There is little doubt that the current economic climate in Eastern
Oregon and the nation has resulted in significant stress on individuals
and businesses alike. Recent news from the Bonneville Power
Administration is likely to only add to that stress.
On Feb. 10, BPA announced an initial wholesale rate increase on the
power it sells to members like Oregon Trail Electric Consumers
Cooperative. That proposed increase of 9.4 percent will have a
significant impact on OTECC if it is passed, but the problem for OTECC
and OTECC’s members is that the proposed rate increase may be justified
from a business perspective, but the timing is horrendous.
BPA identified four specific reasons for the initial rate increase proposal. These reasons include:
Sir Brian Urquhart, former Undersecretary of the United Nations, spoke
in La Grande in April 1997 on the topic, “The United Nations: Past,
Present and Future” at the first event sponsored by Blue Mountain
He was followed in August by state Sen. David Nelson and Rep. Mark
Simmons discussing “Reflections on the 1997 Legislative Session.’’ In
November of that year, Wayne Inman, retired Portland police officer and
retired Sheriff of Yellowstone County, Montana, who had been featured
in a documentary, “Not in Our Town,’’ spoke about racism in American
The first year’s programs had been planned by a local group that met
for the first time on Feb. 6, 1997, at the home of Gary and Kate
Hathaway to form an organization whose purpose was “to bring to this
region informed and distinguished speakers to promote diversity and
substance in public discourse.”
Letters and Comments for March 6, 2009
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.
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