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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 2

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 2

Project raises alarm

To the Editor:

My first impression of the article on the front page of The Observer Sept. 21 regarding the new program at Island City and Willow elementary schools, the Hands and Words Are Not For Hurting Project, was favorable.

After some time, however; I felt having these tender minds pledge every morning and then be indoctrinated daily during their school experience is not what I would accept for my children.

Another thought to consider is that children have a right to defend themselves. Situations involving personal harm, such as abduction and others, may require physical defense.

Having an inquisitive mind, I searched the Internet, and after many pages found an article: "Violence-proofing Our Kids," www.philosopherseed.org/vilence.htm .

The following is a quote from that Web site: "An event sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Handguns of the Oregon Consumer League which took place on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003. Though the title was

violence-proofing, the main form of violence dealt with by everyone was gun violence, specifically handgun violence." Under the Community Solutions Panel, Ann Kelly, founder, Hands Are Not For Hurting Project, Salem, Oregon.

Is this a surprise?

Speak up, parents, now that you see another side of this

project, and decide if you want your child to participate. Let your principal know of your feelings regarding this project.

Rita Moore

La Grande

______________________________

Wright's comments confusing

To the Editor:

I hope voters listened to the sheriff candidates recently on a local radio program. I found candidate Dana Wright's comments confusing.

He stated he had three goals he would like to achieve if elected sheriff. The first was to "Get out of jail free." He explained he wanted to create more jail bed space. He didn't explain how he would pay for the new bed space. Tax increase?

He then stated, "I have lost the support of the staff" because of this proposal, referring to the fact that the large majority of us whom he supervises have endorsed Boyd Rasmussen.

It is true that we support Boyd, but the reasons stated by Wright are grossly inaccurate. We support Boyd Rasmussen because he is a leader who has the respect of those he works with. He is a team player who is hard working, honest and an asset to the community.

Wright's second proposal was to continue the war on drugs, adding that locally "we are losing that war." He only offered one solution: to utilize the resource of the county's drug dog.

Finally he stated he wanted to improve efficiency in the sheriff's office and would do this by eliminating the position he has held for the last 12 years as undersheriff. He

didn't explain why it has taken him 12 years in that position and well over $750,000 in wages and benefits paid by the taxpayers to realize that his position isn't needed.

His radio speech was educational. Wright stated he doesn't have the support of his staff, he has been losing the war on drugs, and the position he has held for the last 12 years isn't really necessary.

Please join me and the law enforcement community in electing Boyd Rasmussen sheriff.

Sgt. Reed D. Waite

president,

Union County Law Enforcement Assoc.

______________________________

Keep Halloween on Oct. 31

To the Editor:

In response to Judy Hendrickson's letter in the Sept. 21 edition of The Observer concerning changing the day on which Halloween is celebrated — I would beg to differ.

The safety of children who are out trick-or-treating is among other reasons for Halloween to be celebrated on the proper day, Sunday, Oct. 31, instead of on a busy Friday night.

I would also like to clarify that those who keep Saturday as the Sabbath would be the most offended by Friday night trick-or-treating, since the observance of the Sabbath begins on Friday at sundown and continues through Saturday at sunset.

Keeping the celebration of Halloween on its actual calender day, Sunday, Oct. 31, would offend no one who is religiously inclined.

Halloween offers a greeting to fall, whomever you are. Sunday seems to be a very fitting day for the holiday. Halloween is not a time of evil, although some might think that it is. I consider this a very narrow-minded point of view.

Do you think Jesus ever saw a harvest moon and said, "There's gonna be evil tonight." No, I doubt it. He would most likely look on the world with wonder. We won't be changing the date of Christmas any time soon, so why should we change Halloween?

So carve yourself a jack o' lantern to keep the evil spirits at bay.

Jon F. B. Hancock

La Grande

______________________________

Can't believe Kerry

To the Editor:

A recent letter compared our Iraq situation to the "Temple of Doom" movie, and projected a hopeless situation where electing John Kerry is "the light at the end of the tunnel.''

Kerry sounds to me more like the tunnel that is trying to block out the light. His rhetoric, along with that of the other Democratic candidates, has surely been a comfort to the terrorists. According to them America should never do anything to defend itself unless we get the approval and support of the United Nations, when many of its members were involved in skimming the oil-for-food program and selling illegal weaponry to Saddam.

With the present investigation into the oil-for-food program we may yet learn why so many of those in the U. N. did not want us to go into Iraq. We already know that the French and Germans were selling illegal weapons to Saddam. That explains why those two allies didn't support us.

Something else that is hard to believe is the idea projected by the mainstream press and Kerry supporters that Kerry is telling the truth about his Vietnam service and the 100 or more other swift boat operators are lying. It should be easy enough to sort out the truth if the press would clamor for the Kerry service records to be released just as they have done with the records of George Bush.

Logbooks for the boats and incident reports, along with the evidence given by personal narrative from those present, should clear up who is telling it like it is. It is indisputable that Kerry lied about the atrocities he testified to have seen when he came home from Vietnam, so why should his other tales of Vietnam be believed?

