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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the editor for February 3, 2014


Letters to the editor for February 3, 2014

New health care system helping those in need

To the Editor:

There has been a lot of talk about the new health care people are getting now that ObamaCare is with us. The critics say that people will be “overconsuming” health services. However, I know a young person who has had an ongoing health issue for more than a year. As of the first of this year, he will be able to afford to get it attended to.

This isn’t “overconsumption.” This is a correct use of community resources to get somebody back on his feet again. It does our community good to make people whole enough so they can walk properly, work and contribute to the community.

Don’t listen to the critics. Good people help their neighbors. That’s what is going on with the new health care system. I hope the studies that will inevitably be done on our new health care system will take this into account and our politicians will understand this.

Ira Cohen


People need to be safe when traveling in the backcountry

To the Editor:

In response to the article about “Locals escape avalanche scare” that appeared in The Observer and Baker City Herald on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.

Yes, they are lucky to be alive. I wasn’t there, but in reading the article the only training it suggested that the group had, was many years of snowmobiling and that all were backcountry winter users. 

All backcountry users need to attend avalanche awareness presentations, or Avalanche training Level I, II or III courses, which are given by many organizations. 

These presentations and training provide the following information:

• Safe travel routes

• Snowpack evaluations

• Social habits and makeup of groups

• Avalanche beacons and use

• Avalanche shovels and use

• Avalanche probe poles and use

• Shovel technique for rescue

• Self rescue in an avalanche

Each individual backcountry traveler whether it is by snowmobile, backcountry skis or snowshoes should carry beacons, shovels and probe poles and have the training to know how to use them. 

A backcountry traveler should be trained to identify the dangers of avalanche and how to self rescue and be safe. No matter how you travel in the backcountry in the winter, you need the right equipment to take care of you and your partners. 

There are many organizations that can provide avalanche training and awareness. A few of those organizations are American Avalanche Association, National Ski Patrol and Wallowa Avalanche Center.

Please be safe when traveling in the backcountry. Remember, each individual in a backcountry party must have the training and proper equipment to rescue each other when an avalanche occurs. 

Mike Gooderham

Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol member

Northeast Oreon community needs Dr. Joel Rice

To the Editor:

Dr. Joel Rice needs our support and forgiveness at this critical time. It is paramount to the people who depend on him every day as it is to our community, because the people who depend on him for daily help also influence our quality of life, whether directly or indirectly.

Addiction is a terrible way to live. It might be compared to a broken bone, only this is a broken life. The bone cannot mend without proper setting and support until the body can heal it. The addict must agree to be “set straight” and receive the appropriate support to achieve this life-saving goal. Dr. Rice’s recovery program offers this training and support.

Take this program and his leadership from our community and we will all feel the consequences. Our jail is already inadequate.

I do not condone his killing of the cattle or the methods he used. My sympathies are for agriculture. We can’t undo the suffering of the cattle. The owners seem to have been adequately reimbursed.

The person prosecuting the case seems to be more interested in setting the wrong precedent in regard to animal cruelty than doing the best thing for people.

Surely, we can somehow achieve appropriate justice in the matter without destroying a man’s life as well as the many, many people he can help.

Kay Heitz


Scanner traffic highlights problems in our society

To the Editor:

My wife and I listen to our scanner occasionally, especially  when the weather is affecting road and travel.  

Imagine our surprise Wednesday morning about 8 a.m. when the 
La Grande Police Department received a call from the mother of a 10-year-old who was refusing to go to school. She wanted an officer to come to encourage her son to get to school. 

We are in our 70s, both of us with teaching backgrounds. We would not accept this kind of stupidity from young parents. I guarantee this boy’s behavior will spell trouble in the future.


Fred Alexis

La Grande


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