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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FOR JULY 5 - JULY 10, 2004



Special ceremony

To the Editor:

I had the privilege of being in La Grande Wednesday on business. As I had some extra time I went to the stadium for the mobilization ceremony for the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry. What a stirring occasion!

To see your community pour out to support their family, friends and community members who are going off to war was very inspirational.

The governor mentioned there are "differences in opinions about the war,'' but it was obvious at the community stadium the support for the men and women in uniform is unanimous.

I am a Vietnam veteran. During that war men and women were sent to the battlefield as individuals, not as units. There were no ceremonies like the one in La Grande.

I hope you don't mind, but for a few minutes I adopted your mobilization ceremony as a sendoff to Vietnam that I did not get, just 37 years late.

I also hope you will welcome your men and women back home with the same fervor. I would be delighted to be in La Grande that day as well.

Terry Richard

Woodland, Wash.

Fighting diabetes

To the Editor:

I am grateful for all the donations made to the American Diabetes Trail Ride and for all the volunteers who gave their time for the trail ride. I collected $850. God bless all of you.

I hope that someday there will be a cure for this disease.

Gary Hartsock

La Grande

Tears of sadness?

To the Editor:

As I sit and watch the skies provide drops of heavy rain and pounding thunder the very evening of our community National Guard send-off, I think to myself are the raindrops really tears of sadness and is the thunder really roars of dismay?

I hope so.

Bless our troops.

Debera White

La Grande

Parent dislikes VBS charge

To the Editor:

I'm writing to you in regards to vacation Bible school. I was shocked when I went to drop off my children at a VBS recently. We walked in and were informed that it would cost us $3 a person for them to go. I could not believe it. I am 32 years old and in that time neither my parents nor I have had to pay to go hear about Jesus.

I didn't have the money, so I told my children that they couldn't go. Then a lady said, "Oh, they can stay. We have scholarships for times like this.'' I felt very stupid that I couldn't afford to send my kids. I finally agreed to let them stay.

Another mother agreed with me that a church should never charge children to come hear about Jesus. Jesus never charged people, or children for that matter, to hear him speak.

I feel that a church should not charge a child to come to VBS. The Bible says, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." It does not say, "Suffer them to come unto me after they pay their dues."

I was told it was to cover costs. That is the church's responsibility. Our church includes that in their budget every year. When a church feels that they need to charge, maybe what they really need to do is pray and ask God to provide.

The Bible says, "I will supply all your needs." Where is the church's faith that God will supply? The church's vision should be to bring children to a saving knowledge of God, not how much money we can raise to cover materials. God has always provided for our church went we asked him too.

Where is your faith in God?

Melissa Lillegard

La Grande

Board irresponsible

To the Editor:

I am pleased to see the ESD come at least partially out of the closet, but Supt. Ed Schumacher's defense of credit cards is disingenuous.

The concept of saving money by staying at expensive hotels is parallel to saving money through the purchase of an airplane, justified by an appeal to increased productivity. That was $140,000 with a $50,000 non-refundable down payment. $100 meals? Certainly a money saver.

A board member remarked that credit-card expenses seemed reasonable. A little update: On Dec. 5, 2000, total charges to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas came to $3,135.98, not the figure dealt with in the Schumacher article in The Observer June 23.

Bally's: $1,472.08; Bally's: $465.24; Delmonico's: $465.24; total charges for the Marriot Hotel in Portland: $5,865.31.

The board member thinks charges for Crate and Barrel, Extension Hair Design, Bass Pro Shop, etc., can be explained. According to Schumacher they are inadvertent — you know, inattentive and unintentional. Must be going around. And yet this board approved the use of credit cards by a 4-2 vote.

So up is down and bad is good. Is this "1984"? For a copy of the credit-card data, call me at 963-3321.

The UBESD has no existing policy and no resolution to be a local-contract review board. Under law the county commissioners have that responsibility.

Has the county participated in contracting? If so, are they aware that between April 24 and June 20, 2003, contract payments were made totaling in excess of $30,000? The contractor in question has not been licensed and bonded since 2000.

