May 13, 2002 11:00 pm

Vote Cimon for OTEC board

To the Editor:

Elections for Oregon Trail Electric Co-op Board members are under way and two people are vying for the OTEC Board Position 1. Interviews with each candidate were published in Monday's Observer.

The incumbent, Gary Potter stated that he "…has learned a lot and is still learning" in his past three years as a co-op board member. He says his only agenda is "to keep the co-op working and keep the rates down when we can."

Past decisions of the board however have resulted in the OTEC ratepayers footing the bill for 10 percent of its power at a cost of 40 percent of OTEC's combined electric bill. At this rate of efficiency can OTEC's ratepayers afford to pay for Mr. Potter and other incumbent board members' education and work "to keep rates down"? I don't think so.

There are many important decisions to be made about OTEC's direction for the future. Past experience shows the need for a change in OTEC board leadership, and for new ideas on the OTEC board.

Norm Cimon is well-educated and experienced, and has a deep understanding of the concepts and need for developing long-term affordable solutions for electric supply issues, including the need for developing renewable energy sources and diversified energy sources.

He will bring an active voice for needed change to the board. That is why I support him and urge you to vote for Norm Cimon for OTEC board position 1.

David N. Whitson

La Grande

Guardian angels on job

To the Editor:

On March 13 I took my two great-granddaughters for a walk to Candy Cane Park. I am not sure how it happened but while there I fell and broke my leg severely.

I didn't know what I was going to do and I was worried about the girls, ages 1 and 4.

I yelled at a man across the street getting into his pickup truck and he came to my rescue. He called my granddaughter to come for the girls and they were there shortly.

While we were waiting, another man came by and wanted to call 911.

I asked him not to until someone came for the girls, so he stayed with me and held my hand until help arrived.

I am very thankful to both of these men. I didn't get their names so I am writing this to let them know they were my guardian angels that day.

Dollie Bristow


Protect our pensions

To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to the disturbing news about pensions lost in the Enron collapse. It is no surprise that the working people were the hardest hit.

Teachers, the police force and firefighters are among the groups that had millions of dollars in pension plans lost because of Enron. These people and other workers like them represent the foundation on which this country was built. It is shameful that their years of hard work have been rewarded with nothing but empty promises and an uncertain future.

If this can happen at Enron, how can we be sure that it will not happen again? How can we be confident that our own pensions will be safe? We are all at risk and our futures are uncertain.

Changes must be made so that big businesses cannot cheat hard-working people out of their well-deserved futures.

President Bush, do not back down on this issue. Fix the problem and protect our pensions. American workers deserve it.

Kathleen Evergreen

La Grande

Insure, license bicycles

To the Editor:

The editorial in the April 3 Observer relating to bicycles is a good point, but if bicycles are to have the same privileges as autos they should be insured and licensed.

Also it is very frightening to try to pass by two or three very young children on bikes when they are weaving all over the road. If bikes were required to be licensed the state could make paths for them and the cities should have regulations for the bike riders the same as they do for autos.

We cannot drive our autos down the sidewalk the way I have seen the bicyclists do. In my opinion bikes have more privileges than autos and they don't have to pay high insurance premiums or be licensed. Is this fair?

Gladys Fleenor


Community responds

To the Editor:

This is a wonderful community to live in. When Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries was short of funds and the need was known donations were made.

When Neighbor to Neighbor was out of wood and the article was put in The Observer, we were overwhelmed with wood donations. We are still picking up wood around the valley. What a blessing.

If we seem a little slow at times, it is for two reasons: weather and we are an all-volunteer organization. All the work is done by busy people who volunteer many hours to get the job done.

We appreciate all of our volunteers, from the food bank to the wood pile; they are always there and always faithful.

We have a board that works very hard and tries to please everyone, which we know is impossible, but we do try.

This is the time of year that we like to recognize our volunteers and this is just what we want to do. Not just Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers but all those volunteers in the community who are making life a little nicer for those they serve.

Loree Leonard, board chair

Donna Fuhrman, director

Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries

La Grande

Put in harm's way

To the Editor:

The March 22 Observer had an article that plainly revealed a United Nations' aim patterned after Marx's Communist Manifest that advocates taking wealth from those who have and distributing it to the have-nots, in a march toward despotic control and power.

The article, "Summit looks at poverty," clearly established a direct threat of robbery through coercion, which is a felony in our law-abiding nation.

In essence, we are warned to fork over our wealth to tribes of Africans and Arabs or continue to face acts of terrorism. U.N. leaders brazenly pointed out that if we want security we must support the world's poor.

Citing the Sept. 11 attacks, Han Seung-Soo, the U.N. general assembly president, threatened that the United Nations would forcefully demand that the gap between modern and undeveloped nations be narrowed, further averring that the world's poorest areas are the breeding grounds for violence — a pretty poorly veiled threat to a world already shocked by the September tragedy.

President Bush attended a summit recently and listened to Mexican President Vincente Fox's con job, using the assembly's theme of give-your-wealth-to-whomever-demands-it, as does the accosting thief in a dark alley. Bush caved in to Fox's demands for amnesty for illegal aliens already in our country and to open borders to allow hordes of Mexican criminals and more potential terrorists to continue to invade our land, with all the implications of financial depletion and moral degeneration inherent with this type of silent invasion.

