February 17, 2003 11:00 pm

Salon parking not a problem

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to your Jan. 14 editorial regarding the operation of The Garden Gate Salon in the residential area of Cedar Street.

The permit for her salon was initially approved and then because two neighbors objected, it was then denied. If it has a negative impact on the neighborhood, why have not more neighbors objected?

The salon has been in operation for more than two months. What a surprise that two neighbors across the street did not realize it until they read the editorial in the paper. One of the neighbors, because of the alleged parking situation, offered a parking spot in front of their house.

I urge the city council members to see for themselves, drive by her salon anytime between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. There is no parking problem. There is no traffic congestion. There is no negative impact on the neighborhood.

In closing, I would like to thank The Observer for a very factual editorial. I hope it will help keep the Garden Gate Salon open for business. It is a very quiet, very inviting, very tasteful one-person salon. Good luck, Vicki.

Judy L. Clemons

La Grande

Kind couple cared for dog

To the Editor:

In reference to our letter that ran Saturday, our family received the telephone call we have been praying for. Our missing Chinese Pug had been located. A kind couple took him in and cared for him. We really appreciate that.

We are very grateful to the excellent women who work in animal control. Their concern and dedication to finding our dog was comforting.

Kimberly Baum

La Grande

Shopping changes occur

To the Editor:

In reference to Dave Stave's notebook column in the Jan. 23 Observer, "Opposition mounts against super center," I just want to say that Darrel Miller, editor of the Kansas paper, would not "march" around Kansas warning of Wal-Mart and the super centers.

He is a writer and editor; he's had two books published, one on railroads of the early days; one of his sons is a lawyer in Washington, D.C.; his daughter is married to a lawyer and lives in that area.

As for myself I am not for or against Wal-Mart or super stores. I've heard friends and relatives speak of the one near Colorado Springs, Colo., saying they have everything you would want including a restaurant.

When the malls came in and the first stores went out of La Grande onto the Island City strip, out went other businesses in La Grande, but no different from other towns of the same size. However, gone were the Saturdays and Saturday nights open late; and parallel parking prevented sitting in the car and watching the people go by on a Saturday afternoon or evening, visiting on the street.

Now La Grande has done a beautiful job of cleaning up the main street with good ideas to replace the vacant places. The beautiful trees and flower boxes, along with the little parks, will continue to make it a nice place to live, either in La Grande or out. EOU has a beautiful campus and buildings.

So whether the huge super center comes or not, we still have stores on main street, J.C. Penney's, Red Cross Drug and a few older stores. There are changes in spite of everything we try to do to stop it.

Fleta L. McCoy

La Grande

Anthony should take next step

To the Editor:

I am a 16-year-old junior at La Grande High School and have been snowboarding for six years.

Each winter I travel around competing in half-pipe, slope-style and other events, and have been very successful. My success is due to hard work and determination, but no thanks to my local mountain, Anthony Lakes.

I have watched and been a part of the progression of the sport. As snowboarding has progressed, so have other resorts, by adding half-pipes and terrain parks allowing kids to practice and improve their skills.

As a rider at Anthony Lakes, I have no terrain park or half-pipe to practice in, making it very difficult to compete against kids who are riding on good jumps and nice half-pipes every weekend.

All good resorts have a designated run for a terrain park and pipe, but it seems to be too much to ask at Anthony Lakes. For a terrain park they push up one or two small, unsafe jumps on the side of a run and call it good.

With snowboarders making up a majority of the business for Anthony Lakes, you would think they would look for ways to attract them to the mountain. Anthony Lakes did take the first step and purchased a machine to build a half-pipe; now they need to take the next step and build a designated terrain park and half-pipe.

Since I started snowboarding I've been working toward a professional career in the sport, but have not gotten any help or support from my local mountain. All we ask is that they work with us and get a good program started. Thanks to my family, friends, and sponsors for their support.

Nick Cornford

La Grande

Lost on sportsmanship

To the Editor:

I attended the Lewis and Clark Classic Wrestling Tournament in Lewiston, Wash., recently. What occurred should not be tolerated.

