March 05, 2002 11:00 pm

Accusations narrow-minded

To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to David Picketts letter Saturday on hunters.

Being a resident of La Grande for more than 30 years, I found his accusations of murderer to be extremely insulting, narrow-minded, uninformed and dangerous.

Not only is Mr. Pickett obviously a vegetarian, he seems to have a lot of the same traits as Osama bin Laden.

He has no concept of the real world around him and no respect for the lifestyle or choices of other people. He does not have the ability to realize that there are opinions, other than his own, that are important to a healthy society.

If Mr. Pickett had taken the time to know the definition of murder he would know it means unlawfully killing of another human being. What part of this doesnt he understand? Also the same word can mean to slaughter wantonly. I will admit this does take place by a few criminals. But we as honest, law-abiding hunters are looking for them and will prosecute if we catch them.

We consume what we harvest because we enjoy the taste of the wild game that our tax dollars and hunting and fishing license fees pay for. I could explain several other things that make this sport enjoyable, all of which are much more imporant than the kill but he wouldnt understand..

Mr. Picketts attack on our lifestyle, our intelligence and our rights just shows us one of two things. Either he is just very misinformed and really doesnt care that others have a right to do what he doesnt agree with, or he is an extremist.

If he is unhappy here, I will be among the several thousands he attacked and insulted who would be happy to help him pack.

Don McClure, member


Island City

Insulting, insane comparison

To the Editor:

I am compelled to respond to David Picketts Feb. 9 letter.

Mr. Pickett appears to be well-educated if judged by his use of the English language. However, he illustrated a lack of intelligence by his correlation between an idiot that runs over someones pet and hunters. In addition, to compare a large populace of our community to Jeffery Dahmer is insulting and absolutely insane.

A fact Mr. Pickett fails to recognize is the monetary support that wildlife receives by us sadistic killers. I am sure he enjoys the benefits of seeing wildlife and should thank the organizations that support and fund wildlife conservation, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the National Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, the Oregon Hunters Association and Ducks Unlimited just to mention a few.

Also, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife depends on the revenues created through hunting tags and licenses to fund their conservation efforts and wildlife programs. The revenue infused into our economy by hunters is essential to many of our local merchants and these same local merchants are also the individuals that support our tax base and community infrastructure.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, their opinion should represent true facts and not a self-serving agenda as Mr. Picketts. I believe he is the one who should receive serious psychiatric counseling to determine why he has such prejudicial misguided judgments regarding the role hunters play in wildlife conservation, policies, and society. His opinion regarding hunters exemplifies a complete lack of knowledge and irresponsible thinking.

Mark Girard

La Grande

At top of food chain

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the letter Saturday written by David Pickett.

Mr. Pickett, I respect your constitutional right to voice your opinion. However, when you compare people to Jeffery Dahmer because they hunt and eat what they kill, you have crossed the line. The vast majority of hunters do not go out and shoot everything in their path as you have accused us of doing. I will say that there are culls in the hunting society that do things that disgust law-abiding, ethical hunters.

You have stated that deer and elk hunters practice the savage ritual of sport killing. If you have spent any time in the outdoors or nature, you would know that a lot of creatures are killed in order for another to survive. Whether you want to recognize it or not, death sustains life. And that is something that the human race did not conjure up. But I do believe that we as humans were meant to be at the top of the food chain.

I, as a hunter and conservationist, do not hunt and kill to eliminate and destroy the species I hunt. In fact, it is the complete opposite. I will not take the time to explain this, as you, Mr. Pickett, obviously do not care or understand.

Mr. Pickett, I respect your right to voice your opinion even if I seriously disagree, but when you make morbid comparisons, it is beyond my limit of acceptance.

Jim Brown

La Grande

Non-smokers have rights

To the Editor:

Regarding the front-page article in The Observer on Feb. 5 on a poll showing two-thirds of the people agreeing to a 50-cent increase in the cost of cigarettes, they apparently did not talk to people who smoke; they would never have agreed to something like that.

Why dont they agree to something that would be fair to everyone like a sales tax on everything but grocery items? There are a lot of people and all over Oregon who smoke cigarettes.

We are slowly and surely having our right taken away from us. It is not a crime to smoke cigarettes. Non-smokers have all the rights now. Restaurants had smoking and non-smoking sections which worked for both.

Some of our restaurants may have to go out of business because of the new law. Is it fair to them? Dont the people in government have anything better to do here in Oregon, like agree on something that is fair to everyone concerned, not just smokers. Its called discrimination.

LaRae Spencer

La Grande

Railroad ownership looks costly

To the Editor:

I read the letter from Larry Berg in the Feb. 2 Observer and the letter from Ray Burgett on Feb. 1 regarding the railroad that Wallowa and Union counties want to buy.

I have no ax to grind either way, but I do have some questions about buying the railroad. After and if they buy it, how much is the engine?

How much are the railroad cars? Who replaces all the ties? What about the bridges? Who buys the fuel for the engine? Who pays the wages for the employees?

Who do they believe would pay for all this? It looks costly to me.

Do they really believe that tourism and freight will make the railroad pay its own way? One mill in Wallowa County alone could not do it. I do not believe that tourism would make it either.

