November 12, 2002 11:00 pm

Scheeler knows our values

To the Editor:

Voters living in Union and Wallowa counties will not be voting to return an incumbent from District 57 to be our state representative in the upcoming election. Nor will we be voting for a resident of Union or Wallowa counties to represent us.

Elizabeth Scheeler is a resident of rural Umatilla County and her opponent, Greg Smith, is a resident of Heppner in Morrow County.

In weighing which candidate to vote for, I considered how each would represent the interests of residents of the two counties and their positions on government finance. From hearing both speak and reviewing their positions on issues, my conclusion is Elizabeth Scheeler is more understanding of and would better represent the diversity of Union and Wallowa county residents' values and concerns.

Greg Smith's votes on and statements about finding a permanent solution to the state's long-term obligation to fund schools, human services and public safety are not consistent with the interests of rural Oregonians.

His believing Oregon's problems can simply be solved by making more budget cuts — the perennial waste in government argument — without consideration of new funding sources flies in the face of common sense and economic reality.

My vote for Elizabeth Scheeler is a vote for a less doctrinaire, less divisive and more common-sense approach to financing government services. Her community volunteer experience, work on school budget committees and service as a school board member provide her a critical practical perspective her opponent lacks.

Please join me in voting for responsible government by voting for Elizabeth Scheeler for District 57 state representative.

Terry Edvalson

La Grande

Labeling food costs little

To the Editor:

Measure 27 would provide consumers with a choice of what they buy.

Currently, food sold in stores is labeled with ingredients, nutritional information and weight of the product. Opponents of Measure 27 claim that passing a law requiring labeling of genetically modified organisms would be very expensive. Nonsense!

Australia requires genetically engineered foods to be labeled. There has been no increase in the price of their foods, even when H.J. Heinz makes frozen food in the United States, labels the food as containing genetically modified organisms, ships it to Australia and sells it competitively.

Think. How much does it cost the farmer, the miller, the distributor, the baker to have a label on a sack of flour identifying it as wheat flour instead of rye flour or graham flour? Nothing. When bakers are preparing bread, they want to know which flour they are using.

Measure 27 simply gives consumers a choice in their purchasing. Does the product contain genetically modified organisms or not? There are foods labeled kosher that cost no more than regular products. Consumers want to know if food has genetically engineered products in them.

There should be no increase in price if the food producers were required to label the food. That is one reason I am urging you to vote yes on Measure 27.

Kent H. Coe

La Grande

Stark would be asset on council

To the Editor:

I am proud to have served for three years in La Grande City Council position No. 3. I was privileged to serve with a council committed to ensuring a quality of community life enhanced by attractive, modern, cost-efficient public facilities, such as the La Grande SK-8 Park and a new fire station, high speed telecommunications and various economic development projects intended to benefit local merchants, citizens and families. Regrettably, it became necessary for me to resign my council seat earlier this year, but my desire to see the council continue its efforts to accomplish ongoing short- and long-range goals remains undiminished.

Of the three candidates for position No. 3 on the council, I believe Dan Stark has the qualifications and attributes to successfully contribute to the council's demonstrated cohesiveness and ability to set reachable goals in the face of declining revenues.

He has demonstrated his capability to work with the council as a team while serving on the city's budget committee, where he was chairperson for four years, and as a former Parking and Traffic Safety Advisory commissioner.

His unique combination of public and private experience and his fiscal prudence will be an asset to the council as it continues its focus on revitalization of the downtown area, including the construction of a new library, and as it promotes and expands the downtown historic and urban renewal districts, to name a few of the council's identified long-range projects.

Dan will do his homework. He has the experience, time, energy, sense of humor and community history necessary to continue the momentum established by the council and will serve well as he faces the challenges that lie ahead.

I urge your support of and vote for

Dan Stark for council position No. 3.

