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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FOR MARCH 29 - APRIL 3, 2004



Trying to fix problem

To the Editor:

In response to Dona Stanbro's letter about the strong-mayor initiative:

The qualifications for the office are set forth in the Union City Charter. TOTAL is not proposing to change the charter. It is a questionable leap to say that this requires a superhuman person to do the job. The man doing the job now is hardly superhuman.

The League of Oregon Cities offers classes every month and most cost only $35. There is a group of retired city managers who offer their services, and there is training for managers and city council members. There is assistance from other cities. Mr. Searles was not a city administrator before we hired him. Who trained him?

Our public works director said the city was losing money every time we did a sewer hookup. Nothing has been done about it. Our administrator announced in March 2003 that he was rewriting the employee policies. Our employees can't get a raise until they are done.

What is he doing about getting a new police chief? Why doesn't he enforce nuisance ordinances? In 2002 the insurance company for the city addressed concern over the right of way violations in Union. The administrator told the police not to bring him any more violations to deal with.

Public works said the city needed to put money aside to rebuild the First Street Bridge. The bridge failed and there were no funds set aside to fix it.

All some people want to do is pick apart TOTAL's attempt to fix a problem with our city government. I don't see these people offering to help fix anything or coming forward with alternative solutions.

I suggest people spend their time being constructive rather that promoting ridiculous arguments that don't solve anything.

Sherry Eden


Solution to problems

To the Editor:

Eureka! The solution to all of the world's problems — ban heterosexual marriage.

If only homosexual marriages were allowed, in just a hundred years all of the problems people cause would be gone.

Pharmaceutical companies could stop making birth control drugs and could concentrate on extending life.

Abortions would no longer be needed. Child abuse and neglect would be a thing of the past. In just 20 years teenage drinking and drug abuse would no longer be a problem. School financing would be out of the way since there would be no children to educate.

Crime rates would drop — no more rape or family abuse, car thefts would slow down, street gangs would fade away.

Our forests could be saved as the demand for lumber for houses would cease. This would solve the endangered species problems. Unemployment would no longer be a problem as the old timers die off.

Oil consumption would fall rapidly, which helps with air quality, pollution and global warming. Food shortages and starvation would disappear as fewer and fewer people would need to be fed.

All the power-generating dams could be torn out as the need for electricity plummeted. This would solve the fish problems.

Homeless people would no longer be a concern. As people died off others could just move into the empty houses. War would cease since everyone would be too old to fly a plane or drive a tank.

Of course this ban would have to be made world-wide. There could be no cheating or the whole effort to make a perfect world would fall apart. Look what Adam and Eve started.

As for me, I've been single for 40 years and plan on staying that way until I kick off.

Ozzie Asemissen

La Grande

Land-for-peace may not work

To the Editor:

In Peter Lippman's speech to the Blue Mountain Forum about the Jewish-Arab conflict, he argued that giving military control of Gaza and the West Bank to the Arabs would bring peace.

But yet, throughout history, land-for-peace hasn't always brought peace.

Let's look at one such case. Before the outbreak of WWII, Germany was separated from Czechoslovakia by a mountainous region called the Sudetenland. Although Germany was militarily superior, the Czechs controlled this mountainous region.

The Czechs knew that although they were outnumbered, they could defend themselves from any possible attack as long as they controlled this region. Hitler knew this also. So he launched a public relations campaign directed at the major powers of the day to pressure them into giving him the Sudetenland.

His campaign was made easier by the fact that the majority of people living in the Sudetenland were German. He told the rest of the world that these people had a right to self-determination and that the only way to avoid war was to give military control of this land to Germany.

So in September 1938 the Munich Agreement was signed giving Germany control of the Sudetenland. Celebrations around the world ensued as a peaceful agreement had supposedly been reached. A few months later the Germans took control of the Sudetenland leaving the Czechs defenseless. The rest is history.

Today we are told that if Israel gives up military control of a militarily significant region to their sworn enemies — people who have fought four major attempted wars of annihilation against them since 1948, three of them prior to when Israel took Gaza and the West Bank — peace will ensue.

Let's hope that we Americans can summon the wisdom to learn from Sudetenland and not pressure Israel to commit suicide.

