Letters to the editor for August 12, 2013

By Observer Upload August 12, 2013 10:36 am
Letters to the editor for August 12, 2013

Biggest medical expense
for many young people

To the Editor:

Many young people are beginning to realize how important affordable health care is to their future. The “American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World” by Elisabeth Rosenthal in the June 30, 2013, Health section of the New York Times is a wake up call for people in their early 20s to mid 40s. This is the time of life when young people may first experience the high cost of health care related to the birth of their child.

With the technology available today, women can imagine the possibility of pregnancy and birth over a 2-1/2 decade time frame. What is beyond imagination is the cost of maternity care. According to Rosenthal, this can range from $4,000 to $45,000 and skyrockets if fertility assistance is needed. 

The high cost of childbirth may, in fact, be determining the size of families these days.

The Health Care for All Oregon movement is important to people of all ages, especially young people. We want everyone in Oregon to have access to universal, publicly funded affordable health care. When this happens it will change the lives of all prospective parents (and future grandparents), removing the stress of worrying about medical bills and returning the focus to the anticipated birth.

For information about how Health Care for All Oregon is addressing the financial stress of planning a family, contact Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform Action Team Co-Chairs Cheryl Simpson and Bill Whitaker at 541-663-1358.

Cheryl Simpson-Whitaker

La Grande

La Grande School District gets it right with hiring

To the Editor:

I would like to commend La Grande High School Principal Andrea Waldrop and Superintendent Larry Glaze for recruiting and hiring the amazing new alternative high school teacher Ted Wilton. 

Ted’s passion and skill set for working with the alt school population has given hope to a segment of the student body who would likely otherwise be detached from school. 

Ted has a unique ability to engage struggling students in education. His leadership, commitment and curriculum foster a genuine connection between students and learning. 

LHS alt school students are focused in the classroom; GPA’s and attendance are up. Students are also focused on constructive recreational activities. In my experience, both professionally, and as a former at-risk youth, healthy recreational outlets are an integral part of keeping kids out of trouble. Under Ted Wilton, students participate in intensive cardiovascular workouts during the school day, which is an evidence-based method for increasing academic performance. 

They are also engaged after hours with the Alt School Cycling Team, wherein students ride as a team all over the county and even the state. 

Ted also founded the Alt School Winter Recreation Program, which will keep students engaged with outdoor activities throughout the year. Ted wrote successful grant proposals to fund both of these programs, which offer Alt School students, who are unlikely to participate in other school sports, the opportunity to engage in school-sanctioned and supervised extracurricular activities. 

Ted’s vision for engaging this population is a revelation. I thank the
La Grande School District for having the vision and foresight to hire this wonderful teacher. Our community is a better place for it.

Benjamin Morgan, director

Union County Juvenile Dept

Public Works: thanks
for a job well done

To the Editor:

Kudos and a big “Standing-O” to Ray Crapo and his crew from La Grande Public Works for the excellent job they did recently in putting a sewer line through our yard. Their excavator and dump trucks worked inches from our beautiful flowers and they disturbed not so much as a single petal.

The workers were at all times professional and courteous and took great pains not to disturb any more of our property than they absolutely had to. They have installed our new grass and that part of our lawn is now the nicest part.

We are also very thankful to the powers that be at Public Works who made the decision not to put the planned water line through our yard as well, as it would have had to go through our deck.

Mark and Barb Larson

La Grande