October 29, 2001 11:00 pm

Most of the news of late has been bad. The United States is at war with terrorism and some areas of the country are suffering economically, with thousands of people losing their jobs. But there is at least a shred of good news these days . The price of gasoline is continuing to fall.

Although Oregon motorists are paying the third-highest average price for gas in the country, the statewide average is $1.61 a gallon, according to last weeks survey of Oregons metro markets by Oregon AAA. The state average seems like a lot when compared to the national average of $1.28, but its a far cry from the $1.81 Oregonians were paying a year ago.

Locally, we can be glad that the prices we pay are comparable to the state average, especially considering the fact the survey includes only metro areas. The average prices in Portland and Eugene exceed ours.

The frustrating thing is that for some reason the oil companies see Oregon as an outpost similar to Hawaii and Alaska, where the prices average $1.94 and $1.65. Oregon has the highest prices in the continental United States, but the West as a whole pays a lot more for gas than other parts of the country. While Oregon is at $1.61, Washington is at $1.58, Idaho at $1.55, California at $1.55. In Oklahoma, the average is $1.12. In Indiana, its $1.13 numbers that help pull the nationwide average to $1.28.

Although we can take heart that our prices arent where they were a year ago and that locally were on par with the state, the disparity between Oregons gasoline prices and the national average is growing. A year ago Oregons average price was 24 cents greater than the national average. Today it is 33 cents more.

Our congressional representatives must work to close this gap. But for now lets be glad that at least the price of one thing is less than it was a year ago.


If ever there was a time to show our appreciation for veterans, this is the year. As we rally around the flag with our renewed sense of patriotism, we should pay honor to the folks who have helped ensure that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms that we have.

The Union County Veterans Council is seeking participants for Union Countys annual Veterans Day Parade. Any individual or group who would like to participate is encouraged to join in. And those who choose not to march in the parade are encouraged to show up and salute our veterans.

The parade will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day. The parade will assemble at 10 a.m. at Hemlock and Washington, between Globe Furniture and Lynch Motors. The parade will head down Adams Avenue at 11 a.m.

Put it on your calendar. We should all get out and salute our veterans on Nov. 10.