Letters and comments for January 6, 2012

By Observer Upload January 06, 2012 08:30 pm
Letters and comments for January 6, 2012

Stover good for Elgin

To the Editor:

Two years ago, John Stover of Elgin went to an EDGE (economic development committee) meeting with his ambitious plan for a centennial celebration of the opera house in 2012.

Since then, John has been responsible for close to $1,000,000 in grants and donations coming into Elgin for needed renovations to the opera house. He has put in countless hours overseeing grant-writing, architectural plans and the renovation work. A year of celebration is planned to show off the opera house in all its glory. This is one of the most positive things to happen in Elgin in a long time.

John is responsible.

Mayor John Stover has been maligned in the last few months by a small group of people

blaming him for some issues that started before he became mayor and about which he had no control.

Nothing has been said about the positive things he has been responsible for, such as the approximately $2,000,000 saved by getting a second opinion and a new engineering firm to work on the waste water treatment plant project that also kept the monthly bills from being doubled.

It is sad that a tragedy in Elgin has been used to bring so much discord.

Mistakes have been made. Mistakes can be corrected constructively.

It is disappointing that so much time and energy have been used negatively when there are many positive ways to solve problems and help make Elgin a better place to live.

Maureen Smolkowski



Volunteer your time

To the Editor:

Now more than ever, local organizations need to find methods to serve citizens in a more cost-effective manner. One method of performing this task is to utilize citizen volunteers to augment the services that are being offered by these local organizations. 

Volunteers are widely utilized in other cities throughout Oregon and other parts of the country. Functions performed by citizen volunteers allow full-time employees to concentrate their efforts more efficiently. They may also provide additional services that the organization is unable to perform due to budget and personnel cuts or lack of other resources.  

Volunteers receive no compensation, monetary or otherwise, for their time in a volunteer program, so why do people volunteer?

People volunteer for a range of reasons. Training and career experience is a strong motivation for young people, while older volunteers might want to develop new skills or gain experience for a career change. Some individuals may enjoy the social interaction.

Many volunteers simply just want to make a difference in improving the community they live in.

Several local organizations are presently recruiting volunteers who wish to donate their time and talent to the La Grande community.

If you have ever considered being a volunteer, please participate in the third annual Volunteer Link event from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at the La Grande Middle School.

This event will allow you to check out organizations that are looking for volunteers and match your interests with their needs.

You will be able to ask questions and get information from a variety of great organizations who are currently seeking volunteers.

If you are a potential volunteer or an organization who is seeking volunteers, please plan to participate in this upcoming event. More information is available by contacting Toiresa at 541-963-2993.

Lisa Reddington

La Grande Police Department


Letters From Readers

The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 300 words. All letters must be signed by the author and carry the address of the sender.

The Observer edits letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged.

Include a telephone number and address for verification purposes only. Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks. Writers of longer Community Comment columns are limited to one every three months.

Send your letters to: The Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, OR 97850, or they can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or faxed to 541-963-7804.