February 04, 2003 11:00 pm

Tip Observer carriers

To the Editor:

How many of you remember to tip The Observer's delivery person? This is something that seems to get forgotten.

Usually they are kids, often having their first job. They work hard in all kinds of weather. Even a small tip on a regular basis can mean a lot and is greatly appreciated.

Then there are the wonderful adult delivery folks who have the rural routes. I know a couple of them. They take their own vehicles out on days when no-one should have to venture out. They go on gravel roads in all kinds of adverse conditions.

They really deserve a tip, and in bad weather they deserve an extra generous tip.

Please think about how far they have driven to bring The Observer to your country home.

Marge Woodford

La Grande

Grasses could spread

To the Editor:

I was quite disturbed by Liz Alvord's Jan. 21 tirade (or was it a temper tantrum?) about controlling the sale of exotic seed for use in Oregon. She seems to feel that global diversity is a fine goal that should cause us to shelve all our efforts to eradicate invasive weeds.

Aside from my love for native plants, there is a huge economic issue here. Knapweed and cheat grass have displaced good forage all over the West. Many acres of rangeland support a fraction of the cattle they used to feed.

Deer and elk are doing poorly because they can't eat the invasive species that literally wiped out the palatable grasses.

Farmers spend thousands of dollars to control weeds that invade tilled ground. Land that used to make ranchers wealthy is barely breaking even.

Cheat grass is extremely flammable and after a burn, guess what grows best? Cheat grass.

Teasel and Canadian thistle dominate disturbed wetlands. Are they prettier than our native riparian species that kept our streams and fish healthy?

"What's to keep the knapweed, tansy ragwort, etc., from coming back?'' asks Alvord.

Of course we shouldn't rely on herbicide. That is why our range laboratories have worked so hard on insects that naturally eat these weeds. The cinnabar moth has been very effective against tansy ragwort. Weevils that eat star thistle are being used here in Union County. It takes years and thousands of dollars to develop these controls but they will be here after we are dead and gone.

So what if Alvord and other gardeners try all these lovely ornamental grasses and in a year or two they are climbing all over our hillsides? Do you think they will look so lovely then?

Mary Cooke


So much for ‘no spin'

To the Editor:

We are constantly being bombarded by some sections of the news media with catch words like "the no spin zone" or "fair and balanced news."

It was hard to take such catch-phrases seriously when we looked at the Voters' Pamphlet prepared by the secretary of state on Measure 28.

By count there were eight published opposition arguments in pages 28 through 36, and 45 arguments in favor running from pages 6 though 45. Oh yes, pages 4 and 5 were given over to an explanation of what Measure 28 really says.

Now in an analysis of no-spin or fair and balanced, one notes that the publication itself was put together by a politician who gets his paycheck from the tax dollar.

All of the 45 arguments in favor were undersigned by persons employed by institutions that directly or indirectly get all or part of their funds from the tax dollar, thus are in favor of keeping tax dollars flowing.

Then there is one page in which the secretary of state explains how he justifies spending tax dollars publishing these unbiased arguments and how much cheaper it is to spread it far and wide than limit the distribution to those in need.

Well so much for fair and balanced or no spin in Oregon.

David Arnott


People must regain control

To the Editor:

I read an article today from the Washington Post that talked about how concerns of war have led to resentment of U.S. power.

As I read this article and dozens of others like it, the main question on my mind is how can this be happening?

Isn't the United States the leader of the free world? I also wonder how, according to a Time Magazine poll, this grand nation of ours can be considered the biggest threat to world peace. I don't know much about foreign policy, but it seems to me that Washington, D.C., knows even less than I do these days.

I wonder how we could allow someone in the White House, who spent almost half of his first six months in office on vacation, to intimidate another country with his soldiers, missiles and warships without any clear-cut reason for doing so. If he has the evidence he claims to have, we are entitled to know it. After all, since "we the people" put him in office, doesn't he technically work for us?

I've also noticed, as he represents our nation to the rest of the world, the word "regime" is now defined as any country or administration that does not do what our administration tells them to do.

Is America really that arrogant, or am I just making a mountain out of a mole hill?

The happenings in Washington, D.C., always have seemed a long way from what goes on here in Northeastern Oregon, but the decisions being made in the next weeks or months will no doubt affect us all. I hope the people of this country will regain control before it's too late.

Tom Dalton

La Grande

Dog not yours to keep

To the Editor:

On Tuesday afternoon our family's dog, a young, fawn-colored Chinese Pug, was taken. I am writing to the individual who is considering keeping him.

I know that your intentions are good. You want to love and protect this friendly little dog. However, you should know that three very sad children miss their dog terribly. He is a part of our family. I know that he is cute, sweet and a lot of fun but he is not yours to keep. Did you know that it is a crime to keep a dog that you have found without reporting finding him?

Please do the right thing and return our pet. You may return him directly to us or to the Blue Mountain Humane Society. We don't intend to ask questions, we just want our dog back.

Kimberly Baum

1806 V Ave.