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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM NOVEMBER 1 - NOVEMBER 6, 2004



Big economic impact

To the Editor:

In campaigns at the county level no one mentions the economic impact of the railroad and the golf course.

To see the economic impact the railroad has, go to Wallowa and check out the parking lot when people ride the train. These people stay in motels, eat meals at restaurants, shop at stores and buy gas. The same things apply for the golf course.

Last year 24 ladies representing the USGA came from Boise to play the golf course. This year they came back — 34 strong. They stayed at the Union Hotel — most of them for two nights — played golf for two days, and spent money on food and shopping. Each dollar spent rolls over about seven times. Do the math. My calculations show an economic impact of $75,000 to $100,000 for the


Maybe the railroad and the golf course won't show a profit for their own operations, but they will have an ever-growing economic impact. Given some time and patience, these two enterprises will reach a point of positive return.

Now before anyone takes me to task for my support, I am an avid golfer and work part-time at the golf course. I also have had experience in the railroad business.

To be a leader, one must have a vision for the future and understand what needs to be done to make that vision come to reality. Family wage jobs are important, but we don't have the labor available for any large company. Consider the cost to get a product to a large market area. Our leaders need to promote the things that are already here: mountains, lakes, rivers, fishing, hunting and skiing. Tourism is a major factor in the Oregon economy, and we need to take advantage of that market.

L. Harry Bigler

La Grande


Candidate didn't participate

To the Editor:

At the public candidates' forum at Enterprise City Hall I was shocked and dismayed that Len Lindsley chose not to


The other three mayoral candidates and three city council candidates sat in front of the audience and answered all the questions from the current mayor, one current councilor and the public.

Lindsley sat towards the back of the room and commented to a reporter and one resident about many of the questions being asked, but was not willing to sit with the others and speak to the public.

Does that not seem strange to anyone else? I have since been informed that Lindsley did not participate because he does not agree with Susan Roberts' politics.

Why wouldn't the person who wants to have the top seat in our city government be willing to answer questions in a public setting? That is the mayor's job.

Does he have something to hide? Do we want someone as mayor who will sit and whisper but not be willing to speak openly? Does he understand what being a public official is all about?

It is not about disagreements with a city official or employee, it is about serving the people of Enterprise. I think we need to be careful when casting our ballots, to vote for the best possible candidate to represent the city of Enterprise in a favorable fashion, not for a vendetta.

I hope that the citizens of Enterprise will make a wise choice for mayor. I personally support Stacey Karvoski because of her prior public service, knowledge of city budgeting and open-mindedness. But no matter how you vote, make sure you know all the facts about the person running and choose the best candidate that will openly oversee the city of Enterprise.

Marty Thompson



Divorce bigger threat to marriage

To the Editor:

I never thought the day would come that I would be writing to beseech my friends, neighbors and fellow Oregonians to not legalize discrimination against a minority group — same-sex couples in committed relationships who want to enjoy the same rights, benefits and responsibilities we take for granted — and yes, provide secure, loving homes for children.

I agree with the local woman who wrote to The Observer recently that babies are miracles created only by a man and a woman.

But guess what? Some of those miracles grow up gay, and don't we want our gay children to have the same dreams and aspirations for their future as our non-gay children? Gay young people have a tough enough time struggling with their gender identity in our society. To further stigmatize them through legalized discrimination would make their school years and beyond a nightmare and is just plain wrong.

The Defense of Marriage folks' time, money and energy would be far better spent working on their own marriage and parenting skills, volunteering at Shelter From the Storm, working with abused children, and otherwise helping to reduce the divorce rate, the real threats to marriage in this country.

Whatever your feelings about same-sex marriage — and I know many feel uncomfortable with the concept — our precious Constitution is designed to protect and provide for the rights of all Oregon's citizens and is no place to enshrine discrimination by a majority of voters against a minority.

Please vote no on Measure 36. If it passes, it will be a sad and shameful day for Oregon.

Stephanie Messersmith



Put problems to rest

To the Editor:

I'm confused. I was under the impression that the race for mayor of Union was just that: a race to see who the people choose to help guide city council to fair and just representation of what the citizens need.

However, it is winding up to be just another last-ditch effort by a core group of rebels left around to throw a little dirt. I sincerely hope and trust that the people of Union have used their ballots wisely and put to rest the problems we have been having due to misrepresentation and deception. Enough is TOTAL-ly enough, already!

Svea Ross



Don't dismantle Union

To the Editor:

I urge the voters of the city of Union to make an informed, careful decision when voting for city council positions and mayor. I am concerned that all the positive accomplishments in our city in the past eight or so years will be totally dismantled. There seems to be a number of individuals totally suspicious of everything that city hall and city council does without any real basis.

