LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Friday, May 2
Alexis: Scanner traffic highlights future issues
To the Editor:
Here we go again; I was just listening to the scanner (8:40 p.m.), and a lady called in to request help from an officer because her 12-year-old daughter refused to come home from a friend’s house. A couple months ago, I sent a similar letter in regarding officer help because a 10-year-old refused to go to school.
There is a real possibility that officers will be dealing with these two on a more serious level in the future.
Reid: Barreto has long history of providing jobs
To the Editor:
There seems to be a big deal being made of the campaign contribution made by Loren Parks to the Greg Barreto campaign.
First of all, Loren Parks is a successful businessman that has a medical equipment manufacturing business in Oregon. Comments have been made that the contribution to the Barreto campaign is “out-of-state” money. Parks does live in Nevada and maintains the business in Oregon. I can only imagine that he lives in Nevada to try and avoid some of the heavy tax liability that Oregon keeps tagging on to small business.
Over the past couple of elections, Loren Parks has donated approximately $1 million to the Republican caucus and has asked for nothing in return. This information is according to Republican Sen. Larry George of Newberg.
Second, let’s do a comparison of the campaign donations that have been made to the Turner and Barreto campaigns.
Individuals: $21,060 $29,967
Businesses: $3,880 $16,000
Sub Total: $24,940 $45,967
Personal loans: $0 $36,000
Loren Parks $0 $30,000
Total $46,850 $111,967
With a $21,950 contribution from the unions and politicians to the Turner campaign ask yourself, are they doing that for nothing? Don’t think there won’t be strings attached to that money.
Greg Barreto moved to Union County 27 years ago providing jobs to the area. John Turner moved to Umatilla County 10 years ago to take a job.
Wes and Lezlie Reid
Scheele: Walden should take NRCC websites down
To the Editor:
I have written before about my disagreements with policies advocated by Congressman Greg Walden. But until now, I have not felt compelled to question his ethics.
Walden chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. He has the important task of helping elect congressional Republicans nationally. Unfortunately, Rep. Walden seems to think that dirty political tricks are a legitimate tool to achieve that goal.
Many people are regular users of the Internet — for news, information, commerce and political advocacy. But who hasn’t clicked on an item of interest only to be taken to a site for goods or services you have no interest in?
Most of us think that’s deceitful, perhaps even fraudulent, but the NRCC helmed by Rep. Walden thinks it’s a real neat trick.
The NRCC has set up at least 18 phony websites to date that seem to support Democratic candidates. They own web addresses for dozens more. The banner headlines proclaim Democrat for Congress. Donate here! But if you click to donate, the money actually goes to Republican efforts to defeat your candidate.
Is the fine print there? Sure it is. Are the website names and layouts designed to trick you? You bet they are. Enough so that the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan had this to say when filing the complaint: “Rep. Walden and the NRCC have become online scam artists, tricking people out of their campaign donations. Rep. Walden’s support for such activity violates House ethics rules.”
When an opposition party must resort to dirty tricks, I believe that means they cannot win on the merits of their positions. Rep. Walden’s use of phony, deceptive websites may not be illegal, but it is certainly unethical. It is surely a sign he doesn’t think his candidates can win on the merits.
LeBold: Baby boomers need to step to the plate
To the Editor:
We have an urgent need and, I feel, a moral obligation to become knowledgeable regarding future impacts from climate change. A reliable reference is the National Climate Assessment (2014) currently available in draft form with final version due within a month. This federally funded report provides accurate information, and using this report as a reference will aid in keeping everyone on the “same page.”
We must try to comprehend, to the best of our ability, the full range of consequences from mitigation measures that will be required in response to a rapidly changing climate. Only then can we make the necessary decisions regarding future courses of action.
We then must communicate our decisions to our elected officials; their job will be to help smooth a path in the direction we have chosen.
The decisions we make determine the amount of burden we defer to our children, grandchildren and beyond. Our decisions will also establish priority for action by officials as science predicts severe impacts could force response from current generations within the near future.
This action is timely in that, being an election year, we are able to evaluate political candidates in light of this issue. All candidates from city to federal must be committed to finding solutions that will provide us reasonable assurance of achieving our stated objectives.
I ask fellow baby boomers to use all of our acquired experience, leadership abilities and resources to begin an immediate and robust dialogue on this issue. There are solutions but we need to make choices.
