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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM AUGUST 2 - AUGUST 7



Unsubstantiated accusations

To the Editor:

How does a person respond to something like the letter Barbara Gray wrote to the editor on July 26?

This woman is on the Union City Council. There are many ways she could have approached her concerns. She could have expained why she and three other council members decided to ignore the public vote and put Jack Zimmerman into a city job. She could organize a public meeting to try to muster up community support.

What she did was make a fresh batch of groundless, unsubstantiated accusations against those who dare to complain. Her letter is nothing but a hate speech.

What power do the citizens in Union have if the city council takes away our right to recall people whom we don't want to represent us in city goverment?

Yet Ms. Gray turns the truth around in her letter and accuses us of trying to take over city hall. I wish she would explain to us how she supports that accusation.

Ms. Gray accuses "this group" of such heinous acts as making false accusations propagating gossip and slurs, attempting to brand people as liars and branding people who disagree with them. I challenge her to give us one scrap of proof to her accusations.

I am tired of these vague accusations with no evidience and no specifics If she thinks "the group" vandalized Jack Zimmerman, she needs to file a police report. They won't find the culprit by writing letters to the editor.

Barbara Gray placed dozens of false accusations against TOTAL members on her Web site up until May of this year. We have saved copies of every nasty thing she wrote.

Now Ms. Gray is calling people of Union "terrorists.'' How unfortunate that she should use a hate-filled word that has so much meaning after 9/11.

The people of Union need to think hard about the kind of person they want passing the laws we have to live by and deciding our policy and future.

Ermal Goucher


Scenes speak for themselves

To the Editor:

Thinking that I wouldn't have a chance to see it in La Grande, I decided to go to Pendleton and view Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11".

It was quite a movie. It was also quite partisan. Much of the movie was cut and pasted with a voice-over by Michael Moore to express his own interpretation of events.

Nevertheless, there were a number of scenes that were not edited, and allowed uninterrupted statements by the people involved. The scenes were of soldiers in combat, soldiers who were wounded and recovering from their wounds, grieving mothers both American and Iraqi, our president in different situations, and the devastating effects of modern warfare. All of these scenes were compelling in themselves. They stood alone.

When I consider this movie and its many images, I ask myself if there is truth in it or is it all just propaganda? Yet, as I think of what I saw, I cannot help but recall a statement by Winston Churchill: "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end: there it is."

Don Paul

La Grande

No one fits label

To the Editor:

In response to the Barbara Gray letter to the editor in The Observer July 26:

I belong to no one and I've lived here for most of my life. I know of no one in this town who does what she's accusing people of.

I go to meetings to hear about what's going on. Evidently she can voice her opinion freely, so that shoots down one of her accusations. No one group can take over any group or organization in this city — not police, City Hall or individuals.

It seems odd that only one person I have heard of has had any threats or anything done to them. Why one? Everyone here has a right to speak their mind and we all do.

We all have opinions, which doesn't make us liars. I resent strongly being called a terrorist.

I have two sons and a son-in-law fighting against those, and I don't know of anyone in this town who should be labeled as a terrorist.

Could it be Ms. Gray is stirring up these feelings and pitting people against each other to get attention for herself?

As for me, I will give my allegiance to whomever I see fit.

Sherryl Burke


Uphold God's standards

To the Editor:

Leif Bullock, concerning your support of gay marriage, I offer you some wisdom.

Do you know that we have two words in the English language that pertain to homosexuals? One is sodomy, the other is sodium and the words are related.

Centuries before Christ, when our Maker punished the homosexuals in a city called Sodom, (Genesis 19) which was in the southeast corner of what is now the Dead Sea, He changed the content of the once-fertile soil to a stratum of salt, asphalt and bitumen. The high salt content in and around the Dead Sea explains why the sea is so salty. There is evidence that the area was once densely populated, indicating fertile soil, but the civilization ended abruptly, according to archaeologists M. G Kyle and W.F. Albright from Xenia Seminary in Greece. The soil in that area is very poor to this day.

Do you realize that all our Maker has to do to punish us for going against His standards is to withhold rain from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains? That whole great plains area would turn into a vast waste land.

Wisdom dictates that we as a nation better not turn our backs on His standards.

Lucy Gilchrist

La Grande

Scrapbook has special meaning

To the Editor:

I have read this column many times. This is the first time that my level of frustration has reached a point that I felt I had to vent here.

This started out to be a fun year for our family at the county fair. My children were participating in several things and learning the invaluable lesson that it is not if they win or lose, but that they were participating in the community that counts. Instead they also learned another hard, painful lesson about how cruel some people can be. The Fair this year ended up bringing much sadness, and a disheartening, sickening feeling of being violated.