Was board action taken in awarding this contract? If so, did the chair declare a conflict of interest because of a family relationship? Was there a bid or quote for other vendors or was this just insider information?

This board has demonstrated that it is incapable of policing itself.

Ray Stinnett

La Grande

Community stands tall

To the Editor:

The family of Spc. Jake Jederberg serving with the 3/116th, appreciated all the organizations, businesses and individuals responsible for the great send-off for our local troops.

We have lived in La Grande for our entire lives and we have seen our community pull together on numerous occasions, but the way our community stood tall on this day, makes us proud to live here. Our son and his fellow soldiers were thrilled with the program, food and the outpouring of support.

It is a day in the history of our community that we can all be proud off. It was a wonderful way for the families to share a special day with their sons, fathers, daughters, brothers and friends as they leave for training and then into harm's way.

As we send our son away, we share the feelings of great pride and sadness and we pray for a safe and speedy return of all to our community.

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Jederberg

La Grande

Show of support helps

To the Editor:

As the mother of Spc. Brady Schaures, an Army soldier currently serving in Iraq, I was especially pleased with the send-off for our National Guard Troops last week.

After seeing the pictures of the celebration that I e-mailed to my son, his comments were, "It is good to know that America still cares about us." He also shared the photographs with his fellow soldiers.

I wish I could thank everyone who made the send-off possible, from the organizers, to the people who prepared and served the food, to the people who came to show their support. I also sent my son pictures of the yellow ribbons that adorn our downtown area.

Julie Fitzgerald Bodfish decorated our downtown with the ribbons along with individuals and businesses. Not only our Guardsmen know of your support, our soldiers already serving know what you have done.

All of your support has made it a little easier for them, and for us.

Cindy Schaures

La Grande

People more threatened than owl

To the Editor:

The Eugene Register-Guard editorial reprinted in The Observer June 24 said that the spotted owl is threatened. The lumber mills in Bend, Burns, John Day, Baker and Joseph are extinct now. Hundreds of people in the timber industry are without work but the spotted owl is threatened.

The largest forest fire in Oregon history was two years ago. Last year hundreds of family homes burned, but the spotted owl is threatened.

Our schools are having budget shortages of millions of dollars. These millions used to come from the revenue of timber sales, but the spotted owl is threatened.

My friend who worked in forest-fire suppression says that because many of the roads are no longer accessible to the firefighters, the fires are allowed to burn up to the road but sometimes the road is many miles from the fire; still the spotted owl is threatened.

Two-thirds of the population of the U.S. live in the seaboard states and half the population of Alaska live in Anchorage. How much room does the spotted owl actually need?

John Petersen

La Grande

On verge of new direction

To the Editor:

As the Democratic convention approaches, I would like to thank the Bush administration. My generation grew up in the '60s and like all generations, we had our good points and bad. But never in the history of our nation have we seen what's happening now.

I could start by pointing out all of this administration's bad decisions, but they have already written their own history. The real proof is what voters do because of it. In a typical election, the turnout ranges around 34 percent. However, this year in the Democratic primaries the turnout averaged 89 percent.

That's never happened before. People are uniting everywhere to make sure to register and vote. They are getting re-registered to take part in the voting process again. They're having meetings in town halls, churches and coffee shops. It feels as though the whole nation is on the verge of a new direction.

One important reason is the young, first-time voters registering. These young people are joining the Democratic Party in huge numbers. You can really see it in universities with groups forming like Future Vision, and MoveOn.Org. Listening to these young people really makes me have great hope for the future.

Another reason is the huge upsurge in minority voters registering. Active also are seniors' groups, and women's groups, groups with all kinds of issues that people feel haven't been addressed, all taking part to defeat George W. Bush. This is going to be an exciting election, and as if things couldn't get any better, Sen. Kerry chose John Edwards as his running mate. What an excellent choice.

If the Republicans got nervous over the primary, come November they're going to witness a Democratic election movement like never before seen.

Michael Brosseau



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