Josh Coplen

La Grande

Divisiveness hurting town

To the Editor:

I am a resident of Union and I am upset over all the turmoil and fighting that is dividing this town.

First they recalled two very good City Council members, who have served this city well. Now this same faction is trying to change the whole form of city government because they don't like the city administrator.

Seems pretty drastic to me.

I read this proposal that is going on the ballot and believe it is a very bad move for Union. I hope the people of Union are wise enough to defeat it.

This division is hurting too many people and it is hurting our town. It needs to end.

Sylvan Hewitt


Oppose same-sex marriage

To the Editor:

I believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. The families that are built from these unions are the foundation of our great nation.

I believe that changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples is a grave error, one that would have a profound and negative impact on individuals, families and consequently our nation.

I am asking you to do everything in your power to support and strengthen the natural family. Do not support any legislation that would change the definition of marriage, such as the draft on legalizing same-sex marriage currently before the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, I urge you to defend marriage by supporting a Constitutional amendment to limit marriage to the union of a man and a woman.

I believe that enshrining the natural definition of marriage in our constitution will strengthen individuals, families, and consequently our nation.

As a voter in this country, I will be aggressively encouraging everyone I'm in contact with to vote for those politicians that will protect the natural definition of marriage.

This will be an election issue.

Margo Hammeren


Ironic position for Bush

To the Editor:

Anyone following the Richard Clarke testimony and rebuttal by the administration would have trouble keeping up with all the accusations, counter-arguments and political spin. One of the most spectacular items that got drowned out in all the sound and fury in Washington is the ironic position the administration now finds itself.

As many may remember, Clarke appeared on "60 Minutes'' and recounted that the day after 9/11 the president pulled Clarke and a few others aside in the Situation Room and told him to find a connection between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks even after being informed that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks.

The administration immediately denied this meeting ever took place, in fact stating that the president wasn't even in the Situation Room on Sept. 12. You had Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley's rebuttal on the very same "60 Minutes'' program and press secretary Scott McClellan repeatedly denying Clarke's version of the story, essentially accusing Clarke of lying.

Now the administration has reversed its story, saying, "We are not denying such a meeting took place. It probably did.'' What a spectacularly ironic development.

In its attempt to discredit a political adversary as a liar, the administration got caught in a lie. This administration already has huge credibility problems. This latest development all but obliterates any credibility that was left.

On the second front by the White House to discredit Clarke, the issue has been raised that there is a contradiction in Clarke's 2002 congressional testimony and press backgrounder and what he is now saying in his new book and in the 9/11 public hearings.

Basically the argument boils down to this: In one testimony Clarke was putting a political spin on the facts and in the other he is telling the whole ugly truth. The question is which version is correct.

It seems that it would be foolish to trust any partisan on this live-wire issue. The only person in Washington who really knows the answer to this question is the 30-year career public servant who made the testimonies.

Fred Monzyk

La Grande

Disagree with Methodists

To the Editor:

Regarding the letter of March 26 to The Observer from members of the Methodist Church supporting Ms. Dammann as the minister of a Methodist church:

Though she is a practicing homosexual, you stated there is a difference between you and Christians in general. The Biblical definition of a Christian is a person who has accepted, as his personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Church is defined as an organized group of baptized believers, whether they meet in homes, schoolrooms or an official church building.

To profess that your church is a Bible-teaching church leads me to believe that your church abides by the teachings in the Bible. To condone the appointment of a practicing homosexual as a minister, does not follow the teachings of God's Word, the holy Bible. This makes you an anathema, as Paul taught in Corinthians I, 3:11-15.

There are also other references to this throughout the Bible. If the Methodist denomination uses man's guidelines instead of God's guidelines or commandments for their rule of order, the word church, a group of Baptized believers, should be removed from their doorframe.

Christians are commanded by God to love everyone and judge no one. God also admonishes us to know what sin is and to flee from it, and from those who blatantly live in a state that God has specifically pointed out is an abomination to Him.

To be legal is what we do when we strive to do the right thing, but to be a legalist is what we accomplish when forcing man's views to be accepted over and above the commandments instituted by God. This is what the Pharisees did to Jesus when they spit in His face, and sadly, we are doing the same thing today and calling it support.

John Petersen

La Grande


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