November 30, 2003 11:00 pm

Indians not abusing rights

To the Editor:

An Oct. 11 letter to the editor asked if an 1855 treaty gave the Indians the right to fish with nylon gill nets.

The answer is yes.

The Indians were fishing with nets long before 1855. It makes no difference what they used to make their nets from.

Federal Judge George Bold ruled that when the treaty gave the Indians the right to fish and hunt at the usual and accustomed places in common with the citizens, it meant that the Indians are entitled to claim 50 percent of the fish, if they choose to do so, with no regard to the proportionate numbers in the Indian and white populations.

His decision was upheld by the Supreme Court. The Indians can take up to 50 percent of the fish any way they wish. This can be by hand, net or spear.

They can do whatever they wish to do with the fish. They may sell, eat — and if the fish are not fit to eat — put them in a dumpster or use them to enrich their gardens. It is their fish and they can do whatever they choose.

The Indians seldom take more than 10 percent of the fish. A survey taken after construction of The Dalles Dam showed that the total number of salmon and steelhead taken was 12 million. Commercial fishermen took 10 million. Sport fishermen took one million and the Indians took one million. The Indians could have taken six million.

First we killed their buffalo, then took their land and now we want to take away their fishing and hunting rights.

Let's accept the Indians for what they are: an interesting people with a dramatic history, a people of great integrity and honor, a people to be remembered for all times to come.

Dale Victor


Retirees get meager increase

To the Editor:

The cost of living raise for Social Security was only 2.4 percent while Congress raised their earnings from $150,000 to $154,700 a year.

We also have more and higher taxes, higher insurance, and high-priced gasoline and natural gas. Oregon has raised taxes also.

Presidential and other office campaigners spend over $800 million. What are we retired citizens on a limited income to do?

M.B. Ackley

La Grande

Take positive step for schools

To the Editor:

For several years it has been known that the Imbler elementary building, built in 1914, and Wade Hall, built in 1924, were nearing the end of their useful life.

In 2000 the Imbler School Board began the process of assessing the district's options concerning these structures. We conducted a feasibility study in the summer of 2001, a community survey in the spring of 2002 and inspected the structures.

The survey indicated positive support for a new elementary building.

In November 2002 we formed a committee of district patrons. They represent a wide cross-section of the community. They have spent many hours along with the board studying this issue. As a result of this process the board has concluded that the best course of action is to replace the entire elementary facility.

Our buildings have served us well but the time has come to provide a modern structure for the present and future children of our community. Each of us has a link to our school whether directly or indirectly. Our school gives us a sense of community and investment in where we live. Today many feel they have lost control over decisions that affect them on a local level. This is one area where we can still make a difference in our education system.

Passage of this bond will be a positive step forward for the Imbler and Summerville community.

Imbler School Board

Forrest Warren, Pam Glenn

Russell Bingaman, Kent Coppinger

and Lisa Eisiminger

Have courage to stand

To the Editor:

In this fast-paced world with special effects, it seems we sometimes do not show our appreciation for the time and effort others devote to bring us personal entertainment — such as acting in a play.

For years I have attended plays whenever possible. These include some by professional actors and a few on Broadway, but the majority are produced by community theaters and local colleges and universities. Quite honestly, the amateurs are often as good or better than some professionals.

In an attempt to show my appreciation for an enjoyable performance, I am frequently the first to stand to acknowledge the actors. I am not saying I give every performance a standing ovation, but when I do, my action is always followed by many others in the audience just waiting for someone else to lead.

For some reason, at the conclusion of EOU's performance of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" on Oct. 11, I hesitated for a moment as I looked around to see if others were going to stand. To my disappointment, the cast quickly left the stage. I was too late. It was my one and only chance to thank the actors for doing a great job, and I missed it. That is the last time I will waste the sometimes short moment of opportunity.

The next time you enjoy a performance of any kind, I encourage you to have the courage to stand and show your appreciation. It only takes one person to start what is almost always a chain reaction throughout the audience.

I would now like to take this opportunity (and for those who wanted to stand but didn't), to acknowledge everyone involved in the production of "Brighton Beach Memoirs." Alan Arnson and the entire cast gave us a most delightful performance.

Bonnie Norton


Reach out to neighbor

To the Editor:

We went to the Elgin Cemetery recently and found that the flowers we left only two months ago on my husband's grave were gone.

Who could stoop so low as to take a whole bouquet of flowers off a grave, while leaving the ribbons behind?

Enjoy them since you are so poor you can't buy some for yourself. This was a low blow for us.

We lived in Elgin for 14 years and in that time very few people tried to know my husband. With his voice-box gone, it was hard to understand him and no one took the time to try, or ask him to repeat.

I hope that if anything like this or worse happens to you or your family you remember how you treat other people.

Love your neighbor as yourself. Don't shun them. They could be a very good and helpful friend if you try.

Don't grumble and groan about what you have done for someone. It's what we're supposed to do.

Rachel Thomas Whipple

Cindy Whipple


Thorough investigation needed

To the Editor:

After almost a year and several letters we finally got to have a meeting with the Oregon Department of Human Services. If they keep all of their promises, maybe things will get better, I know it will never be the same as it was before.

At the meeting we learned that the charge against our son was unsubstantiated. So why did he have to go to trial and spend thousands of dollars in order to stay out of prison? And we have been denied visits with our grandchildren for such a long time. How many other families have been treated the same way?

I encourage anyone who has had problems with DHS to write or call your state senators and representatives, and get them involved. It does help. If enough people get involved. Maybe we can get some badly needed changes to the system.

Yes, we need DHS, but it needs to be revised. There are two sides to every story. They need to do more investigation before they jump in and destroy a family.

On Aug. 19 I received a letter from Linda Guess, assistant attorney general, Human Services Section. Here's part of what it said: "I regret that I cannot provide you with further assistance, but I have, however, taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your letter to ... Todd Seix, service area manager for District 13 ... for their followup to your concerns." Seix did not contact me until after I put his name in the paper on Sept. 19.

William Weber Jr.

Dorothy Smith

Baker City