Gary Poole

Wallowa

______________________________

Appreciate employers' support

To the Editor:

I want to thank the good employers of Union County who will gladly bring their soldiers back to work when we get done serving our country. I have worked off and on for Don's Jewelry; he is a great supporter of the troops. I would gladly work for him and many others when I return from wherever they may need us.

I think one of the hardest things a person could ever do in life is what we are doing right now. It is not easy, leaving your family, your comfort zone and life as you know it to what we do, not just from nine to five but seven days a week.

I hope employers show great appreciation for us when we return. We deserve it.

So when you hug your kids tonight before they sleep, and you say good night to your spouse remember us, the soldiers who are giving these things up in their lives at the moment to make our country safe.

Valerie Dean of La Grande,

serving at Fort Bliss, Texas

______________________________

Too many mistakes

To the Editor:

A conservative Democrat is what I consider myself; recent events have caused me to reconsider.

I would now characterize myself as an anti-Bush independent. The mistakes made by the Bush administration have been alarming. Let me list the reasons for my concerns:

The economy: The beginning of the Bush Administration saw our country in the greatest period of prosperity in our history. Tax reduction for big business is not the answer. Who will pay the billions that this war has incurred?

Medicare: Pharmaceutical companies will reap the benefits, not seniors. In Canada the identical drugs are available at half the cost.

Iraq: Haliburton is making the bucks while our men and women are dying daily, not in traditional combat but as targets in a shooting gallery.

Overtime legislation: Big business benefits, not workers.

The Patriot Act: Am I more secure because my home can be ransacked in the name of national security?

Condaleeza Rice: Oh, she's so intelligent. But she has absolutely no clue regarding Middle Eastern culture or she would have advised against invading any Muslim country. Would you want Einstein as national security adviser?

No Child Left Behind Act: This unfunded mandate turns our schools into test-oriented factories rather than places of learning.

World influence: We have misused our position of power in the world, to the point that we no longer possess the respect of our peers.

National security: We have turned the entire Muslim world into the largest hatchery of hate in history.

Colin Powell: The only person in the administration with the knowledge of warfare to advise against the invasion has been silenced and now has little influence in world affairs.

These issues only scratch the surface. Can we survive four more years of this?

Bob Casey

Enterprise

______________________________

Sidewalks defaced

To the Editor:

Within the past few weeks a local contractor replaced the sidewalk on Fourth Street in front of Zion Lutheran Church. Much to my disdain, I found that some individual or individuals decided to etch graffiti in the newly poured concrete.

Although the contractor remained on the job site after completion, some person or persons could not resist defacing the sidewalk after he left.I want to recognize Krystal, Tanner, Deardre', KL + TL and Evan for their lack of maturity.

Thisshows your real character. I'm sure that the members of the congregation at Zion Lutheran Church enjoy seeing your handiwork each Sunday. I'm sure that your parents are very proud of you. I am also sure that the community would appreciate seeing your names in front of the courthouse, police station, schools, hospital and other public sidewalks.

Perhaps some day you will grow up to become good citizens and respect the property of others. By the way, you shouldbe informedthat the church belongs to God, not man.Man is just His steward.

Bob Jellum

La Grande

______________________________

Repair line before it breaks

To the Editor:

I recently came across a distressed telephone wire. At first I was not sure if it was telephone wire or electrical, so I called OTEC. The repairman called me from his truck as he was parked on the side of the road where the wire was located.

He said it was indeed distressed, but it was a telephone line not electrical so there was nothing he could do for it. He suggested I call Verizon Telephone company to report it, and said he would ask his dispatcher to call Verizon — just to confirm that it was a telephone wire.

When I called Verizon I was informed by the receptionist that "it is the responsibility of the land owner to report such problems," and that their repairmen do not have chain saws to cut down trees.

I asked if Verizon would repair the line when the wire broke, and she said they would repair it but would charge the landowner for the wire repair and with negligence.

Wouldn't it be better to repair the problem before the line actually broke than to wait for it, causing a service outage of who knows how many days for the residents on the line, repairman hours to repair a broken line, traffic congestion at the site and on and on?

All I really intended to do was to be a good citizen and report a distressed line. Next time I guess I'll place a bet on when it will break and how long it will take for someone to repair it.

Sharon Vaughn

La Grande

______________________________

Time for new leader

To the Editor:

This national election in November we must ask our hearts, not our egos and pride, who our future leader will be. This time we must vote for a leader who has peace on his mind, who will make peace dialogues with our enemies, even terrorists, a leader who has our children's future and our people on his mind. Not a president who has continued war on his mind.

John Kerry is labeled a flip-flop by President Bush. President Bush forgot that he flip-flopped an entire nation for four years, neglecting the peoples' domestic needs, abandoning us, turning his back on us, so that he could fulfill his self-imposed agenda to attack overseas countries. With his hostile action he created an abundance of terrorists.

