Letters and comments for May 3, 2012

By Observer Upload May 03, 2012 01:03 pm
Letters and comments for May 3, 2012


Solar energy touted 


To the Editor:

Solarize Union County, a program to coordinate and educate residents about affordable and reliable solar hot water heating systems, will be rolled out this May.

The affordability comes via a partnership between the Union County commissioners and the Union Wallowa Baker Federal Credit Union. 

The commissioners have set aside $40,000 in seed money for a residential solar loan program. The credit union will offer matching funds to provide attractive financing options for homeowners.

The education, reliability and coordination come from Oregon Rural Action. ORA will offer a series of six educational workshops beginning May 5 that will provide homeowners with information on solar basics, logistics of going solar, costs, potential savings, financial incentives and tax credits. After the workshops, free site visits can be scheduled to assess the viability of a system on the homeowners property. 

After the assessment, interested homeowners can join together in a volume purchase of equipment and installation packages from Mr. Sun Solar. Through this volume purchase discount, along with state and federal energy tax credits, homeowners can offset up to 55 percent of their initial investment as well as lower their monthly utility bill. 

A solar water heating system can decrease your water heating costs by up to 70 percent. This investment of time may pay off big for the pocket book and help our environment.

The introductory workshops are at 10 a.m. Saturday and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cook Memorial Library. 

Contact Bridget at Oregon Rural Action at 541-786-4873 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Jim and Fuji Kreider

La Grande 





Vote for Jenson 


To the Editor:

We are delighted with the recent redistricting, as we are once again living in House District 58. We moved to Lostine from Pendleton in 2004 and are now permanent residents of this beautiful part of Oregon. One of the few regrets we had with that move was we could no longer vote for our friend and very capable state Rep. Bob Jenson.

We have known Bob for over 40 years. He and I worked together for 28 of those years as teaching colleagues at Blue Mountain Community College. Bob is a strong supporter of education and has been all these years.

My wife had several concerns with her teaching job for which she needed his assistance and she was so glad to have his support. We know he has concern for all of the constituents in his district and has been spending considerable time and energy getting acquainted with the area and people.

We know you will be sending an experienced, energetic and effective leader to Salem by joining us in voting for state Rep. Bob Jenson in the May 15 primary.

Mickey and Sandy McClendon






Vote for Davidson 


To the Editor:

Union County Republicans are now faced with a choice between two candidates for county commissioner. I feel that Mark Davidson is the best choice for this position because of his family’s construction background, his personal business experience and his experience serving in government at both the city and county level.

He is a forward thinker, and has the abilities needed to continue to serve as one of the leaders of our county government. 

I have known the Davidson family since 1971, when Mark’s dad Bob and his Uncle Don moved into Union County to work with me on the construction of the Ladd Canyon freeway.

Like me, after that project was over, we all settled into other local business interests, so we could remain here in Union County.

The Davidsons have always been a family that was not afraid of hard work. Mark is no exception.

During the past four years, I have been serving with Mark on the board of directors of the Union County Economic Development Corporation, a group I helped organize back in 1983. Mark now serves as the president of that organization.

In our board and committee meetings, I have been a first hand witness to Mark’s leadership abilities, his decision-making abilities and have seen the amount of personal time that he devotes to try to create more jobs and improve the economy here in Union County. 

Through Mark’s leadership, UCEDC is now focused on two major economic development efforts. The first is working to retain all the local businesses that we can, and help them with any plans they may have for expansion. The second is the recruitment of businesses from out of state to this area, to help create more jobs here in Union County.

Both of these efforts are continually moving forward.

Please join me in voting for Mark Davidson in this upcoming election, so that he can continue to serve us all as a county commissioner here in Union County.

Stephen C. Anderson

La Grande 



Vote for Smith 


To the Editor:

I support Brent Smith as a candidate for state representative, District 58, and so should you.

Let me explain. 

Brent Smith is a young man who is articulate, smart and will listen to your concerns and study the issues. As a result of these characteristics, he will always be well informed.

He is a fiscal and social conservative and will honor these values. He is committed to “no new taxes” and will support economic growth, utilization of our natural resources and will promote local dialogue. More importantly, Brent is a man of integrity. 

Of all four candidates running for this position, he is the only one from our area. We need just such a man as Brent Smith to represent us at the state level. I hope you will support him. He has my vote.

R. Nellie Hibbert

La Grande 




Don’t vote for Gilber


To the Editor:

I find it laughable that Union County commissioner hopeful Irene Gilbert is boasting herself as the defender of our public use of our National Forest lands.

She claims that she has our best interest at heart when it comes to defending our public land rights, yet, as a key member of the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley, she is
determined to take away the rights of private land owners. She insists on telling them they can’t cut timber on their property, can’t build roads on their property and can’t place
windmills on their property.

Instead of supporting jobs and economic growth in Union County, Irene Gilbert wants to protect supposedly endangered grasses like the Douglas’s Clover (according to the FGRV website), a federal species of concern, or the ribseed desert parsley (according to the FGRV), a first state record of a newly described species of grass.

According to the campaign donations report on the Oregon Secretary of the State website, Irene Gilbert has received well over half of her campaign donations from the members of the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley.

One of the heftier donations comes from a Baker County resident. I am not sure of the legality of this donation, but I’m concerned that someone outside of our county has any part in the campaign of a Union County commissioner.

From personal conversations with Irene Gilbert about performing the duties of the office of county commissioner, Gilbert made it clear that she would not do what was in the best interest of Union County if it conflicted in any way with the agenda of the Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley.

Irene Gilbert is right about one thing --- she is uniquely qualified for the office of Union County

A vote for Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley, Irene Gilbert is a vote against Union County.

Arlee Smith

Island City



Vote for Featherstone 


To the Editor:

I am absolutely delighted Maryl Graybeal Featherstone has decided to devote her time to go to work for Eastern Oregon as 29th District state senator.

I come from a hard working family and have seen our jobs being eroded by a bureaucracy that does not listen to small-business people and the average person.

We have lost most of our timber jobs and we have a wolf nobody wants, plus small towns of Eastem Oregon are not only dying, they almost don’t exist.

Maryl Graybeal Featherstone will listen to us, be a powerful advocate and a voice for Eastern Oregon as state senator. We are lucky to have her run for this position. Please join us in voting for Senator Featherstone.

Dennis Culp