Jimmy van Belle wrestled Clarkston's 189-pound Dan Bryant in the quarterfinals. Bryant kicked van Belle and referee Randy Burgess called the Clarkston wrestler for the violation. The call upset the Clarkston head coach, who threw a tantrum. A coach can challenge a legal or illegal hold but not a violation. Burgess awarded another point to van Belle and had the Clarkston coach ejected.

In the consolation round, van Belle had to wrestle Bryant again for third and fourth place. This time van Belle pinned his opponent in the first 30 seconds. I hope Bryant's parents were present to see the true sportsmanship their son displayed after that match.

In the 171-pound seat for third and fourth, Lewiston and Coeur d'Alene's wrestlers squared off in a double-overtime contest. At the last second the Coeur d'Alene wrestler was awarded a two-point reversal and the match. The Lewiston coaches challenged the call and the decision was reversed, but the Lewiston wrestler became so hostile he made a spectacle of himself by name-calling.

It is the coach's responsibility to stand up for the wrestler in a non-hostile manner and the Lewiston coach did that. It's unfortunate the young man lost his cool. There are no winners in a hostile confrontation.

The Lewiston wrestler was awarded the match but he lost the contest of sportsmanship. The same wrestler displayed a similar attitude by throwing chairs last year when he lost his match.

Athletic programs are an extension of our educational system and if coaches do not display positive leadership, they do not deserve to be part of the school's program.

Jerry Kiesecker


Calling all bagpipe fans

To the Editor:

I am interested in organizing a bagpipe and drum band in our community. I wonder if there are any others with a like interest and who now play, or are learning to play, the pipes or drums.

Its primary mission would be to support and further the principles of community through involvement. Its goal would be reached by responding to requests to attend and perform at community functions and by supporting other worthwhile causes, and would seek to proudly embody the city of La Grande.

My credentials are limited but I have the experience to mentor a student, youth or adult, male or female, to perform at a basic level. So if you are dedicated to team work and self discipline, and have a keen interest in learning to play the pipes within this genre, give me a call at 963-2763.

Jack Page

La Grande

Impressed by letter

To the Editor:

We would like to commend Tom Dalton's letter in the Jan. 31 Observer. The many enlightening points he made were valid and a cause for concern.

With Mr. Bush in control of our nation, it does seem that the power of our country is being misinterpreted and misused.

After reading Dalton's letter, matters involving the Bush administration were put further into perspective. America has no valid grounds on which to police the world.

As we are on the verge of becoming politically active citizens of this nation, accurate knowledge and wisdom are a virtue.

Thank you, Mr. Dalton, for allowing us to see that. Everyone who read his letter is smarter for having done so.

Tracey Bloyed & Kate Spangler

La Grande

Difficult balancing act

To the Editor:

In response to Kevin Cahill's Feb. 3 column, there were some glaring lapses in logic to which I would like to respond.

For instance, if, as he says, the Kurds are the current "poster victims" of the right-wing in the United States, does that mean that what happened to them is not grievous? Because George Bush Sr. was president at the time, does that make him responsible for the gassing of Kurds? I don't get it. Does that mean that Saddam Hussein is not responsible? Additionally, calling them "poster victims" seems a fairly denigrating way to describe their plight and what happened to them. Put simply, it doesn't seem very nice.

People of Mr. Cahill's bent, who hate our government because they see it as a vehicle to export capitalism and take advantage of the poorer and/or undeveloped nations in the world, don't see that free enterprise and democracy go hand-in-hand.

They believe that capitalism is evil and that a state-controlled economic system is more equitable. I guess they haven't noticed what happened to the Soviet Union.

As far as the Islamic world not letting capitalism in, they sell their oil all around the world and they make money. I think one might call that capitalism.

One would have to be very naive not to realize that capitalism creates abuses. That is why, over the course of our history, we have implemented certain things into our legal system to try and protect people from the abuses. In any system, however, there will always be people, corporations, etc., that find new and ingenious ways to rip off people.

