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The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters are limited to 350 words and must be signed and carry the author’s address and phone number (for verification purposes only).

We edit letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish poetry, consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged.

Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks.

Email your letters to news@lagrandeobserver.com or mail them to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850.

My Voice

My Voice columns should be 500 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships.

We edit submissions for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We reject those published elsewhere.

Send columns to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850, fax them to 541-963-7804 or email them to acutler@lagrandeobserver.com.

Gove: Many reasons not to use rock salt on roads

To the Editor:

The Oregon Legislature passed HB2017, giving ODOT a green light to use rock salt on Interstate 84.

Will ODOT be ensuring the EPA recommendation of chloride concentration in our water always remains below 230 milligrams per liter measured over the course of four days?

Salt can melt five times as much ice at 30 degrees F as it can at 20 degrees F. Will ODOT be using truck-mounted sensors to correlate the correct mix for application?

When salt splashes off the roadway, does it damage trees and vegetation as far as 650 feet away?

As salt accumulates alongside the highway forming artificial salt licks, they will attract deer and elk. Do you think the numbers of road kill is going to increase in these game animals?

How does rock salt on the highway impact water quality as it washes into our lakes and streams or seeps into our groundwater supply? How difficult will it be to remove this contamination and at what cost? This contamination will harm aquatic plants and animals. Changes in the salinity of pond or lake water affects the way water mixes as seasons change. This can form salty pockets near the bottoms and create biological dead zones.

Salty water makes for salty wells. Hard for folks on salt-restricted diets. Salty well water just tastes bad generally. Rock salt on the highway can damage bridges, railroads and other public transportation infrastructures.

One teaspoon of salt in 5 gallons of water will permanently pollute the water. Do you think ODOT plans to use more than a few teaspoons of rock salt on our highway?

Salt will poison birds and reduce the local bird population.

Rock salt on our highway? Are we going to stand for ODOT and the west side bureaucrats’ destruction of our environment so they don’t have to learn winter driving skills like we do?

My state representative is Greg Barreto. He voted to oppose this travesty in Eastern Oregon. I am opposed to it also. Let’s work together see ​HB2017 ​invalidated and perhaps replace some of the management at ODOT.

Michael A. Gove

La Grande

McCracken: Little Red Riding Hood was wrong

To the Editor:

The wolf shot and killed near Starkey Experimental Station Nov. 2 deserved a thorough investigation before Union County’s DA gave the story any credence. The hunter’s claim of self-defense goes against all science regarding wolf behavior in North America. These facts should have triggered serious skepticism and a thorough investigation before conclusions were drawn.

Giving this hunter what appears to be a “pass” sends the wrong message to everyone. Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs were wrong. Now that wolves are being given a second chance around the West, there is a need to educate the public, not perpetuate false fears.

The greatest danger to human safety during hunting season is hunters themselves. There are numerous incidents annually of hunters killing or injuring themselves or innocent bystanders. The Starkey wolf was as innocent as the woman in Maine shot and killed Nov. 3 by a hunter while walking on her own property.

The hunter’s story about being attacked by a wolf must be rescinded and replaced with factual, scientific information about wolf and human interactions. In nature, wolves do not attack humans.

The wolf situation is rough enough with rancher issues about predation. This shooting must be readdressed to bring some truth and justice to this tragic killing.

Mary McCracken

La Grande

Ebbert: Real Republicans cannot support phony tax bill

To the Editor:

Attention Republican Congress:

Wow, you really did it. You approved that phony tax bill.

It may have been crafted by registered Republicans, but it is obviously not a Republican agenda.

1. It puts the nation $1.7 trillion dollars deeper in debt. Even though the Republican platform states: “We must impose firm caps on future debt, accelerate the repayment of the trillions we now owe in order to reaffirm our principles of responsible and limited government, and remove the burdens we are placing on future generations.” Our debt already consumes $252 billion of interest annually. These are tax dollars that could be used for our failing infrastructure, assistance in natural disasters or any of many programs that contribute to the economy.

2. The top 1 percent of earners will receive 48 percent of the tax cuts over 10 years (LA Times). The Republican platform is clear: “We oppose tax policies that deliberately divide Americans or promote class warfare.” This is the definition of divisive.

3. This tax bill is being paid for by ignoring deteriorating roads and bridges, traffic gridlock, and defunding domestic programs such as health, education and environment protection.

4. This platform was crafted and approved by Republican representatives of the nation, not by Congress, and you were elected to represent the nation. Do you really think voters will not be aware of this and take action to remove you from office and repeal this bill? The next election is closer than you think.

This is not a bill real Republicans can support.

David Ebbert

Enterprise

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