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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Monday, July 7



Joseph: URA should recognize stupidity

To the Editor:

To Urban Renewal Agency: Sometimes you have to see Stupidity in Action before you can recognize what you see in a mirror.

Steven J. Joseph

La Grande


Hibbert: Build the new justice center and save the shelter

To the Editor:

Building a new justice center is paramount. No one knows this better than I. Several years ago, Judge West, Judge Wasley and myself led the way in assessing the needs of the courts, other departments as well as the financial limitations of the county. This issue is very familiar to me. There is no doubt in mind that this must be a priority.

However, it defies logic to see that this great need be accomplished at the expense of destroying a $500,000 building that was built first and foremost to the specifications of the Shelter From the Storm. In addition, there will be the cost of tearing it down before a justice center is even begun. My question is: Does the county have so much money that it will destroy this half-million-dollar building and look at spending even more money to either build or retrofit another one for the shelter?

Yes, the county did receive a $2 million grant from the state to assist in building a new justice center. In my eyes, this amount is already diminished by at least half a million dollars for the loss of the existing building, the cost to destroy it and the cost of the relocation of the shelter.

When the shelter was built, it represented the commitment of county government to support those most in need. How has this need changed? It saddens the heart to know that there are people, primarily women, who desperately seek the services and safety of the shelter. To tear down the shelter in favor of building a new justice center sends the message that the needs of the unfortunate are inconsequential. It is not as though there are no other alternatives for the location of the new justice center.

I implore those who are making the decision to reconsider destroying the Shelter From the Storm building. This does not have to be a divisive issue. Building a new justice center should be one of celebration. It should not be one of sadness and angst for those who are being evicted, and it should definitely not be an issue that divides our

R. Nellie Bogue Hibbert

Former Union County commissioner, Former Union County clerk, Former 10th Judicial Trial Court clerk


Walker: Doctor has admitted to his mistakes

To the Editor:

I am feeling compelled to share an opinion of a man many know of. I think it’s unfortunate that many continue to be angry, resentful and judgmental in the case of Joel Rice, and I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight, at least from my point of view.

We can all agree, Joel included, that what he did was wrong. I can attest that from the first day since the incident, I have witnessed him remorseful and holding himself accountable for his actions. He has followed through with everything that has been put to him with no resistance throughout the process. Those who feel that he was not duly judged need to put their feelings on the system, not the man. He has simply pled his case and put himself at the mercy of the system. The system gave the consequences.

That being said, I have been humbled and blessed to work with such an amazing individual. His depth of caring and love for other people is such I aspire to. For well over 25 years he has shared this with our community, taking care of a population of humans that frankly most of us don’t have time or passion or feeling to tolerate, and thank God for his compassion. How many of our lives has he touched in one form or another with his service?

I could go on for pages about the worth of Joel Rice, but I won’t. Many view him and the situation with contempt. What truly are we to gain from this? We have a great opportunity as a community to reap the benefits of his service, not like he needed a legal motivator anyway. But also, what of our own opportunity to grow as a community and as a person? Forgiveness doesn’t equal condonement, and acceptance does not equal approval.

Joel has admitted his mistakes, and is making amends for them. How is it then that many continue to be bitter and hold another brother in contempt? And how long will some continue to hold resentment, justified or not, at the cost of our emotional well-being?

There is no going back only moving forward. We couldn’t ask for a better response from a “criminal” except to do everything our system says he must do, which is exactly what is happening.

Keith Walker

La Grande


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