May 23, 2002 11:00 pm

Campaign low-key

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter as the circuit court judge for Union and Wallowa counties, position 1. I have been the circuit judge since January 1997 and am running unopposed for a second term.

There are three people seeking the circuit judge position 2, currently held by soon-to-be-retired Judge Eric Valentine. These people are all running active campaigns. However, because no one is running against me, you will not be seeing any road signs, yard signs or newspaper or radio ads with my name on them.

My low-key campaign should not be viewed by anyone as a sign that I am not interested in my job as circuit judge. The truth is that I am even more excited now about my job than I was when I first decided to run six years ago.

I am grateful to all who have supported me in the past. I ask for everyone's support in the future.

I urge everyone to register to vote. All registered voters need to turn in their ballots in the primary election by May 21.

There are a number of important decisions to make involving Union and Wallowa counties and the state of Oregon. Every vote counts.

Phillip Mendiguren

La Grande

Agencies buying land

To the Editor:

In 1972-73, Oregon adopted land use (regulations) as requested by Gov. Tom McCall, and the American public applauded the environmental groups promoting clean air and water.

Now there are 50 environmental groups promoting "smart growth" land-use laws per the United Nations. Sustainable forestry, recently adopted by Boise Corp., is a United Nations edict. Even Portland is adopting smart growth.

I've heard that some of the U.N. rules in its smart growth scheme are: no new roads, no expanded boundaries. If your lot is over-sized, it must be divided and sold to get a building permit, disallowing backyard gardening and children's play areas.

I believe one aim of the United Nations' 1962 plan is to defeat America through environmental laws instead of war. America is being slowly curtailed in the use of jet boats, four-wheelers and snowmobiles. Forest Service gates are being locked to curtail hunting.

I believe the U.N. and the 50 environmental groups plan on setting aside 70 percent of rural American land where recreation will not be allowed, the ultimate control plan being to create corridors from Mexico to Canada. There are approximately 30 of these corridors planned. They will widen as protected predators take their toll on rural livestock, forcing agricultural losses.

Picture the Klamath Basin as an example of domestic bloodless terrorism.

In 2001, the U.S. Senate passed CARA, a bill annually giving Oregon $153 million to purchase private land to create corridors. Washington and the other Western states will each receive $154 million or more for the same purpose.

The groups purchasing private land are the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife and various environmental groups. Each purchase will reduce county tax bases, raising taxes in adjacent towns and cities.

Some who read this may disagree with my views but I must state I have studied the United Nations for the past 14 years and can document any of my statements.

Carroll Baylink


Parties focus on funds, pork

To the Editor:

It seems to me that it is time to create a new political party. The two we have are more interested in fund-raising and pork legislation at taxpayer expense than finding ways to run our government economically and provide for our security.

I suggest it be called the MYOB Party. We could run Ann Landers for president. Her down-to-earth philosophy of "mind your own business" would help mend fences with many of our country's friends that are tired of our envoys coming to them bragging that the United States is the only super power, telling China how to run its population control, and others how to eliminate drug production, when we in the U.S. are their biggest customer.

We have lots of time to criticize their legal system while we foster a system that permits the murderer to go to a pettifogging lawyer and say: I shot the guy in cold blood, now get me off.

We call other countries backward when they have an integrated transportation system of rail and sea and air; while we taxpayers bail out non-performing airlines and at the same time tell our national passenger railroad system to make a profit or go out of business, while our president gets on a TV commercial and says "Take your family and fly." Might I suggest campaign financing reform?

I do not suggest isolationism; the world is becoming too small. But I do suggest that we look to our own problems before we adopt a know-it-all policy.

The Roman Empire fell because of the lust for power and money. Let it not happen to our great country. We need a new party dedicated to solving our own problems instead of bowing to the money-changers.

David Arnott


Oregon Symphony should return

To the Editor:

I had the opportunity to watch and listen to the Oregon Symphony Orchestra April 12 at Eastern Oregon University.

