June 25, 2001 11:00 pm

The addition of 21 jobs at Elgins Boise Cascade stud mill is good for Elgin and all of Union County. We applaud Boises Cascade determination to keep its mills there open after a May 25, 1999, fire knocked out two veneer dryers and did extensive structural damage at the Elgin plywood plant.

The company decided to rebuild the burned-out section of the plant and replace the machinery at a cost of about $14 million. Operations were resumed in a matter of months.

The addition of the swing shift at the nearby stud mill which seemed doomed two years ago means the entire Elgin complex will employ 330 people. Thats a significant work force for the north Union County community.

A company spokesman said adding the swing shift had little to do with market conditions. But there are signs of improving prices for lumber and other products in what has been a flat market.

Boise Cascades David Salmon says that adding the shift represents a long-term commitment on the part of the company. While he or no one else can forecast future conditions or make guarantees for continued jobs, the outlook is optimistic.

Those conditions will remain bright for Boise Cascades Northeast Oregon operations if sufficient timber is made available from both private and public sources, prices are stable, the economy spurs new home construction, and power costs do not drive operating expenses off the chart.

Boise Cascade is doing its part. Local politicians, economic development leaders, state and federal legislators and others interested in seeing a solid employer like Boise remain in the area must do what they can to make sure all of the above elements are in place. We must partner with Boise Cascade to keep the mills humming and people employed.


By the looks of the public safety report published daily in The Observer, not many home burglaries have been occurring lately in the La Grande area.

But that doesnt mean that residents should become lackadaisical, leaving their doors unlocked while they are away or refusing to take some basic precautions.

As people head out for weekend trips, or on more extended vacations this summer, they should make sure all doors and windows are locked securely. Installing a deadbolt on the outside doors is a rather inexpensive way of helping prevent a burglary.

A few lights should be left on in the house at night, giving a lived-in appearance. Motion-sensing outdoor lights are also excellent. Everyone should have a trusted neighbor who will agree to keep an eye on the place while the occupant is away.

No one expects to get ripped off by a burglar, but taking a few precautions can give people some peace of mind while they are away.