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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 09/17/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow DOLLAR-A-MONTH GOOD FOR SENIORS

DOLLAR-A-MONTH GOOD FOR SENIORS

How much good can a dollar a month do for a senior citizen? Steve Rzonca of The Rock Bowling and Fun Center is finding out through a program he initiated with the help of his employees.

The 45 people who work at The Rock contribute $1 a month to help a senior who Frank Thomas of Community Connection has identified as "falling through the cracks" of state-provided services. The bowling center matches that amount and a total of $90 is contributed to the senior, who is anonymous.

Many low-income seniors have lost their Oregon Health Plan and other benefits and are struggling to maintain their health as they choose between buying prescriptions or buying food.

Thomas has developed a list of elderly people who could use some help. He and Rzonca are hoping that the "dollar for a senior" idea catches on with other businesses and their employees. There are many worthwhile local things to donate to in Union County, and people should continue to contribute to things like the United Way. But the dollar-a-month idea has merit and other businesses should consider adopting it.

A large organization, such as the hospital or university that employs several hundred people, could potentially help several seniors if each employee gave $1 and that amount was matched by the institution.

We probably won't see a growth in state spending for seniors or restoration of Oregon Health Plan benefits anytime soon. Meanwhile, it's good to see what can occur when people in a community take the initiative to meet local needs. Rzonca's idea is worth pursuing.

Approve apartment

Union County commissioners are debating just how big an apartment should be at the Union County Airport Industrial Park. A residence normally is not allowed in an industrial zone for obvious reasons. Housing and industrial uses often are incompatible.

But Roy Hanan, who owns Eagle Cap Aviation, wants to maintain an apartment in one of his buildings for security purposes. The person living in the unit can keep an eye on the grounds, making sure no one is trespassing, stealing or destroying something.

The request to the county is not unreasonable. County Planner Hanley Jenkins has suggested the apartment be restricted to 750 square feet, but Commissioners John Lamoreau and Steve McClure would like it even smaller, perhaps of studio-apartment size.

Eagle Cap should not be allowed to have a large, family-size dwelling. But the 750-square- foot maximum is not out of line. An apartment of that size could allow for a kitchen, living room, a bedroom and bath. The plan is reasonable and should be approved.

 
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