In a free system it is always a very difficult balancing act to allow for a free exchange of goods, ideas and movement while protecting people against abuses.

Vicki Correll


Cove residents work together

To the Editor:

I want to congratulate the Cove school system for the strong rating they received as their grade among schools recently.

Also I was happy that they seem to have their budget in better condition than most others in the state, according to their superintendent.

As an ex-Cove resident, still there at heart and a supporter of Cove schools, I have always been very proud of the schools and the community as a whole.

The parents, teachers, students and friends know how to work together to be successful and it shows.

I would also like to say amen to Mr. Tom Dalton for his letter of Jan. 31.

Wilma Page

La Grande

BSA teaches values

To the Editor:

Please join me in wishing the Boy Scouts of America a happy birthday.

This week scouting organizations celebrated National Scout Week. For 93 years this youth organization has provided challenge and adventure to 100 million youths throughout the United States.

As my two sons grew into young men, I wanted them to develop into caring individuals demonstrating self-worth, self-reliance, and dependability.

The Boy Scouts of America emphasizes these values. Since scouting began in the early 1900s, these values have been interwoven into educational activities assisting parents in strengthening young men's character, developing citizenship and recognizing the importance of physical fitness.

Through the scouting program my sons learned a variety of life skills in leadership, communications, citizenship, camping, first aid, emergency preparedness and cooking, to name just a few.

The Blue Mountain Council, which encompasses Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon, serves more than 4,700 youths. We have students enrolled in Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boys Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers — young men and women ages 14 to 20.

If you have a son age 6-17 who would like to join scouting, I encourage you to contact our district executive, John Turner, at 963-2858 or toll-free at 866-963-2858.

Of course, like many other programs, scouting cannot survive without adult volunteers. As a youth leader, you will receive many rewards including spending precious time with your sons and their friends, and fun and fellowship with other families.

You have the privilege of helping to enrich and strengthen families in our community and you have the opportunity to help young men practice good citizenship, strength of character and sensitivity to others' needs.

By working with youth, you will receive other dividends that will enrich your life as you dedicate your time, talent, and enthusiasm to scouting and youth programs.

Mary Koza, membership chairman

Eastern Oregon District

Boy Scouts of America

La Grande

Pursuing hidden weapons

To the Editor:

If we, the people of the United States, go to war against Iraq, what are the targets?

The United States says Iraq still has weapons of mass destruction, but inspectors can't find them. So where do our bombs and missiles go? One can't bomb weapons factories, cut supply lines or destroy caches if their locations are unknown.

This applies to chemical and biological warfare alike. What are the targets? Will roads or buildings be destroyed when we are only guessing? Are we going to bomb just any knoll or cave?

I know the Saddams of the world have to go, but is this the only way? Thousands of innocent Iraqis will die; homes and jobs will be destroyed. The land will be scarred for generations.

How long will it take the citizens who President Bush says will be liberated to recover from the horrors of liberation? Perhaps that will be worse than what they are now experiencing. Can't the world get rid of him and his armies without making innocent citizens victims, and without killing so many liberators?

Years ago there was a line attributed to Tonto of Lone Ranger fame. When the Lone Ranger said "we," Tonto said, "What do you mean ‘we,' White Man?"

When we might go to war who is "we"? They are our pride and joy, our young


Saddam is a caged man. He can't make a move we won't know about. Let's play for time. Going to war without proof of the need would be like the elk hunter who doesn't see any elk but knows there is one somewhere. When he hears a noise in the thicket, he shoots. The U.S. can't see its target so it is aiming at the thicket.

Wenonah Victor Sanders

La Grande

Demand county land planning

To the Editor:

Rural Oregon is in better shape than it was before the failure of Measure 28, politically if not economically.

As is usual in politics, rural Oregon voted differently than the urban areas. This time enough disaffected voters in Multnomah County voted no to make our votes count.

