June 25, 2002 11:00 pm

Uniforms ward off male advances

To the Editor:

Dave Stave's May 9 column on women's roles differing today from days of World War II reminded me of a film I saw in early 1980. From the design of the women's clothes, I figure the film was made in the 1930s.

I was a registered nurse in the Washington (D.C.) Veterans Medical Center and this film was a required inservice for all staff.

Two things made us viewers howl with laughter. One spoke of the way management was to make determinations in hiring nurses. They were to be "young, strong, and docile." You know we were all choking on the word "docile."

The other source of amusement was an explanation for the need and use of the long, white, cotton, starched uniforms.

They were seen, by management, to render the nurse asexual in the eyes of her male patients. Thus management was assisting the nurse in warding off unwanted advances.

I must comment, however, that the young men in wheelchairs due to multiple sclerosis and the older vets from World War II suffering from strokes, etc., were always perfect and appreciative gentlemen.

Those guys and gals were a jovial/uncomplaining bunch, often in the midst of severe circumstances.

Judith Hammonds

La Grande

Would candidates do it wrong?

To the Editor:

In recent years it seems as though all politicians have adopted the same mantra, one that goes something like this: Oregonians don't want any new taxes, no way, no how.

Sure it's true that Oregonians, like everyone else, would prefer not to pay any additional taxes.

However, it's also true that Oregonians, like everyone else, want good roads, safe neighborhoods, nice parks, clean water and good schools; and that they don't want little children in the care of the state to disappear (as one recently did in Florida) because the state wouldn't or couldn't hire enough social workers to do the job right.

Some things necessary for safety and quality of life do in fact cost money and Oregonians know this.

I do not believe we are willing to watch Oregon deteriorate into a Third World-state.

I do believe we would like the opportunity to elect stewards to office who would be willing to raise, if necessary, the money needed to provide needed services in a cost-effective manner. That is what they are supposed to do.

I would love the opportunity to vote for someone who would promise to:

1. Take the fat (expenditures that provide little or no benefits) out of the budget.

2. Provide necessary services and facilities at a fair cost.

3. Require all taxpayers to pay their fair share, but no more than their fair share. (If it turns out that more money is needed, let's not try to take it from smokers or gamblers. If we all benefit, we should all pay.)

I am not suggesting for a minute that we need a tax increase, but I do believe that any candidate who says they would not consider raising taxes is, in effect, saying that if the job requires more money to do it right they will choose the option of doing it wrong. Surely we deserve better than that.

Jon Norem

La Grande

Every citizen has a stake

To the Editor:

The Observer's May 9 editorial, "Environmental groups going to the extreme," should have been titled, "Observer editorial going to the extreme."

The editorial equates two unrelated environmental actions by claiming their common goal is to keep people out of our forests. This is completely unfounded.

As the editorial notes, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council has filed a suit aimed at preserving lynx habitat. The suit's goal is not to keep people out of Catherine Creek but to keep habitat intact until the Forest Service accounts for lynx habitat in the area and provides protection for habitat viability.

Logging in advance of this would invalidate environmental laws passed to protect endangered species and their critical habitat.

The editorial states that Wilderness Watch wants to block a footrace in the Steens Mountain Wilderness Area.

More accurately, a for-profit runners' training camp has 150 participants at a time using the wilderness. This is inconsistent with wilderness practices.

The Wilderness Watch Web site does not mention any specific event. Their site alerts the public that the BLM is currently shaping a plan for future management of the area and advocates for policies that preserve wilderness qualities.

The editorial's most troubling contention is that out-of-state organizations should not be meddling in Oregon public land affairs. Let's be clear about this. Every American has an equal interest in federal lands. Local management has historically led to frenzied resource extraction.

Local jobs, school finances, property taxes and even Forest Service funding itself encourages a maximum take. With these cash incentives, national old-growth forests were rapidly depleted. The environmental movement developed as a response to catastrophic mismanagement of public lands.

Environmentalists contribute time and money to support a sustainable, biologically diverse future. We defend national resources at our own financial and often social expense. Selfless-dedication might be one legitimate basis for equating environmental groups and their actions.

Mary McCracken

La Grande

Investment helps region

To the Editor:

I agreed with your May 1 endorsement of Ballot Measure 11 in the May 21 election.The measure simply asks voters to approve less-expensive general obligation bonds rather than more expensive revenue bonds to support medical research at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU)

A "yes" vote means more money for medical research that can lead to new cures for our families and friends. It also means economic development and more jobs here in Oregon when we desperately need them. This investment strengthens OHSU programs in the Eastern Oregon area, as well as the OHSU Rural Health Institute, which works to improve coordination for patient diagnosis and treatments between our community practitioners in Eastern Oregon and doctors and researchers at OHSU.

Measure 11 will help Oregon get more for its money.

Rex Wilson M.D.

Baker City

Hangers, baskets gone

To the Editor:

I wish to express my disappointment in humanity. It is a crying shame when people have to stoop so low to steal from a cemetery and the deceased.

