Letters to the editor for Jan. 6, 2014

By Observer editorial January 06, 2014 09:05 am

Bicycling provides economic opportunities for Union County

To The Editor:

Union County is one of the most sought after areas in Oregon for bicyclists. Local businesses should draw on this economic vein because bicycle-related tourism in Oregon contributes as much as $400 million to Oregon’s economy or approximately $1.2 million per day. 

Imagine the possibilities and revenues that our local businesses and economy can dredge up simply by supporting cycling and its infrastructure, such as “Rails with Trails” and signing up to become a bike-friendly business with Travel Oregon. 

Like a gold mine, our unique area is rich in economic resources in which local businesses can excavate and produce revenues to keep our area prosperous.

As an Elgin Chamber representative, I encourage businesses to check out all available resources like Travel Oregon. 

Travel Oregon along with www.RideOregonRide.com is offering businesses throughout Oregon an opportunity to dredge some golden opportunities of their own.

Simply log onto http://industry.traveloregon.com/industry-resources/product-development/bike-friendly-
business-program/ and scroll to the “steps to get recognized” tab and sign up.

Businesses that sign up will receive a free packet which includes a variety of materials that promote and encourage cyclists to stop and purchase.

In addition, businesses will receive special recognition as a bike-friendly business through Travel Oregon’s communication channels, including www.RideOregonRide.com, Oregon’s official state website that promotes bicycle travel and receives 200,000 visitors annually; and www.traveloregon.com, which attracts over 2 million visitors annually.

Being a business in Union County that supports cycling will be the dredge that delves the gold. Don’t let your economic opportunities peddle on by. 

Kem Brainerd

Elgin Chamber of Commerce

Trucking company, city should adhere to the rules

To The Editor:

Respectfully, we would like to comment on the errors within Dale Mattson’s and Margaret Byron’s letter titled “Neighbors not bothered by trucking company.”

First, the recent Observer articles were published based on documented, proven facts.

Second, Island City imposed a condition saying “no commercial truck trailers, parts or materials shall be stored outdoors on the site.” That condition, although not enforced, applies to the trucking company, not anyone else. 

Third, the office: Mr. Fregulia submitted photos of the office area inside his home then later tried to retract, saying he does not have an office. Any reasonable person knows that a business of this size has an office.

Fourth, the shop building: Yes, Scott wired the shop. He is an electrician, that is what he does. Scott also wired the Clemens home next door to Fregulia, but that does not mean they can turn it into a nightclub. Scott also installed outdoor lighting for the Byrons but that doesn’t mean they can turn their place into a cowboy bar and grill.

Fifth, the building permit was not issued by Hanley Jenkins. Hanley is the Union County planning director. The permit was issued by Island City and signed by Mayor DeLong. Because the area is in the urban growth boundary, a second permit was issued by the City of La Grande Building Department.

The only role Hanley Jenkins played was writing a 12-page letter to Mr. Fregulia explaining why the Union County commissioners overturned his permit. Now, who’s lying?

Sixth, Mr. Fregulia is not a sole proprietor. He has many trucks and employees that frequent the premises. It looks like Mr. Fregulia is in the trucking business for the long term. He needs to stop the insanity by purchasing or leasing commercial property for his business, just like everyone else has to. Mr. Fregulia must feel he deserves entitlement. He knows Island City will continue to defend him at taxpayer expense.

We are fortunate to have many privately owned trucking companies in our valley. Everyone else has to conform to the rules, so should Mr. Fregulia.

Scott and Debra Stevens

Island City

Family thankful for concerned neighbors

To The Editor:

We want to express our sincere thanks to three teenagers who stopped, knocked on our door to get us to safety and called the fire department when they saw our flue was on fire.

Because these kids took time for us, we were able to get our stove shut down with no damage.

La Grande Fire came and was really helpful checking for any hidden damage and there just was none.

There was no smoke inside the house, the smoke detectors were silent. We were nearly to go to bed without knowing we had a problem.

The teen girl was a neighbor several years ago. Thanks again to her and her two friends.

After 25 years, I had gotten lax on keeping the flue clean and that caused the problem. It is really clean now though.

Sure is nice to live in a community where folks take time for neighbors.

Roger and Carol Cochran

La Grande