Fundraising to acquire enough money to run sports and activities at La
Grande Middle School and La Grande High School for the coming school
year is a sign of the challenging economic times we live in. Most of us
agree that sports give our youth opportunities to learn things like
sacrifice, teamwork, hard physical and mental effort, tenacity and a
cooperative yet competitive attitude. All of these are very important
qualities for life success.
Editor’s note: The following was written Thursday night in
response to an Observer editorial and submitted Friday morning before
Friday’s significant turn of events in the Elgin murder case.
Thursday’s Observer editorial surprised and disappointed me. Surprised,
because newspaper editorials are supposed to be objective and factual.
This one was neither. It disappointed me, because Observer editorials
almost always are.
This community is understandably upset and concerned by the recent
discovery of human remains in and around a pond near Elgin. Those of us
involved with the Major Crime Team are, too. The paper got pretty
strident in taking us to task for not releasing very much information.
Let me try to explain why we haven’t.
A grand lady passed away this week. Jeannette Baum was 89 years old when she died Tuesday. Though I didn’t know her long, I was very fond of her. I’ve been thinking about her a lot this week and how fortunate I am to have known her. Even if it was just a little.
Several people here at work have expressed their sorrow at the passing of this gracious lady. She certainly was a class act. The kind you don’t see much any more.
As many of you may know, over the past several years the Forest Service
has been engaged in a public process to designate roads, trails and
areas for motorized use on all national forests throughout the country.
The use of motor vehicles, particularly off-highway vehicles, is one of
the fastest growing forms of outdoor recreation on national forest
lands. The efforts are focused on looking at a system of routes that
provides recreational opportunities and access for public motorized
use, while providing protection to national forest resources.
Ted Kramer asked me to come in to The Observer to have my picture taken so it could be run with my first column.
I hate to have their camera record what it sees when it’s aimed my
way, but then a thought struck me. Few would recognize the picture.
Why? Because I had my hair cut short. Isn’t that clever? No more curly
More assured at being incognito, I posed for Phil to take
innumerable attempts at catching something printable for posterity and
went blithely on my way...
RICHLAND — There is something about Eagle Valley that keeps bringing people back.
My great-great-grandparents, Dogan and Eliza (Gover) Saunders,
settled here in the 1880s. My great-grandparents, Samuel Q. and
LouDella, married here in the 1890s. My grandparents, though they
eventually moved to the “big city’’ of
La Grande for better educational opportunities for their kids, kept going back and are buried here.
Sitting in my car in front of The Observer office today, lying in
wait for Editor/Publisher Ted Kramer’s arrival back from lunch, I had a
thrill from long ago.
An old man was shuffling his way towards the box in front of the
newspaper office to get his daily news in print. As he did so, an
employee of The Observer approached from another direction with an
armload of the day’s papers to make them available to the public as
they inserted their coins in the box.
“The paper has gone to press,” I thought.
This is National Travel & Tourism Week. Communities all across
America are using the designation to call attention to the importance
of tourism in local, state and national economies.
National Travel and Tourism Week was established in 1983 when the
U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution designating the week to be
celebrated in May 1984. In a White House ceremony, President Ronald
Reagan signed a presidential proclamation urging citizens to observe
the week with “the appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
According to Peter Barry’s response to the “Cattle are No. 1” column
by OCA President Bill Moore, Oregon cattle ranchers took $664 million
to the bank last year. This is a sad testimony to what has happened to
Oregon’s No.1 Industry of Yesteryear — timber.
This industry was the “Big Mama” of Oregon natural resource
industries. It provided thousands of good-paying jobs and allowed for a
thriving consumer economy. Using the Endangered Species Act, the
spotted owl was used as a tool to begin the massive shut-down of
Oregon’s economic foundation. This owl is now copulating with the
barred owl, having lots of little sub-species and enjoys more habitat
than any owl ever knew. We are still waiting for that “better Earth” we
were promised if the owl was saved.
As many of you may have noticed in a recent Observer article, Grande
Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity Inc. is in the middle of a
home-building project here in La Grande, right now, thanks to all of
the community’s support. One of the new ways that your local Habitat
affiliate generates revenue is by operating a thrift store we call
“Restore ... The Store that Builds Homes.’’
Our Restore is located in the old Dome Plumbing property, 2304 East
R Ave., which is behind Wendy’s and McDonald’s restaurants. It is
stocked with new and used building materials, some major appliances and
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