I had bought two wrought-iron plant holders to hang baskets on for my deceased husband's and granddaughter's graves. They were placed there not only for Memorial Day, but also for other holidays and birthdays. I have been doing this for a few years now.

I had just a week previously hung new potted baskets. I came back a week later to maintain and add to them when I discovered the baskets and wrought-iron hangers were gone. Whoever took these had to pull them out of the ground. I am so angry that some sick individual or individuals have to prey on the deceased and their families.

It is not as if the wrought-iron hangers were one-of-a-kind that could not be purchased anywhere or were special made. You can buy them at Wal-Mart or D&B. I do hope whoever you are, that you are proud and display these items with your head held high.

The crime was committed at Summerville Cemetery between May 5 and May 10.

Edna Wilhelm


Horse shows impartiality

To the Editor:

I know that Russ West came to many homes before the election and scored points with a few voters for having done so. But just because someone comes to your door with something to sell does not mean it's worth buying.

Russ claimed to be an impartial candidate for judge. Ironically, the horse Russ West sat atop at the Ag-Timber Parade May 10 is more impartial than West could ever be.

An animal goes entirely on instinct and, to a much lesser degree, what it has been taught. Human cognitive levels are greater than that of animals.

Humans are prone to make mistakes, be partial, and develop errors in reasoning based on experience and detailed memory. For anyone to claim they're truly impartial, they're either lying, disillusioned or an elitist with some agenda put before those around them.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh or unfair to Russ West, but I have never claimed the grandiose ability to be impartial. I presented West, Sen. Gordon Smith, the Oregon Medical Review Board and an advocacy center with what I believed to be clear supported evidence of a federal breach of confidentiality at the Center for Human Development by a former transcription worker.

Sen. Smith, the review board and the advocacy center all wrote me back. Each at some point acknowledged a breach had occurred and action should be taken based on the evidence I provided. Only over the phone would Russ West claim a law had not been broken, could not reason why he had come to that flawed conclusion, nor would he put it in writing.

For whatever reason, West made a partial decision in spite of his responsibility, and ignored the truth evident to even the most prolific maladroit.

Paul Bryan Woods Sr.

La Grande

Council should use mature judgment

To the Editor:

It is difficult for me to understand how the city, in its right mind, could charge itself a franchise fee for water.

The city is really the citizens of the community who have banned together so that collectively water and other services can be made available.We are already paying for this service. To pay a franchise fee for a service that we are already paying for would be like double taxation. Besides, water is a necessity of life. Necessities should not be taxed. This is not the place to look for additional funds.

I think it was fortunate, not unfortunate, that City Manager Wes Hare was not able to convince the committee. I trust that he will not be able to convince the council.

A franchise fee on water is just not the way to get more money. Just because other cities are doing it does not make it right.

My dad taught me a long time ago that "everyone is doing it" is a kid's kind of logic that just does not pass muster.

I do not mind paying a little more tax if it is really necessary, but a franchise fee on water? Hopefully the council will use mature judgment and agree with the budget committee and not with Mr. Hare.

Lewis Currie

La Grande

Join us on Memorial Day

To the Editor:

Monday is Memorial Day, the day that we honor the memory of those who have gone to their eternal rest.

I would like to encourage adults to bring their children, teen-agers especially, to the memorial service for veterans at Grandview Cemetery on Memorial Day. The 11 a.m. service is not particularly long but it is very touching, and the reason why we remember our veterans is very evident. Veterans of all wars are honored.

Memorial Day was started in the South after the Civil War when southerners decorated the graves of both Union and Confederate dead. It was a few years before it was proclaimed a national day of remembrance.

Memorial Day 2001, it was said that World War II veterans were leaving at the rate of 1,000 a day. This year we are told that World War II veterans are leaving us at the rate of 1,800 a day.

Most of us, in fact, probably only a small fraction of us, will live to see the World War II memorial finished and dedicated in the nation's capital.

Please come if you can and bring the youngsters.

From a decorated World War II veteran,

Roy Hills

Island City

Tour La Grande's library

To the Editor:

The idea in an editorial in The Observer May 18 of again delaying the construction of a new library is detrimental to the mental health of La Grande.

It follows the 40-year-old pattern of promises by the city government to build a new library and then finding ways not to follow through. Now that the city council is behind library construction, you should support them.

In Bend, Ashland and Eugene the local business communities supported library construction because it brought a larger community base for downtown merchants. Why can't this also work here in La Grande?

I challenge the editorial staff to tour the local library and see first-hand the conditions that face 200 library users each day. You have written articles about this topic in the past. They haven't changed.

Bert Leaver

La Grande

Campaign very gratifying

To the Editor:

I am grateful to all the people who gave me support during my candidacy for 10th District Circuit Court judge.

The vote did not go my way, but the support I received, both financial and emotional, from the community has been very rewarding.

The people of Union and Wallowa counties made me feel very welcome and listened attentively to my presentations.

I feel honored to have been allowed to participate in the election process and the people of our counties have made it a very gratifying experience.

I wish you all and your newly elected judge, Russ West, the best of luck.

Kippy Roberson,

attorney at law

judicial candidate also ran

La Grande