August 05, 2002 11:00 pm

Whose aiding minors?

To the Editor:

Over 25 arrests are reported every month in The Observer's court record section for minors in possession of alcohol by purchase.

What happened to the other side of the coin?

Every purchase has to involve a sale. Yet while more than 300 minors have been apprehended in the past 12 months, there has been only one report of a sale to a minor and that case resulted from a police sting.

Don Tuttle

La Grande

How about no-service option?

To the Editor:

"Time for curbside, DEQ tells La Grande," the headline read.

This refers that a weekly or monthly pickup must begin by Dec. 31. City Garbage Service has indicated a $4.64 increase for weekly or a $2.02 for every-other-week service. What happened to the monthly pickup referred to by DEQ? What would that rate amount to?

A survey in 2000 with 300 respondents showed 54 percent in favor of curbside pickup. It further indicates that there are 3,300 users of City Garbage Service in La Grande. Is 152 people out of the number of users an acceptable percentage? I don't feel it is.

DEQ says that in 2000, La Grande had 22 percent of materials recycled. It says that the 2001 recycle rate will not be calculated until later this summer.

In today's computer world it's strange that this figure will not be available for the July 17 council meeting. What if La Grande makes the magic 25 percent for 2001? Will DEQ's mandate be null and void?

Also, why is La Grande being singled out? How about the rest of the county?

Some people have referred to having to pay higher costs for less service. Why not "no cost" for "no service" of those who wish to recycle at one of the drop sites? Recycling glass will still be taken to the Highway 30 site or sent to the landfill. We have had rate increases in most of the utility bills including City Garbage Service for hauling our yard debris to the Highway 30 site for composting. I will never use this service; I've been composting all of my materials for the past 25 years or more.

If DEQ and La Grande are truly interested in recycling it would be wise to look to the "Old Country," where recycling of all recyclable waste is taken from landfill waste.

Ken Bomberger

La Grande

Don't let life be ruined

To the Editor:

I have lived in Colorado my entire life with the exception of two years that I spent in La Grande while my husband worked as a radiologist at Grande Ronde Hospital.

We had the opportunity to come back home to Colorado in 1999. We were very sad to leave our beautiful home and wonderful friends in Oregon.

The fire here in Glenwood Springs forced the evacuation of half our town which included our new home. My husband fled with our dog, a few files and pictures. The devastation was unbelievable and altered some of the landscape that makes this such a beautiful place to live.

Had it not been for the brave firefighters our town could have easily been destroyed. We owe them our most profound gratitude and admiration.

I was terribly saddened to hear of the horrible accident that happened on Interstate 70 near Glenwood. When I read who the driver was, it was worse. Megan Helm is the granddaughter of our dear friend and former neighbor, Dorothy Helm.

I know Megan is heartbroken over the tragedy and has taken responsibility. Through no fault of her own she was driving a dangerous van that is known to cause fatal crashes. How many more lives will be lost because of them?

Megan's life should not be ruined because of a split-second mistake of looking down to do something. I want her to know that everyone here in Glenwood Springs and the surrounding areas are heartsick for her too.

I am confident that our justice system will do the right thing and drop charges against her.

Please know that we send our deepest condolences to the families that lost loved ones that terrible day.

Rosario Young

Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Sympathy expressed

To the Editor:

This letter is being directed to all the mayors and citizens of Union County to express our sincerest sympathy to the families, friends and loved ones of the firefighters who died while on their mission trip to help us in Colorado.

We are so sorry for your loss. We pray that God will comfort and bless you all.

Donna and Larry Webb

Buena Vista, Colo.

Find another facility

To the Editor:

I, too, join Glenna Sams (July 9 letter) in expressing concern as to why Chartwells at Eastern Oregon University would not allow the Island City Lions Club trailer to be present during the July 5 fireworks display.

The Island City Lions is a non-profit organization that has donated to many organizations, as Sams indicated in her letter.

Our only fund-raisers are the food trailer and Hog Wild Days.

We have been holding class reunions at Eastern Oregon University, where they have food and drink concessions we pay for.

I would suggest we encourage any reunion or other activity to find another facility to hold their functions — a facility that appreciates and encourages outside help and will share in fund-raisers.

M.G. Ackley

Island City

Enforcement costly

To the Editor:

A month ago a friend and I went to the woods to cut a load of firewood. Mid-morning our wood cutting was interrupted by two uniformed Forest Service police, badges and a sidearm strapped to their hips.

They wanted to check our wood-cutting permit and load tags. They told me how I was to validate the tag by cutting out the date and properly placing it in full view on the load of wood.

We were lectured on the seriousness of the wood-cutting permits. If not used properly, it was like poaching game animals or not validating a hunting tag. My tags were in order.