Doug Winn

La Grande

Something stinks

To the Editor:

While those on Social Security will get a 1.4 percent raise, the people we sent to Washington, D.C., voted themselves a small raise — about $30,000 a year.

Something is wrong.

M. G. Ackley

La Grande

Funds make Shelter strong

To the Editor:

I have been a volunteer hotline worker with Shelter From the Storm and formerly the Task Force Against Domestic Violence since 1982. I have watched the program grow from a small office hidden away in the basement of the Joseph Building to a visible community resource with its own office and safe home.

It is unfortunate that over the past 20 years I have seen literally thousands of families assisted by this program. Alternately, as a member of this community I count myself fortunate to have this most important resource available to families in crisis.

Through the years, support from the Union County United Way has been consistent and constant. In earlier years United Way was the single largest grantor supporting this program. Their support has assisted in the making Shelter From the Storm one of the most highly respected and comprehensive programs in the state. We have been continually grateful for their ongoing support.

Please support Shelter From the Storm by supporting our local United Way.

Laura M. Walls

La Grande

Takes issue with remarks

To the Editor:

As a former Island City City Council member and former chairman of the Island City Sanitation Board, I am writing in response to Sandi Donnelly's remarks in the Oct. 8 Observer.

I find a comparison to Portland or any other large city concerning wages paid employees to be ludicrous. We get what we are willing to pay for, and it appears we get very professional, dedicated, concerned employees.

In her remarks Mrs. Donnelly stated she has never seen a job description for employees. They do exist and are available for viewing. With so few employees in the district or city, evaluations may be overkill since their performance is no doubt scrutinized at each district or council meeting.

The budget committee meets on two separate occasions to discuss and make changes if necessary. The budget is presented to the council for consideration. Members of the budget committee consist of council members and members of the community.

Mike Donnelly serves as the chairman of the Island City Sanitation District that approved the most recent budget. He is the husband of Sandi Donnelly, who is a candidate for mayor of Island City. She is on the city council that approved the current budget she is calling into question.

Mrs. Donnelly states that her job as mayor would consist of dropping in during the day, signing papers and staying in touch. The mayor of a community must have the ability to work well with other government agencies and people, maintain sound relationships with the members of the community, respect the needs of the employees and have the knowledge and character to apply these traits in the daily business of the city.

Please retain these virtues by casting your ballot for Dale Delong, for mayor of Island City.

Sharon Vermillion

Island City

Super center would be boost

To the Editor:

I write to you concerning the possible development of a Wal-Mart super center. I believe it would boost our economy and enhance our community. It would draw more consumers from surrounding areas in Eastern Oregon, bringing more revenue to our town.

I know many of my friends will drive to Pendleton to shop at the super center there. They are taking their money and placing it in Pendleton's economy.

Yes, it does help the Oregon economy, but it hurts the economy in La Grande. Placing a super center in our community would regain what is ours.

Along with bringing consumers back to La Grande, a super center would draw many more consumers from the Enterprise area and from the Baker City area.

My parents enjoy shopping downtown as well as at Wal-Mart. This super center would be another incentive to travel over and shop.

Providing our community with the super center, our town will prosper and grow. Opportunities will arise and our community will benefit with a Wal-Mart super center.

Timothy Kreger

La Grande

Smith opposes tax increases

To the Editor:

It seems like every two years when the Legislature convenes, you had better grab your wallet.

Whether it's trying to raise the income tax, changing the way property is valued or the "little" fee increases we face, our hard-earned money always seems to disappear.

This November I will be saying no to increased taxes through a vote for Rep. Greg Smith. He understands that a prosperous economy does not occur through government control and more taxes, but by allowing our free enterprise system to work.

Greg has convinced me that he will continue to work hard to reduce the tax burdens on working citizens and small business owners, so that they can once again be profitable.

If you feel, as I do, the choice is simple — vote to elect Rep. Greg Smith for Oregon state representative in House District 57.