What a wonderful experience it was for me to listen to this magnificent group of musicians representing our state. It was a very memorable evening of great musical entertainment for me and I'm sure everyone else in attendance. I hope they will come back again next year.

Bob Clegg


Threat to nation, my family

To the Editor:

In this Christian's understanding of the Mideast crisis, it sounds to me as if the Islamic definition of the word Jihad means Holy War.

This concept of a holy war appears to be taught in every fundamentalist mosque in the world. This seems to be taught under the dictates of the law of an eye-for-an-eye and a tooth-for-a-tooth, as well as including the killing of Jews and Christians that is taught by mothers and fathers so full of hate that they train their children to go so far as to strap on explosives to kill people, which makes them murderers, not martyrs.

This same law in the Christian Bible does not stand by itself. Not until the law is administered under love does it fulfill its purpose.

Islam, in itself, is a threat to any nation in that it recognizes no boundaries. It calls itself the nation of Islam and it is a threat to my family, delegating women to wear burkas, covered from head to toe, Khomenis always having the final say, and condoning murder by calling it martyrdom.

John Petersen

La Grande

Oil drilling necessary

To the Editor:

OPEC is at it again and Saddam is saying no more oil, so gas prices are again soaring. How long shall we be held hostage at the mercy and whim of these oil-producing nations? Three proposals have been put forth to end this energy dependency.

The first proposal is drilling in Alaska, or possibly off-shore drilling in the gulf. Both of these proposals are anathema to environmentalists. There is still an abundance of oil in the Wyoming and Montana fields but it is cheaper for the oil companies to buy foreign oil than to drill in these areas.

The second proposal we have heard many, many times is conservation, but we need to be realistic. Americans are going to drive their cars as long as they can afford the price of gas. Complain? Yes. Conserve? No way, we just won't do it. And anyway, if we conserve very much, the oil companies will just reduce production to keep the price up.

The third proposal is technology, fuel cells, solar power, but those things are a minimum of 10 years down the road, and even then there is no assurance that the auto companies can develop enough for the several hundred thousand cars built each year. And there's no assurance that the imports will have either fuel cells or solar vehicles in any great number.

For the foreseeable future, drilling for oil somewhere is the only choice we have

Roy Hills

Island City

Anderson shows integrity

To the Editor:

Of the three good candidates running for the circuit court position being vacated by Judge Eric Valentine, I know Bruce Anderson best. He has my vote because of his 20 years of experience as a practicing attorney dealing with exactly the kind of court issues that Judges Mendiguren and Valentine have been dealing with for several years.

He has my vote because of his integrity, moral character and the ethics he applies as an attorney. He has my vote because of the respect he shows for and active support he gives to the arts, education, good stewardship of our resources, children — through the Mentor program — ecumenicity in our community church affairs, and his own family.

We have shared this valley for a long time. I've sought his legal advice. I respect him. I've sung next to him in a community chorus and in a barbershop quartet. I know him through local church activities.

I like Bruce Anderson because he is mild-mannered, but he has the fortitude to say what he thinks when it counts. He is not excitable in the outward sense, but if provoked will rise to the occasion. He is a man of all seasons.

He will make a good judge.

Doug Campbell

La Grande

Don't punish people on 2-wheelers

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Gladys Fleenor's April 16 letter. I disagree with her position on having to pay high insurance premiums and having to license a bike if bike riders were to get the same privileges as autos.

If people driving cars gave bike riders respect on the street, then many more bike riders would ride in the street instead of on the sidewalk. Although it could be viewed that it isn't fair that bike riders don't have to pay for insurance or high premiums, it also isn't fair that cars pollute and destroy the natural environment that everyone has to live in, including bike riders.

I don't agree with Ms. Fleenor. I believe that we should not punish bike riders just because they choose to commute in a way friendly to the environment. Instead, I wish that we had a way to reward the people who ride bikes.

As for having bike-only paths around cities, it is too expensive and unnecessary, provided that the people on the streets driving cars respect the bike riders. If they do this, the majority of bike riders in return would stay off of the sidewalks and respect autos.

Drew Kelly

La Grande