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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for April 20, 2011


Letters and comments for April 20, 2011

Letters and comments for April 20, 2011

Let’s fix the roof

To the Editor:

How long are we going to let the school roof rot? We can replace the roof, levy or no.

There are complications: people have to evaluate the roof as it exists, estimate cost of making the architectural changes for a roof less susceptible to leaking, perhaps volunteer for some of the reconstruction and actual roofing. If there are no architects, contractors, roofers in La Grande to give the school district bids, then the district must ask for referrals from the college, city and other entities that have been involved in large building projects.

What actually needs to be done to the high school roof, no one knows. Further, there is no school district employee who can make that judgment alone, or whose primary job it is even to find the people who could make the determination. What good will a levy do toward covering unknown costs for a job no one has agreed to tackle?

One thing is certain: the cost of a new roof will be less than the cost of a new school building. Another thing is likely: the sooner the roof is replaced, the less it will cost.

When the people of La Grande want something strongly enough, they accomplish it. Isn’t an intact roof for the high school as important, at least, as a replaced park pavilion?

We must get busy now, and not depend on a levy. Money does not seem like a major obstacle, but we have to organize as if it were. Who will take responsibility for accepting donations? Who will coordinate an auction and yard sales? A worthy Eagle Scout project beckons. Let’s set a goal for a completed new roof by the start of the 2011-12 school year.

Wanda Wixom

La Grande

Need care center

To the Editor:

Wallowa County voters are making one of the most important votes they’ll have to cast in years.

Voters should be sure they are clear on five facts.

1. A yes vote for Measure 32-33 will not increase property taxes.

The levy for the current care center is expiring, and a new levy, if approved, will actually be a few cents less per $1,000 of assessed value on your property.

2. The present care center cannot remain open. If the measure fails, the center closes on June 30.

Closure will cost Wallowa County 45 paying jobs (for neighbors, friends, family members). Current residents, most of whom are someone’s spouse or grandparent, will have to be moved outside of the county. Family members will be several hours away — no dropping by for a quick visit with a spouse, or lunch with Grandma on a break from work.

3. The present care center cannot be remodeled or upgraded.

The building has asbestos throughout. The plain fact is the present facility has outlived its useful life.

4. If Measure 32-33 passes, the present care center will remain open until the new one is built.

Remaining open will avoid disruption in the lives of the elderly residents that will happen for sure if the levy fails.

5. The new care center will be constructed with facilities for those with memory-related problems.

As the population ages, Alzheimer’s and dementia are becoming increasingly prevalent. Currently there are very few accommodations (and those private) for such patients. Many have to leave the county.

Why are these facts important, even to voters not yet needing a care center? Because the day is coming when you -— or someone in your family -— will need that center.

A yes vote on Measure 32-33 is a commitment to the future, and a statement that Wallowa County, which has a pioneer history of taking care of its own, will continue to do so.

Dan and Jan Blair



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