April 26, 2001 11:00 pm

Open your dictionaries to page 433.

Dump (noun) A rubbish pile; a place for dumping rubbish.

It seems clear enough. A dump is a designated place for societys throwaways. Union County has one main dump, specifically the Fox Hill Landfill that is located a couple miles north of La Grande.

The idea of a public dump is simple: Pay the fee and use the landfill as directed. And yet, some people just dont get it. They choose other unauthorized areas as their dumping grounds including a beautiful streambed a few miles northwest of Elgin.

The Elgin area residents who volunteered to help clean up the area adjacent to Phillips Creek last weekend discovered just how ugly illegal dumping can be.

Little by little, the area has become a dump with garbage covering much of the creek bank. The volunteers removed everything from diapers to rusted appliances and took out between 30 and 50 old tires.

Come on now. Arent there appropriate places to dispose of tires, stoves and washing machines? A quick call to one of the areas tire dealers or to City Garbage Service in La Grande will provide information on where to take items for disposal.

But to a creek bed? And a beautiful creek bed, at that? Illegal dumping is not just a problem in the Elgin area. Mini-dumps crop up in other areas as well.

People should know better than to take their trash to unauthorized places. Neighbors witnessing illegal dumping should blow the whistle. They should alert authorities whenever they see someone involved in such a disgusting activity.


One of the benefits of living in Northeast Oregon is the way residents rally to show they care for each other.

A case in point is Ron and Laura Califf of La Grande. Their baby, Connor William, will be facing surgery when he is born in June. Doctors will work to correct a condition in which Connors liver and part of his intestines have grown in a membrane on the outside of his body.

One can only imagine the travel expenses and other costs the couple will incur in the weeks and months ahead.

Ron Califfs fellow soldiers at the Oregon National Guard are doing what they can to help the couple. They are planning a spaghetti feed from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the armory on 12th Street. The cost is $4 each or $15 for a family.

Thats a small price to pay to enjoy a meal with friends and help the Califfs who are facing a tough road ahead. They need to know how much the community supports them and wishes them good success in the days ahead.