We now have an opportunity to make progress against the elitists in the metro area who have had a stranglehold on land-use decisions for the past 30 years. Portland Democrats and 1000 Friends of Oregon are scared stiff that statewide land planning might go by the wayside.

I want to make it clear to my representative that I favor killing the sacred cow of statewide land-use planning in favor of county control.

The Legislature could make it happen within a matter of weeks if so inclined. All that is required is that rural representatives stand firm and say that we intend to handle our own business and if you won't end the communist occupation of Oregon lands, no legislation designed to solve Oregon's fiscal troubles will be acted on.

For the first time in decades the valley needs our cooperation. Call your legislator and demand county land planning. If you never do one other thing in your life take a few minutes and call your legislator to demand that schemes for regional land use policy are not good enough.

Counties are the proper venue for that as well as taxation. You will hear about repealing Measure 5 and possible sales taxes before all of this is over.

Autonomy and local control are the most important Oregon issues the Legislature needs to deal with before any talk of compromise gets under way. Local newspapers have your legislator's phone number. Get it and make that call.

Steve Culley

Baker City

Were we deceived on budget?

To the Editor:

We had to scratch our heads and wonder as we read the front page story in the Feb. 8 Observer.

Wasn't it only weeks ago that the state (with the help of ample Observer coverage) threatened the release of prisoners, decreased services to the elderly, the loss of education dollars if Measure 28 failed?

How then is the state able to fund moving the Oregon Employment Department into the new ODS building planned for the former Safeway site?

The article stated that they hadn't decided whether to buy into the building or rent. What is the cost of moving to this new location when compared to the cost of the Employment Department staying in place? Why would they be considering such a move in the midst of a budget crisis?

Is the Employment Department's physical location more important than the needs of the elderly and disabled?

After having invested much time and thought into how to vote in the last election, we have to wonder if we were deceived regarding the budget situation.

Jeff and Cindy Hammes

La Grande

Washington will benefit

To the Editor:

Shame on you governor! Shame on you legislator!

We, the citizens of Oregon, are under attack and what do you do … run away and ignite even greater problems.

Laying off 129 troopers plus 90 support staff from the Oregon State Police force in inexcusable.

It cost us (taxpayers) thousands of dollars to find, train and equip those who have sworn to protect us.

After 9/11, law enforcement has additional duties, and we now have fewer personnel to do the job.

With increases in population, traffic and crime, we are much less protected. Having fewer troopers available will make their job much more dangerous.

Washington state will benefit from my tax dollars as I understand the Washington State Patrol is anxious to hire Oregon's trained, laid-off officers.

Washington is increasing its manpower to handle the additional work while coping with the same downturn in dollars.

Oregon will pay over and over for your near-sighted solution!

Ken Parsons,

La Grande

Nixon helped civil rights

To the Editor:

In the Feb. 3 Observer, Kevin Cahill scolded conservatives for not knowing what they want Americans to kill for. His main point seemed to be that he hates our capitalist-fueled system of democracy.

What are your better alternatives, Mr. Cahill?

He inferred that the United States is willing to kill just to expand its version of capitalism. There was a time when we were the only ones with an atomic bomb. If we had been as criminal as you seem to believe, we would have attempted to either bomb or blackmail our way into ruling the world.

Looking at the present situation regarding world peace, it might not have been such a bad idea to tell everyone else to, "lay down your weapons or we will destroy you."

His letter also stated, "Conservatives have never been champions of the oppressed" — "nor have you ever been passionate about civil rights."

There is evidence to prove his statement false. Since Richard Nixon was, and continues to be, a prime liberal target, he is a good place to start.

Martin Luther King personally thanked Nixon for helping to pass the civil rights act of 1957, and in the 1966 campaign endorsed all Republicans except John Birch Society members.

When he was president, Nixon did the following:

1. Raised the percentage of desegregated schools in the South from 10 percent to 70 percent.

2. Raised the civil rights enforcement budget 800 percent.

3. Set up the office of minority business enterprises, aiding the creation of "black capitalism." (There is that nasty word capitalism again.) This raised deposits in minority-owned banks by 4,000 percent.

