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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CANDIDATES TONIGHT

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CANDIDATES TONIGHT

The cooler temperatures and changing colors in the trees show that the summer of 2002 has quickly become history. As October arrives, people are shifting gears from thinking about vacations and warm nights on the deck to the fall political season.

BALLOTS WILL be showing up in the mail in a couple of weeks for the Nov. 5 election. Area residents will be deciding whom they will support for their city councils or the county commission. They'll also be electing state and U.S. representatives, a new governor for Oregon and a U.S. senator.

Area residents should take advantage of the candidates' forum that is being held at 7 tonight at the La Grande Middle School commons. Nine of the 10 candidates for La Grande's council will be there, along with Democrat John Howard, who is seeking re-election to the Union County Commission, and Howard's Republican challenger John Lamoreau.

UNFORTUNATELY the candidates for governor and U.S. senator will not be at the forum, but Peter Buckley, a Jackson County Democrat running for Rep. Greg Walden's position in the U.S. House, will be sharing his ideas at the forum, sponsored by the American Association of University Women, the Republican and Democratic county committees and the Blue Mountain Forum.

Tear yourself away from the dinner table a little early, and check out the candidates' persuasive skills, personalities and the way they handle the issues and the other candidates. The discussion could turn out to be more intriguing and enlightening than tonight's lineup of network television programs.

DON"T IGNORE TEENS

New research indicates that more than half of the teens who have had sex had it at their home or their partner's home. The same study, by researchers at Child Trends and based on a national survey that has tracked 8,000 teens since 1997, reports that a third of the young people had sexual intercourse by the time they entered the ninth grade. That number rises to 60 percent by their senior year.

SOME PARENTS may find these numbers alarming, and may be grasping at ways to encourage abstinence. It's no big secret that parents need to be involved with their kids. They need to know what they're doing, know who they're hanging out with. They should set reasonable boundaries and be firm in enforcing them. Parents should be candid in sharing their fears and expectations with their kids.

Teens want their independence, and while it's good to let them roam free at times, it's important for parents to play a role in their lives, even if it means walking into their bedrooms just about any time of the day or night — for a short chat. You might want to knock first.

 
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