Letters to the editor for February 6, 2013

By Observer Upload February 06, 2013 01:59 pm



Love yourself, be kind to other people

To the Editor:

I am a mother of two children. I must say that I am deeply saddened by the bully-related suicide attempt by the La Grande High School student on Jan. 19. I did not know the young man, but my daughter said that she had shared a class with him last year. She told me what a nice person he was. 

I would like to encourage all mothers and fathers reading these words to sit down and talk with your children. Have a talk about being kind and respectful to other people, even if they’re different. Think about how boring this
world would be if we were all the same. 

On Whitney Houston’s last CD, “I Look To You,” there is a song called “Nothin’ But Love.” She sings about the fact that there’s been haters since this world’s been going round. As parents, we have the power to teach our children to hate or to love. I just wish Jadin had known that there were as many lovers as there were haters among his classmates and community. 

If you are a younger person and you’re reading these words, my hope is that whether you are gay, straight, purple, yellow, tall, short, small or big, when you look in the mirror you love the person who is looking back at you. From the mouth of this “Momma Bear” I say, love yourself and be kind to others. 


Rhonda Sue Basso

La Grande





Four wolf questions can be resolved rationally

To the Editor:

I have spent recent years in astonished concern for our nation as we witness political, social and economic issues and debates that our founding fathers could never have envisioned. Why? Because many of these issues are outside the realm of moral, practical or reasonable consideration. Any appreciable level of common sense simply precludes them. 

The wolf issue, though not threatening the very survival of our nation as are some of the current issues, is an example and has proven important locally. 

I believe the four questions listed in recent Observer articles to debate concerning the return of wolves to our area can be resolved rationally using these four viewpoints: 

1. The experience gained by our neighboring states to the East. 

2. The very nature of the wolf (not the Disneyland version).

3. Not only the right but the responsibility of domestic livestock owners to protect their animals. 

4. The responsibility of state game managers to control predators much more responsibly. 


1. Can wolves co-exist with cattle and sheep? Answer: Certainly not without constant attacks. 

2. Should livestock owners be able to kill wolves that attack or harass their animals? Answer: Yes, without question. 

3. How will wolves affect populations of deer, elk and other big game animals? Answer: If allowed to continue reproducing, they will literally wipe out our big game animals, which are already in trouble due to excessive cougar and bear predation. 

4. When should wolves in Northeastern Oregon, which are no longer under the federal Endangered Species Act, be also removed from Oregon’s Endangered Species List? Answer: At least two or three years ago. We are already behind and in major trouble. 

I would be surprised if these thoughts are not in fairly close agreement among the vast majority of those people close to the land. 


Frank Beickel






Bullying is a form of violence

To the Editor:

Bullying is a form of violence, a way to exert power over others and must be taken seriously, as it can have long-term effects on the person being bullied, the one doing the bullying and those who witness it.

Research shows that 60 percent of males who bully in grades six through nine are convicted of at least one crime as adults, compared with 23 percent of males who did not bully.  While there is not as much research available in this area, girls can be bullies as well. Recent studies indicate that girls are aggressive, but they use different methods of aggression compared to those used by

Bullying is not a “kids will be kids” situation about a conflict that needs to be worked out; rather it is one person or group trying to have control over others. This is the beginning of a cycle of violent behavior, which left unchecked may result in other types of antisocial behavior and crime, extending into adulthood.

According to a new study released by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in rural areas feel less safe, face heightened victimization and have fewer supportive resources than LGBT students in suburban and urban areas.

It’s important to develop a long-term approach which stops bullying at the source and does so permanently, rather than just blocking one avenue of contact. As a community we need to take a stand against violence in all forms and commit to teaching our children that bullying is not OK and can be stopped.

For more information about resources that are available, please contact Shelter From the Storm at 541-963-7226.


Teresa Crouser

Executive director, Shelter From the Storm, La Grande





Disregarding the Constitution

To the Editor:

I was in a coffee shop recently, and all the talk was about the sheriff and his forum. When I read the paper the Friday before and Martin Birnbaum made the statement about the Constitution and deciding what laws are constitutional and which laws to enforce, he knows that himself and ex-judge Mendiguren did not follow the Constitution by granting search warrants without probable cause and with no affidavits. 

Telling La Grande city police and the Union County sheriff’s to go ahead and kick in people’s doors make arrests — we can sort it all out later. I am talking about the Fourth and 14th amendments. 

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 

Fourteenth Amendment: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

How many times did Mendiguren and Birnbaum disregard the Constitution? I do know that the both of them worked hand in hand with two ex-police officers that were forced to resign in lieu of termination in 2008. Why is it, the two of them were not forced to resign? Why is Birnbaum calling the sheriff out when he himself did not and does not uphold and protect people’s constitutional rights? 


Robert A. Clark

La Grande





Political correctness and telling right from wrong

To the Editor:

Unfortunately, our society of politically correct thinking has clouded our ability to discern right from wrong. 

We all need to seek varied sources of information as to not form biased viewpoints. Recent rumblings about guns, violence and personal responsibilities are impetus to dust off my soapbox. 

1. The media glorifies horrific shootings in schools, theaters, malls, etc. The late Paul Harvey would report aforementioned events, and conclude by saying, “The perpetrator would like me to mention his name.” After a pause, he would then proceed to the next news item.

2. Enough gun laws, enforce them.

3. Capital punishment for heinous killers. If it is not a deterrent, at least he will not offend again, saving taxpayers billions.

4. Term limits for D.C. politicians.

5. Disarm rapists and child molesters, either physically or chemically.

6. Ban pet ownership to animal abusers.

7. I support our sheriff’s stand on the Second Amendment.

8. More local/ state governing and less federal interference.


Robert Eytchison

La Grande





Common sense boosts Second Amendment

To the Editor:

Thoughts on recent efforts to curb gun violence through safety measures ...

Oh my, I guess I didn’t get the memo that “they” were coming to take our guns away. I have searched high and low and still can’t seem to find it. But I have seen suggestions of ways to keep us all safer in our ownership and use of guns. We have guns, my husband hunts, and we are not concerned that safety measures for gun use are being sought. Call me naive, call me delusional, heck, sue me, but I believe that common sense rules will only strengthen the Second Amendment, not take it away.

I would hope that the rhetoric could be cooled down around this subject. It seems to me that some of the heated remarks being made in this gun culture are rather frightening. A picture of the gun fight at the OK Corral comes to mind and it’s kind of scary.

P.S. I don’t want to leave the country either. In fact, I didn’t know that practicing our freedom of speech on this issue was an offense  worthy of deportation.


Mary Helen Garoutte

La Grande




Gun registration is unconstitutional

To the Editor:

Make no mistake: Background checks are de facto gun registration. The dealer keeps the forms, but the gun serial number is forever tied to the buyer, and in case of invasion, the first thing the enemy would do is get those forms then get the weapons. Just like in the movie “Red Dawn.”

If you doubt what I say about background checks, ask your local gun dealer.

So, gun registration is unconstitutional. Therefore, de fact gun registration, called background checks, is also unconstitutional.

Make no mistake: This is too serious to take someone else’s word for it, especially a politician, or a biased political news service.


Nick Smith

La Grande