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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM JULY 12 TO JULY 17, 2004



Dedicated to service

To the Editor:

A recent story in your paper about the fiber optic cable cut and interruption on June 30, indicated that calls to Verizon were not returned. This may have had something to do with the complete preoccupation our La Grande service team had with restoring service to customers as quickly as possible.

I want to acknowledge Verizon's local manager Joe Lewellyn and his team who worked on service restoral from 3 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. on Thursday.

Customer service – especially when there is a problem of this magnitude – is Verizon's first priority. Verizon is available 24/7 to provide customer service and to respond to inquiries from the news media.

We are proud of the work our customer service technicians do in La Grande as evident in the challenging circumstances we faced last week.

Pat Punteney

Area manager, customer operations —Eastern Oregon/Washington


Volunteers help LHS library

To the Editor:

School may be out for the summer but my thoughts still rest on several giving people who made La Grande High School a better place for students to learn, especially in the library.

With budget cuts, there was no library assistant to keep the library open at lunch time for students. Students were not able to dash in to finish a term paper, conduct some quick research, or work on a presentation. Some students just wanted to have a quiet place to read during the busy lunch time period in the rest of the building. Pam Shamion, Julie Pettit, Jerry Gomes and Donna Miller came forth and volunteered their time to keep the library open during lunch.

It was astounding how dedicated they were and they would call if late of if their schedules precluded them from being there. Jerry even helped chaperone the National Honor Society dance.

It was a pleasure to have them there to show the students that they cared. Their coordinator, Jan Harris, is also commended for her hard work in rounding them up for me.

High school students are busy folks and often forget to show their appreciation. Many students shared that gratitude to me. So, I pass it on with a hearty thanks of my own for supporting the needs of our students and strengthening the ties of home and school.

Sharon Porter

La Grande

Big loss for Elgin

To the Editor:

This past week corporal Jim Currey resigned from the Elgin Police Department. I have worked with Jim for many years and have found him to be professional and dedicated to his job. His leaving will be a big loss to the citizens of Elgin.

Pat McDonald, chief

Elgin Rural Fire Dept.

Who are the angry ones?

To the Editor:

The article in The Observer July 3 by Michael Reagan begs a response. He refers to the Democrats as "an angry party gone mad" and refers to Michael Moore, producer of "Fahrenheit 9-11" as "slime master extraordinary" and accuses Moore of producing a film that that is a campaign commercial masquerading as a documentary.

Reagan is apparently unaware of people such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Lars Larson, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who lambaste all of us daily with comments about John Kerry and Democratic candidates that present nothing that is remotely truthful.

Our history is replete with acts of terrorism carried out by our military and by various civilian agencies of the government during the administrations of presidents from both political parties. It is foolish to deny facts.

Millions of ordinary Americans believe that George Bush stole the 2000 election. There is evidence that strongly suggests this is so. The fact that Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida strenuously resisted pressure from voters and legal experts who wanted the ballots recounted supports this belief. George Bush lost the popular vote by approximately 500,000 votes across the U.S.

History will record the truth in due time, but only after legal scholars have considered the question of whether or not the Supreme Court failed to rule that this was an issue of state responsibility and send it back to Florida.

Reagan deplores the irrational arguments of people who represent a party he apparently despises. I wonder why he sinks to that level of discourse.

His remark about the donkey symbol of the Democratic party as being a "crazed jackal" proves the point. If Reagan wants to become just another angry Republican lowering the level of political debate he will be dismissed as another angry talking head.

David Bishop


War won't fix Middle East

To the Editor:

In his community comment of July 8, Dwight Matthews explained to us how we "are fortunate that President Bush and his team understand the threat to America and are responding the only way the enemy understands."

I think that both of them are missing the boat. Mr. Matthews did explain how the creation of Israel in 1947 inflamed those regional hatreds that we are still dealing with. Given that and the fact that war hasn't solved anything in the 57 years since then, why doesn't he understand how this war won't solve the problem? Einstein said, "The height of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." We need to try something other than bombs — it hasn't worked before and I see no reason to believe that it will work now.

Also, Mr. Matthews quoted Brig. Gen. Gayhart, who said, "If we don't fight the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will have to fight them here."

I am old enough to remember hearing that same thing about communism 40 years ago. This situation in the Middle East is getting more and more like Vietnam. We all know how that turned out. We lost but we never had to fight the commies in Kansas because we won against communism because it was a flawed economic system. We can surely find a better way to fight and win this conflict, as well.

