January 25, 2004 11:00 pm

When will ‘truth' come to light?

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the letter "Truth will come to light." I am writing to let the community of Union know that I am very confused about what is being written in the paper through letters to the editor.

It is true that I am the wife of Councilor Graham, but since Mrs. Clark's son has written on behalf of his mother, I guess I can write on behalf of my husband.

I see the letters that have been written in support of the recall of Jack Zimmerman and Dick Alexander as being an attack upon the character of Councilor Graham and his right to question and offer his opinion. I have read the statements that Councilor Graham made during the TOTAL meeting, and do not understand them to be discrediting or bullying, only investigative in nature. He has been trying to find out exactly what the concerns this group has against the two councilmen and what evidence they have to support their claims. Isn't that what you mentioned you wanted him to do?

You have claimed, your mother had claimed, the other letter has claimed that "Truth will come to light.'' What I am asking is, when will it come to light? Why has your truth been cloaked in secrecy? Who is deciding that it is time to reveal all? Why the drama?

I don't know your mother, but I do know my husband. He is concerned, rational, intelligent and also practices tolerance and fairness. Believe me, Councilor Graham does represent the voters. He listens to all sides on issues, spends a great deal of time considering and investigating before coming to a conclusion. He is a leader, not a follower. Will you and your mother also be willing to apologize to Councilors Graham, Zimmerman and Alexander if the truth is not truth after all?

As I stated earlier, I am confused. I thought this controversy had to do with the recall of two council members and the resignation of the chief of police. If it is focused on Bill Searles, why are you attacking others?

I am hoping that the TOTAL citizens will come out now with their truth and evidence so all questions can be answered and my confusion laid to rest.

Leslie Graham


Medicare bill will help seniors

To the Editor:

Have you wondered why, in these days of intense partisan politics, so many members of Congress crossed party lines to join together and vote for the Medicare Bill?

Perhaps it was because senior citizens will now enjoy relief from the outrageous costs of prescription medications, with many low-income seniors qualifying for no monthly premiums for their prescription drug coverage.

Or because Medicare will now recognize the importance of preventive medicine by waiving the deductible for colon cancer screening, authorizing coverage of cholesterol screening and an initial preventative physical exam for all beneficiaries, along with diabetes and cardiovascular disease screening.

Or because the bill enjoyed broad-based constituent support, including that of AARP, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association.

This bill is a good bill. Thanks to the efforts of Senators Wyden and Smith, along with Representatives Walden and Wu, senior citizens across Oregon will have better access to doctors, hospitals and affordable medications. These leaders should be commended for their efforts, not criticized.

Charles E. Hofmann, MD, FACP

past-pres. Or. Medical Assoc.

Baker City

Motives suspect

To the Editor:

I have been reading misinformation put out by TOTAL long enough to feel I have to respond.

The charges against Dick Alexander and Jack Zimmerman are totally unfounded, as are the charges against the city administrator.

The money spent on golf course equipment was negotiated down from a $13,000 bill. The city and the county each paid $4,000 to settle this account. It would have cost much more to go to litigation.

Alexander and Zimmerman are dedicated men who have spent years trying to make Union a better place. We have a good council who all work hard together, and it makes me wonder why we have some and possibly the mayor who can't seem to work with the rest.

This group has an agenda that seeks to tear down the structure of government that Union has in place. They want a mayor who has control of all city functions. This is wrong. That is why our city charter is written as it is. Checks and balances are in place. We do not want one person in control.

There are many erroneous accusations and misstatements used by the TOTAL group. Don't let these accusations color your judgment when it comes time to mark your ballot. Look behind the scenes and suspect the motives.

As an example, in the minutes of the TOTAL meeting of Dec. 14 written by Cathi Morrison, she states, "As a councilor, Bobbie James was on the city's golf course committee. Council asked repeatedly at regular meetings for information on the golf course, but James offered very few reports on the meetings she attended."

I gave the council a written report at every meeting. They had all the information I had.

Citizens of Union, ask questions; be informed before you cast your ballot.

Barbara James


Getting home safe

To the Editor:

As manager of Benchwarmers Pub and Grill, I want to extend our appreciation to Kevin Loveland and staff for helping make this one of the safest New Years I can remember.

After New Year's Day I picked up The Observer and noticed that there were no accidents or drunk driving incidents. It was such peace of mind to know that my customers and friends had a safe ride home.

After hearing the news, I went over to Kevin's to thank him personally. He told me that they gave just under 200 rides.

Kevin's best friend was killed in a drunk driving accident. He has his own little Union County Crusade against drunk driving. He also gives free rides home from the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show in Union and the Elgin Stampede. His involvement in the community is unsurpassed.

