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La Grande Observer Daily paper 10/24/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow APRIL 1 TOO EARLY FOR TIRE REMOVAL



It should come as no surprise that the National Weather Service would be predicting snowfall during the first week of April. As residents of Northeast Oregon know, the coming of spring in late March does not necessarily mean the exit of snow.

Forecasters predicted a 40 percent chance of snow by today in both Union and Wallowa counties. Snow also could arrive later in the week.

Who knows what the rest of April will be like? Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort is so pleased with the way the white stuff has accumulated that it is extending its skiing season through the month.

With uncertainty about just how much snow will fall in April, it seems odd that the state would require east-side residents to remove their snow tires by April 1. Were officials just fooling us on that day? Not at all. Failure to remove studded tires by the deadline carries a possible fine of $150.

Many motorists already have removed their studded tires. Local law enforcement should cool its heels for a few days in enforcing the law on the others. Some people have looked at the forecasts and are nervous about snow.

April 1 is an unrealistic deadline for studded tire removal east of the Cascades. Legislators could do the cold-side folks a favor by adopting two deadlines. April 1 could apply for Western Oregon. An April 15 or perhaps a May 1 deadline should apply to the east side. How would law enforcement keep track of who's who? Vehicles registered in Eastern Oregon could be given a sticker to place on their window or bumper showing that the later deadline applies to them.

Because of the damage studded tires do to highways, there's value in removing them in a timely fashion. But for Eastern Oregon, that time is different than for the west side.

Life of service

Some people live for family. Others commit most of their time to their jobs. A few also find ways to serve their state and their community.

Paul Walden, who died Friday in Hood River at age 85, is a person who found balance in his life. Walden, the father of 2nd District U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, was successful in the broadcasting business. La Grande was one of the stops he made working for radio stations before buying KIHR radio in Hood River in 1967. He and his wife, Betty, were married in La Grande.

But Walden's life was not just wrapped up in radio station management. He and his wife raised three sons. He served his community through the Rotary, Elks, Masons and Chamber of Commerce. He was active in his church. His political interests went well beyond his community. He served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Not everyone can wear so many hats, and wear them so well. Paul Walden stands as an inspiration for those who wish to try.


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