Letters to the editor for Dec. 23, 2013
Become an advocate for Health Care for All Oregon
To The Editor:
I have just had the pleasure of applying for Medicare. It was a simple, easy-to-complete in less than half an hour online application. Two days later I received a follow-up phone call from a Social Security representative to verify some information and had an instant confirmation that all was well and that my Medicare coverage would begin in a timely manner.
In comparison, I note the struggle that subscribers are having with filling out Affordable Care Act applications and also note that Cover Oregon has yet to have an operable online application.
Medicare is a single-payer system without all the complications that arise when private insurance companies want their portion of the health care dollar. Until this country changes the way it finances health care, we will continue to be plagued by the complexities of a system that tries to appease the for-profit insurance companies. We will continue to be ranked by the World Health Organization near the top of the list in health care cost and near the bottom in health care outcomes.
We need to start thinking of health care as a right for all. We need to be emphasizing wellness, healthy lifestyles and preventive care.
Unfortunately all the debate and activity around the ACA, while it might be a step in the right direction, has made it even more difficult to address the real issue — that the health care system in this country needs to be changed. I urge you to join with others advocating Health Care for All Oregon. Visit the website www.hcao.org to learn more.
Laws need to be enforced without regard to favoritism
To The Editor:
Some say “Neighbors not bothered by trucking company” (The Observer, Dec. 16). However, the fact remains that a trucking company is operating in a residential zone. The rules are quite specific about what constitutes a legitimate home occupancy business. Fregulia’s trucking company clearly does not qualify.
As Mattsons and Byrons pointed out, Fregulia “provides jobs throughout the county.” Those jobs have been operating out of Fregulia’s residence. The company was operated in a commercial zone before Fregulia purchased his home on Buchanan Lane. He was then issued a building permit for a shop he claimed was for personal use. This proved untrue.
I don’t doubt that the office work is done professionally off location since this is more than a home business. However, for years the day-to-day operation of the business has taken place at the home site.
While fuel may not be delivered to the site, Jon stated at a meeting that the fuel in the trucks would act as a bomb if one were to ignite. Accidents do happen and having huge trucks parked full of fuel and driving along roads heavily used by bikers and walkers certainly increases the odds.
Due to Island City’s cozy relationship with Fregulia, Scott and Debbie Stevens were forced to document activities. Since pictures don’t lie, both the Union County commissioners and LUBA ruled this is not a legitimate home occupancy business. Still, Island City refuses to comply with those rulings.
The Stevenses have undergone unreasonable stress and financial costs in attempting to get a fair resolution. Island City should stop playing evasive games, which are costing Island City taxpayers. Laws need to be enforced without regard to favoritism.
Irresponsible driving could prove costly
To The Editor:
Everyone knows, or should now, that driving and drinking is against the law.
Also that if you have an accident, your insurance may not have to cover you.
Also using a handheld cellphone is against the law, and you may be standing alone for the same reason.
Please keep both hands on the wheel. Our children and animals are very important to us.
City needs people to step up and fill volunteer positions
To The Editor:
As the City of La Grande looks back at 2013, we see a mixture of successes and challenges. We will continue to work on both fronts and strive to do the best job possible. The city council, city staff and community members are committed to keeping La Grande the “hub” of Northeastern Oregon.
I am excited and hopeful for a robust and strengthening economy in La Grande and Union County. With the solid base of ag and timber jobs, the community would welcome other diversified industries. Our medical services are top notch, and our great Eastern Oregon University is an asset to La Grande.
Good people are needed to fill the volunteer positions of leadership for La Grande. There is an early March filing deadline for three positions on the La Grande City Council and the mayor’s position. If you have an interest in local government, please consider serving your community as an elected member of the city council. Please feel free to contact me through the office of City Recorder Sandy Lund. I would be happy to answer questions that anyone might have.
Merry Christmas to all and I wish a Happy New Year for everyone.
Mayor of La Grande