Hopkins: Identify our commissioners by party
To the Editor:
I have been following the arguments made by the Union County Citizens for Good Government. Labels are funny, aren’t they? Now, if I don’t agree as they do, then I guess I believe in bad government. I don’t think so. The issue as to whether our county commissioners should be elected as nonpartisan or have no party affiliation. On the surface this sounds good. However, my good government would allow my fellow citizens to state their beliefs on a variety of issues from a balanced budget to the right to bear arms. Then they would find a group of folks to support them. Oh, that’s bad. That’s a party. Well, we are back where we started.
One thing is for sure. In spite of what these “good government” people say, everyone is entitled to vote in the primary. Get your candidates on the ballot, knock on doors and vote for them.
I support the notion that we continue to identify our commissioners by party. At least I can be reasonably assured how they will vote on the issues that concern me. Maybe that is good government.
Evoy: Don’t let Union County bully La Grande
To the Editor:
There are members of the community who voiced concern at the April 16 La Grande City Council meeting about the proposed vacation of K Avenue to accommodate the county’s plan to relocate the Union County courthouse. The Observer neglected to report that input.
One citizen raised concern about the changing nature of a through street with a parking lot within it.
Another voiced concern had to do with the need for a traffic flow and safety impact study to be done by a licensed traffic engineer. Data regarding the amount of traffic in the area, particularly around La Grande Middle School, was presented. Also of note is the likelihood that L Avenue will see increased use. L Avenue has one-way turns out of the street at both Fifth and Sixth streets, as well as restricted access onto L Avenue from Sixth Street due to lack of visibility at the top of the hill.
It is in the best interest of the City of La Grande to have information regarding this matter provided by a traffic professional. This evaluation should be completed prior to a vote to vacate a highly trafficked roadway, allowing city councilors detail needed to make an informed decision.
The proposal to relocate the courthouse has been put forth with little consideration for long-term impacts on the Union County community. Vacating K Avenue must not join the list.
Don’t let Union County bully the City of La Grande into dismissing the need for a traffic impact study.
Tate: Greg Barreto is the clear choice
To the Editor:
There is a clear choice for state representative in House District 58 and that choice is Greg Barreto.
Greg is a proven businessman who started his business 30 years ago and has been through the ups and downs that many businesses face and has continued to be successful employing many Union County residents. Greg is a hard worker in all that he does, and Oregon needs a business person in Salem that knows what it takes for economic growth and jobs and Greg will make a positive change in Salem for all Oregonians.
Greg has been very generous to our community. We have known the Barreto family for many years and Greg is a good family man who supports his wife, children and grandchildren in many ways. We find in him integrity and a common honesty that you don’t see in many politicians. Vote for Greg Barreto and you will not be disappointed.
Gary and Carol Tate
Garlitz: Clarification needed for ballot measure
To the Editor:
In the primary election on May 20, the City of Elgin has a proposed charter change on the ballot. Nowhere in the caption, the question or the summary is there any mention that the charter currently requires the recorder/administrator to be elected by the voters of Elgin.
The question on the ballot is: “Shall the City Recorder/Administrator be appointed by the City Council?” There is no explanation on the ballot as to nature of the change being proposed.
It is important the voters know that a yes vote will make the city recorder/administrator an appointed officer of the city council.
A no vote retains the office as an elected position subject to the voters.
While I have my own thoughts as to this question, this letter is presented to provide a clarification that is lacking on the ballot.
Brasure: Grant would be a mistake for city
To the Editor:
How many people are wondering why a successful grocery store owner from Joseph would want to move to La Grande? Maybe a bigger look should be done in Joseph.
How many mom and pop stores in Joseph have closed down because of the Mt. Joseph Family Food?
Mt. Joseph Family Foods is the only integral part of the town, because there is no else doing business in Joseph.
Now, Al Adelsberger is getting Troy Berglund to plea about how great Mr. Adelsberger is.
Mt. Joseph Family Foods made $2.3 million, why should Mr. Adelsberger and his wonder team ask for $500,000? He hasn’t even completed the Market Place. How long before the Market Place Family Foods shuts down Nature’s Pantry? And every small business in downtown?
What about Saturday Market? Will it go away? And storing all that food downstairs where cars were stored with all the gas, oil and whatever else was stored down there.
