Letters to the editor for February 22, 2013

By Observer Upload February 22, 2013 09:04 am



Wrestling builds solid life foundation

To the Editor:

 Thank you for bringing attention to the sport of wrestling, and the sad decision of the International Olympic Committee to cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. 

I didn’t know anything about wrestling when my son decided to join his high school team as a freshman. He is now a senior, and I have seen him and countless other boys of all levels of skill gain confidence and character. There is no other sport that tests your preparation and mental and physical toughness as much as wrestling, because it’s just you out there, win or lose. 

Unlike in team sports, you are guaranteed to participate; there is no sitting on the bench. Because of that, boys can improve leaps and bounds if they want to. I have watched boys with dreadful seasons their freshman years improve dramatically, and be state qualifiers as upperclassmen.

The focus on nutrition and avoiding the typical teenage diet of sodas, sugars and fatty foods sets them up for a lifetime of better eating habits.  

As more and more colleges cut their programs, and high school programs struggle to fund wrestling, we need to be fighting to keep this sport at all levels. Wrestling has played an important role in the history of competition, going back to ancient times, and it has a great tradition here in Northeast Oregon. Wrestling deserves to continue to be honored and recognized, starting with encouraging as many boys as possible in our region to go out for the sport.

Stacy Green




Oregonians pinched by health care costs

To the Editor:

I have followed with interest the several articles about health care published recently in the Observer. Your coverage of this important issue is appreciated.

Two serious limitations of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), after full implementation in 2017, are that it does very little to control costs and it leaves approximately 30 million Americans without insurance.

Fortunately, there is homegrown Oregon legislation designed to insure everyone in Oregon.

Oregon Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, has sponsored the Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan Act (House Bill 2922). The bill has 23 initial co-sponsors in the Oregon House and is gaining support in the Senate.

The purpose of Dembrow’s legislation is to ensure access to high-quality, patient-centered, affordable health care for all Oregonians, to improve public health overall, and to reel in escalating costs of health care. Who wins? Individuals, families, businesses and every Oregon community.

Oregonians, feeling increasingly pinched by health care costs, are rallying to support HB2922. On Feb. 4, 21 eastern Oregonians from La Grande, Baker City, Cove, Enterprise and Pendleton joined nearly 1,000 concerned Oregonians at the capitol in Salem in support of the bill. The rally was sponsored by Health Care for All Oregon, a statewide coalition of 63 Oregon organizations including Oregon Rural Action.

In the Observer’s excellent article on the challenges faced by local small businesses (Feb. 6), Colleen MacLeod noted that the rising costs of health insurance are a problem for businesses like hers. Colleen is absolutely right. Every small business is taking major financial hits from health insurance companies. 

When Rep. Dembrow’s legislation removes the burden of escalating health insurance costs, our local businesses and all of us will benefit.

For information, contact the Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform Action Team This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bill Whitaker

Co-chair, Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform Action Team

La Grande