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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for March 2, 2011

Letters and comments for March 2, 2011

Letters and comments for March 2, 2011

Safety compromised

To the Editor:

Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen asserts that dog bites and other animal control issues are a low priority, and complaints regarding these matters are sent to the district attorney’s office. He contends that his department’s policy is similar to others throughout the state. His thoughts were shared with Joseph City Council member and law enforcement liaison Pearl Sturm, and she revealed them during a recent council meeting.

On Sept. 26, 2010, I was chased and bitten by a large dog in Joseph. I filed a complaint with the sheriff’s department, and the dog behaved viciously toward the deputy delivering my grievance, so he added his own complaint. Both were adjudicated on Jan. 3, 2011, when the dog’s owner was fined and ordered to keep the dog confined or leashed.

This dog has a history of complaints preceding mine, yet it took nearly three months to get him off of the streets, despite the existence of city ordinance 94-07, which compels authorities to impound dangerous animals. The sheriff’s department has a contract to enforce Joseph’s ordinances, but this one is ignored, even though it was enacted lawfully on behalf of those whom the sheriff’s department is sworn to protect.

What if an innocent young child had been seriously injured during this period? Why court tragedy when a mechanism exists to avert it? Things may be done differently in other parts of the state, and laws unique to this jurisdiction should be respected and enforced.

I have exhaustively tried to find a logical reason for the inaction of the sheriff’s department in these matters, but none has jumped out yet and snapped at me.

I believe that the people of Joseph deserve a satisfactory explanation for their safety being compromised.

Todd Watson


Poor stewards of tax $$

To the Editor:

I take exception to the editorial of Feb. 9, “Economic growth only way out of public funding crunch.”

The state budget is a sodden belly that can no longer be confined by nor drawn in with a belt.

The schools in the state have three strikes against them. Government is the first with its cockeyed views of how best to educate a child. The second and third being the National Education Association and the Oregon Education Association, which see to it that the rights, benefits and lifestyles of the adults around the children are met first to the tune of about 95 percent of the total budget. “It is for the children!” is the cry we hear, and I say “bull.”

The La Grande High School roof is a perfect example of deferred maintenance. It has been a problem for years with no money set aside to repair or replace it. Several years ago my wife and I identified the need for a new roof on our home. We budgeted and saved, had the roof removed and a new one installed. We do not have buckets on the floor catching water from a leaking roof in our house. If the time comes that scuba gear and fins are needed to get into the LHS library, I may vote on an option levy.

I define the problem of a leaking roof as having poor stewards of tax dollars and buildings entrusted to them by the taxpayers.

The Strategic Investment Program is set up for the short term. Fifteen years is long enough for county government to become dependent on. When it ends we will have another financial crisis that can only be corrected with higher taxes. The SIP agreement is only what falls off the sides of the money wagon leaving Union County. It is like following a potato truck down the road after harvest. In a short while the free stuff is gone.

As a newspaper, Mr. Editor, you should stick to reporting news.

Kirk Achilles

La Grande

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