Letters to the editor for January 21, 2013

By Observer Upload January 22, 2013 07:37 am



Embrace an active defense of schools

To the Editor:

Fellow Parents,

Having school staff be able to carry a weapon is not something that should be looked at as odd, weird or frightening. It seems pretty clear no matter how fast law enforcement arrives to an active shooter, it would ultimately be too late for some poor soul. This has been done at many schools in Texas and Utah, while Alaska, Ohio and Illinois are currently working on legislation to arm school staff. 

By making schools “gun-free zones” we have lined our children up as cannon fodder for whatever lunatic needs to make a statement or name for themselves. There are crazy people, and if all we had to do was pass a law, everything would be roses and lollypops. How’s that war on drugs doing?

In the mid-1990s, I was in high school. We had guns in our back windows or back seats of our cars. We were not looked at as criminals or thugs. We were just students.

We have a choice: either leave our single-most precious resource, our children, defenseless and vulnerable to the crazies of the world, or embrace an active defense. Also, I do not think it wise to leave this decision to our school board or the staff. They are employees of the parents, and I think we as parents should be able to make this decision. If staff do not want to carry, by all means don’t. And if they don’t want to teach in an armed school, then teach somewhere else. Bye-bye, because everyone is replaceable.

Richard Horn

La Grande




Reader concerned over global warming

To the Editor:

As I read The Observer editorial “TV ads turn down volume” Dec. 21, I was disheartened to find the Observer perpetuating (no doubt, unwittingly) an insidious misconception regarding what is arguably the greatest ecological crisis modern man has ever faced. 

“There is still a lot to gripe about in America,” the editorial concluded, violent video games, shoveling six inches of “global warming” (emphasis added.) This oft-repeated “witticism” is predicated on the erroneous belief that the earth is not warming and that the last good snow storm provides empirical proof. 

Not so. According to the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange) Global Warming, an “increase in temperature near the surface of the earth, leads to a bigger set of changes referred to as global climate change.”

“The evidence is clear, rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate. Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves.” 

Thus, despite the snow banks lining our sidewalks, global warming is indeed real, very real. 

Global warming is also unstoppable.

How will global warming affect our climate in the Grande Ronde Valley? Wetter springs? Drier summers? How will this affect the crops we grow? Our water supply? The health of our forests? How can we adapt our lifestyles and economies in preparation for this rapidly approaching climatic change? 

We are lucky to be among the few remaining communities with a local paper. On staff is an impressive collection of intelligent, educated and articulate talent. This places the Observer in a unique position to educate its readership and facilitate discussions regarding how we can make our community more resilient in the face of local climate change. 

As the EPA reminds us, “Our decisions today will shape the world our children and grandchildren will live in.” 

Teresa Brain

La Grande