LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM JANUARY 17 - JANUARY 22, 2005

January 26, 2005 12:00 am

Job cut no surprise

To the Editor:

After watching the campaign for Union County sheriff, seeing the outcome and then what happens afterwards, it makes you wonder why you would want to be a taxpayer.

I remember visiting both booths at the Union County Fair and listening to the candidates' thoughts and promises on how to run the department, protect the citizens and at the same time, try to balance the budget and keep patrolmen on the road.

One of the promises made by both candidates was that if they won, they would cease to have an undersheriff position, which would save the taxpayers close to $60,000-plus with salary and benefits.

Boyd Rasmussen stated all along that if he lost, he had plans to leave the department. Any voter would know that the same would go if Wright lost the election since that was one of the main platforms.

Lo and behold, along comes county officials who say Wright deserves a bonus for all he has done for the taxpayers.

If county officials think Wright is due a bonus, maybe they should pledge some of their paychecks to cover it.

If I remember right, the county already owns a railroad and golf course — and now losing political candidates.

I would much rather see my tax money go where we thought it was going, to schools, roads and protection from the criminals. Mr. Wright is no longer the one protecting us, so let us save our money for something important.

Byron Seaquist

La Grande

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Dedicated to service

To the Editor:

Winter has finally arrived, and we've seen our first batch of snow. With further snow expected the Kappa Sigma fraternity colony, City of La Grande and Community Connections are partnering to provide volunteer opportunities to remove snow from sidewalks and driveways in La Grande.

The city supports the partnership between Community Connections and Kappa Sigma to establish a snow-shoveling program that will assist our elderly and people with disabilities. In order for this program to work, we ask you to recommend neighbors, family and friends, as we make a list of individuals who would benefit.

To make a recommendation call 963-7532 after noon and leave a name and contact number, along with the name of the person you are recommending, with their phone number and address.

Kappa Sigma and Community Connections is asking for the donation of new or used snow shovels. The city has provided storage for winter supplies in order for this program to continue from year-to-year. If you have an extra snow shovel in your garage or would like to donate a new shovel, drop it off at 1504 Albany St.

As Eastern Oregon University grows and begins to offer more opportunities, students will want to develop opportunities that not only benefit themselves but also their campus and community. One addition to the campus is the establishment of a fraternity that is working to establish its charter status.

Kappa Sigma believes that a strong relationship with the community is essential to fulfill our goal of achieving fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service. We are seeking dedicated EOU students who are interested in joining and establishing a legacy.

For information or to make a donation call David Salazar at 663-8153. For information about snow shoveling contact Jeffrie Kingsley, 962-3308 This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jeffrie W. Kinglsley

La Grande

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Taxpayers pay cost of election

To the Editor:

The front page article in the Jan. 12 issue of The Observer reminded us that recall elections cost taxpayers money.

Mr. Strommer, the current ESD board chairman, was said to believe it "is a small price to pay for clearing up fraud in the ESD."

If the ESD board was guilty of so much fraud, where was Mr. Strommer while this was going on? He was a member of that board. Was he not as responsible as the three recalled board members to oversee the activities of the board's employees?

We could have saved the taxpayers $10,610 if the improper activities of the employees had simply been brought to light and corrected by modifying board policy or whatever.

If the ESD has to pay that election cost, that is taxpayer money being spent.

Howard Bailey

La Grande

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A little background ...

To the Editor:

Victor Posvar asked in a letter to The Observer if there is anything positive that I support. Quite a few things along the way.

When I was 15 I earned an Eagle Scout badge. Following that was a lot of critical thinking that went into the earning of a bachelor of science degree and a master's degree from Oregon State University.

I then went into teaching secondary school for 32 years. This was most challenging and satisfactory. During this time we took a year's sabbatical to go around the world, visiting 27 countries for 365 days. I saw and heard many ways of solving life's problems.

I also spent two years negotiating 3,600 teachers' salaries, including a comprehensive contract. This was a real education for me about how the power structure in a community works.

Upon retirement we purchased a 240-acre ranch outside Elgin to raise sheep and trees. I became a Master Tree Farmer and helped many local folks with their tree problems. This was most enjoyable. We entered displays at the Union County Fair.

I have a sister who has been a Republican for 52 years, 27 of those married to Sen. Bob Packwood. She said, "I kept hoping, but alas, my party of history no longer exists. My values and beliefs have not changed, but its (values and beliefs) have. It is the Democratic Party which exhibits belief in what I consider to be true Christian social responsibility and demeanor. Substance, not spin, for me. Never before have I feared for my country like these past few years. Pogo said it best: ‘We have met the enemy and he is us.' "

I agree with my sister. Give me a call, Victor, if you want to talk.