Ron Herbison

La Grande

Concentrate on our blessings

To the Editor:

I have been noticing for quite some time your editorials have been disturbing. They seem to imply that our president is incompetent.

Do you realize what a mess he inherited? These situations have been brewing for years. First, no economy sustains to the high level ours had without a down-swing. Check history and you will see this is so.

Second, there are different circumstances but the same effect. Our president recognizes our need to not be dependent on a nation that would like to dominate us and uses their product to try and blackmail us. We need to be as self-reliant as possible.

There is a place to consider the environment but be sure your information is accurate and not excessive. You can always find someone who will agree with your agenda whether it is wise or not. Finally, I would say, wouldn't it make more sense to pray for our president than to criticize him? After all we are all in this together.

We have so many blessings in this country we need to concentrate on them instead of fault-finding. I was born in 1918 so you can see I have lived through many cycles.

Thelma Hagen

La Grande

Support keeps orchestra alive

To the Editor:

I write this letter in regards to a collection of young aspiring musicians here in our community. They are the Grande Ronde Youth Orchestra and they are made up of a combination of young people ranging in age from middle school to high school.

Most are from Union County, with some traveling from Wallowa County and even from as far as Baker to Eastern Oregon University once a week in order to practice and prepare to perform.

This year they have been blessed with a new conductor who seems enthus- iastic about working with this youthful group.

Along with an appreciation of classical music, these students learn to play in an orchestra setting, something not otherwise available to string players.

The youth orchestra is funded by donations and grants.

On behalf of the Grande Ronde Youth Orchestra, I would like to thank the United Way for its support and the many others who help to keep this group alive.

Our family has personally benefitted in an admiration for the music of history.

My hope is that many generations to come will also have this privilege.

Carrie Spalione, Youth Orchestra parent


Thomas honest, open

To the Editor:

For the past four years Union has had a mayor, Dave Thomas, who has worked with the people of the city.

In my contacts with him I have found him to be honest and not afraid to answer questions truthfully. He does not ignore you, pass the buck or have dealings behind closed doors even unknown to council members. He does not do things for his personal glorification but for the city itself.

A previous mayor, who I personally feel was just seeking notoriety, allowed a contingency in the Union golf course contract that put the entire city of Union in jeopardy of going bankrupt. In order to save the city, the council recently had to approve the expansion of the urban growth boundary even though the population has gone down 65 in the past year.

The only reason the expansion was passed was to save the city from having to pay the land's seller, Bill Ricker, $250,000. How could anyone in the city offices at that time allow the city to be put in that much jeopardy?

Previous to this incident a few people in this town, the former mayor included, took it upon themselves to make an application for a boot camp to be located here.

It was done using a city letterhead and without full council knowledge. The citizens of Union rallied against the way everything was done and it was nixed by the councilors. As it turns out the county had to bail out the city and we could have had an empty prison sitting down by the state farm.

I urge the citizens of Union to retain our present mayor and continue to live in the honesty and harmony that we have had for the past four years.

Linda Boettcher


Back Democrats Nov. 5

To the Editor:


Vote Democratic.

Vote for Bill Bradbury, Peter Buckley, Ted Kulongoski and Elizabeth Scheeler. Help our state and country get back on the right track.

Vote for education, health care, the environment, Social Security, Medicare, peaceful international relations. Vote for regaining a democracy where the interests of citizens are once again paramount. Vote against the buy-out of America by a few wealthy individuals and large corporations.

Cast your ballots and vote for the Democratic ticket.

Vote for a positive future for all of us.

Janet Nedry

La Grande

Missing Show & Tel

To the Editor:

I too join in with Lanetta Paul and the Richters of Elgin in saying "bring back Show & Tel." I miss all of the information on musical and cultural events for the area. They seem very scattered now.

I could always depend on Friday and the Show & Tel for all of the coverage of the artists and upcoming attractions in the area.

I have been trying to give myself time to make the necessary changes. So far it still is not happening.

Lorna Spain

La Grande