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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FOR NOVEMBER 25 - 30, 2002

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FOR NOVEMBER 25 - 30, 2002

Mary, Joseph run into trouble

To the Editor:

What if Jesus was born today in a manger in the state of Oregon? The Children's Services Division would have had a field day.

The babe in the manger would have been swooped up by the CSD and put out for adoption.

Mary and Joseph probably would be put in jail for child abuse.

Their donkey transportation would be confiscated and sold to help pay for their arrest.

When Jesus gets older and understands what happened, he probably will look up to God in heaven and say, "Please forgive them for they know not what they have done.''

Beverly Carman

Union

Unlock renewable resources

To the Editor:

There is great rejoicing for many following the ground-breaking election of 2002.

Let us remember that while it may be a step in the right direction, it is not a quick-fix solution to the major concerns faced by all citizens.

It is certainly for most a sign of hope that perhaps now with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House greater progress can be made in the unlocking of renewable resources vital to our national security and defense. A large portion of these are provided by public lands, renewable resources such as timber, livestock grazing and water for agriculture, public lands managed in trust by the federal government on behalf of their rightful owners, the American public.

Ron R. Fischer

Elgin

Factors bring change

To the Editor:

I read Jason Jacoby's series in The Observer on the timber business and would like to add some observations. My comments are based on many years purchasing logs, standing timber and timberland in Northeast Oregon and elsewhere.

The steep rise in prices in the early '90s resulted from the following:

• Wood product prices were high and were expected to move higher. The timber supply from national forests all over the Western U.S. was expected to be reduced.

• Most producers had thick order files for wood products yet to be shipped. Installed production capacity exceeded the amount of wood that could flow to the mills without overcutting private forests.

• Many mills were willing to pay high prices for the last 5 or 10 percent of the wood they needed to run their plants at capacity for the coming year. And there was a certain amount of fear and greed, the same thing that drives the stock market.

• The high prices did not last long, but suddenly there was a new crop of timber brokers, buyers, brand new timberland owners and assorted chiselers ready to make a deal.

• I don't believe log prices will rise to the degree they did 10 years ago any time in the foreseeable future. There will be seasonal changes and increases as interest rates fluctuate as well as a general rise a bit faster than the cost of living index.

Much has changed. Mills have closed. Consumers have found substitute building materials. Some mills are transporting logs great distances. And there is still a lot of lumber coming into the United States from Canada as well as a steady increase in the flow of wood products from the private forests in the southeastern U.S.

Ed Barton

La Grande

Can't pick horses

To the Editor:

In response to Tim Hoffnagle's election observations in the Nov. 21 Observer, from the sour-grape sound of it, he can't pick a horse to come in, not even the one he rides.

Why didn't he run against some sleaze-ball? That way as voters we could have lost either way.

Bill Hays won his council seat by being the best choice for the seat. Likewise John Lamoreau was the best choice for his seat.

Instead of rewriting the way we vote, Al Gore Hoffnagle should look into the possibility of moving to Florida. Soon.

Kirk Achilles

La Grande

Don't miss Festival of Trees

To the Editor:

We are writing to encourage everyone to attend this weekend's Festival of Trees at the Blue Mountain Conference Center.

Tonight at 7 you will have the opportunity to bid on these beautiful trees and benefit local organizations. This wonderful holiday event is held each year by our local chapter of Soroptimists International.

The Union County Children's Choir has been a recipient of this philanthropic group's generosity and would like you to know of its benefits. Money received by our organization has been used to provide scholarships for our youth to participate in the choir, to purchase music for the children to perform and has also helped them travel to performances.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Blue Mountain Conference Center again will be open to view these beautiful and creative Christmas trees. The cost of admission is a can of food to help those in need at this time of year. As the recipient of the good works of the Soroptimists, we would like to ask that everyone take the time to attend either Friday night or Saturday and support a worthy cause.

The children's choir Christmas concert will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at McKenzie Theatre at Eastern Oregon University. Admission is by donation.

Please consider yourselves invited to this performance where you will be able to enjoy the sounds of the youth of Union County.

Debbie Eyre, president,

board of directors

Union County Children's Choir

New Carissa set to song

To the Editor:

After reading Dave Stave's Nov. 21 column, we were inspired by his challenge to write a song about the New Carissa. We humbly submit the following ditty:

The legend of the New Carissa

Is an environmental crime;

We sing of the Oregon Coast

And a ship that's leaking slime.

Have you stepped on the oil?

Have you slipped in the grease?

Have you wondered what's happened to that friendly flock of geese?

Have you been sloshed by petrochemicals?

Are your children turning blue?

Our coastline draws a crowd as the visitors view the goo.

Ecological experts all

Speak of the tragedy with consternation;

The Chamber of Commerce rejoices —

It's made Coos Bay a tourist destination.

Dave and Zee Koza

La Grande

Wright would benefit most

To the Editor:

I retired, due to health problems, last year after more than 23 years in the Union County Sheriff's Office.

During the past five years there, I shared an office with Sgt. Chuck Anderson.

I found Anderson to be a good deputy with a strong knowledge of the sheriff's office functions, law enforcement procedures and of the needs of the citizens of our county.

One of the last things I did before retiring was to warn Chuck that he was a marked man, and that he should watch his back.

You cannot work without making mistakes, but I think his biggest mistake was in running for sheriff and declaring that he was going to run in the future.

Beyond the attempt to ruin a good man and a good law enforcement officer, this whole political witch hunt saddens me dearly.

I have had people ask me if this sheriff's office is a bunch of backwoods good-ol'-boy bubbas. I have worked for past sheriffs who worked long and hard to make the Union County Sheriff's Office into a professional and respected police agency.

There are some really great people and deputies working there, but in this environment, how can they do their jobs?

I have never seen an investigation run as this one was. First of all, Undersheriff Dana Wright did the internal investigation after the grand jury already had cleared Anderson of any wrongdoing.

Now, Wright is the man who would benefit the most if Anderson was removed, as Wright plans to run for sheriff in the next election.

I have seen mistakes and downright official misconduct on the part of former deputies. None of them were put through this form of vindictive harassment.

Any and all misconduct by any law enforcement officer should be investigated, but by a neutral experienced investigator.

Donna Knox

La Grande

Prices to coffee farmers plunge

To the Editor:

I read in the paper today that amidst all the sad news in the world, we can be glad for Starbucks Corporation and its investors. They are reporting a 9.9 percent jump in fourth-quarter profits and a 29 percent increase in retail sales.

What Starbucks is not reporting is the average price per pound they pay to the coffee farmer.

Unless they are fortunate enough to be connected with a fair trade cooperative, the farmers have never had a fair price. This year is particularly bad with prices at a 30-year low. It's no wonder Starbucks can have all-time high profits when they are paying all-time low prices.

The impact on the farmers has been devastating: thousands of farmers, their families and agricultural workers displaced; some migrating to shanty- towns in the cities; some perhaps attempting the difficult journey to try to gain illegal access to the United States; and some forced to grow more profitable crops such as cocaine.

If you do not know about fair trade I urge you to find out. Ask your retailer to stock fairly traded coffee, tea and cocoa.

If you want to find out more, visit the Web site at www.equalexchange.com.

Carole Halvorson

Starkey

 
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