Letters to the editor, June 29, 2012

By Observer Upload June 29, 2012 12:41 pm

Candy distribution at parades

To the Editor:

Parade season is on and with it prizes in the form of candy and mementos. 

More than once I have seen associates of entrants marching along the parade route directly distributing candy to spectators. 

This should always be the rule and never the exception during a parade. Too often I have seen children run into the street and could easily be struck by an oncoming float or frighten horses. My heart leaps into my throat when I see these pint sized pillagers coming borderline, if not entirely, in front of oncoming floats. And they are so small, they may not be seen in time. 

Our hats go off to the direct distributors of candy, people who are willing to go the distance.

Ron Fischer


Keep Union Spanish teacher 

To the Editor:

I am writing about the budget cuts that the Union School District is facing and I really feel that they need to keep the Spanish class here. 

Yes, the kids need their sports but I think it benefits to pay a teacher rather than a coach. I’m not saying that coaches don’t deserve to be paid, but when push comes to shove, let’s keep our teachers.

I have a son who was able to speak Spanish and he used to work at the gas station and Wal-Mart while going to college and then became a police officer in Baker City, then later in La Grande and finally in Salem. I don’t know how many times he was called in to hospitals, restaurants and other places in order to talk to people or to comfort loved ones.

We really need to keep the Spanish teaching position as well as sports. If necessary, we could use volunteers for at least awhile so that we can keep teaching positions as well as sports. 

If I was in better health, I sure would be over there to help.

Robin Morin


Stole from gravesite 


To the Editor:

To the person who stole from my father’s gravesite:

 Eight months of the year I live in a large metropolitan area. Coming home to La Grande in the summer is a treat. I leave behind crime and a lack of empathy to find just the opposite in my hometown; something I treasure in La Grande.

That thought was broken this last Memorial day.

As she does every year, my 90-year-old mother placed a beautiful iron basket of flowers on my father’s grave at Grand View Cemetery in La Grande. She has placed this same basket for several years and then returns to pick it up and replant for the next year.

This year when she went to pick it up, a large container of petunias and the iron basket was gone. (She returned prior to the cemetery crew’s clean up)

After tears, she asked the question, “What kind of person steals from a gravesite?”  Followed by, “I did not think that would happen in La Grande.”  I didn’t think that would happen either.

To the person who stole the basket from my father’s gravesite, I would also ask, “What kind of person are you? Do you have any sense of decency?” The basket does not belong to you; please return it.

Barbara Sherwood Sparks

La Grande

Upgrading TV signals

To the Editor:

I would like to thank a group of people for their time and effort. They have worked very hard to bring digital TV to Union and Baker City. What I think is so special is the fact that they volunteer their time to keep off air signals in the valley. Without their help, Blue Mountain Translator District would cease to exist.

Please help me in thanking them too. Dennis Spence, Ken Paterson, Shirley and David Coombs, and past board member Howard Richardson. Also a special thanks to Michael Elliott, an engineer for OPB who helped in the design of the system. Please rescan every so often as BMTD will be upgrading their signals over the summer with true HD signals and with co-channels as they become available..

Dana Moore

Chief engineer, OPB

La Grande

Migratory fish update

To the Editor:

Mr. Charles Jones completely missed the point of my Snake River migratory fish letter to the editor and gave the standard reply. Yet some of the traditional causes do not fit the logic picture. Due to restriction on number of words (letters to the editor are limited to 350 words), some parts of my letter were removed.

Using logic indicates that at least one coastal stream in the Pacific Northwest in a wilderness or park would have had good returns during the time of low coastal returns if the problem was caused by logging, etc. and bad water quality in the streams.

Logging around coastal hatcheries before low returns had gone on for decades and had not reduce the programs. Records indicate that the reduction in adult returns came before the reduction in smolt releases. The hatchery smolt release programs numbers were not significantly reduced by the mud and slash that is attributed to logging so the adults should have returned to the hatcheries.

Also one should recall that one of the first critters to return to Mount Saint Helens was migratory fish. And records indicate that pre-eruption local fish survived the ash, mud flows and hot water of the total devastation of the blast zone.

The early years of The Oregon Forest Practices Act of 1971 must have been a failure in the non-logical way of thinking because the regulation of clear cut size, road building requirements, and stream side protection occurred long before the low return era and must have done little to improve the fish returns. Records do support improvements in water quality because of the Act.

The spotted owl era also occurred before the poor salmon years and so that reduction in logging also did not help restore the salmon any more than the spotted owls.

The commercial salmon farms with direct access to the ocean stopped production because adults did not return to their sites and surplus eggs were no longer available.

John Isley


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The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters are limited to 350 words and must be signed and carry the author’s address and phone number (for verification purposes only). Email your letters to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or mail them to The Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, OR 97850