August 05, 2002 11:00 pm

Booth not allowed at stadium

To the Editor:

The Fourth of July has become a favored celebration in La Grande with hundreds of people supporting it.

After it moved around to several locations, it finally settled at the university stadium. Letters went out to organizations asking them to support the occasion. The college waived its ruling for non-profit organizations so they could be involved in this community event and sell their goods at the stadium.

The Island City Lions Club has taken its food trailer up to the stadium with members giving up their holiday to work. We paid a fee to have our food trailer there. This is a non-profit organization with the money all going back into the community.

Projects we have helped just this last year have included two scholarships for college, a third-grade swim program with the school district, the SMART reading program in the elementary schools, the academic excellence program at the middle school and a Meadowwood speech camp scholarship, among many others, all supported by our club from money raised at Hog Wild Days and from our food trailer.

The club learned that Chartwells, the food service provider at EOU, invoked its exclusive contract for the first time at the community fireworks show this past Friday and we were not able to participate. We were not notified in any way that anything had been changed.

We feel that we were unjustly eliminated from this community event without adequate notice.

The Fireworks Committee made it possible for us to have our trailer at Birnie Park for Friday's event. This is not as good of a location for business.

It is too bad that organizations are discouraged in this way from supporting the community activities when their money usually all goes back into the community.

Glenna Marie Sams

Island City

July 5 worked fine

To the Editor:

I was sorry to read in the paper about the unhappiness surrounding the fireworks taking place on Friday, July 5, instead of July 4.

I was disappointed myself. However, once it was explained that the usual contractor was not available on the Fourth, I felt that July 5 was an acceptable fallback position.

The intent was to celebrate our country, its heritage, and freedoms. I appreciate the effort and expense that it took to make this event happen.

To the Fireworks Committee, thank you!

Earlene Lamb

La Grande

Denied fund-raiser

To the Editor:

What happened?

Isn't the annual Fourth of July fireworks display called a "community celebration"?

Why then was our Island City Lions Club's food trailer not allowed to participate this year at the stadium?

Food was purchased, members stayed in town to cook and serve food to spectators, but alas, the Eastern Oregon University food service, Chartwells, decided we could not be there. Why? Do they contribute to the community?

Last year, with the temperature at 103 degrees, two of our cooks bailed out with heat exhaustion as we served long lines of customers. This kind of volunteerism, earning money to help the visually and hearing impaired, is very important to us.

Did you know all La Grande school children have sight and hearing tests done in our Lions Mobile Screening Unit, which comes to town twice annually, once for the schools and once for the public?

We also help people receive sight and hearing tests and implements if they apply to us and meet our criteria for financial assistance.

Why were we denied one of our major fund-raisers?

Kathy Hanson

Island City

Agency holds custody

To the Editor:

This is a difficult letter to write because we need service agencies and law and order.

When an agency can take custody of a child on one phone call without investigating the charges without any proof of wrongdoing something is wrong.

This is what has happened in our family. A year-old boy and his mother were forced to leave a loving father and stable home.

Children Services has custody of the child even though they "let" the mother have physical custody under their conditions. Is this a common practice? Do other people have similar experiences?

Roy and Loree Leonard

Island City

Get facts to people

To the Editor:

I wish to thank The Observer for the July 2 editorial concerning the way the United States has neglected the retired veteran with service-connected disabilities.

It is time the American people know the facts.

Jimmie L Jones


Leaders should provide guidance

To the Editor:

I volunteer for youth activities, have spent a lot of time judging and raising animals, and I support anyone who donates time for the 4-H program. The latest events have raised some concerns, though.

The exhibitor mentioned in Cristie Hedden's letter understands the tail-docking rule and has done everything possible to follow these rules.

At the livestock show her animal's tail was the same length or longer than those of other animals who were allowed to show, and was checked by a veterinarian. Her lamb was x-rayed and was proved to have proper docking. A veterinarian knows what the distal termination of the caudal fold is, and to have this information ignored is ridiculous.

I am also worried about the comments Hedden made. When I showed animals, my leader was well aware of what my animal looked like, what vaccinations it had, what it was being fed. The leader helped vaccinate and visited all of the members and animals.

Not knowing what the animal looked like tells me that Hedden did not assist her in any way. She could have saved the exhibitor some embarrassment and tears by checking the animal before stock show week and explaining if there was going to be a problem.

