On behalf of all Eastern Oregon University students, faculty, alumni
and staff, I would like to humbly thank this wonderful community for
its support. As we prepare for Eastern’s next president to be named, I
reflect on all this community has helped us accomplish.
Our challenges have been great, and the ways in which La Grande,
Union County and the Eastern Oregon community has responded to assist
us are many.
Financial giving to the EOU Foundation for increased scholarship
opportunities has made a difference in whether some students attended
at all, or were able to stay once admitted and enrolled — thank you...
As we watch the excitement building on television about the 2010
Olympics, hear that inspiring music theme and realize it is only an
eight- or nine-hour drive from La Grande to Vancouver, B.C., isn’t it
fun to envision yourself or your kids getting out on a rink and skating
to cool music or your kids picking up a hockey stick and scrimmaging
Don’t you wish you or your kids could take part in some of the activities you see?
Maybe we have a future Olympian in our town, but without a skating
rink no one would ever know. It’s time to change that and try to build
an ice rink and events center.
Similar to how studies show most accidents occur close to home, the most dangerous part of a 2,700-mile journey is the last 30 miles.
That’s the biggest thing I’ll take from my journey here from Texas, although there are plenty others to choose from.
I have been involved in a citizens group in Baker City that is
concerned about a proposal from Idaho Power to run 500kV electrical
lines from Boardman to Hemingway, Idaho.
Oregon will have 250 of the 298-mile run. Eighty-eight percent of
the project will be on private lands. The proposed routes were
determined by a committee consisting only of Idaho residents. None of
the four Oregon counties affected (Umatilla, Union, Baker and Malheur)
were consulted or will benefit from the additional power.
This promises to be a year filled with good fortune and strength.
How do I know? Well, during January, Dale and I took part in two
activities that were supposed to assure us of this. Happily for us they
both included food and friends.
On New Year’s Day we visited the home of friends, Graham and
Barbara, where luck came in a bowl of cornbread and black-eyed peas
smothered with pot liquor (liquid from cooking the beans). This
traditional southern custom is one Barbara and Graham brought to La
Grande when they moved here from Mississippi.
The story of Stone Soup seems a fitting tale for our time of economic
distress. In this old fable, a stranger enters a poor village seeking a
place to sleep for the night and something to eat. The suspicious and
hard-up villagers deny having anything to share until he charms them
into making a wonderful soup for everyone using water, a “special”
stone, and their many small contributions that will “make the soup
taste better.” ...
What a wild and wacky winter it’s been so far!
As The Observer recently pointed out, this past December was colder
than normal and precipitation was higher than normal. And the snow and
cold temperatures didn’t stop with Dec. 31. As the new year rolled in,
we saw temperatures drop to a low of minus-4 on Jan. 4 and snow or rain
fell on four of the first seven days of the New Year.
Through all of that cold and snow, the City of La Grande’s Public
Works Department has persevered. They have logged more than 680 hours
of overtime with 1,900 total man-hours worked. Over this period of
time, Public Works has had 18 employees in the field and six in the
office answering phones and providing support for the field workers.
I want to share an inspiring story of a miracle that meant a lot to our family. This miracle happened while we were visiting family in the area and involved one of your local vets, Marc Omann at the Country Animal Clinic by Wal-Mart in Island City.
My then 8-year-old daughter received a Shih Tzu puppy from my sister who lives in the area. Dr. Marc has been the vet for my sister and brother-in-law’s farm for many years and had given Luke (the puppy) his shots and check-up. So when we were in town during the summer, I called ahead and scheduled to get Luke fixed while we were helping family move.
Even before the outcome of the school bond measure was decided, I
knew our school district and our community would be better for the
As part of our bond communication efforts, we engaged groups and
individuals to a degree that we have not seen in recent years. We
re-established and strengthened the lines of communication between all
of the parties and opened a positive dialogue that will continue
regardless of the results of the school bond measure.
ELGIN — A health district is a municipal corporation. It exists with
the specific purpose of providing some type of health service. Like
other local governments, health districts have legal and ethical
Health districts receive tax revenues based on the voter-approved
permanent rate per $1,000 in assessed property value within the defined
geographic area. Most importantly, a health district is governed by a
publicly elected board. The decisions regarding services and community
accessibility come from local decisions. The board makes and maintains
local control over the clinic.
If having a medical clinic in Elgin is truly important to the
residents, they will have to vote for the district and have it pass.
This will provide a baseline of funding that would be enough to keep
the clinic stable. The other revenue from billing would be enough to
keep someone interested in running the clinic here and the doors open
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