4. Appointed more blacks to high posts than any president.

5. Caused the budget for black colleges to be doubled.

6. Increased small business loans to minorities by 1,000 percent.

Gary Poole


Money becomes god for many

To the Editor:

To my fellow Americans here within the Grande Ronde Valley, which in itself is a gift to us from God:

I am becoming very concerned about our direction and focus. Money is what most people in our present world seem to be concerned about and this bothers me.

Money was developed as a way to manage trade. It shows where we came from through pictures of our fathers, and that is patriotic and commendable. But money has gone beyond that now and taken on a life of its own.

Remember, you should put no other god before you. I ask you, put back what was and intended to be money as a way of trade only.

Give a helping hand to a fellow American, as we step forward in this our troubled times. In God we trust.

Louis Michaels

La Grande

Dedicated people come through

To the Editor:

Recently dental screenings were completed in La Grande and Union County schools.

This service requires that letters be sent to the homes of children in kindergarten through the sixth grade asking for the parents' permission.

When forms were not returned, some school secretaries made calls reminding the parent to return the forms.

Following the screenings the information gathered is sorted through by school nurses and all parents receive a copy of the screening form.

Where financial assistance is needed for urgent dental care, the school nurses can sometimes offer ideas to provide help. If the student is within the guidelines, the Northwest Medical Teams Dental Van becomes an option for treatment. Dedication is required to make this entire process go smoothly. And that dedication should not go unnoticed.

Darla Thompson


Long-term lease possible

To the Editor:

In a climate of budget shortages, the ODS building is ridiculous for the city.

As owner of the building that the Oregon Employment Department leases, I can tell you the department is now not thinking of moving to the new ODS building.

They just asked me for a long-term lease at the present location at 1909 Adams Ave. If the state wants to save money they will stay put.

Wes Hare is only wishing now. He can't deliver and will cost the city big big bucks with this very expensive overpriced library.

Ross Eveson

Salt Lake City

Reading leaders' minds

To the Editor:

In his column in the Feb. 3 Observer, Kevin Cahill libeled proponents of our imminent war with Iraq and decried the benefits to Afghanis of our intervention there. The letter was a mishmash of maudlin liberal sentiment, without a realistic solution for the problem identified.

The implication was that there is some wrong in defending the oppressed if the defenders also benefit. No human action can be totally altruistic because God rewards good behavior and He will see to it that those who do good are appropriately compensated.

The column accused the United States of state-sponsored terrorism. Given the polls and the existing congressional resolutions, this means he believes the Congress and the majority of Americans to be terrorists.

Americans fought and died all over the world to protect the good folks from the bad ones, not to raise the price of a share of Standard Oil. Those who condemn the motives of the valorous tend to the hedonistic and the cowardly. Isaiah 5:20 warns: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil." But some support evil because they are evil. It is natural for them to recognize their own kind.

The letter accuses Congress and Americans of greed that impels them to send tens of thousands of Uriahs into the face of the enemy that those who send them may pad their pocketbooks.

He does this bereft of any evidence. The column's paranoia is exacerbated by the megalomania evidenced in the writer's feeling that he has the capacity to read the minds and motives of our political and economic leaders.

The letter contains no criticism of the Clinton administration's record of destroying our intelligence system and failing to deal with such enemies as Iraq, North Korea and Iran.

Al Sowins


Tips make difference

To the Editor:

Several Observer carriers — boys, girls, adults and all the parents that substitute — responded to my letter of Jan. 28.

They stated tips really made the difference, especially when deadbeats skipped out on their bills.

Collecting is another area of concern. It is best if folks pay The Observer directly by mail.It is not safe these days for kids to knock on doors and have contact with strangers. Nor is it safe for kids to carry pouches of cash around town.

The question was asked about how to tip the carrier. Here's their response: Make a check out to your carrier and leave it in the newspaper box weighted down or clipped on, or even mail it to The Observer.

Again, they will surely appreciate whatever you give them.

Marge Woodford

La Grande