We went to the fair on Saturday. The kids were so exited to see the things they had entered and also to see the display that our 4-H group had all worked on together. Our 4-H leaders, Lara Paustian and Jane Larson, and a few of us moms, had made a scrapbook of all of the kids' adventures over the years in our 4-H group, The Adventurers. Our group meets a few times a month and has done a very wide assortment of things.

These memories had been lovingly preserved to keep for all of our children's lives and to share with them so they could remember all the good times they have had in 4-H. Anyone who scrapbooks knows the attention to detail, the time, the love, that goes into each and every page. This book took countless hours to lovingly create; it was worth it though, because it was ultimately a gift for our children.

On Friday night someone stole our scrapbook from the fair. Whoever stole it from our children could not possibly treasure it as much as we do. There is a level of trust in leaving something that you have made, a part of yourself, on display for the community to see.

These kids had more than their scrapbook taken from them; this thoughtless, cruel person also took some of their innocence. I still believe, despite this, that most people are good — you can't take that from me.

Please, if you took it, or know who did, please return it.

Peggy Gillette

La Grande

Conflicting motivations

To the Editor:

It would seem that under the surface of our politics, we are driven by two conflicting motivations, the first being a love of freedom and the second, the hope for a better master. So, we have justice and expedience, freedom and socialism. Karl Marx appealed to workers who felt underpriced and enslaved to their station. Thus the lure of socialism has always been the hope for a better master: A famished slave's dream of fatness.

We've had a government system that acted as a policeman. We've been free but with freedom comes uncertainty. It is nothing new for free men to look longingly at the fleshpots of captivity. Are we so eager to return to Egypt?

As a government consumes more of our personal resources and provides more of our needs, as its judges stretch interpretation beyond the intentions of elected representation, as its red tape wraps around every activity, as a government denies justice in the name of "leveling the playing field," what does it become — is it policeman or master?

As we vote this season, what do we seek to make it?

Nathan Smutz

La Grande

Hero or traitor?

To the Editor:

If John Kerry would lie and trash his comrades in arms the way he did when he came home from Vietnam, what can we expect of him if he has the power of commander in chief?

What he and Jane Fonda and their cohorts did was treason. Instead of being president he should be serving time in a federal penitentiary for such behavior.

Section 3 of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, states: "Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or Naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements....''

I think you will find if you review the record that Kerry's claims of American atrocities during the Vietnam War were false. You will also find that many of his (then) band of brothers had not been in the service as they claimed.

Article 3, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states: "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

I believe you will also find in reviewing books and documents regarding the attitudes and actions of the North Vietnamese, during and after the Vietnam War, that the protesters here did give aid and comfort to the enemy.

Gary Poole


Outsourcing ketchup

To the Editor:

Use Heinz ketchup? I don't think I will. After reading the following, I looked at a jar of Heinz sandwich pickles.

Made in Mexico. Check some of your Heinz products. John Kerry keeps talking about corporations leaving this country and setting up shop in foreign countries, taking thousands of jobs with them. He is right, because that has happened. However, he blames Bush.

Bush has not moved one factory out of this country because he is not the owner of one single factory. That cannot be said about Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Kerrys own 32 factories in Europe, 18 in Asia and the Pacific. The Heinz company leases four factories in Europe and four in Asia. They own 27 factories in North America, some of which are in Mexico and the Caribbean. How many hundreds of American workers lost their jobs when these plants relocated to foreign countries?

Are the workers in Asia and Mexico paid the same wages and benefits as workers in the U.S.? Of course they're not. Kerry demands that other companies that relocate should pay the same wages and benefits they did in the U.S. Why does he not demand this of the Heinz company? He's married to the owner.

If Kerry is elected, will he and his wife close those foreign factories and bring all those jobs back to America? Of course they won't, they make millions off that cheap labor.

Roy Hills

Island City

Enchanting community

To the Editor:

We just returned home from visiting La Grande and must tell you what a clean, enchanting community greeted us.

The objective of our trip was to locate gravesites of many of our ancestors who settled in Union and La Grande. After a 31-year absence we were prepared for some changes but never realized the positive environment that would greet us. Instead of staying two days, the visit was extended to three.

As children we did not pay attention to anything as the excitement of visiting our Uncle Swede and Aunt Helen Cross was the only thing we cared about.

Yes, we did find all the gravesites and it was truly interesting. Yet, we need to thank the two young gentlemen at the cemetery for their kindness in helping us locate the family members we were seeking. They went above and beyond in assisting us with our search. If they had not been so gracious we would have been there for hours.

They were two great men and should be commended for their contribution in making our trip a success.

Believe it or not we even located a cousin, Bonnie DeBois, whom we did not even realize was related. We had an enjoyable visit and she helped us learn more about our family.

Thank you, La Grande, for a pleasant visit.

Marilyn Schwingdorf and Marcia Hage

Longview, Wash.


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