November 20, 2002 11:00 pm

Bring agency under control

To the Editor:

We have an out-of-control government agency called the DHS, Department of Human Services, also know as CSD, Children's Services Division.

We need to cut off their funds as we are paying millions of our tax dollars on false accusations where children have never been harmed. They are using both federal and state money. They are trying to break up families that shouldn't be broken up and terrorizing both the parents and children.

We have laws against actual child abuse and criminal neglect. Social workers should be put back into doing social work.

People in Germany wouldn't speak out about the injustices before World War II. We are letting a form of Nazi Gestapo government take over and we need to stop this before it is too late and nobody will be able to stop it.

We have a real need to protect our families from these out-of-control government agencies by informing the people of what is really going on.

Beverly Carman


Stop endorsing local candidates

To the Editor:

The Oct. 24 editorial addressing stopping local political endorsements by this newspaper is valid.

Yes you should stop. Where is the fairness when you endorse one local candidate over another? Do you sit and smile as the underdog pours more money into advertising into your paper?

Who gets better ad placement?

Are stories killed or held back until the race is over that may hurt your endorsed candidate?

The best analogy I could offer is a major heavyweight fight with two contenders who earned the right to compete for the title. Just before the bell rings to start the fight, the ref turns to the crowd and points to one fighter and proclaims loudly, "If it was my money, I would be betting on this guy."

You the Observer are that ref.

Chris Ellison

La Grande

Don't accept negative ads

To the Editor:

So, The Observer editorial staff is disturbed by negative political ads. (See Nov. 5 editorial.) The attack ads, The Observer warns, lead people to turn off to the process and not get involved.

I couldn't agree more. So next campaign, in 2004, The Observer can put its money where its mouth is, literally, and simply refuse to sell space for negative ads. Just don't run them.

This is not unprecedented. Most community newspapers reflect the values of their readers by not printing ads for the "adult" industry. And media outlets, by law, no longer advertise alcohol or tobacco products. Surely negative ads by candidates and special interest groups are as offensive as the ads for these products and services.

The publisher and staff of The Observer, and other media outlets in the county, have more power than any individual in this community to put an end to negative campaigning. So do it, or quit complaining about it.

Doug Overlock

La Grande

Give voters yes, no column

To the Editor:

During the recent election, there was much talk about negative campaigning but not a whisper about one method to combat it.

If I'm convinced by Candidate A that Candidate B is a bad choice then I should be able to vote directly against B without having to vote for A in order to show my disapproval for B. Each candidate should have both a yes and a no column and the highest net yes votes wins.

Who wants to win because they convinced voters to vote against the others ... making claiming a mandate quite difficult? And given human nature, voter turnout would likely increase.

The concept should at least be put on the table for discussion. Obviously politicians will have a whole litany of reasons to not allow being voted against in such a public and unspinnable way.

They might even have to sell their own strengths rather than the other's weaknesses — real or claimed.

Dan Thompson


Impressed with La Grande

To the Editor:

My husband and I came from Portland to La Grande last weekend to watch our daughter and the rest of the Catlin Gabel Eagles play the Tigers in the 3A girls soccer quarterfinals. I was moved by the experience.

The spectacular high school choir accompanied by a wonderful solo trumpeter brought tears to more than just my eyes; the La Grande parents in our bleacher section were more respectful than any I've encountered in my daughter's 10 years of soccer play; and, of course, your Tigers have the drive and seriousness that remind me once again why we pushed so hard to give girls the athletic opportunities they have now.

I'd like to think that I would have written this letter if the Eagles had lost. I think I would have but being a sports fan is a constant struggle for maturity!

Maureen Steinberger, parent

Catlin Gabel Eagles


Treat disabled with kindness

To the Editor:

In September I had to have surgery on my achilles tendon. At that time I was confined to a wheelchair or a walker. This has been a very humbling thing for me.

During this time I have met some very caring and helpful people, but I am really disturbed to say that this was not always the case.

I am in the middle-aged class, and it is this group that I have really found to be the most disrespectful.

I have tried to get the wheelchair out of the way or tried to get something that I am after, and they seem to step in front of the wheelchair without saying, "Excuse me."

I wonder why the generation of today seems not to know its manners.

If I encounter anyone on crutches, in a wheelchair or with a walker, please know that I will be there to help. I am very thankful that at least my time has been limited in this condition.

Come on people, slow down and show everyone that we can be respectful. It really doesn't take much to be nice.

Vickie Frizzell

La Grande

Issues remain in Island City

To the Editor:

Now that the election dust has settled I must respond to the letter from the former Island City councilperson. The first comment was concerning wage comparisons. Yes, the employees are well paid. In fact, during the ex-councilor's term they were receiving a wage increase of 6 percent annually.

Next was the comment on the availability of employee job descriptions. Webster defines "available" as ready for use, easily obtainable, accessible. I am a present councilperson who, for seven months, has waited, along with Mrs. Donnelly, for job descriptions. They have been requested at least once monthly.

During this period one new temporary employee has been added to City Hall. City Hall now has one mayor, one city recorder, one full-time employee who spends part time in the office, and two part-time employees who each spend about 20 hours per week in the office.

When I vote for a tax incease I feel the need for all the background information that is available.

Another item mentioned was the Sanitation District budget approval with Mike Donnelly as chairman. There was no mention of four other board members: the mayor, one other city employee, and two retirees.

I believe each board member has an equal vote, one vote does not say it all. A good story deserves all the facts.

Ken Hanson

Island City