Letters to the editor for January 27, 2014

By Observer Upload January 27, 2014 08:40 am

U-turns or no U-turns, that is the question in Union

To the Editor:

I am writing to give a warning to the many people who make U-turns in Union. On Jan. 15, I parked in front of City Hall to pay my utility bill. I then proceeded to the corner of Main and Dearborn streets and made a U-turn; turning right would put one right on the road between S.E. Miller School and J.F.  Hutchinson School. 

As I proceeded north on Main Street, I noticed a county deputy pickup in front of the hardware store. About that time he “flipped a U-turn” in the middle of the block and with his lights on stopped me in front of the bank. As he approached me asking how I was, I commented I was not sure. He told me I had made a U-turn, which is illegal as this is a highway. 

I said myself and numerous others have been making U-turns in that area for years as there is not a “No-U-Turn” sign on that block. He informed me there did not need to be one and the city council had asked this be enforced. 

He went on to say he was just giving me a verbal warning. I went home and called City Hall and asked that the monthly newsletter have something to that effect. The individual I talked with did not seem to know this action was being required. 

If this is truly the law, I have no problem with it being enforced in Union with proper signage in place. According to the officer, there needs to be a sign that indicates U-turns are allowable or it is illegal since Main Street is a state highway. I apparently have been breaking the law for more than 60 years along with many of my neighbors.

It should also be noted this was during the usual after-school traffic and his abrupt U-turn in the middle of the block, although probably legal as he was in pursuit, was unsafe and inappropriate for the purpose of simply giving a verbal warning.

LaVon Hall


Observer headline ‘inflammatory and sensational’

To the Editor:

Reading the Jan. 10 Observer, I was amazed by the front page headline “Cattle killer to face charges.” Such inflammatory and sensational language — which makes one wonder if the paper is hoping for product placement next to the tabloids in the grocery stores — is sadly unworthy of our local news source; though what really reflects on editorial integrity is the blatant double standard.

In 40 years of reading The Observer, I don’t ever recall such a biased and pejorative headline about animal deaths, legal or not. During the fall, none of the headlines scream “Rocky Mountain elk killers enjoy success,” or “Bighorn sheep killer bags a record.” Those who kill illegally are described as poachers or illegal hunters, not killers. Even in this month’s crime reporting on the sickening murder of a Pendleton motel maid, The Observer headline proclaimed the guilty a “Marine deserter” — not a killer.

One hopes The Observer could become a beacon of professionalism and a pole star of impartiality. But with such malevolent headlines and discriminatory editing, I worry that today’s flickers of journalistic objectivity may be snuffed out. 

But hey, if the newspaper’s strategy is to grab our attention by kowtowing to our basest prejudices, then mission accomplished.

Charles Jones

La Grande

Local medical professionals deserve our thanks

To the Editor:

I want to express my thanks to some of the people who work in the medical field here in La Grande. After many tests and a lots of prodding and poking a few weeks ago, it was decided that I had to have laparoscopic surgery to remove a nasty little gall bladder. 

Now, I am what you would call a person with “white coat syndrome.” For those of you who don’t know what that is, well, the mention of the word “doctor” or anything medically related puts you in panic mode. Your blood pressure rises, your pulse accelerates, you get hot and clammy and feel nauseous. It doesn’t matter what precautions I take — the fear sets in. 

So, the thought of having to have tests, blood work, pre-op appointments and then the dreaded surgery itself sent me into anxiety and panic mayhem.

However, I took the tests and had the operation and I want to give a big, huge thanks to the wonderful receptionists, doctors, nurses and surgeon here in 
La Grande who made this little event easier for me to cope with.

Thanks to Dr. Conklin and his nurse and receptionist; to Jim Jones at the nuclear medicine center at the Grande Ronde Hospital, who played hours of Pandora music for me; to Dr. Holecek and his nurse, Betty Lou, who actually made me laugh, and his receptionist, Lis Thorne, who booked me in for surgery (and, yes, she is still a dear friend). To the most wonderful staff at the GRH SurgiCenter: Debbie Wright, the nurse on duty that day who put up with my childish, silly banter; to Dr. Spraklen, who not only sent me relaxing and chillin’ into “gaga land” with his wonderful “at ease” medicine so that I would not run screaming out of the hospital in sheer panic, but also took the time to talk to me and make me feel at ease.

Thank you. I could not have wished and cannot wish for any staff to take better care of me. We should be truly thankful and feel blessed to have people who take care of us in such a professional, caring and friendly manner here in La Grande. 

This patient is truly thankful.

Liz Meyer

La Grande

Education not a one-size-fits-all for every family, student

To the Editor:

Today, Oregon families have a range of diverse options for quality education for their children, whether they attend traditional brick-and-mortar public school, are homeschooled, attend virtual public school through Oregon Connections Academy, or enroll their children anywhere in between. Education is no longer one-size-fits-all; not every school is the right fit for every child. That’s why I’m celebrating National School Choice Week, which began Sunday and runs through Saturday. 

Families of students who are hospitalized or homebound, training to be actors, or learn at a faster or slower pace, should be empowered to choose the academic environment that best cultivates learning in their children. 

I encourage you to learn more about the ways families are elevating the quality of education through choice by exploring the school choice options available to children. Please join me and Oregon Connections Academy in celebrating National School Choice Week and all of the quality educational options we have in Oregon. 

Tom Luba

Executive Director, Oregon 
Connections Academy