Letters to the editor for November 2, 2012

By Observer Upload November 02, 2012 01:58 pm
Letters to the editor for November 2, 2012




Write-in Brasure for mayor of La Grande

To the Editor:

My name is Michael Brasure and I am the write-in candidate for mayor of La Grande. Many of you have asked, “What is your platform?” I have asked you, the people of La Grande, to tell me what my platform should be. No one will tell me, so here is my platform.

I want to bring economic growth. Not development, but growth. We have to grow something before we can develop it. The county and city have been trying to do this for four years. Will it be another four years before we see anything? The Main Street Improvement District is a good idea, but it should be the Downtown Business Improvement District, including all businesses in downtown La Grande, not a chosen few.

We need to stop making bad investments in the county. The county wants to buy land out in Island City: How is that helping La Grande’s tax revenue? You can bet the county will want money from the City of La Grande to help pay for this. If the county wants it, the county can buy it.

Our city streets are a shame. Let’s start spending money on improving our streets, not our sidewalks.

I want to bring in tourism, something we really need here. We should have festivals for all kinds of things. If nothing else, make one up and have fun with it. I have contacted friends in other cities and towns in Oregon about pamphlets about La Grande. No one can find any information about La Grande.

The people of La Grande need to be more active in what is going on in La Grande. There are hardly any citizens at the City Council meetings. Don’t you care about La Grande? I do. Let’s all come together, put our heads together and make La Grande a better place to work, live and enjoy life.

Remember to vote, and vote with your heart, not by what someone has told you. You have the right to choose. Vote wisely.

Michael Brasure

La Grande




Reelect mayor who desires to serve

To the Editor:

The framers of the Constitution knew that citizen government would be one of the basic strengths of the new Republic. There were learned men such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who wrote the great documents of that new nation. The core of the Continental Congress, however, was made up of common men with a burning desire for freedom and liberty. They represented their friends and neighbors with purpose and dedication.

I am also a common man who wishes to continue to serve the City of La Grande. I certainly am not of the caliber of our Founding Fathers, but I share the desire to serve. I have made it my number-one priority to be accessible and to be involved in every aspect of City activities. I have learned so much by listening to citizens at meetings and events, or over a cup of coffee.

Working together as a team, the City Council, City staff and citizens have had many successes in the past two years. The Riverside Park Pavilion rebuild, the repair of Second Street and the Morgan Lake dam, grants for the purchase of a new fire truck, these are just a few examples of the teamwork that is evident in the City of La Grande.

It has indeed been an honor to serve La Grande as mayor. I pledge continued hard work and total commitment to the citizens. Together we will keep trying to attract employers and retail businesses to strengthen our community.

Please exercise your great privilege to vote. I would appreciate you marking your ballot for Daniel Pokorney for mayor of La Grande.

Daniel Pokorney

La Grande


Kindness a wonderful surprise

To the Editor:

This is a letter to the person who took my forgotten purse, left in the shopping cart at Wal-Mart, to customer service. How kind of you. It was easy to see not an item was touched inside. I am very grateful and hope someday I can return the favor. What a wonderful surprise on a dark, rainy night.

Wendy Clerget

La Grande


ER staff commended

To the Editor:

I would like to express my appreciation to Grande Ronde Hospital’s emergency room staff, specifically Drs. Page and Baynes, for the medical treatment they rendered to my husband, Earl, recently. It is our belief that because of their patient commitment and their due diligence, my husband I are able to pen this letter.

Time is a precious commodity, and the realization of this is no less alarming than when you are running out of it. Confusion itself plays a part at such a time when it does not correlate to one’s efforts in seeking medical help. Needless to say, it was an extremely stressful situation. The efforts provided by GRH’s emergency included becoming a conduit between my husband’s care and those who could provide it, namely the Portland Veterans Hospital. I can only imagine the bureaucracy that had to be waded through in order to achieve a much-needed goal.

In the ten years plus we have lived here, relocating from a much larger city, La Grande has grown. I personally have never been challenged, but rather comforted, when I have observed growth in areas like the hospital or our college. Their growth confirms my belief that it translates to our betterment. As a professional, I was delighted to see a neurosurgeon join our community, and I have called upon his expertise quite often, since my day-to-day dealings center around dementia care. Their forward movement is a benefit in all aspects.

In closing, it would be nice to believe that one day, in the not-too-distant future, a five-hour trip to Portland would be negated due to GRH’s ability to offer more diverse care. For the present, we are nonetheless appreciative of their ability to be the conduit to care needed.

Karen Frye

Island City


Politically motivated vandalism not right

To the Editor:

As a lifelong Democrat, I have never before been subjected to being cravenly harassed for, or afraid to state, my point of view. So it was disappointing to find my yard signs torn down and property vandalized Oct. 20. Backing the president, as I have, has meant transformational change truly is possible. And it comes at a price I didn’t expect.

Sadly enough, I’m not speaking to Republicans. The yard sign was for Romney/Ryan, and the property damage was to the chair I used to “Eastwood” my opinion in the sadly failed, divisive presidency of Barack Obama.