Bill Oberteuffer

Island City

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Liberals' intelligentsia

To the Editor:

The ratio of Democrats to Republicans among the intelligentsia — teachers, reporters, actors — is said to be about seven to one. They profess to be the ultimate examples of intelligence, fairness and tolerance.

Teachers are allowed curriculums which rewrite history; libraries can have pornography and other objectionable material accessible to children. Movie story-lines can be borderline treason. Reporters such as Dan Rather have gotten away with extreme bias. People are hired to teach and to speak who have records that would make Bin Laden blush.

For example Bernadine Dohrn, director of a legal clinic at Northwestern University, is a former member of the Weathermen. Laura Whitehorn, who was a speaker last year at Duke, served 14 years in prison for her part in a bomb attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Hamilton College in New York gave a teaching position to Susan Rosenburg. This is the same person who was a member of the Weather Underground and took part in the Brinks armored car robbery in 1981 when a guard and two policemen were killed. A few years later she was found in possession of 740 pounds of explosives and finally convicted and imprisoned.

Big-hearted Bill Clinton pardoned her during his rampage of last-minute pardons. I would say the pardon illustrates that Clinton still hasn't outgrown his sympathies for the activists of the 1960s.

Those of the intelligentsia who seem to have admiration for thugs and murderers are not limited to the reporters, actors, teaching profession or ex-presidents. Last year the New York Public Library gift shop was selling watches picturing Che Guevara, one of the most brutal thugs of this century.

All of this seems to indicate that these folks have tolerance, understanding and admiration for almost anything except a Republican.

Gary Poole

Wallowa

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Wolves pose problems

To the Editor:

I applaud Lee Insko's Community Comment in The Observer of Jan. 11. The wolf reintroduction plan is an ill-conceived idea that would have a severe negative impact on Eastern Oregon.

Mr. Insko's article cut right to the chase. It clearly set out the valid and important reasons the wolf reintroduction should be vetoed.

The economic impact statement put out by the Oregon Wildlife Commission states in numerous instances, "not known." We in Eastern Oregon are well aware what the economic impact would be for us. The Oregon Wildlife Commission needs to hear our voices.

If the proponents of this plan are not aware of the problems wolf reintroduction poses for already beleaguered Eastern Oregon, they need to become aware. If they do know, then their advocacy implies contempt and disregard for the citizens of the east side of the state.

Kudos, Mr. Insko, for your insightful, thoughtful and factual view of this dangerous plan.

Barbara Gray

Union

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Simpler would be better

To the Editor:

According to Fox News, $35 million was spent on the inauguration of a sitting president — a lot of money for extremely heightened security measures, high-end parties and an Oscar de la Renta gown to "match the First Lady's eyes."

This is one-tenth the amount pledged by our president toward the relief efforts of the worst natural disaster in recorded history.

I have a better idea. I would suggest to our president of the "highest moral values" to gather Laura, the twins and Justice Rehnquist, take the oath, crack open a case of Bud and a bucket of KFC and call it good.

Susan Coleman

Lostine

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Show compassion to unborn

To the Editor:

The tragedy of the day grips us — a tsunami, earthquake, fire, terrorism, war in Iraq or Africa.

They seem distant to us in America, even as we see images on television or in the newspaper. But we have our own horror in place for 32 years in the form of legalized abortion, the deliberate killing of innocent, unborn children. We need to listen to the words of Proverbs 24:11-12, "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say ‘But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?"

Americans have shown remarkable compassion and mercy to those who have suffered recently. Why can't we show the same compassion and mercy to these unborn children who cannot speak and whose images are hidden from us?

Steve Boe

La Grande

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Share what you know

To the Editor:

Most of us have someone whom we can credit for helping us become the person that we are today.

If you take a few moments to reflect upon your life it is likely that at least one person will come to mind. Whether that person was a parent, family friend, teacher, coach, clergy or neighbor, that certain someone left an indelible mark upon you that ultimately made you a better person.

Perhaps it's time to slow down and reflect upon the gifts that person gave you: encouragement and direction.

January has been designated as National Mentoring Month, a nationwide observance that has the strong support of President George W. Bush, the U.S. Congress and leading governors and mayors across the country, including Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who on Jan. 13 proclaimed January Oregon Mentoring Month.

Jan. 25 is National Thank Your Mentor Day. In acknowledging the person who mentored you, consider sharing what you know with the next generation and mentor a young person yourself. Not only will this be an honorable way to thank your mentor, it might be your best and most successful New Year's resolution yet.

To become a mentor or to learn more about more than 150 mentoring programs throughout Oregon, contact Oregon Mentors at www.ormentors.org . Or call toll free 1-866-450-4040.

And along the way, remember to thank your mentor. Because of them, the world is a better place.

Barbara Caplan

marketing and recruiting

director for Oregon Mentors