Bill Colpitts


People with rifles form militia

To the Editor:

Dont let the United Nations make part of our land into a park under U.N. control; our town might be next its on the Oregon Trail.

The next move could be to disarm America. The U.N. only has to convince our state and federal governments that its the best thing to do. The U.N. can only steal our country by disarming its citizens with state and federal government approval.

Remember our Bill of Rights? The U.N. would like to change it, especially the Second Amendment. A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Who is part of this militia? All people young or old enough to carry a rifle; thats a U.S. citizens right.

Why? 1. to repel invasion; 2. put down insurrection; and 3. replace those in power should they become a tyranny.

Donald J. Tusten

La Grande

Fish does better in dry years

To the Editor:

If anyone is still wondering if the water problems in the Klamath Basin are about saving fish or eliminating farmers I have some information that may help you decide.

The new recommended minimum water level for the basin was reached or exceeded only seven times between 1921 and 1997.

Annual studies have shown that the sucker does better in dry years than in wet years and holding the Upper Klamath Lake at a high level causes massive sucker kills.

Releasing water from the lake to help the Coho salmon creates a problem in that the released water is too warm and oxygenated for the fish in the mainstream to survive.

It also does nothing to increase water flow in the tributaries, which are the critical habitat for the Coho and where the young fish hatch and grow for a year.

You decide.

Mark Barber

La Grande

Friendships expand at rink

To the Editor:

I am 13 years old and in the seventh grade at Enterprise School. I am writing because Im so happy that the Enterprise Community Ice Skating Rink was built. This is a big thing that actually has happened for kids and adults. Before the rink, I spent a lot of time at home watching TV.

All the kids like it because it is in the middle of Enterprise and really convenient to get to. In the past, people didnt go to the park a lot and now, since the ice skating rink was built, its a really popular place to go.

Even my parents are tempted to go to the rink to try it out. I recently moved to Enterprise from Wallowa. I had only two friends when I moved here, but since Ive been going to the rink, now I have five.

Since the rink has been built Ive joined the youth hockey team, which has been fun. Its teaching me about how to play hockey. When I first started ice skating I was really nervous and then, after my first time skating, I wanted to be in the Olympics.

Cathy Eaton, who is a professional skater, is giving ice skating lessons to people who want to learn to ice skate and now I think I actually have a chance.

Sacora Bloyd


Hunters not cowards

To the Editor:

In response to David Picketts Feb. 9 letter, I am sure there were a lot of people like myself who wasted their time reading his statements.

The generalizations and stereotypes that he directed toward people who live and hunt in this area were unfounded and based on emotion and ignorance.

The sizable subculture he referred to is larger than he could ever imagine and has been around this area longer than he will ever know. The overall tone of his comments sounds like the familiar tune of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In my view, PETA is just as much a terrorist group as is the currently pursued al-Qaida, yet he has the audacity to refer to the people who hunt deer and elk as cowards without a backbone.

I am not aware of the number of deer and elk hunters who spend their free time destroying millions of dollars of private and public property for the sake of furthering some animal rights agenda. Maybe these brave acts of defiance should be responded to in the same fashion as we are dealing with other organized groups of people around the globe who support terrorism.

Jeffery Dahmer was a murderer and cannibal. Hunters are a very important tool used to manage Oregons wildlife. This is so you dont hit them with your car or have them dying from disease or starvation in your backyard.

Most of the time this is done in an ethical and clean fashion. I am not going to distort the facts as Mr. Pickett did in labeling all hunters as littering trespassers.

I do want to encourage Mr. Pickett to find some other place to live if he is not happy with some of the traditional pastimes that occur in this area. Maybe he could move to Eugene.

Scott Spears


Campaign reform needed

To the Editor:

President Bush has been an advocate of self-policing by corporations as a means of removing the problem of heavy-handed government oversight.

I will agree that government regulation has sometimes been overzealous and I respect his view and give him credit for attempting to find a solution for this problem. But Mr. Bush needs to learn when to give up on an obvious failure, as letting the businesses police themselves has not worked.

A classic example is in Texas, where Gov. Bushs policies let corporations police themselves and admit and (hopefully) correct violations without fear of reprisal as well as greatly reduced funding for checking on potential violators. Texas now has some of the worst pollution problems in the country as the corporations largely ignore environmental regulations.

Now, we have the Enron debacle. Mr. Bushs energy policy carried corporate policing to the extreme. Here, Bush not only let the thief guard the bank but also let the thief write the rules about how the bank is run. Kenny Boy Lay was allowed to help write laws and regulations governing his business and interview candidates for government positions that would oversee his business.

Also, many former Enron executives now hold high-level government positions. This is all apparently legal but is that what we really want?

Mr. Bush may honestly believe that his policy will help citizens but we are now seeing the failings of this policy. I doubt that Bushs mother-in-law is in any danger of being evicted after her $8,000 loss on Enron stock but many people took a large hit while our government rewrote laws to allow it to happen.

I hope that we reverse the law changes that permitted this to happen and enact strong campaign finance reform like that proposed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Tim Hoffnagle

La Grande