The city council needs to reread the Urban Renewal Agency guidelines or does the URA just blow off its own guidelines? Guess so.
People of La Grande, go to the council meeting May 7 and voice your opinion for or against or just let this person walk all over you and the City of La Grande.
There is no proof it is even going to work just big talk.
This is a big mistake for the City of La Grande to make, and I hope the council denies the request for this project.
Leonard: Barreto will be good representative
To the Editor:
I am Greg Barreto’s daughter and I would like to share with you some thoughts I have on a recent question I saw in regard to my father’s candidacy for House District 58.
I read a letter asking why a business person would make a better leader than someone in public service. The writer suggested that because a businessman seeks to make a profit, he wouldn’t be able to fight for providing public services at the lowest cost. I believe the opposite is true.
Have you ever seen someone in public service fund payroll with a personal credit card when times were tough? Have you ever seen them sign guarantees for their vendors agreeing to be personally responsible to pay out of their own checkbook if the business isn’t doing well? Have you seen them pay COBRA premiums so employees could keep their medical insurance when business dropped 70 percent and those employees were laid off or had their hours reduced? I have. My father has done all of these things. Owning a business means sacrifice. You always look for the lowest cost, make the hard calls and look at challenges with a critical eye. Your priority is to be sustainable by getting things accomplished as efficiently as possible.
There is vicious cycle in the public sector of attempting to fix problems with more money. Why do we always see bond measures on the ballot? Or “minor” tax and fee increases? Or we’re told that it “will only affect a few people, but it won’t affect you.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. These taxes add up for both the individuals and the businesses of Oregon. Measures 66 and 67 were supported by my father’s opponent. Because of the passing of these measures, our company and many others paid thousands of dollars in extra taxes in a year when we not only had a significant loss, but we were fighting to keep on even 30 percent of our workforce. You can’t say that these decisions don’t affect everyone.
Vote for the man who practices what he preaches.
George: Elections have consequences
To the Editor:
I would like to introduce you to a congressional representative that’s currently up for election. This candidate will work collaboratively to increase wilderness areas, will allow all Oregon national forests in his district to operate under the “closed forest system” of the USFS Travel Management Rule, and will champion the concept of working in “collaborative groups” with environmentalists to negotiate away access to our mountains in trade for possible future timber cuts.
This candidate will hire staffers that will not return correspondence from constituents, will not attend meetings that are perceived as “boring” and make commitments to addressing issues without ever reporting back on findings of said meetings.
Sounds like a great choice, don’t it? A vote for Greg Walden will get you that candidate. If you are an active user of your forest, either subsistence or recreation, please realize Walden is not the candidate for you. In Greg’s tenure as our U.S. representative, he has systematically allowed the U.S. Forest Service to lock us out of our public lands, and has lifted but a very light hand to address the issue. Greg has been our representative for 15 years, and 10 out of the 12 national forests in his district are now “closed forests.”
If Greg is unwilling to truly tackle this issue, it’s time we find someone that is. I will be voting for Dennis Linthicum for representative this year. I ask that you do the same.
Hargrove: Endorsement not something to brag about
To the Editor:
Just to introduce myself, I’m Brittany Hargrove and I’m a sophomore at EOU majoring in communication — not to mention a staunch conservative Republican.
No matter where I look, it seems like John Turner has been proudly touting his endorsement by the EOU Republicans. Whether it’s in his promotional material that he has sent via mail or on his campaign website, Turner is milking the club’s endorsement for everything it’s worth. However, I’m here to say that as a Republican, I would be ashamed to accept such an endorsement.
Last year, I went to join the EOU Republicans and I was absolutely aghast at what I found. When I went to the meeting — my first and last, I might add — I was informed that the group had recently changed the club’s bylaws, making the organization “inclusive” for students from all parties. Very few, if any, of the members are actually Republicans. In other words, the club is a fake. I don’t think it has any right to bear the title “Republican.”
Instead of finding commonality and support from like-minded conservatives at the meeting, I found myself being grilled by the liberal members. They questioned me about why I chose to become a Republican, and why I believe in the sanctity of marriage and condemn abortion.
If this is the type of endorsement that Turner is receiving and flaunting, it makes me question just how conservative he really is. Come election time, I, for one, will be casting my vote for Greg Barreto, who has proved his allegiance to the Republican party. He has the experience, values, and character that Oregon HD 58 needs.