December 19, 2002 11:00 pm

Home sweet home in Union

To the Editor:

Union is a place of rest, solace and sanctuary.

The world can go nuts, but in Union you don't have to go with them. You can talk to neighbors not always in agreement with you but willing to bend over backwards to help you. A simple, friendly gesture, but uncommon in my experience.

The car breaks down and people stop to help. Somehow Union has evaded the self-centered frenzy engulfing so much of the world today. I can breathe here, even with a little smoke during the winter. The warmth of the people makes up for the smoke. Usually there's not enough smoke to worry about.

I've lived in many places. When I moved here, I had the Four Corners area in mind — Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. I thought the natural beauty would mean a good place to find some rest. But I've found rest here.

Union has its own beauty. I like it here. It seems to stimulate a desire to protect, to help and even to serve. Maybe that's a little corny but I enjoy good corn.

On this planet there is no escape from the grip of selfishness, yet it's nice to have a place of reprieve. I've needed a place to learn some greater perspective.

Our legal system often deals us something less than justice and I admit to my own anger. In this reprieve I am learning that I do not have to participate in organized or disorganized injustice. I guess I've seen enough.

Union has helped me realize I'm not required to participate in injustice even if its source might be the halls of justice.

Roy E. Mercer


Let flier plan fly away

To the Editor:

I appreciate The Observer bringing to our attention Thursday the county commissioners' decision to "allow county employees to keep for their personal use frequent flier miles earned while on county business."

Value received from frequent flier miles belongs to the county and should be used to reduce expenses.

I note with interest this decision was made under the consent agenda that normally has no discussion.

The consent agenda should not be used for changes of policy. The decision regarding frequent flier miles should be changed now and not under the consent agenda.

Dick McDaniel

La Grande

Dogs poisoned?

To the Editor:

On Nov. 26 my dog and my friend's dog were found dead in our yards. We think they were poisoned and the veterinarian is doing an autopsy on both of them.

This was a horrible sight to have to see. My dog was my best friend. We did everything together. We even slept side by side.

I am 11 years old and my friend is 8 years old. This made it very hard to have a happy Thanksgiving but we are still thankful for what we have, although we are very sad and it will take a long time to get over this.

Therefore we would like to warn people to watch their dogs very carefully.

And to the coward who puts poison out for animals, you will get yours eventually from God and you are a horrible person.

Kasie Shelley and Christian Knapp

La Grande

A musical delight

To the Editor:

A hearty thanks to the sponsors, the EOU Music faculty and the hundreds of community musicians for a delightful weekend of music entertainment.

This 11th year of The Observer's Community Holiday Music Festival was bigger and better than ever! What a fine collection of musicians we have in our community, all generously sharing their time and talent.

An added thanks to the churches, the schools, and the many groups who will share their festive programs this holiday season. What a generous community!

Doyle and Connie Slater

La Grande

Where will they go?

To the Editor:

Not too long ago, your paper ran an article stating that a residential care facility serving drug addicts and alcoholics was closing.

This was due to budget cuts. Exactly where are these people going to end up?

Either with families that can't care for them, or they will end up on the streets. This does not bode well for the taxpayer.

It's going to end up costing the taxpayers more money than less. These people will end up being caught by the police, who will send them to the most convenient place for them (the police), the hospital ER.

This is going to end up costing us even more in the end, rather than leaving them in a residential care facility. It will use time, effort and monies from the police departments and from Medicaid/Medicare. This is supposed to save money?

What programs will be next? Probably those that target our most vulnurable populations, ones which cannot speak for themselves.

I am sure that in-home care for severely disabled children and adults is next. You say they will end up in nursing homes? Did you all forget the funding for the nursing homes has been cut? They're not going to take them. So again, guess where they will end up? In the hospitals, costing the taxpayer more money.

Exactly what is our state Legislature doing here? Cutting conveniently small programs that target small, vulnurable populations that can't speak for themselves. What kind of people have we elected? They certainly are not very ethical, nor very moral.

Because our Legislature is making these cuts, soon, we are going to have to vote on increasing our taxes to keep these vulnurable people alive and living lives that would be of benefit to our communities.

Please, please vote to increase the taxes that support these programs! Otherwise, it will cost us all more in the end.

Rae Ann Emery


Flags should be lighted

To the Editor:

Island City should get a good round of applause for the beautiful city marker at the entrance to the city on Highway 82. It is not only pleasing with its grass mound and small flower patch but also is a nice symbol of patriotism, which is more than welcome these days.

But, alas, it is just possible that the well-meaning citizens of Island City might incur the wrath of the U.S. Marshal who is sworn to uphold the laws of the United States.

Such laws require that when the U.S. flag is flown at night it must be illuminated. Worse yet, since there are three flags, some pettifogging legal eagle will charge three counts of violation to make this one of the largest crimes in the areas.

In spite of it all, the edifice sure beats La Grande's faded 3 by 5- inch painted sign hidden in the bushes and the sign at Adams and Island avenues which says "Pendleton City Center."

No wonder La Grande begs for tourist dollars. Where the heck is La Grande?

David Arnott


Adults need to be responsible

To the Editor:

Responding to Wednesday's editorial on drunk driving laws, and wanting to go a bit further:

There needs to be more of an effort to get those adults who make beer/liquor available to kids. Those thoughtless people are causing young people to start having a lifetime of problems.

There are teenage drinkers who probably were already snitching drinks when they moved up from middle school.

Many of the kids have parents who drink, and the alcohol is just too available to pass up.

I suggest that people who have liquor and kids in the same house keep the drinks locked up.

Leonard Morse

La Grande

More than oxygen

sensor is acting up

To the Editor:

I was contemplating — depending upon road conditions — driving my pickup to Portland. My gas gauge indicated that my tank was only slightly less than full.

Surprisingly, it required 17 gallons to fill and the indicator was 1/2-inch past the full mark. This could be a problem, depending where and when my tank ran dry — while indicating half full.

Some time ago the words "service engine soon" kept popping up on my dash.

I took my truck to a local GM dealer and asked that the condition be rectified.

It was determined that an oxygen sensor was acting up. The remedy, for the part plus labor, came to the tune of $350 with a warranty that would outlast me.

My truck is a 1992 model with only 29,980 miles on it.

My truck is seldom used in the winter and then only when circumstances warrant.

I considered that the warranty of the previous electronic fix would cover my current problem, so I took my truck back to the same repair shop.

Later that day I was informed that the fault was in a gauge cluster component and was not covered by the warranty and would cost $550 to replace.

Some time after having given the OK to replace the gauge, I thought that $550 would buy 366 gallons of gas at $1.50 a gallon.

And how about this: During the early 1920s, one could buy not one but two Model T Fords, FOB Detroit, for what that gas gauge will cost me.

Some people are just plain luckier than others.

Besides, one used a stick to measure the gas on the Model T.

Cecil Mecham


Shouldn't join the team

To the Editor:

This is in response to the editorial "Kulongoski Should Eye Howard for Team" on the opinion page of The Observer Dec. 2, about joining Ted Kulongoski, Mike Nelson and John Howard on a team.

If that means all our rural area towns will get a golf course and all the air-cleaning trees will be scraped off the mountains, and more cuts in the Sheriff's office.

And all the death-trap potholes on the soft shoulders of roads like Hunter Road, Black Hawk Trail Lane and Fruitdale Lane, will not be repaired, then I don't want it.

I wonder if our officials are aware that our tax money is being spent on this kind of service. My opinion? I don't want it.

By the way, what's that remark about the local Republicans being on the outside looking in?

Essie Wagoner