammoth budget cuts.” Within this article, it
was stated that the “La Grande High School athletic director position
will be cut to half time. LHS’s athletic director will remain a
full-time employee, though, for he will assume about half of the
present plant operations director’s responsibilities”.
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