I believe the majority of the current city council has been working in the best interest of the future of the city of Union. The city council is dealing with some serious and complicated issues. For that reason I am supporting council members with knowledge and experience in the operation of the city of Union: Gary Graham, Arlie Gordon and Richard Alexander. These three people have spent many, many hours learning about our city because they care a great deal about the city and its future. It is my opinion they consider issues, do research and look at different perspectives. Then they make an informed decision, rather than jump to the first idea or solution that is presented.

I truly believe these people have done an admirable job and will continue to do so if elected.

Evelyn Merriman



Heroes and good neighbors

To the Editor:

We have boarded our horses at the La Grande Mavericks for many years, and we would like to recognize some special people for their assistance and caring during and after the fire of Oct. 19.

Our three horses, as well as the other animals, were spared injury because of your quick action.

A good Samaritan on the freeway called 9-1-1. The La Grande Police Department, the La Grande and Imbler rural fire departments all pitched in; Karen and Paul Wilmarth and Natalie Soares moved all of the horses to safety, and notified the boarders; Al Peterson coordinated shelter for all of the displaced horses, as well as mediating, organizing, working and taking care of so much; Dr. Mark Omann provided kindness and generosity; Ken Wisdom shared time and repair work.

To everyone who assisted during this time, please accept our very heartfelt appreciation, along with all who have offered support whether it is by offering hay, a kind word or assisting us in any way needed.

You are all heroes, good neighbors and friends.

Carol Grubbe

La Grande


Cattle still run on closed range

To the Editor:

A few years ago, Jim Voelz Sr. got together with us landowners on Mount Emily to get it out of open range into closed range.

Jim got the attorney and paid the bill himself. Two landowners live up there. If it hadn't been for them it would not have got done.

Then it came out in the paper there is absolutely no right to let cattle, horses, sheep or goats run at large anymore.

Guess what? Cattle still run at large. It's never changed. Boise rents the land. If they don't want to fix their fences they should not let cattle run on it.

Some time ago it came out in the news of records that livestock were running loose. The deputy checked into it and said nothing could be done, it was open range.

Up above Fox Hill is closed range. I think they need to do something about it. I thought there was a right and wrong in this world.

This is my own personal opinion.

Gary L. Keller

La Grande


Day of Play a huge success

To the Editor:

So many people helped make the Kids' Club Worldwide Day of Play a huge success on Oct. 1. Some 46 children currently attending Kids' Club participated in a day of games and active play.

The Worldwide Day of Play was initiated by the Nickelodeon Corporation to draw attention to the importance of play on an international scale by encouraging people all over the world to take time out of their day to drop everything and play.

The La Grande High School JV soccer team volunteered their time to teach our kids some basic soccer skills and play a short scrimmage game with them. Community members and Eastern Oregon University students volunteered their time. The extra support is genuinely appreciated.

Of course, this day would not have been possible without the hard work of the excellent Kids' Club staff. They organized a shipwreck, a car lot and quietball games in the gym. Relay games like the three-legged race, sack race and egg race in addition to a water-balloon toss and a balloon stomp were played on the grass in front of the Riveria Activity Center.

It was a fun-filled day of letting kids and adults remember the importance of just playing.

Katie Slaybaugh

La Grande


Wanted daughter taken care of

To the Editor:

Regarding the letter published in The Observer from Stephen Christenson, M.D., in response to my letter: I find the coincidence of being begged by certain hospital employees to not publish my letter due to their recent bad publicity and this response interesting.

Only the personnel that I spoke with after the incident knew about the diagnosis, so I can only surmise these people may have asked Dr. Christenson to write. I am well acquainted with ER protocol. I am well aware that working in the ER in any capacity is stressful. There is, however, just plain rudeness. If you don't work in the ER, how do you know what happens? It is human nature to defend your own.

We are fortunate to have this facility, but we would be even more so if the powers that be were not so concerned with the almighty dollar and had left it the way it was, not turning it into a critical access hospital, which limited everyone else's basic access to it. They get more money when they become specialized.

Given the restriction of word limits, my first letter was perhaps misunderstood. The doctor implied I was impatient. I wanted my daughter taken care of. Do not assume that because we left meant that her injury was minor. Who knew at the time?

I left because we had been there for two hours, I had a 4 1/2-year-old who was upset, hurting and exhausted. I had my elderly mother with me who has congestive heart failure and was also exhausted. Dr. Christenson was not there with us.