Is this the transformation I supported? To transform the proud, dignified and honest Democratic Party I still want to believe in? A party of and for the working class, “transformed” into a party of bitterness, acting and reacting like wild animals? No, indeed. Animals don’t take revenge for ideas.

The sign stays. The chair stays. Enough change. Obama needs to go.

Jack D. Howard

La Grande




Being responsible for each other

To the Editor:

Regarding the Oct. 17 letter from Sharon Cheney who admonished the President of the United States to “refrain from coveting” — boy, is she misled, misinformed and mistaken.

My father was a clergyman and I was exposed to biblical stories and given their meaning over the years. “To covet,” to be overly envious of someone’s possessions, money or beauty, etc., is not remotely akin to a humane national leader who has wanted from the day of his inauguration to even the playing field for those who cannot even it for themselves, due to the disinterest and downright greed of those who have more money than they need, who many times have made their fortunes off the work of those less well-off.

Christ Himself decried the conspicuous rich. He counseled those who were wealthy to give to the poor; in other words, he said to “share.” Call it “evening the playing field,” for He (like our president) believed that we are our brother’s keeper.

If “spreading the wealth around” is such a wrongful act, someone better tell that to the Salvation Army, the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, the United Way, the food banks, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, all the missionaries, Doctors Without Borders and all the child-aid organizations. Tell that to those of us who don’t believe what you said in your letter, who sacrifice now and then in order to try to even the chances of the many people who are needy through no fault of their own.

Is it wrong or evil for those in or near poverty to look out and see the huge advantages the “Top Two Percent” have? Is it unfair for them to understand that the “haves” get most of the breaks -- in health care, in taxes, in influence in high places to keep them there?

You may call it coveting, but Christ saw it otherwise and spent His life trying to teach the lesson of being aware and responsible for one another. You, Sharon, should do no less.

Mickey Savage

La Grande




Supplemental food program dependent on community

To the Editor:

Another school year is underway, and the Union County Friday Backpack Program is in its fifth year providing supplemental food packs to grade-school children. We couldn’t have done it without the amazing community support for this program! It’s remarkable to think that what started out as a pilot program in 2008 with just one school has grown to the point that we are serving children at every grade school in Union County.

During the 2011-2012 school year alone, the Friday Backpack Program provided more than 5,000 packs filled with nutritious, kid-friendly foods (such as peanut butter, soup and granola bars) to children who might otherwise be hungry over the weekend or school vacations.

The importance of good nutrition for children cannot be overstressed, with research showing a clear link between food insecurity and poor health and academic outcomes. This is alarming considering that roughly half of the children in Union County are eligible for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches at school; there is a strong likelihood that these children face a scarcity of food when they’re not in school. The Friday Backpack Program fills a void with supplemental food packs for the most at-risk children because children who have access to adequate nutrition have a better chance of success in the classroom and in society.

All of the resources for the Friday Backpack Program come from the community through grants, food donations and monetary contributions from civic organizations, businesses, churches and individuals. Run entirely by volunteers, all donations to the program go directly to purchasing food for the children.

We can always use your help! Please consider donating food in the bright green tubs at local businesses, sponsoring a child with a monetary donation or volunteering your time by helping with the food packs. Search for “Union County Friday Backpack Program” on Facebook for more information or call 541-963-5114. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Friday Backpack Program, 1308 Washington Ave., La Grande, OR 97850.

Thank you for supporting this important cause!

Veronica Wood

Board Member

Union County Friday Backpack Program

La Grande



Climate change is real

To the Editor:

If the recent massive storm called Sandy isn’t enough to convince the naysayers that climate change is real, I don’t know what it will take. 

As a nation, we have to rise up against the oil companies that have a stranglehold on every aspect of our culture. Neither one of our presidential candidates have talked about this enough and the fact that if we don’t do something soon to speed up our clean energy sources, these kinds of storms will become even more frequent and destructive. 

I believe that the power that oil companies have over all aspects of our lives effects the way our two candidates campaign and that is a frightening thing. We as citizens have to wake up and make ourselves heard. 

Just because some of us are in our elder years doesn’t mean we can’t speak out since we won’t be around to be affected by all of this. I am thinking about our future generations.

From a very concerned citizen of the world.

Mary Helen Garoutte

La Grande



Reading pays dividends

To the Editor:

Did you know that reading is the single most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child, has a high level of self-esteem and easily makes transitions to other kinds of learning.

Did you know that 86 percent of all juvenile offenders and 60 percent of prison inmates have some level of reading difficulty.  Reading difficulties affect at least half of those adolescents who have a history of drug abuse.

Families play an important role in children’s reading success. The single most important thing adults can do to help children become readers is to read aloud to them. Families can also involve children in using reading and writing for everyday events such as making grocery lists, shopping for food, reading recipes, writing cards and thank-you notes, and reading signs and labels.

If we realize the positive attributes of those who can read and the potential consequences of poor reading, our community is charged with doing all we can to help children be successful readers. Early Learning Matters and Mountain Valleys Reading Council provided families with additional information during the merchants’ trick or treat event on Halloween evening. We were able to distribute “Read to your little pumpkin” information cards to hundreds of families. Thanks to all who interacted with us. It was a very positive experience.

Carol Lauritzen

La Grande