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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR JUNE 7 - JUNE 12, 2004



Spay, neuter pets

To the Editor:

Thank-you for your June 4 article about the alarming number of unwanted kittens and cats being left at the Blue Mountain Humane Association's shelter. This is indicative of what has become a homeless and unwanted animal crisis in this country.

Let me illustrate this by doing the math for you (I suggest you sit down and start to think exponentially). According to Humane Society figures, one fertile cat and her offspring, in seven years, can produce over 400,000 kittens; one fertile dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years. The unlucky majority of these unwanted animals will lead lives of deprivation and eventual death.

Adopting pets from the shelter is great, if you are ready to be a responsible pet owner. However, it alone will not solve the problem of the over population of cats and dogs. The only way to have a significant impact on this crisis is to reduce the number of surplus kittens and puppies that are being born each year. The way we can do that is to: 1) spay and neuter our own pets; 2) insist that our family and friends do the same; and 3) make regular donations to the Blue Mountain Humane Association so they can care for these animals; be able to continue to give a spay/neuter subsidy to those willing to to adopt pets; and in the future increase that subsidy. The ultimate goal would be for all adoptable animals to be spayed or neutered before adoption.

The BMHA has established a committee to develop strategies to reduce the number of unspayed and unneutered cats and dogs in our area. If you would like to be part of this effort or support it with a donation, please call the association at 963-0807.

Jill Nichols

La Grande

EOU shouldn't close pool

To the Editor:

In 1931 as a little girl I started to school in a brand new building at the top of a big hill. I wasn't thinking how much it would expand over the years, just how new everything was, a grade school on the main floor, a college on the top floor and an unfinished basement, great to play in during the winter months.

Fourteen years later I took a two-year business course and finished school in the same building. How the school had grown: a grade school with a gymnasium, new dormitories, a library building and a plan for a sports complex with a swimming pool. It also had a lighted football field with a roof over the stadium.

All these wonderful things going on, and then things started going backwards. The tennis court cover was taken down, the grade school closed and the roof came off of the stadium. Certainly the person whose idea that was, never went to a game and sat in the rain or snow or on ice-covered metal seats. What about the audience, and the band and all their expensive instruments?

Now the swimming pool has been closed. What a great loss. So many people depend on its use. Now that I am an old lady I use the pool daily for water aerobics and instructed a water exercise class for 15 years. A petition was put up to keep the pool open, but apparently it was ignored.

How can they expand the weight room, and put in two more sets of dressing rooms, build two multi-thousand dollar soccer fields and build more buildings but can't afford to keep the pool open?

I just want to know what the new president is thinking.

LaRena Hallmark Sorenson

La Grande

Industry mouthpiece

To the Editor:

"Malathion risk overblown''' a June 4 Community Comment, was written by a technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association in response to my Community Comment of May 26. This organization also published and dispersed the slick West Nile Virus leaflet that resulted in Union County voting to spend half a million dollars for chemical vector controls over the next four years. The American Mosquito Control Association is a non-profit group active in advancing chemical vector control across the United States. Their funding comes from the following sustaining members:

Adapco Inc., AMVAC Chemical, Bayer Environmental Science, B&G Chemicals & Equipment Co. Inc., Cheminova Inc., Clarke Environmental Mosquito Control Inc., Cognis, Dynamic Aviation, Fennimore Chemicals, Jasmic, LLC formerly AgroDynamics, London Fog, Phoenix Fogger, Valent BioSciences Corp., Univar, formerly Vopak USA, Zoecon.


American Mosquito Control Association is a corporate-sponsored mouthpiece spewing reassurances about chemical exposures along with ominous predictions about mosquitoes as vectors. These ravings get passed off to the media as news. The Observer published pre-election West Nile Virus stories that influenced our election. I suspect those stories also grew from unseen corporate roots.

Where does our news come from? What makes headlines and why? Which articles from scientific journals make mainstream news? Corporations fund groups such as the American Mosquito Control Association to create and pitch stories that further their products. I call it for-profit news.

Their scare tactics have advanced an expensive chemical version of vector control around the world. At over $27.25 a gallon, Malathion profitability must be right up there with prescription drugs and gasoline. As blood sucking organisms causing sickness and death, mosquitoes can't compete with American chemical companies.

I'm an unpaid writer responding to some shill in Florida who is paid to spread misinformation to advance corporate profit. I wouldn't bother writing except that occasionally voices of dissent lead to change. Unfortunately it's most

often after considerable damage has been done to individuals, communities, societies, and ecosystems. The damage can almost never be undone, sometimes it can't even be stopped.

Mary McCracken

La Grande

Important for Union County

To the Editor:

Jack Johnson's June 5 analogy in The Observer of the economics of Union County's investment in the Joseph Line Railroad and the golf course took a lot of time and hard work and is appreciated.

His conclusion that the public investment in such a venture, is not worth the risk is some what flawed. If it is Mr. Johnson's desire to become a good-ole-boy-type commissioner who desires to hold the county's growth to the 1890s then his conclusions are right on.

One wonders where Bill Gates would be today if he had not put that $500 of borrowed money into a useless thing called a computer because, after all, we did have adding machines and mechanical calculators.

If the business community of Union County wants to invite tourist customers they are going to have to have more than a few store fronts to attract them. After all, one does not go to Boulder, Colo., to see store fronts. One goes to Kissimmee not to see store fronts but to see Disney World. The deer hunters don't come and spend if there are no deer to be had in Union County.

Mr. Johnson asks if it was prudent to use public funds for the train or golf course? One could wonder in return if it is prudent to use public funds for parks or rest stops. There is hardly a new enterprise that pays for itself or breaks even as a start-up enterprise. It has to have a chance!

As a Cove resident, I wish Mr. Jack Johnson well in his quest for county commissioner and hope that he can maintain a positive development attitude. We are fed up with the blame game.

David S. Arnott


Visit Union County Museum

To the Editor:

In the past 18 months the Union County Museum has undergone many changes. The Cowboys Then and Now exhibit has been moved to a new location in the 1947 roller-skating rink, later Ivan's Foods.

Many more western artifacts have been added including Orville Roberts' trick-riding chaps and hat.

We have acquired some 100-year-old display cases from the former Birnie's Jewelry Story. They now show an array of musical instruments from the Otto Weigel collection, hats, fans, jewelry, lace and other ladies' finery as well as new acquisitions from the Busick and Lee Johnson estates.

You can learn "Why the Railroad Missed Union.'' New items have been added to our period rooms including a beautiful renaissance revival cradle from Jack Evans.

The museum has a fine collection of textiles including wedding gowns, baby clothes, oriental robes, quilts and woven throws. We receive new donations weekly. Among the interesting items so far this year are a 1941 Fort Lewis photo album and beaded bags from the Judy Thomas estate.

You may be surprised to see how much the museum has grown. Many volunteers are working daily to improve displays and act as hosts. We need your support.

We now have an expanded gift shop featuring books, hand-made crafts, tea pots, historical photo copies and much more.

Please bring your friends, family and guests for a visit this season. Special tours can be arranged by calling 562-6003. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2, $1 for children.

Carolyn Young

La Grande


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