Letters and comments for February 6, 2012

By Observer Upload February 07, 2012 09:15 pm
Letters and comments for February 6, 2012

Vote no on recall

To the Editor:

“We have to blame someone.” 

That is the motivation of those advocating Mayor John Stover’s recall. The death of Dick Shafer sparked shock and outrage. In one meeting, the scientific description of the shooting was met with boos. “My mind’s made up; don’t confuse me with the facts.”   

The grand jury didn’t indict Officer Kilpatrick. A sheriff's committee indicated weaknesses and made recommendations. Both Elgin police officers resigned. Someone had to be blamed. Mayor Stover became the scapegoat. 

Councilors Brent Linville and Dick Miller were public safety commissioners. Monthly minutes indicate all was OK or “no report.” In December, Councilor Linville stated he had “dropped the ball” and was sorry.

The June petition regarding the police department criticized only the chief. The recall petition claims lack of evaluation led to the “fatal incident” in August. Chief Lynch was out of town that day. It is faulty logic to assume that a review of the chief would have prevented the incident.

Open Oregon is an “educational and charitable organization.” They have not cited Mayor Stover, nor anyone else, for open meeting law violations.

Polly Parsons’ charge for public documents was not “illegal.” The amount was recommended by the Union County District Attorney’s office. The city council also had the right to forgive that charge, indicating to me they are not ruled by the mayor’s “dictatorial leadership-style”
criticized in the recall petition.

If people don’t like the police, it’s difficult to get past that. I believe this recall has only two bases: petitioners couldn’t punish Officer Kilpatrick, and the chief petitioner was insulted when called a “nuisance.”

Mayor Stover, one of seven council members, is the single target of this blame game. A recall election only causes division and it is not good for Elgin now. 

Please vote no recall. 

Evelyn Spikes




Blue Mountain Boys

To the Editor:

A few years ago, a friend of ours left town and when he did, he gave us some stuff. One of the things was an old suitcase. The suitcase was stressed, but quite unique, so I took it. 

When I opened it, to use as a prop in a museum window display, I discovered a bunch of real dirty old clothes, a wig, a beard and a strange black hat — the
costume of a Blue Mountain Boy! There was also a bar of soap, a towel and a bunch of “funny money.” I asked the man if he minded if I used them in an exhibit of the infamous Blue Mountain Boys. He said, “go ahead!” 

The Union County Museum is planning an exhibit about the Blue Mountain Boys this spring. This is another piece of our history that might become lost if we don’t preserve it now.

We enjoyed reading the recent article in The Observer about the group. However, there is still a segment of this group alive and well who would like to remain anonymous. The most recent sighting of the group was at Don Keeling’s funeral. 

Some of the “boys” showed up with the old “Mangler.” They were on a road, on the hill, above the crowd at the cemetery, to honor their fallen comrade. 

Stay connected as we research this group by joining the Union County Museum Society. A membership is very reasonable and allows you to visit the museum anytime when it is open from Mother’s Day until around Oct. 15. Give me a call to get started and I will send you a copy of our newsletter, “The Scout,” which contains information about the museum and a membership form.

Judith M. Seydel

La Grande