Letters to the editor for January 20, 2014

By Observer Upload January 20, 2014 08:57 am
Letters to the editor for January 20, 2014



Community, athletes deserve top-notch football coach

To the Editor

The La Grande High School has excellent boys baseball and basketball programs. However, we are now in need of an experienced, winning football coach. I would like to call on the school district to work with local boosters and supporters to raise money to attract a coach to come to La Grande and bring our team back to a winning program. 

We have great kids and good athletes in this community who deserve a top level coach to head up a successful program.

Steve West

La Grande



Health care decision should be in hands of doctors 

To the Editor:

Happy New Year, Cheryl, from your Prescription Drug Plan (Part D Medicare), “We will provide you with a temporary supply (one month) of your prescription eye drops. We strongly encourage you to check with your doctor to see if you can take the following alternative drug that is on our formulary.” 

Just like last year, another long, drawn-out process between my doctor, Part D and me. Part D paid hardly anything in 2013.

This is all part of the insurance industry’s systematic effort to find the best way to limit — or deny — coverage and maximize profits.

The Affordable Care Act says insurers can’t turn anyone away, even people who are sick.  Did you know that some companies have found a way out of having to provide services to very sick people?

Offer drug coverage too limited for people with expensive conditions, which means the people that are sick and need health care are made to suffer even more trying to find health insurance coverage that meets their needs and in many cases will save their lives.

Seven hundred people in Eastern Oregon believe the best way to provide health care for everyone in the state is to create a universal, publicly funded health care system. Everybody in and nobody out. This makes sense to me.

I am for providing health care for all people — which means taking decision making about my health care and yours out of the hands of the insurance industry and putting it back in the hands of our doctors and other health care providers.  

What do you think? Who knows best?


Cheryl Simpson

La Grande



Finding a way for cheaper firefighting is easy

To the Editor:

This is in response to the guest editorial in the Jan. 1 Observer, “A better way to fight fires.” Yes, firefighting is expensive, and no, it won’t get any cheaper in the future. The truth is that we the public wouldn’t be in this position if our national forests had been managed better.

However, here we are, so let’s deal with it. The Forest Service has proven over and over that they aren’t up to it. Here are just two things that can be done right now to make firefighting cost less in the future.

First, leave the roads alone — they are already here, so use them instead of removing them. A hot shot crew can go in on those roads at say $100 to $200 an hour rather than a plane or helicopter at say $3,000 to $5,000 an hour. Why is the Forest Service taking out the roads that have already been built and are in place and make for fast access to the start-up fire? This doesn’t help the plants or animals — it only kills them in the fire. How can it be cheaper to spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on fires rather than just grade the existing roads once a year and use them instead of aircraft when there is a fire?

Second, let the public back into the national forests. It is public land, remember? We will clean up the mess the Forest Service has made over the last 50-plus years using their “environmental management” approach. In case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t worked.

J. R. Kauffman

La Grande



Dennis Linthicum for United States Congress

To the Editor:

I was fortunate enough to get to talk to Dennis Linthicum at a breakfast fundraiser for a short bit. Dennis and his wife come off as salt of the earth good people that want to do what is right for Southern, Central and Eastern Oregon. 

I know that I have friends who are connected throughout Eastern Oregon, from Burns to Joseph, and from La Grande to Ontario.

Dennis needs our help, he needs people willing to help get his name out in the public, and more importantly to help facilitate him contacting local groups that would like to visit with him. 

There is a lot of talk about how Greg Walden is one step away from the speaker of the house position, which for Greg must seem like a great accomplishment. Unfortunately, during Greg’s tenure, I’ve watched forest after forest be closed to open public access throughout his district and I’ve watched as his staff has ignored emails from the public and did little to affect change on USFS and BLM rules. 

Dennis is not perfect, and that’s what I like and appreciate about him. He’s a man of principles and conviction and I appreciate that as well. Those qualities mean a lot more to me than a representative or staff that tells you they will deal with something and not ever follow through on it.

I’m ready for a new representative that follows through on his word, and who stands on his principles, and I believe Dennis is that man. 

Dennis needs opportunities, our support and I would greatly appreciate you taking the time to look him up and finding ways to invite him into our region to speak. I would also request that our local Republican committees invite Dennis to their monthly meetings to visit with them and the people of Eastern Oregon.

John D. George