Tim Hoffnagle

La Grande

Chemicals take toll

To the Editor:

Recent state and local news and feature stories have made The Observer a paper I look forward to reading. So many articles have been pure pleasure.

However, some demand a response. "Keeping the mosquitoes at bay''' in the June 23 issue, suggests that Vector Control activities are leading to improved health in Union County.

I am not reassured by Kelly Beehler's assessments. No one has asked what the qualifications or job description are for manager of Vector Control.

I understand that Beehler is a recent health major, certainly not a chemist or biologist. His attempt to convince me that mammals exhale carbon MONOXIDE gave me pause. Beehler hardly has a desk, let alone a lab, for doing his scientific work.

The cumulative effect of chemical contamination in the United States is not being properly addressed. Cancer has become the ever more prevalent cause of death.

Until recently smoking was not considered a cause of death through cancer. Chemical contamination is another cumulative event that will undoubtedly eventually be recognized as playing a role in prostate, breast and brain cancers. It's time that cancer be recognized as a result, not a cause. Recent smoking court cases are breaking ground for other deleterious contaminants, most of which we are unable to avoid since they have been added to the air, water and foods.

In my opinion, if Union County wants to support chemical applications, it would be far wiser to attack invasive weeds than mosquitoes.

Invasive weeds cost the county ever-larger sums of money in lost productivity. Current county weed guidelines are rarely enforced and the program is certainly under funded for helping willing landowners stave off the onslaught of noxious weeds.

Mary McCracken

La Grande

Motivated by hatred

To the Editor:

Democratic Party candidates John Kerry and John Edwards have been traveling the country boasting that they share the bedrock values of most Americans. Do they?

John Kerry, after four months of service in Vietnam, came home and slandered the honorable service of thousands of his fellow service members, who were doing their best in a horrific time. He made a big show of throwing away service decorations, yet now he features them prominently in his office.

He proudly supports abortion rights, including partial birth abortion. Kerry also opposed legislation, The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, that makes it illegal to kill infants that somehow survive attempted abortion.

John Edwards? Please. He is an ambulance chaser who has made his fortune off the ever-increasing insurance premiums you and I pay. His actions have driven up health care costs and forced capable and valued medical doctors to give up their practices. Think of how health care in small, rural communities has been affected.

Both John Kerry and John Edwards recently attended a fund raiser for them by Hollywood celebrities in New York. That event, among other disgusting behavior, featured lewd jokes about our president. Both Kerry and Edwards were observed laughing enthusiastically. Afterward, Kerry said, essentially, that President Bush deserved it.

Do John Kerry and John Edwards represent the values of most Americans? I doubt it. They have the appearance of hollow men, motivated not by any sense of national service, but venomous hatred, which they enjoyed and applauded in New York a few nights ago.

Democrats, please show us you have something better to offer than this.

Steve Boe

La Grande

Support troops, but not Bush

To the Editor:

I can certainly understand the patriotic send-off for our recently mobilized National Guard unit. It's natural to support our friends and neighbors that are being sent into harm's way.

However, my support for this military adventure stops there. This invasion of Iraq continues to be a very bad idea that will not make us or anyone else safer from the threat of terrorism.

Union County voted heavily for George Bush during the last election. He criticized the Democrats as being "weak on defense." Now we apparently know what the definition of being strong on defense is: Invading Iraq in a war of choice; violating the Geneva Convention with torture of prisoners; limiting civil rights.

Support our troops? Certainly.

Support our commander in chief? Absolutely not.

Our troops and our neighbors will be much safer as soon as we vote George Bush out of office.

Dan White

La Grande

Get to know sheriff candidates

To the Editor:

I've been watching the sheriff's race here in Union County for the past few months and it's been good to see both candidates at many local events, investing their time and energies to meet the voters. This should prove to be a very good race.

Both candidates have invested nearly a decade or more in service to our county. They both participate in numerous community activities and causes. They both show a willingness to serve.

Union County voters need to take the time to get to know each of these individuals and make an informed decision based on facts. Both candidates have provided informative Web sites, and they should be commended for helping voters become more knowledgeable regarding this race for Union County sheriff.

Thank you to Boyd Rasmussen and Dana Wright. As a result of their efforts, there is little reason for Union County voters to make an uniformed decision in this race.

Voters should visit their Web sites at:




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