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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for August 30, 2011


Letters and comments for August 30, 2011

Letters and comments for August 30, 2011

Thanks to sheriff

To the Editor:

The city of Union has benefited immeasurably from the services of Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen. The city has saved at least $100,000 yearly by avoiding costs of funding its own police department. This has allowed the city to remain solvent the past six years. Without this savings, funding for the library, parks and city hall staff would have been drastically cut or eliminated by now. Union can thank Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen for that.

The Union City Council should consider the basic coverage provided Union County as a paid service that has been incorporated into the very low rate of $68,000 a year for policing by the sheriff. Compare that to the $140,000 we were paying our own police department for years. Don’t forget that even with our own police department, we were relying on the county’s support to make it possible to get 24-hour police coverage.

Whatever the county’s basic coverage is worth, say $50,00 per year, our annual fee to the sheriff is low. The city of Union can thank Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen for that.

Finally, Union has never been so destitute that we cannot pay our own way. We bought our own water system without government handouts, the same for our ambulance, fire trucks and sewer plant. The idea that we would not be able to pay for our own police protection, or that the county somehow owes us full coverage for our tiny annual tax contribution is not consistent with our traditions of taking responsibility for our own needs.

We should be sending Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen a big thank-you every day for his generous service to our community.

I know times are tough, but we should realize the difference between who is our friend and who owes us unpaid money.

Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen is among the best of our friends.

Willard Bertrand



Lessons from Chandler

To the Editor:

To put it bluntly, I’m mad as a wet hen over Western Communications filing for Chapter 11.

More than 50 years ago, I learned to write news stories and editorials at the knee of the tough-minded, stogey-chewing owner of The Observer, Bob Chandler, who was the founder of Western Communications.

He showed up in the editorial offices several times a month, often unaccounced, and he flew his own plane to get here. His presence filled the newsroom. I can still remember him telling then-Editor Bill Bebout how to write an editorial. Just pick any news story on the front page, he said, and start writing, remembering to be on the side of the community and never to pan a hometown production.

Today, I think he would add, and don’t try to be bigger than your britches. He may have agreed that the Bend paper needed new offices and presses, but he likely would tell the group’s publisher to leave the fancy financial footwork of the Bank of America to others.

You don’t need a fancy building to publish an award-winning newspaper anyway, he would say.

Mr. Chandler would have little sympathy for the argument that the financial world crashed in on Wescom. Plain and simple, he would tell the Bend Bulletin’s publisher and the top brass of Western Communications not to spend outrageous money to build a “flagship building’’ for the publishing group.

You are in it up to your knees guys, he would tell you, because you were so keen on image. Balderdash!

He’ll be watching you try to get out of this one.

Virginia Linkenhoker

La Grande

(UO journalism grad; part-time intern and general “gofer’’ at The Observer, 1955-58)


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