This harmful and dangerous practice is not constitutionally or ethically up to President Bush to decide. It is a decision that must be based on the will and vote of the American people, who are being placed in harm's way while yet within the protecting circle of our country's own borders.

Let us be heard.

Jim Bovard


Court decisions influence us

To the Editor:

One of the freedoms we enjoy in this country is the freedom to vote. With that freedom comes the responsibility to evaluate candidates objectively with respect to the position they are seeking.

As a farmer, I have become particularly sensitive, of late, to the fact that court decisions rather than legislation determine what we may or may not do.

It is therefore imperative that we select judges who are fair and experienced, as well as sound and logical thinkers.

For those very reasons I will be voting for Bruce Anderson to fill the circuit court judge position.

Please join me.

Phil Hassinger


Swimming program costs little

To the Editor:

In regards to cutting the swimming program out of the school budget for the elementary grades, I can't believe educated people would consider such a thing.

This program costs the taxpayer a very small amount of money in the overall budget. If a student can't pick up on reading or writing or running a computer today, there is tomorrow. But if the same student drowns because he can't swim, there is no tomorrow.

Some things you can't put a dollar and cents value on. How much is a life worth?

Norm Punches

La Grande

Control at heart of harassment

To the Editor:

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As part of this event, Shelter From the Storm is sharing information about sexual violence in all its forms, including sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment, both in schools and on the job, is pervasive. Research indicates that up to 90 percent of women in the workforce may experience sexual harassment on the job at some point in their work life.

Harassment includes a wide continuum of behaviors. It can range from annoying comments on appearance to unwanted touching to sexual assault. What all these instances of harassment have in common is that they are unwanted and unwelcome, and that they are gendered or sexualized.

Sexual harassment is not a joke. It can have serious consequences. Ignoring it will not make it stop. Harassment usually escalates over time.

Sexual harassment is not about sex or attractiveness. It is not about mutual attraction or consensual dating. It is about power and control. It is designed to intimidate, embarrass and humiliate the person being harassed.

Both men and women can be sexually harassed, although most of those harassed are women. Both women and men can be sexual harassers, although most are men. Most male victims are sexually harassed by other men, often by comparing them to women or gays.

Sexual harassment results in lost productivity and in job turnover. It's an economic as well as a civil rights issue. For more information call our office at 963-7226, or call our 24-hour hotline at 963-9261.

Angelia Boggs-Knight

La Grande

Help us become energy self-sufficient

To the Editor:

This letter is in support of Norm Cimon for the Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative board.

Norm has shown an open mind to new and inventive ways of people being responsible for their energy consumption. Depending on the government to take care of us with nuclear power plants and dams that are becoming obsolete and antiquated is not a good idea.

The world is growing tired of so few consuming so much energy and paying so little for it. Please help America become energy self-sufficient and vote for Norm Cimon.

Howard Butts


Expand to other vices

To the Editor:

It's a sad state of affairs when the State of Oregon, through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, has to promote the sale and use of alcohol by opening liquor stores on Sunday.

The Legislature's strategy is to raise an additional $3 million. This money is not going to come from an occasional liquor buyer, it's going to come from hard-core drinkers that happen to run out of alcohol on Sunday.

One wonders how many additional traffic accidents there is going to be, how many jobs will be lost because someone is too incapacitated to show up to work on Monday and how much productivity is going to be lost because someone is so hung over that he or she can't perform their job properly.

Is the next step going to be billboards that say: "Become an alcoholic now and help the State of Oregon fill its coffers"?

Should the OLCC change its name to the Oregon Liquor Marketing Commission? They are actively marketing the use of alcohol. Maybe they should branch out into houses of prostitution and drugs. I hear there is lots of money in those activities.

We Oregonians already promote gambling via the lottery, why not capitalize on the rest of the numerous vices out there?

Should any legislators read this I surely would like to hear their justification for this law.

Rod Syverson


U.S. beef supply declines

To the Editor:

We represent McDonald's franchisees in Oregon and southwest Washington. Today we read The Observer's April 16 editorial titled, "Macs should stay with homegrown beef." Following is a statement from McDonald's spokesman Walt Riker:

McDonald's is conducting a limited test of Australian and New Zealand beef, involving a small number of restaurants. The test is just beginning so it would be premature to speculate about its future.

We would caution anyone from jumping to conclusions about our test.

McDonald's has always been committed to purchasing only the highest quality food products for our customers. In everything we do, McDonald's uses only those products that meet or exceed the highest standards. All of our beef is USDA inspected and approved.

In the United States, McDonald's is the largest purchaser of United States beef. We remain committed to the U.S. beef industry.

Meanwhile, industry-wide, there has been a well-known, well-documented decline in the U.S. supply of lean ground beef, based on increasing demand. Everyone in the business is addressing this issue. Because of this fact, McDonald's is considering other top-quality sources to meet this specific demand.

Additionally, most other quick- service restaurants have been buying imported beef for many years. There may also be some cost benefits for McDonald's as it relates to the purchase of Australian and New Zealand beef, but we will evaluate the economics going forward.

Angie Dobrowski

Stephan/Dobrowski Public Relations