In my opinion, charging for wood permits doesn't accomplish any purpose. With the threat of wild fires, it would seem helpful when people help thin out the downed trees, making less fuel for fires. I'm fairly certain the money collected for wood permits doesn't come close to paying for the manpower sent out to check for these permits.

Add to that a $40,000-plus pickup truck, two employees paid a good salary plus benefits, etc. Somehow this seems like a waste.

Projecting the number of Forest Service employees doing this same job, it seems like the taxpayers are being charged an excessive amount to have a $5 wood permit checked.

Coming down from Mount Emily, we were pulled over by a county sheriff who wanted to check my load tags, which were properly displayed in plain sight.

Surely the county sheriff should have other responsibilities other than duplicating what the Forest Service employees had more than covered.

This entire wood-cutting experience makes me question the process we now have in place. Surely our tax dollars have a more productive place than what I've described.

Edward Ater

La Grande

Condolences to family

To the Editor:

I would like to tell the Hansell family I am so sorry for their loss. Goodbye, Wally, you will be missed so much.

Charlotte Bauer

La Grande

Old Glory keeps waving

To the Editor:

Our country was barely 30 years old back in 1812

Mighty British battleships rained bombs on our land

For the second time in its short life America was at war

That flag, Old Glory, the stars and stripes waved over the fort.

And then in 1897 down in Guantanamo Bay

The battleship Maine was shelled and sank to the ocean floor

In Cuba and in the Philippines mighty Spain was waging war

American soldiers bravely fought an honorable peace to restore

But that flag, Old Glory, the stars and stripes waved on as before.

England and France and all of Europe were being trodden down

As Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany brandished his golden crown

Again America came to the aid of a people battered sore

And that flag, Old Glory, the stars and stripes again stood the test.

The greatest war that was ever fought, the one called WWII

From a world at peace to a world at war, America answered the call

With men and women and weapons of war we fought the tyrants gone mad

And that flag, Old Glory, the stars and stripes led till peace was had.

It was the same in Korea, Desert Storm and Vietnam

And now a despot, mad-man, has brought war to our own land

But as America has always done, we will not falter we will not waiver and we will not fail

And that flag, Old Glory, the stars and stripes will wave on forever.

We want our flag to wave in peace here and abroad

And for help we have given to others we do not boast or brag

We only demand respect for our country and Old Glory, the stars and stripes, that grand old flag.

Roy Hills

Island City

Editors could run it all

To the Editor:

On a recent "Meet The Press," U.S. Sen. John Kerry proudly announced to Tim Russert that he had voted against the Gulf War because of what he deemed to be popular opinion.

This sounds like the national media and its polls are running the country and the representatives and senators are only drawing salaries for rubber-stamping whatever the latest polls indicate.

If, as it seems, our representatives in the House and the Senate are going to vote on issues according to the latest polling data, what do we need them for? Given the fickle nature of public opinion and ability of the press to change such opinion, maybe we should have a constitutional amendment to elect editors. Ha! We could then do away with having a House and Senate and all of the expense of the big salaries and pensions those characters have voted for themselves.

The news media and its asinine polls could truly be running the country instead of just coercing and subverting the legislative process as they are now.

Gary Poole


Earth warming reoccurs

To the Editor:

The United Nations' disinformation-based Kyoto treaty has again reared its ugly head in the form of a pair of recently submitted letters by a couple of U.N. sycophants who are either totally ignorant of natural geologic phenomena or are deliberately attempting to cover untruths about the global-warming theory in a logically presented manner in order to attack America's lifestyle and industrial freedom, relying on people's ignorance concerning the following:

1. How can the United States be a main producer of air pollutants when most of the heavy industries have migrated to some third-world countries thanks to NAFTA and GATT, that are now out-polluting America, unrestrictedly, by a large margin?

2. The Kyoto Treaty is primarily a U.N. instrument to be used in an attempt to exert United Nations control to further reduce American power and production.

3. The U.N.'s global-warming theory is based on junk-science.

4. To those who think there may be a grain of sense in those claims, consider the factual geological and meteorological history concerning earth changes. Global warming is a naturally recurring phenomenon, just as were the giant glaciers that covered much of the earth's temperate zones during this planet's ice ages.

Any intelligent student taking Geology 101 can tell you that we are still in the throes of the ice age phenomenon and no matter what pretty-sounding tales are used to obfuscate the truth about a natural geologic phase, the warming trend will continue until we swing up again toward another ice age.

I wonder what kind of phony theory they will come up with to explain the global cooling that will occur when the glaciers once again carve their way across our continent, assuming of course that anyone has lived through our international altercations.

Jim Bovard