January 02, 2002 11:00 pm

Open your heart to pets

To the Editor:

Since the Sept. 11 tragedy, there has been a tremendous outpouring of donations to charities for terrorist attack victims and their families. A recent report was that it exceeded $1.4 billion.

Unfortunately, the shift in donated dollars along with the stock market downturn has resulted in fewer donations to many if not all of the local non-profit charities. Especially hard-hit has been the animal-welfare organizations that care for or assist with lost, homeless, abused and neglected pets that are totally dependent on human care throughout the year.

In this season of giving and sharing, please consider helping the animals by donating money, food and much needed supplies. Open your heart and home by adopting a loving pet, spay and neuter your pet to prevent more unwanted animals, volunteer your time or services to the animal shelter and consider long-term support through your will or bequest.

Also, for lovers of the blues, bluegrass and folk music, dont forget Saturdays Animal Benefit Concert at Thirstys Bar and Grill for a full evening of entertainment. All proceeds from the cover charge will be donated to animal care at the Louise McNeely Animal Shelter.

To adopt a pet, make a donation, or to get more information, visit the animal shelter at 3212 Highway 30, or call the Blue Mountain Humane Association at 963-0807. For information on planning for long-term animal welfare assistance through your will or bequest, call the PAWS Society at 962-7864.

The PAWS Society is a tax-deductible charitable foundation.

Jerry Gildemeister

PAWS president

La Grande

Bennett shows integrity

To the Editor:

I have known Shari Bennett for a number of years. We worked together for many of them as members of the La Grande School Board.

Throughout this time and for the years that have followed she has earned my respect and gratitude. There is no one I know who has given more of her time and her kindness to this community. She is a woman of uncompromising integrity. I stand by her and will trust her with those who are most important to me.

J. Monk Kalemba

La Grande

Great for street dance

To the Editor:

In my opinion the old Safeway building would be a good location for the library, preferably a county library.

If the building isnt large enough, instead of tearing it down, it could be added on to. There is enough parking area that more building could be added. Maybe the city could move its offices from the antiquated building that they are in now over there also.

The old Safeway would be a good location with Max Square there. Instead of closing off a street in the middle of town in the summer to have a party or dance, they could have them in that area and just close off that portion of Fourth Street.

Ken Smart

La Grande

Compulsive gamblers find outlets

To the Editor:

The Oregon Legislature has a long history of sending mixed messages to Oregons residents when it comes to gambling.

One of their first major steps in injecting their moralities on the people was to make the slot machines and other pay-off machines illegal.

This was followed by the Oregon Lottery system, which was deemed necessary to offset declining tax revenues. This seemed to send the message that it is all right to be an addictive gambler if you are helping balance the state budget.

To add greater confusion, the governor and Legislature have now allowed numerous gambling establishments on several Indian reservations throughout the state so that the compulsive gambler can maintain his addictive habits with a minimum effort. To let the Indians take in gambling money without paying some type of tax back to the state adds to the confusion.

In my opinion we should be consistent. We should either legalize all gambling in the state and let the taxes beef up our dwindling revenue sources, or we should stop all gambling, including the lottery and the Indian gambling establishments.

If we did go with the first option, we would at least be getting taxes off the types of gambling devices that one can now enjoy on the Indian reservations.

Harlan Scott


Bennett outstanding parent

To the Editor:

I have always faithfully read the editorial pages of The Oregonian and The Observer, but not contributed. Now I must express my personal feelings for school board member Shari Bennett.

I just want to say that the Shari Bennett I know is a person I have admired since she first came to our neighborhood. She is a trusted friend, a willing and eager-to-help neighbor and an outstanding parent. She and her husband, Jim, have raised their children to be admired because they represent the best of American youth today. I like the lady and think she is a really good person.

Betty Ragsdale

La Grande

Back siting plan for new library

To the Editor:

Id like to add my support to building the new library at the old Safeway site.

ODS, the mayor, the city council and the city manager are working together to finally deliver our much-needed library.

So get behind them. Ask what you can do, or who you can call to expedite this dream.

Have questions?

Call members of the library commission, the city library staff or Wes Hare, city manager.

Sally J. Smith

La Grande

Using designated driver makes sense

To the Editor:

As the new year approaches, theres no better time for resolutions to drink responsibly and remember the basic rules of traffic safety. One of these rules is to use a designated driver when enjoying an event that involves alcohol drinks.

Federal government statistics show that the number of drunk-driving deaths has decreased by more than a third since 1982 and by 54 percent here in Oregon. Further, a recent nationwide poll shows that more than nine out of 10 American adults believe designated drivers have been a factor in this decline. Maybe thats why the poll also shows that nine out of 10 adults think being or using a designated driver is a terrific new years resolution.

Wed like to recommend a new and exciting Web site, www.designateddriver.com where adults can get information, win prizes and send an electronic thank-you card to their designated drivers.

Best wishes for a safe and happy New Year.

Joel and Gayle Knight

Sno-Cap Distributors

La Grande

Lets all stand up for freedom

To the Editor:

I and many other Scout leaders agree that the Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ruled a little on the wrong side of life. Scouts or leaders have never disturbed any school time studies, nor have they done anything to force the scouting program on anybody that did not want to be a part of it.

Judge Ellen Rosenblum must have been enticed to go with the views of just one parent and child in some manner or other. That in itself is very wrong. One mother, and a son who has been influenced by her, are not enough to change the way the school system allows recruitment on school time.

Scouting has done more for the youth of this nation than any other program in helping them learn life and the things that might be important to them in their future. Boys in the program who go on to earn the Eagle award learn leadership skills and get a sample of many things that will help them decide on a future line of employment.

Too many people like this mother have been allowed to influence the systems of this nation to the effect that many areas of our freedom have been jeopardized. Lets all stand up for the freedom that will allow us to enjoy the American way. I am a Cub Scout leader and proud of my more than 25 years of association with the Scout program.

Jim Nelson

La Grande

Make buck or go out of business

To the Editor:

We are asked by the politicians in power to support an economic stimulus package to get us out of the recession.

However, neither the politicians nor the press have ever provided us the slightest inkling of just what is contained in this package. We are never realistically advised as to how this package is going to feed our hungry or put our people back to work.

With considerable reading, radio listening or TV watching, we learn that a few items are included:

$2 million for the Oregon Groundfish Outreach Program.

$850,000 for Chesapeake Bay oyster research.

$6 million for the National Infrastructure Institute in Portsmouth, N.H.

$10 million to assist producers of buffalo meat.

$204 million for the Advanced Technology Program, whatever that is.

$69.9 billion for farm programs, little of which benefits family farms.

$101 million for honey producers.

$202 million for the mohair program.

$37.1 billion in counter-cyclical assistance, whatever that is.

$3.48 billion for peanut farmers.

These are only a very few items that I learned about casually. Over and above, we remember the $15 billion handed out to the airlines whose CEOs got high pay for running them into bankruptcy. This is expected to rise to $17 billion.

No, it was not caused by Sept. 11.

It comes to my attention that Congress is considering $90 billion more for these poor fellows.

One wonders, is this pork spending just another ruse to deep-six campaign finance reform? Perhaps we should tell Congress, just as they told the national rail passenger service Amtrak to make a buck or go out of business.

David Arnott