August 04, 2003 11:00 pm

I'll take driver's test

To the Editor:

We heard recently of an 86-year-old man in California driving into an outdoor market for two or more blocks killing 10 people and injuring approximately 30, some seriously.

He thought he had his foot on the brake but it was on the accelerator pedal.

This old man walks with a cane and occasionally with a walker. While he certainly meant no harm, the question is should he have still been driving at all?

According to the police report, he had already driven into the back wall of his garage twice.

I am 80 years old, and I know that my reactions are much slower than they were even 10 years ago, so I drive more slowly and try to be much more vigilant.

I truly believe that after 80 years of age, every driver should be tested at least every two years — AARP, stay out of this.

I know that many, maybe even most 80-plus drivers, are no doubt safe on the road. I had a cousin who was still driving safely at 90, but it only takes one to leave 10 people dead and 30 or more seriously injured.

I would be more than willing to be first in line for a driving test, and not feel that I was being discriminated against because of my age.

Roy Hills

Island City

Breastfed babies better off

To the Editor:

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has proclaimed August as Breastfeeding Promotion Month.

Extensive research documents the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfed children are healthier, have improved cognitive development (I.Q.) and a reduced incidence of many health conditions later in life.

Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced incidence of osteoporosis and some types of cancer. These health benefits result in significant savings in health care costs.

The following is recommended:

• Breastfeeding for at least the first year of life.

• Mothers provided with accurate information and support from health care providers, child care providers, their family, friends and the community.

• The Oregon Legislature has affirmed a woman's right to breastfeed in public, and all state agencies are required to create a work environment that is supportive for nursing mothers.

• The percentage of Oregon children breast-fed would result in significant improvements in the health of Oregonians.

The Center for Human Development's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is promoting Aug. 1-7 as World Breast Feeding Week when appreciation will be expressed throughout the community for the support of breastfeeding mothers.

According to the World Health Organization, there has been progress in improving infant nutrition over the past two decades.

Union County WIC Program professionals have current, factual information on breastfeeding techniques and methods to support and protect the breastfeeding relationship.

Call 962-8829 for information.

Patty Rudd, breastfeeding coordinator

Patricia Dawes, public health, VISTA

Center for Human Development

La Grande

Consider train depot

To the Editor:

According to The Observer, the Greyhound Bus people are looking for a new home and La Grande needs a travel center to go along with the new library, City Hall and Max Square, which is advertised as the city center of La Grande.

We might assure ourselves of salvaging the Union Pacific train depot, and we could have a travel center where long-distance bus service, local bus service, taxis, car rental, restaurants and parking are all together in a weatherproof space. We will get the Pio- neer train back if we don't spend all our money on Iraq's infrastructure, or on the poor airlines.

Greyhound buses from the east could come off the freeway at Island Avenue, go under the overpass and turn on the truck route down Jefferson with limited traffic disturbance, and continue on Jefferson to exit La Grande via the western freeway access.

Also do not forget that the coming supper train needs a good starting point. Think about it, La Grande. Opportunity does not knock often.

David Arnott


Young people pleasant

To the Editor:

On Friday, July 18, I passed through La Grande on my way to Mount Vernon, Wash. I want to say what a pleasant experience I had at both the filling station and fast-food restaurant where I ate.

In both cases, young people waited on me. They were pleasant, helpful and considerate beyond their years.

It left me with a very wonderful feeling about La Grande and the people in it. I wanted the people of your city to know of my great experience.

David Miller

Tucson, Ariz.