Letters to the editor for May 8, 2013

By Observer Upload May 09, 2013 08:06 am
Letters to the editor for May 8, 2013

End senior hunger
in our community

To the Editor:

Mother’s Day is a time to acknowledge the special women in our lives. It is a day of appreciation and remembrance.  

Sadly, many of our meal recipients will spend this holiday alone. They have outlived their friends, spouses and, in many cases, their children. Together, we can do something nice for her on Mother’s Day.

Please make a donation to Community Connection Meals Program in honor of all the mothers that will be alone this Mother’s Day.

At the core of Community Connection is our Meals on Wheels program, where we help many seniors in desperate need of nutritious meals. Not only are they getting a great hot meal, they are also getting human contact with the volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure seniors in our community are served. That connection can mean the difference between hope and despair or even life and death. 

Our volunteers are on the frontlines every day serving meals to seniors across our county. We know we are delivering more than just a meal; we have seen it in the faces of the seniors we touch. We have been that connection when a senior falls and has been down for a few days. We know when something isn’t right, or if they aren’t feeling well, we follow up. 

We know what senior hunger looks like too. And we know that more than 7.5 million seniors in America today are facing the threat of it, because they are not getting the nutritious meals they need. We know senior hunger is a serious problem. We know that it must be stopped. And we know that there is something that we can do about it. We are working every day to put an end to senior hunger by delivering nutritious meals and providing compassion to seniors in Union County.

You can help us eliminate senior hunger in Union County by donating to the Community Connection Senior Meal Program sustainer. Your monthly, quarterly or annual donation is tax deductible and will help ensure this program stays strong for those who aren’t. Many seniors in our county are financially distressed and physically distressed. Your donation will help us ensure that when a frail senior who has little power to change their circumstances needs food, we can be there with a hot, nutritious meal and a smile.  

Call today. For more information, contact 541-963-7532, ext. 12, about your tax-deductible donation.

Carmen Gentry

County manager, Food Bank manager, Community Connection
of Northeast Oregon, Inc.

Spring street tree planting April 27 was great success

To the Editor:

This year’s spring street tree planting day April 27 was a great success thanks to the volunteers who made it happen. 

Twenty-seven people donated their time and muscle power to deliver trees and mulch, plant trees and clean up after. 

Twenty-two new street trees were added to La Grande’s urban forest with help from the Oregon Youth Authority at RiverBend; the roller derby club, the River Valley Roller Vixens; members of the La Grande Landscape and Forestry Commission; and local youth and families. Thank you. 

Teresa Gustafson

Urban Forestry Division

Vote for Woodworth, O’Reilly for school board

To the Editor:

Nothing is more important for the future of our nation than the education of our children. I am personally endorsing two men running for school board positions: Chris Woodworth, candidate for
La Grande School District, and Phillip O’Reilly, candidate for Union School District.

As a Republican, I embrace and promote conservative values at a grassroots level within our community. Chris Woodworth and Phillip O’Reilly clearly embody these values. I am convinced their blend of fiscal experience, their leadership skills and their honest desire to serve the public will enhance these school boards. They are dedicated to public transparency, parental involvement, decisions that benefit teachers and students, and financial common sense. It is time to stem the liberal tide that has flooded our school system, and return to strong traditional American principles.

I look forward to joining with fellow Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, tea partiers, non-affiliates and all voters of a conservative mindset to create the best educational environment possible for our children. Please cast your votes for Chris Woodworth,
La Grande School Board or for Phillip O’Reilly, Union School Board.

Greg Barreto

Union County Republican chairman


Help Union School District meet future challenges

To the Editor:

My name is Phillip O’Reilly. I am running for the Union School Board and ask the residents of Union for their vote in the May 21 election. 

My family and I moved here in 2004. My wife, Laura, and I fully expected to continue homeschooling our high-school age children. Yet, after visiting with Union High School’s faculty and staff, we changed plans. Our oldest four
kids have graduated from Union and were well served by their experience.

However, the recent financial difficulties at Union have undermined the quality of the education that the district provides students. The school has eliminated music programs and driven at least one exceptionally talented and challenging teacher to another district because of the uncertainty surrounding her job.

I have attended a few school district meetings where these challenges were discussed and have left each time questioning the “solutions” discussed. The discussions have centered around two alternatives: 1. the need for reductions in spending; and 2. the need for more money. Noticeably absent was any introspection about how the district might change the quality of the educational product it provides and thereby motivate parents to enroll their children in Union. 

If the district reasserts its commitment to high standards for both college- and career-bound students, parents will take notice. Relatively modest changes in emphasis would probably help students see the relevance of math, science, writing and problem solving to their future success.

Paradoxically, recent struggles have positioned the district so that it has the opportunity to change its focus and renew its reputation. This opportunity should not be squandered. Promoting the status quo leads only to further problems in this case. Fundamental but manageable changes are necessary. I believe I can help Union district meet these challenges.

Phillip O’Reilly