Mark and Patti Hankel, owners of Benchwarmers, and myself were relieved to know of the free rides being offered by Loveland Funeral Chapel. We, at Benchwarmers, share very close relationships with our customers. We are always concerned about their well being. It was a comfort to all to know their way home was being accommodated by the local taxi service and Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Matt Scarfo

La Grande

Kids lose family connection

To the Editor:

What would you do? Your daughter is dead. Her husband is in prison.

Where are their children now? With strangers in a foster home.

As their grandmother I feel like I've lost them forever.

How can it be that in a land that is supposed to be so free, people can take your kids, tell you what to say, do and who they can be around, even their own brothers, aunts, etc.

Now two little girls have lost both their parents, their brothers, their grandma and the rest of the family.

What kind of people take little kids and give them to strangers when they have family who wants them. This is monstrous. No one is going to love them like their grandma. They are being deprived of love because of red tape and power-crazy people.

Whatever you do, don't let your guard down — they are all knowing and seeing.

Charlotte Bauer

La Grande

Animals deserve consideration

To the Editor:

I see a lot of changes taking place due to the discovery of the cow infected with mad cow disease, however I see the consideration for the cow missing.

Was this cow taken care of when it was sick, was it treated kindly, was it put to sleep to put it out of its misery to prevent it from suffering?

Has the dairy and beef industry forgotten that these are living animals or is the glare of the dollar sign so bright it shades out the fact these are living creatures with feelings?

A dairy cow provides us with a lot more then we provide for it. It gives milk — that is actually meant for its calf but which feeds our babies and its — and then it gives up its body so we can feast on beef; then its hide provides us with our coats, shoes and furniture.

What do we do for them? We milk them morning and night for up to 10 years. We take away their calves three days after they are born. We make them survive in feces-filled pens their entire lives and we now we make them eat the blood of other cows.

What do we lack giving them, a chance to graze in a field, to lie on grass or straw to sleep on, or a barn, shade from the sun in the summer, a chance to raise their young and a chance to eat a vegetarian diet as God intended.

The result of man's inhumane treatment, and the confined living conditions for these cows can only lead to disease and deteriorated brains and muscles.

What are we allowing man to do to these animals that provide so much for us? What is wrong with this picture?

Judy McGuire

Baker City

Employees support Searles

To the Editor:

We, the employees of the City of Union, would like to express our complete support for our supervisor, Bill Searles.

Bill stepped into a position that had many loose ends due to the illness and death of the city's former administrator, Leonard Almquist. We feel Bill is filling that position better than anyone else could have.

Each of our former employees chose to resign, even Dean Muchow.

If you have any questions, please come into City Hall and we will be glad to discuss them with you — other than Dean Muchow because of a gag order in place.

Bill has saved the city over $300,000. The biggest share of that was extending the city limits to the urban growth boundary on the golf course.

In public meetings time after time, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Goucher, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Morrison and Sue Smith constantly complained that the city was going to have to pay Bill Ricker $250,000. Bill quietly worked with the county and the boundary was extended. Not one of these people has said thank you to Bill.

We applaud Bill for taking the public abuse and bashing he's taken at public meetings for the past four to five months. He never gets angry, never replies, and never loses his poise. How many of us, or any of you, particularly the TOTAL group, could do this?

As employees of the city, we are always glad to answer any questions. The information the TOTAL group is putting out is so untrue, we ask that before you cast your vote, please come in to City Hall or call us.

Ask us about these accusations concerning Bill Searles, Dick Alexander and Jack Zimmerman. We'll tell you the truth.

Jennean Lowery, Claracy Hancock, Louise Shelden, Tony Humphries, Ronetta Prince, Paul Phillips, Bill Hooker

Dogs shot, dumped

To the Editor:

This is a follow up of my letter to The Observer of Jan. 1 regarding the disappearance of two young dogs.

They have been found, or should I say their bodies have been found.

Thanks to the information given me as a result of a poster placed in a local business, we found them. They had been thrown in the draw above the landfill on Fox Hill. Some degenerate person shot them in the head more than once, removed their chain collars and disposed of them as if they were garbage in the draw above the dump.

In essence, they were murdered. These dogs were less than a year old. They were raised around livestock and have never chased them. They did not bother chickens. Their homes were heated kennels. They were very healthy.

Who would do such a hideous act to such innocent animals? It is hard to fathom that we have an individual like this residing in the valley. If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Animal Control Officer at the Sheriff's Department.

Bob Jellum

La Grande