He flip-flopped our children promising them "No Child Left Behind." He left all behind by squandering $200 billion on war instead of funding their education.

President Bush dared to defy the United Nation's global peace laws and the international humanitarian Red Cross laws. He kicked dust into the faces of all world leaders, except four, and all the peace loving people on earth. A leader? Respectless, lawless. Now that the war is out of control he is at a loss what to do next.

President Bush spent $422 billion this year. Our national debt stands at $7.3 trillion and climbing. Silence surrounds these facts. Our poor children have nothing to look forward to.

Why would we vote for a man like that?

What will our choice be this November election: war or peace? Our soldiers are anxiously awaiting our answer.

Jutta Benner

La Grande

______________________________

‘Signs' point to Bush victory

To the Editor:

For weeks now, even before the Democratic National Convention, polls have had President Bush and Sen. John Kerry running in a dead heat, neck and neck, headed for a photo finish. The outcome of Nov. 2 could go either way.

It is said that figures do not lie, until liars figure, meaning no one in particular but some of us must question the accuracy of these polls collectively.

The Gallup Poll, oldest and most respected of them all, no sooner reported President Bush was significantly ahead of Sen. Kerry than it was being severely questioned, criticized by Kerry supporters. Yet when any polls favor Sen. Kerry at all, not a single voice is raised in protest. Why?

In addition to this is the simple fact that no high profile Democrats have been seen with Sen. Kerry since before the Democratic National Convention. Not at public appearances, nor do any seem to be lending their endorsement to Sen. Kerry via advertisement. Almost as though all leading Democrats are keeping their distance from him, none at all riding his bandwagon, and this is most unusual.

If he is running as close to President Bush as polls reportedly and repeatedly show, then logically Democratic leaders would want to soak up as much reflected glory as they can. Especially with the projected potential for victory. But there are none visible and have not been for some time now. Why? This is a question that Kerry supporters seem reluctant to answer. Let alone the collective news media.

In the words of Gen. George Patton, "Americans love a winner. They will not tolerate a loser." Is all this an indication that President Bush is farther ahead of Sen. Kerry than is being reported?

On Nov. 2 the voters will decide.

Ron R. Fischer

Elgin

______________________________

Not better for patients

To the Editor:

Last week our friend fell and broke her hip. Our hospital was full, so she was sent to Pendleton for surgery.

This lady is 105 years old. It was traumatic enough for her to break her hip but then to be transported an hour away in the ambulance seems unjustified. Her family spent 3 nights in Pendleton and are now driving back and forth each day to be with her. This is not only added stress but certainly added expense.

When changing our hospital status to a 25-bed facility this possibility was downplayed with the excuse that the beds were hardly ever full.

The hospital spent thousands of dollars to build an ambulance facility, then turned the ambulance service over to the city. More thousands have been spent remodeling and landscaping. Many dollars are spent seeking qualified doctors to serve the valley's needs.

We have good doctors and a beautiful hospital, but what good is all that when, if you need them, they say we are full and send you to a different town to doctors you don't know? We have very qualified doctors that could have done this surgery. Family members could have checked in several times a day to see the patient without a two-hour travel time commitment.

I am upset for all that this family has been put through. I cannot see any justification for this kind of treatment. How many more stories will there be like this? It will be even worse if this happens in the winter and all these trips are taken on icy roads.

I hope the changes were better for the hospital because I can't see how they were better for us, the people, if when we need the hospital it isn't able to care for our needs.

C. Struck

La Grande

______________________________

Bush never admits mistakes

To the Editor:

Lately we read about the man on the TV program "60 Minutes" who had made what some deemed a serious mistake. He could, and did, apologize.

When Mr. Bush makes mistakes, he never admits or apologizes. But people die — lots of people.

Charles R. Cater

La Grande

______________________________

Double standard

To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to Mr. Roy Hills' letter about Sheriff Oliver's endorsement being out of line. Can we assume that Mr. Hills considers the Sheriff's Association and the Police Association endorsements of Boyd Rasmussen out of line?

Condemning someone for doing the same thing that others are doing is a double standard. Since when are we prohibited to speak out and voice our opinion? In America we call that free speech and it is protected by our constitution.

I applaud Sheriff Oliver for his insight, concern for our community, and willingness to educate the citizens of our county.

Sherman Sharrard

La Grande

______________________________

Accusations unfounded

To the Editor:

Regarding the letter to the editor in the Sept. 29 Observer on John Kerry that Gary Poole knows so much about:

I would like to know where he gets his information or if he is just going on hearsay. I take it he is going to vote for Bush, and I defend his right to do that. It's what we do here in America.

I lost my Dad in World War II, and I served in Korea. Maybe Poole should disclose what he did for this country.

This has become the worst mud-slinging campaign that I can remember. It only divides people and that is wrong. Maybe if Poole could give us some proof that he knows what he says is true — or maybe he was there.

I don't know.

Richard Hoskin

Island City

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