May 29, 2002 11:00 pm

It's appalling that the City of La Grande would need to install small signs at the city's 1,000 water runoff catch basins that say, "No dumping! Drains to river."

La Grande is spending $7,000 on the signs and epoxy to attach them to curbs near catch basins across the city. Don't 99.9 percent of the people understand that catch basins are exactly that? They are there to catch the rain that falls from the sky and the snow that melts and needs someplace to drain. The basins also catch some of the water that sprays over from lawn sprinklers into the streets or from people washing their cars in their driveways.

APPARENTLY people have been dumping non- water-type liquids such as oil, gasoline, liquid herbicides, and who knows what else, into the catch basins. The signs' message is clear enough.

The water caught in the catch basins goes on to the Grande Ronde River, where fish need protection. A halt to any dumping in catch basins is only part of the answer. The city also will look at a pretreatment process that considers pollutants, sediments, and the volume and temperature of water.

Meanwhile, 100 percent of La Grande residents should take the little green-and-blue "no dumping" signs seriously, and look for proper and legal ways to recycle motor oil or dispose of other unwanted liquids and chemicals.


America and Canada have long stood side by side in solidarity and friendship. Seldom has this been more evident than in the 6-foot granite memorial that was placed on the U.S. side of the border at Sumas, Wash., this past weekend.

Canadian police, fire and medical response workers joined forces to create the Sept. 11 memorial — a scale model of the World Trade Center towers.

One side of the monument is dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks and the other side is a recognition of those fighting against terrorism. The Canadians raised $30,000 for the memorial, which was unveiled Sunday. Agencies in Washington helped fund the sculpture.

THE CANADIANS sponsored the project as a way of showing Americans they are not alone in their grief. Shinder Kirk, an Abbotsford, British Columbia, Police Department constable, summed up the feelings well when he pointed out that Americans and Canadians are friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters. "What hurts us hurts you, and what hurts you hurts us. And we will always be there to stand in support of each other," Kirk said.

Nations in Europe and elsewhere in the world showed their support and sympathy for the United States following the September attacks. There may be no memorial that is more touching, however, than the one placed on American soil by Canadians on Memorial Day weekend.