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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM AUGUST 16 - AUGUST 21, 2004



Joy to watch peewee soccer

To the Editor:

A few weeks ago I was involved with watching my grandson play peewee soccer.

What a joy. I would like to praise the young people who did a great job of working with our little ones. They all did a wonderful job.

The varsity coach, Michael Decker, and his helpers, Craig Schutt, Larissa Sieders and Ford Hebard, showed extreme patience and sportsmanship to all.

Sandee Fox

La Grande


Important restorations under way

To the Editor:

The Union County Historical Society is restoring and preserving the abandoned Community Methodist Church in Imbler.

This little building is one of only two or three historical buildings still standing in Imbler. It will not be the purpose of this building to hold worship services. The Historical Society's purpose is to protect the present and preserve the past.

We now have a solid bid for the roof repair, and the roof should be replaced and finished before the end of October. We will start window and siding replacement as soon as possible.

By the way, have you taken the walking tour of the Hot Lake Sanatorium? Work is progressing at an almost unbelievable pace.

The restoration of this historical building is intended to be a community and valley endeavor. Encourage and support David and Lee Manuel in this wonderful work.

Roy Hills

Island City


Devote energies to solutions

To the Editor:

I thank Judd Koehn for his straight talk in The Observer Aug. 10 about what is going on with the ESD challenges. His advice to be aware of hidden agendas is well taken.

Imagine what could be done if all parties devoted their energies to pulling and working together instead of apart.

Recall efforts are no-win solutions. They make competent volunteers for boards and committees of the future a lot more scarce.

Howard Butts



People can have own opinions

To the Editor:

I agree with Katey Houseman in her letter to The Observer of Aug. 9 that it is good for people to have their own opinions.

But does believing in God and believing homosexuality is wrong make one closed-minded? It seems to me that you might have a closed mind, too.

If I believed like you and thought that there were only 25 people in La Grande who were open-minded like you, I would either move from La Grande where I've lived since 1944, or go back to high school, or maybe do both.

Then, perhaps, you wouldn't be so sad.

George Neer

La Grande


Matter of free speech

To the Editor:

In a recent letter to The Observer, Gary Poole suggested that John Kerry, as a recently returned young war hero, should have been jailed for exercising his First Amendment rights.

Who is closer to treason: a young patriot who returns from a war with doubts abut that war and publicly expresses those doubts, or the man who would have him thrown in prison for doing so?

I would suggest to Mr. Poole that freedom is not free.

Part of the price each of us pays for being a citizen of a free country is having to listen to opinions we disagree with, even those we find reprehensible.

That is what separates us from military dictatorships, communist regimes and, in fact, Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Today we are at war. Should we be preparing prison cells for any of our young people now bravely serving in Iraq or Afghanistan who return to speak out against those wars?

I, of course, support Mr. Poole's right to speak his mind, even if in doing so he would deny that right to others.

Patrick Kelly

La Grande


In politics, timing is everything

To the Editor:

As Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry pulls away in the polls from G.W. Bush in swing states, our current national administration is becoming increasingly desperate to narrow the gap.

I've heard reports that the Bush administration is pursuing the statutory authority to delay the November presidential election. Their rational is that a terrorist attack may make a delay necessary. We've heard how there is "good intelligence" that al-Qaida and/or others are planning an attack between now and our election.

The United States has never delayed a presidential election. However, we have seen how the Bush administration makes all decisions at a political level. Witness the latest raising of the terror alert level on the East Coast. Now we find out that there was no evidence regarding the immediacy of the suspected attacks. The timing of the alert was chosen to coincide with the end of the Democratic National Convention to negate any Kerry bump in the polls.

In the Bush way of doing things, to convince us that an election delay is necessary, we can expect a campaign similar to that waged against us before our preemptive invasion of Iraq. We can expect "good intelligence" that terrorist attacks are imminent.

We can expect to be threatened with visions of mushroom clouds and rampaging biological weapons. We can expect satellite photos and persuasive visits to talk shows. The neo-con brownshirt talking heads will be loosed onto the media. We will be bullied and cajoled, just as before. The Bush administration will attempt to take from us our most fundamental right, the right to vote.

This is another one of those pesky issues that you should investigate for yourself. In this case, I hope I'm wrong. Please, look at the rhetoric, examine the record and make up your own mind. Remember, "We don't have to be just sheep!"

Harold Black



Stealing signs a crime

To the Editor:

We live in the greatest country in the world. Often we take for granted some of the benefits we have that in other parts of the world are rarely seen. Those benefits include the right to run for elective office and to be able to support and vote for the candidate of your choice.

As a candidate for Union County sheriff I have been encouraged by the support I have received from so many throughout the county. Many have asked for signs for their yards. It has taken time, money and a lot of energy to get the signs out.

Unfortunately there always seem to be a few who believe you should not have the right to support the candidate of your choice.

During the evening of Aug. 18 dozens upon dozens of my yard signs were taken throughout the county. New signs have been ordered and will soon arrive to replace those that were taken.

Whoever took the signs may have done it as a prank but may not realize that it is also a crime.

The theft of over $750 worth of property is a felony. Any information that could lead to the return of the signs would be appreciated.

As a deputy I have chased burglary suspects and have had my life threatened while making drug arrests. The profession I have chosen is a dangerous one, but I am dedicated to serving and keeping Union County livable. In the full scope of things, losing over 100 signs is just a minor annoyance.

If the sign in your yard was taken or if you would like one for the first time don't hesitate to give me a call at 663-0636 or 910-1711. Most importantly just stay involved. Together we can make a difference.

Boyd Rasmussen

La Grande


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