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Home arrow Opinion arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: April 28, 2014



Cimon: We need leaders, not labels in Union County

To the Editor:

I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to vote come May, and that when they do, they consider voting for Union County Measure 31-84. That measure would make the county commissioner’s position nonpartisan. I plan to vote yes and here’s why.

Union County has had good commissioners who were Democrats, Republicans, Republicans turned Democrat, and Democrats turned Republican. All that means to me is that the labels are irrelevant to the actual job. What those labels do, however, is tie perceived ideology to work that should have as little political content as possible. Never mind that many of those perceptions are wrong, they simply don’t belong in the arena.

Commissioners should be concerned about the people and the place, all of them no matter who they are, whether they live in or out of the cities and towns, or what they do for a living. They need to manage the budgets efficiently, and do it in a way that makes the county a good place to live and work. There will always be arguments about what that means, of course. The labels don’t help any of that, they only set up barriers, oftentimes imaginary.

Just one example will point out how meaningless the labels are. There’s an effort in places such as Oklahoma, to make it more expensive for users to sell the power they generate back to utilities. More and more landowners, small-business owners, manufacturers, hospital and college campuses, would like to do just that. There are real benefits to the utilities as well, but it’s a very different world than what they’ve known so they’ve set their feet in the ground. Everyone will be hurt by this effort, one that places barriers in the way of innovation.

That effort in Oklahoma is being led by the very people who should be supporters of the benefits this new energy market can bring to entrepreneurs. The labels often make it easier for bad ideas to spread, unfortunately.

Please vote for nonpartisan county commissioners. We need leaders, not labels.

Norm Cimon

La Grande


Heinemann: Won’t be duped into voting for Barreto

To the Editor:

A lot has been written lately about Greg Barreto’s business experience making him a good candidate for the Legislature. But apparently character doesn’t matter anymore. Admittedly, I was almost duped into thinking I might vote for him, until I found out he had accepted money from Loren Parks, who lives in Nevada but seems to always be trying to buy elections in Oregon.

I might respect Barreto if he had turned down Mr. Parks’ money and stuck with local supporters.

Richard T. Heinemann 

La Grande


Mammen: Volunteers make event truly special

To the Editor:

About 150 people of the community gathered on Easter at the Presbyterian Friendship Center to enjoy fellowship and a buffet lunch sponsored by Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries.

During the weekend, the room was festively decorated, the food was prepared and served, and the area restored by nearly 40 dedicated volunteers.

I want to thank all of those individuals who contributed time, talents and financial support to make this a truly community event.

Ginny Mammen

La Grande


Blanchard: Time to correct issue with ballot measure

To the Editor:

I was born in La Grande. My father was born in Union, and his father was part of a large family arriving in Union County during the Oregon Trail days. 

My father’s mother’s family (Stringhams) immigrated to Union County from Utah shortly after the Blanchards arrived. My maternal grandfather came to La Grande in the 1940s to be in partnership with Powell Graham in the operation of a drug store. 

These deep roots are what called me back to La Grande 20 years ago. In the process of deciding to return to La Grande, it never occurred to me to inquire if I would be able to vote in local elections. But, because I have chosen to be an unaffiliated voter, I am excluded from voting for Union County commissioners as well as voting in any other primary race that involves Democrats or Republicans.

I am dismayed the county commissioners failed to readily correct this problem when given an opportunity. Who are they representing anyway? That they purposefully exclude a majority of the voters from participating in elections that decide who runs the county is appalling. 

These days, people and businesses looking for a community to live in and/or do business in notice issues like this. And, excluding a large segment of the population dampens participation and commitment to the community and its economic development efforts. Any work commissioners do to improve economic conditions in Union County is undermined constantly through the exclusion of voters.

Please vote to correct this problem by marking your ballot “yes” on Measure 31-84.

Pat Blanchard

La Grande 


Lathrop: Barreto will be a real voice for Eastern Oregon

To the Editor:

Many voters today have articulated a desire to throw out all politicians, replacing them with officials who will represent “we the people.” They want to elect someone they can trust. Greg Barreto is just that person.

Barreto has no special interests ties, owes no political favors; Greg will focus on representing the people in HD58. 

He will be a powerful representative. Greg has demonstrated over decades his ability to think successfully outside the box, solving problems. Today, there are many problems in Salem, missing are long-term, workable solutions.

Greg is an individual with high moral character and values. He will not be compromised nor will he compromise on matters affecting core principles.

As our representative in Salem, Greg will not forget that he works for us. He will fight for personal property rights, lower taxes and restoring personal freedoms, working to solve problems created by government overreach. Greg is a pro-life, pro-family, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Constitution candidate.

A strong economy works to strengthen the fiber of all our lives on multiple levels. Greg, alone in this race, has the skills and experience to work toward a stronger economy. 

With ballots out, let’s put the smoke screen tactics aside and vote for the man who will be the real conservative voice for Eastern Oregon — Greg Barreto.

Annette Lathrop




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