Kristin Smith

La Grande


Need moral stand on issues

To the Editor:

Yes, Tom Dalton (Oct. 22 letter to the editor), we live in America. We choose how we worship. You are right — terrorists don't have power to change our core values and way of life. Those we put into the various offices do. a study of history will find this nation has drifted a long way from the nation of the founding fathers.

If you think the precious freedoms we have can't be taken away, you're mistaken. Maybe one of your precious freedoms hasn't yet. The liberal politically correct group have caused many changes to take place.

Whoever thought you couldn't celebrate Christmas in school? Instead it's a winter festival. Just don't mention the real reason, the birth of Christ.

Whoever thought they would want "one nation under God" taken out of the pledge of allegiance? They're trying.

Whoever thought they would remove the Ten Commandments from public places because a few were offended?

Whoever thought doctors would do partial-birth abortions? Many think it is OK.

Whoever thought the sanctity of marriage would be in question by wanting to allow two people of the same sex to marry? Whoever thought porno on TV or the Internet could be seen by all. The freedom of speech agenda says its OK.

Research on your own, Tom. Don't rely on liberal news for information. Where will this nation be in 50 years if its morals continue to decline? Will it still be the land of the free and the home of the brave? One nation under God, or will it be in the decay that other liberal nations are becoming?

All need to take a moral stand on issues we come face to face with every day or this will no longer be the nation our founding fathers worked and died for.

B.L. Abbott



Not 30-year sentence

To the Editor:

Michael Botting was sentenced to life imprisonment, not the number of years reported.

He must serve a minimum of 30 years of that life sentence before he becomes eligible for parole. Then he may apply for parole and try to convince the parole board that he is "likely to be rehabilitated in a reasonable period of time."

Only if Botting can convince the entire board — the vote has to be unanimous — will parole be allowed. If he is turned down, he must wait at least two years before he can apply again.

If the parole board turns him down, he stays in prison for the rest of his life. It is not a 30-year sentence.

Martin J. Birnbaum

Union County District Attorney


Second time, no excuse

To the Editor:

Dear lost and found, my fishing partners and I found your belongings along the Grande Ronde River near Troy recently.

We found a part of your picnic table, what was left of your cooler, your plastic chair, seven empty propane cylinders, a bunch of beer cans, a makeshift clothesline, your children's toys, half of a tarp, a pile of bent tent poles, at least 100 cigarette butts and six large garbage bags full of your junk.

Now, I spend a lot of time in the woods, so I'm savvy as to what may have happened.

Personally, I think that you and your family were innocently camping on that beautiful stretch of river that I call my own, enjoying the God-given grandeur of the season's colors, when — all of a sudden, out of nowhere — a bear attacked your camp, scattering your property and rendering all of you helplessly maimed, unable to pick up your stuff.

My buddies, however, think that you are just another "blooming garbage-tossing idiot."

Either way, we picked it all up and I brought it home, thinking that you would want it back after you and your family recovered.

If my fishing pals are right, I suggest that you consider camping somewhere far from that place we love because they are not as nice as I am, and may want to return your crap in an unfriendly manner.

Andy Ford



Program needs volunteers

To the Editor:

We are writing this letter to bring awareness to our community.

In 2001,the U.S. Census Bureau showed Oregon ranking number one in the nation for the hungriest state. Not only did Oregon rank number one for being the hungriest state, but Union County also ranked number one in Oregon for the hungriest county.

Currently Oregon is ranked number two in the nation. Last fiscal year 721,000 emergency food boxes were given out, which has increased from the previous year by eleven percent. Our community has many different sorts of programs out there to help the hungry; however, many people do not or may not know about them.

One program in our community is the Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries. This program has 11 churches sponsoring it, and gets funding through United Way, FEMA, donations from Safeway and other local donors. Neighbor to Neighbor also gives firewood and other non-food items to needy families.

However, this program is in need of volunteers. Currently the majority of volunteers are senior citizens. If you would like more information or would like to help you can contact Neighbor-to-Neighbor Ministries at 963-9126.

Linda Jerofke

Ashlee Dixon

Lacey Maltman

Lawson Legore

Sarah Reed

Kathleen Knight


Setting record straight on pool

To the Editor:

In reference to the article in The Observer of Oct. 7 on the Cove Warm Springs Pool sale, there is one big error.

The Clines did not purchase the pool by themselves. We located the pool in June 1970 while looking for a retirement area. Rocky also had 20 years in the Air Force.

We contracted to buy the pool, putting down earnest money. It was July 1970 when we contacted the Clines to see if they would be interested in a partnership.

We raised three sons in the big house at the pool and were there 10 years. We sold our half of the business to the Clines in July 1980.

Just setting the record straight.

Bev and Rocky Hagan



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