Letters to the editor for October 29, 2012

By Observer Upload October 29, 2012 01:58 pm
Letters to the editor for October 29, 2012



Protect elk, culture and economy

To the Editor:

As the Travel Plan moves forward it is imperative that the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest renews its commitment to a plan rooted in scientific knowledge, because a healthy environment is vital to all Americans, and brings substantial benefits to communities.

Take elk for example. In economic terms, for which local county commissioners have great concern, elk are hugely important for a long-term sustainable economy. The Travel Plan EIS reports for the Wallowa Whitman National Forest that “97,953 hunter days in 2007 were directly related to elk populations that depend on the Wallowa Whitman for habitat. These hunters contributed an estimated $7.7 million for their annual hunting excursions for elk on the WWNF.” So how do we make a Travel Plan decision that protects elk?

Northeast Oregon boasts one of the leading elk research facilities in the world, the Starkey Experimental Forest. Key studies have been conducted right in our own backyard that clearly document the negative impacts of excessive road densities and motorized vehicles on elk populations. The research from Starkey has helped land managers to identify 17 critical areas of high-quality elk habitat that must be preserved to protect this incredible legacy and sustainable economic opportunity in Eastern Oregon. If we do what’s right, these critical elk habitat areas will be great for hunting and great for elk. So if you love elk, get on board.

The science shows us how we can protect the land and water and safeguard the sustainable economic benefits that come along with a healthy environment. In the case of elk, we should support the Forest Service in making a very strong Travel Plan decision that emphasizes high-quality habitat in the critical elk habitat areas, because we will also be emphasizing a healthy world for ourselves. 

David Mildrexler






Freedom or free stuff?

To the Editor:

All presidential elections are important; this one will determine the direction the country heads for at least the next few decades. We can continue down the path of more government control of our lives and loss of freedom or begin the process of returning control back to “We the People.”

There are many reasons I feel Mitt Romney is a better choice for president. I will give three examples where the candidate’s views are nearly opposite.

On the economy, Romney believes we need to strategically reduce multiple layers of unnecessary regulations that stifle our job creators. We also need to keep taxes low enough for small business to survive and to keep large business from exporting jobs. He understands that more good-paying jobs equal a more optimistic, robust America and thus more tax revenue.

On the Second Amendment, Romney believes it guarantees a fundamental, individual right, and will defend the right of individuals to protect their families, homes and property. He will appoint Cabinet members and other members to his administration that believe the same.

The most important difference between the candidates may be in appointing judges, especially to the Supreme Court. As many as three Supreme Court Justices may retire in the next four years. Romney believes the Constitution is straightforward: Its words have meaning. It is intended to limit the powers of government. The job of a judge is to enforce the Constitution’s restraints on government and, where the Constitution does not speak, to leave the governance to its elected representatives. He will appoint wise, experienced and restrained judges, at all levels, who take seriously their oath to discharge their duties impartially in accordance with our Constitution and laws – not their personal policy preferences.

The choice is clear, freedom or free stuff. Vote for Mitt Romney.

Mark Barber

La Grande




Minthorne: for all the people

To the Editor:

Antone Minthorn: for all the people ... how true! Over the last several months I have had the privilege to read, learn and work side by side with this quiet, always methodical man. What knowledge and wisdom. I have yet to meet a person that has done so much for Eastern Oregon, not only for the Native American but for all of us.

The rebuilding of Celilo Falls housing was a priority of Mr. Minthorn’s. He has been the best friend of the fisherman by implementing the return of the salmon to the Umatilla River. The economy of the Port of Umatilla and the Columbia River are no strangers to Antone: moving grain and coal and introducing irrigation from the Columbia for the farmers (remember Buckets for Buckets?) has been but one item championed by Mr. Minthorn.

Roads, pipes and electrical infrastructures in place for more growth at the Wildhorse area (Divita, Hotel, Casino, Forest Service and Cayuse Technologies) -- this was Antone’s vision, and it has come to fruition and growing.

The Wallowa Lake project: Antone is already working with all the concerns to correct the problems of this beautiful area. The environment of Hell’s Canyon is always under his watchful eye.

Health care and education are Antone’s biggest concerns. The vision of cyber and new innovations beyond what we see now is what Antone wants in our children’s education, keeping the history of our land free and pure.

When elected I know Mr. Minthorn can bring unity and open conversation to get real work done in Salem. Antone Minthorn will not be “business as usual” but will be for all the people.

I am very pleased to place my vote for Antone Minthorn. 

Sue Petersen




Vote doesn’t count if you don’t sign it

To the Editor:

I am part of a team on the Union County Elections Board that helps put together ballots each time we vote in the state of Oregon. Each time we prepare the ballots, I am curious how many will be sent back to be counted election day.

Are you aware that Wallowa County has the highest percentage of returns, then Baker County, and then Union County? We can do better!

I know that we could outvote the western part of our state, if we would all return our ballots.

This is such a critical time to vote!

There are drop boxes around the county that make it easy to put your ballot in, if you aren’t able to mail it.

Please be sure to read all the instructions, place your ballot in the secrecy envelope, then in the golden envelope, and sign it. Your vote cannot be counted if you don’t sign the envelope, and it must be dated by Nov. 6, 2012.

Whatever your views, please vote this election! Let’s try to have the highest percent this time.

Kay Dick

Island City