This exhibitor is talented and it has shown with her championship ribbons in conformation and showmanship. It is too bad she did not have the opportunity to show off the many hours of work that she put into this project.

I will again attend the EOLS and I hope to see this exhibitor win more ribbons when the rules are applied correctly. In addition, congratulations to the exhibitor for selling your lamb for more than the average sale price at the stock show.

James Lovell


Forgo extras for real service

To the Editor:

Going postal is taking on new meaning. I hear frustration, anger and dissatisfaction regarding the long lines at the Post Office.

Yesterday I stood in line for 20 minutes. I was 14th in line when I began and by the time I reached the front counter, there were another 18 customers behind me.

A friend said she came to the Post Office three different times between 1 and 3 p.m. Each time the line reached to the outside door. Last week a man in front became so frustrated that he left, shouting profanities and slamming doors.

I find it interesting that the Postal Service has a long list of options available to us. Delivery confirmation, proof of delivery, proof of insurance, a choice of different styles of stamps, priority mail, parcel rates, overnight service. And the clerks are required to offer these choices to each customer.

In fact, the Postal Service is so concerned with this that they hire mystery shoppers to check out the customer service being offered.

I would gladly forgo some of these services if we could only have another clerk to wait on customers. If this isn't possible, perhaps we could have restrooms, chairs in the waiting room, a few magazines to keep us occupied while we wait.

I realize that we have become a society that demands faster and faster service, but it does seem that the more the Postal Service charges, the lower the quality of customer service we receive.

Could we please have a response from our local or regional postmaster on this issue?

By the way, in the days of the Pony Express a stamp cost 55 cents and took a lot longer to reach its destination, so 37 cents per stamp isn't too bad after all.

Judy Hendrickson

La Grande

Try nation not ‘under God'

To the Editor:

I am a La Grande resident serving as a humanitarian volunteer in India for the LDS Church.

I opened my Friday issue of the Times of India and saw the article, "U.S. Pledge ruled unconstitutional in stunning verdict." I would never have believed this could happen.

There are attorneys and judges who are good people and do their best to be fair and honest. But I believe that we have too many attorneys who will take any case and do whatever it takes to win. Worst of all, we have judges that should never serve in such a responsible and time-honored position of the people's trust.

Over the years we have seen our court system slowly eat away the moral fiber of the Constitution of the United States of America. The Civil Liberties Union is the worst of the offenders. Their sole purpose of existence is to defend the rights of the radical wacko groups while destroying the true meaning of the Constitution.

I see that an atheist filed the complaint. They have done too much damage to our Constitution and our rights.

Send me those who don't want to live in a country under God. I'll take them around and show them what it is to live in a country, here in Asia, that doesn't worship God. They worship idols, animals, rodents, insects and all kinds of things other than God.

I'll show them things that they will never forget and they won't be able to get back to America quick enough. For me and my house, we will serve the Lord and be thankful that we live in such a blessed land under God. Those words will never leave my Pledge of Allegiance to America.

John Sprenger

Indiranagar Stage II

Bangalore, India

Replace fear with respect

To the Editor:

I would like to ask people to consider the phrase "God-fearing Americans." Reading the July 6 article, "Pledge under attack," left me feeling sad and disappointed with some of the our cultural teachings about God.

Why should we "fear" God. The dictionary defines fear as:

1) a feeling of alarm or disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain, disaster, dread, apprehension.

2) an instance or manifestation of such a feeling.

It isn't until the fourth definition, "extreme reverence or awe," that the word "fear" has any meaning that really ought to apply to God.

Our society has taught us that to respect something it needs to be feared. How sad. As a parent I have run into this so many times.

People think that to teach a child to respect, they must be taught to fear us or fear God. What about forgiveness, faith, compassion, trust, patience?

Respect should not be taught to equal fear. I respect God and His teachings; I do not fear Him. I have made the choice to live my life out of respect for humanity and respect for God.

Fear drives people to hate, it fuels wars, it abuses children, it perpetuates ignorance.

Compassion, forgiveness, faith, and patience allow wounds caused out of fear to be healed.

The entire world is hurting and fighting, mostly out of fear and distrust. I would like to suggest that "God-fearing Americans" stop fearing and consider respecting God and living a life of compassion.

Hopefully it will catch on and spread as fast as fear.

Lesley Garoutte

La Grande